The Hook presents: A Restaurant Week guide to summer entertaining

It never truly feels like summer until you throw (or attend) that first al fresco cocktail party; whether you look forward to the tasty and fruity cocktails or the delicious hors d'oeuvres to nibble on, summer entertaining is generally the highlight of the season.

Just throwing together a few friends, lawn games, and beer in your back yard? Don't be afraid to serve restaurant-quality munchies for your guests to graze on. Summer 2011 is all about spoiling your palate with pops of flavor, color, and class. The Hook asks our favorite restaurateurs– with some of the best patios and outdoor eateries in town– to plot the perfect cocktail party menu for any summer soiree.



The Casbah Cocktail
{use a highball glass}

2 ounces Skyy Vodka
6 ounces Honest Tea: Morrocan Mint
1/2 lemon, squeezed
6 fresh mint sprigs, from your garden if available
1 ounce simple syrup (sugar water– equal parts sugar and water, heated until clear)

Muddle the mint with simple syrup. Add ice then vodka, mint tea, and lemon squeeze. Garnish with more lemon and fresh mint.

Grilled Halloumi Cheese
{Halloumi is a firm cheese from Cyprus and is made with sheep's milk}

1 package Halloumi, sliced into five equal pieces (available at Whole Foods)
2 lemons
1 stick butter
Fresh oregano
1 ripe tomato, small dice
2 ounces of Ouzo (Greek liquor)
salt and pepper
1 baguette, sliced on an angle

Grill Halloumi over hot coals. Halloumi is very sturdy and will hold up to intense heat. After marking cheese over the grill, remove and keep warm. Melt butter over medium heat and add tomato, fresh oregano, and salt and pepper, and cook until tomatoes are soft. Squeeze the juice from two lemons and then add the Ouzo and cook for a couple of minutes (the Ouzo may catch fire if you use a gas stove). Add the grilled Halloumi and cook for one minute. Platter up and serve with grilled baguette slices.



L'été Rouge

2 parts Stoli Razz (splash of fresh raspberry if available)
1 part Saint German
Equal parts cranberry and sprite
Squeeze of lemon

Serve over ice in a highball glass.

Tuna-Watermelon Tartar, Belgian Endive, Grilled Avocado, Orange Vinaigrette

1 seedless watermelon (half cut into small dice, half juiced)
1 shallot minced
1 jalapeno seeded and minced
1 tablespoon mint chiffonade
1 pound center-cut ahi tuna, cut into small dice (same size as the watermelon)
Juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon of whole-grain mustard
1 head of Belgian endive
1 ripe avocado
1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Chill serving plate in the refrigerator. Start the grill. Put reserved watermelon puree into sauce pan and reduce to syrup. Add half of the lime juice and season to taste.
Halve avocado and remove pit but do not scoop out flesh. Season to taste and brush with olive oil. Mark on very hot grill. Remove and put into refrigerator to chill and reform.
Combine tuna, shallot, jalapeno, diced watermelon, mustard, Sriracha, and mint with reserved watermelon reduction and season to taste.
Cut root end off endive and remove three outer layers intact. Reserve until needed.
Spoon tuna tartar mix into endive leaf. Repeat with the other two endive leaves.
Remove avocado from refrigerator and scoop out flesh keeping avocado intact. Trim small piece of rounded end off the avocado so it will lie flat on the plate.

Orange Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds, crushed and toasted (warm over medium heat, then crush or grind)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup reduced orange juice (fresh squeezed if available)
Zest of one orange
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup grape seed oil
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic

Put ingredients in Mason jar and shake as needed.

To assemble:
Stuff three endive leaves with one tablespoon of tuna tartar.
Place avocado on the center of a plate, cut side up.
Put small amount of tuna tartar mix in avocado cup.
Alternate stuffed endive leaves stacked on top of each other.
Finish with sprig of mint and drizzle vinaigrette across the plate.


The Bavarian Chef
Jerome Thalwitz

The Radler
{Light and refreshing, the Radler is a popular summertime thirst-quencher in Germany.}

Mix equal parts of your favorite beer and sparkling lemon soda. We recommend Paulaner Lager. Non-alcoholic beer may also be used.

