Thursday, July 21, 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) On Sunday, August 21st, through Saturday, August 27th,  over 50 North Shore restaurants and wine stores will join together to hold the first annual North Shore Wine Week. Sponsored by Northshore magazine, in conjunction with NECN’s “TV Diner,” Red White Boston, Quarterly Review of Wines, the North Shore Dish and the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce, North Shore Wine Week will celebrate the North Shore as a premier destination for fine wine and food.

Throughout the week the area’s wine stores and restaurants will highlight their wine selections with various complimentary events and great deals including everything from specially crafted wine tastings, wine dinners, wine flights, pairings, special events, and more.

North Shore Wine Week will kick-off with a VIP inaugural event at the Wine ConneXtion, located in North Andover, on Saturday, August 20th, from 12pm-5pm, during an exclusive, free wine tasting event featuring cuisine from several participating North Shore Wine Week chefs.

Buy local, drink global and join the North Shore as a vibrant food and wine community and support local businesses including: 15 Walnut, 62 Restaurant & Wine Bar, 9 Elm, Alchemy Café and Bistro, Alfalfa Farm Winery, Beacon Hill Wine Shop, Black Cow Tap and Grill, Bonta Restaurant & Grill, Brasserie 28, Burtons Grill, Busa Wine & Spirits, Café Escadrille, Ceia Restaurant, China Blossom, Evenfall Restaurant, Finz Seafood & Grill, Grand Trunk Old World Market, Grapevine Restaurant, Joe Fish Seafood Restaurant & Bar, Joseph's Trattoria, Keon's, L&D Liquors, Latitude 43, Loretta Restaurant, Masa Restaurant, Nathaniel's at Hawthorne Hotel, Oregano's Pizza, Orzo Restaurant, Pamplemousse, Pellana Steakhouse, Salem Waterfront Hotel, Samuel's at The Andover Inn, Savour Wine and Cheese, The Landing at 7 Central, The Loft, The Peddlers Daughter Irish Restaurant & Pub, Tuscan Kitchen, Wild Bites, Wine ConneXtion, and Yella Grille.

2) Last weekend, I celebrated my birthday dinner at AKA Bistro in Lincoln, which was my Favorite New Suburban Restaurant of 2010.  What an amazing meal! I did not take any photos, as I was there simply to savor the food and enjoy my birthday. My good friends Adam and his wife were there too, and the four of us shared a diverse assortment of creative dishes, all of which pleased.

Some of the dishes we enjoyed included Bronzini with hot sesame oil, pickled burdock root, Jalapeno & Cilantro; Scallop ceviche with Banuyls vinaigrette and fresh winter black truffle; Seared Tuna and sweet potato tempura with ginger vinaigrette; Homemade Kobe Dumpling with Sukiyaki consommé and mushrooms; Brandade of salted cod with baby arugula and toast; Bone Marrow, aromatic sea salt and toasted country bread and more. To drink, we shared the 2009 Kuentz-Bas, an Alsatian assemblage of Silvaner, Muscat, Auxerrois and Chasselas, and a sake, the Wataribune Junmai Ginjo 55. Both were excellent, and paired well with our dinner. 

Service was top notch and I am extremely happy that I chose AKA Bistro for my celebration. It continues to garner my highest recommendation, and is as good as any Boston restaurant. If you have not dined there yet, then make plans to do so.

3) This summer, NECN’s “TV Diner,” New England's food and dining program, is bringing together some of Greater Boston’s best chefs and restaurants to the beautiful rolling hills and orchards of Smolak Farms in North Andover, for the first annual TV Diner Summer Farm Food Fest. The festival will feature cooking demos, tastings and activities including live music, children’s games, hayrides, contests and more.

On Sunday, August 28, from 11:30am-5pm, spend the day at Smolak Farms with “TV Diner.” With over 1,000 attendees slated to appear, guests can look forward to everything from tasting stations, chef demos, live music, PYO seasonal fruit, hayrides, line dancing lessons, as well as classes and workshops offered onsite all afternoon. There is also free parking.

An all access pass to the event is $35 online for adults, $40 purchased at the door, and children under 10 are free. For more information or to purchase tickets please visit:

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