Junction 421 Resumes Wine And Beer Dinners

By Jessica Maurer, posted Aug 5, 2020
Junction 421 on South College Road is restarting beer and wine dinners. (Photo courtesy of Junction 421)
Junction 421, 5104 S. College Road, has announced its wine and beer dinners for the month of August, and is now accepting reservations for the events.

Jonathan O’Donnell, who co-owns the restaurant with his wife, Shirena, said they were pleased to be able to start hosting the dinners again last month, with social distancing protocols in place.

“The dinners are a chance for us to have some fun and really connect with our guests,” Jonathan O’Donnell said.

He creates a seasonal four-course menu, which he then shares with a local wine distributor for their input on the wine selections.

The O’Donnells said they often ask Kara Wright of Windham Distributing Company to host the events because she does a great job with the pairings and has developed a rapport with many of the regular guests. Shirena O’Donnell also assists with the wine selections.

August’s Lazy Daze wine dinner, Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 6:30 p.m.,  will feature a first course of crab meat stuffed shrimp with a lemon butter sauce, paired with a Spanish white wine, Marin Codax Albarino.

The second course will be a red wine poached pear salad paired with Trumpeter Rose de Malbec of Argentina, while the third course will feature fresh scallops with a summer succotash to be paired with Winemakers Secret Barrels White Blend Pinot Grigio.

Guests will enjoy Shirena’s blackberry cobbler recipe for dessert, paired with Gascon Malbec, also of Argentina.

Jonathan O’Donnell said that all of the wines are available to order by the bottle, and sometimes they are so popular that the restaurant decides to add them to the menu.

The same goes for some of the dishes – when the guests are particularly responsive to a dish, it might make its way back as a special or be added to the permanent menu.

This month’s beer dinner, scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 25, at 6: 30 p.m. will feature Red Oak Brewery of Whitsett, North Carolina.

“Red Oak has a strong following, and we try to partner with area breweries as much as possible,” O’Donnell said. “We love their products and they’ve been very supportive.”

Jonathan O’Donnell said the beer dinners are a great value, also offering four courses paired with four beer selections. The August menu will feature a salty pretzel paired with Red Oak’s 1516 Bavarian Heller Boch, a Mediterranean salad paired with Hummin' Bird Helles Munich Golden Lager, braised beef brisket paired with Red Oak Bavarian Amber Lager and a chocolate chunk cookie paired with Black of Bavarian Dopplebock.

Jonathan O’Donnell said he and Shirena have done whatever they can to make the best of the current situation over the past several months. They have remained open throughout the pandemic offering carryout, family-style meals and online ordering via Facebook.

They said they were delighted to be able to open their doors to customers once dine-in service was permitted, stating that in the interaction with their customers is the fun part.

“We love what we do and we have no choice but to continue on,” Jonathan O’Donnell said. “We thrive on serving our community.”

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