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:
- 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!
- 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.
- Eat and drink. Eat and drink again. And again. And again. And then nosh on dessert.
- 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:
- Tomato-Melon Gazpacho paired with Italian Di Lenardo Pinot Grigio.
- Green Bean Salad with Feta and Olives paired with Gavalas from Greece
- Sicilian Chicken Thighs paired with Spanish Remonte Tempranillo
- Orzo with Grilled Summer Vegetables paired with Chateau Montaud Rose from France
- 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.