© 2012 Stacey Viera

#1 Best Bargain Date: Whole Foods Market Arlington’s wine: 30 Thursday

Who loves a bargain? We do! We do! And I’ll bet you do, too. This one is not to be missed.

Each Thursday this summer from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Whole Foods Market in Arlington, Virginia, enjoy five small plates and five 2-ounce wine samples for $5. Here’s how it works:

  1. Walk into Whole Foods to purchase your glass for $5. But wait! Already have a Whole Foods wine glass? Bring it to wine:30 Thursday and pay just $4. But wait! There’s more! If you park in the garage under Pottery Barn on the other side of Clarendon Boulevard, you save another dollar. Cha-ching!
  2. Take your glass to each of the five food stations located around the perimeter of the store for your small dish of food and wine pairing.
  3. Eat and drink. Eat and drink again. And again. And again. And then nosh on dessert.
  4. Go shopping! Your menu comes with a discount code for 10% off wine. Six or more bottles get another 10% off.

Last night’s wine:30 event theme was Mediterranean. The menu included the following delectable bites and sips:

  1. Tomato-Melon Gazpacho paired with Italian Di Lenardo Pinot Grigio.
  2. Green Bean Salad with Feta and Olives paired with Gavalas from Greece
  3. Sicilian Chicken Thighs paired with Spanish Remonte Tempranillo
  4. Orzo with Grilled Summer Vegetables paired with Chateau Montaud Rose from France
  5. Fresh Fruit Tart paired with Mionetto Prosecco from Italy

As if all of this wasn’t enough, the good people of Whole Foods thought ahead and included a recipe for each dish in a card for you to take home. The orzo was my favorite; see below for the recipe (which I modified here and there). My favorite wine was probably the pinot grigio. It was so crisp and fruity. A perfect summer wine.

Can’t wait to return next week! What can I say? I’m a cheap date.

Orzo with Grilled Summer Vegetables

1 small eggplant, peeled and diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 yellow bell pepper, diced

1 red onion, peeled and diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 cup olive oil

1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ pound orzo

Preheat oven to 425. Toss eggplant, peppers, onion and garlic with olive oil, salt and pepper on a sheet pan. Roast for 40 minutes until browned. Cook orzo in salted water until tender. Drain and transfer to serving bowl. Add roasted vegetables. Top with dressing of 1/3 cup lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, kosher salt and black pepper, to taste. Serve hot or at room temperature topped with minced scallions, toasted pine nuts, ¾ pound diced feta cheese and julienne-sliced basil leaves.

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3 Comments

  1. Posted July 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm | #

    no flipping way. that sounds absolutely amazing! can’t imagine how crowded it will be now that you posted about it 😉

  2. Stacey Viera
    Posted July 13, 2012 at 2:28 pm | #

    Olga – I definitely considered keeping Arlington’s best kept secret all to myself. I hope everyone leaves for the beaches on Thursdays and leaves this hidden treasure hidden! 🙂

  3. Posted July 14, 2012 at 12:15 pm | #

    What an awesome idea! Can you please send Whole Foods Mountain Brook the memo? We have a favorite date night at WFM too: Counter service! The two of us can usually have dinner and a beer for $20 total. A steal with the most fun people watching…

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This entry was written by Stacey Viera, posted on July 13, 2012 at 9:00 am, filed under Beverages, Chefs, Fruits + Veggies, Recipes, Sensible Indulgence and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL. View EXIF Data