Monthly Archives: October 2014

Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is almost here! Below are some important safety tips for parents and children from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. Happy Halloween from Dressler’s Restaurant! Have fun and be safe!

  • halloweensaftytipsChildren should travel in groups of 3 or more.
  • Make sure that an adult or an older responsible youth will be supervising the outing for children under age 12.
  • Plan and discuss the route trick-or-treaters intend to follow. Know the names of older children’s companions. Set a time limit.
  • Instruct your children to travel only in familiar areas and along an established route.
  • Teach your children to stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well-lit. Accept treats only in the doorway. NEVER enter a stranger’s home.
  • Children should not eat treats until parents have checked them.
  • Do not ride a bicycle-your costume could get tangled in it.
  • Carry a flashlight.
  • Walk on the sidewalk. If no sidewalk is available, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.
  • Cross busy streets at an intersection or cross walk. Be sure to look both ways (2 times) before crossing the street.
  • Walk, don’t run.
  • If you wear a mask, be sure you can see out of it clearly. Remove mask when walking from house to house.
  • Wear reflective tape on your clothing/costume.
  • Be very cautious of STRANGERS.
  • NEVER eat unwrapped candy, opened candy, or fruit given to you on Halloween.
  • Pin a slip of paper with your child’s name, address, and phone number inside a pocket in case the child gets separated from the group.
  • Welcome trick-or-treaters with your porch/exterior lights on.
  • Patrol your street occasionally to discourage speeding motorists, acts of malicious mischief, and crimes against children.
  • Report any suspicious or criminal activity to your police department immediately (dial 9-1-1).
  • Candlelit jack-o-lanterns should be kept clear of doorsteps and landings.
  • Consider using flashlights instead of candles to light jack-o-lanterns.
  • Keep pets away from doors so children will not become frightened.

Chef’s Corner

Chef's Corner at Dressler's RestaurantWelcome to Chef’s Corner. Each month, we feature some of our favorite foods from Dressler’s Restaurant. Stop in today and try some of these delicious selections from our Metro and Birkdale menus.

Cheese: Uno Alla VoltaU.A.V. Cheese (means one-at-a-time in Italian) are artisan cheesemakers that just burst onto the Charlotte food scene. We use this amazing, fresh mozzarella for our heirloom tomato salad. We serve it with beautiful tomatoes from Poplar Ridge Farms, fresh basil, and extra virgin olive oil. We also recommend Uno Alla Volta burrata (fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream), which is available at the Atherton Market.

Appetizer: Crab CakesDressler’s Metropolitan hosts a great deal of group dining and our most popular hors d’oeuvres are our mini crab cakes. They are the perfect finger food for any occasion–delicious bite-size portions of Chef Scott’s signature recipe!

Dessert: Warm Apple CrispYou’ll love our warm apple crisp with Fall spices. We serve it with fresh vanilla ice cream and delicious housemade caramel.

Adult Beverage: 2012 MacheteThis remarkable wine has flavors of crushed berries, dark chocolate, black fruits, and espresso. We carry most of the Orin Swift line–all awesome labels and absolutely delicious wine.

 

 

 

 

Say Cheese! How to Make an Unforgettable Cheese Plate

how to make a cheese plateDo you love cheese as much as we do?

Your home should never be without great cheese. With the holidays just around the corner, you never know who’ll be stopping in. Cheese is the perfect food to serve your friends and family.

You can’t go wrong with a cheese plate. Cheese is loved by most people, it can be prepared quickly, it looks and tastes great, it’s relatively inexpensive, and it’s easy to store in your refrigerator.

Here are some simple steps to creating a crowd-pleasing cheese platter.

Go shopping for great cheese. Two of our favorite places are the Looking Glass Creamery and Fishing Creek Creamery.

Select a variety. Four to five different kinds is sufficient for a cheese plate. Choose contrasting colors, textures, and flavors, as well as one from each type of milk–goat, sheep, and cow. Cheese can be divide in 4 basic categories. To keep things interesting, try to select one from each group. Here are just a few of your options.

