Thursday, May 19, 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) Join The Beehive for “A Night in Buenos Aires” on Tuesday, June 7th, as they present the first-ever “Tango Café,” a celebration of tango music and dance featuring live performances by musicians and dancers from the Longy School of Music, as well as inspired Argentinean food and libation specials. Tango was born in the brothels of Buenos Aires and its seductive and sensual character will be on display at The Beehive.

The Beehive will be transformed into an authentic Argentinean café with the captivating and seductive sounds of The Beehive Tango Orchestra, complete with strings, keys, vocals and accordion. Professional tango dancers from the Longy School will mesmerize the crowd with sultry dance exhibitions throughout the night. Argentinean-inspired food specials and Milagro Tequila cocktail specials will be on tap as well! Boston’s queen bee, Executive Chef Rebecca Newell, will be serving traditional Argentinean cuisine such as Empanadas ($10) and Gaucho Steak with Chimichurri ($24 to $30). Dinner, including The Beehive’s regular menu, will be served from 5:30pm-1am. Live performances are from 8pm-12am. Reservations are recommended by calling (617) 423-0069.

2) Smolak Farms, located in North Andover, has partnered with Edible Boston, Gilt City Boston, Le Cordon Bleu Boston, Yelp!, Vermont Fresh Network and New England Cooks to create “Whim,” an outdoor dining experience. Unlike the typical “pop-up restaurant” Whim will be a permanent installation, hosting dinners every Wednesday night starting June 29th, and continuing on through August 24th, featuring some of New England’s best chefs.

Whim is different in several ways explains owner of Smolak Farms, Michael Smolak, “We’ve held off on doing a dining series because we wanted to offer something distinctly different. With the success of our chef demo series last year drawing over 400 people each night, we felt the audience was there, but we wanted to make sure we did something distinctly different, that would allow the chefs involved to flex their creative muscle and showcase our farm and what we do here. We have a lot of pots on the stove, no pun intended. Our guests are going to walk away with a memory from this experience and feel as if they are receiving a value,” said Smolak.

Guests of Whim at Smolak Farms will be served a three-course dinner under the stars as the chefs cook “in the rough” with only a commercial grill and a La Caja China at their disposal.  Another unique component of Whim is that each week the featured chef will be cooking for his/her own charity. Beyond dinner, guests are invited to take a post-dinner hayride through the Smolak Farms orchards as part of their $60 per person ticket price (excluding gratuity and beverages).

Each chef will be armed with culinary students from Le Cordon Bleu Boston to help them execute the dinner to an audience of 100 guests each Wednesday evening, and then we get to the reason why the restaurant is called “Whim.” The menu for Whim is only unveiled that evening and is completely vetted through the chef’s culinary filter.

For more information on “Whim” – The Restaurant at Smolak Farms please visit Tickets can be purchased directly via:

June 29: Whim Featuring: Chef Jason Bond of Bondir Restaurant
Charity: Faith Kitchen,
July 6: Whim Featuring: Chef Erwin Ramos, Olé Mexican Grill
Charity: Food for Free,
July 13: Whim Featuring: Chef Tony Bettencourt, 62 Restaurant & Wine Bar,
Charity: St. Joseph's Harvest of Hope Food Pantry, Salem, MA
July 20: Whim Featuring: Chef Richmond Edes, Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro,
Charity: Community Servings,
July 27: Whim Featuring: Chef Andy Husbands, Tremont 647
Charity: Share Our Strength,
August 3: Whim Featuring: Chef Rebecca Newell, The Beehive
Charity: The Boston Food Bank,
August 10: Whim Featuring: Chef Tom Bivins, New England Culinary Institute,
Charity: New England Culinary Institute Scholarship Fund, a 501C3
August 17: Whim Featuring: Chef Evan Mallet, Black Trumpet Bistro,
Charity: Future Chefs,
August 24: Whim Featuring: Chef Paul Turano, Tryst Restaurant,
Charity: Jimmy Fund Clinic,

INFO: $60 per person (gratuity and beverages not included). Visit: to learn more and purchase tickets. Included in the ticket price is a 3-course dinner and hayride farm tour. Dress is casual. Beverages not included. Paired wines, beer and non-alcoholic beverages available for purchase. Only one menu will be presented with no substitutions. Ticket is non-refundable.

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