Thursday, June 7, 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)  This Father’s Day, honor Dad with a special steak dinner at Asana at the Mandarin Oriental. Created with steak-loving fathers in mind, their culinary team has designed a Father’s Day Tomahawk Challenge menu featuring a juicy 30 ounce Tomahawk Steak. "Named for the heavy foot-long bone protruding from the meat, the wagyu Tomahawk Steak is extraordinarily rich in flavor." This offer includes an accompanying sauce and a choice of two side dishes.

This Tomahawk Challenge is only available on Sunday, June 17. The cost is $60 per person. For reservations, please call (617) 535-8800.

2)  Join the Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro on Thursday, June 14, at 7pm, for a one-of-a-kind dinner inspired by local author Christine Chitnis and her new book, Markets of New England, which offers a unique look into the artisan farmers markets of New England, along with the delicious food, unique crafts and interesting purveyors that fill them with local flavor.

Executive Chef Josh Lewin will be serving a five-course dinner with each course inspired by one of the markets Chitnis describes in her book. For $75 (not including tax & gratuity), guests will enjoy the special five-course dinner, a signed copy of Chitnis' book, and the opportunity to meet the author herself. A writer, photographer, and environmental educator, Markets of New England has received glowing reviews from The New York Times, NPR and The Library Journal, among others. Reservations are recommended by calling 617-723-7575.


Copley Farmer's Market, Boston (pg 119) 
Heirloom Tomato, Black Pepper, Burrata, Herb Vinaigrette
Newton (pg 121)
Dayboat Scallop Ceviche Three Oranges, Sorrel, Fresh Chilis, Day Lilly
Orleans, Cape Cod (pg 125)
Sweet Corn Pudding Farm Fresh Egg, Cured Tamworth Pork Loin, Marjoram
Sustainable Nantucket's Farmer's Market (pg 129)
Herb Poached Oyster Mushroom Braised Concord Rabbit, Petite Potato
West Tisbury, Martha's Vineyard (pg 127) 
Goatherd's Panna Cotta Fresh Berries, Anise Hyssop Ice Cream

3)  Six of Boston’s esteemed chefs recently came together to talk – not about food – but about breast cancer in Massachusetts. Each chef created a 30 second video, where they answered the question, “What Does Komen MA Mean to Me?”

Chefs Joanne Chang of Flour and Meyers + Chang; Jose Duarte of Taranta; Richard Garcia of 606 Congress; Nicole Coady of Finale; Brian Reyelt of Citizen Public House; and Benjamin Lacy of Tastings Wine Bar & Bistro all shared their accounts on what the Massachusetts Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® (Komen MA) means to them. All videos are currently live on Komen MA’s YouTube page. These same chefs showed their support for Komen MA last month by participating in the non-profit’s 4th annual “Chefs for the Cure” culinary tasting event.

Komen MA launched this viral campaign in an effort to hear from friends, community leaders and everyday supporters across the Commonwealth what the non-profit means to them on a personal level. The goal of the campaign is to engage the community and learn how Massachusetts residents are benefiting from Komen MA’s grantee disbursements and local efforts.

Komen MA’s mission is local: 75% of all funds raised stay right in the state to help fund educational, screening and treatment programs, offer grant money to community-based organizations and to help better the lives of those facing breast cancer locally. The remaining 25% goes to national research.

Komen MA is now asking others the same question, and encourages anyone with a story, passion, hope or vision for a world without breast cancer to submit their own video. Videos can be emailed to and will be shared via Komen MA’s YouTube, Facebook and Twitter pages.

4)  June marks the first month of A Tavola’s new A Taste of Italy monthly offerings – three-course, educational menus from featured regions of Italy which Chef Vittorio Ettore has personally lived or visited and has drawn inspiration from. The regions will progress with the season, focusing on coastal regions in the summer and moving inland through the fall and winter months. Each menu will be optionally paired with that region’s wine, and Chef will be there to explain the cuisine and techniques.

