Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday Sips & Nibbles

I am back again with a new edition of Thursday Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I briefly highlight some interesting wine and food items that I have encountered recently.
1) On Tuesday, November 2, from 6:30pm-8:30pm, The Beehive’s co-owner and resident curator Jennifer Epstein will be joined by co-curator James Hull to host the 9th installment in The Beehive's continuing art series entitled, Sting! IX: The Real World.

Sting! IX: The Real World explores several responses to our built environment and how we inhabit it. The seven featured artists use the industrial and natural landscape as a backdrop for investigations into our everyday connections to the world.

"Joe Wardwell's rock and roll quotes flash over his idealized, sublime landscape paintings (courtesy of LaMontagne Gallery) to evoke a romanticized but unquenchable yearning. Buck Squibb animates memories of the landscape and routines he experienced growing up on Cape Cod by recreating photographic vignettes using brilliant focus and color to make the past appear ageless before our eyes. Sophia Ainslie's emotive paintings use vigorous linear drawing passages with areas of flat color to create spaces that, while rooted in the environments she directly experiences, evolve into a new sense of place somewhere between observation and imagination. Peter Harris uses color and texture to explore industrial materials at an architectural scale to demonstrate the tension between what is tangible and what is transient. Brian Unwin uses a traditional medium to describe the historically sinister side of the urban landscape and its quiet, ominous power in his elegant silver prints of Detroit and Boston. Shay Kun’s lush yet ironic paintings (courtesy of LaMontagne Gallery) connect the Hudson River School to the present day, and humorously depict the interaction of humans and nature, where humans intrude upon and abuse the grandeur of the surrounding landscape. With gentle and maybe unintentional humor, Ria Brodell’s drawings explore gender identity and sexuality as she projects her ideal self onto slightly mysterious, impossibly graceful figures—often male icons ranging from sailors to children’s toys, like the Ken doll and He-Man."

Performance by the Nathan Sabanayagam Trio: Led by drummer Nathan Sabanayagam, the Nathan Sabanayagam Trio is putting jazz, reggae, dub, funk, hip-hop and world music in a blender and turning it on. A master Reggae musician, composer and producer, Nathan Sabanaygam splits his life between his studio in Boston and Kingston, Jamaica. Expect a big sound and infectious rhythm from this stage full of "funkitians"!

The Beehive will have great food, cool art, and a special musical performance by the Nathan Sabanayagam Trio beginning at 6:30pm.   No cover charge, Cash Bar, Dinner reservations recommended.

2)  November 11th, at 6:30pm, Legal Sea Foods in Park Square will host a special dinner featuring wines from Bonny Doon Vineyard based in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. Randall Graham, Founder of Bonny Doon Vineyard, will be the guest of honor highlighting the eminent quality of his wines paired with a unique Legal Sea Foods’ menu. Inspired by Graham’s selections, Legal Sea Foods has crafted a one-of-a-kind offering that will feature the following:

Oysters on the Half Shell, Citrus Mignonette
Scallops with Bacon
Black Pepper Gougères
Paired with Bonny Doon Ca’ del Solo Estate Vineyard Albarino, Monterey, 2009

Seared Rare Tuna
Sautéed Morels and Crispy Salad with Roasted Pear Vinaigrette
Paired with Bonny Doon “Le Cigar Blanc” Roussanne/Grenache, Arroyo Seco, 2007
and Bonny Doon “Fish Out of Water” Garnacha, Monterey, 2009

Fennel Dusted Roasted Salmon
Lacquered Pork Belly and Currant Jam
Paired with Bonny Doon “Le Pousseur” Syrah, Central Coast, 2007

Braised Beef Short Rib
Yellow Curried Winter Squash, Dried Plum and Raisin Compote
Paired Bonny Doon Rhone “Le Cigar Volant” Red Varietal Blend, California, 2001

Honey Ricotta Cheese Cake
Candied Fruit and Blood Orange Ice Cream
Paired with Le Vol des Anges Beeswax Vineyard Botrytised Roussanne, Arroyo Seco, 2007

COST: $75 (not including tax & gratuity)

Advanced reservations required by calling: 617.530.9397 or visiting:

3) With Chef Chris Douglass back behind the stove, ably assisted by chef de cuisine (and Radius alum) John Rush, Ashmont Grill's Sunday Brunch has been given an upgrade, with several new dishes.

