Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Sips & Nibbles

I am back with a special Friday edition of Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I briefly highlight some interesting wine and food items that I have encountered recently. **********************************************************
1)  On Tuesday, September 18, at 7:30pm, the Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro and the New England Aquarium will co-host a “Celebrate Seafood Dinner,” a four course dinner, to raise awareness of the challenges facing the oceans and the benefits of sustainable seafood. Executive Chef Josh Lewin is committed to incorporating local products and sustainable practices into the Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro’s cuisine in unique and innovative ways. To bring this delicious and educational feast to diners, Lewin worked alongside the Aquarium’s Sustainable Seafood Program to bring only the freshest, most sustainable ingredients to the table.

--"Snappy" Lobster Mousse wrapped in fresh rigatoni (green tomato jam, tarragon)
--Salt Hake Brandade (preserved lemon aioli, olive picholine, foraged greens)
--Pacific Sardines (anadama toast, piperade, oregano)
--Seared Cobia (garden sorrel, oyster mushroom, Wellfleet clams, black truffle)
--Olive Oil Cake (fennel pollen, seashore honey anglaise, calaminth)

Where: The Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro, 25 Charles Street, Boston,
Cost: $65 per person. $55 for New England Aquarium members. $25 for optional wine pairing.
Reservations are mandatory and can be done by calling the Beacon Hill Hotel Bistro at (617) 723-7575.

2) Vittorio Ettore, Executive Chef and Owner of greater Boston’s Bistro 5 and A Tavola, has been in the food industry for 20 years. Born in Italy’s Tuscany region, Ettore began his first job in 1987 after his family had moved to Venezuela, as a busboy and then server at the top rated restaurant, Caballeria Rusticana, in Caracas. In 1990, Ettore and his family moved to Boston where his vast experience led him to open Bistro 5 in West Medford, and most recently A Tavola in Winchester Center.

Chef Vittorio Ettore is a man who is passionate about his produce, particularly tomatoes. He has a torrid affair with the delectable fruit and includes them on his menu for only one month of the entire year. During the month of September he devotes an entire tasting menu to these seasonal beauties showcasing heirloom varieties alongside complementary basils. Each dish is carefully designed and executed resulting in highly memorable flavor and presentation for the senses.

Guests can choose from a 3-course or 5-course tasting menu, along with an optional wine pairing. The menu may vary based upon daily changes in availability of the variety of heirloom tomatoes, but will include items such as:

Gazpacho (Cherokee Tomato, Scallop Ceviche, Cucumber-Jalapeno Sorbet, and Gazpacho Cloud)
2011 Cantina Santa Maria La Palma, Aragosta, Sardegna
Potted Tomato “Panzanella” (Pineapple Tomato, Mozzarella Balloon and Black Olive “Soil”)
2008 Domaine de Saint-Pierre, Sancere, Loire
Heirloom Tomato Risotto (Lemon Boy Tomato, Goat Cheese and Crispy Prosciutto)
2011 Domaine de la Solitude, Rosé, Côtes du Rhône
Rohan Duck (Smoked Speckled Roman Tomato Creme Brulee, Sweet and Sour Butternut Squash, Thai Basil and Pickled Ginger)
2007 Vingneti Zabù, Il Passo, Sicilia
Tomatina (Organic Peach Tomato Mousse, Basil Yogurt Gelato,Vanilla Bean Crème Anglaise and Sweet Pistachio Pesto)
2011 Zagara, Moscato d’Asti, Barolo

When: Every Tuesday through Saturday, September 5 – September 29, 5pm-10pm
Cost: 3-course menu is $45 per person; $65 with wine pairings plus tax/gratuity.
5-course menu is $65 per person; $90 with wine pairings plus tax/gratuity.
To make a Reservation, call Bistro 5 directly at 781-395-7464

I have been to his Tomato dinners before and they are excellent, well worth going to. Such a fascinating range of different tomatoes and used in very creative ways. Check out this event!

3) On Thursday, September 13, at 6:30pm, the Olé Restaurant Group will host a Patrόn Tequila Dinner at Zócalo Cocina Mexicana, located in Boston, so that guests can get a taste for the full spectrum of flavors that the world’s finest tequila has to offer. For just $50 per person, guests are invited to indulge in four courses; each paired with a Patrón Tequila picked to match the flavors of the dish.

To start, Bocoles with Pork, a corn patty stuffed with shredded pork, will be complemented by Patrón Reposado, a perfect sipping tequila featuring a harmony of agave and oak wood flavors. Next, guests will enjoy Caldo de Camaron, a shrimp soup paired with Patrón Anejo to bring out the sweet flavors of the seafood, followed by a Turkey Enchilada with Coloradito Mole. This shredded-turkey stuffed corn tortilla covered in a homemade coloradito mole sauce will be paired with Patrón Gran Platinum, an ultra smooth yet sweet tequila that will stand up to the flavors of the mole. For those with a penchant for dessert, there will be Café de Olla Little Cake made with lady fingers and a cream cheese pastry cream paired with Patrón XO Cocoa to end the night on a sweet note.

Cost: $50 per person plus tax and gratuity.
Reservations are required so please call Zócalo Cocina Mexicana at (617) 456-7849.

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