Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday Sips & Nibbles

I am back again 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. In this edition, I am also highlighting several Valentine's Day options.
1) On February 6, at 6:30pm, Legal Sea Foods in Park Square will prepare to embrace the annual day of love early with their first Legal Holiday of 2013: Valentine’s Day. At this book signing and tasting, those who love food will especially enjoy the special guest for the evening, Scott Haas, a food writer and clinical psychologist who captures all the heat and hunger of a great restaurant kitchen in his new book, Back of the House. The book reveals the inner-life of a chef, what it takes to make food people crave and how to achieve greatness in a world that demands more than passion and a sharp set of knives. Haas will read excerpts and personalize copies of his book which each guest will receive a complimentary coopy.

Three-course pairing menu:

Nantucket Bay Scallop Ceviche (blood orange & aji amarillo; jicama sticks and yuca chips)
Manawa Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand
Mesquite Grilled Tuna Steak (chanterelles & ancho farro salad, balsamic & tamarind glaze)
Tarima Mourvedre, Alicante, Spain
Strawberries "Tuxedo" Parfait (dark and white chocolate, Marcona almond brittle)
Rosa Regale Brachetto d'Acqui, Piedmont, Italy

Cost: $49 per person (includes book, tax and gratuity)
Reservation required by calling 617-530-9397

2) Legal Harborside will host a Valentine’s Day celebration on February 14 by exclusively featuring a customizable three-course menu specially designed for the occasion by executive chefs Richard Vellante and Robert Fathman. Guests will indulge in this chef’s tasting menu on the second floor of Legal Sea Foods’ flagship location while overlooking the picturesque Boston Harbor:

-choice of-
Fire Licked Geoduck Clam (Juicy Melons, Yuzu, Poppy & Chorizo Dust)
Hearts of Palm (Beets, Cherries, Chevre, Candied Pistachio)
Foie Gras (Ménage a Trois, Seared, Torchon & Soup)
French Kiss Oysters (Crème Fraiche, Paddlefish Caviar)
Lobster Soup (Puff Pastry & Sherry)
Cape Scallop Ceviche (Lime, Thai Basil, Lemongrass, Pink Peppercorn)
-choice of-
Slow Roasted Halibut (Toasted Wheat Berry Salad, Dried Cranberries, Rose Water & Clementine Vinaigrette)
Roasted Rack of Lamb (Black Kale, Fingerling Potatoes, Amarone Cherry Gastrique)
Chateaubriand (For Two) (Cream Spinach, Truffled French Fries, Béarnaise & Mustard Sauce)
Lobster Thermador (Roasted New Potatoes & Root Vegetables, Tarragon Butter)
Sautéed Dover Sole (Yukon Gold Potatoes, Capers, Lemon & Garlic)
-choice of-
Chocolate Soufflé For Two (Baked to Order)
Raspberry Crème Brûlée
Port Poached Pear (Chinese 5 Spice Mousse)
Chocolate Peanut Caramel Torte (Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream)

COST: $75 per person (excludes tax & gratuity)
To make reservations, please call: 617-477-2900

3) Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar will celebrate the romance of Valentine’s Day with four evenings of decadent specials and a unique Valentine gift for couples dining on Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday, February 14-17. To enrich the occasion, Executive Chef Russell Skall has created two enticing entrees, perfect for Valentine’s dinner that will be available in addition to Fleming’s popular a la carte menu.

Valentine’s Day is always such a special celebration for our guests,” remarked Chef Skall. “We created a unique menu to make the evening a truly memorable one. There is nothing more romantic then savoring the pleasures of a delicious dinner and wine with someone you love.”

Wine Director Maeve Pesquera has crafted two seductive cocktails for the holiday: the Venetian Valentine is a romantic sparkler with Quady Elysium, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur and Mionetto Prosecco for $10.95; and the Mint To Be is prepared with Gentleman Jack Tennessee Whiskey, Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur, POM Wonderful® juice with fresh mint garnish, served on the rocks for $11.95.

To give guests another reason to celebrate, Fleming’s is offering each couple dining February 14th through February 17th a complimentary $25 Fleming’s Dining Card* to use toward a future rendezvous with their sweetheart. Reservations are recommended and may be made by visiting

The Valentine’s Celebration Menu offers:
Heirloom Tomato & Housemade Burrata (Baby red and golden beets, arugula, lemon-pistachio vinaigrette)
Citrus Marinated Salmon Tartare (Capers, parsley, Meyer lemon oil, with pickled cucumber, smoked jalapeño aioli, served with herbed crostini)
Choice of Entrée:
Roasted Lobster Tail ($69.95) (Split in the shell, vanilla lemon butter, mac and cheese with crispy pancetta)
Chateaubriand with Crab Glaçage ($69.95)(Center cut tenderloin, creamy jumbo lump crab, madeira sauce, asparagus spears)
Chocolate Budino ($9.95)(Rich chocolate tartlet, salted mascarpone whipped cream, olive oil drizzle and cocoa nibs)

*$25 Valentine’s Card offer is for visits occurring on 2/14/13, 2/15/13, 2/16/13 and 2/17/13 only. Limit one Valentine’s Card per couple. Valentine’s Card will be delivered at the end of the dinner and will be valid through March 30, 2013.

4) Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro is celebrating Valentine's Day on February 14, from 5:30pm-11pm, with a prix fixe dinner presented at the award-winning Bistro for $68 per person (optional wine pairing for an additional $32). Please call 617-723-7575 for reservations.

Woodbury’s Wellfleet Oyster with Paddlefish and Fennel Caviar.
Wild Mushroom Velouté with Madeira and Taleggio
Butter Lettuce Salad with Hearts of Palm, Grapefruit, Black Truffle and Banyuls Vinaigrette
Oxtail Ravioli with Pea Tendrils, Black Pepper Ricotta, Brown Butter and Sage
Rohan Duck Terrine with Violet Mustard, Baguette and House Pickles
Nantucket Bay Scallop Ceviche with Persimmon, Radish and Meyer Lemon
Maryland Striped Bass with Wild Mushroom Ragout, Mille-feuille and Beurre Rouge
Faroe Island Salmon with Orange Scented Beets, Fennel and Quinoa
Rohan Duck Breast with Heirloom Beans and Braised Winter Greens
Grass Fed Sirloin with Fingerling and Short Rib Ragout, Caramelized Carrots and Red Wine Jus
Carnaroli Risotto with Brussels Sprouts, Black Truffle and Parmesan Tuile
Chocolate Pot De Crème with Apricot, Brioche and Fleur De Sel
Lemon Chiffon Cake with Frozen Lemon Curd
Vanilla Crème Brulée
Buttermilk Panna Cotta with chocolate covered strawberries and Mint Ice Cream

5) The fourth season of the Wayland Winter Farmers’ Market has begun. The Market runs weekly on Saturdays from 10am-2pm through March 9 at Russell's Garden Center, 397 Boston Post Road (Route 20), Wayland. Over 40 food vendors attend weekly, bringing fresh vegetables, cheese, meat, maple products, honey, eggs, fish, jam, pickles, pasta and other specialty foods. Come enjoy truly gourmet breakfast and lunch, while sitting in a lush, warm greenhouse.

On Saturday January 26, they will have their 3rd Annual Massachusetts Farm Wineries Day. Legislation passed in August 2010 allows both tasting and sales (by the bottle) of wine produced from farm wineries within our state at farmers' markets and other agricultural events. There will be nine Massachusetts farm wineries participating in this event: Alfalfa Farm Winery (Topsfield),  Coastal Vineyards (S.Dartmouth),  Green River Ambrosia Meadery (Greenfield),  Mill River Winery (Rowley),  Obadiah McIntyre Farm Winery (Charlton),  Running Brook Vineyards & Winery (N.Dartmouth),  Still River Winery (Harvard),  Turtle Creek Winery (Lincoln), and Westport Rivers Winery (Westport).

6) This February, The Blue Room crew cures the Monday night blues with a badass blend of Fratelli Branca Italian bitters, Bully Boy American Straight Whiskey and Spaghetti Western flicks. The weekly events mimic Spaghetti Western film’s blend of all things Italian and American with a liquid mix of Italian amari and whiskey from the US of A.

The Blue Room Chef Robert Grant continues the tribute with signature noshes (inspired by this Italian-American marriage), while guest bartenders from across the hub craft dueling specialty cocktails during weekly screenings of Sergio Leone’s Dollars Trilogy.

Films and guest mixologists are as follows:
February 4: A Fistful of Dollars with bartenders John Henderson (Scholars) and Tyler Wang (No.9 Park)
February 11: For a Few Dollars More with bartenders Katie Emmerson (The Hawthorne) and Fred Yarm (Cocktail Virgin Slut)
February 18: The Good the Bad and the Ugly with bartenders Noon Inthasuwan (Moksa) and Sam Treadway (Backbar)
February 25: Once Upon a Time in the West with bartenders Evan Harrison (Brick & Mortar) and Ted Kilpatrick (No. 9 Park)

COST: Cocktails and bar bites served à la carte for $9-$13
WHEN: Every Monday night in February from 9:00 PM to 1:00 AM

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