On the Menu: February 21 through February 27

on-the-menu-eileen-miller-2 Here’s what happening at the Beard House next week: Tuesday, February 23, 7:00 P.M. Another Taste of Perfection From its perch on the 24th floor of the Grand Pequot Tower at Foxwoods Resort Casino, Paragon lives up to its name—literally and figuratively—with Scott Mickelson’s French- and Asian-inflected cuisine. An apex of sophistication and a standard-bearer for fine-dining restaurants, Paragon reaches great heights. Wednesday, February 24, 7:00 P.M. Toujours Le Bec-Fin Georges Perrier ushered in Philadelphia’s dining renaissance when he opened his now-iconic restaurant, Le Bec-Fin, in 1970. Four decades later, with the help of extraordinarily talented executive chef Nicholas Elmi, Perrier’s

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Eye Candy: Ovaltine Kulfi

Ovaltine kulfi Pastry prodigy Pichet Ong served three desserts at our Valentine's Day dinner. One of them was this malted kulfi, which was topped with caramel popcorn, spiced chocolate sauce, and muckwa confetti. (Kulfi is India's answer to ice cream; muckwa is candied fennel seed.) See more photos of the seductive dinner here. (Photo by Bobbi Lin)

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On the Menu: 25th Anniversary of D'Artagnan

Ariane Daguin Behind every great chef is a resourceful and tireless purveyor, and many of America's best kitchens rely on D'Artagnan founder Ariane Daguin, whose valuable stock of foie gras, terrines, and other fine meat products is without peer. To celebrate her company's 25th anniversary, we've invited Daguin and a cadre of Gascon chefs to prepare a decadent Beard House tasting inspired by the D'Artagnan catalog, complete with regional wines and fine Armagnacs. Take a gander at the menu below: Hors d’Oeuvre Foie Gras and Black Truffle Tartine Chestnut Soup Laguiole Cheese Rolls with Salsify and Duck Prosciutto Wild Boar Bacon–Wrapped Prunes Dinner Creamy Tarbais Bean Soup with Black Truffles Pan-Seared Foie Gras with Caramelized Apples and Sweet-and-Sour Sauce Pigs’ Foot and Porcini Stew Hazelnut-Crusted Venison Medallion with

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Eye Candy: An Unconventional Dinner

brûléed tuna A chef wields a blowtorch to brûlée servings of ginger-scented tuna, which were paired with pickled ginger pearls and kabayaki. The dish appeared in a tasting menu prepared by a group of talented convention center chefs. Check out more photos from the event here. (Photo by Philip Gross)

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Eye Candy: Carolina Gold Rice Soup with Peanuts, Scallions, and Quail

Carolina Gold rice soup Shaun Doty, who owns the acclaimed Shaun's in Atlanta, served this Carolina Gold rice soup at his Southern-style Beard House feast. (And in case you missed it a few weeks ago, we've got the recipe.) Click here to see more photos from Doty's event. (Photo by Shaun Fletcher)

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Eye Candy: Cooking for Haiti

pavlova Eric Hara of the Oak Room served this lemon pavlova, lemon sorbet, and rose water syrup dessert at last week's Beard House benefit for Haiti. The dinner raised over $4,000 for the International Rescue Committee and its support of the country's earthquake victims. See more photos from the evening here. (Photo by Bobbi Lin)

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On the Menu: Valentine's Day Seduction

Ricco-Ong We’ll always love the tried and true chocolate and roses, but this year we’re excited for something extra on Valentine's Day: a sexy menu from the renowned team from Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Spice Market. Chef Anthony Ricco’s reinvented Asian fare will be on display, as well as tasty sweets by the restaurant’s original pastry chef, Pichet Ong. Check out the menu below (warning: heart palpitations may occur): Shaved Tuna with Chili Tapioca and Coconut-Lime Broth Spiced Chicken Samosas with Cilantro Yogurt Cod with Malaysian Chile Sauce and Thai Basil Red Curried Duck with Pineapple Sambal Tropical Fruit Sundae with Passion-Fruit Foam and Basil Seeds Ovaltine Kulfi with Spiced Chocolate Sauce and Muckwa Chocolate Cupcake with Salted Caramel and Vietnamese Coffee To view the entire menu, visit the official event page.

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Eat this Word: Zeppole

zeppoleWHAT? Saintly snack. March 19, the day of San Giuseppe, is the day tradition binds Neapolitans to eat zeppole. (The plural takes an "e.") Not that it takes much encouragement. Although New Yorkers associate the deep-fried dough dusted with powdered sugar with street fairs in Little Italy, the snack dates at least to the early 19th century, and most likely several hundred years before that. It was the Neapolitan pastry chef Pintauro who first fried his zeppole on the sidewalk (outside his shop), and thus created what one commentator, Don Giulio Genonino, in 1834 called the "zeppole de pasticcere a delluvio" (flood of zeppole) that characterizes the streets in Naples on the Day of St. Joseph. WHERE? Anthony Pino's Beard House dinner WHEN? February 19, 2010

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Eat this Word: Spoonbread

spoonbreadWHAT? "The apotheosis of cornbread." Or so said writer Redding Sugg. This Southern soufflé may take its moniker from suppon or suppawn, an Indian porridge. Perhaps the name stuck because this Southern comfort food is best eaten with a spoon. It's made from cornmeal, eggs, butter, and milk, sometimes enlivened with baking powder and a dash of sugar, and it's served across the South with country ham or rabbit stew or all on its own. Spoon bread is an any-meal kind of food: Jefferson, for instance, ate it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Spoonbread, according to Southern Food author John Egerton, is "the ultimate, glorified ideal" of cornbread." True Grits author Joni Miller declares it "one of the most elegant and classic Southern dishes." An essential Southern savory, "a properly prepared spoonbread," Egerton writes, "can be taken as testimony to the perfectibility of humankind." WHERE?

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Eye Candy: French–Asian Fusion

torte A group of Philadelphia-area chefs gathered at the Beard House last month to prepare a menu of French classics with decidedly Asian ingredients. For dessert, the group served a Valrhona white chocolate torte with yuzu curd and green tea mousse. See more photos from the event here. (Photo by Bobbi Lin)

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