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. This edition is dedicated to a few Valentine's Day choices.
1) Celebrate Valentine's Day at Restaurant dante as Owner and Executive Chef Dante de Magistris is offering a special four-course tasting menu. The menu will be offered throughout Valentine’s Weekend, from Friday, February 11 to Monday, February 14. Each course (flirt, smooch, foreplay, climax, spooning and bubble bath) offers playful and tantalizing options to set the mood for the special evening.
FLIRT (Aphrodisiac Cocktails, not part of the set menu)
© Sparkling Cherry Fizz ($10)
© Strawberry Balsamic Mojito ($10)
© El Diablo ($9)
© Italian Almond Mocha Royale ($10)
Select one item from each of the following courses:
© a cute little couple - big shrimp cocktail, little shrimp cevice
© menage a foie - foie gras three ways
© canoodling noodles – lemon tagliolini, hearts on fire greens, poppy seeds, robiola
© pillows – heart shaped vanilla parsnip ravioli, smoked scallops, hazelnuts
© italiano – beef tenderloin “in crostata” porcini, fig, gorgonzola dolce, speck, salsa frutti di bosco “oh my”
© love bird – Chicken Scaloppini, marsala, garlic chives, chatrelles, black trumpets, spinach
© Vanilla Semifreddo for Two – chocolate lace cookie, passion fruit “leather” banana lather
© prosecco – strawberry nectar, chocolate cigarettes
Cost: $75 per person
Reservations: Please call 617-497-4200
2) On February 8th, Legal Sea Foods will honor lovers a bit early with their first Legal Holiday of the year: Valentine’s Day. Legal Sea Foods will serve up a culinary ménage à trois in Park Square’s 10,000 bottle wine cellar featuring a trio of beverages paired with decadent delights:
Selection of Raw Oysters
Paired with: Love Potion #9
Wood Grilled Arctic Char
Wild mushroom polenta, roasted fennel and tomatoes
Paired with: Hesketh “Wild at Heart” Grenache, Clare Valley, 2009
Orange Chipotle Crème Brûlée
Paired with: Grand Marnier
Cost: $35 per session (includes tax & gratuity)
Reservations: Reservations required by calling: 617-530-9392. For online reservations, visit: http://www.legalseafoods.com/Restaurants/Boston-Park-Square
3) Lolita Cucina & Tequila Bar is having a number of specials for Valentine’s Day.
Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin ‘Rose’ $14 glass; $70 bottle
Half Dozen Pemiquid Oysters (spicy bloody maria sauce) $14
Add 2 demi shots of Milagro Select Barrel Silver $20
Lobster-Poblano Relleno (grilled poblano pepper stuffed with fresh atlantic lobster, roasted corn and fingerling potatoes with roasted garlic-corn sauce) $18
Filet Mignon w/ Lump Crab ‘Huevos Rancheros’ (8 oz prime filet topped with garlic butter-jumbo lump crab, red chile poached egg, salsa ranchero and queso fresco with slow cooked black beans and tortilla crisps) $36
Pork Chop Rellanado (grilled 12 oz chop stuffed with spicy chorizo cornbread and huitlecoche with mashed parsnips and guajillo sauce) $23
¡Bomba del Chocolate! (warm mexican chocolate pudding cake with tart cherry sauce and red wine-crème fraiche granite) $10
When: Monday, February 14, 2011, 5 PM – 2 AM
Reservations are recommended so Please call 617-369-5609.
4) For four nights, February 11-14, Executive Chef Rachel Klein of Aura Restaurant at the Seaport Hotel will prepare a three-course prix fixe for $100 per couple. Couples get a choice from four starters, three entrees, and three desserts, which include: Bento Box for Two; Beet & Asparagus Salad; New England Clam Chowder; Oysters on the Half-shell; Grilled Sirloin; Pan Roasted Scallops; Roasted Statler Chicken; Trio of Desserts; Flourless Chocolate Cake; and, Ice Cream or Sorbet.
5) For four days, from February 11-14, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is celebrating Valentine's Day by offering several specials, including:
--Filet Mignon & Crab-Stuffed Shrimp (for two): $98.95 (filet mignon with Madeira sauce, giant black tiger shrimp stuffed with crab and topped with bacon and lemon garlic butter sauce; served with butter poached Portobello mushrooms and parmesan cheese mashed potatoes)
--New York Strip Steak & Shrimp Scampi (for two): $89.95 (prime New York steak, served with peppercorn sauce, shrimp scampi with chimichurri herb pesto; served with lemon-scented orzo pasta and French green beans with porcini essence).
--Red Velvet Cake & Chocolate Dipped Strawberries (for two): $9.50 (three-layer red velvet cake with strawberry cream cheese frosting, garnished with two double-dipped chocolate strawberries)
--Tickled Pink cocktail: $9.95 (Only 99-calories, it has Belvedere Vodka, orange juice, raspberry and Mionetto Prosecco).
