Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thursday Sips & Nibbles

I am back again with a new edition of Thursday Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I highlight some interesting wine and food items that are upcoming.
1) This January, do good and eat well by dining at some of Boston restaurants during The Greater Boston Food Bank’s (GBFB) 32nd annual Super Hunger Brunch. With a growing list of nearly 20 restaurants, diners can choose sweet and savory dishes from menus designed especially for Super Hunger Brunch weekend. Prices are set at $25, $35 and $50 per person and for every dollar spent, three nutritious meals will be provided to our neighbors in need.

According to Catherine D’Amato, GBFB President and Chief Executive Officer, chefs, restaurateurs and purveyors have long been among the hunger-relief organization’s most generous and dedicated benefactors. “We’re pleased to have so many members of the Bay State’s food community participate in Super Hunger Brunch again this year. As always, we are most grateful for their time, talents and contributions to this important fundraising event for GBFB,” said D’Amato.

In 2013, over 1,700 people participated in Super Hunger Brunch, raising enough funds to provide 183,000 meals to men, women, children, families, senior citizens and veterans in 190 cities and towns throughout eastern Massachusetts.

Chefs Jody Adams of Rialto and Trade, Gordon Hamersley of Hamersley’s Bistro, Mary Dumont of Harvest Restaurant, Andy Husbands of Tremont 647 and Sister Sorel, Tony Maws of Craigie on Main, Frank McClelland of L’Espalier, Ming Tsai of Blue Ginger and Blue Dragon and Brooke Vosika of The Bristol Lounge at Four Seasons Hotel Boston are longtime champions of The Greater Boston Food Bank and serve on the Super Hunger Brunch Culinary Committee.

Participating restaurants include: 10 Center, 80 Thoreau, Blue Ginger, Craigie on Main, The Fireplace, Grill 23 & Bar, Hamersley’s Bistro, Harvest Restaurant, La Morra, L’Espalier, Michael’s Harborside, North 26 Restaurant and Bar, Post 390 Restaurant, Rialto, Stella Restaurant and Tosca. Generous in-kind donations have been provided by Cabot, Cold River Vodka, Garelick Farms, Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs and St-Germain Liqueur from Barcardi.

For more information about the 2014 Super Hunger Brunch, gift certificates and advanced ticketing, visit

2) On Wednesday, January 29, Boston’s Clio restaurant and chef Ken Oringer welcomse Gramercy Tavern Chef Michael Anthony, for a guest chef dinner celebrating The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook. The menu will feature favorite dishes from Gramercy Tavern, like Red Kuri Squash Soup with Lobster; Porgy with Spaghetti Squash; and Duo of Lamb, Braised and Roasted, with Broccoli; as well as highlights from Clio's menu including Foie Gras Laquée Milk & Honey, Piquillo Jam, Pickled Hon-Shimeji Mushrooms.

After two decades as one of America’s most acclaimed restaurants, New York City’s Gramercy Tavern restaurant finally shares beloved recipes, stories, and its pioneering philosophy in this beautiful book, from Chef/Partner Michael Anthony. The book features a forward by Danny Meyer and 125 recipes that highlight the bounty of the farmer’s market, along with useful cooking tips and behind-the-scenes stories from the restaurant family.

When: Wednesday, January 29, from 5:30pm-10:30pm
Cost: $135 per person, including a seven-course dinner and signed copy of The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook (not including tax, gratuity and beverages).
For Reservations, please call (617) 536-7200

3) Embracing the spirit of learning in 2014, brasserie Eastern Standard gives guests an inside look at its unique, collaborative approach to staff training and culture with “Standard” Education – a day of interactive classes that recreate the restaurant’s pre-meal team teaching sessions and emphasize its above-and-beyond standards of internal education.

The day-long program on Saturday, February 8 gives guests of all experience levels – from industry vets to longtime fans – the opportunity to learn with and from members of the ES team in their craft of expertise, tying in various aspects of the restaurant’s lauded food and beverage programs with tastings and demos including:

Demystifying Sherry ($40)
Jackson Cannon (Bar Director of Eastern Standard and Proprietor/Bar Director of The Hawthorne)
11:00 – 11:50 AM
Fresh off a week in Jerez, Spain, Bar Director Jackson Cannon leads guests on a virtual tour through the country’s primary Sherry production region with a tasting of fortified wines from various bodegas and an overview of the winemaking process. The class will also debunk common misconceptions about Sherry (grandma drink it is not!), discuss its comeback among bartenders and drinkers alike and show how it can be integrated into cocktails.

Raw Food: Classic and Modern ($40)
Patrick Campbell (Executive Chef)
12:00 – 12:50 PM
Explore the raw side of brasserie-style cuisine with Executive Chef Patrick Campbell, tasting through both classic and modern raw preparations (think oysters and tartares served alongside crudo and carpaccio). He’ll offer tips for preparing & serving raw items at home (including shopping tricks!), showcase raw dishes beyond seafood (venison carpaccio, anyone?) and elaborate on how the raw program fits into the ES dining experience.

