Last month, I went to the "Lunch with Amanda" event at Raleigh's Zely & Ritz. It is a relaxing family-style meal with 4 samples of wine. Amanda May, a saleswoman with Juice Wine Purveyors, leads the tastings.
May and Zely & Ritz co-owner, Nancy Agasi, are friends. These lunch events evolved from Nancy and Amanda just trying to catch up amidst their busy lives. Their first lunch involved May, Agasi, and Agasi's husband, Sarig, the restaurant chef, ordering pizza and having a few glasses of wine on a Monday when the restaurant was closed. To make their lunches more regular, the women decided to start offering a once-a-month lunch and include the restaurant patrons. The first one was back in October.
Last month's menu included a rutabaga and baby collards rissotto; braised pork with molasses and North Carolina beer rissotto; a pizza with turkey confit, garlic confit, apple chutney, arugula puree and a red wine reduction; a goat cheese, apple chutney and arugula pizza; and a green salad with balsamic vinegar.
With that you get samples of four wines, which are available at a discount for sale.
The next one is Friday, April 23. It costs $15 for lunch. That's an excellent deal for the wine and food you get. Call 828-0018 to reserve your spot.