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The Dish

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JK’s event features local food, brew

What goes well with locally grown food?

Locally produced beer, of course.

Both will be part of JK O’Donnell’s next beer dinner at 6 p.m. Monday at the pub at 121 W. Wayne St.

The first five courses of the six-course meal are: free-range chicken broth with orange-spiced dumplings; spinach salad with pears and blue cheese dressing topped with walnuts; wild mushroom and chive timbale; seared duck breast with pomegranate molasses over spring onions, baby spinach and squash blossoms; and lamb satay over a leek, with a tri-colored fingerling potato and wild mushroom hash topped with rosemary-infused butter.

These courses are paired with beers, including Mad Anthony raspberry wheat and Warbird Mustang Gold.

The dessert combo is goat cheese ice cream and tomato-basil ice cream with fried basil leaves, balsamic glaze and a candied cherry-tomato rose.

Dessert is paired with Three Floyds Moloko stout from the Munster brewery.

Many ingredients are from local vendors Gunthorp Farms in LaGrange; Richert Ranch in New Haven; Home Place Gourmet in Decatur; and Country Garden and Farm Market in Roanoke. Representatives from each will discuss their approach to farming.

The dinner is $35, which doesn’t include tax or gratuity.

Reservations are required; call 420-5563.

Oyster Bar plans new menus, hours

The Oyster Bar is cooking up new menus with a variety of salads, sandwiches, soups and pastas, plus slow-roasted prime rib for dinner.

They are expected to be unveiled next week; a new wine list soon will follow.

And starting Sept. 18, the restaurant, at 1830 S. Calhoun St., will be open for lunch on Saturdays, as a response to requests and more activity downtown, owner Steve Gard says.

Saturday lunches will be available for the rest of the year and possibly next year if they’re successful. Gard also is considering starting a Sunday brunch next year.

Current lunch hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Dinner service begins at 5 p.m.

Reservations are recommended; call 744-9490.

Also, the restaurant will have a book signing from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday.

Laurie Gray, a former Allen County deputy prosecutor, will sign copies of her young-adult novel. In “Summer Sanctuary,” a 12-year-old boy befriends a homeless girl. Gray’s publisher, Tracy Richardson of Luminis Books, will discuss publishing trends.

Local restaurants offer Taste of Arts

Nearly 20 local restaurants will serve samples of their best dishes during Taste of the Arts on Saturday.

The event will run from noon to 7 p.m. at Arts United Plaza, Freimann Square and the surrounding area.

Participating restaurants include Biaggi’s, Carlos O’Kelly’s, Champions, Club Soda, Friends, Granite City Food & Brewery, Hall’s Gas House and Takes the Cake, JK O’Donnell’s, Joseph Decuis, Mad Anthony Brewing Co., MyMenu, Nine Mile Restaurant, Purple Mountain Cheesecakes, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Subway and the Venice Restaurant.

Food tickets are $1 each, but most items require multiple tickets.

Admission to the event is free.

Eddie Merlot’s offers Lobster Fest

Eddie Merlot’s at Jefferson Pointe is toasting the final days of summer with two specials.

The first is “Lobster Fest,” which happens every Friday and Saturday through Sept. 24. Get two 6-ounce lobster tails, red potatoes and corn on the cob for $29.95, which doesn’t include tax or gratuity.

Or try a dinner for two for $69.95.

It includes your choice of entrée (cedar plank salmon, 8-ounce filet mignon, sashimi sesame tuna or double-cut pork chop), plus mashed potatoes, a fresh vegetable and a half-order of salad.

It’s available through Sept. 30.

For reservations, call 459-2222.

The bar opens at 4 p.m. daily; dinner begins at 5 p.m.

Casa restaurants whip up specials

Casa Restaurant Group is offering several featured dishes through September.

Entrées include Pollo Fernando (grilled chicken with tomatoes, olive oil, basil and jalapeños), which is served with ravioli and a Casa side salad.

Orecchiette rapini e salsiccia is pasta with Italian sausage, broccoli rabe, garlic, basil and Parmesan. And Pizza Lombardia has rosemary, Romano cheese, garlic sauce, tomatoes, prosciutto (ham), sopressata (salami) and capicola (cured pork).

Prices are $7.29 to $10.49.

Featured wines are 101 Lakes (red and white) from Satek Winery in Fremont. They are $4.50 a glass or $17 for a bottle.

The restaurants still have daily $5.99 lunch specials from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays.

The Dish features restaurant news and food events and appears every Wednesday. Fax news items to 461-8893, e-mail or call 461-8313.