* Apple Pie French Toast ($12) gets a kick from Calvados in the batter, plus roasted local apples and crunchy streusel topping

* Banana-Chocolate Chip Pancakes ($10) up the ante with candied walnuts and whipped cream

* Chilequiles ($10) A south-of-the-border scramble: eggs with jalapenos, onion, salsa verde and sour cream, served with warm corn tortillas.

* The Full English ($14) Poached eggs with smoked ham, sausage, baked beans and baked tomato

* The Ashmont Cobb ($12) does the original salad one better, by adding a soft boiled egg and smokey bleu cheese to the mix

* Croque Madame ($12) Take one toasted brioche, add one fried egg, layer with Swiss cheese, ham and hollandaise, swoon

Five takes on the Bloody Mary: Classic, The Maria, Pepper & Paprika, The Bloody Citrus and The Bloody Bleu. So popular they now sell the mixes bottled up to take home.

Also new for fall:

* Wild Mushroom & Fontina Tartlet, with butternut soup “shot” and green salad

* Locally Harpooned Shark with root vegetables and Swis chard in red wine reduction

* Gingerbread Pudding with bourbon’d apples and crème fraiche

* Guinness Cake with Bailey’s Irish Cream Mousse (as seen on

4) Executive Chef Raymond Southern of Stanhope Grille at The Back Bay Hotel has just launched a new luncheon menu, featuring inspired seasonal choices that incorporate the finest and freshest ingredients from local farms and purveyors.

For the first course portion of Stanhope Grille’s fall lunch menu, Chef Southern has added some rustic and warm flavors. Luncheon selections include: Lobster Bisque (house recipe with Cognac cream and chunks of Maine lobster - $14); Maine Lobster and Corn Pudding (charred scallions, crispy pork chips - $14); Hudson Valley Duck Pate (cooked stone fruit, focaccia stick, apple beet slaw - $12); Portuguese Crispy Calamari (fried salt and pepper calamari, Portuguese olive-tomato sauce - $12); Char Roasted Veal Meatballs (plum tomato jus, grilled scallions, shaved Reggiano - $12); and, Orecchiette and Peekytoe Crab Pesto (blue potatoes, pine nuts, granna padano - $14). Stanhope Grille also offers a variety of organic salads, including: Chopped Romaine Hearts ($11); Farmer’s Cooperative Greens ($9); Farmer’s Greens and Roasted Beets ($10); Boston Cobb ($18); and, Grilled Flank Steak Salad ($17).

For entrees, Stanhope Grille will serve some new seasonally inspired dishes. Some additions to Chef Southern’s menu include: Salmon En Papilliote (plum tomatoes, Moroccan olives, vodka syrup, toasted pearl barley - $21); Papardelle and Quebec Pork Ragout (morel mushrooms, jelly bean tomatoes, granna padano - $19); Misty Knoll Tuscan Style Chicken Sandwich (grilled chicken breast, Tuscan bread, proscuitto, roasted red pepper, Manchego-basil pesto, farmer’s fresh cheese ($16); and, Steak and Duck Frites (pan roasted hanger steak, potato fries with duck confit, creamed corn, broccolini - $19). Chef Southern also serves up a variety of burgers, including: Stanhope Iron Pan Burger ($16); Lamb Burger ($17); and, Double Portobello Manchego Burger ($14).

Stanhope Grille is open nightly seven days a week from 5:30pm – 10:00pm. Stanhope Grille also serves breakfast Monday through Friday from 6:30am – 11:30am and Saturday and Sunday from 7:00am – 11:30am. A lunch version of the menu is available Monday through Friday from 11:30am – 1:30pm.

No comments: