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) 51 Lincoln Owner Jeff Fournier and Chef de Cuisine Nate Gibson present Raw August, a month-long celebration of internationally influenced raw cuisine, featuring vegetables from 51 Lincoln’s own rooftop garden and proteins in their purest form.
During the month of August, Jeff Fournier and Nate Gibson will prepare dishes that are globally influenced, yet locally sourced. These carefully prepared dishes will not only delight your palate, but also provide you with a love of proteins in their natural state. Served with complimentary wine pairings, these dishes provide the perfect finishing touch to summer. Below are sample menu items for Raw August:
Wagu Steak Tartare with Red Onion, Capers, Truffle Dijon Dressing
Onset Oysters on the Halfshell, Pickled Ramp Mignonette, Peach Gastrique, Fresno Chili, Chervil
Colorado Lamb Kibbe, White Onion, Parsley, Kalamata Olive Vinaigrette, Naan Bread
Scallop and Mango Poke, Poi and Taro Root Chips, Radish Slaw
Cold Smoked Sail Island Salmon Tartare, House Baked Fennel Bread, Soft Boiled Farm Egg, Fennel Fronds, Pickled Mustard Seed Vinaigrette
Duo of Tartares: Yellow Fin Tuna & Fresh Blueberries, Red Onion, Lemon, Cilantro, Blueberry Aioli
Rhode Island Fluke Ceviche, Jalapeño, Lime, Cilantro, Pineapple, Avocado Espuma
Faroe Island Salmon Carpaccio, Crispy Green Bean Frites, Brandy Cream sauce
When: August 1-31 (Tuesdays through Saturdays, starting at 5:00pm)
2) From Sunday, September 8 to Sunday, September 15, restaurants and wine shops located north of Boston will join together to hold the third annual North of Boston Wine Week (NOBOWW). Sponsored by Merrimack Valley Magazine, in conjunction with NECN’s “TV Diner,” M.S. Walker, Horizon Beverage Company and Cape Ann Foodie Tours, North of Boston Wine Week will celebrate the towns north of Boston as a premier destination for fine wine and food.
Throughout the week, the area’s finest businesses will highlight their wine selections with various events and great deals including everything from specially crafted wine tastings, wine dinners, wine flights, pairings, special events and more. For the complete calendar listing of events visit www.NorthOfBostonWineWeek.com.
North of Boston Wine Week will kick-off with a complimentary inaugural event at the Wine ConneXtion, located in North Andover, on Saturday, September 7, from 1pm-5pm, during an exclusive, free wine tasting event featuring cuisine from several participating venue’s chefs.
Buy local, drink global and join North of Boston as a vibrant food and wine community and support local businesses including: 50 Warren Restaurant, 62 Restaurant & Wine Bar, Adriatic Restaurant and Bar, Alchemy Bistro, Andiamo Restaurant + Bar, Angelina’s Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria, Blue Stove at Nordstrom, Burton’s Grill, Busa Wine & Spirits, Café Escadrille, Centro, China Blossom, Emerson By The Sea, Evviva Cucina, The Grapevine, Hanover Street Chophouse, Joseph's Trattoria, Laurie's 9:09 Gastro-Diner, Luna Rossa Ristorante, Michael's Harborside, Nathanial's at the Hawthorne Hotel, On The Bone, Oregano Pizzeria, Orzo Trattoria, Phat Cat Bistro, Ristorante Olivio, Salvatore's Restaurants, Smolak Farms, Stonehedge Inn & Spa, Ten Center Street, Tryst Restaurant, Tuscan Kitchen, Tuscan Market, Waterside Grille, and the Wine ConneXtion.
3) Executive Chef/Owner Paul Turano of Tryst Restaurant in Arlington, MA (and the soon to open “Cook” restaurant in Newton), has been nominated by Governor Deval Patrick to represent the state of Massachusetts at the Great American Seafood Cook-Off in New Orleans, Louisiana on August 3.
The Great American Seafood Cook-Off is one of the nation’s most prestigious seafood competitions showcasing domestic, sustainable seafood featuring acclaimed chefs from across the country. Chefs are asked to create unique dishes and flavor combinations with domestic seafood that is native to their home states and representative of their region. Hosted in New Orleans, Louisiana, one of the most renowned cities for all things gourmet, the event is sponsored by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and presented by the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board.
“It’s such an honor to represent Massachusetts in this competition,” said Chef Paul Turano.
This will be the first time Massachusetts is represented at the Great American Seafood Cook-Off.
The Great American Seafood Cook-Off takes place at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, in Hall J, alongside the Louisiana Restaurant Association Food Service Expo on August 3.
4) On Sunday, July 28, at 6pm, Chef Paul Turano of Tryst Restaurant in Arlington is collaborating with New England’s very own root beer company, Tower Root Beer, for the third annual Root Beer Dinner, celebrating Tower’s 99-year-old classic soda recipe.
Founded in Somerville, MA, in 1914, Tower Root Beer evolved from a tonic company into a specialized root beer company. During the Prohibition of the 1920’s when root beer became the substitute for beer that was no longer available, their pharmacist- perfected recipe contributed to Tower’s early success and allowed them to withstand the stock market crash of 1929, even when the bank that held their working capital could not.
Spanning New England, Tower Root Beer grew into a well-known business before an unsuccessful merger and competition from the two major soda conglomerates forced them off the market. For the past 30 years, Tower’s recipe has sat under lock and key, before a third generation of the family decided to reestablish the family business after finding their grandfather's handwritten recipe.