In addition, by making a Valentine’s Day reservation one of four nights at Fleming’s, guests will be gifted a $25 Valentine’s Card valid toward a future visit. Fleming’s also offers for you to reserve their Mercedes Crossover courtesy car to pick you up and drop you off wherever in the city your night takes you.
6) This Valentine’s Day, The Back Bay Hotel’s Stanhope Grille will serve a customized three-course prix fixe ($75 per person/$90 with wine pairings) over three nights available with optional wine pairings. Guests will enjoy their choices of the following: Crab Cakes; Mushroom Strudel; Boston Bibb Salad; Short Ribs with braised red cabbage, pomme puree, cider glaze; Sea Bass with fennel Fontina bread pudding, baby vegetables, golden beat sauce; Statler Chicken, spice rubbed with black quinoa, baby vegetables, citrus honey pan jus; Panettone Bread Pudding; and, Sorbet Trio. The Back Bay Hotel also offers the “Valentine’s Dinner Package,” including superior overnight accommodations and dinner for-two at Stanhope Grille.
7) Outside of Boston, you could consider celebrating Valentine’s Day at Tryst Restaurant in Arlington. Executive Chef and Owner, Paul Turano, has created a special menu which will be available from Friday, February 11th through Monday, February 14th, 2011. Tax and gratuity are not included. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling 781-641-2227.
--Slow Roasted Beets 9.
Vermont goat cheese, toasted pistachios & orange poppy seed vinaigrette
--*Tuna Tartare 14.
wonton chips, ginger juice & scallion
--Red Wine Braised Boar 12.
hand crafted cavatelli, chipped pecorino & rosemary
--Hearts of Romaine 8.
spicy pepitas, cornbread croutons, avocado & chili lime dressing
--Sweet Potato & Chestnut Agnolotti 12.
sage brown butter & Reggiano
--*Potato & Leek Soup 9.
Peekytoe crab, apple & creme fraiche
--Crispy Fried Oysters 12.
pickled peppers & spicy aioli
--Steak Tartare 13.
--*Spiced Long Island Duck 26.
black pepper spaetzle, trumpet mushrooms & pomegranate syrup
--Slow Roasted Bell & Evans Chicken 22.
celery root puree, roasted carrots, mushrooms & pearl onions
--*Grilled Angus Sirloin 32.
wild mushroom & leek tart, crispy shallots & truffle jus
--* Du Breton Pork Chop 24.
hash stuffed apple, smoked onion soubise & sauce Robert
--Almond Crusted Cod 23.
chorizo tater tots, romesco & rabe
--*Seared Scallops 27.
curried basmati rice, cauliflower chips & spiced yogurt
--Butterscotch Tart 8.
chocolate crust & banana
--Orange Blossom Panna Cotta 8.
honey glazed apricots & pistachios
hazelnut shortbread, chocolate torrone & Morello cherries
--Caramel Apple Tart 8.
Calvados ice cream
--Chocolate Truffle Layer Cake 8.
creme fraiche ice cream
--House-made Ice Cream or Sorbet 4.
8) On Monday, February 14, consider Valentine's Day at one of the restaurants of the Grafton Group.
Russell House Tavern
--Braised Vermont Beef Heart Ravioli (Red Wine Demi, Crispy Pecorino, Tart Pear)
--Grilled Shrimp & Grits (Grilled Shrimp, Creamy Black Truffle Grits, Spicy & Sweet Bruleed Sweet Potatoes)
--Cherry & Milk Chocolate Bread Pudding (Cream Cheese Swirl, Toasted Walnuts, Golden Raisins)
--Slow Braised Rabbit (Crispy Semolina Gnocchi, Roasted Parsnips, Carrot-Ginger Puree, Cocoa-Madeira Jus
--Pan Seared Sable Fish with Cockles (Roasted Baby Yukon Potatoes, Savoy Cabbage, Crispy Pancetta, Saffron Blood Orange Broth)
--Flambéed Banana Bread Pudding (Caramel Rum Sauce, Toasted Hazelnut Toffee)
Grafton Street Pub & Grill
--Blue Crab and Sharp Cheddar Fondue (Iggy’s Brioche)
--Seared Day Boat Scallops and Cherries (Lemon-Porcini Rice, Ginger Cream, Baby Cress)
--Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Torte (Fresh Blackberries, Whipped Cream)
--Pan Seared Scallops with BBQ Duck Confit (Orange and Frisse Salad, Champagne Dressing)
--Brandt All Natural Sirloin (Brussels Sprouts, Baby Carrots, Cheesy Hash Browns, Gravy)
--Mascarpone Cheese Cake (Strawberry Compote, Whipped Cream, Walnut Brittle)