Thursday, March 7, 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) On Thursday, March 21, at 6:30pm, Legal Sea Foods in Park Square will host a wine dinner with Chehalem, the popular Oregon-based winery specializing in both red and white varietals. Legal Sea Foods will team up Chehalem’s winemaker, Wynne Peterson-Nedry, to host a four-plus-course dinner featuring signature cuisine paired with choices from their vine. Chehalem, the local Calapooia Indian word meaning “gentle land” or “valley of flowers,” prides itself on purely reflecting what its vineyard has produced.

The menu will be presented as follows:

Oysters* on the Half Shell, Green Apple and Poblano Vinaigrette
Seared Sea Scallop Tartlets, Curried Leek Jam
Lobster Spring Rolls, Citrus Ginger Glaze
Chehalem “Three Vineyard” Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, 2011
Seared Halibut Fillet (Mussels and Fennel Cream Sauce)
Chehalem “INOX” Chardonnay, Willamette Valley, 2010
Poached Maine Lobster (Tarragon Nage, Baby Mache)
Chehalem “Ian’s Reserve” Stoller Vineyard Chardonnay, Dundee Hills, 2008
Hickory Wood Grilled Veal Chop (Morel Mushrooms, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potato)
Chehalem “Three Vineyard” Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, 2010
Chehalem “Ridgecrest” Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge, 2010
Morbier, Port Salut, MouCo ColoRouge (Cherry Compote, Toast Points)
Chehalem “Reserve” Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge, 2009

Cost: $85 per person (excludes tax & gratuity)
Reservation required by calling 617-530-9397

2) Darryl's Corner Bar & Kitchen (DCBK) hosts a fundraiser called “Big Star on Bar”, which showcases a community figure who serves as the "Startender" of the evening, mixing a specialty cocktail to raise money for the charity of his or her choice.

On Monday, March 11, from 5:30pm-8:30pm, Dr. Tiffany Cooper Gueye will be behind the DCBK bar, making BELLinis with 100 percent of her tips going toward BELL. There will also be a surprise raffle over the course of the evening. There is no cover charge and the event is open to the public. For reservations, please call 617-536-1100.

3) Haru’s Boston location is bringing back its popular promotion from last summer: Mystery Envelopes. From March 1 until May 1, Haru will once again offer its guests a chance to win a prize every visit they make.

Instructions to play: simply visit Haru Boston from March 1 through May 1 to receive your mystery envelope (while supplies last). DO NOT OPEN THE ENVELOPE. On your next visit to Haru Boston on or before May 20 (must be different day than when mystery envelope was received), present the still-sealed mystery envelope to a manager or server to see what treasure awaits. Prizes include $10 and $25 Haru gift certificates, complimentary sushi rolls, $100 Amex gift cards and a grand prize of $500 in Amex gift cards. Even guests who don’t win a prize won’t leave empty-handed (so to speak): holders of non-winning envelopes will receive a complimentary order of edamame as a gift.

The more often you frequent Haru Boston, the more envelopes you can collect so come often and come hungry [subject to limit of (1) envelope per person/household per (12) hour period].

More Info: No Purchase Necessary. Must be 18 or older. Most participants will receive complimentary order of edamame. Odds of winning a prize are approximately 1:6. Subject to Official Rules posted at Haru Boston

4) Eddie Huang, chef and owner of the critically-acclaimed BaoHaus in New York’s East Village, is bringing his beloved Taiwanese and Chinese cuisine to Boston, joining Big Night Entertainment Group’s Executive Chef Kevin Long in the Empire kitchen to create a special feast. Co-hosted by Long and Huang, the Thursday, March 14 event will kick off a visiting celebrity chef series showcasing Chef Long’s talents alongside some of today’s top chefs.

The $50 dinner will be a unique opportunity to experience Huang’s and Long’s cuisine in a stylish setting at an incredibly accessible price. Combining Empire’s hip atmosphere and lavish cuisine with BaoHaus’ authentic neighborhood feel, guests will receive an experience unlike any other. The menu will include items from Huang’s proprietary menu, including the Chairman Bao, the Uncle Jesse Bao and Coffin Bao Fried Chicken with Spicy, Tingly Condensed Milk, alongside signature items like Oxtail Soup with Heirloom Tomatoes and Mung Bean Noodles and Pi Dan Tofu.

Chef Huang – a former lawyer, stand-up comic, author, blogger and media personality – will also be signing his recently published memoir. “Fresh off the Boat” will also be included in the price of dinner. (Books will also be available for purchase and signing to Empire patrons who don’t attend the dinner.)

For reservations, please call 617-295-0001.