Vermouth Unveiled ($40)
Bob McCoy (Beverage Programs Liaison)
1:00 – 1:50 PM
This hands-on walk through the history of Vermouth with Beverage Programs Liaison Bob McCoy includes a discussion on the loss and rebirth of the spirit, a look at its use in classic cocktails, an overview of new artisanal production and a tasting/comparison of dry Vermouth, sweet Vermouth and Eastern Standard’s house-made rosé Vermouth.

The Wines of Sud-Ouest France ($40)
Colleen Hein (Wine Director)
2:00 – 2:50 PM
Though Southwest France is one of the country’s largest winegrowing regions, it remains largely unexplored and underappreciated by way of glass and palate. Wine Director Colleen Hein sheds light on the diverse terroir of the Sud-Ouest, tasting through both familiar and lesser-known varietals to showcase the natural spirit of the grapes grown and its vignerons.

Cheese as Dessert ($40)
Matt Baum (Cheese Buyer)
3:30 – 4:20 PM
Tackle the age-old question of whether to cap off a meal with a traditional treat or a cheese course by taking a look at cheese in both sweet and savory settings. Cheese Buyer Matt Baum brings guests through the ES cheese program beginning to end, honing in on what to look for when purchasing cheese and how to form a classic cheese progression (with samples of cheeses unique to the restaurant, of course!).

The Study of Scotch ($40)
Naomi Levy (Assistant Bar Manager)
4:30 – 5:20 PM
With interest in Scotch growing across the country, Assistant Bar Manager Naomi Levy breaks down Scotland’s native spirit by style, region and raw materials. She also dives into how Scotch has made its way into current cocktail culture, when/why people drink Scotch, how to taste spirits and proper serving techniques.

WHEN: Saturday, February 8, from 11am-5:20pm (classes are 50 minutes each)
Cost:  $40/person per class, sold a la carte. $200 for the full day of classes. With the purchase of three or more classes, guests may also choose to add on a five-course dinner at Eastern Standard ($70 for food; $40 for optional beverage pairings) and/or an overnight stay at Hotel Commonwealth at a special rate ($169 plus taxes).

Please visit or email for package and pricing inquiries.
CONTACT: or call 617-532-9100

4) On Thursday, January 30, The Beehive, presents a special tribute to Stevie Wonder celebrating his years of soul, pop, R&B, funk and jazz hits with great cuisine, libations and live entertainment. Join The Beehive as funk-jazz band The Funky ABs take the stage to pay homage to Wonder, an American music icon.

Well known for his hits like “Superstition,” “You are the Sunshine of My Life” and “Isn’t She Lovely,” Stevie Wonder has spent the past 52 years sharing his creative approach to music and writing some of the most well-known and beloved lyrics of all time. One of the most awarded male artists of all time, receiving 22 Grammy-awards, Wonder’s singing, songwriting and multi-instrumental playing, is renowned for its originality.

In celebration of this musical legend’s birthday, The Funky ABs will bring their expertise of funk-jazz to The Beehive stage from 9:30PM to 1:00AM. Led by Aaron and Amy Bellamy, The Funky ABs are one of the best funk units in Boston and will surly make the birthday boy proud with their renditions of some of Stevie Wonder’s top hits.

The night’s music will be complemented by the culinary contributions of Executive Chef Marc Orfaly served from 5:30PM-1:00AM. Guests are welcome for a full dinner, or to choose from The Beehive’s collection of cocktails.

No cover charge, cash bar, reservations recommended.

5) On February 3, at 6:30pm, Legal Sea Foods in Park Square will host a wine dinner with Viña Errazuriz. This Chilean-based vineyard strives to produce the finest wines by controlling every stage of the winemaking process. With a strong emphasis on the delicate handling of the wines, the end product emanates elegance and complexity. Legal Sea Foods will team up with Commercial Director, Rodrigo Rodero, to host a four-plus-course dinner featuring signature cuisine paired with Rodero’s selections from Viña Errazuriz’s vine.

The menu will be presented as follows:

Scallops a la Parmesana, Lime-Pisco Vinaigrette
Haddock Ceviche, Tortilla Cups, Micro Cilantro
Shrimp Empanadas, Lime & Corn Relish
Viña Errazuriz “Max Reserva” Sauvignon Blanc, Aconcagua Costa, 2012
Pan Roasted Halibut Fillet (Succotash Salad, Caramelized Red Onion & Apple Jam)
Viña Errazuriz “Wild Ferment” Chardonnay, Casablanca Valley, 2011
Mezquite Grilled Lam* Chops (Winter Wild Rice, Hedgehog Mushroom Ragout, Citrus Gremolata)
Viña Errazuriz “Single Vineyard” Carmenére, Aconcagua Valley, 2010
Viña Errazuriz “Don Maximiano,” Aconcagua Valley, 2007
Slow Roasted Chimichurri Prime Rib (Fingerling Potatoes, Sautéed Green Beans)
Viña Errazuriz “La Cumbre” Syrah, Aconcagua Valley, 2008
Crispy Honeyed Peach Crepe (Vanilla Ice Cream, Pear Zabaglione)
Viña Errazuriz “Late Harvest” Sauvignon Blanc, Casablanca Valley, 2011

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

No comments: