Thursday, May 5, 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) As Americans pay tribute to the beef patty on May 28th for National Hamburger Day, local restaurants will be shelling out their best renditions to join the celebration.

Cuffs-An Irish Bar
The Back Bay Hotel, 350 Stuart Street, Boston
Phone: 617-266-7200
Cuffs is now serving up two variations on their new spring menu available by day and late into the night. Guests can toast the holiday with the Sirloin Burger (caramelized onion, mushrooms, choice of cheese - $13) or Cheeseburger Sliders (Cashel Blue, Irish cheddar and Manchego - $11).

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
217 Stuart Street, Boston
Phone: 617-292-0808
Choose from Fleming’s Prime Burger (cheddar cheese, peppered bacon - $12; $6 before 7pm nightly); Sliced Filet Mignon Burger (sautéed mushrooms, Béarnaise sauce - $18); Jumbo Lump Crab Cake Burger (creamy mustard sauce - $16); Ahi Tuna Burger (soy ginger sauce - $12); and, Portobello Mushroom Burger (sautéed spinach, creamy goat cheese - $10). All Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar’s options come with signature onion rings and a mini wedge salad.

Legal Sea Foods
All locations
The chefs at Legal Sea Foods are cooking up an ‘al-tuna-tive’ for fish lovers to partake in the celebration. The Tuna Burger is made from freshly ground tuna with chili paste, crumbs and spices ($13.95). Legal Sea Foods also serves up a Niman Ranch Burger, 10 oz. hand packed all natural beef ($10.95).

Poe’s Kitchen at the Rattlesnake
384 Boylston Street, Boston
Phone: 617-859-7772
Executive Chef Brian Poe is now dishing out a burger that celebrates his namesake: Poe Burger (Kobe beef burger stuffed with lobster, foie gras and black truffles served with house-cured whiskey bacon, avocado and Irish porter cheese on brioche - $18.75).

Towne Stove and Spirits
900 Boylston Street, Boston
Phone: 617-247-0400
Co-Culinary Director Lydia Shire and Executive Chef Mario Capone offer a version on their all-day bar menu. Available in the Street Lounge, The Mini Burger is comprised of 70/30 skirt and shortrib and is served with chips ($11).

2) May is designated National Celiac Awareness Month, and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar wants those who have celiac disease (CD) to enjoy a meal out without the concern over their dietary restrictions.

As the executive chef of Fleming’s, I take our guests’ dietary needs as seriously as they do,” says Fleming’s Executive Chef Russell Skall. “This is why we have such an extensive gluten-free menu without a lot of substitutions required. We want our guests to experience what eating at Fleming’s is all about by enjoying all of the great flavors offered with our appetizers, salads, entrees, sides and tempting desserts. Because we make everything from scratch, our chefs can ensure that every meal is the best it can be,” he adds.

Fleming’s offers guests a gluten-free menu which is also available online. Upon arrival at the restaurant, guests are advised to tell their servers that they are ordering gluten-free. Numerous appetizers can be ordered as they are indicated on the menu, such as the shrimp cocktail, butternut squash soup, cream of asparagus soup and lobster bisque. Other dishes can be customized for a gluten free experience. Appetizers like the tenderloin carpaccio, wicked Cajun barbeque shrimp and seared ahi tuna can be ordered without croutons, bread or mustard sauces to make the dish gluten-free. Most salads may be ordered without croutons; while others such as the lobster Cobb and filet mignon Cobb can be made gluten-free by removing the puff pastry and substituting the dressing (all salad dressings are gluten-free except the red onion balsamic dressing).

Dinner entrees like Australian lobster, tuna mignon, Alaskan king crab and any of the meat selections can be ordered as is for a gluten-free meal. Other seafood dishes like the barbeque Scottish salmon filet and the seared scallops can be adjusted for guests with a gluten-free diet.  On the dinner menu, gluten-free sides include baked potato, Fleming’s potatoes, green beans, mashed potatoes, sautéed spinach, sautéed mushrooms and grilled asparagus.  Fleming’s even has several gluten-free deserts: crème brûlée, mixed berries with whipped cream and vanilla ice cream with raspberry or fudge sauce.

3) On Saturday, May 14th, from 1pm-6pm, the Wine ConneXtion, located in North Andover, is hosting its annual complimentary Grand Tasting. Featuring food paired by Tommy Grella of the Next Food Network Star, the Wine ConneXtion will be pouring more than 50 exclusive, hand-selected wines from all over the world. Topping it all off, the Wine ConneXtion will offer preferred wines such as Malbecs, Amarones and unique grape varietals at a special, one-day discounted price. Guests are invited to taste a wide selection of new wines while perusing some great deals.

RSVP: Tasting is complimentary and open to the public, 21+ only.

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