Thursday, October 10, 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) Craigie On Main’s foragers and farmers are on the hunt for ducks, geese and fresh, wild ingredients for the upcoming dinner celebrating Duck, Duck, Goose - Recipes and Techniques for Cooking Ducks and Geese, both Wild and Domesticated (Ten Speed Press 2013) by Hank Shaw on October 29.

The special tasting menu will focus on unique preparations of duck and geese, as well as mushrooms, herbs, leaves and more. Shaw will be on-hand to answer questions and sign copies of his book, a comprehensive, beautifully photographed food-based guide that provides everything the home cook or even professional chef would need to know about preparing waterfowl.

COST: $98 for a six-course tasting, $118 for an eight-course tasting per person (plus beverage, tax and gratuity)

Copies of Duck, Duck, Goose - Recipes and Techniques for Cooking Ducks and Geese, both Wild and Domesticated will be available for purchase for $20.

MENU: Chef Maws will confirm the menu a few days before the dinner. He is working overtime to ensure the menu “Out Hanks” Hank and embodies the spirit of his latest book and amazing blog. For more information or to make a reservation please call (617) 497-5511

2) Save the date! The Wine ConneXtion, in North Andover, is holding its Fourth Annual Grand Tasting on Saturday, October 26. The annual grand celebration is a toast to their anniversary and this year’s celebration is bigger and better than ever. From 1pm-5pm, guests, who must be 21 or older, are invited to sample a wide selection of wines from around the world. Oenophiles can go on a sipping adventure towards discovering new favorite wines and exploring new varietals. Guests are welcome to peruse the aisles and inquire about the featured wines as they munch on bites provided by Chama Grill.

And that’s not all, the Fourth Annual Wine Tasting will also include the revelation of the Wine ConneXtion’s newest selection of large format wines -- just in time for the holiday season.

COST: Free to the public.

3) Frank McClelland is the Chef and Proprietor of L'Espalier. He is also 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 and is Chef McClelland’s revitalization of a two-century pastoral 14-acre equestrian farm.

To celebrate the freshest ingredients of fall, Chef Frank McClelland and his team will be hosting the Apple Street Farm Essex Harvest Feast on October 18th and 19th. Every month, Chef prepares a themed dinner showcasing the organic produce, poultry, and eggs from the fields. For the month of October, Chef has designed a five-course menu with wines pairings.

Upon arrival, guests are welcome to explore the beautiful grounds of Apple Street Farm 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) and served the following menu:

Savory Hors d'Oeuvres
Amuse Bouche
Farm egg, broccoli and our fried onion
First Course
Salad of grilled quail, Apple Street Farm pears, pickled red cabbage and black trumpet mushroom with quail egg and our field greens; Eau de Vie de Mirabelle
Second Course
Eastern halibut and lobster poached in black truffle, goat whey and fresh herbs with Lady apple and Swiss chard; white bean, onion and lemon velvet broth
Third Course
Pit-roasted venison in pine with chestnut, foie gras polenta and our charred young beets and carrots; juniper and port jus
Winter squash, chocolate, nuts, caramel, fall raspberries

WHEN: October 18 & 19.  Arrival at 5:30 p.m. & Dinner at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets to this event are $180 per person, inclusive of tax and gratuity. Space is limited so call L’Espalier at 617-262-3023 to make a reservation. Dinners will be held rain or shine.

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