Thursday, July 5, 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) North Shore micro-distiller Turkey Shore Distilleries has partnered with Historic New England's Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm to celebrate Independence Day in Revolutionary style. Rum, Rations and Revolution: Eating and Drinking with Captain Boardman features a meal and Old Ipswich Rum punch in the style of the period, along with tales of the legendary privateer Captain Offin Boardman on Friday, July 6 and Saturday, July 7 from 7-9 p.m. at Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm, 5 Little's Lane in Newbury, Mass.

Bethany Groff, author of "A Brief History of Old Newbury from Settlement to Separation," will regale diners with tales of the legendary privateer Captain Offin Boardman while guests sip traditional rum punches, provided by Turkey Shore Distilleries. Using excerpts from Offin Boardman's diary, along with archeological studies and maritime records, Groff will introduce you to a national hero who was, and remains, larger than life. "This is a man we would all want to share a punch bowl with," said Groff. "He was a bold man, a soul-searcher, a party animal, a romantic, and a key to the story of the birth of our nation. He is best known for dare-devil antics, capturing British ships with style, and even escaping from a notorious English prison not once, but twice!"

In the late eighteenth century, the Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm was the country estate of Captain Offin Boardman. The soaring rafters and massive beams of the 1775 barn are a perfect backdrop for an evening of historic fun.

Registration is required. Tickets are $35 for Historic New England members and $55 nonmembers/general public. Please call 978-462-2634 for more information.

2) On July 17, at 7pm, Grafton Street welcomes bourbon pros and newbies alike to post up on its Harvard Square patio and sharpen their palates during a four-course dinner with Bulleit Bourbon and Rye. Chef Eric Gregory offers up his twists on summer BBQ staples – all paired with classic cocktails and new interpretations from the Grafton Street bar staff. A Bulleit Bourbon representative will be on hand to provide a crash course in bourbon so diners will leave knowing the difference between scotch, whiskey and bourbon.

The four-course dinner with cocktail pairings includes:
BBQ Shrimp with Bulleit Bourbon BBQ Sauce (Ginger, Cilantro, Local Corn Chowder)
Paired with the Rye Elderfashion (Bulleit Rye, St. Germaine, Angostura Bitters, Fresh Orange)
Duck and Foie Gras Terrine (Rhubarb Jam, Fennel, Sea Salt, Toasted Brioche)
Paired with the Bourbon Buck (Bulleit Bourbon, AJ Stephan’s Ginger Beer, Mint, Fresh Lemon)
Smoked Lamb Chops (Mint, Spiced Freekah, Pickled Cherries)
Paired with the Ward 8 (Bulleit Rye, Fresh Orange & Lemon, House-Made Grenadine)
Peach Financier(Bourbon Syrup, Whipped Creme Friache)
Paired with the Lawrenceburg Manhattan (Citrus and Vanilla-Infused Bulleit Bourbon, Punt e Mes, Angostura Bitters, Amarena Cherries)

Cost: $60/person includes a four-course dinner with cocktail pairings. Seating is limited. To reserve your spot, call 617-497-0400.

3) Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is celebrating summer with a series of Summer Lovin’ Steak & Sangria prix fixe dinners that will take guests on a culinary world tour. This summer menu series, offered July 2-August 26, will introduce a new steak and sangria pairing every two weeks, each featuring an inspired selection of fresh, seasonal ingredients and internationally inspired flavors.

Every Summer Lovin’ Steak & Sangria menu features a summer salad, a uniquely seasoned specialty prime New York Strip Steak with a vibrant topping and a decadent dessert for $39.95. Each menu also includes a suggested hand-crafted sangria pairing for $7.95. Guests visiting the bar will also have an opportunity to enjoy the series of refreshing, seasonal sangrias.

Fleming’s Executive Chef Russell Skall, believes that summer dining is about innovative flavors that convey fun in the sun: “Steak and sangria are two things that instantly take a summer BBQ from ordinary to extraordinary, and Fleming’s is helping guests take away the fuss by bringing the ultimate summer BBQ to our patios instead of theirs,” said Skall. “The steak and sangria menus will present a variety of marinades and sauces that will highlight fresh summer flavors and provide guests with a global summer vacation feel.”

