Chef John Varanese. | Photo courtesy of Varanese Facebook page

Varanese Restaurant, located at 2106 Frankfort Avenue, will host the inaugural “Pork and Pinot Dinner” on Thursday, June 23, with a reception at 6:30pm and dinner at 7:00pm. The six-course dinner will include special guest Ben Smith of Jackson Family Wines, who will be on hand to answer questions about the wines being served and their special attributes. The cost of the dinner is $65 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (502) 899-9904 or by emailing

The idea of hosting an annual “Pork and Pinot Dinner” came about because the team of chefs at Varanese wanted to create a new annual event that celebrates the food grown during summer harvest, many of it right in the restaurant’s own backyard. They also wanted to come up with a menu that incorporated the entire pig amongst several courses, while pairing each dish with a type of Pinot that compliments the smoky undertones of pork.

The menu will consist of:

First Course

  • LaCrema, Pinot Gris, Monterey
  • Spreadable Pork Salami and Grilled Baguette
  • Served Along Side Shaved 6 Month Pancetta,
  • Manchego Cheese and Cracked Black Pepper

Second Course

  • La Crema, Pinot Noir Rose, Russian River Valley
  • Fromage de Tȇte
  • Served with Pickled Strawberries, Frisee Lettuce and Smoked Mustard

Third Course

  • Jackson Estate, Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley
  • Wild Mushroom Fricassee with English Peas, Coppa Ham, Pinot Buerre Rouge
  • Topped with Snow Pea Tendrils

Fourth Course

  • Angela, Pinot Noir, Oregon
  • BBQ Pulled Pork and Roasted Tomatoes
  • Tossed with Cavatappi Pasta, Smoked Gouda Cheese, Basil Pesto
  • Finished with a Crispy Pork Skin and Parmesan Crumb Topping

Fifth Course

  • Hartford Court, Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
  • Roasted Pork Loin with a Fennel and Ground Pork Stuffing
  • Wrapped in Crispy Prosciutto
  • Topped with a Bacon Jam and Pork Glace

Sixth Course

  • Carmel Road, Pinot Noir, Monterey
  • Peaches and Lardo with a Dried Cherry Granola and Shaved Lomo
  • Served with a Charred Sweet Corn and Goat Cheese Ice Cream

For information or to make a reservation, please call (502) 899-9904 or log on to

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Steve Coomes is a restaurant veteran turned award-winning food, spirits and travel writer. In his 25-year career, he has edited and written for multiple national trade and consumer publications including Nation's Restaurant News and Southern Living. He is a feature writer for Edible Louisville & The Bluegrass, Whisky Magazine, and The Bourbon Review. The author of two books, "Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke," and the "Home Distiller's Guide to Spirits," he also serves as a ghostwriter for multiple clients.