Small Plates with Ariel Turner

D's Nuts doughnuts from the Farm Fresh Fast kitchen are gluten free, sugar free, and vegan friendly. Photo by Ariel Turner.

How ‘bout D’s Nuts

Yes, the the gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan-friendly doughnuts from Farm Fresh Fast have been branded “D’s Nuts.” (Go ahead and take a minute to process that). But, if you can get past the obviously created-for-shock-value name, they are worth a taste test. The team has just rolled out six new flavors based on traditional holiday favorites: sugar cookie, peppermint fudge, eggnog, gingerbread, snowball, and milk and cookies. And so far, they’ve sold out every day, if that tells you anything. So, if you’re looking for a fairly guilt-free holiday treat for you or the kids, pick up a half dozen at Farm Fresh Fast and try them all. Because really, how do you choose?

Wine not?

Almost weekly, or even more frequently, local restaurants and bottle shops are hosting wine dinners and tastings. Nothing about that is news, especially if you’re a frequent guest at such events. But if you’ve never joined in, you might not know what you’re missing, and I’m not referring to just the wine and paired dishes. What I’m getting at is the heap of knowledge these visiting winemakers, sommeliers, and distributors drop on the imbibers. In fact, it’s kind of ridiculous how much of a great value a $20 tasting can turn out to be. (Dinners are pricier, but still worth it.)

For instance, a pre-Thanksgiving wine tasting at The Community Tap that offered seven pours also featured a special guest – the son of winemaker Henri Perrusset, whose chardonnay was the second pour of the night. After a wonderfully informative presentation about the winery in the Beaujolais region, we all swirled, sniffed, and tasted the buttery-hued wine in our glasses. Without exception, the four guests at my table voiced the same sentiment – they wouldn’t normally consider themselves chardonnay fans, but knowing more about the winemaker and meeting a member of his family created a connection to that particular bottle that made it more interesting and, in this case, tasty. We all expressed surprise that we would actually consider purchasing a bottle because of that interaction when we wouldn’t have otherwise. The ramifications of that fact – knowledge begets familiarity and enjoyment – can be rather far-reaching, especially with culinary experiences.

That’s just one example of dozens I could throw out, but if broadening your palate sounds, well, palatable, look up the event schedules at bottle shops like WineXpress, The Community Tap, and Red’s Beer and Wine, and restaurants like Larkin’s on the River, Stella’s Southern Brasserie, Soby’s, and Foxcroft Wine Co.





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