Summer Lovin’ Steak & Sangria menus include:
July 2-15:
· Fresh Summer Greens, sliced strawberries, Danish blue cheese crumbles, candied walnuts and a red wine vinaigrette
· Prime New York Strip with Jamaican jerk rub, chimichurri sauce, roasted pineapple salsa and farm-fresh corn salad
· Chilled White Chocolate Almond Soufflé with a graham cracker crust and blueberry sauce, drizzled with housemade caramel
o Optional Pairing: Silver Sun Sangria - Red Diamond Merlot infused with fresh fruit of the season and topped with Milagro Silver Tequila, a touch of Crème de Cassis, muddled blackberries and fresh lemon juice

July 16-29:
· Baby Spinach Salad with fresh pears, seasoned bacon, crumbled goat cheese, toasted Marcona almonds and a red onion vinaigrette
· Prime New York Strip with garlic herb butter and Burrata cheese, Tuscan-style, blistered grape tomatoes and a balsamic glaze drizzle
· Mixed Berry Shortcake with Grand Marnier-soaked strawberries and blueberries, pistachio-orange buttermilk shortcake, and Sambuca cream
o Optional Pairing: Sangria Sol - Viñedos Terranoble Sauvignon Blanc, Solerno Blood Orange, Stoli Peach Vodka and fresh peaches, honeydew melon, oranges and lemons

July 30-August 12:
· Butter Lettuce and Pear Salad with goat cheese, candied walnuts, crispy onions, and a lemon vinaigrette
· Prime New York Strip with a sweet and spicy rub, topped with a savory tomato and roasted red pepper butter and chopped marcona almonds, and served with a side of summer zucchini slaw
· Fresh Peach Cobbler with a brown sugar oat streusel and topped with vanilla ice cream
o Optional Pairing: South Seas Sangria - Viñedos Terranoble Sauvignon Blanc, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, and Peach Schnapps with fresh peaches, honeydew melon, oranges and lemons

August 13-26:
· Beefsteak Tomato & Mozzarella Salad with arugula and a red onion balsamic vinaigrette
· Prime New York Strip topped with crispy gorgonzola and served with grilled asparagus, pickled fennel and baby golden beets
· Lemon-Poppy Seed Butter Cookies with vanilla ice cream and a warm apple-ginger sauce
o Optional Pairing: Sailors Sunset Sangria - Red Diamond Merlot, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum and Peach Schnapps, with fresh peaches, oranges and lemons

4) Chefs Chris Douglass and Nuno Alves of Tavolo welcome Leigh Belanger, author of The Boston Homegrown Cookbook, on Thursday, July 19, with seatings beginning at 6pm, for the second in a series of five “Cookbook Authors of Boston” dinners

First course: Caprese Salad of Local Heirloom Tomatoes and Burrata
Second course: Roasted Bass with Littlenecks and Housemade Chorizo over a bed of kale and potatoes
Dessert course: Ward’s Berry Farm Strawberry Shortcake

Cost is $45 per person and includes an autographed cookbook. Reservations recommended so please call 617-822-1918.

5)  On July 11, at 6:30pm, Del Frisco’s steakhouse will partner with master Bourbon distiller, Lincoln Henderson, in an Angels Envy Bourbon Dinner featuring Angels Envy cocktails paired with three-courses by Executive Chef Derek Barragan, in addition to a discussion lead by the Bourbon Hall of Famer. Angels Envy, a Kentucky Bourbon Whisky finished in port wine barrels was launched by Henderson and his sons, Wes and Kyle, in the spring. Henderson is regarded as one of the world’s leading spirits experts and an inaugural member of the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame.

--Passed Hors d’oeuvres:
Smoked Salmon Belly, summer watermelon, English cucumber, chilled crème
Yucca chip, Georges Bank haddock-scallop ceviche, blood orange
--First Course 
Prime New York Strip, Italian black truffle butter, fried leeks, basil oil
--Second Course
Filet Mignon, plantain-potato pancake, ancho demi
Angels Envy Pineapple Upside Down Cake, pomegranate syrup, salted caramel

Cost: $85 per person (tax and gratuity not included).
Space is limited. To make a reservation, please call 617-345-3941.

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