Posts Tagged ‘New Year’s Eve in Little Rock’

Menu Posted for the New Year’s Eve “Downtown” Abbey Wine Dinner Dance

December 30th, 2012 by Sharon Welch-Blair

Dining room,The Empress of Little Rock

Dining in Elegance, a lost art.

It’s a “Downtown” Abbey experience for this New Year’s Eve at The Empress of Little Rock.  Guests will be “introduced” and offered their first wine pairing, a glass of Russian River Valley, “J” Vineyards and Wineries- “Pinot Gris” 2011, while enjoying the lilting sounds from the 1870 Steinway piano sporting a very rare African Mahogany soundboard.  Gone are the days when elegant clothes, butlers, ladies maids, fine silver, crystal, china, and  international “reparte`” are served for dinner.  But that opportunity still exists at The Empress of Little Rock where handmade Victorian mementos are on the menu along with fine food and wine.                                                                                                      le menu

The Salad Course: Hearts of Romaine with Blackberries, Goat Cheese, Toasted Almond Croutons and Classic Garlic Vinagrette.

The Soup/Palette Cleanser : Apple “Cider” Soup -Wine Pairing: Russian River Valley,”J” Vinyard and Winery, “Pinot Gris”,2011

The Main Course: Fig and Bleu Cheese Stuffed Pork Loin; Acorn Squash Rings with Anisette Wild Rise; Asparagus with Hollandaise

Wine Pairing-Cru Beaujolais Morgon, Georges DuBoeuf, Red Burgundy, 2011

The Finale: Fruit Gratinees Matisse with Ruby Port Sabayon; Wine Pairing-Oregon Pinot Gris,Vine Glace`, King Estate, 2007

Join Hosts Robert Blair and Sharon Welch-Blair for their annual gourmet extravaganza and dance and be entertained by classically trained musicians in the Grand Manor of “Downton Abbey”.  Make your reservations now at 501-374-7966.   A few seats are still available for this exclusive gala event.  Book a romantic getaway, avoid the drive and enjoy an elegant brunch at 11:00 a.m. on New Year’s Day in the Dining Room of The Empress, the Souths finest “old world” experience, compliments of The Empress!

Look for recipes from this special meal in our next blog.

 

Enjoy a New Year’s Eve like “Downton Abbey”!

December 19th, 2012 by Sharon Welch-Blair

Forget the noise and the noise makers! Book your reservations now for the Annual New Year’s Eve  “Victorian Affair” Wine Dinner Dance- like “Downton Abbey”.  Known as one of the top events in Central Arkansas area, The Empress of Little Rock will host an evening of food, wine, dancing, entertainment, excitement and the beginning of the New Year.

Step back to December 31st, 1889, the Hornibrook family’s first new year  in this magnificent mansion.  The guests are arriving in their elegant attire. The food is all prepared.  The music wafts throughout the house dressed in live greens and holiday finery.  The laughter, excitement, anticipation are mounting with each minute that draws closer to midnight.  The witching hour brings a champagne toast to “Auld Lang Syne”.

Join us December 31st for a magnificent wine dinner paired with fine wines by our House Sommelier beginning at 8:00 p.m. followed by dancing in the parlors just like “the olden days”.

 Black Tie Optional                                  Don’t Drive-Romantic Getaways still available-(discounts for overnight stay)

Time(s)            8pm-12am

Cost: $225/per couple before December 26th; $250 after December 26th

Seating Limited.

Moist and Delicious Chocolate Beet Cake

January 18th, 2012 by Lisa

This delicious dessert was served at our New Year’s Eve Dinner Dance with vanilla bean whipped cream and fresh strawberries.  The chocolate glaze and beet chips make for a unique and tasty chocolate cake!

Chocolate Beet Cake

 4 medium beets, trimmed, peeled, and cut into 2-inch chunks

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

11/2 teaspoons baking soda

Salt

2 large eggs

3/4 cup warm water

1/4 cup safflower oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Vegetable oil cooking spray

 

Chocolate Glaze

(recipe follows)

Garnish:  Candied Beet Chips

(recipe follows)

 

1.        Cover beets with 2 inches water in a pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until very tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp paring knife, about 30 minutes. Drain. Puree beets in a food processor until smooth.

2.        Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, sugar cocoa powder, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a large  bowl. Whisk in eggs, water, oil, vanilla, and 1/14 cups beet puree (reserve remaining puree for another use).

3.        Coat a 9-inch round cake pan (3 inches deep) with cooking spray. Line bottom with parchment, and coat with spray. Pour batter into pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Turn out cake from pan, and discard parchment. Let cool completely, right side up.

4.        Trim top of cake using a serrated knife to create a level surface. Transfer cake, cut side down to a serving platter. Pour chocolate glaze over top, and let set, about 30 minutes. Garnish with beet chips.

Make ahead unglazed cake can be store at room temperature (wrapped in plastic) for up to two  days. Storage glazed cake can be stored at room temperature for up to one day.

 

Chocolate Glaze

Active time:  5 minutes

Total time:  15 minutes

Makes 1 cup

1/2 cup heavy cream

3/4 teaspoon light corn syrup

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Bring heavy cream and corn syrup to a gentle simmer in a small saucepan. Pour over chocolate in a bowl, and let stand for 1 minute. Stir until chocolate melts and mixture is shiny and smooth. Let cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Use immediately.

 

Candied Beet Chips

Active time:  10 minutes

Total time:  1 hour 40 minutes

Makes 1/2 cup

4 baby beets, preferably Chioggia

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup sugar

1.        Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Slice beets very thinly into rounds, preferably on a mandolin. Bring water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves.  Add beets. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly translucent, about 30 minutes.

2.        Using a slotted spoon, transfer beets in a single layer to a rimmed baking sheet lined with a nonsticking baking mat. Bake until dry and slightly firm, about 1 hour.

Storage chips can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days.

 

New Year’s Eve Wine Dinner Dance Recipes showcased on Channel 7

December 14th, 2011 by Lisa

 

The Empress’ own Sharon Welch-Blair will be showcasing the talents that have earned her the nickname “The Victorian Martha Stewart” on Saturday Morning Daybreak on December 17th.  The Segment, which will air at 7:50 am and will showcase Sharon’s amazing Sweet-Potato Vichyssoise with Peanut Noshes, the first course of the New Year’s Eve Wine Dinner and Dance, where the soup will be served (along with a fabulous 4-course dinner with wine pairings.)

The Dinner Dance was recently featured in About.com’s “Top 9 New Year’s Eve Parties in Arkansas“.  Ring in the New Year with elegant style at an intimate dinner party setting and a Champagne Toast at midnight!  Tickets are $200 a couple including a special discount if purchased before December 26th.

Tickets for the New Year’s Eve Wine Dinner Dance are available by calling the Empress at 501-374-7966.

And Check Back with our Blog after Sharon’s appearance on Saturday to get her recipe for that amazing Sweet Potato Vichyssoise! http://theempress.com/2011/12/14/the-empress-makes-a-grand-appearance/