Thursday, June 28, 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) Back again, Smolak Farms presents “Whim” 2012. Located in North Andover, Smolak Farms has partnered with Northeast Flavor, Cambridge Culinary School, Boston Chefs, Yelp and to present the best outdoor dining experience New England has to offer.

Whim will take place every Wednesday evening starting July 11 and continuing until August 29 at 7:30PM and will feature top chefs from all over New England. “Whim is such an innovative concept that is really difficult to ignore. It is something that people talk about and get excited for because it is a one-of-a-kind experience that you’re not going to find anywhere else. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the craziness of the city of Boston and I think people appreciate an evening away from it all. We’re taking the best food in the city and bringing it to a more rustic and relaxed setting. Top that off with the fact that each dinner supports a great cause and you really can’t beat it,” said Michael Smolak, owner of Smolak Farms.

Guests will experience a meal under the stars prepared by some of New England’s most respected chefs. Included in the $65 ticket price is a three-course dinner followed by a bonfire to meet and greet your fellow diners. Chefs will be accompanied by culinary students from The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in order to help them smoothly and successfully execute dinner to an audience of over 100 guests each week. As implied by the event name, Whim, the menu is prepared the day-of at the discretion of the chef.

July 11, 7:30PM: Whim Featuring: Chef Will Gilson, Bridgestreet Charity:
July 18, 7:30PM: Whim Featuring: Chef Andy Husbands, Tremont 647 Charity:
July 25, 7:30PM: Whim Featuring: Chef Vittorio Ettore, Bistro 5 & A Tavola Charity:
August 1, 7:30PM: Whim Featuring: Chef Suzi Maitland, Trina's Starlite Lounge Charity:
August 8, 7:30PM: Whim Featuring: Chef Rich Morin, Lineage Charity:
August 15, 7:30PM: Whim Featuring: Chef Mary Dumont, Harvest Charity:
August 22, 7:30PM: Whim Featuring: Chef Joe Faro, Tuscan Kitchen Charity:
August 29, 7:30PM: Whim Featuring: Chef Chris Coombs, Deuxave & d bar Charity:

INFO: $65 per person (gratuity and tax not included). Included in the ticket price is a 3-course dinner and hayride/farm tour. Dress is casual. Beverages not included. Paired wines, beer and non-alcoholic beverages available for purchase. Only one menu will be presented with no substitutions. Ticket is non-refundable. Tickets can be purchased directly via:

2) On July 12, at 6:30pm, Legal Harborside will team up with Mikael Sigouin, winemaker at Beckman Vineyards, for an exclusive four-plus-course wine dinner. Overlooking the Santa Ynez Valley, Beckman Vineyard’s ambitious hillside terrain produces world-class Rhone varietals.

This menu will be presented as follows on Legal Harborside’s scenic second level overlooking Boston Harbor:

Hors D'Oeuvres 
fried green tomato and crab salad
slow olive oil poached tuna* with salsa verde
razor clam ceviche* with heirloom radish and fava bean
2011 Beckmen Vineyards “Purisima Mountain Vineyard” Grenache Rosé
First Course
pan seared scallop (peach mostarda)
2010 Beckmen Vineyards “Le Bec Blanc,” (Roussanne, Marsanne, Grenache Blanc blend)
Second Course
pan seared loch duart salmon (smoked tomato and mussel cream)
2008 Beckmen Vineyards “Cuvee Le Bec,” (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Counoise blend)
2009 Beckmen Vineyards Estate Grenache
Main Course
smoked and grilled quail (grilled spring onion, cherry-cardamom glaze)
2007 Beckmen Vineyards “Purisima Mountain Vineyard” Syrah
slow roasted apricot (almond cream, salt butter shortbread, lemon thyme honey)
2009 Beckmen Vineyards “Purisima Mountain Vineyard” Late Harvest Roussanne

COST: $95 per person (excludes tax & gratuity)
Reservations may be made by contacting 617-530-9470

3)  This summer, Chef/Owner Paul Turano of Tryst Restaurant is taking his affinity for New England fare to new depths. On Sunday, August 12, foodies with a passion for food and adventure will experience the flavors of New England on an exclusive culinary fishing trip. The one-day excursion begins at 8am when guests climb aboard a deep sea fishing boat with Captain Jim Walsh of Walsh’s Deep Sea Fishing where they’ll spend the morning sailing open waters and deep sea fishing in Boston Harbor—reeling in the likes of cod, haddock and other native fish.

After a morning of fishing, Captain Walsh will bring the boat to port at 1pm. From there, guests can tidy up and head over to Tryst in Arlington where Chef Turano will be serving a 3-course dinner highlighting the traditional New England seafood and flavors that the region has become known for. From 4pm-9pm, guests can dine at Tryst and indulge in dishes such as Local Fish & Mirai Corn Chowder, Fish & Chips and Peach Upside Down Cake with St. Germaine Sabayon. For those that may suffer from seasickness, or cannot commit to the morning fishing trip, Tryst will be offering the same 3-course menu for $38 per person.

This all-inclusive culinary fishing trip is $80 per person, $35 for children ages 12 and under, and includes a half-day fishing trip, fishing rod and bait and a 3-course dinner at Tryst (please note: alcohol and gratuity are not included at dinner). Beer and light lunch (snacks, homemade hamburgers, hot dogs and breakfast items) are available on the boat for additional cost. Guests are encouraged to pack a lunch and/or beverages of their choosing. Reservations are required before Monday, August 6.

8am: Group meets at Walsh’s Deep Sea Fishing, 76 Marine Blvd #R, Lynn, Guests spend morning deep sea fishing on Boston Harbor
1pm: Boat returns to port in Lynn
4pm-9pm: Guests meet back at Tryst (at their leisure) to enjoy 3-course New England-inspired meal. Friends and family are encouraged to join as the menu will be available a la carte.

RSVP for the fishing trip is mandatory and can be made by visiting:

4) During July and August, Haru will shake up their newest specialty cocktail: the Batida (Brazil’s other national cocktail). Available all day and night for $7, this fresh fruit-laced libation mixes together a medley of fruit purees and juices – including pineapple and mango – with Cruzan coconut rum, cachaça, coconut cream and muddled limes and strawberries.

For those looking to recreate this taste of Brazil at home, the recipe for Haru’s Badita is as follows:

1 oz cachaça
1 oz coconut rum
.5 oz pineapple juice
.5 oz mango puree
.5 oz Coco Lopez
3 lime wedges
1 strawberry

In a double rocks glass, muddle two limes wedges and one strawberry. Add cachaça, coconut rum, pineapple juice, mango puree and Coco Lopez to the glass. Shake and garnish with a lime wedge.

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