For a couple of years now, Forty Two, the restaurant housed inside the Clinton Presidential Center, has hosted Around the World Thursday on the third Thursday of each month, showcasing food and entertainment from various countries. On December 15, Chef Stephen Burrow will mine the dusty minerats and ancient aesthetics of Cairo, Egypt for inspiration.
"Our menu is subject to availability, so it's a little hard to say ahead of time, but I've already got a list of dishes I'm looking into," said Burrow. "I usually try to do at least one classic dish, and almost all the dishes use ingredients imported from the actual country." For Egyptian cuisine, he's considering lamb and imported crimson snapper. There's also a vegetarian and gluten-free option for people with dietary restrictions.
Burrows has most perishables, including produce and protein, overnighted from its country of origin. "So the fish you're eating was pulled out the ocean essentially the day before. It's probably fresher than what you'd get if you ordered this fish in Cairo," he explained.
The five-course prix fixe menu always includes appetizers, alcohol and deserts. According to Burrow, desserts "usually focus on one key ingredient, but we'll make several desserts from that ingredient and serve maybe four small portions of different deserts on the same plate."
Beverage choices differ from country to country. "Sometimes we feature wine, sometimes a cocktail," said Burrow. "I know Cairo's not a city of big drinkers, but they do have some breweries."
Next Thursday's diners will be treated to the shimmying of live belly dancers as they munch on crimson snapper and sip Egyptian beer.
Past Around the World events have highlighted the cultures of Finland, Ireland, Russia, Scotland, Israel and other countries.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and dinner is at 7 p.m. It's $27.95 per person. Call (501) 537-0042 to reserve a dinner in Cairo.