On the Menu: February 14 through February 20

on-the-menu-eileen-miller Here’s what happening at the Beard House next week: Sunday, February 14, 7:00 P.M. Valentine’s Day Seduction Spice things up this Valentine’s Day at a romantic dinner of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s dramatic, sexy Asian fare prepared by Anthony Ricco, executive chef at Spice Market. The restaurant’s much-acclaimed original pastry chef, Pichet Ong, will provide decadent, passion-inspiring desserts. Tuesday, February 16, 7:00 P.M. West Coast Basque Cuisine Basque native Gerald Hirigoyen has spent the last two decades in San Francisco, where he runs two wildly popular restaurants, Piperade and Bocadillos. His signature style, as showcased in his new cookbook, Pintxos, artfully blends the robust flavors of Bas

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Recipe: Beef Short Ribs in Moscatel

braised short ribs Here's a weekend recipe for our snowed-slammed East Coast readers: fall-off-the-bone braised short ribs, cooked slow in Moscatel, a sweet, full-bodied wine from Spain. A host of spices gives the rich braising liquid some extra oomph; jalapeño chile brings bite. Aside from the critical step of browning the meat, this dish practically makes itself, which is just what you need after three days of shoveling.

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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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Eat-Q: Culinary Aphrodisiacs

candy heartsOur fascination with aphrodisiacs is nothing new. Mankind has been on the hunt for libido-fueling foods since, well, the birth of man, and our desperation can occasionally venture beyond good taste. For example, Aphrodite, the goddess of love in Greek mythology, considered the brains of a certain animal to be arousing. Can you guess which one?
A. Beetle B. Panther C. Snake D. Sparrow
See if you answered correctly—and check out our full list of aphrodisiac trivia—by clicking here.

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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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Eye Candy: Grits, with the Volume on High

Blackberry Farm gritsAt last Saturday's Beard House dinner, chef Adam Cooke of the Barn at Blackberry Farm served these raw sheep’s milk cooked–Anson Mills grits, topped with an unctuous egg yolk, earthy Tennessee black truffles, and ham hock consommé jelly. (Doesn't this sound perfect for a blustery winter day?) Check out more photos from his farm-to-table tasting here. (Photo by Philip Gross)

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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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