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 Friday, November 7, from 6:30pm-9:30pm, Rock the Boat will be hosting a fund raiser to support the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA). The event will be held at the Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Avenue, Somerville. The event is a tasting and music event that will highlight local-dayboat seafood tastings from area restaurants, live music, chef demo, a fisheries and ocean-focused art exhibit, raffle, and an auction.
The evening will be joined by folk rock singer-songwriter Chelsea Berry, currently touring with Livingston Taylor, and the Bob Marley tribute reggae band, Hope Road, whose lead singer is a commercial fisherman.
NAMA works with coastal communities that depend on fishing to protect our marine environment, strengthen local leadership, and give voice to independent, community based fishermen. NAMA advocates for policies that advance social, economic, and environmental justice throughout the entire seafood value chain.
COST: $40 per adult, $20 for children under 18
Ticket includes food samples, a free beverage or drink (beer/wine); cash bar available
Children under 6 free
AGES: All Ages; 21+ for free beer and wine drink
2) Located in Somerville’s Union Square, Brass Union is debuting their first seasonal menu change highlighting local bounty. Designed by Executive Chef Jon Kopacz, the new carte du jour at this eatery and interactive lounge will dish out autumn delights brimming with ingredients from the area’s local farmers markets and purveyors.
For soups and salads, seasonal options include the Celery Root Soup (crispy parsnip - $7), Baby Spinach Salad (pickled baby beets, savory granola, Great Hills blue cheese - $8) and Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup (jack cheese, fig jam, greens - $11).
There is also an array of sharable dishes, including the Mushroom Toast (wild mushrooms, lightly poached egg yolk, Bloody Mary vin, toast - $10), Cod Cakes (fresh local cod with no filler, citrus aioli, fennel, garlic, blistered tomato, olive - $10), Roasted Parsnips (parsnip puree, arugula & pine nut salad, hard cider reduction - $10), Sautéed Calamari (spicy Italian sausage, fava beans, Swiss chard, bread crumbs - $10) and Jerk Chicken Thighs (roasted cauliflower, curry coconut milk - $10).
For fresh pasta selections, Chef Kopacz will feature the Drumlin Farms Sunshine Squash Ravioli (creamed corn, sage - $10) and Fettuccini (pasta, late summer succotash, corn, fava beans, tomato – half: $11; full: $16). Heartier entrees include the new Grilled Lamb Sirloin (stewed French flageolet beans, lamb bacon, roasted turnips, mustard greens - $18) as well as seasonally refreshed dishes like the Market Fish (grilled eggplant, beluga lentils, baby carrots, yogurt sauce - $14) and Roast Chicken Breast (grape risotto, Chinese broccoli, Concord grape jus - $16).
Chef Kopacz will continue to serve up additional signature favorites, including the Choripán (Argentinian-style chorizo “hotdog,” chimichurri, Portuguese pop - $5), the Vegan Plate (Chef’s selections - $10), Lobster Pappardelle (grilled lobster, fresh pasta, roasted tomato, English peas – half: $12; full: $20), Grilled Pork Loin Sandwich (chile, arugula, kewpie, black pepper, herbed house-cut fries - $13), a Cheeseburger (grass-fed beef, Cabot cheddar, onion marmalade, green aioli, house-cut fries - $14) and Steak Frites (7oz. sirloin, porcini butter, herbed house-cut fries, petite salad, béarnaise - $18).
3) Red Heat Tavern is kicking off the fall season with a new Executive Chef and a new seasonal menu. Red Heat Tavern debuted in Wilmington during spring 2014 and is locally owned and operated by Burtons Grill restaurant group. Red Heat Tavern now showcases the talents of Executive Chef Alan Frati and his reimagined menu that is fueled by fire and flavor.
Chef Frati’s new menu utilizes the restaurant’s state of the art Josper Charcoal Broiler Oven by Wood Stone. The Josper’s variable high heat and smoke control generates a unique flavor that has made the oven an in-demand item for world class kitchens like Gordon Ramsay’s The Savoy Grill in London and Hakkasan in Miami and London. Red Heat Tavern is the only restaurant in Massachusetts, and only one of three in New England, where guests can enjoy food cooked in the Josper’s unique style, combining traditional European charcoal cooking technique with state-of-the-art construction.
“The Josper by Wood Stone is at the core of the Red Heat Tavern menu, as nearly all menu items pass through the specialized oven at one point or another,” said Executive Chef Alan Frati. “Our talented culinary team is able to harness the oven’s heat to cook fresh ingredients at different temperatures with varying levels of smokiness, giving the perfect amount of flame-kissed nuance to everything from prime cuts of proteins and caramelized vegetables to sauces and even desserts. This method of cooking is an art to be mastered as the wood and charcoal must be tended to throughout the day to achieve the best results. The culinary team’s dedication to mastering this very special oven allows us to harness the simplicity of fire to produce unparalleled flavor.”
The Red Heat Tavern kitchen cooks all dishes from scratch using seasonal, fresh ingredients. Highlights of the menu include: Mesquite Smoked Wings that are smoked slow and low and served with Buffalo style sauce or with sweet Thai chili sauce; the Farmhouse Burger with American cheese, bacon horseradish mayo, Applewood-smoked bacon, and a sunny-side-up egg on thick-cut toast; the Turkey Pot Pie with roasted root vegetables and roasted turkey in a savory gravy topped with a flaky herb-parmesan crust; Fire Roasted Meatloaf with ground beef, veal and pork blended with smoked cheddar, homemade ketchup, mashed potatoes, green beans and BBQ gravy; Blackened Chicken Alfredo with mesquite chicken, chipotle and red peppers, cheddar cheese, sour cream and fire roasted salsa verde; and Kettle Chip Baked Cod with tomato beurre blanc, jasmine rice and spinach. A children’s menu offers fun, nutritious options designed to please even the pickiest of palates. Additionally, Red Heat Tavern takes careful consideration when preparing menu items for those with dietary restrictions and sensitivities.
At Red Heat Tavern, an extensive selection of craft beers and unique spins on classic cocktails complement the bold cuisine. Guests can enjoy everything from a selection of 14 seasonal rotating drafts to over 37 selections of bottles and cans which include a unique, ever changing list of large format beers. Classic craft cocktails abound on the drink list, as well as signature Red Heat Tavern standbys such as the Lowell Street Punch, Red Heat Tavern Sangria and Tavern Mules. For those guests who want to combine the best of both beer and liquor, revolving selections of innovative on-trend beer cocktails are also available. Additionally, an approachable list of sparkling, red and white wines are available by the glass and by the bottle.