Thursday, September 20, 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) On October 4, Team IMPACT will introduce its inaugural signature fundraising event: Game Day Gala. At this charitable fete, Team IMPACT will celebrate with its cherished benefactors by hosting an upscale tailgating and sporting event experience.

The evening’s roster includes event co-chairs – and Team IMPACT founding members – Jay Calnan (Chief Executive Officer, J. Calnan & Associates) and Dan Kraft (Executive Vice President, The Kraft Group) who will join forces with ESPN’s popular football reporter, Wendi Nix, in this night-with-a-cause that benefits the organization’s mission to pair children who are facing adverse health issues with vibrant, team-based collegiate support networks. At this event, Team IMPACT hopes to continue to raise awareness while establishing a sense of community by encouraging a wide range of team-based organizations to open up their ranks and extend their laughter, strength and support for children in the New England area.

The team behind Team IMPACT is honored and inspired to continue and expand the long standing tradition of athletes paying tribute to something that is far greater than themselves,” says Calnan and Kraft. “The ability to come together, serve the community and support each and every member of a team through any adversities is crucial…both on and off the field.

At the Game Day Gala, supporters will relive their fond “Homecoming” memories in a room bedecked with sports jerseys from Team IMPACT’s participating schools and special guest appearances by their respective spirited mascots. To kickoff the ceremony in true game day fashion, a Team IMPACT participant will sing the National Anthem. As inspiring and uplifting visuals play of the wonderful children the organization rallies for, guests will indulge in gourmet tailgate-inspired treats and sips as well as a sit-down dinner. The Game Day Gala will also feature unparalleled live and silent auctions.

The first annual Game Day Gala takes place on Thursday, October 4, at The Westin Boston Waterfront located at 425 Summer Street in Boston. A cocktail reception will begin at 6:30pm with the main event starting at 7:30pm. To reserve tickets ($500 per person) or a table ($2,500 - $5,000), please visit:

2) On Thursday, September 27, at 6pm, Chefs Chris Douglass and Nuno Alves of Tavolo will welcome Amy Traverso, senior lifestyle editor of Yankee, and author of The Apple Lover's Cookbook. This will be the fourth in a series of five “Cookbook Authors of Boston” dinners and it costs $45 per person, which  includes an autographed 300-page hardcover cookbook

First course
Salad of Apples, Pickled Onion and Bacon with Cider Vinaigrette
Second course
Apple & Chestnut Stuffed Pork Loin with Cider Sauce
Tarte Tatin

For reservations, please call 617-822-1918.

3) The taco might be the most ubiquitous of Mexican dishes, but it is prepared differently in each region of the county depending on its particular environment and the available ingredients. Inspired by a recent trip to Mexico where he explored the culture and cuisines of Mexico, Chef Erwin Ramos of the Olé Restaurant Group is bringing guests on an authentic Mexican “Tour de Taco” with a special menu in honor of National Taco Day on Thursday, October 4.

Ramos will offer guests tacos filled with ingredients like shrimp, steak, pork and peppers from Baja California all the way to Yucatan, bringing the meaning of cooking “paleo,” or local, to a whole new level. Guests are invited to choose four tacos from a selection of seven Mexican regional favorites along with a side of Mexican rice, cilantro rice, beans or plantains for just $18 per person at Olé Mexican Grill, located in Cambridge, and Zόcalo Cocina Mexicana, located in Boston.

Cost: $18 per person plus tax and gratuity for four tacos and a side of side of Mexican rice, cilantro rice, beans or plantains. Served in conjunction with the regular menu.

Reservations are recommended. Please call Olé Mexican Grill at (617)-492-4495 or Zócalo Cocina Mexicana at (617)-456-7849.

