Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Sips & Nibbles

I am back with a special Friday edition of Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I briefly highlight some interesting wine and food items that I have encountered recently. For this edition, I offer several suggestions for New Year's Eve and the Feast of the Seven Fishes.
1)  Enzo Restaurant & Bar, in Newburyport, is celebrating The Feast of the Seven Fishes, the traditional Christmas Eve dinner throughout Italy.  The Feast is available on Friday, December 23rd and Saturday, December 24th by reservation only. This menu is $50 per person with a minimum of two people per Feast. As their menu utilizes only sustainably sourced fish and shellfish, some dishes may change slightly between now and the 23rd and 24th due to availability. Their full menu will also be available for those diners who are not fish fans.

Fritto misto / Fried calamari and vegetables
Insalata di baccala alla casalinga / House-cured salt cod salad
Pate di pesce affumicato / House-smoked bluefish paté
Insalata di casa / Mixed greens salad
Pasta e pesci
Branzino arrosto / Roasted striped bass
Cozze e vongole alla griglia / Broiled clams and mussels
Lasagna della Viglia / Lasagna with anchovy, a traditional Piemontese Christmas Eve pasta
Sarde in saor / Sweet and sour mullet, a traditional Venetian dish
Verdure / Assortment of seasonal vegetables
Biscotti / An assortment of holiday cookies
Gelati / House made gelato

Call them at 978-462-1801 to reserve your table.

2)  Enzo Restaurant & Bar is also celebrating New Year's Eve by offering a four-course menu designed especially for this evening. Dinner will be served from 5pm-10pm. The cost is $65 per person and wine pairings will also be available. As they use only humanely-raised meat and 100% sustainably-sourced seafood in their menus, some dishes may change slightly between now and the 31st.

This special evening is available by reservation only, therefore they request a credit card number to hold all reservations. Cancellations must be received at least 24 hours in advance to avoid a $50 per person fee.

Diners can select from one of four offerings for each course.

First course
Selection of salumi (some house-made, some not), gnoccho fritto and pickled veg
Oysters on the half shell, mignonette
Butternut squash bisque with seared gnocchi
House-made salt cod fritters, balsamic vinegar aioli
Second course
Duck conserva raviolo with egg yolk, duck sugo, crisp leeks
House-smoked duck breast, brussels sprouts slaw, quince mostardo
Parsnip sformato winter spinach salad
Winter greens salad with citrus and pomegranate
Third course
Braised cotechino with lentils and crispy pork belly, pickled red cabbage
Beef filet and butter-poached lobster, potato purée, butter-braised spinach
Crespelle with roasted mushrooms, ricotta mousse, roasted tomato sugo
Pan-roasted striped bass, citrus butter, braised fennel crispy fingerlings
Crema fritta, chocolate sauce, gianduja gelato
Chocolate torte, glazed chestnut ice cream
Lambrusco-baked pears, almond gelato, pistachio brittle
Bruléed honey-lemon tart, mascarpone-zabaglione mousse

Call them at 978-462-1801 to reserve your table.

3)  Ring in the New Year with 62 Restaurant & Wine Bar in Salem. Chef/Owner Antonio Bettencourt is preparing a special four-course prix fixe menu for $70 per person ($90 with optional wine pairing) featuring his modern take on regional Italian dishes. Diners’ can also elect to dine à la carte and order from the regular dinner menu. This event takes place on Saturday, December 31st, 2011 from 5pm-11:30pm. Reservations are necessary so please call 978-744-0062.

Burrata (Just-warmed burrata over grilled ciabatta with pickled golden raisins & pinenuts)
Pork Belly (Confit pork belly over polenta with bosc pear mostarda)
Garganelli (Hand rolled garganelli with red wine braised duck, dried cherries, pinenuts & Tuscan kale)
Ravioli (Swiss chard and ricotta ravioli, braised artichokes, basil & preserved lemon vinaigrette)
Zuppa di Pesce (Lobster, mussels, scallops and halibut in a spicy tomato and saffron brodetto)
Duo of Veal (Slow roasted veal sirloin and braised short rib, hen of the woods mushrooms & roasted cipolla)
Torta al Caprino (Mascarpone and goat’s cheese tort with red wine spiced dried plums)
Warm Toffee Pudding (With toffee sauce and whipped cream)

4)  This Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24, from 5pm-9pm, Owner & Executive Chef Anthony Caturano will “The Feast of the Seven Fishes” at Prezza in Boston’s North End. This traditional Italian feast will be presented over five courses and features the following dishes:

First Course
Crispy Shrimp (With Italian slaw and cherry pepper aioli)
Second Course
Wood Grilled Squid & Octopus (With white beans)
Third Course
Tagliatelle (With scallops, shrimp, garlic and olive oil)
Fourth Course
Wood Grilled Swordfish (With saffron rice, beans and mussels)
Fifth Course
Bread Pudding

The Cost is $60 per person and you should call 617-227-1577 to make reservations.

5) Ring in the New Year at The Melting Pot in Bedford with a 5-course dining experience created just for the occasion. The Cost is $75 per Person (+ tax & 20% gratuity) or $65 per Person for reservations seated before 6:00pm (+ tax & 20% gratuity) and both include a Champagne toast with dessert (1 glass per person). Call (781) 791-0529 to make Reservations.

First Course
Champagne Swiss or Baked Potato Cheddar Fondue
Second Course
Colossal Shrimp Cocktail or Lemon Sorbet
Third Course
House or Caesar Salad
Fourth Course
Lobster Tail or Choice Angus Sirloin, accompanied by Shrimp, Buffalo Chicken, Memphis BBQ Pork Tenderloin & Wild Mushroom Sacchetti.
Cooking Styles: Court Bouillon, Bourguignonne, Mojo or Coq au Vin.
Fifth Course
(Accompanied by a Champagne Toast)
Bananas Foster or Snickerdoodle Chocolate Fondue

Vegetarian and Children's Options also available.

6)  Legal Harborside will celebrate its first New Year’s Eve under the stars at Liberty Wharf this year. Hosted atop the roof at Legal Harborside in a glass-enclosed space, you can bid adieu to 2011 and welcome 2012. In addition to being supplied with festive noisemakers and hats, individual tickets to this sky-high soiree include the features as listed below. Legal Harborside will also offer table reservations to this year-end celebration (which includes the all of the following plus a bottle of bubbly – Adriano Adami “Dei Casel” Prosecco – and an appetizer platter):

Raw Bar, from 9pm – 11pm
Shrimp cocktail, four varieties of oysters, clams
Passed Hors D’oeuvres, from 10pm – 12am
Legal’s signature favorites
Midnight Toast with Bubbly at 12am
Adriano Adami “Dei Casel” Prosecco
Sweet Ending Dessert Bar from 12am – 1am
Chocolate dipped strawberries, towers of assorted cupcakes

COST: Individual tickets are available in advance for $80 per person by visiting Individual tickets are available at the door for $100 per person on a limited basis. Table reservations are available in advance for $400 (for four people). Up to two additional guests may join the table for $60 per person. Access to this event will only be granted to guests with a ticket receipt and a 21+ ID.

7)  The Beehive, in Boston's South end, will be open on Christmas Eve for dinner and live music. The night will feature live music from Jazzy Soul with the Marty Rowen Band from 8pm-12am, with dinner served from 5pm-11pm.

For more information or reservations visit or call (617) 423-0069.

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