Thursday, September 2, 2010

Thursday Sips & Nibbles

I am back again with a new edition of Thursday Sips & Nibbles, my semi-regular column where I briefly mention some interesting wine and food items that I have encountered recently.

1) Please join Chef Vittorio Ettore at Bistro 5 for their 5th Annual "Heirloom Tomato Celebration" throughout the month of September. As of Wednesday, September 1st, they will be present a Farmer's Market Tasting Menu that is an Ode to Tomatoes that even Pablo Neruda would be proud of. I attended last years Heirloom Tomato Celebration and had a superb dinner so I expect this year will be equally as good

Gazpacho "Cloud"
(Scallop Ceviche, Tomato Essence, Yellow Brandywine, Jalapeno and Lemon Basil Sorbet)
Paired with 2008 Antinori, Vermentino, Bolgheri DOC

Fried Green Tomatoes (Green Zebra Tomatoes "In Carrozza," Buffalo Mozzarella and Opal Basil Pesto)
Paired with 2008 Le Bruniche, Chardonnay, Tuscany

Heirloom Tomato Risotto (Black Plum, Sungold and Pineapple Tomatoes, Goat Cheese and Lime Basil with Crispy Prosciutto)
Paired with 2008 Lançon, Domaine de la Solitude, Côtes du Rhône

Duck Breast (Smoked Speckled Roman Tomato Concassé, Pickled Ginger, Thai Basil, Sweet and Sour Squash)
2006 Puerta Bonita, Garnacha, Madrid

Tomato...Sweet Tomato (Organic Peach Tomato Napoleon, Cinnamon Basil Yogurt Gelato, Vanilla Bean Crème Anglaise)
2009 Sarocco, Moscato D'Asti

Cost: Five Course: $65 per person, Three Course: $45 per person
Wine Pairing: Five Course: $25 per person, Three Course: $20 per person

*This menu will be a state of evolution throughout the month. It is subject to change based on product quality, availability and chef inspiration on a daily basis.*

2) I returned to Pizzeria Posto for brunch, hoping that the service was much better than my previous visit. And I was pleased that it was better, so I chalk up my initial visit as a growing pain for a brunch service that had just begun. The food was equally as delicious and impressive as my first visit, and I tried a couple new items. You should check out this restaurant.

First, Nonna's Meatballs (5 for $9), are made with free range beef, pork, & veal, and are covered by a pomodoro sauce and homemade mozzarella. These good-sized meatballs were firm, meaty and flavorful, just like how I enjoy them. And it is clear from the taste that they are not just beef, which is good to me as I enjoy the blended tastes of various meats. The meatballs have a tasty pomodoro sauce and there was plenty of gooey cheese atop them.

Second, for my entree, I went with the Campania Panini ($7), which has First Root Farm heirloom tomatoes, basil, and homemade fior di latte atop sourdough ciabatta. I also added two eggs ($3) and prosciutto di cotto ($2). All the Paninis come with baby arugula & rosemary sea salt chips. This was quite the sandwich, stuffed with plenty of fresh ingredients, and should fill most appetites. The eggs were overeasy, so the yolks were soft and when they broke drizzled over the sandwich, which I like. I had to use a knife and fork to eat the sandwich as it was so big, and a bit messy with the yolks. It tasted fantastic and I was extremely glad I ordered it. Now, some Paninis at other places are grilled, but this is not the case at Posto. But it still remains a top notch sandwich.

3) What happens when crops fail, fields erode, temperatures drop, or when the center of power shifts and cultures descend into dark ages of poverty, famine and war? Find out at the Boston Center for Adult Education on Friday, September 17th, during an exclusive, free book signing event of “Empire of Food: Feast, Famine, and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations” with co-author Andrew Rimas. From 6:30pm-8pm, the BCAE will host an intimate discussion with Rimas as he speaks about his second, recently released book. Afterwards guests will mix, mingle and have a chance to get their purchased book signed by the co-author as they enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres, prepared by Executive Chef Matthew Molloy of Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro and wine from Gordon’s Fine Wine & Liquors.

Empires of Food is a global history of food and its trade. Using the colorful diaries of a sixteenth-century merchant as a narrative guide, the book chronicles the fate of people and societies for the past 12,000 years through the foods they grew, hunted, traded, and ate—and gives insights into what to expect in years to come. The authors rgue that neither local food movements nor free market economies will stave off the next food crash, and they propose their own solutions.

Cost: Free to the public with RSVP to, Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event.

4) Poutine! A Canadian speciality commonly consisting of French fries, slathered in gravy and topped by cheese curds. The Gallows, a new gastropub in the South End, serves four different poutines and I recently got the chance to taste all of them. Jackie, the Leather District Gourmet, arranged for a tasting for a fine group of food and wine bloggers and you should read Jackie's review.

We got to taste their Traditional Poutine, the Spring Poutine, Foie Gras Poutine and Out of Control Poutine. Plus, we tasted several other dishes, from the delicious Scotch Eggs to the intriguing Bourbon Pickled Peaches. As a general comment on their Poutine, the fries were generally crispy, except after they sat in the gravy a bit, and the gravy was tasty. The cheese curds were not traditional, being more like a ricotta and crumbling apart atop the gravy, and I would have preferred the more traditional curds. Overall though, I enjoyed their food. Of the poutines, my favorite was easily the Foie Gras.

Cocktails were also very good, especially their Skin & Bones, which is is blend of tequila and watermelon. Plus, they have a fairly good wine list, including a delicious Italian Lambrusco. The bar appears to be a hot scene, even on a Monday night, and I can understand why. We had a great time, especially because it was such a fun group of bloggers. I'll hopefully get back there soon to try some more food and drinks.

The Gallows on Urbanspoon

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