Matherne’s wine dinners return April 2 to downtown store; check out the menu _lowres

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Matherne's Market, downtown Baton Rouge's first full-scale grocery store in nearly 50 years, will host a wine dinner on Saturday, April 2.

When Robért Fresh Market took over the Highland Road location of Matherne’s, one question on customers’ minds was what would happen to Bill and Kathy Hounshell’s weekly wine dinners.

Customers won’t have to wait much longer for an answer.

Matherne’s Market at 440 N. Third St., Suite 100, hosts the return of the popular event Saturday, April 2 at 7 p.m. The cost is $75. To make a reservation and get more information, call (225) 343-0600. The dinner will take place in the Bistro Room.

The menu features a range of wines served with dishes such as boneless beef short ribs with smoked Gouda polenta, and a savory wild mushroom bread pudding. After the dinner, patrons can purchase the wines at special price. The full menu is below.

Once Robért Fresh Market took over the Matherne’s at 7355 Highland Road in late February, Bill Hounshell went to work as a store manager at Matherne’s downtown location.

Hounshell knew he had to bring the dinners back, but he wasn’t sure if he could at the new store.

“It’s been Valentine’s Day since we’ve had one,” he said. “At the time, I did not know where I was going to work. I’m excited that Matherne’s stepped up to the plate and allowed us to continue.”

Hounshell added that the wine dinners were a cornerstone of the Highland road Matherne’s for more than 15 years. However, at the downtown Matherne’s, he’s not sure if the dinners will be a weekly event.

“We’re not yet sure of the timeline,” he said. “We want to do different things, not just dinners. It’s a completely different market down here.”

Some ideas that have popped up have been wine and cheese tastings and craft beer educational nights.

“There’s no doubt we will do more things,” he said. “We are really just getting started.”

Here's the full menu for the April 2 wine dinner:

Tasting spoon of Brie spread with pineapple, peach and kiwi salsa with a ’15 Chateau St. Jean Bijou Rosé.

Kathy’s spiced pears and grilled chicken thighs on spring mix with homemade raspberry vinaigrette and French bread croutons with ’13 Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay and ’14 Run Riot Pinot Noir.

Savory wild mushroom and imported Parmesan bread pudding, drizzled with blackberry and rosemary sauce with ’13 Pepperjack Red Blend and ’14 Penfolds Bin 389 Cab/Shiraz.

Chairman’s Reserve boneless beef short ribs, slow braised in Cabernet with smoked Gouda polenta and spring asparagus spears with ’12 Stag’s Leap Petite Syrah, ’13 Uppercut Cabernet Sauvignon, and ’13 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

For dessert, a Meyer lemon cheesecake with ginger snap crust.

Follow Matthew Sigur on Twitter @MatthewSigur.