By Polly Campbell
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Where to graze in style:
If you like events where you can try a wide variety of high-class, bite-size offerings, September is your month. There are two big benefit parties this month that feature restaurants and chefs showing off their stuff, donating time and food to make a big party for a good cause.
The month kicks off with A Gourmet Sensation, with chefs from here and around the country creating a party for Hospice of Cincinnati, and continues with Zoofari, featuring over 30 restaurants from Greater Cincinnati donating dishes for the zoo's biggest fundraiser.
The Gourmet Sensation crowd at the ATP Center will enjoy dishes such as:
Poached Louisiana oysters in a roasted red pepper cream with baby spinach, wilted leeks and apple wood smoked bacon from Anne Kearney of Peristyle in New Orleans.
Pickled gulf shrimp on blue crab slaw, roasted corn cream from John Fleet of Blackberry Farm in Tennessee, a favorite returnee to the event.
Hudson Valley foie gras dumplings with shiitake, black truffle and soy broth from Peter Kelly of Xaviar's Restaurant Group in Piermont, New York.
Local chefs will be there too, showing off their best summer dishes from beef filet and heirloom tomato from Jimmy Gherardi of J's Seafood to crusted duck breast with arabica sauce from Guy Hulin of the Palace and spicy poached pear and goat cheese cheesecake from the Palace's pastry chef, Noreen Nagao. (For ticket information, see the If you go below).
If you're interested in what else our local restaurants can do, you might want to try Zoofari, a big fund-raising event for the Cincinnati Zoo.
Over 30 local restaurants are donating bite-size portions of their specialties for the event, such as:
Corn soup with vanilla cappuccino from Bertrand Bouquin of the Maisonette.
Cashew salmon with Asian hoisin reduction sauce and crisp risotto cakes from Chef Paul Dagenbach at Encore Cafe.
Elliot's original crab cake and Great-Grandma Tillie's banana cake, from Tink's Cafe and Elliot J. Catering.
Roasted pork medallion, roasted butternut squash and sweet potato puree and asparagus from Vik Silberberg of the Celestial.
Plus wine selected by Master Sommelier Matthew Citriglia of Vintage Wines.
Cocktails and champagne will be served starting at 7 p.m., and the main tent will open at 8 p.m. Dress is black tie or safari chic. There's also a silent auction and dancing until midnight. Tickets are $175 per person or $150 for Zoo members. For tickets, call 559-7748.
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