Thursday, November 11, 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) The Wine Bunker, a new wine store in Reading, should be opening soon, a little later than originally expected.  I previously discussed this new store, and do have a couple updates. They they will be carrying some of the 90+ Cellars portfolio, which is a good thing as they have some excellent, good value wines. Their website is now up and it is interesting.  Though they are connected to Corporate Wines in Woburn, they don't have a link to it, or even mention that fact.

The Wine Bunker site lists many wines available for sale, but they all seem to have a tiny clock on their listing. That clock indicates a "3 day lead-time required to confirm availability," meaning the wine may be available from their suppliers and they have to check on the availability.  Corporate Wines used to do something similar, and ran into a number of complaints about the process.  It can be frustrating if you order a wine and it is not available, or the price is higher than quoted. They subsequently removed such ordering from their website, but now have apparently resurrected it for their new store. I am curious how the process has changed, if at all.  As soon as the store opens, I will check it out.

2) I am a big fan of brunch and apparently The Langham, Boston, has quite an extensive one, the City Brunch. Executive Chef Mark Sapienza offers a variety of locally sourced and produced foods, in addition to house-made items. Chef Sapienza has a direct relationship with local farmers and artisan food purveyors to offer the best meat, seafood, cheese, fruits, vegetables, and herbs. New this year, City Brunch will feature a Bloody Mary and Mimosa Bar.

A Taste of the City Brunch menu:

Roasted Beets with Lakes End Goat Cheese and Marcona Almonds
House Made Mozzarella and Vine Ripe Tomato, Basil, Sea Salt and Virgin Olive Oil
Artisanal Meats and Cheeses
Duck Prosciutto wrapped Roasted Red Pear with Lavender Honey
Beef Carpaccio with Arugula, Parmesan and Garlic Aioli
East Coast Catches
Raw Bar with Oysters on Half Shell and Chilled Poached Gulf Shrimp
Yellowfin Tuna Poke with Ponzu Sesame
Sushi Bar
Assorted Nigri and Maki hand rolled to order by a Sushi Chef
Taste of New England
Chatham Cod Loin with Creamy Sweet Corn and Snipped Chive
Maine Lobster Ravioli with Chanterelle and Amontillados Sherry Cream
Salt Crust Roasted Prime Rib with Horseradish Cream
Atlantic Salmon and Scallop Coulbiac with Amotillados Sherry Lobster Cream
Café Fleuri Breakfast Specialties
Mixed Berries, Vanilla Yogurt and Granola Coupe
Honey Strawberry and Banana Smoothie
Hot Breakfast
Eggs Benedict with Canadian Bacon and Chive Hollandaise
Omelets with over 10 fillings and Crisp Belgium Waffles Cooked to Order with eight toppings
Choose from Five Cheese Tortellini, Penne and Gnocchi
Sauces include Lobster Cream, Parmesan Cream, and Plum Tomato Basil Sauce
Mini Beef Hot Dogs and Rolls, Mustard, Relish, Ketchup
Country Fried Chicken Nuggets with BBQ Sauce
Macaroni and Cheese Bites
Pastry Table
Selections from the Chocolate Bar
Cinnamon Dusted Beignets
Crepe Station

City Brunch is every Sunday from September 12, 2010 through June 26, 2011. The price is $48 for adults and $25 for children ages 5 to 12. Reservations are strongly suggested and are available at 11:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 1:30 p.m. To make a reservation for City Brunch, please call 617.451.1900, extension 7125.

Make reservations early for Thanksgiving Brunch (November 25), Sunday Holiday Brunch with Santa and carolers (November 28, December 5, 12, 19, and 26), Christmas Brunch (December 25) and Recovery Brunch (January 1). Special holiday event pricing may vary. Please reserve early for holiday events.

3) Featuring a menu designed by Chef Rachel Klein, Aura will celebrate Thanksgiving with an elaborate Buffet Brunch, with two seatings. What better day than Thanksgiving to celebrate family dining, in a way that kids and parents can enjoy great cuisine without the distractions of the cooking and cleaning; just enjoying the family in a friendly, relaxed environment.

Selections from the Servery:
Traditional Eggs Benedict
Crab Cake Benedict
French Toast
Scrambled Eggs
Pork Sausage
Chicken Apple Sausage
Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Strudel
Spinach, Artichoke and Fontina Quiche
An Assortment of Cheeses
Sliced Fruit
Smoked Salmon

Chef Stations:
Turkey with Gravy
Sirloin with Red Wine Demi

Stationary Selections:
Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
Whipped Sweet Potatoes
Baked Sole with Lemon Beurre Blanc
Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter
Green Bean Almondine
Herb Stuffing
Cranberry Sauce
Macaroni and Cheese
Mixed Greens with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Assortment of Mini Pies (Apple, pumpkin, pecan)
Personal-sized Treats (Cheesecake, Chocolate Mousse)
Assorted Cookies
Fresh Berries (Chantilly Cream, Cinnamon and Nutmeg Whipped Cream)

WHEN: Thursday, November 25.
There will be two seatings: 11:00 am-1:00 pm and 1:00 pm-3:00 pm

The cost for adults is $65 plus tax & service; for kids: $24 plus tax & service. All children 6 and under are free. Pre-paid reservations can be made at 617-385-4300.

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