Monday, October 5, 2009

Autumn Culinaire

By Pat Tanner

I have tremendous respect for the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, so was pleased when the Mercer County chapter instituted an annual food and wine fundraising gala a few years back. This year’s Autumn Culinaire, as it is called, takes place October 15 at Greenacres Country Club in Lawrenceville.

While this event constitutes a tasty way to give to a good cause, it’s also a way to scope out new and interesting eateries. Among the outstanding newcomers are New Brunswick’s Due Mari and Princeton’s elements. (You can read my reviews of both elements and Due Mari) Plus, there are some familiar names with new endeavors. Bobby Trigg of the respected Ferry House recently opened BT-Bistro on Route 1 in West Windsor, and while Lawrenceville’s Acacia restaurant has been around for decades, even dedicated diners may not be aware that it got new owners and a new persona two years ago. They, Kelly Edelstein and Joe Immordino, plan to serve a crabcake surf-and-turf appetizer and lemon curd tarts.

The evening’s additional pleasures include samplings of about 150 wines and beers, live music, and a silent auction that features everything from a Tiffany watch to a dozen new cookbooks from the shelves of yours truly. Host chef Daniel Daniluk of Greenacres will be dishing up braised pork agrodolce with white polenta and, for a sweet treat, wild berry mango parfait. Other participants include: Anton’s at the Swan, Archives, Blue Bottle CafĂ©, Blue Point Grill, Brothers Moon, Lindt Chocolate, the Nassau Club, On the Bone, Ota-Ya, Parallel 40, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Silver Decoy Winery, Starbucks, Triumph Brewing, and Witherspoon Grill. Deserving of a special shout-out is Salt Creek Grille in Princeton, which plans to serve duck at the gala, but which is also donating $1 from every order of its Herb Roasted Chicken dish to BBBS-Mercer County throughout 2009.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Autumn Culinaire will take place on Thursday, October 15 from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Greenacres Country Club, 2170 Lawrenceville Road, Lawrenceville. Tickets are $85 in advance, $95 at the door. For tickets and information visit or phone 609.656.1000.

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