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) Frank McClelland is the Chef & Proprietor of L'Espalier and he is one of few Chefs in the country to reside on his own farm, Apple Street Farm. In one of the country’s most ambitious sustainable agriculture initiatives for the restaurant industry, Apple Street Farm is the primary source of organic harvests for L’Espalier and is a source for various other restaurants throughout the city of Boston. Apple Street Farm is located just north of Boston in Essex, MA and is Chef McClelland’s revitalization of a two-century pastoral 14-acre equestrian farm.
Every Summer, Chef McClelland and his talented team hosts the Apple Street Farm Summer Dinner Series. Each month from June until October, Apple Street Farm will celebrate the freshest ingredients of the season with a special dinner showcasing the organic produce, poultry and eggs fresh from Chef McClelland’s own backyard. Guests are invited to arrive at the farm and explore the beautiful grounds while enjoying a seasonal cocktail and hors d’oeuvres prepared by the chefs of L’Espalier.
They will then be seated outside (or under a tent in the case of inclement weather) to enjoy a five-course themed meal with wine pairings.
June 21, 22 – Summer Solstice (Reservations open beginning May 15)
July 19, 20 – Firefly Festival
August 23, 24 – Brandywine Bash
September 20, 21 – Fire Pit Fiesta
October 18, 19 – Essex Harvest Feast
Guests are asked to arrive at the farm at 5:30 p.m., with dinner served at 6:30 p.m., rain or shine.
The Summer Dinner Series cost $180 per person, inclusive of tax and gratuity. Please call L’Espalier at 617-262-3023 to make a reservation.
2) Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar announces the return of Small Plates, Big Pours, for wine and food lovers looking for a light meal and elegant pairing options. For a limited time, guests can match any of their seven Small Plates with an oversized wine pour for $24.95.
Guests can select any of the seven Small Plates including: New Zealand Petite Lamb Chops (pistachio-mint pesto, "F17" sauce, polenta fries); Fleming’s Lobster Tempura (soy-ginger dipping sauce, arugula, jicama salad); Colossal Shrimp Skewers (chimichurri dipping sauce, fennel citrus salad); New Bedford Scallops (Meyer lemon-honey glaze, carrots, green beans, asparagus); Sliced Filet Mignon (shiitake risotto, chili oil, porcini butter drizzle); Braised Short Ribs (boneless, savory arugula and spinach, natural au jus); or, Ahi Tuna (fresh vegetable salad, spicy mustard sauce). Each Small Plate is matched with one of their seven premium Big Pours, each carefully selected by Fleming’s Director of Wine, Maeve Pesquera.
Available May 15 – June 30
Promotion is only available in the bar area.
3) From May 13 to June 9, Legal Sea Foods is celebrating Wines of Chile, a country that is home to several distinct terroirs that provide ideal growing conditions for a wide range of grape varieties and wine styles, by offering a feature menu of eleven Chilean wines and exclusive wine dinners.
On June 5, at 6:30pm, Legal Sea Foods in Framingham will host the Chilean Emiliana Wine Dinner with Emiliana Organic Vineyard’s Export Director, Fernando Pavon. Chile is a country with spectacular natural advantages for wine production including brilliant sunshine, moderate heat, and little or no rain during the growing season but plentiful mountain water from the Andes for irrigation which all add up to abundant quantities of ripe, structured grapes that are harvested in healthy conditions.
The four-plus-course pairing menu will be presented as follows:
Littleneck Clam* Ceviche, Crispy Shallots
Lobster Tomalley Toasts
Jonah Crab, Cucumber, Yuzu Salt
Caponata, Ricotta Bruschetta
Emiliana "Novas" Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc, Casablanca, 2011
Shrimp Empanada (hearts of palm, tomato, creamed corn, herb salad)
Emiliana "Natura" Chardonnay, Casablanca, 2012
Pancetta-Wrapped Block of Tuna* (scallion mashed potatoes, maitake mushrooms)
Emiliana "Novas" Gran Reserva Pinot Noir, Casablanca, 2010
Emiliana "Natura" Carmenère, Colchagua, 2011
Roasted Lamb Shoulder (olive relish, flageolet beans, roasted kale)
Emiliana "Natura" Malbec, Rapel, 2011
Emiliana "Novas" Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo, 2009
A Variety of Cheeses (cashew and honey, crusty bread)
Emiliana "Coyam," Colchagua, 2009
COST: $65 per person (excludes tax & gratuity)
Reservation required by calling 508-766-0600
4) As the Chinese proverb says “deep doubts, deep wisdom…” well, it’s time to doubt the stereotypical beer and sake pairings that generally accompany the intrinsic flavors of Asian cuisine and grab a glass of wine. On Saturday, June 1, from 1pm-5pm join the Wine ConneXtion and China Blossom, both located in North Andover for “Wok n’ Wine,” as they debunk the mysteries of pairing Asian cuisine and wine with a complimentary in-store tasting. Guests will sample authentic sweet, spicy and savory dishes as they discover the art of pairing these two unlikely flavors. The Wine ConneXtion will educate guests on fantastic duo while they learn about the art of pairing Asian cuisine for an upcoming restaurant visit, or become inspired to plan a delicious dinner that is sure to impress guests.
Walk-ins welcome all day!
Cost: Tasting is complimentary; Must be 21+.