Thursday, January 17, 2013

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) Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House will celebrate Cupid’s Day, on Thursday, February 14 and Friday, February 15, with a special “Live Large, Love Big” Valentine’s Day menu that includes an eight-ounce filet and an eight-ounce lobster tail for $79.

Featured additions available:
- Steak toppings: Oscar Style $15, Port-Foie Gras Butter $6
- Optional lobster accompaniment: Champagne Beurre Blanc $6
- Dessert: Godiva Chocolate Mousse Cake $12

2) The newly reopened Prezza is about to be struck by Cupid’s arrow with the arrival of San Valentino in the North End. On Valentine’s Day, Thursday, February 14 from 5:30pm–10pm, Executive Chef & Owner Anthony Caturano will dish out five exclusive specials available for one night only.

To start, there are Razor Clams (fregola, garlic, olive oil - $16). For a handmade pasta course, Prezza will serve up Ricotta Gnocchi (artichokes, chanterelles - $18). For entrees, there is Red Snapper (Milanese style - $28) and Grilled Bone-In Ribeye Steak (grilled red onions, lobster mashed potatoes - $46). For the finale, indulge in traditional Zeppolis (honey, hazelnut - $10).

3) Celebrate Monday nights with Chef Evan Deluty as he welcomes friends for Stella's 4th annual "Guest Chef Mondays". This annual event has grown and recommendations are highly suggested by calling Stella at 617-247-7747. Each visiting chef will create a special appetizer, entree and dessert, and Stella's regular dinner menu will also be available. The "Guest Chef Mondays" menu will be available starting at 5:30pm for $40 per guest.

The "Guest Chef Monday's" lineup runs through March 31:
--Dante deMagistris, Dante, Il Castel January 21
--Robin King, from Oro Restaurant January 28
--Will Gilson, Puritan & Co February 4
--Rodney Murillo – Davio’s and Avila February 11
--Marc Orfaly - Pigalle February 18
--Jay Silva – Bambara Restaurant March 4
--Colin Lynch – Menton March 11
--Doug Rodriguez – Clio March 18
--Louis Dibiccari – Tavern Road March 25

4) Post 390’s Chef Eric Brennan shares his latest menu in his “Farm to Post” dinner series, showcasing raw cow’s milk cheese from 5 Spoke Creamery, Goshen, NY. The dairy farm and creamery is located north of NYC, bringing together the dedication of a dairy farm with the artisanal hand of the cheesemaker. Post 390 showcases a farm every month as part of its “Farm to Post” dinner series, creating new weekly menus featuring the particular farm.

5 Spoke Creamery is both a dairy farm and a cheese-maker, as its motto is ‘great cheese starts with great milk.’ Their Holstein cows are grass-fed, roaming free on the farm, choosing from a variety of grasses, herbs, flowers and weeds. 5 Spoke Creamery believes the raw milk of grass-fed cows has a depth of flavor which cannot be duplicated. The cheeses are all handmade in the farmstead tradition, made with milk from their grass-fed Holstein cows. 5 Spoke Creamery milks the cows at 4am and makes the cheese at 9am. It doesn’t get fresher than that.

This Menu begins January 17 and will change each week through mid-February
--Cauliflower and 5 Spoke Heritage Cheese Soup, Brambly Farm Pork and Apple Croquette
--Lobster, White Corn Tortilla and Welsh Cheddar Charlotte, Lobster-Roasted Pepper Salsa
--Grilled Maple Sugar and Spice Rubbed Duck Breast, Bacon-Redman Cheddar Waffle, Apple-Pear Butter, Brussel Sprouts with Peppered Duck Confit
--Herb Roasted Veal Rib Eye, Orecchiette with Broccoli and Crawford Cloth Bound Cheddar Cheese
--Welsh Cheddar Bavarian with Honey Apricots and Cinnamon Phyllo Crunch

5) 62 Restaurant & Wine Bar, located just north of Boston on the Salem waterfront, is celebrating its five year anniversary. Executive Chef Antonio Bettencourt has planned to host a series of three dinners to commemorate three major turning points at the restaurant. Each dinner will feature a five-course, prix fixe menu for $62 (plus tax and gratuity). The three dinners, titled Inspiration, The Opening and Fan Favorites, tell the story of how a dream to open one’s own restaurant becomes a reality. Chef Bettencourt has much to be thankful for, and he wishes to share this five year milestone with all who have taken part in his journey.

The first dinner, Inspiration, will be on Wednesday, January 23, at 6:30pm, and will feature dishes that have inspired Chef Bettencourt throughout the years. He will be recreating some of his most memorable dishes that have shaped his style as a chef, such as Tagliatelle ai Funghi, Porchetta and Agnolotti di Patate.

The second dinner, The Opening, will be on Wednesday, February 20, at 6:30pm, and will feature dishes from 62 Restaurant & Wine Bar’s very first menu. The dinner will include signature dishes that have gone on to become classics and others that are not listed on the current menu but are often requested by customers.

The series will conclude with a grand finale featuring Fan Favorites on Wednesday, March 20, at 6:30pm.  The dinner menu will be comprised of the restaurant’s most popular items. Diners have been asked to vote for their favorite dish from the past five years via Facebook and the winning dishes will appear on that evening’s menu.

Every customer who attends a celebratory dinner will automatically be entered for a chance to win a $100 gift card to the restaurant. Reservations are required for the tasting menu series and can be made by calling  978-744-0062.

6) Taberna de Haro has some interesting Wine Seminars upcoming, concentrating on individual wineries. Each tasting, which starts at 7pm, is open to 20 people and Chef/Owner Deborah Hansen will be joined by someone from the winery.

January 23: The Wines of Abadal
Owner Valentin Roqueta will be at Taberna de Haro to tell us about his modern winery with a 900 year viticultural tradition, in Pla de Bagés, Catalunya. Two unique reds, two exotic whites, plenty of Catalán tapas and spirited discussion.

February 20: The Wines of Val de Sil 
Three expressive whites, made from the godello grape, laden with minerals and mystery; and one beautiful red, a mencia with both earth and grace. Generous Galician tapas and a splash of history about the Valdeorras zone.

February 27: Raventós i Blanc Cava
Pepe Raventós, a man of his land possessed of tremendous humor and formidable knowledge, will be in attendance at Taberna de Haro to lead a tasting on his cavas, arguably some of the very best in Spain. Tradition and grace are the underpinnings of these gorgeous sparkling wines. Lots of Catalán tapas and Pepe's unique personality will make this tasting wonderful.

Cost is $40 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservation and pre-payment required.  Call 617-277-8272 for reservations.

7) Valentine’s Day will soon arrive at Towne Stove and Spirits and Culinary Director Lydia Shire and Executive Chef Mario Capone are whipping up some exclusive specials that will be available for four nights so lovers can celebrate all weekend long. To start off your romantic night on the Towne, the culinary duo will be serving Bluefin Tuna Carpaccio (with pickled ginger, white soy, crisped sweet potato - $21). For the main course, there is Potato Wrapped Cod (with cockles, saffron aioli, baby fennel - $35). To end the evening on a sweet note, indulge in a shared dessert for two: Dark Chocolate Cheesecake (with chocolate & champagne strawberries - $16). These items are available from Thursday, February 14 to Sunday, February 17, from 5:30pm – 11:00pm.

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