5) Irish eyes will be smiling when The Beehive presents their 6th annual St. Patrick’s Day festivities on Sunday, March 17 from 5pm-1am. St. Patrick’s Day at The Beehive means an evening of authentic entertainment including performances from Boston-based and lively Irish music performers, Irish inspired à la carte food & drink specials from Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey, Tyronnell Irish Whiskey and Connemara Irish Whiskey, and an evening like only The Beehive can create.

The claim from inside the ‘hive’ is that while there will be plenty of surprises, this will not be your typical Irish fest. “No green beer…but what we are planning is a sophisticated evening of amazing Irish comfort food and authentic, world-class, Irish entertainment for a mature audience,” said Co-Owner, Jack Bardy.

This year at the ‘hive,’ a “special guest” performance will kick of the night of Irish filled festivities at 5:30pm. Husband-wife duo Matt & Shannon Heaton will then bring their shared musical experience and love for Boston’s Irish music scene to the stage at 8:00PM. Boston-based, Matt has made his musical home in Boston’s Irish scene while Shannon has co-founded Boston’s Celtic Music Fest and teaches for Boston’s Comhaltas. Their modern take on traditional centuries-old Irish songs, which features Irish flute- and guitar-driven tunes and traditional Irish-style singing, will bring out emotion and Irish pride from the Irish and non-Irish alike. Matt and Shannon’s entertaining and organic onstage banter is almost good as the music (almost)!

In addition to serving the regular menu, Chef Rebecca Newell has created several à la carte specials including: Corned Beef & "Cabbage" Flatbread with Sauerkraut & Cheese, Finaan Haddie Smoked Fish & Chips with Malt Vinegar Aioli & Slaw and Grilled Lamb Chops with Colcannon Mashed Potatoes just to name a few. Along with The Beehive’s regular libations, the bar will mix traditional Irish cocktails with the best of Kilbeggan’s Irish Whiskey, Tyronnell’s 10 year Port Cask and Connemara’s 12 year Single Malt.

Dinner reservations are recommended, no cover charge, both the upstairs and downstairs bars will be open for service.

6) This March experience wines from the different regions of the world at Tuscan Kitchen’s weekly Regional Wine Tasting Series. Every Wednesday from 6pm-8:30pm, Tuscan Brands’ Wine Director Joe Comforti will lead guests on a special tour as they sip and swirl their way through different wine regions across the globe. For only $20 per person ( tax & gratuity not included) guests will enjoy various regional wine samples accompanied by Salumi e Formaggi and artisanal Hand-crafted Breads from Tuscan Market bakery. Held upstairs in The Wine Bar, this series is the perfect excuse to relax midweek while enjoying wine from distinguished wine producers.

March 6th, 2013: Tuscany, Italy
March 13th, 2013: A World Tour
March 20th, 2013: Piedmont, Italy
March 27th, 2013: A Tour of Italy

Reservations accepted for parties of seven or more. Call-ahead seating is available for parties smaller than seven. Simply call (603) 952-4875 before leaving your home or office and if on a wait, you will be added to wait list ensuring priority seating. Upon arrival, please check in with the host at the front door. *There may be an additional wait when you arrive.

7) Since its opening in fall 2012, Belly Wine Bar in Kendall Square has quickly gained a following as a destination for offbeat, eccentric and hard-to-find European wines. This spring, the team at Belly will introduce some playful new food offerings for groups of all sizes that will guarantee a full belly and a seat at the restaurant (these munchies are reservation-only). So shake up your typical vino and cheese duo with gooey fondue, fried chicken and wine pairings and Sardinian lamb arm + a leg-style!

Seasonal special menus include:

Fondue for Your Crew
$14 per person
February - May
Get your dunk on with dip-able brussels sprouts, EVOO roasted potatoes, grilled focaccia, endive and apples, all ready for plunging into a gooey bowl of Spring Brook Farm Reading Raclette, Emmentaler and Gruyere.

Arm + A Leg: Lamb Jam
$62 per person
Begins March 1
Chef Robert Grant’s signature whole-animal spread switches gears for spring with a Sardinian lamb feast. Belly up to communal tables with your friends for four courses of baller carnivorous fare like lamb neck with salsa verde and fregola sarda, sticky glazed short ribs, whole wood-roasted leg of lamb, and Pecorino Calcagno with honey and nuts.
Reservations: Available for groups of 4-12 people. Please give at least 48 hours’ notice. All Arm + A Leg reservations must be made at:

Fried Chicken and Orange Wine
$25 per person; $50 per person with flight of wine
May - September
KFC Belly-style: Killer Fried Chicken and Orange wine. A bucket of fried chicken (hot or cold), flight of orange vino and all the bird-loving extras (biscuits, pickles and citrusy fennel + radicchio slaw) enjoyed with your friends in your flip-flops on the patio.
Reservations: Available for groups of 4-8 people on the patio or in the dining room. Online reservations available beginning May 1.

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