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So its my wife’s birthday. Waking up, we realized just how lucky we both were to be off on such a glorious day. The sun was shining and the birds were chirping – perfect day to get out for a celebration. So I decided to take my wife out on a birthday excursion of sorts to Ontario’s Vineland area for some sight seeing, fresh farmer’s market shopping and outdoor patio lunch in wine country at one of our favorite places, Vineland Estates Winery. We had some guests coming over in the evening so I thought (always the pragmatist) I would create a Birthday dinner menu depending on what little treasures we would find at the markets. This “Black Box” approach would ensure two things; firstly – the obvious of a fresh & locally inspired dinner and secondly – creation that would be imprinted in our guests memories as Zorka’s unique birthday menu for years to come. My wife is not a chef – but being married to one she appreciates the emphasis on “Terroir” – I knew she would be game. So we set out with windows down, sunroof open and cappuccinos in hand to celebrate 2 things, my wife’s 41st and Ontario’s 2012th spring bounty – a once in a lifetime serendipitous occurrence.

ZORKA’S BLACK BOX BIRTHDAY MENU June 6, 2012

JUST PICKED STRAWBERRIES & SPRING ASAPARGUS SALAD Baby Arugula | Pecans | Charlie-Bee Beamsville Honey Dressing | Local Apple Cider Reduction | Truffle Salt

GREEN HOUSE TOMATOES & GARLIC SCAPE PESTO Mariposa Feta | Red Onion | Olives | Anchovy | Malivoire Rosemary Wine Syrup | Sel Gris

CAVATELLI CARBONARA & POACHED DUCK EGG Mom’s Pasta Recipe | Dad’s Cantina-Hung Pancetta | Air-Dried Heirloom Tomatoes | Monteforte Farm’s Spring Peas | Cream | Truffle Oil | Toasted Garlic | Grana Padano

KAR-DEAN FARMS RASPBERRIES, BLACKBERRIES & RIESLING SABAYON Backyard Mint | Hubers Apricot Jam | Vanilla Sugar

WINE | Vineland Estates 2007 Elevation Riesling

COCKTAILS | Vice Martini | Frozen Grape | Vanilla Sugar Snow

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