Indulgent Preview

It was hard not to be thrilled by the delicious smells in the air as I sat at a table in Executive Chef George Sidaros’ kitchen at the Old National Events Plaza. Greeting me with as much enthusiasm as I had about trying his dishes, Chef Sidaros was ready to present me with a behind-the-scenes preview of the menu he has prepared for the upcoming Dinner on the Bridge event Feb. 13.

Started during the waning months of summer in 2020, Dinner on the Bridge is a culinary extravaganza. With a limited guest list, tables are spread out over the sky bridge connecting the Old National Events Plaza to the Double Tree Hotel. This month’s event is centered around indulgence and of course, plays to the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday.

Guests will be treated to a five-course meal crafted by Chef Sidaros, who shares his process and knowledge with guests as he explains his meals and answers questions. Paired with the delicious meal are a selection of cocktails and wine pairings (courtesy of the event plaza’s certified sommelier). And guests get to take with them recipes to selected menu items.

When they say it’s an inclusive experience, they aren’t kidding.

For my afternoon preview, I was treated to all selections on the menu, from the appetizer all the way to dessert. Though I won’t give away all of Chef Sidaros’ plans for the evening, I will share my favorite foods from the preview.

We started with the Coconut Shrimp Causa appetizer. A beautiful display, the centerpiece here was a coconut-crusted Gulf shrimp resting on Peruvian Causa. If you are like me and have never heard of Peruvian Causa, then you are in for a treat. This potato dish features a fantastic yellow pepper from Peru. It wasn’t spicy, but the flavor was truly unique and perfectly paired with the coconut shrimp.

For the soup course, Chef Sidaros slid a small bowl of lobster bisque with cognac cream my way. Created with a lobster base and including small pieces of shrimp, this bisque ranked high on my list of favorites for the day. Perfect for the chilly weather outside, it warmed me through and had a rich flavor. It was so good, I asked for seconds!

When it came to the main course, my mouth started to water as I watched Chef Sidaros delicately cut open a filet de boeuf wellington. This classic dish featured a filet mignon cooked just perfectly and of course included the classic pâté and duxelles wrapped around the filet, secured with prosciutto, then wrapped in puff pastry and baked to golden brown perfection.

Chef Sidaros added a bit of spinach puree, carrots tourné, and Potatoes Duchess to this plate, to round out the richness of the Wellington as well as create a beautiful, colorful dish.

It was just as fun to look at as it was to eat!

And to end our preview? A fantastic, hard-to-resist Chocolate Temptation mousse, with a combination of gianduja and espresso. If you are unfamiliar with gianduja, it is a sweet chocolate spread that contains hazelnut paste. Ring some bells?

This dessert was not overly sweet, and hit the spot as our “dinner” came to an end.

If you are lucky enough to have snagged a table for the Dinner on the Bridge event next week, I can tell you with 100 percent certainty, you are in for an amazing night. Not only will the food be the best of fine dining, the experience created by the Chef Sidaros and the staff of Old National Events Plaza will leave you impatiently waiting for the next chance to dine on the bridge!

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Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen is the managing editor of Evansville Living and Evansville Business magazines.

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