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By MATT CRANE
Starkville residents interested in a different dining experience this weekend can look no further than its very own Veranda.
On Saturday, The Veranda will host a specialized five-course menu and wine tasting event beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are still available for $65 which includes tax and gratuity.
Amy Yates, Director of Marketing for the Veranda, said the eventâ€™s fun yet formal atmosphere will offer a unique culinary experience for area residents.
â€śWe just like to do something a little more upscale and educational that you might not get every day,â€ť Yates said. â€śI think itâ€™s just fun for our guests to have a different experience, bringing a little different food and wine culture to Starkville.â€ť
Amy Yates said chef and owner of The Veranda, Jay Yates, prepared a five-course menu and partnered with David Koenig from Southern Wine and Spirits in Jackson for the event.
â€śTheyâ€™ve been on the phone a lot over the past weeks talking about flavor profiles, and Dave has been picking things out that will go well with each dish,â€ť Amy Yates said. â€śJay and David will be discussing things throughout the evening, so people will be able to learn a lot about the food preparations and the wines.â€ť
Amy Yates said the evening will begin with a watermelon mint champagne cocktail and an amuse-bouche.
â€śThe amuse-bouche will be shrimp with locally grown cucumbers,â€ť she said. â€śAs you arrive, the amuse-bouche is a one bite kind of deal that is supposed to get the appetite going.â€ť
Amy Yates said the rest of the courses feature: scallops with local produce; a salad course; the main entree of steak frites with locally grown potatoes; and a dessert course of chocolate gelato with chocolate ganache.
â€śThe steak frites is a New York strip, but instead of being grilled itâ€™s pan fried, which is a popular dish in French speaking Europe,â€ť she said. â€śThe dessert is really like a gourmet sundae.â€ť
Amy Yates said the wines for the scallops, salad and steak courses will feature blended wines.
â€śBlended wines are really in right now,â€ť she said.
Amy Yates said the recent culinary trend of utilizing locally grown products is one The Veranda has embraced.
â€śItâ€™s definitely a food movement right now of farm to table, and local farmers are clueing into this and selling directly to restaurants now,â€ť she said. â€śJay always grew up with his mom and grandmother cooking fresh vegetables out of the garden so this is kind of his wheelhouse.â€ť
While Amy Yates said the event Saturday promises to be a fun, educational evening out on the restaurantâ€™s actual veranda, she also looks ahead to a similar event the restaurant will hold later this month.
â€śWeâ€™re going to be doing this same concept but with craft beers,â€ť she said. â€śIf wine is not your thing, then the beer dinner is on Aug. 18 for $55, but the menu has not been decided yet.â€ť
Tickets are still available for the wine tasting dinner Saturday at 7 p.m.
For more information, call The Veranda at 662-323-1231.