The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

February 4, 2014

Local chef using local foods for food and wine dinner series

GENEVA-ON-THE-LAKE — Chef Nate Fagnilli doesn’t make his ice cream with just any milk - his signature ice cream is made with milk from Ashtabula County dairy cows and sweetened with locally sourced maple syrup.

Fagnilli creates his dishes with a “farm to table” philosophy – what’s made locally is made best and makes the best dishes.

Fagnilli, who is the chef at Crosswinds Grille at the Lakehouse Inn and Winery, says the perfect dish is one that is 100 percent local.

Crosswinds Grille is accepting reservations for several dinners in February, March and April. Fagnilli will cook up a secret menu on Feb. 9 with a “blind date dinner.”

“We’re not blindfolding anyone, so don’t worry,” Fagnilli joked. This five course dinner, paired with wines and cocktails, features a secret menu. You don’t get to choose anything — just sit back and enjoy the food. The menu will unfold with each course.”

The dinner, which is part of the Eat, Drink and Be Local dinner series, will be followed by a microbrew tasting and fine dining beer pairing

on March 9. The five courses will be paired with a selection of beers from local and regional microbreweries.

The dinner series concludes with a local distiller’s dinner on April 6. “We use locally sourced foods to celebrate the talent of local distillers and their spirits,” Fagnilli said. “This five course dinner will be paired with five cocktails featuring local spirits. You can’t beat it.”

Cost is $60 per person.

“We are also excited to announce our Wine and Food Pairing dinner series,” Fagnilli said. “These dinners are perfectly balanced and paired with our wines and we work hard to source our ingredients locally.”

Join a wine and chocolate pairing on Feb. 23. The meal will come with advice on how to pair wine and chocolate and will include appetizers and desserts with chocolate as the key ingredient. Cost is $30 per person.

Fill up on warm cheese with the Crosswinds Grille’s fondue and wine pairing dinner featuring two cheese and two chocolate fondues.

“Each fondue will be paired with a different wine,” Fagnilli said. “Our fondue dinners are very popular and a great Sunday meal for just $30 per person.”

A dinner paired with champagne is scheduled for April 27, and diners can spend an afternoon with the vintner on May 4.

“The vintner dinner gives people the opportunity to understand the wine-making process and to taste our wines and understand how they are paired to enhance the flavors of food,” Fagnilli said.

Fagnilli said he is proud to show off locally produced ingredients in his dishes.

“This is more than a movement now,” he said. “I am proud to show people the difference these local ingredients make in a dish.”

The Crosswinds Grille dinner and drink series features meals for $30 and $60 per person. Advance reservations are often required and can be made by calling 466-8668.

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