The Chopping Block: We’re Making Happy Hour Happier
Do you have a favorite watering hole in the neighborhood? With all of the great options available in Lincoln Square, chances are you do. But what if your dream neighborhood hangout had delicious snacks, unusual wines and the company of other food and wine loving friends? That’s exactly the atmosphere The Chopping Block is hoping to create with our newly revamped Happy Hour.
Starting in March, join us every Thursday from 5:45 p.m.-6:45 p.m. For $10, you’ll try two different wines that our chefs will be recommending for our cooking classes that evening. We’ll also have an appetizer to nosh on to keep you energized through class until dinner is served. You will have the option to buy wine by the glass at a discount before class, and we’ll extend a 10% discount to any wine purchased that evening in class. More than that, you’ll have a chance to meet the people you’ll be taking class with, to be a part of our food and wine loving community.
You can trust our chefs and sommeliers to pair the best of the best during Happy Hour.
Here is just one of our favorite tried-and-true pairings.
Mushrooms and Chardonnay
Try our Caramelized Onion & Mushroom Tart with Bourgogne Blanc, Caves de Buxy (Burgundy, France).
Guiding principle: Look for common denominators in wine and food.
An inherent earthiness exists in the Chardonnay grape. While not overt in day-to-day quaffs, fine producers use winegrowing and winemaking techniques to coax mushroom- or truffle-like flavors from Chardonnay.
Let Chardonnay meet its potential earthiness by pairing with mushroom or truffle dishes of all sorts, including mushroom pizza and omelets, truffled risotto or mac ‘n cheese. Ritrovo Truffle & Salt, available at The Chopping Block, makes truffled dishes easy and affordable.
Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Tart
Yield: 8-10 servings
Active time: 25 minutes
Start to finish: 1 hour, 15 minutes
1 sheet puff pastry
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 medium-size onions, sliced or diced
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup dry sherry wine
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, rough chopped
1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, rough chopped
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Place the sheet of puff pastry on a parchment-lined sheet tray. Top with a piece of parchment paper, and cover with another sheet tray. This will help keep the pastry from puffing too much.
- Bake the pastry until golden brown and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the top sheet tray, and allow the puff pastry to cool.
- While the pastry is baking prepare the topping. To caramelize the onions and mushrooms, heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. Sauté the onions and mushrooms until they are nicely caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. If browned bits form on the bottom of the pan while caramelizing add a splash of water to deglaze.
- Once the onions and mushrooms are fully caramelized to a rich golden color, deglaze with the wine, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat, and transfer to a medium-size bowl.
- Stir the heavy cream, egg yolks, thyme and cheese into the onion-mushroom mixture.
- Spread the mixture evenly over the bottom of the baked puff pastry.
- Bake until the topping is hot and bubbly, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Transfer the tart to a cutting board, and cut into squares. Top with a sprinkle of parsley, and serve warm or room temperature.
Sign up for a Happy Hour at our Lincoln Square location in March to check out the new format and taste more delicious pairings like this.
For the ultimate guide to pairing wine & food at home, download our free Wine and Food Pairing Guide. You’ll get characteristics of the main styles of wine such as sparkling, white, rosé and red, plus over 30 recipes selected to go with those styles of wine.