Thursday, July 10, 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) On Sunday, July 27, 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 3rd annual Root Beer Dinner, celebrating Tower’s 100-year-old classic soda recipe.

Founded in Somerville 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. Over 30 years, Tower’s recipe 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, prix fixe dinner by Chef Paul Turano featuring root beer inspired dishes and innovative cocktails inspired by the sweet treat.

COST: $34 per person/ $14 for optional cocktail pairing
Reservations are required and can be made by calling Tryst at 781-641-2227.

2) As part of his continued involvement with Chefs Collaborative, Chef Michael Leviton of Lumière Restaurant will host a rare Alaskan salmon event featuring American Catch author Paul Greenberg and the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA). Guests will have a chance to enjoy multiple courses of fresh Bristol Bay sockeye salmon – flown in from the remote waters of Bristol Bay, Alaska – served with Lumière Restaurant signature creative seasonal accompaniments. Throughout the meal, New York Times bestselling author Paul Greenberg (Four Fish) will discuss his newest book, American Catch: The Fight for Our Local Seafood.

The book, which aims to uncover the tragic unraveling of the American seafood supply, shares the story of how Americans stopped eating from their own waters. Greenberg examines the once plentiful local supply of New York oysters, Gulf shrimp, and Alaskan salmon to reveal how it came to be that 91% of the seafood Americans eat is foreign.

Chef Michael Leviton’s menu includes:

--Lemongrass and Shiso Cured Sockeye with Beets, Baby Watercress and Ginger Vinaigrette
--Hot and Cold Smoked Sockeye Terrine with Lumiere Cream Cheese, Mustard Dill Sauce and Pumpernickel Croutons
--Slow Roasted Sockeye with Verrill Farm Corn, Tomatillo and Sweet Pepper Ragout, Tomato Butter and Sockeye Skin Chicharones
--Summer Berry Pudding with Goat Cheese Cream

All guests will receive a copy of American Catch. There will be time for book signing following the dinner.

COST: $125/person (includes copy of American Catch; wine, tax and gratuity not included).
For Reservations, please call 617-244-9199 after 2:30PM for tickets. You can also obtain tickets from Eventbrite at

3) The Seaport Hotel has partnered with Angel’s Envy to design a custom blend of bourbon with a flavor unlike any other. The TAMO Angel’s Envy Bourbon is now offered exclusively at Seaport’s TAMO Bistro & Bar.

Earlier this year, Seaport team members gathered to sample an array of Angel’s Envy bourbons, each from different barrels, to come up with a blend they could offer at the hotel as its own uniquely flavored spirit. They tasted 12 samples, and made notations of their preferences, similar to what you would see at a wine tasting.

Throughout the tasting, the more experienced bourbon connoisseurs observed a wide range of flavors and scents and described the final product, a blend of three different flavors, as “sweet with a light oak taste”. The blend is made up of barrel “A” 15% (no barrel aging), barrel “B” 55% (moderate oak aging) and barrel “C “30% (extensive Port barrel aging).

At the Seaport, we are committed to offering our guests a truly unique experience. The bourbon category has exploded over the past three years and we are finding it becoming very popular with the 25-35 year old demographic, and especially among women in that group,” said Seaport Hotel Vice President and General Manager, Jim Carmody. “Knowing that bourbon was growing in popularity with our guests, we were very motivated to offer them something special. Our TAMO blend has a robust flavor with remarkable complexity. It has a lot of heat up front with the subtle flavor of vanilla and caramel on the finish.”

The bourbon has been incorporated into the restaurant’s cocktail list in drinks such as the Halo Martini, TAMO Takes Manhattan, and Angel's Wings Martini. The Angel’s Wings Martini includes bursting flavors of grapefruit juice, simple syrup, bitters and muddled mint. Seaport’s newest creation is the bourbon honey chicken wings, which combines the bourbon with honey and sweet chili sauce to create a mouthwatering flavor.

The Seaport is no stranger to creating its own signature libations; last year it used honey made by its own bees, there are a million or so on the hotel roof which are tended to by Seaport’s own beekeepers, to create Seaport Honey Ginger IPA. The beer, a limited release, was served in TAMO and was the result of a partnership with Long Trail Brewing Company.

4) As the exclusive restaurant sponsor of the 2014 NEMPAC (North End Music & Performing Arts Center) Summer Concert Series hosted at Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park in July, Prezza will offer a specially created three-course prix fixe menu priced at $40 for concert-goers, available both before and after the outdoor weekly performances.

In addition to serving their regular menu, the special $40 three-course prix fixe will be served as follows:

-choice of-
Roasted figs wrapped prosciutto, gorgonzola and aged balsamic
Zucchini flowers, pancetta, polenta and roasted tomato
Baby kale, arugula, walnuts, roasted red peppers, goat cheese and balsamic
-choice of-
Homemade meatballs, sausage, ribs, tomato and polenta
Boneless free-range half chicken, Yukon mashed potato, green beans and roasted onion
Grilled striped bass, corn, fava beans and fennel purée
Corn raviolini, pancetta, corn, rock shrimp, white wine, garlic, butter and parmigiano cheese
-choice of-
White chocolate bread pudding, crème anglaise, vanilla bean, ice cream
Raspberry sorbet
Tiramisu “parfait” with Kahlua and espresso

The NEMPAC weekly concert series, taking place each Thursday from 7:00pm - 8:30pm outdoors at the Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park, includes the following performances:

July 10th – Scott Boni Jazz Quartet
July 17th – Happy 450th Birthday Shakespeare
July 24th – Eight to the Bar - Vocally oriented swing, jump blues, and blues
July 31st – Bella Notte - Night of Italian Opera & Song Favorites

WHEN: Available from 5:00pm – 6:30pm and 8:00pm – 10:00pm on Thursday, July 10, 17, 24 & 31 (bar opens daily at 4:30pm)
COST: $40 per person
Reservations are required in advance by calling Prezza at 617-227-1577. (Please specify if you are reserving for the special NEMPAC prix fixe.)
Reservations for the NEMPAC prix fixe cannot be made on OpenTable.

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