The trick to eating rabbit pot pie is not to think about Thumper.
Rabbit pot pie is just one of the intriguing dishes (OK, maybe it's the most intriguing dish) at the Registry Bistro, the ambitious new restaurant from chef Erika Rapp. Other menu highlights include grilled skate wing with olives and hanger steak with black garlic butter, plus appetizers of Swedish duck meatballs and pot roast ravioli, desserts of chocolate-dipped cheesecake lollipops and a chai pot de creme.
And drinks? They have an extensive wine list and almost as many beers, but get this: They make a smoked maple Manhattan. That's maple bourbon, smoked syrup, and vermouth. As the kids would say, OMG.
This column totally wants to try one.
Ms. Rapp has already made her culinary name in the area as executive chef of the greatly missed Diva restaurant and as chef of the Toledo Museum of Art. But neither of those places served rabbit pot pie.
Registry Bistro held its grand opening last week. It is at 144 N. Superior St. in the old Hotel Secor. For reservations or information, call 419-725-0444.
We've done the research. We've studied the photographs. We've canvassed the neighborhoods. And we can tell you, for an absolute fact, that the Toledo area does not, in fact, have a pizza parlor on every single corner.
But we sure have a bunch of them, don't we?
Whenever you get a group of like-minded people (or restaurants) together, the natural impulse is to hold some sort of contest to determine who is the best. It's like those bighorn rams banging their heads together at full speed to get the attention of the brown-eyed ewes.
That's where the Pizza Palooza comes in. The Sylvania Area Chamber of Commerce and the Sylvania Area Joint Recreation District are again putting on the pizza-judging extravaganza at Centennial Terrace on July 27 from 5 p.m. to midnight and July 28 from 4 p.m. to midnight.
You know it's a good event if it involves a lot of pizza and it lasts until midnight.
A team of judges will give out one award and a team of everyone else who shows up will give out a people's choice award.
Competing this year will be Mama Mary's Pizza, Pizza Hut, Pizza Papalis, Amie's/Mancino's Pizza, Charlie's Pizza, Jet's Pizza, Jo-Jo's Pizza, and Vito's Pizza.
Tickets are $5, $3 for children 5-12, and free for children under 5. That gets you all the pizza you can eat, plus music by The Chris Shutters Band, Johnny Rocker and The Hitmen, and Boffo (all on July 27), and Mt. Fuji and the Eruptions, Kentucky Chrome, and Booyah (all on July 28).
Those who like to wash down their pizza with a glass or two of beer will not be disappointed, though it will cost extra.
Veggie U and U and U
A hundred and fifty bucks for dinner is, admittedly, rather high.
But the 10th Annual Veggie U Food and Wine Celebration, which will be July 21 at the Culinary Vegetable Institute in Milan, Ohio, will feature food cooked by a gaggle of celebrity chefs, and that's got to be worth something, right?
All told, more than 30 chefs will participate, including some who are household names (assuming the household watches a lot of the Food Network). Robert Irvine may be the biggest name -- he certainly has the biggest muscles -- but he will be joined by Madison Cowan (who won an episode of Iron Chef America and is the grand champion of Chopped), Amanda Freitag (Unique Eats, America's Next Iron Chef, and Chopped), the James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini (a judge on Top Chef Just Desserts), and Claire Robinson (Food Network Challenge and 5-Ingredient Fix).
Each of the chefs will have a station with food from a favorite locale or region, so the event will be a culinary trip around the nation and around the world. In addition, Master Sommelier Brett Davis will hold wine classes to discuss the finer points of fine wines; the wines will be paired with some of the offered foods.
Tickets, as we said, are $150, but VIP Party tickets (which include mingling with the chefs, private cuisine offerings, preferred parking, and early admittance) are going for $300. If you want to spend more money, there will be silent and live auctions. The money goes to Veggie U, a nonprofit organization teaching children about the importance of nutrition and sustainable agriculture.
For tickets and more information, visit VeggieUFoodandWine.com or call 419-499-7500.
Items for Morsels should be submitted two weeks before an event to firstname.lastname@example.org.