Monthly Archives: November 2014

Festive Thanksgiving Centerpieces

Thanksgiving centerpiecesIf you’re like us, you love everything about your Thanksgiving table–the food, the beverages, and especially the family and friends that gather around it.

Your Thanksgiving table deserves a centerpiece that is worthy of this special occasion.

Here are some inexpensive and festive Thanksgiving centerpiece ideas for your dining room table.

Flowers–You can never go wrong with flowers as the centerpiece–from a few loose flowers in  a simple vase to a more elaborate arrangement. Visit Commonwealth Farms to see their gorgeous selection of fresh-cut and dried flowers.

Fresh Herbs–Simple, attractive, and aromatic, fresh herbs are the perfect centerpiece for your table. Arrange fresh bunches of parsley, sage, and rosemary in vases or glass jars to set on the table.

Gourds and Pumpkins–Seasonal, inexpensive, and fun! Choose gourds of different colors or select a monochromatic color scheme. Add a little extra bling with paint and glitter.

Candles–A welcome addition to any table, candles add warmth, light, and ambiance to any setting. Choose from a nearly endless array of colors, shapes, and sizes. Opt for fragrance-free candles that won’t compete with the wonderful food smells.

Nuts–Create a display that is simple, attractive, and edible. Place a variety of nuts in a glass bowl along with nutcrackers so guests can help themselves when they are ready to “sample” the centerpiece.

Branches–Bring the simple beauty of nature indoors. Arrange branches in a tall container. Leave them bare, paint them, wrap them in lights, or hang decorations from them.

Thank-You Notes–Remember what Thanksgiving is all about. Kids and adults alike will appreciate the opportunity to record their thanks. Hang the handmade thank-yous from branches and display in a vase.

Feathers–Use turkey, pheasant, or even synthetic feathers as your Thanksgiving tribute.

Fruits and Vegetables–Fruits and vegetables are naturally colorful and visually appealing. Try displaying cranberries, apples, grapes, citrus, or root vegetables in a large glass or wooden bowl. See Poplar Ridge Farm for a complete list of their Fall produce.

Check out Roland’s Row Farm, a small, family farm that raises natural, free range, and hormone-free Cornish Cross Broiler Chickens, as well as ducks and turkeys at certain times during the year.

Easy and Elegant Thanksgiving Centerpieces

Drink Carolina Proud!

craft beer at Sycamore BrewingAt Dressler’s Restaurant, we love serving and drinking great-tasting, local beer!

So we can’t pass up the opportunity to congratulate Sycamore Brewing, which celebrated its grand opening on November 1.

We recently spoke with Sarah Brigham, Co-Owner and Managing Director of Sycamore Brewing, on the grand opening of the brewery.

How long has brewing beer been a passion for you? 

“My husband, Justin, has been brewing beer for over a decade,” says Sarah. “We’ve been together for ten years (married for six) and it didn’t take long for me to get interested in the process. Justin’s enthusiasm is contagious and the beer is amazing–not a hard sell!”

craft beer at Sycamore BreweryWhat is craft beer, for those who may not know?

“The Brewers Association defines a craft brewer as small, independent, and traditional,” explains Sarah. “For us, craft beer is about taking pride in what you do, using the freshest ingredients possible, and brewing incredibly tasty beer.”

Here’s a look at what we are brewing in our taproom:

  • WINCHESTER ESB
  • SOUTH MOUNTAIN CREAM STOUT
  • SOUTHERLY OPA
  • GRASSY KNEES BLONDE
  • OPENING DAY IPA
  • FRIDAY STAR IPA
  • BEARS IN THE WOODS BROWN
  • DARK FALLS CDA

Please tell us a little about your beers.

“We have 20 beer taps and will, before the year is out, have 20 different, ever-changing, fresh beers on tap in our taproom. One of our flagship beers is called Southerly O.P.A–an oat pale ale brewed with bright, floral, and citrus-forward American hops and a generous addition of toasted oats,” explains Sarah. “We’re very proud of this refreshing, year-round beer.”

“We will soon be distributing our Peak Farm Pale Ale (Spring 2015),” adds Sarah.

In terms of quality, what can customers expect from your products?

“We pride ourselves in using the freshest ingredients possible.”

November 1 was the grand opening of your brewery. What was the excitement level at the brewery?

“The Grand Opening was a big day for us,” says Sarah. “It signified the culmination of a huge amount of hard work.”

What will brewery tours be like?

“We offer fun and informative nightly tours at the brewery. Guests will get a chance to have a look behind the scenes and see the inner workings of the brewery.”

Will any food be served at the brewery?

“We’ve got some great food trucks scheduled to be at the brewery and will also serve some simple snacks,” says Sarah.

  • Mondays – Imperial Sandwich
  • Tuesdays – Yummi Banh Mi
  • Wednesdays – Chef Street Bistro
  • Thursday – Chrome Toaster
  • Friday – Roots Food Truck
  • Saturday – Hot Box Next Level Street Food
  • Sunday – Yummi Banh Mi

Describe the staff at your brewery. How many people do you have working there?

“We have a wonderful, hardworking team. On the production side, we have my husband and Jordy Smith. In the taproom, we have a small team of craft beertenders who are passionate about great beer and warm, friendly service.”

Dressler’s Spotlight: Barry Wolfman

Barry WolfmanMeet Barry Wolfman, Manager at Dressler’s Metro.

Barry, please tell us about yourself.

“I’m a lifetime restaurateur. I cut my teeth in fine dining, where I spent my first sixteen years in the business. In 1991, my wife and I opened Wolfman Pizza in Charlotte, and I spent 12 years in that aspect of the industry, then on to some craft beer adventures. I’m excited to return to the white tablecloth world, and thrilled to be working with Kim & Jon Dressler.”

“I spent 12 years in Charlotte 12 years ago,” adds Barry. “Being back has been a heartwarming homecoming of sorts nearly every day.  I’m grateful to rekindle so many friendships. It’s amazing to see the wonderful city that Charlotte has become, which just makes it all that much better.”

What are your duties/responsibilities at Dressler’s?

“Like everyone in the building, I’m here to please our guests,” says Barry.

How long have you been with Dressler’s?

“Three weeks.”

What are some of the challenges of managing a restaurant like Dressler’s?

“Though the restaurant feels intimate, it’s rather large. With 27 patio tables and two private dining rooms, there’s a lot of ground to cover!”

How is the food/menu different from other restaurants?

Chef does a great job of buying top quality ingredients, and letting them speak for themselves.  Certainly his expertise is apparent in the cuisine, but the product itself has the loudest voice and the last word.”

What are some of your favorite things to eat and drink at Dressler’s?

Blackened Heart of Ribeye. Halibut. Crispy Duck. Rack of Lamb. Our red wines. Any of Jon’s Mom’s housemade desserts (but especially the cheesecake…it’s money!)”

What makes Dressler’s so successful?

“No doubt it’s Kim & Jon Dressler’s hearts. By being so warm, wonderful, caring, and sincere, they have created a family,” says Barry, “and our guests feel the love.”

What do think people like most about dining at Dressler’s?

“Being more than satisfied at all levels of their dining experience.”

Describe the atmosphere inside Dressler’s.

“Upscale, yet comfortable and relaxed. Casual elegance.”

And the staff?

“Caring. Professional, yet laid-back. Sincere. Intelligent.”

What do you like best about your job?

“What I’ve always loved about being in this industry…working in a beautiful and positive environment with wonderful people and delicious food. The camaraderie of engaging in a shared mission of making people happy. And I get to be my self, and be true to my self.”