Choose four:

Baja California
Baja Taco
Beer-battered shrimp taco with pickled cabbage, cilantro pesto, chipotle aioli and toasted black sesame seeds on hand-made corn tortilla.
Carne Asada
Soft flour tortillas with grilled marinated steak, poblano peppers and onions. Topped with jack cheese, cilantro, salsa verde and chipotle salsa.
Zaragalla Taco
Veracruz style sherred fish cooked with chile color broth. Topped with chipotle aioli and lime.
Mexico City
Taco de Carnitas
Braised pork, guacamole, pickled jalapenos, red onions and cilantro on soft corn tortillas.
Rajas con Crema Taco
Roasted and sliced poblano peppers with cream. Topped with jack cheese.
Garden Vegetables with Mole
Oaxaca’s vegetable stew with potatoes, carrots, squash, red onions, poblano peppers and pickled cactus simmered in pumpkin seed sauce.
Cochinita Pibil
Traditional Mexican slow-roasted pork dish with achiote. Topped with pickled red onions, habanero and guacamole.

4) 2012 Grammy Award Winner Tedeschi Trucks Band will headline the 2012 Hoedown V on September 29, helping to raise funds to benefit Lovelane Special Needs Horse Riding Program, a therapeutic horseback riding program in Lincoln.

The biennial event is the premiere fundraiser for the Lovelane program. This year’s theme is “Get Your Kicks on Route 66.” Hoedown V will also include a live set from the James Montgomery Band. Guests are encouraged to dust off their cowboy boots and dress casually for a night of dancing, eating and mingling, all to benefit the children with special needs who participate in Lovelane’s therapeutic riding program.

Many of Boston’s chefs have already signed on to participate in the event, including Marc Orfaly of Pigalle, Mark Goldberg of PARK, Rodney Murillo of Davio’s, Dave Becker of Sweet Basil, Christopher Coombs of Deuxave, Peter Davis of Henrietta’s Table, Courtney Forrester of Sweet, Andy Husbands of Tremont 647, Phyllis Kaplowitz of Baker’s Best Catering, William Kovel of Catalyst, Geoff Janowski of Blue Ribbon BAR-B-Q, Sam Mason of Oddfellows Ice Cream Co., Seth and Angela Raynor of Boarding House, The Pearl and Corazon del Mar, Jeremy Sewall of Island Creek Oyster Bar and Paul Sussman of Back Deck. As a special treat, Island Creek Oyster Farm will be on hand to offer a Raw Bar and Wiches of Boston will be producing ‘Adult’ milkshakes.

Hoedown V will take place September 29, from 4pm-9:30pm at Broad Oak Farm in Dedham. For Debby Sabin, founder of Lovelane, the Hoedown is a night not only to raise money, but to celebrate the successes of the students that ride at Lovelane. “Hoedown V will be an incredible evening, where new and old friends of Lovelane come together and celebrate not only the success of the program, but more importantly the success of our individual students,” said Sabin, “We are committed to continuing a program of excellence, and making a difference in the lives of our students and their families.”

For over twenty years Lovelane has been providing therapeutic horseback riding to children with special needs. Located in Lincoln, Lovelane currently has 13 specially trained riding instructors and provides more than 4,400 individual therapeutic riding sessions a year to children and young adults. Lovelane allows children with special needs to experience a sense of freedom that is often missing from their daily routine. By combining the therapy, confidence and enjoyment that students gain from their therapeutic riding, Lovelane becomes more than a therapy program as it truly does improve the quality of the child’s life and increases the child’s self-esteem.

Therapeutic horseback riding is a proven, yet costly, form of therapy. Each individual lesson at Lovelane is subsidized by the organization, and more than 40% of the families in the Lovelane program receive tuition assistance so their children may continue to ride on a regular basis. Funds raised by the Hoedown and other special events support the cost of the program and enable the organization to continue to offer this assistance.

With a waiting list for lessons between 1-5 years, Lovelane is a successful and well-respected non-profit organization that is focused on providing therapeutic services that dramatically impact the physical, cognitive and social development of the children in the program.

