Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thursday Sips & Nibbles: Valentine's Edition

I am here with a special Valentine's Day 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 Beehive, located in Boston’s South End, will be presenting “5 Days of Luv’n!” A 5-day long love fest of Valentine’s Day inspired brunches and dinners accompanied by romantic live music and menu specials including: “My Heart Beets Crab Salad” with beets, hearts of palm & sugar snap peas, Rack of Lamb for Two with salsa verde, roasted potatoes & blood orange salad, and Roasted Sea Scallop with spinach & truffle pommes puree, just to name a few. Reservations are highly recommended, and can be made by calling 617-423-0069.

Performance Schedule:

Friday, February 10:
· Romantic Early Jazz Set: 6:30PM - 8:30PM
· Valentine's Day 5 Days of Luv’n featuring Natalie John: 10:00PM - 2:00AM
Saturday, February 11:
· Saturday Jazz Romance Brunch: 10:30AM - 3:00PM
· Romantic Early Jazz Set: 6:30PM - 8:30PM
· Valentine's Day 5 Days of Luv’n featuring Cumbiagra: 10:00PM - 2:00AM
Sunday, February 12:
· Sunday Jazz Romance Brunch: 10:30AM - 3:00PM
· Valentine's Day Blues on Sunday with Bruce Bears & Friends: 8:00PM - 12:00AM
Monday, February 13:
· Valentine's Day 5 Days of Luv’n with Gabriella Martina: 8:00PM – 12:00AM
Tuesday, February 14:
· Valentine's Day 5 Days of Luv’n Romantic Early Jazz Set with Maxim Lubarsky Piano Trio: 5:30PM – 7:30PM
· Valentine's Day 5 Days of Luv’n with Daniel McClain: 8:00PM - 12:00AM

2)  Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar will celebrate the passion this year with three evenings of luxe specials and a unique Valentine gift for couples dining on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, February 12th through the 14th.

To enhance the occasion, Executive Chef Russell Skall has created three special entrees for Valentine’s dinner that will be available in addition to Fleming’s popular a la carte menu. “Valentine’s celebration is always a memorable time for our guests,” remarked Chef Skall. “There is nothing more romantic then savoring the pleasures of a delicious dinner and wine with someone you love.

Filet Mignon & Prawns, Prime New York Strip & King Crab, and Colossal North Atlantic Lobster Tail with Lobster Mac & Cheese will be offered, each at $69.95. A dessert for two, Red Velvet Cake with Espresso Truffles, is $9.50. Wine Director Maeve Pesquera has crafted a special cocktail for the holiday: The Bella-Tini is a Bellini-inspired cocktail with Belvedere Vodka, peach purée and Mas Fi Cava sparkling wine for $9.95.

To give guests another reason to celebrate, Fleming’s is offering each couple dining February 12th through February 14th a complimentary $25 Fleming’s Dining Card to use toward a future rendezvous with their sweetheart. The $25 Valentine’s Card offer is for visits occurring on 2/12/12, 2/13/12 and 2/14/12 only. Limit one Valentine’s Card per couple. Valentine’s Card will be delivered at the end of the dinner and will be valid through March 31, 2012.

3)  On February 7th, Legal Sea Foods will honor lovers a week early with a Legal Holiday: Valentine’s Day. Legal Sea Foods will serve up a culinary ménage à trois of enticing beverages paired with decadent delights in Park Square’s 10,000 bottle wine cellar:

First Course
King Crab Leg Cocktail with truffle champagne vinaigrette, mixed green salad
Paired with Hermann J Wiemer “Dry” Riesling
Second Course
Wood Grilled Mahi Mahi with smokey black lentil salad, roasted tomato coulis
Paired with Tamari Reserva Malbec
Third Course
Strawberry Tiramisu with mascarpone cheese, orange liqueur
Paired with Rosa Regale Brachetto d’Aqui

WHEN: Tuesday, February 7th at 6:30pm
COST: $35 per person (includes tax and gratuity)
Reservation required by calling: 617.530.9392

4)  On Valentine’s Day, Executive Chef & Owner Anthony Caturano of Prezza will dish out three specials available for one night only. Prezza will offer the following three specialty items in addition to their regular menu: Baked Oysters (with mascarpone, radicchio and scallion - $15); Saffron Arancini (with lobster and mascarpone - $16); and, Rotisserie Chicken (with polenta - $26).

