Thursday, July 17, 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) The Oceanaire Seafood Room invites scallop connoisseurs to try Alaska Weathervane Scallops off its Alaska Seafood & Wine Weekend five course menu available only July 25 - 27. These very limited, high quality, frozen-at-sea scallops are the freshest seasonal delicacy straight from the fishing boats of Alaska Weathervane Seafoods.

Caught from the Bering Sea on the Arctic Hunter, the fishermen catch, shuck, clean, size-sort, box and rapid-deep-freeze the Alaska Weathervane within four short hours of capture. This process locks in the Weathervane’s natural sweet flavor and delicate texture for scallop aficionados to enjoy around the world, from the remote pristine icy waters of Alaska. These scallops are not soaked in water nor combined with any chemicals in processing.

The five-course menu will include not only Alaska Weathervane Scallops but also Alaska King Crab, Wild Alaska Halibut and Wild Alaska Salmon. Each course is paired with wine selections of JCB No. 21, Cremant de Bourgogne, NV; Domaine de la Perrière Sancerre; La Crema Monterey Chardonnay; and CrossBarn by Paul Hobbs Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. Guests can only order the Alaska Weathervane Scallops as part of the pre-fixed menu selections. The five-course dinner costs $85 per guest.

We are looking forward to sharing this ultra-fresh seasonal indulgence with our loyal patrons,” said Wade Wiestling, Corporate Executive Chef of The Oceanaire Seafood Room. “It is a short fishery with very limited catch so we encourage area-residents to come try these legendary scallops while we have them!”

Alaska Weathervane Seafoods is a marketing group formed by three of the Alaska Weathervane Scallop fishing boats and their crews to sell the sweetest, all-natural scallops in the world. These three fishing boats are the only vessels to hold license to catch and freeze onboard the legendary Alaska Weathervane Scallops. The scallops are fished sustainably in a manner respectful to the environment and other fisheries.

2) Legal Oysteria, a Legal Sea Foods one-off, has now opened in Charlestown. Oysteria is a casual neighborhood restaurant serving coastal Italian-style seafood with a menu developed by Executive Chef Rich Vellante, a dual American and Italian citizen. The menu is inspired by the food he cooks at home for friends and family and the bar program is designed to complement the cuisine.

Legal Oysteria is inspired by a traditional “osteria” and aspires to provide a casual, comfortable and accessible environment. The space features an open design with floor-to-ceiling windows, an expansive island bar seating 30 with a white marble top, an open kitchen boasting an old world brick oven with true clay-based fire bricks and a rotisserie. The dining room seats 139 people and there is also a private dining space for parties of up to 35.

Legal Oysteria’s menu showcases the freshness and purity of its seafood offerings and other ingredients. Preparations are simple and authentic and the brick oven informs the menu. Highlights from Vellante’s menu include: Charred Octopus (tomato, potato, coriander vinaigrette - $10); Crispy Eggplant Caponata Dip (grilled focaccia - $8.50); Roasted Clam Pizza (mozzarella, pecorino, parsley - $12); Grilled Stuffed Trout (braised fennel, pickled cherry tomatoes - $19); Steak Pizzaiolo (crispy rosemary tomatoes - $24); Whole Roasted Fish (potatoes, tomatoes, olives - $20); and, Sausages Stuffed with Truffle Cheese (lentils, leeks, pancetta - $18). There are also a variety of “Small Plates,” priced between $3-5, including Salt Cod Crostini, Ricotta Fritters (spicy honey) and a trio of Oyster preparations (raw, grilled and baked).

On the spirits side, Legal Oysteria’s bar program is designed to complement the cuisine. The all-Mediterranean wine list – heavily focused on offerings from Italy and Spain – is presented by the grape varietal or varietal mix. There are 32 wines by the glass, five by the half-bottle and four tasting flights. The cocktail program highlights the wine, vermouth, chinato and amaro of Italy and beyond. There are six signature drinks, as well as six aperitivi, featured including: Prosecco Cocktail (a traditional spritz with prosecco, Aperol, Aperitivo Rosa, citrus, soda - $11); Amaro Mule (a fun, flavorful take on a classic bracer with Nonino Amaro, fresh lime, ginger beer - $10); del Sole (“proof of a higher power” with Moscato Chinato, prosecco, love); and, Mr. Wonderful (strong, dark and handsome with rye, amaro, citrus oil - $10). There are eight draught beers, including regional craft selections.

3) Pura vida,” or the good life, is what renowned chef and restaurateur, Michael Schlow and executive chef Leo Asaro at Tico are bringing to Back Bay for the restaurant’s annual Summer Patio Series.

Tico will bring the streets of Latin America to its Back Bay patio, serving authentic dishes like sausages, quesadillas and empanadas. Chefs will be stationed throughout the patio cooking up these delicious treats while roving ‘Tequila Girls’ from Cazadores will be passing out samples of this small-batch tequila aged in virgin oak barrels.

The Tico Street Food Fair menu features:
· Sausages with Spicy Mustard
· Empanadas with Salsa Verde
· Pork, Manchego and Jalapeno Quesadillas with Chipotle Aioli
· Vegetarian Quesadilla
· Style-your-own Cazadores Bloody Maria Bar with a super-spicy ghost chili-infused tequila, a mild blanco tequila, three house-made mixers, and a variety of house-blended spice rims
· Traditional Margaritas from Cazadores

WHEN: Saturday, July 26, 1om-4pm
COST: $35/person; includes food, Cazadores Bloody Maria Bar, Cazadores Margaritas, non-alcoholic beverages, tax and gratuity. Beer and cash bar not included.

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