Quick Bites: Take a moonlight vineyard visit by trolley
Looking to add just a little something special to your next night out? How about two special somethings?
Picture this: Curbside service and classy transport to a moonlit vineyard, where you enjoy a TWELVE (12!) course meal hosted by a winemaker, vineyard manager and chef, followed by a stroll in the vines before you're transported back to Rochester.
It's a partnership between Rochester Trolley and Tour Companyand Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery, and there are only two more events like this for this year. First the trolley picks you up in Rochester, and then you enjoy the ride to Spring Valley before the meal under the stars, in the vineyard, with an intimate group of soon-to-be-friends.
The trolley brings you back to Rochester after the moonlight meal and vine-walk is over, where you can continue your evening downtown or head home to dream of the dessert you just had.
Tickets for the trolley and meal are all-inclusive at $145. If you're interested in something a little lighter and shorter, the trolley also has $95 all-inclusive tours to Four Daughters' regular Thursday Night Gourmet Dinners, where you get an extended tour of the winery with the winemaker, along with four wine tastings and meal accompaniments. It's the perfect time to try something new from Four Daughters' executive chef Erik Kleven — he creates the four-course menu new every week.
For more information about these events and other great transport and food tours, visit RochesterMNtours.com, or call 507-421-0573.
Vote for your favorite Pi-motion
To celebrate its 5th birthday this summer, Pi Pizzais letting you choose the promotion — with a little prize attached for five lucky voters.
On its Facebook page, Pi is asking which you would like on Aug. 5, their 5th birthday: A Margherita pizza for $3.14 plus tax (the same as their "pi day" special) or a meal deal — two specialty pizzas, two fountain drinks and an order of Pi cinnamon sticks for $19.99. Find the post on their page, and vote in the comments. Five voters will get one $20 gift card to Pi each. Voting ends on July 22, and the lucky winners will be drawn on the big day, Aug. 5. Happy Birthday, Pi!
News and notes
Rochester area, you keep doing such amazing culinary things that I can't keep up. But I'm trying. It's a beautiful problem to have. Here are a few tips and events for you to check out.
• Anyone with basil coming out their ears like me, listen up: The Houston Nature Centerin Trailhead Park in Houston is hosting a "Pesto Fest-O"event starting at 6 p.m. Saturday. They say to "come to compete or come to eat" — bring your favorite pesto recipe, and enjoy some homemade wines. For more information or to sign up to compete, contact Audrey Alfson at 507-894-3713.
• Wine Spectatormagazine is including our very own Sontesin its 2014 Restaurant Awards, which honors restaurants around the world that offer the best wine selections. The full list is available in the Aug. 31 issue of Wine Spectator, which will be on newsstands on July 22.
• If you haven't been to the Nile Restaurant, located off West Circle Drive in Rochester (2711 Commerce Drive), now is a good time. They recently added sandwiches to their menu, which I love — it makes the sometimes-unfamiliar Ethiopian cuisine a little more accessible, somehow, to put it in a pita or on a burger. Sandwiches include the Nile Burger, which includes seven spices and is served with tzatziki, or the falafel pita, which incorporates falafel (garbanzo beans with spices and herbs), lettuce, and hummus or tzatziki sauce. Check out their salads for some entree alternatives, too.