The June menu is inspired by the cuisine of Sicily. Influenced by Spanish, Greek, and Arab cuisines, Sicilian food is known for its use of citrus, seafood, and Middle Eastern spices such as saffron. This month’s Sicilian-inspired menu includes:

Pasta con le Sarde
Fresh Bucatini, Sardines, Pine Nuts, Raisins, Saffron & Fennel
2010 Arancio, Chardonnay
Wild Striped Bass con Cipolle in Agrodolce 
Sweet & Sour Onions with Marsala Wine, White Balsamic Vinegar, Fresh Mint, Grape Tomatoes & Lemon
2009 Donnafugata, ‘Sedara,’ Nero d’Avola
Rum-Soaked Sweet Bread with Pistachio Gelato
2009 Donnafugata, ‘Ben Rye,’ Passito di Pantelleria

This menu will be available June 6-23, Tuesday through Saturday, 5p.m.-10p.m.
The cost for this three-course menu is $45 per person; $65 with wine pairings.
For Reservations, please call A Tavola at 781-729-1040

The future A Taste of Italy offerings will include: Liguria in July, Sardinia in August, Tuscany in September, Marche in October, Piedmont in November, and Friuli in December. I am a big fan of A Tavola and highly recommend you check out this new dinner series.

5)  Ducali Pizzeria & Bar is launching brunch service just in time for the match of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Euro Cup 2012: Spain (La Furia Roja) vs. Italy (Gli Azzurri), who happen to be the last two World Cup champions. During Calcio Brunch, Calcio being the Italian word for soccer, Ducali will play live European soccer games on all three of its flat screen televisions. There is now a place for Bostonians to cheer on their favorite soccer teams while indulging in a hearty brunch. Just in time for the Azzurri's match, Ducali will become the first restaurant in Boston to serve Birra Del Borgo Re Ale on tap. Birra Del Borgo, a central Italian brewery, is a leader in the growing Italian craft beer movement.

Menu entrees will range from $7-$12, and include:
Breakfast pizzas: 
- Pizza Ducale: Pizza with potato, pancetta, mozzarella & egg
· Pizza Verde: Pizza with spinach, cherry tomatoes, mushroom, mozzarella & egg
· Pizza Abbruzzese: Pizza with sausage, onion, mozzarella & egg
Eggs and more: 
· Frittata Tricolore: Cheese, basil & tomato frittata served with country toast & Italian style potatoes
· Pizzelle: Waffles topped with Mascarpone, honey & strawberries
· Americano: Two fried eggs, Italian sausage, country toast & Italian style potatoes
 · Pane Dolce: Baked French Toast topped with Nutella, served with fresh fruit

Brunch beverages range in price from $3 to $7 and will include: Mimosa, Bellini, Negroni, Bloody Mary, Espresso, Cappuccino, Affogato, Campari & Orange, Americano, Orange Juice, and Chocolate Milk.

The 14th UEFA European Football Championship begins this summer as sixteen national teams compete for the championship title. Now, Boston has an official location where guests can be one of the millions of fans watching the epic competition at Ducali’s Calcio Brunch every Saturday and Sunday during the tournament.

When: “Kickoff” Sunday, June 10, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Brunch will take place after June 10: Every Saturday and Sunday, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.

6)  Mexican food erupts with spicy flavors, so why not pair it with a cocktail also bursting with bold taste? On Wednesday, June 13, Chef Erwin Ramos of Olé Restaurant Group will be joined by a tequila expert from Tanteo Tequila at Zócalo Cocina Mexicana in Boston, for a 3-course Tanteo-Infused Tequila Dinner.

The night will begin at 6:30pm with a tequila tasting followed by 3 courses of authentic Mexican cuisine, each paired with a unique tequila. Tanteo infuses its tequila with the bold and bright flavors used in traditional Mexican cooking. Far from ordinary, these fusions of tequila and jalapeño, cocoa and tropical fruit will turn up the heat and pair perfectly with Chef Ramo’s culinary creations.

The cost is $40 per person. Reservations are necessary and can be made by calling (617) 456-7849.

7)  To kick-off the first weekend of summer, Legal Sea Foods in Charles Square will host an outdoor “Crawfish Boil: Louisiana Style” at the Terrace Bar. Chef Layne Coppell, born and raised in Louisiana, will host this craw-fest by dishing out the ultimate Cajun special prepared and price for two people. The “Two if By Sea” limited time menu feature packs together two pounds of boiled crawfish, new potatoes, sweet corn and andouille sausage. There is an option to wash down this perfectly messy affair with two Louisiana-bred Abita Amber beers.

The “Two if By Sea” menu feature is available from June 21–June 24, from 3pm–11pm at the Terrace Bar. In case of rain, the menu feature will be available indoors.

Cost: $28.95 for two people (includes the “Two if By Sea” menu feature and two Abita Amber beers) $17.95 for two people (includes the “Two if By Sea” menu feature)

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