Thursday, November 1, 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 autumn, guests are invited to take a culinary wine tour around the world with the return of Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro’s Wine & Dine Mondays series. Designed to both educate and entertain, the series is aimed at oenophiles of all levels. “Wine & Dine Mondays is about wonderful wines, creative food and good friends,” says Cecilia Rait, proprietress and wine director of Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro. Diners are invited to visit various wine regions without leaving the comfort of their seats, as Cecilia and Tracy Burgis of M.S. Walker act as virtual tour guides, moving from region to region explaining the history, curiosities and nuances of each selection.

Each four-course dinner showcases four wines as well the culinary artistry of Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro’s Executive Chef Josh Lewin, whose dishes are designed to complement each featured wine. On Monday, November 19, 7pm, guests are invited to “Rioja – Wines from Nothern Spain.” Rioja, in northern Spain, is one of the classic wine regions of Spain and the world. Rioja continues to evolve producing Tempranillo-based wines that others can only try to replicate. For $60 per person (tax and 18% gratuity not included), guests are treated to four wines, a full four-course dinner and Cecilia's and Tracy's good cheer, humor and expertise. Reservations are encouraged so please call 617-723-7575.

Upcoming Dinner: December 3, at 7pm, will be Holidays and Wine – The New Sparklers and the Old Stand-bys.

2) On Thursday, November 15, Olé Mexican Grill, located in Cambridge, turns 15! In honor of this achievement, Chef Erwin Ramos will celebrate with a “15th Anniversary Menu,” and the launch of a new monthly recipe card program that allows guests to take their favorite Ramos family recipes home to cook on their own.

Ramos came to the United States from his native Philippines in the 1980’s and in 1996, turned an old comedy club in Inman Square into one of Boston’s finest authentic Mexican restaurants. Now with four restaurants in the Boston area and countless culinary awards, Ramos is celebrating. In addition to celebrating with a special menu, starting November 15, any guest who dines at Olé Mexican Grill will receive a complimentary card featuring one of Ramos’ most prized recipes. From winning several “Best of Boston” awards, to cooking at the James Beard House and even being honored with an award for contributing to Mexican Gastronomy from the Ministry of Mexican Agriculture, Chef Ramos is a true culinary pioneer. He creates classic and innovative dishes that showcase authentic Mexican ingredients, and wants to thanks guests for 15 years of loyalty by presenting each diner with a recipe card at the end of every meal. This is a chance for guests to bring home a taste of Ramos family tradition home and stave off Olé cravings until their next visit. A new recipe, ranging from old favorites to new finds, will become available on the 15th of each month.

Guests will not want to miss this chance celebrate 15 years of authentic Mexican cuisine at Olé. The “15th Anniversary Menu” will be served in conjunction with the regular menu. Reservations are recommended; please call Olé Mexican Grill at (617)-492-4495.

15th Anniversary Menu

--Panuchos con Cochinita Pibil (Two crispy tortilla pockets topped with traditional Mexican slow-roasted pork, marinated in achiote and house pickled onions.) $10
--Chiles en Nogada de Atlixco (Original recipe from the Puebla region, two stuffed poblano chiles in fresh walnut sauce originally from Atlixco. Served with plantains and Mexican rice.) $22
--Camarones in Pipian Verde Panpateco (Shrimp in green pipian sauce made with pumpkin seeds. Served with Mexican rice and black beans.) $26
--TJ’s Style Jamaica Margarita (Hibiscus infused margarita with fresh lime juice, Citronage and 100% Agave Tequila Blanco.) $10

3) Executive Chef Brian Poe is bringing $5 @ 5 to Poe’s Kitchen at the Rattlesnake. Chef Poe’s five new small plate options are available for $5 each every night after 5pm in the restaurant and bar area. Take a tasty trip south of the border without damaging the bank account this fall and winter:

--Two Duck Fat-Infused Mini Antelope Burgers (topped with smoked Fresno chili, jalapeño bacon, ranch and Chihuahua cheese)
--Two Creole-Rubbed Grill Shrimp (served over crispy lime slaw, mango mojo and chili-cumin toasted pepitas)
--Chili-Rubbed & Grilled Diver Scallop (atop a champagne shellfish crema and spicy fried cherry peppers)
--Fried Anaheim Chili & Cilantro Grit Cake (topped with velvety cheddar cheese sauce and sofrito)
--Latin-Style Fried Chicken Taco (with mango, avocado and hearts of palm salsa, mixed greens and chipotle crema)

 Available every day after 5pm. Cost: $5 each

4) This Saturday, November 3, the Tuscan Market will officially open and host a day of free sampling, a book signing by Mary Ann Esposito and much, much more all hosted by Billy Costa of KISS 108FM & NECN's TV Diner. The grand opening is free and open to the public and all items are available for purchase.

I previously attended a preview opening of the Tuscan Market and was thoroughly impressed. I am sure it is going to be packed on Saturday, and deservedly so. This comprehensive Italian market is going to be a popular culinary destination, and I intend to visit there soon too. The Market will be open seven days a week; Monday to Thursday 7am-7pm, Friday & Saturday 7am-9pm, and Sunday 7am-5pm.

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