Palm Beach Daily News

By M.M. Cloutier / Special to the Daily News

Posted Oct 25, 2018 at 2:01 AM

A vegan feast and a single-malt whiskey fête: What do they have in common?

They are part of a new dinner series at The Colony.

And when the hotel’s Supper Club series starts Nov. 7, it’ll join other Palm Beach restaurants’ series of dinner events — from seafood-themed nights at PB Catch to locally renowned monthly wine dinners at Café Boulud.

Each series offers an opportunity to explore outside the daily fine-dining norm.

“Any series of dining events is a fun way to try new things,” said The Colony’s new executive chef Tom Whitaker, an England native whose career includes a decade at the highly acclaimed Relais & Châteaux Fearrington House Restaurant in Pittsboro, N.C.

“I’ve done wine dinners, which are always really interesting; and now at The Colony, we’re switching things up with what will be a new and exciting (culinary) experience for everyone.”

The Colony’s Supper Club’s kickoff on Nov. 7 is called “Vegan Approved.”

The event in the hotel’s Solarium is to be co-hosted by Adam Lipson, a popular local DJ who lives and advocates a vegan lifestyle.

A five-course vegan tasting menu ($75 a person) with vegan wines will be served, with each dish highlighting different Lox Farms fruits and vegetables prepared in creative ways.

The menu hasn’t been finalized yet, but Whitaker is considering including among the courses a flavorful sashimi-style watermelon dish and/or a luxe version of avocado toast.

“I really want to see what I can do to make vegan dining amazing,” said Whitaker, who hails most recently from the Ashby Inn & Restaurant in Paris, Va.

After the Nov. 7 vegan dinner, The Colony’s Supper Club series will continue through the spring with Colony sommelier Eric Hammerplaying a lead role with Whitaker.

With events taking place in such venues as the hotel’s Solarium and al fresco poolside Palm Court terrace, look for an “English Yule” dinner with roast goose on Nov. 27; a `Farm to Table’ repast on Dec. 20; and a Jan. 24 Macallan Whiskey-pairing dinner.

After that? “We’re talking about a seafood night and a cooking class night with dinner,” said Whitaker. “Then a wine dinner to round it all out in the spring.”

At PB Catch, seafood-themed dinner events are on tap, starting Friday with a crab night. Chef Aaron Black will prepare Maryland-style blue crab, snow crab and stone crab by the pound — all served with a choice of sides.

After the crab night at PB Catch, plans call for monthly or bi-monthly themed seafood nights, including seafood paella nights highlighting the famed dish of Spain. Evenings starring ceviche, a marinated raw-fish specialty, are under consideration, since one last season was quite popular.

Meanwhile, on the wine-dinner front, Café Boulud’s ongoing series has for years been one of the restaurant’s hallmarks, with vintners and experts sharing their experiences at the monthly events.

This season promise a surprise or two, including wintertime Champagne and wine-paired truffle dinners (dates to be determined).

Café Boulud, now is readying for its Nov. 8 wine dinner, led by the restaurant’s sommelier Imre Papp. The affair spotlights a region of France travelers often overlook: Gascony.

The eve’s four-course dinner ($120), conceived by Café Boulud’s executive chef Rick Mace and head pastry chef Julie Franceschini, includes such dishes as rainbow trout with mushroom persillade, bacon and cannellini beans, and a dessert of elderflower “religieuse” with sweet accompaniments.

The meal will be paired with fine wines of Gascony.

“The perfect combination of food, wine and ambience can truly transport you to other parts of the world,” says Lucian V. Puscasu, Café Boulud’s general manager.

Taking a culinary journey can apply not only to wine dinners, but also other themed dining events, Puscasu adds. “When everything is just right, it’s an opportunity for guests to try something new and unique.”