Add the accompaniments. The items below will complement your cheese and bring out its best flavor.

  • baguette, crackers, and breadsticks
  • olives, nuts
  • chutney, jam, honey
  • fresh apples, pears, plums, grapes, strawberries, melon, cantaloupe, kiwi (dried fruits like cranberries, dates, cherries, figs, and apricots work well too)
  • prosciutto or salami

Arrange it all on a large platter. Serve your cheese on a slab of slate or marble, a wood cutting board, or a large platter. Cheese tastes best at room temperature, so take the cheese out of the refrigerator about 45 minutes before it will be served. Leave space between different varieties and supply a separate knife for each cheese. Place soft cheese whole on the plate. Other cheese should be cut into wedges before placing on the serving platter. Label the cheese so guests know what they are eating. Write the names of your cheese on small cards and set them on the platter. Or write directly on a piece of slate. Have fun arranging the cheese plate and your guests are sure to love it!

Don’t forget the beverages! Some food and drinks were meant to be enjoyed together. Here are some of our favorite pairings.

Fishing Creek Classic Chevre and Hanna Sauvignon Blanc/Chenin Blanc

Sauterne/Late Harvest Riesling/Dogfish Head Midas Touch Beer and Roquefort

Heitz Ink Grade Port and Maytag Blue Cheese

Railhouse Mastiff Stout and Chocolate Lab from Looking Glass Creamery

Here’s to Fresh, Local Produce

Dressler’s Restaurant is proud to serve our guests the freshest, local produce that is available from season-to-season. In order to achieve this goal, we source many of our fruits and vegetables from Poplar Ridge Farm, located in Waxhaw, NC.

In addition to purchasing produce from Poplar Ridge Farm for both the Metro and Birkdale locations, Dressler’s will soon be buying the farm’s produce for its newest restaurant–Dogwood Southern Table and Bar–which is set to open November 5th.

Poplar Ridge is a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm. CSA is a system of sourcing local, seasonal food directly from the farm. Built in 1995, Poplar Ridge is a small, family-owned and managed USDA certified organic farm. Owner Marianne Battistone is proud to have developed one of the only certified organic farms in the area that is able to sell produce in bulk to restaurants and families in Charlotte. Poplar Ridge Farm is also one of the largest professional CSA farms in the state.

Scott Platt, Assistant Manager of Dressler’s in Birkdale Village, has volunteered at Poplar Ridge and knows firsthand how the process works. In addition to his hard work at the farm, the team at Poplar Ridge adds that Scott is “always good for comic relief as well.”

PoplarRidgesignWhy is buying local so important? According to the team at Poplar Ridge, buying food locally allows you to enjoy food soon after it was picked, which maximizes taste, nutrition, and freshness. It also gives you access to a variety of fruits and vegetables that may not be available in stores.

Some of the produce harvested at Poplar Ridge Farms includes: arugula, beets, blueberries, fennel, bok choy, broccoli, broccoli raab, carrots, cauliflower, collards, cucumbers, edamame, eggplant, endive, garlic, green beans, butter beans, kale, leeks, head lettuce, mesclun mix, mustard greens, spring onions, microgreens, potatoes, radishes, salad greens, spinach, swiss chard, tomatoes, kohl rabi, strawberries, okra, peppers, squash, watermelon, zucchini, cabbage, pak choi, turnips, brussel sprouts, figs, salsify, and sweet potatoes. Herbs harvested include: copper fennel, chives, cilantro, dill, fennel, lovage, oregano, garlic chives, rosemary, sage, lemon balm, bay leaves, parsley, thyme, and basil.

We recently spoke with Marianne Battistone (Owner and Co-Manager), Joe Rohrer (CSA Manager/Farmer), and Amy Schroeder (CSA/Chef Coordinator) of Poplar Ridge Farm to help us answer some of the questions Dressler’s guests may have about the significance of locally sourced produce.

