Thursday, March 15, 2012

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 Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce announces the line-up of 49 restaurants participating in Restaurant Week Portsmouth & the Seacoast, March 22-31. “We are delighted by the restaurants and chefs who have committed to creating wonderful Restaurant Week menus with lots of options at an incredible value” says Valerie Rochon, Tourism Manager, Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce. “Each year the reputation of Portsmouth as a restaurant mecca worthy of a culinary road trip is expanding beyond our borders. We are gratified to see visitors from Maine, Boston, New York and Rhode Island, and all points New Hampshire, coming to dine and shop and explore the Greater Portsmouth area.”

Prices: Lunch/$16.95, Dinner/$29.95 (*does not include tax, tip, beverage)
Menus are available online

2)  On April 4, Neurofibromatosis, Inc. Northeast will celebrate their 13th annual Table for TEN event in Boston. With Honorary Chairperson Jenny Johnson (Producer and Hostess of NECN’s TV Diner) emceeing this evening, supporters will be shuffled off to some of the city’s dining establishments to enjoy a three-course meal before closing out their night at a dessert reception and live auction hosted at Parris in Faneuil Hall.

Neurofibromatosis, Inc., Northeast has provided research grants to scientists at leading institutions around the country. NF, Inc. is proud to have been the impetus behind the creation of The Harvard Medical School Center for NF and Allied Disorders (CNfAD), a virtual center whose mission is to define the pathogenetic mechanisms that cause NF1, NF2 and related disorders. NF, Inc. is the leading resource in the northeast for patients and families who live with NF, a genetic condition that causes tumors to form on nerves anywhere in or on the body. Neurofibromatosis is more common than cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy combined.

Groups of ten guests will arrive at their respective restaurant at 6pm on Wednesday, April, and will indulge in a specially created three-course menu. Participating restaurants in the 13th annual Table for TEN event include, but are not limited to: Post 390; Red Lantern; Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse; Forum; Lucia’s Ristorante; Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar; Strega Waterfront; Cafeteria; and, Legal Harborside. At 8pm, supporters are invited to continue the festivities at the official after-party at Parris in Faneuil Hall. At this dessert reception, Montilio’s Baking Company will provide custom sweet treats and revelers will enjoy entertainment and a live auction by Honorary Chairperson, Jenny Johnson.

Table for TEN is one of NF, Inc. Northeast’s largest fundraising events of the year. Through their efforts, grants for groundbreaking research at Harvard Medical School Center for Neurofibromatosis and Allied Disorders, Mass General Hospital and Children’s Hospital Boston are made possible. Over the years, incredible strides in research development have been made bringing us one step closer to a cure.

To attend this event, please contact Sonja Nathan of NF, Inc. Northeast at 781-272-9936 or For more information on the Table for TEN event and to reserve online, please visit: Tables for ten are available beginning at $1,000 and individual placements at a table may be reserved for $100. To attend the dessert reception and auction only, guests are kindly asked to make a $20 donation to NF, Inc, Northeast. Sponsorship levels are also available.

3)  March 20 is National Ravioli Day. The traditional Italian filled pasta is a tried and true staple on menus at some of the best restaurants in the city, and now chefs are adding more creative takes on the Italian favorite. This year make it your mission to fill-up on the stuffed doughy delight, and stop into one of these Boston area venues to sample their rendition of the delectable ravioli.

Avila Restaurant (1 Charles Street South, Boston- 617-267-4810)
Lobster-Corn Ravioli ($28) served with lobster sherry cream.
Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse (75 Arlington Street, Boston- 617-357-4810)
Lobster Ravioli ($31) - with sherry red pepper cream, and lemon tarragon spiked lobster.
Flemings Prime Steakhouse (217 Stuart Street, Boston - 617-292-0808)
Roasted Mushroom Ravioli ($10.95; $6 at the bar nightly from 5-7pm) - stuffed with Portobello and shiitake mushrooms and served in a porcini butter sauce.
Legal C Bar (736 Legacy Place, Dedham – 781-234-6500):
Pumpkin Ravioli ($16.95) – served with blue cheese and sage brown butter.
Legal Harborside (270 Northern Avenue, Boston – 617-477-2900):
Misty Knoll Farms Chicken ($28 – available on the second floor) –served with truffled celery root and egg ravioli, wild mushrooms.
Legal Sea Foods (all locations):
Fish-Shaped Cheese Ravioli ($6.50 – kids’ menu) – served plain or with red sauce.
Strega North End (379 Hanover Street, Boston- 617-523-8481)
Ravioli Alla Aragosta ($22.50) - Lobster stuffed ravioli finished with crab meat in a pink sauce.
Ravioli Alla Formaggio ($15.95) - half-moon shaped cheese ravioli served with a plum tomato sauce and fresh ricotta cheese.
Strega Waterfront (One Marina Park Drive, Boston – 617-345-3992)
Ravioli Aragosta ($26) - Lobster filled ravioli finished in a crabmeat cream.
Towne Stove and Spirits (900 Boylston Street, Boston – 617-247-0400)
Ravioli Carbonara ($17) – ricotta, crisped pancetta, sweetest canned peas.
BOKX 109 American Prime at Hotel Indigo – (399 Grove Street, Newton – 617-454-3399)
4pm – 10pm: $15 per person (includes Corned Beef Rueben and choice of cocktail)

4)  Here are a few St. Patrick's Day upcoming events:

BOKX 109 American Prime (399 Grove Street, Newton – 617-454-3399) will feature a paired St. Patrick’s Day duo. Dig into a hearty Corned Beef Rueben at the bar and wash it down a cold pint of Guinness or Smithwick’s, or a glass of Jameson Irish Whiskey. In true “luck or the Irish” fashion, BOKX 109 American Prime will also be giving away a daytime pool cabana for eight people to be redeemed in the summertime.

Towne Stove and Spirits (900 Boylston Street, Boston – 617-247-0400)
Culinary Director Lydia Shire and Executive Chef Mario Capone will be whipping up specials to honor Emerald Isle. Go the traditional route with Corned Beef & Cabbage (with honey mustard and smoked sea salt - $21) or venture out with the Butter Poached Lobster (with leek pie, crispy potato and Irish whiskey sauce - $41).

Haru (55 Huntington Avenue, Boston – 617-536-0770)
Haru is going “green with envy” with one of their specialty cocktails this Saturday. The Green Tea Margarita (Patrón Reposado tequila, Citrónge, green tea liqueur and sours - $12). Green tea is healthful and packed with antioxidants, after all.

5)  Come to The Beehive, with their “Blues on Sunday” series, an ongoing down-home presentation of the area’s best blues music, food and cocktails. Each Sunday from 8pm-12am, “Blues on Sunday” showcases the very best blues music in New England with an all-star house blues band led by 25-year musical veteran Bruce Bears on the keyboards, a core band of inspired performers and a rotating cast of legendary “drop in” musicians making guest appearances.

Guest can enjoy offerings from the fresh raw bar including oysters ($2.50 each) and jumbo shrimp cocktail ($3 each), or opt for one of The Beehive’s raw bar platters (2pp $40/ 4pp $80/ 6pp $110). Another special is the Fall-Off-The-Bone’ Baby Back Ribs ($13.00). Those looking for more traditional fare with their blues should try the roast mustard & herb crusted rack of pork with Brussels sprout & prosciutto hash ($24.00), or the all-time favorite, The Beehive Prime Burger with frites and slaw ($15.00).

No cover charge, cash bar, reservations recommended.

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