Thursday, December 27, 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)  Celebrate New Year's Eve at A Tavola in Winchester. Chef Vittorio has created a special menu to welcome the New Year, which is available on December 31, from 5pm-10pm. The Prix Fixe Menu costs $65 per person (tax and gratuity not included) and wine pairings are available for an extra cost. You can make reservations by calling (781) 729-1040.


A Small Taste From the Chef to Begin your Evening
--Chestnut Crepes (Duck and Homemade Ricotta Cranberry Agrodolce)
--Bucatini (Long Saffron Hollowed Pasta with Maine Shrimp, Leeks and Arugula)
--Crispy Polenta (Organic Mushroom Ragu, Truffled Pecorino Cheese and Quail Egg)
--Arugula Salad (Red Wine, Poached Pears, Goat Cheese and Toasted Hazelnuts_
--Concerto di Mare (Seared Halibut, Mussels and Cockles, Kimball Farm Heirloom Tomato, Fregola and Spinach_
--Bistecca (John Crow Farm Sirloin Steak, Grilled Escarole and Chickpea "Torta"
--Polletto "Al Mattone" (Pressed Young Chicken, Cured Black Olives, Green Beans and Spaghetti Squash)
--Cannelloni (Rolled Pasta Filled with Organic Mushrooms, Herbs and Goat Cheese)
A Tavola Trilogy

2) Join the Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro for the return of its Fondue Sundays featuring classic, French-style fondue. Suitable to be shared as an appetizer or to be enjoyed as a main course ($26 per pot), guests will be treated to hot French fondue featuring the distinct tastes of Domaine Giachino Abymes from the Savoie, Bergkäse Alpenblumer, Emmentaler and Gruyére Vieux.

Served with rustic, locally sourced bread as well as less traditional accompaniments including small potatoes boiled in sea-salted water, cornichon pickled vegetables such as ramps, cipollini onions, and cauliflower.  Fondue Sundays will be served every Sunday beginning Sunday, January 6, 2013 through the spring. The special will be served during dinner service, 5:30pm-10pm, in conjunction with their regular menu. Reservations are recommended by calling 617-723-7575.

Recipe: Classic Fondue in French style

3oz dry white wine (Domaine Giachino Abymes from the Savoie)
Pinch kosher Salt
2 grinds white pepper, from a mill
5 passes fresh grated nutmeg
2 ounces Bergkäse Alpenblumer, grated
2 ounces Emmentaler, grated
2 ounces Gruyére Vieux, grated
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp Kirschwasser
1/2 Tablespoon cornstarch

--Make a slurry with the Kirschwasser and the cornstarch. It should be thick, but pourable. Use more or less Kirschwasser to get a consistency you like. Set at the ready, next to the stove.
--In an enameled cast iron fondue pot, add the wine, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Bring to a boil and add the grated cheese all at once. Whisk over heat until the cheese has melted. Add the minced garlic. Whisk in your slurry, a little at a time, until the fondue has a pleasant texture. Adjust the seasoning and serve hot.

3) To toast Japan’s most important holiday of the year, Haru will host a shogatsu celebration this New Year’s Eve, inviting revelers to close out the calendar with an exclusive three-course prix fixe complete with bubbly. Haru’s bonekai (or “year-forgetting”) night will allow guests to leave 2012’s worries and troubles behind while indulging in a customizable feast. The cost is $45 per person (includes complimentary glass of champagne).

-choice of-
King Crab Dumplings (Steamed, with spicy soy vinaigrette)
Rock Shrimp Tempura (With creamy spicy sauce)
Tuna Ceviche (Tuna, grape tomato, red onion, avocado and apple in ceviche sauce)
Chicken & Beef Yakatori (Grilled, on skewers)
Field Green Salad (With ginger dressing)
-choice of-
Chicken Teriyaki (With steamed vegetables)
Grilled Garlic Shrimp (Marinated in hot chili sauce)
Sashimi Entrée (Assorted sashimi with a kani cucumber roll)
Sushi Entrée (Assorted nigiri with a California roll or tuna roll)
Mixed Tempura (Six jumbo shrimp, shiitake mushroom, asparagus and yam)
-choice of-
Mochi Ice Cream (Red bean, green tea or vanilla) Banana Spring Roll (With chocolate dipping sauce)

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