For more information on Lovelane Special Needs Horseback Riding Program or to purchase tickets to Hoedown V, visit

5) On Sunday, October 28, Lovin’ Spoonfuls, will host the second annual Ultimate Tailgate Party overlooking Boston’s scenic waterfront at Sam’s at Louis Boston. The annual event, hosted by Esti & Drew Parsons, co-owners of Sam’s and emceed by Jenny Johnson of NECN’s “TV Diner,” features 12 of Boston’s “MVP” chefs cooking high-end versions of their favorite tailgate food, cocktails shaken by Sam's own Jon Parsons & the legendary Josh Childs, a live auction, entertainment and much more. The theme of the event resonates Lovin’s mission: combatting hunger is a team sport!

Currently 1 in 5 Bostonians are classified as food insecure, meaning they don't know where their next meal will come from. Since founding Lovin' Spoonfuls, 501(c)(3) non-profit, in 2010, Ashley Stanley and her team have collected more than 150,000lbs of fresh, healthy food that would otherwise be thrown away, and distributed it at no cost to local soup kitchens, homeless shelters and crisis centers throughout the city. Last year’s ultimate tailgate party allowed Lovin’s team to put another truck on the road, doubling their ability to pick up and drop off rescued food, and this year aims to do the same!

This year a team of 12 of Boston’s premiere chefs will once again join the party by cooking their own creative takes on their favorite tailgate food. Guests will be able to enjoy creative comfort food from Lovin’ Spoonfuls board members, Joanne Chang (Myers & Chang and Flour) and Jeremy Sewall (Lineage, Eastern Standard Kitchen and Island Creek Oyster Bar) as well as Karen Akunowicz (Myers & Chang), Asia Mei (Sam’s at Louis Boston), Douglas Rodriguez (Clio), Andy Husbands (Tremont 647) Jason Bond (Bondir), Colin Lynch (Menton, No. 9 Park), Louis DiBiccari (Storyville and Chef Louie Night) and Mary Dumont (Harvest). Jamie Bissonnette (Coppa and Toro) and Will Gilson (Puritan & Co.) will be on the sidelines cooking up a pig roast. Boston Red Sox Executive Chef and former contestant on the Bravo’s “Around the World in 80 Plates,” Chef Steve “Nookie” Postal will be hosting a tailgate to the tailgate during VIP hour from 6pm-7pm which includes lobster rolls and champagne.

Popular Boston mixologists, Jon Parsons (bar manager at Sam's) and Josh Childs (Silvertone, Parlor Sports and Trina's Starlite Lounge) will be throwing down and shaking up specialty drinks all evening.

The event, sponsored by and emceed by Jenny Johnson of NECN’s “TV Diner,” will feature a live auction, lawn games hosted on the beautiful lawn along the Boston waterfront, a photo booth stocked with everyone’s favorite football memorabilia, and complimentary beer from Peak Organic Brewery, as well as wine & champagne from sponsor M.S. Walker. Keeping the spirit alive will be local legend, DJ TJ Connelly, best known for his work for the Boston Red Sox and the legendary 101.7 WFNX. He's also behind a Boston favorite, The People’s Karaoke.

General admission tickets are $100. A limited number of VIP tickets for will be sold for $250 which allows guests entry into the VIP hour from 6pm-7pm and includes a special lobster roll and champagne tasting from Chef Steve “Nookie” Postal, meet & greet with the chefs, and a VIP gift bag full of swag from some of Lovin’s local supporters! All of the proceeds from the event go to Lovin’ Spoonfuls.

All tickets are available for purchase here:

6) Legal Sea Foods is kicking off their fourth annual Oyster Festival with the “Shellfish Shindig” event hosted at the Charles Square location’s outdoor terrace. Guests will enjoy a variety of freshly shucked oysters for $1 each. Wash it down with Legal Sea Foods’ signature Oyster Festival cocktail, the Deadrise, featuring Rain Organic vodka, muddled cucumber, lime and grapefruit bitters that pairs beautifully with bivalves by the bushel.

When: Sunday, September 23, from 2pm–4pm
Cost: $1 per oyster; $8.95 per Deadrise cocktail
More Info: This event is open to the public; no reservations are required. In case of rain, the “Shellfish Shindig” will be held in the atrium of the restaurant.

No comments: