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) “I’m just one guy, with a boat, a truck and a dog, but since last year, I’ve been selling my haul of 60-80 lobsters a week to 50 Local,” says Chip Zeiner of Cape Porpoise, whose crustaceans become restaurant creations like Lobster Carbonara, Lobster BLT’s and Lobster Spring Rolls.
Chips’ sales guarantee from having a one-on-one relationship with a chef is echoed by each of the farmers and fisherman, dairy and cattlemen, cheese-makers, foragers and gardeners who’ve formed a beneficial alliance with 50 Local, a chic yet casual bistro in the center of this historic Maine town.
With culinary chops honed in Boston kitchens, husband and wife co-owners David Ross (chef) and Merrilee Paul (GM) opened 50 Local to raves last year. 50 LOCAL’s ultra-locavore concept is a polyglot menu finely tuned so that almost every ingredient used in the kitchen is sourced from a local purveyor located within a few miles of the restaurant’s door. Just inside that door is a tall blackboard announcing which farms contributed to that day’s offerings.
July fare changes daily, but might include:
Margaritas with cukes and blueberries from Merrilee’s grandmother’s farm ($9)
South Berwick’s Breezy Hill Farm Pork Chop with sage brown butter – a special when they get a pig every six weeks
Veal chop from Harris Farm with Swiss chard, and foraged mushrooms by sous chef Jared St. Onge of Moonswell Farm ($36)
Browne Trading Co. Atlantic Halibut from with lemony risotto ($34)
Blue Velvet, a semi-soft raw cow’s milk cheese made in Phippsburg, Maine ($6)
Caesar Salad with a poached egg from Ewe & I Farm ($11)
Pemaquid, ME Oysters ($16/dozen)
Groundwork Farm Greens with sherry vinaigrette ($9)
2) The Claddagh Fund and Dropkick Murphys are gearing up to host the first annual Rotten Tomato Karaoke Party in a tent that will be set up right next to The Barking Crab restaurant on Thursday, July 21, from 6pm-10pm. Some of Boston’s best-know athletes, media personalities, politicians and chefs will give their best karaoke rendition in front of a sea of rotten tomato-packing audience members! All attendees will have the chance to purchase tomatoes (all proceeds will benefit Claddagh Fund) to throw at the singing notables should they not hit that high or low note on key.
Some of the celebrities will include: Stanley Cup Winner/Bruins Champion, Shawn Thornton; NESN’s Heidi Watney; Actor, Lenny Clark; Celebrity Chef, Jamie Bissonnette; Boxer, Micky Ward; Miss Massachusetts, Alida D’Angona; WFNX’s Adam 12; State Senator Jack Hart; City Councilor Bill Linehan with more to be announced.
Tickets are available for $25 at www.CladdaghFund.org with a limited amount of $30 tickets available at the door. Patrons are encouraged to guarantee entrance with an online ticket purchase before the event. Ticket purchase includes complimentary appetizers courtesy of The Barking Crab, beer courtesy of Budweiser and Narragansett and cocktails courtesy of Sailor Jerry Rum, Skyy Vodka and Pepsi.
Karaoke is open to all patrons on a first come, first serve basis although spaces in the line-up have been saved for celebrity guests. Tomatoes will be sold on-site for $30 per tomato or 4 tomatoes for $100. Discounted tomato packages will be on sale prior to the event on the Claddagh Fund website, www.CladdaghFund.org
The Claddagh Fund is the charitable foundation of the Dropkick Murphys, founded by Ken Casey in 2009. Honoring the three attributes of the Claddagh Ring, Friendship, Love and Loyalty, the mission of the Claddagh Fund is to raise money for the most underfunded non-profit organizations that support vulnerable populations in our communities.
3) As the Chinese proverb says “deep doubts, deep wisdom….” It’s time to doubt the stereotypical beer and sake pairings that generally accompany the intrinsic flavors of Asian cuisine and grab a glass of wine! On Saturday, July 23, from 12pm-5pm, join the Wine ConneXtion for “Wok n’ Wine,” a complimentary in-store wine tasting featuring a special wok tasting from China Blossom and a live Kung Fu demonstration from Yang’s Martial Arts.
Guests will have the opportunity to sample authentic Chinese dishes and watch live wok demonstrations as the experts at the Wine ConneXtion help pair wine to complement the flavor of traditional Sichuan and Cantonese wok-style cooking. Get inspired with live Kung Fu demonstrations from students from Yang’s Martial Arts, streaming Kung Fu movies and wok races. Special prizes will be raffled off to guests from both China Blossom and Yang’s Martial Arts.
Walk ins welcome all day, Kung Fu demonstration starts at 2:45PM. Kan Pei! (Bottom’s up.)