On Sunday, March 5, 5-8 p.m., Hamilton Beverage will host the Special Sports Food and Wine Fest at The Mansion at Oak Hill, 5801 E. 116th St. in Carmel. The event will benefit the Special Sports Program of the Carmel Dads' Club. The program provides a positive sports experience for mentally and/or physically challenged people, ages 5 and up, throughout Central Indiana. Food from 12 area restaurants will be served and 60 fine wines will be available for sampling from Hamilton Beverage. Silent and live auctions will occur during the evening. Tickets are $40 per person in advance and are available at Hamilton Beverage. Tickets are $50 at the door. For more information, call 317-844-0872.
A five-course gourmet dinner served with fine wines is on the menu as Northwest Airlines presents the eighth annual Elegant Vintages International Wine Auction to be held March 11 in the Indianapolis Zoo's remodeled Dolphin Adventure Gallery. For the second year, proceeds from this auction will benefit the Indianapolis Zoo. Cocktails will be served from 6-7 p.m., followed by a gourmet dinner at 7 p.m. A live auction begins at 8 p.m., followed by live entertainment. Tickets are $150 per person. Patron level tickets are available for $200 each and include admission to the Patron's Party from 6-7 p.m., a private dolphin show and the chance to bid early on silent auction items. To purchase tickets for this fund-raiser, call 317-630-2188.
The crystal anniversary edition of The William K. Nasser, MD Dining à la Heart Fund-raiser, the heart-healthy tasting event created by The Care Group, takes place on Feb. 19 from 5-8 p.m. at the Ritz Charles, 12156 N. Meridian St., Carmel. Central Indiana's leading restaurants, clubs, caterers and organizations will serve a variety of entrees, side dishes and desserts - each of which meets FDA standards for heart-healthy designation. Tickets are just $75 per person, and are available by calling The Care Group at 317-338-6080.
Indiana's own shagbark hickory syrup was in the news again last week. Food Network's Food Finds again ran a show featuring the Brown County product, and The New York Times and Gourmet have both recently run mentions of the syrups available at Hickoryworks. The March issue of Delta-Sky in-flight magazine will also feature an article about their products. At a Feb. 8 dinner at the James Beard House in New York City, Todd Gray, chef at Washington, D.C.'s Equinox, offered up a dinner that ended with a warm pumpkin cake with shagbark hickory syrup ice cream. The confection was topped off with caramelized plantains, pumpkin brittle and Navajo tea caramel. For more information about this Brown County original, visit www.hickoryworks.com.
Cork and Cracker is pairing with H2O Restaurant and Sushi Bar in their first ever cooperative wine tasting event. On Monday, Feb. 27 at 6:30 p.m. the pair will host a Spanish Wine Tasting at H2O, 1912 Broad Ripple Ave. Diners can try wines from several different growing regions in Spain paired with a traditional tapas menu. For more information, check H2O's Web site at www.h2osushibar.com or call 317-254-0677.
Terry's tip of the week
Lovers of authentic Chinese food have one more reason to be happy in Indianapolis these days. Great Garden restaurant has opened at 3623 Commercial Drive in the plaza near Saraga International Market off of Lafayette Road. With a small but well-chosen dim sum menu and a great menu of things you won't get elsewhere, like an aromatic duck blood cake and jellyfish with turnips, this has to be one of the most unusual Asian eateries in the city. Great Garden has great hours, too. It's open until 2 a.m. on the weekends! So, stop in and try this one out, and expect to hear more from us soon.
Have a favorite restaurant, a favorite dish or a favorite waiter/waitress you'd like to rave about? Send your reader's recommendation to Terry Kirts at email@example.com, and we'll make sure to let Indianapolis diners know about the great things happening around the Indy food scene every week.