Tryst Restaurant is celebrating the return of the timeless drink with a classic three course, $34 prix fixe dinner ($14 for optional cocktail pairing) by Chef Paul Turano featuring root beer inspired dishes and innovative cocktails inspired by the sweet treat. Reservations are required and can be made by calling Tryst at 781-641-2227.
And here is a special Recipe from Chef Turano for Root Beer Braised Short Ribs
3 lbs Boneless Beef Short Ribs (about 1 1/2" thick with good marbling)
1 ea yellow onion, rough chopped
1 ea carrot, rough chopped
2 ea celery stalks, rough chopped
3 ea garlic cloves, rough chopped
3 Tbls tomato paste
4 ea fresh thyme sprigs
1 ea bay leaf
½ bottle dark beer
½ bottle Tower Root Beer
3 cups chicken stock
3 Tbls balsamic vinegar
flour, as needed
salt and pepper
canola oil, as needed
Season short ribs with salt and pepper, dredge in the flour, bang to remove excess flour. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat, add a little canola oil and cook the ribs in batches (Do Not Overcrowd the Pan!) Brown the ribs on all sides, taking care not to burn the flour. Remove ribs and place in an oven proof casserole about six inches deep. Sear remaining ribs.
Wipe out excess oil from the sauté pan. Add the onion, carrot and celery, season with salt and pepper and continue to cook until light brown. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and cook an additional 3-5 minutes, stirring often. Add the beer, root beer and bring to a boil for two minutes. Pour into the casserole over the ribs. Add the aromatics and chicken stock. Cover the casserole with lid or aluminum foil. Place in 300˚ oven. Half way through cooking, flip the ribs in the liquid to ensure even cooking. Cook approximately two and a half hours, until the short ribs are tender, but not falling apart.
Remove the meat from the casserole, strain the liquid through a sieve, skim excess fat and return to casserole or a stove top safe pan. Reduce the liquid until the desired consistency. Return ribs to the liquid to slowly reheat. Serves 4-6 people.
5) On July 31-August 25, Rosa Mexicano will launch their annual Ice Cream Festival, featuring a dedicated menu of sweet and salty ice cream flavors, Paleta popsicles, dessert guacamole, ice cream-stuffed churros and more.
Part of their ongoing Flavors of Mexico series, the beloved festival will introduce specials including but not limited to:
· Guacamole de Postre: a decadent sundae of sweet avocado ice cream "guacamole," prepared tableside with fresh raspberries, white chocolate shavings & coconut crunch; served with piloncillo chocolate sauce and cinnamon sugar Buñuelos
· "Paleta" Popsicles: in flavors such as Guava, Chile & Huckleberry; and Papaya & Passionfruit
· Ice Cream Stuffed Churros: a twist on the traditional "deep fried ice cream," three churro fritters filled with various ice cream flavors such as malted coffee and plantain & peanut butter; served with chocolate fudge ganache
· Ice Cream Cones: highlights include Plantain & Peanut Butter; Strawberry Rose; Sweet Cream, Mexican Chocolate & Cajeta Swirl; and Mexican Sour Gherkin & Jalapeño Sorbet
6) Bringing a taste of the North End to the Greenway, Carla and Christine Pallotta have now opened the doors to the relocated NEBO at 520 Atlantic Avenue. The new 180-seat restaurant, with a 65-seat patio on the edge of the Greenway with 180-degree views of the Financial District, is now open for dinner service, and will add lunch in the next few weeks, followed by a takeout program specializing in Italian sandwiches, baked goods, and pastries.
“After eight years at the original NEBO, our hearts – and our parking spaces – will always be in the North End,” say sisters, chefs, and co-owners Carla and Christine Pallotta. “Though we’re not technically located in the neighborhood any more, we’re still close enough to do our morning shopping. Instead of ‘North End Boston,’ NEBO now means ‘North End brought over’ to the Greenway.”
In addition to the pizzas, handmade pastas, and antipasti for which NEBO is famous for, the new NEBO menu will offer even more traditional Italian dishes that the original, smaller NEBO kitchen wasn’t equipped to execute. These new dishes include about 10 new pizzas and summer entrees that focus on seafood and vegetables such as Branzino, Squid Ink Pasta with Salt Cod Confit, and Cioppino with Lobster, Shrimp, Calamari, Mussels and Smelts in a Spicy Tomato Brodo with Crostini.
NEBO has floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides of the building, a vaulted brick ceiling, and an open layout that includes: a 60-person bar area with two communal tables, an Italian marble bar, and 12-seat drink rail; a 120-person dining room with banquettes, coffee-stained rift oak tables, and chocolate brown Herman Miller bucket chairs interspersed with refinished Thonet chairs from the old NEBO; and a semi-private dining room with an Italian alabaster chandelier. The state-of-the-art open kitchen with adjoining gelato and sandwich bar is the “dream kitchen” Christine imagined eight years ago when she crafted the business plan for NEBO’s original North End location. During the warmer months, NEBO’s outdoor patio on the edge of the Greenway includes custom furniture designed to match the original cast iron work of Atlantic Wharf, nutmeg umbrellas, and Winston Flowers arrangements.
NEBO is now open for dinner Monday through Saturday beginning at 5:00 PM. Lunch service begins late July; takeout by September. NEBO is closed on Sundays.
I am a huge fan of NEBO so I am very excited to check out their new location, and I think it is great that they will soon be open for lunch too. This is definitely a restaurant I strongly encourage my readers to check out.