Chilled Blueberry Soup

2 cups Riesling wine
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 small split vanilla bean
White pepper to taste
Dash of cinnamon
2 pints fresh blueberries
2 cups ice
1/2 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
Mint leaves for garnish
Sliced lemon wheel for garnish

Combine wine, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla bean, white pepper, and cinnamon in a saucepan. Slowly bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove mixture from heat and add blueberries. Chill in the refrigerator for two hours. Remove vanilla bean. Blend in a blender with two cups of ice until smooth. Pour in individual bowls and top with a teaspoon of yogurt, mint leaves and lemon garnish as desired. Yields four servings.



Fruitti di Mare

2 cups cooked baby shrimp
2 cups cooked bay scallops
2 cups cooked sliced calamari
2 cups cooked crawfish tails
2 cups cooked fresh mussels

Poach seafood in a little white wine and water.
After poaching, chill seafood.
Add extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh dill and parsley (chopped), 2 tablespoons chopped garlic, a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, and a touch of Old Bay seasoning.
Season with lemon, pepper, and sea salt.
Makes 8 servings. Put mixture into a cup and transfer onto a chilled plate with a bed of romaine. Garnish with fresh dill and a lemon wedge.


The Old Mill Room, Boar's Head Inn

Pan Roasted Shrimp

3 each 16/20 whole shrimp
2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup cantaloupe
1/4 cup honeydew
1/4 cup watermelon
2 oz Prosciutto
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon champagne vinegar
1/2 oz baby arugula

Peel and de-vein shrimp. Sauté shrimp on high heat in skillet using olive oil and Cajun seasoning. Set aside to cool.
Dice melons to 1/4 inch and place in mixing bowl.
Combine Dijon mustard, honey, and vinegar in bowl; using a whisk add in vegetable oil until dressing is thick.
Toss melons into honey Dijon dressing.
Slice prosciutto as thin as possible.
To serve: place thin slice of prosciutto flat on plate, and arrange arugula on top. Next top with melon salad, and finally place the cool, pan roasted shrimp on top.

Mint and Blueberry Mojito

10 each mint leaves
1 pint blueberries
3/4 oz simple syrup
1 oz fresh lime juice
2 oz club soda

Muddle mint leaves and blueberries.
Mix with simple syrup, club soda, and lime juice.
Strain and serve over ice, or in a chilled glass.






Blue Light Grill

Watermelon and Cucumber Rickey

1.5 oz Hendrick's gin
0.5 oz St. Germaine
Juice of half a lime
4 slices of cucumber
Splash of watermelon juice
Splash of soda

Muddle the cucumber in a pint or collins glass. Add ice and all ingredients but soda. Stir well. Top with soda. Garnish with a slice of cucumber.

Grilled Virginia Oysters with Bacon Butter

1/2 lb smoked bacon (preferably from Virginia)
1/2 lb whole butter, room temperature
1 lemon, juiced and zested
Tabasco, or any other hot sauce, to taste
1 teaspoon grainy mustard
20 Virginia Bay oysters {a good source is Seafood West Main or online at Rappahanock River Oyster Company}

Dice the bacon into 1/2 inch pieces; render in a skillet until crispy. Strain off the fat and pat off remaining fat on a paper towel. When cool, mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl or food processor. When fully mixed, put in a bowl and refrigerate. Shuck the oysters and be sure to check for loose bits of shell. Top with a bit of butter, put the shell right over medium-temperature coals, and BBQ for four minutes or until bubbling hot. Remove from heat and enjoy!


Horse and Hound 

Wellshire Black Forest Bacon-wrapped Dates
{stuffed with Union Jack IPA pine nut butter}

Yield: serves 6

18 dates (dried and pitted)
9 slices Wellshire Black Forest bacon
1 cup pine nuts
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons Union Jack IPA beer
salt and pepper

Soak dates in two cups IPA beer overnight.
Blend pine nuts in Cuisinart until creamy.
Add a pinch of salt and pepper, 2 tablespoons IPA beer.
Place pine nut butter in a small zip lock bag and pipe mix into soaked dates.
Wrap dates in 1/2 pieces of bacon each and skewer with a toothpick.
Bake dates in an oven at 300 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden and crispy.
Serve warm and with Union Jack IPA beer.

Note: be creative– any bacon, nut, or beer can be substituted in this recipe!



