Thursday, August 25, 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) 50 Local is a year-old bistro, located in Kennbunk, Maine, with a menu that tries to use only farm products made within 50 miles.  Open year-round, this restaurant is owned and operated by chef David Ross, who cut his culinary teeth at Great Bay and Sasso, among other notable Boston spots. Ross's dining room features a prominent blackboard that lists every farmer, fisherman, cheesemaker, forager or gardener whose wares contributed to the night's menu.

On the Menu during the week of August 15:
* Asian Noodle Bowl with Blackrock Farm vegetables, dashi and kimchee $18
* Maine Coast Peeky Toe Crab Salad $15
* Penne with veal ragout from naturally-nursed Piedmontese calves, Harris Farm
* Pullan Manor Farm chicken confit spring rolls with sesame seeds and orange aioli $10
* Arctic Char: Rare seasonal treat from waters fished exclusively by the Nunavut tribe of Canada; sometimes Icelandic $24
* Summer Snow Cheese from Woodock Farm, Vermont $6
* Local Haddock Fish & Chips with homemade tartar sauce $14
* Chip's Lobster Gnocchi with pancetta and peas $29

Their cocktails are also more unqiue:
* Grandma's Jam Jar: is a signature presentation. Always made with a sweet dollop of homemade jam from berries plucked from Grandma Paul's Kennbunk backyard, always served in an old timey Ball jar. This week is peach-infused bourbon with raspberry peach jam. Shaken with ice. Big and strong.
* Sippin' Sangria: white wine is stirred with local watermelon puree, mint leaves, Curacao and a touch of brandy.
* The Diego: A margarita made with local blueberries and cucumbers.
* Purple Haze: It's a vodka gimlet with muddled purple basil for chef's home garden

2) After nearly seven years in business at its current location in Arlington, Tryst restaurant has underwent a series of massive renovations and menu changes over the summer for what Chef/Owner Paul Turano claims finally completes his restaurant concept. Tryst will celebrate the grand re-opening on Monday, September 12, with buy one, get one free entrées from 5pm-8pm.

When I first opened Tryst, my goal was to bring the Boston dining scene to the suburbs, and I think we’ve done that to some extent, but life gets in the way. I originally had planned to return to honing the concept less than a year after we opened, but things got busy pretty quickly. Two kids and thousands of supportive customers later I feel like I have finally completed my vision of bringing a city-like neighborhood restaurant to Arlington, MA,” said Turano.

The New Decor: The new restaurant layout will feature a more open floor plan including high-tops and a new lounge area, a new color scheme, hardwood floors and several flat panel TV’s, giving the location a livelier, almost gastro pub feel.

The New Menu: To compliment the changes to the interior, the menu will also be updated to reflect distinctly different ways in which Tryst will be presenting fare to the dining public. Beyond a lower price point, the new Tryst menu will present casual/light fare such as salads, soups and sandwiches like their duck wraps ($11) or habernero chicken wings ($9), a new tapas menu in which customers can enjoy small plates for $6 each or 3 for $15 with a hand crafted cocktail such as: roasted asparagus with evoo & parmesan, ricotta stuffed squash blossoms with curried tomato sauce, and cheese croquettes, or dine in the classic sense with a full section of appetizers and entrees.

On Monday, September 12, from 5pm-8pm, all entrées will be buy one, get one free during dinner service. Reservations are required and can be made by calling Tryst at (781) 641-2227.

3) From Saturday, Sept 10-Sunday, Sept 18, The Bristol Lounge will host All Star Burger Week, a weeklong celebration of National Cheeseburger Day. Executive Chef Brooke Vosika has tapped some of the city's best-known faces (and burger lovers!) to create their dream burgers.

The AAll Star Burger Week menu lineup:
Saturday, September 10: Big Papi’s Home Run - lettuce, tomato, avocado and Big Papi’s Kitchen Salsa atop a grilled brioche bun. Created by Red Sox star David Ortiz
Sunday, September 11: Track Jack Burger - lettuce, tomato, Monterey jack and chipotle-spiked mayonnaise atop a brioche bun. Created by the Boston Herald Track Gals Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa
Monday, September 12: Maria’s Mad Greek Burger - diced green olives, tomatoes and jalapenos, vinegar-marinated red onions, oregano, capers, feta, vinaigrette dressing and tzatziki atop thick pita bread. Created by Maria Menounos, entertainment journalist/host, actress and producer
Tuesday, September 13: Soroff’s "Improperly" Cheesy Cheeseburger - bacon, cheddar and Boursin atop a classic hamburger bun. Created by Jonathan Soroff, creator It's My Life, Get Your Own and columnist, Improper Bostonian
Wednesday, September 14: Heidi’s Spicy Sox Burger - pepper jack, fried egg, bacon, sautéed onions and spicy mayonnaise atop a grilled brioche bun. Created by Heidi Watney, Red Sox on-field reporter, NESN
Thursday, September 15: The 22’s Burger - Irish bacon, fried egg, fried onion strings, sautéed mushrooms and pickled jalapenos atop a grilled brioche bun: Created by Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton
Friday, September 16: Andelman’s Extra Gooey Phantom Burger - sliced heirloom tomato, slightly melted burrata, caramelized onions, and crispy onion strings served atop a toasted English muffin, with a side of bacon-wrapped steak fries. Created by Dan Andelman, host, The Phantom Gourmet
Saturday, September 17: Cookin' With Costa Burger - lettuce, tomato, reduced fat cheddar and spicy corn relish atop a grilled brioche bun. Created by Billy Costa, Kiss 108 radio personality and TV Diner host, NECN
Sunday, September 18 – National Cheeseburger Day: Jenny’s Double Decker Burger - double cheddar cheeseburger, ketchup, spicy mustard, onions and mayonnaise atop a grilled brioche bun. Created by Jenny Johnson, TV Diner executive producer and on-air talent, NECN

These All Star burgers will be served during Lunch & Dinner - and offered in addition to the famous Bristol Burger.

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