February is short but it has 3 important events; Mardi Gras, Valentine's Day and Louis St. Lewis's annual art show already up on our walls, transporting the Chapel Hill dining room into a New Orleans state of mind..
Maybe you noticed, too, this trending-thing suggesting winter is a good time to cultivate what the Danish call Hygge ("hoo-ga") and the Scottish call Cossagach, which translates to the feeling of being snug, sheltered, or cozy. Comfort food sure does this for everyone; making one happy as a pig in mud and Crook's can give this to you in the form of a delicious cocktail and/or a casual, tasty supper this time of year.
So here are 8 things to help us get Hygge, Cossagach or Southern Comfort.
1/ OrderBill Smith's Fried Oysters for yourself or to share. Squeeze on some lemon or hot sauce or go full-into the luscious garlic mayonnaise.
2/ Let us make you a Chapel Hill or Frozen Mint Julep.
3 Have a plate of our signature Shrimp & Grits.
4/ Let the Madeira Sauce cover your first bite of CheesePork!, the Southern Schnitzel made with a pork cutlet dredged in Swiss cheese and pan fried - only served at Crook's.
5/ Savor the Bourbon Brown Sauce covering your first bite of steak and fries, knowing that many satisfying bites are to follow.
6/ Hang out at the bar for good conversation, satisfying beverages and delicious food. It's also a good place to watch the game.
7/ Say yes to dessert: Mt. Airy Chocolate Souffle Cake, with freshly whipped cream. Or warm Persimmon Pudding. Soon to arrive is Bill Smith's favorite Banana's Foster and Whiskey Milk Punch Ice Cream.
8/ Linger a while and enjoy a Hot Chocolate or Espresso with a side car of whatever you like; a nice bourbon always goes well with both.
Housekeeping note: We are still taking reservations by phone, and always will, but have added an on-line option linked to the front of our website. If there are no OpenTable reservations available, please do call us, as we do save space for walk-ins and often have last-minute cancellations as well. If you're seeking Valentine's Day ressies, call or click quick, they're filling up fast! www.crookscorner.com
So you know, what's on for Valentine's is, by tradition, and by customer request, our full, Crook's Corner menu. Though we do dress-up the desserts with extra cream and candies.
MARDI GRAS MENU begins February 13. This Louisiana menu is Bill Smith's and many of you all's favorite. On this exciting menu is both Red Gumbo and Gumbo Z-Herbs. That means, for the red, Andouille sausage, chicken, shrimp and okra. For the green, it means, seven greens/ herbs for good luck and pork and is inspired by Bill Smith's friend the late revered chef Leah Chase of New Orleans. Bill Smith also has Lolis Elie's recipe (Lolis from Treme's) Shrimp Callas. And the Chicken Livers get a special spice-Crook's Cajun Salt. For dessert, we will have Whiskey Milk Punch Ice Cream and possibly, Bill Smith is pondering, Banana's Foster, which is great because when the fire-whiskey-banana-sugary mix hits the pan - it makes the restaurant smell so good. And for all you super adventurous eaters, the ones who showed up for Guts and Glory Week, Bill Smith has what he thinks is his best dish, Ray's Best'O Best Turtle Soup, which we learned was once presidential fare, Jack Hitt told us in Saveur Magazine. I'll post that article on Facebook. Here's the photo, too, that they made with Bill Smith's recipe:
Thursday, February 22 is the Orange Literacy benefit. Check out their website for this cool event hosted by Randall Kenan, with lots of food writers, including Bill Smith, Andrea Reusing, Kim Sunee, and Jessica Harris. The event is cocktails and a talk from 6-8 p.m. You should go and have dinner with us afterwards.
Hope to see you soon and thank you for your friendship and patronage,