Thursday, June 26, 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) Seeking a great wine bargain at a local restaurant? Starting July 1, and running through September 2, you can find such excellent bargains at Troquet's annual Wine Cellar Clearance Sale. Every night during this period, owner Chris Campbell will offer approximately four dozen vintage bottles of wine at deep discounts. These bottles are the last of their kind in his cellar and once they're gone, they're gone. Bottles are for enjoying with dinner, not takeaway.

I've been to this wine cellar during previous years and Troquet offers true bargains and rare finds. You will find plenty of older wines, at frankly dirt-cheap prices, from all over the world. You'll never know what you might find, but I'm sure you will find something intriguing.

Troquet recommends diners make reservations, as this event is quite popular, so please call 617-695-9463 to book your dinner.

2) On Wednesday, July 9, from 7:30pm-11pm, Beat Hôtel will transport diners to Greece during its first Greek Beat Fest, a night featuring specialty Mediterranean-inspired menu items and music from Synavlis.

In addition to the regular menu, guests can enjoy Greek-inspired food specials with a Beat Hôtel twist. Executive Chef Ignacio Lopez will be serving up dishes like mezze platters, shrimp with walnut garlic sauce, roast leg of lamb with oregano potatoes & Greek salad, and seared ahi tuna with warm cauliflower salad, lemon & olives that pair nicely with any Beat Hôtel libation. Signature cocktails to indulge in include the Soursop Fresca, concocted of Bluecoat gin, soursop nectar, agave, lime, and soda ($12) and the Electric Sidecar, made with Clear Creek apple brandy and Fruit Lab orange organic liqueur ($12).

The food isn’t the only thing going Greek on the 9th. Guests will be able to enjoy authentic Greek music from Synavlis. Hailing from Greece, Synavlis is a talented quintet that performs traditional Greek music from Asia Minor and the Islands of Chios, Lesvos and Naxos.

For more information or to make a reservation call 617-499-0001.

3) July presents a special British theme at The Cheese Shop of Concord, with several exclusive, in-store happenings worthy of note:

Tuesday, July 1
A special British Cheddar, aged especially for The Cheese Shop is available for just a few weeks.
--Cheese buyer Brie Hurd journeyed to the U.K. in April, and met with 3rd-generation cheesemaker Jamie Montgomery of Montgomery’s Cheddar. After tasting the cheese in various stages of aging, on the North Cadbury Manor Farm where it is made, Brie was invited to select one wheel exclusively for The Cheese Shop of Concord. This exceptional cheddar was made in June 2013, aged to a “round and balanced” 11 months, then shipped to Concord. Montgomery’s is “the epitome of traditional, handmade, unpasteurized Somerset cheddar” and is carried only by the top cheesemongers in the U.S. It has won over 15 worldwide cheese competitions since 1996. Muslin-wrapped and aged on wooden shelves for up to 18 months, it has a flavor some have called “like the caramelized crust of a Sunday roast.” The store will sell it by the pound until it runs out.

Thursday, July 3
British Cheesemakers invade The Cheese Shop. Meet them & enjoy free sampling all day.
--Two respected cheesemakers will be visiting on this date. Stop by to meet these artisans, and enjoy samples of their award-winning wares all afternoon.
Sam Holden, HAFOD Welch Organic Cheddar
Holden makes small batch cheddar cheese from raw, Ayshire cow milk, known for its high butterfat content. The cows graze in meadows near the Aeron River in West Wales, on a farm certified organic since1973. This distinctive cheese reveals its Swiss recipe origins in its deep nutty flavor, and it has a distinctive mold rind.
Joe Schneider, STICHELTON Blue
Joe is one of six cheesemakers at the Welbeck Estate at the tip of Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, “the English blues heartland,” and a growing region for artisanal foods. Not a true Stilton because it is made with unpasteurized milk, the cheese’s name means “style of the village.”

Saturday, July 19
English Beers & Ciders Sampled from 1pm-5:30pm
The staff of The Cheese Shop’s promises to pour some eye-opening beers, ales and ciders from England.

Throughout July
Blackboard Special: Ploughman's Lunch Sandwich
--The term ploughman’s lunch has been used in England since the 1300s. It refers to a fast and filling cold platter, often served with ale. Cheese Shop will offer a traditional version on pumpernickel with English cheddar, ham, chutney, hard boiled eggs and pickled vegetables.

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