WHEN: Tuesday, February 14th from 5:30pm – 10:00pm

5)  From February 11-14, Aura at the Seaport Hotel will offer a special three-course prix fixe for $100 per couple.  The prix fixe will offer a choice of three starters, four entrees, and three desserts. For starters, guests will have the following options: Warm Beet & Celery Root Salad (goat cheese fondue, aged balsamic, micro arugula); Potato Leek Soup (truffle oil, fine herbs); or, Raw Bar for Two (shrimp cocktail, oysters on the half-shell, little necks, cocktail sauce, fennel mignonette, horseradish aioli). For entrees, choose between: Roasted Statler Chicken Breast (creamy polenta, Taleggio cheese, Tuscan kale, pomegranate demi); Grilled Shoulder Tenderloin of Beef (wild mushroom bread pudding, rapini, foie gras butter); Pan Roasted Scallops (Applewood smoked bacon, potato puree, crispy Brussels sprouts, maple beurre blanc); or, Vegetarian Option (roasted garlic and thyme custard, maitake mushrooms, currant jam). For dessert, Aura will serve a choice of the following savory selections: Chocolate Molten Cake (mint chocolate chip ice cream, lemon confit); Trio of Dessert (for two – chocolate raspberry heart, espresso crème brûlée, vanilla cheesecake); or, Crème Caramel (gingered pineapple, candied hazelnuts).

6)  Located in Hotel Indigo, BOKX 109 American Prime’s Jarrod Moiles will be serving up a customizable three-course prix-fixe menu for the five nights leading up to Valentine’s Day. For starters, choose between: Scallop Crudo (pomegranate, radish, jalapeno, scallion, lemon); Grilled Linguica (cannelloni bean ragout, goat cheese, port wine butter); or, Lobster Pizette (garlic aioli, brie cheese, asparagus, Andouille sausage). For entrees, guests will choose from the following options: Roasted Half Duck (blackberry brandy caramel, drunken berries, braised bok choy); Shrimp & Scallop Risotto (pancetta, leeks, tomato, herb salad); or, Cast Iron Seared Brandt Tenderloin (oyster fritto, arugula, shallot, bacon). To finish off the feast, indulge in Goat Cheese Panna Cotta (hot dark chocolate sauce, fresh strawberry), or Deconstructed White Chocolate Cake (raspberry jam, toasted almond).

When: February 10 & 11: 5:00pm – 11:00pm; February 12 to 14 from 5:00pm – 10:00pm
Cost: $65 per person

7)  Strega Waterfront will offer a customizable Chef’s Tasting Menu for the five nights leading up to Valentine’s Day. For appetizers, guests will have their choice of three selections: Oysters ‘Rockefeller’ (sautéed spinach, parmesan, seasoned Italian bread crumbs, garlic lemon aioli); Spinach Salad (crispy pancetta, goat cheese, cherry tomatoes, candied pistachios, champagne vinaigrette); or, Roasted ‘Heart-Shaped’ Beet Salad (ricotta hazelnut, organic local honey). Moving onto entrees, four options will be available: Oven Roasted Porchetta (pork loin stuffed with ham, Fontina cheese, spinach and mushrooms); ‘Heart-Shaped’ Lobster Ravioli (vodka cream sauce); Grilled Swordfish (lemon, white wine, caper sauce); or, Braised Short Ribs (homemade pappardelle with lobster and peas). For dessert, choose between Chef Sal’s Famous Tiramisu (espresso-soaked lady fingers, fresh mascarpone) or a Chocolate Chip Cannoli (filled with fresh chocolate chips and ricotta). Optional wine pairings are also available.

When: February 10th - 14th from 5:00pm – 11:00pm
Cost:  $65 per person ($85 per person with wine pairings)

8)  Join acclaimed pastry chef Judy Mattera, owner of My Sweet Solutions, and the Culinary Guild of New England to whip up romantic confections just in time for Valentine’s Day. Mattera brings an extensive background in fine pastry-making and study of the world’s dessert wines to a lively cooking and wine pairing demonstration, complete with recipes and tasting notes.

The baking/pairing demo includes:
· Lemon Sponge Pudding Cakes
Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato d'Asti (Italy)
· Passion Fruit Cheesecake
Inniskillin Vidal Icewine (Canada)
· Cornmeal Currant Wafers with Orange Muscat Gelée and Berries
Quady Essensia (Madera, CA)
· Bittersweet Chocolate Tart with Chilled Cherry Sabayon
Les Clos de Paulilles Banyuls Rimage (France)

WHEN: Wednesday, February 1, 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM
COST: $55 for Members; $70 for Non-Members (includes demonstration, recipes and tasting notes, and samples paired with wines)
WHERE: Waterworks Library, 2420 Beacon Street, Chestnut Hill
REGISTER: Sign up here.

9)  This year Tryst, located in Arlington, is celebrating more than just Valentine’s Day. This year’s festivities will not end on the 14th, but will extend though Wednesday, February 15, to include the celebration of International Singles Awareness Day. Widely celebrated in Europe, this day is dedicated to Saint Faustino, the saint adopted by singles in Italy, and is a way to commemorate the unattached and all of the possibilities that lie ahead.

From Friday, February 10 through Wednesday, February 15, guests will enjoy Executive Chef Paul Turano’s menu featuring specials like Spiced Long Island Duck, Red Wine Braised Beef Short Ribs, Slow Roasted Chicken "Coq Au Vin", and Heirloom Squash Ravioli, all available à la carte. After dinner, lounge and indulge in Tryst’s hand-crafted Valentine’s Day cocktails such as the tragically delicious “Cupid’s Misfire,” made with Ketel One Citron, housemade limoncello and Prosecco ($12) or the romantic “Star Crossed Lovers,” featuring Bluecoat dry gin, Cherry Herring liqueur, a pomegranate reduction and a bottle of vibrant red Banfi Rosa Regale, $12 for two.

Tax and gratuity are not included. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling 781-641-2227.

10)  Join Blue on Highland, located in Needham, this Valentine’s Day, Tuesday, February 14, for a romantic evening featuring sweet & savory food and cocktail specials and complimentary roses for the ladies from 4pm-10pm.

Guests can indulge in the culinary styling of Executive Chef Peter Tartsinis as he presents dinner specials created exclusively for this year’s Valentine’s Day celebration including appetizers such as Fried Ravioli with spicy tomato, basil and parmesan ($8) and entrées like the Lobster Tagliatelle with basil and tomatoes in a champagne-tarragon sauce ($25), or the Cowboy Ribeye with roasted potatoes and spinach with cabernet butter ($32). After dinner, show your sweeter side by sharing the chocolate bread pudding with salted caramel, butterscotch chips, ice cream or Red Velvet Cupcakes (both $8) for dessert. Complement your selections with Blue’s special Valentine’s Day Cocktail, a house-infused raspberry vodka topped with champagne and served with a chocolate covered strawberry ($11).

No matter what your indulgence, your date will receive a complimentary rose from Winston Flowers. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling Blue on Highland at 781-444-7001.

11)  For Valentine’s Day, Tuesday, February 14, 5:30pm-11pm, Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro is offering a four course, prix fixe dinner for $68 per person (beverages, tax and 20% gratuity are not included) and there is an optional wine pairing available for an additional $32.

Amuse Bouche
--Woodbury’s Wellfleet Oyster with Paddlefish and Fennel Caviar.
--Wild Mushroom Velouté with Madeira and Taleggio
--Butter Lettuce Salad with Hearts of Palm, Grapefruit, Black Truffle and Banyuls Vinaigrette
--Oxtail Ravioli with Pea Tendrils, Black Pepper Ricotta, Brown Butter and Sage
--Rohan Duck Terrine with Violet Mustard, Baguette and House Pickles
--Nantucket Bay Scallop Ceviche with Persimmon, Radish and Meyer Lemon
--Maryland Striped Bass with Wild Mushroom Ragout, Mille-feuille and Beurre Rouge
--Faroe Island Salmon with Orange Scented Beets, Fennel and Quinoa
--Long Island Duck confit with Yellow Eye Beans, Braised Greens and Sour Orange Jus
--Grass Fed Sirloin with Fingerling and Short Rib Ragout, Caramelized Carrots and Red Wine Jus
--Carnaroli Risotto with Brussels Sprouts, Black Truffle and Parmesan Tuile
--Chocolate Pot De Crème with Apricot, Brioche and Fleur De Sel
--Lemon Chiffon Cake with Frozen Lemon Curd
--Vanilla Crème Brulée
--Buttermilk Panna Cotta with chocolate covered strawberries and Mint Ice Cream

Reservations recommended. Please call 617-723-7575

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