Thursday, April 26, 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)  Johnny and Kosta Diamantopoulos proudly announce that the first pizzas to come out of their new All Star Pizza Bar oven will take place on Thursday, April 26.  Their hours of operation will be 11am-9pm daily.

Debut Menu Items, Eat in or Take out, starting @ $13.95
--Atomic Meatloaf Pizza: Italian sibling to the Meatloaf Meltdown from All Star Sandwich Bar, a regional favorite for the past four years with a local secret: Inner Beauty Hot Sauce.
--Ms. Piggy’s Fig OMG: Black Mission figs and goat cheese with prosciutto, arugula, vincotto and pistachio gremolata
--Buffalo Duck Confit: Starring: Duck confit, All Star Buffalo Sauce, Maytag blue cheese
--De-Constructed Chile Relleno: Tomatillo salsa, cotija, poblano, chorizo, corn, cilantro
--Dukes of Hazzard: Good Ole Boy breakfast on crust: hominy-ricotta grits, maple breakfast sausage, soft-baked eggs, cheese and pickled chiles
--Romesco Ratatouille: Roasted eggplant/squash/peppers with almond sauce, cheeses and fresh herbs
--The Red Head: For meat lovers: Shaved steak and smoked bacon with smashed new potatoes, onions, horseradish cream and cheese

Almost 20 add-ons @$1, ranging from asparagus and anchovies to meatballs, mushrooms and beyond. Wine and beer also available.

2)  Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is now offering a new way for guests to mix and match in the bar and lounge area from now until June 3. They are rolling out “Small Plates, Big Pours” – a selection of seven Small Plates matched with an oversized wine pour from the Fleming’s 100 – for just $24.95. Maeve Pesquera, Fleming’s Director of Wine, has specially chosen each of the seven wines to pair with the flavors of the steakhouse small plates. Guests can select one of the suggested pairings below or create a unique flavor combination of their own by mixing up these wine and food options:

· Sliced Filet Mignon & Penley Merlot: Beef filet, mushroom risotto and Merlot all exhibit a smooth, melt-in-your-mouth quality and harmonize well together
· Shrimp Scampi Skewers & Paco & Lola Albariño: Albariño’s crisp minerality echoes the fresh ocean flavors of the shrimp, and the green apple and floral notes of the wine are a wonderful complement to the spicy chimichurri sauce
· Petite Lamb Chops & Cline Cashmere Red Blend: Oak-aged red wines almost always pair well with grilled meats, and the lamb has flavor compounds that pair particularly well with the chocolate notes and hints of black pepper in this Syrah-Grenache-Mouvèdre blend
· Seared Ahi Tuna & A to Z Wineworks Pinot Noir: The bit of spice in this perfectly smooth Pinot Noir soothes the piquant notes of the mustard sauce served with the tuna dish
· New Bedford Scallops & Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc: The fruity minerality of this refreshing Sauvignon Blanc accentuates the buttery richness of the scallops, and its citrus qualities echo the dish’s Meyer lemon-honey glaze
· Filet Mignon Skewers & B.R. Cohn Silver Cabernet: Powerful foods need a powerful wine, and the full, rich flavors of this Sonoma Cabernet pair well with the robust flavors of seared beef, creamy gorgonzola and smoky bacon
· Lobster Tempura & Silverado Chardonnay: The richness and sweetness of the lobster echo the rich flavors of crème brûlée and citrus found in this medium-bodied Chardonnay

3)  For Mother’s Day, Haru has created a three-course prix fixe menu to help celebrate, designed to pair with its champagne-laced cocktails. For appetizers, guests will choose from the following: Symphony (layered tower of spicy tuna, salmon tartate, king crab and caviar), Tuna Ceviche (tuna, grape tomatoes, red onion, avocado and green apple in a citrus ceviche sauce) or Seaweed Salad (with sesame soy vinaigrette). For entrees, options are one by land and two by sea: Grilled Chicken Teriyaki (with steamed vegetables), Sushi (eight pieces of assorted sushi and choice of California or Tuna Roll) or Hime (spicy crab mango roll, tuna avocado roll and shrimp tempura roll). Top off the occasion by dipping into Mochi Ice Cream or Cheesecake Tempura.

