Thursday, December 1, 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)  The SHADE Foundation of America presents the fifth annual "Bubbles & Bites Gala" at The Ritz Carlton. The SHADE Foundation of America is a non-profit organization that aims to prevent skin cancer through education. The foundation has been dedicated to erad­i­cat­ing melanoma through the edu­ca­tion of chil­dren and the com­mu­nity in the pre­ven­tion and detec­tion of skin can­cer and the pro­mo­tion of sun safety since 2002. The Bubbles and Bites Gala is the SHADE Foundation's annual charity event during which guests will spend a festive evening enjoying dishes prepared by Boston's top chefs all the while sipping champagne, enjoying live music, and taking part in a holiday gift silent auction and raffle. This year's music will be provided by Boston's premier band, East Coast Soul.

This year's event, hosted by Curt and Shonda Schilling, will be emceed by Gail Huff (Senator Scott Brown's wife and former Channel 5 reporter).  Come support the cause to prevent skin cancer and enjoy a night filled with bubbles in the air and Boston's best bites prepared by chefs: Brian Poe of Poe's Kitchen at the Rattlesnake, Jason Santos of Blue Inc., Dante de Magistris of Restaurant dante, Gianni Caruso of Bricco, Todd Winer of The MET Back Bay, Fabian Ludwig of the Ritz Carlton Boston Common, Armand Toutaint of Turner Fisheries, and Benjamin Knack of The Bedford Village Inn. Salads will be provided by Olivia's Organics and desserts will be created by The Hard Rock Café.

When: Wednesday, December 7, from 6:30pm - 9:00 pm
Where: Ritz Carlton Boston Common, 10 Avery Street, Boston
Cost: Tickets to the event are $150 each, and can be purchased online by visiting

2)  Chefs Chris Douglass and Nuno Alves of Tavolo have some big plans for the coming months.

Here’ is what’'s currently on the menu:
* The Sicilian Cooler: An Italianate cocktail made with blood orange liqueur
* Grilled Swordfish with preserved lemon risotto and spicy greens
* Pan-Seared Sweet Potato Gnocchi in orange butter
* Short Ribs with Gremolata over polenta with roasted root veggies
* Fennel and Apple Soup with chestnuts
* Braised Stuffed Squid w/ squid ink risotto, saffron-lobster brood

Here’s what’s going on over the next few weeks:

Tuesday, November 29 – and every Tuesday
Live music in the lounge by Ryan Beke from 6 to 9 PM
Wednesday, November 30 @ 7 PM
Pasta Tour travels to Lombardy $20 for three courses: pickled vegetable antipasti with salumi/gorgonzola picante/honey … Polenta Ravioli in Saffron Cream … Biscotti with Crema di Mascarpone
Sunday, December 11 @ 6 PM
A repeat of the previously sold out Progressive Dinner with diners trotting between Tavolo and Ashmont Grill for two courses of food and wine at each location. Costs $60 per person including wine
Saturday, December 17 @ 12 noon
Cooking class in the kitchen with Chris and Nuno, demonstrating how to pull off a gala holiday feast . $60 includes full luncheon with wine.
Friday, December 23
Why stop at The Feast of the Seven Fishes ? Our special, pre-Christmas menu tonight features more than a dozen celebratory, holiday fish and/or seafood dishes, served ala carte.
Saturday/Sunday, December 24/25
Tavolo will be closed.
Saturday, December 31
Tavolo means never having to park in Boston. Enjoy your evening and walk or T it home. Ala carte specials all night.
Upcoming for January 2012:
Private pasta-making classes, for groups of six or more, will be available beginning in January. Learn how to make gnocchi, ravioli, linguini and more. Bring your group to our Dorchester kitchen, or let one of our chefs come to yours. Two hours of hands-on fun; this is a terrific team-building exercise for businesses. Their gluten-free pasta will soon be available.

3)  On December 13, at 6:30pm, Legal Sea Foods in Park Square will host the Premier and Grand Cru wine dinner, a four-plus-course affair hosted by renowned wine writer Pierre Rovani. The menu will be presented as follows in the Park Square location’s striking 10,000 bottle wine cellar:

Hors D'Oeuvres
Butter-Poached Sea Scallops, Braised Curried Fennel, Buttery Brioche
Sherry-Braised King Crab Legs Tartlette, Roasted Garlic Aioli
Costa Rican Mahi Mahi Ceviche, Tostones, Lime Crème Fraîche
Paired with Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Riesling “Gueberschwihr,” Alsace, 2007

First Course
Maine Lobster Soup with garden vegetables, croutons
Paired with Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Riesling Grand Cru “Brand,” Alsace, 2007

Second Course
Pistachio and Caper Crusted Salmon with crab meat and herb mousse, preserved lemon and thyme sauce
Paired with Domaine Bernard Moreau Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru “Les Chenevottes,” Burgundy, 2009

Third Course
Roasted Duck Breast with buttermilk yukon gold potatoes, broccolini and mushroom ragout
Paired with Remoissenet Beaune Premier Cru “Grèves,” Burgundy, 2008

Cheese Course
Muenster, Époisses, Langres with fennel, cherry compote and grilled crostini
Paired with Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris Grand Cru “Rangen de Thann,” Clos St.-Urbain, Alsace, 2008

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