PoplarRidgeonionsWhat types of produce will Dressler’s be purchasing from Poplar Ridge for their restaurants?

“All types! We grow seasonally, so Dressler’s can purchase anything that’s available during that season. We grow more than 100 different varieties of all types of vegetables, but here are some things we know Chef Scott likes: okra, white turnips, yellow beets, tomatoes, rainbow carrots, sunchokes, cress, winter and summer squash, herbs, blue potatoes, fingerling potatoes, sweet potatoes, romanesco, greens, lettuces, peas, radishes, and whatever else Chef Scott wants.”

What does it mean to be certified organic?

“We utilize cover crops, crop rotation, and compost to protect and enrich the soil. Growing organically is a much more intimate connection with nature. Our ultimate goal is to take care of the land to ensure the longevity of the soil for future generations. Sometimes the produce is not as “pretty” as what you may find at the grocery store. However, it will always taste better and have more nutrients.”

What are the advantages of buying local produce?

“Our food tastes better because it is harvested within 24 hours of when Dressler’s receives it,” explain Joe and Amy. “Buying our produce also supports the local economy.  We need more farms, not chain stores!”

Marianne says that her team enjoys working with Dressler’s because they are committed to buying local and supporting the area’s farms.

“If they (Dressler’s) buy local, then they buy and serve what’s in season. That’s what makes Dressler’s so special and different from other restaurants,” says Marianne.

“It’s really cool that they do this,” adds Marianne. “Other restaurants have tried, but Dressler’s makes it work.”

How does buying local produce benefit Dressler’s patrons as well as the community?

“The food tastes better and can be eaten knowing that a lot of hard work and love went into growing it. It’s also organic and fresh, so it retains the most nutrients. And we believe people should know where their food comes from. It’s important to be aware of what we put in our bodies and where it comes from. Knowing your local farmer is important. We love growing food. And it shows in what we produce. Supporting Dressler’s also means supporting us.”

“Food containing the best nutrition and flavor is grown where you live, ” says Marianne. She goes on the say that “the public should care about where their food comes from and how it is grown.”

“Dressler’s customers are going to get healthy, well-balanced, and amazing meals,” says Marianne.

What’s Not to Love About Tailgating Parties?

At Dressler’s Restaurant, we love football! We also love to eat, so it shouldn’t be any surprise that we love tailgate parties too!

Tailgate parties are all about having fun, supporting the Carolina Panthers, and enjoying great food and beverages! Your recipe for a successful tailgate party is pretty simple. Here’s what you’ll need:

The Parking Lot Party

Prepare ahead of time. Do as much as possible the day before your party. Many food items can be made ahead. Pack the grill, cooking utensils, folding tables/chairs, napkins, paper plates, cups, garbage bags, hand wipes, and other necessities. Most “professional” tailgaters recommend allowing 3-4 hours before the game in order to have plenty of time to set up, cook, eat, and clean up. On game day, pack your food and beverage coolers, load your vehicle, and head to the game. Prepare the food yourself or have friends and family bring dishes to share.

Here are some of our favorite tailgating foods:

The Home Party

You don’t need to leave the comfort of home to host a great tailgate party. Sports fans with young children may prefer to enjoy game-day festivities from home. There are several advantages to this. You have more room and time to prepare your food, you can stay at the party and watch the game at the same time, and you don’t need to worry about the weather. You don’t even need to hire a babysitter.

When your tailgate party is at home, the menu can be anything you want. Pizza and wings are always popular, but you can also grill, make sandwiches, or even serve comfort foods like lasagne and chili. If you don’t want to do all the food preparation, have guests bring their favorite dips/appetizers/desserts and you can supply the main courses. A casual buffet lets your guests help themselves. Keep drinks handy in coolers or large buckets filled with ice. Set up containers for trash and recyclables to make clean-up easier.

Tailgate Party Tips and Recipes

Food Network’s Top 50 Tailgating Recipes