Thursday, March 24, 2011

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) Flora Restaurant, in Arlington, continues its Book Reading Series for the next few months.  Flora sets up their private dining room, and the invited guest author will usually reads from their latest book, discuss their latest project, and maybe more.  After the formal presentation, the author will stay and sign/sell books. There is no charge for attending these events. The upcoming authors include: 

April 12, 6pm: Cynthia Gold, Tea Sommelier for the Park Plaza Hotel, former owner of Tea Tray in the Sky and Elements restaurants and co-author of “Culinary Tea: More Than 150 Recipes Steeped in Tradition from Around the World” will be giving a Tea Cocktail Seminar as well as speaking/reading from her book. Signed copies of her book will be available for purchase. She will be giving a demo of how to use tea infusions to create cocktails, and samples will be available. Reservations are highly recommended.

For reservations, call (781) 641-1664.

2) The second annual Boston Wine Week kicks off a week-long celebration of wine, from March 28-April 3, served by the glass or bottle at a number of Boston restaurants. Proving that great wine doesn’t have to be a great expense, all wines (some of which retail up to $90/bottle) will be offered at $9/glass and $32/bottle. Participating restaurants will offer a minimum of six wines, available at a substantial discount.

Participating restaurants include: Bin 26 enoteca, Lala Rokh, BiNA osteria, Jer-Ne, Kingston Station, Woodward at the Ames Hotel, Petit Robert Bistro, Petit Robert Bistro South End, Petit Robert Central, Beacon Hill Bistro, Parker’s Restaurant at The Omni Parker House, Brasserie JO, 94 Mass Ave, Back Bay Social Club, Union Bar & Grill, and Sam’s at Louis. Check the Boston Wine Week website for additional updates.

Also back for the second year running is The Second Glass Classy Bar Crawl, a neighborhood stroll running in collaboration with Boston Wine Week. Two wine crawls are in the works for this year, the first on Thursday, March 31 with pit stops around Back Bay, including 94 Mass Ave, Brasserie JO and Back Bay Social Club. A second Industry Night Bar Crawl will take place Sunday, April 3 at participating Downtown restaurants, such as BiNA osteria, Jer-Ne and Woodward at the Ames Hotel.

3) Ting Yen, owner of Oishii Boston, will host the “Let’s Help, Answering the Call!” disaster relief fundraiser at his restaurant on April 3rd with all proceeds benefitting the Japan Red Cross Society. Ting Yen has enlisted the help of fellow local chefs that are all rallying for the cause. At the event, Anthony Caturano (Prezza), Dante de Magistris (Restaurant dante & Il Casale), Evan Deluty (Stella), Luis Morales (Radius), Kang San (Oishii Too Sushi Bar) and Jeff Nace (Neptune Oyster) will join Ting Yen to help an incredible cause.

WHEN: Sunday, April 3rd at 5:30pm
COST: $100 per person (100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Japan Red Cross Society)
TICKETS: Tickets are available by calling Oishii Boston at: 617-482-8868

4) Join 62 Restaurant & Wine Bar in Salem, on Friday, April 1st, as they toast the return of their full liquor license with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and cocktails.

On February 10th, 62 Restaurant & Wine Bar became one of seven restaurants alleviated from Salem's age-old seasonal liquor license that prohibits hard alcohol from being served 10 weeks out of the year-- during the “off season.” Limited to serving only beer and wine during those 10 winter weeks, April 1 will mark the end of their seasonal liquor license, and the first day they can serve liquor again. To celebrate the end of their prohibition, 62 Restaurant & Wine Bar will unveil their new spring cocktail list and serve complimentary hors d’oeuvres to guests from 5pm-7pm in the lounge area. After 7pm, to honor the drinker and diner, “62” will serve a complimentary signature spuntino with each drink purchased off of the new cocktail menu in the bar and lounge area.

Guests can cheers to freedom with over 20 creative cocktails from “62’s spring cocktail list, each one made from fresh ingredients, including the “Kiwi” a refreshing blend of Stoli Blueberry, muddled kiwi and house-made ginger lemonade ($10), and the “Sgroppino,” named after classic Venetian sorbet, because of its delicate blend of Ketel One, Prosecco, Limoncello and mint ($10).  And no prohibition party would be complete without classic favorites such as the “Back Porch Lemonade” (Smirnoff Citrus, lemonade, cranberry and house-made ginger ale, $10), or the “The Side Car” (Brandy, Cointreau, lemon and orange bitters, $10), just two of “62’s extensive “Signature Cocktails” made with a twist!

5) Spring is in full bloom at Da Vinci Ristorante and Chef Peppino welcomes diners to enjoy flavorful creations and cocktails of the season. Launching Tuesday, March 29th diners may choose from the latest menu, featuring seasonally blends of both Italian and Indian-fused cuisine. For $39 per person, guests will have their choice of nine primi courses, fourteen secondi and seven dolci options. And as a true sign that spring is in the air, guests will have the opportunity dine outside on Da Vinci’s scenic patio overlooking Park Square.

The Prix Fixe Menu is offered all day Monday – Thursday and before 6 p.m. Friday – Saturday. New featured entrées include:

· Masala Agnolotti– Indian accents, spicy ricotta and English peas. Stuffed with ginger, cherry tomato sauce and curried pesto
· Roasted Pork Chop – Roasted and wrapped in pancetta; served with Caribbean sweet potatoes and sautéed broccoli rabe; finished with a white wine sage rosemary sauce
· New England Cod Fish – Pan seared Alaskan salmon with artichoke and sweet potato cake, sautéed baby spinach; finished with Prosecco sauce
· Sirloin Steak – Chargrilled and served with truffled Parmesan mash, sautéed asparagus, ginger cumin jus

To wash it all down, diners are invited to indulge in the following spring specialty cocktails ($12 each).
· Coconut Margarita– Patron Silver, Patron Citronge, Malibu Rum and pineapple juice
· Blueberry Gimlet– Cold River Blueberry Vodka and fresh lime juice
· London Fog– Bombay Sapphire, Cointreau and grapefruit juice

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