And because every mother deserves some bubbly on her special day, Haru also offers the following libations: Berries & Bubbles (prosecco, Svedka Raspberry and fresh strawberries), Enter the Dragon (prosecco and pomegranate juice) and Kitty Kat (St. Germain elderflower liqueur, prosecco and a splash of pineapple juice).

When: Mother’s Day: Sunday, May 13th from 11:30am – 11:00pm
Cost: Three-course prix fixe: $25 per person (excluding tax & gratuity) Champagne cocktails: $12 each

4)  For Mother's Day, why not have brunch at The Beehive. From 10am-4pm, enjoy brunch prepared by Executive Chef Rebecca Newell while listening to live jazz performances. Guests can choose from (2) prix fixe options, priced at either $25.95 or $34.95. Brunch starts off with selections like an Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Bread Pudding, and Ham & Spring Pea Soup before guests indulge in brunch classics including Eggs Shakshuka (sunnyside eggs baked “North African Style” with tomato sauce and polenta), asparagus, brie & tomato quiche or its famous thick-cut French toast, chantilly cream and maple syrup. For those that opt for more traditional fare, try Organic Chicken Piccata, Seared Ahi Tuna Nicoise and Roast Leg of Lamb. While children can order off the “Little Bee’s Kids Menu” ($12).

The Beehive will also be serving Mother’s Day Dinner from 4pm-10pm featuring menu specials and a night of soulful performances showcasing 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. Regular menu served à la carte.

For Reservations, please call 617-423-0069.

5)  Join Joslin Diabetes Center for a fabulous Evening At Pops at Boston’s Symphony Hall on May 11, as the beloved Boston Pops feature the iconic music of George Gershwin. All proceeds from the evening will support Joslin’s singular focus on diabetes and its High Hopes Fund. The High Hopes Fund supports Joslin’s integration of cutting-edge research toward a cure, as well as clinical care and education for those living with diabetes and their families, ensuring a future with great hope.

Evening at Pops guests will enjoy a spectacular musical experience as Keith Lockhart and the Pops celebrate George Gershwin by performing many of his vibrant, jazzy and uniquely American pieces, including Rhapsody in Blue. At this year’s event, Joslin Diabetes Center will honor North End restaurateur Carla Gomes for her tireless work and dedication to cure diabetes through the annual CityFeast.

For tickets please visit
Cost: $250 for premium floor seating and VIP Reception $100 for balcony seating
When: Friday, May 11, 6p.m.–VIP Reception, 8p.m.--Concert

6)  The Kentucky Derby is just around the corner and I will be attending it this year. If you can't go to the Derby though, there are some local places holding special Derby events on Friday, May 4, and Saturday, May 5.

Poe’s Kitchen at the Rattlesnake (384 Boylston Street, Boston – 617.859.8555):
Executive Chef Brian Poe will be honoring the Kentucky Derby with an exclusive preparation of Mint Julep Tacos filled with scallops and topped with jalapeño mint salsa and bourbon crema ($12).

Woodward at AMES (One Court Street, Boston – 617.979.8200):
They are nviting everyone to sip-and-snack on exclusive Kentucky Derby specials while catching the “greatest two minutes in sports.” Executive Sous Chef German Villatoro will be serving up a southern-inspired carte du jour with items including: Benedictine Dip (sesame lavosh, pumpernickel toast - $12); Savory Country Fried Beef Tenderloin (corn pudding, creamy spinach, red-eye gravy - $32); and, Derby Pecan Pie (vanilla ice cream - $10). Specialty cocktails include: Kentucky Derby Mint Julep (Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon, simple syrup, mint, crushed ice, Sailor Jerry Rum float - $7); Sazerac Kentucky Rye ($11); Knob Creek ($12); and, Woodford Reserve ($11).

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