Seared Scallops with Parmesan Sauce and Ratatouille

12 each sea scallops

for Parmesan Sauce:
1 cup white wine
1 shallot minced
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
squeeze of fresh lemon
salt and pepper to taste

In a sauce pot, add the white wine and shallot and reduce by 75 percent.
Add the cream and reduce by 50 percent.
Remove from heat and whisk in the cheese, lemon, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Puree in a blender for 30 seconds, and reserve warm until use.

for Ratatouille
1 cup small diced zucchini
1 cup small diced squash
1 cup small diced eggplant
1/2 cup small diced onion
1/2 cup small diced bell pepper
2 cups good quality tomato sauce
1/4 cup each fresh chopped basil, chive, italian parsley
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large pan over medium heat and add the olive oil.
Add the diced onion and bell pepper and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add the diced zucchini, squash, and eggplant, and allow to saute for another 2-3 mintues.
Add the tomato sauce and reduce the heat to low, allow to cook for 10 minutes.
Finish with the fresh herbs and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Reserve warm until use.

To finish the dish:
Heat a large saute pan with a bit of olive oil in it– let the pan get hot enough that you start to see a bit of smoke coming off the oil.
Season the scallops with a bit of salt and carefully place them in the pan.
Allow them to sear for a couple of minutes, then flip them and sear the other side for a minute or two, depending on how well you like them done.
Place them on a plate, top with the ratatouille, and finish with the parmesan sauce.


Carlton's, Inc.
Bernard Dukes

The Bianca
{one of our most popular drinks}

1 1/2 oz Absolute citron
Splash simple syrup
Splash lemon juice
1/4 oz lime juice
2 oz pomegranate juice

Serve in a sugar-rimmed glass with a twist of lime.

Steak Au Poivre Sandwich

1 4-oz flank steak
1 oz cracked black and red pepper
1 oz cognac
3 oz heavy cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 oz julienned and charred red onion

Encrust the steak in the cracked peppercorns and sear it in a very hot oiled pan, or on an oiled flat-top grill. Cook until medium rare. Remove the steak from the pan and deglaze the pan with the Cognac and simmer for a minute or two. Add the cream and reduce, until thickened, and stir in Dijon mustard. To assemble sandwich place grilled foccacia on plate. Slice the steak thin, and pile over the bread. Top with sauce and charred onion. Serve with pomme frites and pickle.



Virginia Ham and Cheddar Gougeres

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
4 oz unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
1 cup of all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
2 oz Virginia ham (finely shredded)
2 oz cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, milk, butter, and salt, and bring to a boil. Add the flour and stir it in with a wooden spoon until a smooth dough forms; stir over low heat until it dries out and pulls away from the pan, about two minutes.
Scrape the dough into a bowl; let cool for one minute. Beat the eggs into the dough, one at a time, beating thoroughly between each one. Add the Virginia ham, cheese, and a pinch each of pepper and nutmeg.
Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch round tip and pipe tablespoon-size mounds onto the baking sheets, two inches apart. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 22 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Serve hot or let cool and refrigerate or freeze. Reheat in a 350 degree oven until piping hot.


Brasserie Montiel

Chilled Sweet Corn & Beer Gazpacho

5 ears fresh sweet corn, boiled
2 ears fresh sweet corn, roasted
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup ripe heirloom tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
3/4 cup fresh celery, finely diced
3/4 cup cucumber, finely diced
1/2 cup cilantro, very finely chopped
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chilled beer (I prefer a Belgian or a Wheat beer)
2 tablespoons red onion, finely diced
1/4 cup bell or jalapeno pepper (optional), finely diced
Pinch of sugar
Generous salt and pepper to taste
{You can also add spices such as cumin, red pepper flakes, or a bit of nutmeg– play with it}

Place six beer mugs in freezer.
In a medium sauce pot, boil five ears of sweet corn with a pinch of salt and pepper. Remove from heat when tender and shock ears of corn in ice water bath until cold.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. With gloves, work together butter, salt, pepper, and chili powder. Rub on the remaining uncooked ears of corn. Place corn on a parchment-lined sheet pan and put in heated oven turning once until nicely roasted. Remove from oven and set aside until cold.
With a knife, remove kernels of corn from cobs of boiled and roasted corn. Keep separate.
In a blender, combine boiled corn, 1/4 cup of tomato, 1/4 cup of cucumber, 1/4 cup of celery, olive oil, lime juice, and garlic. Add about a cup of beer and blend to puree. Strain mixture through a wire sieve into a metal mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and season to taste. Chill in refrigerator until just before serving.
When ready to serve, agitate beer for maximum foam. Quickly pour gazpacho into frozen beer mugs and immediately spoon foam on soup. Perfect with a BLT or Cobb Salad.


The Melting Pot 

Love Martini

1.5 oz of Malibu Rum
1 oz of Peach Schnapps
2 oz cranberry juice

Mix all ingredients in ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with four floating sliced strawberries in the shape of a heart.

California Salad
1.25 oz of salad mix (Iceberg and Romaine mixed with red cabbage)
1 oz of Spring Mix (perfect summer lettuce really light and crisp)
1 oz of diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon Gorgonzola cheese
1 tablespoon walnuts, crushed
1.5 oz of Raspberry Black Walnut Dressing from The Melting Pot!

These two together make for a perfect afternoon lunch!


Zac King, Bar Manager

Sake Niwa

Ginger syrup
Japanese cucumber
Citrus juices
Nigori Sake
Grapefruit vodka
Minted rim








Matt Turner

Bay Scallop Ceviche

1 pound Bay scallops or dry packed large scallops, sliced thin
2-3 cups lime juice, fresh squeezed (6-8 limes)
1 avocado
3 cups heirloom tomato or roma tomato, diced
1 cup red onion, minced
2 tablespoons coriander seeds (toasted/ground), optional
1 poblano pepper minced (or 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno)
1-2 additional limes
salt and pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
tortilla chips

Two hours before serving, "cook" the scallops by marinating them in lime juice for about an hour. Make sure the scallops are completely submerged and are not crowded in the container. The acid in the lime juice will cook the scallops. Give a scallop a little pinch now and then, you'll notice it gets a little more firm as time passes– they are done when they are firm to the touch.

When the scallops are firm to the touch and the center is no longer translucent, strain the lime juice away and toss the scallops lightly with olive oil– this stops the cooking process; avoid over-cooking.

Make a salsa with the rest of the ingredients to your liking, keeping the avocado separate until serving.

For service: combine the diced avocado, scallops, and salsa, toss– but do not over-mix– and serve with chips.

The Shore Breaker

1 oz light rum
1 oz golden rum
1/2 oz coconut rum
1/2 oz Midori (or melon liquor)
6 pineapple juice
lime juice

Shake all ingredients well over ice. Adjust sweetness by adding lime juice for sour and balancing with pineapple juice for sweetness. Finish by adjusting melon and garnish with honeydew and/or pineapple spear.


Positively 4th Street 

Edamame Falafel with Tahini yogurt sauce

For Falafel
2 cups edamame blanched, strain and reserve blanching liquid
1/8 cup fine chopped parsley
1/8 cup fine chopped mint
1/8 cup fine chopped cilantro
2 cups canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 jalapeno, seeded and deveined
zest and juice of 1 lemon
4 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 quarts oil for frying
4 heads Bibb lettuce
8 yellow teardrop tomatoes, halved
8 red teardrop tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds

In a food processor, combine the first 10 ingredients and process until almost smooth. Transfer this to a bowl and add in the flour. Work it in with a wooden spoon just until the flour is combined. Heat oil to 375. Drop one tablespoon of the falafel mix into the oil in batches, so you don't overcrowd the oil and bring the temperature down too much. Fry for about 45 seconds to a minute, until it becomes golden brown. Transfer fried falafel to a paper towel and dust lightly with kosher salt.

Serve each falafel in a lettuce leaf with a half a teardrop tomato, a dollop of the tahini yogurt sauce and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Serve the remaining tahini sauce on the side for dipping.

For Tahini yogurt sauce
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini
1/2 cup yogurt

In a food processor, combine all ingredients and pulse to combine. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until use.

Salty Dog

1 1/2 oz Sapphire gin
5 oz fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
salt for the rim
lime wedge

Rub the lime wedge along the rim of a rocks glass, dip in salt, and put a few ice cubes in. Shake the grapefruit juice and gin with ice and strain into glass.



hey, Carlton's is closed. way to keep up on what's going on in town. Idiots!

is a dick

heard is was a "midnight moveout"

Where is Brookville in this article? I like how the this article is all about Restaurant Week but who ever wrote it did a horrible job getting all the facts right for this big event, especially when one of those restaurants has closed down, the chef at The Old Mill Room is Bill Justus!

I may be a "dick" and you are an IDIOT! and a coward. FU, buddy!