Thursday, October 3, 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) The Massachusetts Restaurant Association (MRA) announces this year’s Stars of the Industry Awards Gala: an evening of food, drink, and entertainment recognizing leaders in the Massachusetts’ Restaurant Industry to be hosted by celebrated Comedian Tony V. An annual tradition, this event draws chefs and key industry players for a celebration of top talent in Massachusetts’ hospitality business, who have been nominated and selected throughout the month of August exclusively by MRA members. The top three finalists, all of who have demonstrated a range of exceptional skills and commitment, have been selected to attend the 2013 Gala; winners will be announced at the event.

The 2013 Award categories include:
Bartender of the Year
Bus Person of the Year
Cook of the Year
Dishwasher of the Year
Host/Cashier of the year
Prep Person of the Year
Parking Valet of the Year
Unsung Hero of the Year
Waitperson of the Year
Exemplary Service Award

Each winner will be awarded $250, a trophy, and a commemorative plaque to hang in his or her restaurant and all runners-up will be awarded $100. “All candidates have shown outstanding dedication and passion for the industry, and this is our way of giving them the recognition they deserve” says MRA President and CEO Bob Luz.

The gala will be held on Monday, October 28 at Lombardo’s (6 Billings Street in Randolph) and will begin with a cocktail reception at 6p.m. followed by dinner, entertainment, and an award ceremony at 7 p.m. Tickets are sold for $85 per person and table sponsorships are available for $1000 (includes a logo on the MRA website, sponsor tribute in MRA Newsletter, logo in awards gala program, and sponsor identification ribbons at the event). Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling (508) 303- 9905.

2) Mâitre d' hotel and Fromager Louis Risoli and Wine Director & Sommelier Lauren Collins present this month’s Salon Session held at L’Espalier. They present Beyond Expectations: Exploring Exciting New Pairings at Salon Sessions – an intimate yet educational wine and cheese pairing. Join experts Louis Risoli and Lauren Collins this month, as they share their knowledge on pairing cheese with unexpected spirits including hard cider, sake, local craft beer and Pineau de Charentes (a fortified herbaceous wine). Cheeses are selected from L’Espalier’s award winning cheese cart and the sessions are held in the L’Espalier salon which overlooks Boylston Street.

WHEN: Thursday, October 10, 6pm
Reservations are required so please call 617-262-3023. Pricing for event is $55 per person.

3) On Tuesday, October 22, at 6:30pm, Legal Harborside will host a wine dinner with famed French winery, Trimbach Estate. Established in 1626, Trimbach is one of the most illustrious family winemaking dynasties in France recognized for their definitive Alsace varieties and Rieslings. Legal Harborside will team up with 13th generation owner, Jean Trimbach, to host a four-plus-course dinner featuring signature cuisine paired with Trimbach’s selections from their vine.

The menu will be presented as follows:

Lawerknepfle, Honey Poached Pear, Brioche
Bibalakass, Buckwheat Blini, “Gravlax” Trout, Pike Roe & Pickled Onion
Flammenkuchen, Lardon, Onion, Munster
Crayfish Cappuccino
Trimbach Pinot Blanc “Classic,” Alsace, 2010
Choucroute Au Homard (Lobster, Sauerkraut, Potatoes, Pickled Mustard Seeds & Greens, Pork Foam)
Trimbach Riesling “Cuvée Frédéric Emile,” Alsace, 2006
Trimbach Riesling “Cuvée M,” Alsace, 2008
Lightly Smoked & Roasted Cornish Hen (Fricassee of Boudin Blanc, Apricot Mustard & Hazelnut Gremolata)
Trimbach Pinot Gris “Réserve,” Alsace, 2009
Trimbach Pinot Gris “Réserve Personnelle,” Alsace, 2005
Roasted Shoulder & Belly of Pork (Curried Heirloom Squash, Sage, Green Harissa & Coconut)
Trimbach Gewurztraminer “Classic,” Alsace, 2010
Trimbach Gewurztraminer “Cuvée des Seigneurs de Ribeaupierre,” Alsace, 2005
Roasted Pear Tart, Crème Fraîche Ice Cream
Trimbach Gewurztraminer “Sélection de Grains Nobles,” Alsace, 2001

COST: $125 per person (excludes tax & gratuity)
Reservation required by calling 617-530-9470

4) This autumn, guests are invited to take a culinary wine tour during the return of Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro’s Wine & Dine Mondays series. Designed to both educate and entertain, this season’s series offers a playful spin on the industry’s typical wine dinner.

Wine & Dine Mondays is about wonderful wines, creative food and good friends,” said Cecilia Rait, proprietress and wine director of Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro. “This year we went a little more playful and decided to mix things up a bit by offering fun, out-of-the-box themes.”

Each of this season’s three dinners will be held on a Monday evening throughout the fall. Diners are invited to visit various wine regions without leaving the comfort of their seats as Cecilia and Tracy Burgis of M.S. Walker act as virtual tour guides, moving from wine to wine, explaining the history, curiosities and nuances of each selection.

The series is not simply about the wine. It is also about the food. Each four-course dinner showcases four wines as well the culinary artistry of Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro’s Executive Chef Josh Lewin, whose dishes are designed to complement each course’s wine. This intimate adventure is set in communal seating to encourage conversation, laughter and fun. For $65 per person (tax and gratuity not included), guests are treated to four wines, a full four-course dinner and Cecilia's and Tracy's good cheer, humor and expertise. Reservations are encouraged as most nights sell out well in advance.

Wine & Dine Mondays Schedule

Hate School, But Love Class?
October 21, 7:00PM
Get your head out of the books for a little and enjoy a night filled with the other kind of class! The one that comes in a glass… Delve into some classic wine selections that everyone should know, along with wine tasting 101 facts. Eat, drink and be varied!

Expensive Taste
October 28, 7:00PM
Can you tell the difference between expensive wine and its less-expensive counterpart? Put your taste buds to the test! We will be mixing a variety of high-end and less-expensive varietals for you to try.

Heading Toward Winter Wonderland: Snowy Wines and Warm Foods
November 18, 7:00PM
Fondue, fires and the perfect wines are what make being indoors during the cold, long winter worth it. Enjoy a variety of bold wines alongside all those comfort foods you take pleasure in during the heart of winter.

COST: $65 Per Person (tax and 18% gratuity not included). Communal Seating. Reservations are necessary. Please call 617-723-7575.

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