Next week’s menu: Burgers, bottles and Bloody Marys

A cool shot I grabbed of my girls and me at Saturday's Midwest Winefest. Can you tell which one is me? We're like the Charlie's Angels of wine.

I’ve just now, at 3 p.m. on Monday, recovered from Saturday night’s Winefest enough to tell you a little bit about some more adult beverage-based events coming up next week.

I didn’t get too crazy at the Winefest, mind you. But the trip across the street to hang out at the bar of AVI probably was the opposite of what my group needed. (Amiright, Ben Arnold?) At least we were on foot!

The Winefest is one of my favorite food and beverage events of the year, and I never fail to have a great time. One of the highlights of this year’s events for me: The Dillon’s Marketplace booth, which was set up with a whole array of fabulous cheeses from the fancy Dillon’s cheese case. I sampled Merlot-flavored cheese, espresso-flavored cheese and raspberry-flavored cheese. The table also offered piles and piles of shaved Parmesan, which is only one of my favorite things on earth to nibble with wine.

And only two tables away, one of the vendors was serving up samples of Kim Crawford, one of our favorite Sauvignon Blancs. At some point, the kind pourer at the table wondered if we had sampled it enough to have decided whether we liked it. Woops.

Two more fun food and beverage events are coming up soon.

One is called Blooms, Brews & Bloody Marys and doubles as Botanica’s 25th Anniversary Kick-Off Party. The event will include a beer tasting by River City Brewery and a Bloody Mary competition among local bars and restaurants such as The Anchor, The Candle Club, Heroes, A.V.I., Newport Grill, Scotch & Sirloin and The Vagabond. The event also will feature food by The Flying Stove and music by Spirit of the Stairs. It’s at 6:30 p.m. on May 4, and tickets are $40 a person. Make your reservations here.

Chester’s Chophouse chef Bobby Lane is putting on a VinoBurger Cookbook tasting event at 6:30 p.m. on May 1. The event will be on Chester’s patio and is $40 a person. Lane will prepare two burgers of his own as well as two from the VinoBurger cookbook. The event includes five wine and four burger samples. RSVPs must be e-mailed to whitney@jacobliquor.com.

Nine restaurants shared recipes for “official” Wichita cookbook

If you’ve lived in Wichita for very long, you’ve either sampled or cooked a recipe from the Junior League’s popular and well-circulated 1995 cookbook, “Women of Great Taste. It has a picture of the Mona Lisa spearing a tomato with a fork on the cover and many very good recipes inside.

Now, the Junior League has a new cookbook out. It’s called “Pinches & Dashes: Recipes & Life Measures” and includes recipes for everything from special-occasion dinners to fast weeknight meals.

The formerly most popular Wichita cookbook

It also includes recipes provided by nine local restaurants: Caffe Moderne, Chester’s Chophouse, Freddy’s Frozen Custard, Newport Grill, Luca Italian Kitchen, River City Brewery, Sabor, Watermark Books & Café and YaYa’s EuroBistro.

The book is $28.95 and is available at places such as Watermark Books and The Plaid Giraffe or online at jlwichita.org. Proceeds will go toward organizations that combat child abuse.

And get this — Mayor Carl Brewer has named the book the official cookbook of Wichita. This is a relief to me because I have always wondered what our city’s official cookbook was.

Eat like you’re Irish: Part II

Turns out there’s a whole lot more Irish eating out there today than I originally thought. A few more restaurants offering corn beef and cabbage and other St. Patrick’s day specials have come to my attention since I wrote this post earlier this week.

Among them:

Old Mill Tasty Shop, 604 East Douglas: The downtown lunch favorite is offering corn beef and cabbage and Irish cream shakes today.

Heroes, 117 N. Mosley: The sports bar is offering corn beef and cabbage, bierocks, Irish stew and more today.

Yia Yia’s Eurobistro, 8115 E 21st Street N.: The fine dining restaurant is offering several Irish specials for lunch and dinner, included corn beef and cabbage, fish and chips, lamb stew, shepherd’s pie and more.

British Banger Company, 1713 W. Douglas: The carryout lunch spot is making Irish cottage pie plus bangers and mash  and will stay open until around 8 p.m.

The Shamrock, 1724 W. Douglas: The pub is serving corn beef and cabbage over the lunch an dinner hours today.

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt, several Wichita locations: The yogurt chain is offering 25 percent off to customers wearing green.

River City Brewery, 150 N. Mosely: Though they’re not doing any food specials, River City is serving $2.50 green beers all day and is throwing a St. Patty’s day party starring awesome local cover band Lucky People, starting at 9 p.m. Cover is $3.

River City remodel

rivercity.jpg 003After six weeks of displacement, everything is as it should be again at River City Brewery,150 N. Mosley, and the dining room has a new look.

Managers moved diners upstairs to nightclub Loft 150 for the past month and a half while they replaced brewery equipment and reconfigured the dining room, creating an island-style bar, removing some booths and adding a bunch of tall bar tables and several big-screen television sets closer to the tap action. The remodel doesn’t look dramatically different, but it adds 19 chairs — and two beer taps — to the operation. River City now will always have eight site-brewed beers on tap.

The downstairs dining room reopened on Tuesday. River City Brewery has operated in Wichita for 17 years.

Art while you eat

A very...melony mural adorns a wall at Copper Oven.

A very...melony mural adorns a wall at Copper Oven.

I’ve ingested many a skillet with eggs over-easy while staring, eyebrows furrowed, at the very curious watermelon mural that adorns the back wall of Copper Oven, a delicious and popular eatery at 2409 W. 13th St. What exactly is going on in this eye catching art work? It almost seems as though a father and son are patiently waiting for a crowd of sliced melons to break into dance on the disco floor.

Restaurant owners love decorating with murals, and Wichita has lots of them. Artist Steve Murillo’s colorful murals can be found on the walls at Larkspur, River City Brewery and Caffe Moderne. I’ve always loved the calming blue sky/cloud mural on the ceiling at Abuelo’s. And many Mexican restaurants in town have conquistador murals (of varying quality) to be enjoyed and studied over margaritas.

What’s your favorite Wichita restaurant mural?

*UPDATE* Reader Pat Handley alerted me to the fact that the watermelons in this mural are from “Sandias Con Leyenda: Viva la Vida” a painting by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. He also points out that the man in the painting looks like Diego Rivera, Kahlo’s husband. So much for the melon disco theory…