Checking in with Ken Waxman, enoteca and Peter Chang.

"Sit back and relax.” That’s not really something we’re used to hearing around the holiday season. It’s all shopping, cooking, catching up—no time for leisurely merriment. Until now, that is. 

Ken Waxman, who serves on the advisory board of PVCC’s Viticulture and Enology department, says he and his wife, Antje, strive to make each event “a fun affair,” with discussions on food and culture—and, of course, a few sips of the good stuff.

Thanks to Ken Waxman, hosting a holiday party for friends comes easy. The former Martha’s Café owner and wine enthusiast is offering to host a vino-centered event in your home. 

Here’s how it works: Gather a bunch of your friends (up to 30), and sip your way through six different types of wine (at least one of which will be Virginia-made). Nosh on appetizers made by Waxman’s wife, Antje, and answer wine trivia to win prizes from places like HotCakes and other local spots. 

Not interested in anything but Pinot Grigio? Waxman says that’s no problem; he’ll tailor the event to your interests. What he really enjoys, though, is an international night. “You get to go around the world,” he says. “I’ll say, ‘Want to go to Spain? Argentina? Let’s go.” 

Waxman and his wife have done two parties so far, and he’s excited to see what comes of their “little side project.”

“I’m already looking forward to doing events on people’s decks [in the spring], when it gets back to Rosé season,” he says.

Each event will last about two hours. For parties with up to 12 people, tickets are $25 per person. For parties with up to 30 people, tickets are $20 per person. As host, you pay nothing. Talk about taking a load off. 

For more information, contact Waxman at 


Vino variation?

Seems local wine buzz isn’t enough to keep enoteca afloat. Word on the street is that the Downtown wine bar—formerly VaVino, another wine-focused restaurant—is readying for an upgrade. No official statement from backer Coran Capshaw or his team, but Restaurantarama hears enoteca will turn into an American bistro next year. Stay tuned.


Chang watch

Yes, folks, it’s official. At least for now. Illustrious runaway chef Peter Chang is coming back. Restaurantarama heard from Stuart Biel, the leasing agent for the former Wild Greens space at Barracks Road, where Chang’s new eatery will be located. “We’re very excited to announce that Peter Chang’s China Grill will join Barracks Road in early 2011,” is his official statement on Chang’s impending arrival. Chang left town in March after a much-publicized stint at Taste of China. Hope he’ll stay with us for a while. In the meantime, get your chopsticks ready!

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