Thursday, October 23, 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 Saturday, November 1, the Olé Restaurant Group is celebrating the Day of the Dead holiday with traditional fare and customs. In Spanish, this holiday is called Día de los Muertos. Men, women and children of all ages honor and celebrate their loved ones who have passed away, participating joyously in a festival that has roots nearly 4000 years old.

Ole will have a festive atmosphere with special decorations, traditional dishes, and creative cocktails. The altar will be set, and they encourage everybody to leave a small thought of a love one. All diners will receive complimentary “Traditional cinnamon Day of the Dead bread and hot Mexican Chocolate” with their dinner. Complementary bread and chocolate with the purchase of entrée per person. One per person per table.

November is also the kick start of Ole’s acclaimed “Festival del Mole” (Mole month festival). Mole are sauces, including black, red, yellow, red, green peppers, almendrado and pipian. Many Mexicans celebrate with special dishes using mole sauces. Chef Ramos invites all guests to share this tradition as well.

The menu, available for the entire month of November, will feature different mole sauces different regions of Mexico. Some options will include, Mole Negro with Turkey, the darkest of all the moles, Mole Mancha Manteles with Lamb Shank, a deep red mole famous for “staining table cloths” and Mole Verde with vegetables a vegetarian pumpkin seed base mole with seasonal vegetables. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste these intricate sauces, made of up to 30 components cooking for several days as tribute of love ones, life and tradition. The Festival del Mole Menu is served in conjunction with the regular menu.

The bar will be offering a special drink: “Sangre de Judah” – Zapopan Reposado Mezcal, Vago elote, fresh squeeze lime juice, and curacao, top with Sangre de Guida wine

For Reservations, please call 617-492-4495

2) On Monday, November 10, at 6:30pm, Legal Harborside will team up with Andrea Pace, USA Brand Manager of Ceretto, for a four-plus-course wine dinner. Located in the hilly area of Langhe in northern Italy, Ceretto is predominantly recognized for its selection of red wines, its sprawling vineyards, environmentally sustainable practices, architecturally modern wineries and design. Family-owned for three generations, the Ceretto family is one of the largest vineyard proprietors in Piedmont with more than 395 acres of estate-owned vineyards, located primarily in the Langhe and Roero region, including in the prestigious areas of Barolo and Barbaresco. The Ceretto name is synonymous with estate-grown, carefully produced wines that express true varietal character with purity and elegance.

The menu will be presented as follows:

Baked Clam - ciabatta pancetta crumbs
Sunchoke Soup - crispy prosciutto, poached pear
Crispy Pork Belly - thinly sliced scallop*, apple mostarda
Baccala Fritter - salsa verde, lemon & white anchovy aioli
Ceretto “Blangé” Arneis, Langhe, 2013
Porcini Mushroom Soup (braised rabbit, marsala prunes)
Ceretto Barbaresco, Piemonte, 2011
Truffle & Chestnut Agnolotti (slow roasted veal shank, crispy sage)
Bricco Asili “Bernadot” Barbaresco, Piemonte, 2007
Charred Strip Steak (smoked lentils, oxtail, bone marrow bordelaise)
Ceretto Barolo, Piemonte, 2010
Bricco Rocche “Brunate” Barolo, Piemonte, 2008
Poached Pear & Hazelnut Torta (mascarpone cream, local honey)
Ceretto “Vignaioli di Santo Stefano-Belbo,” Moscato d’Asti, 2013

COST: $135 per person (excludes tax & gratuity)
Reservation required by calling 617-530-9470

3) As if it were ripped straight from the pages of Bram Stoker's Dracula, Pier 6 will be offering Transylvanian fare in celebration of Halloween on Friday, October 31. “Our chef thought it would be interesting to research, prepare and showcase Transylvanian cuisine for guests and we haven’t seen this done in Boston before,” said Sal Boscarino, Managing Partner of the Charlestown waterfront eatery.

The chef he is speaking of is Chef Adriano Silva who has been working in Boston kitchens such as B & G Oysters, Green Street Grille and Sportello for over ten years, working his way up from a dish washer, to line a cook, sous chef and eventually Executive Chef at Pier 6.

While some creative license was exercised, all the dishes are connected to traditional Transylvanian cuisine with dishes like, clătite, savory seafood crepes featuring lobster and scallops in a white wine cream ($16), Transylvanian Goulash with slow-braised beef, smoked paprika and sour cream ($22) and a traditional Transylvanian Apple Tart ($8). Guests can choose any of the items as specials which will be offered in addition to Pier 6’s regular menu.

The bar will also be highlighted during Halloween at Pier 6 with special night walker cocktails including The Twilight with a mix of Triple 8 Vanilla Vodka, White Crème, Triple sec and a splash of Milk & Grenadine ($10) and Dracula’s Kiss featuring Tito's Handmade Vodka, Cointreau, Pineapple Juice and Raspberry Puree ($11).

The Transylvanian food and beverage specials will be served in addition to Pier 6’s regular menu and is available only on Friday, October 31, from 5pm-10pm. Reservations are highly recommended so please call them at  617-337-0054

4) Besito Mexican, a Mexican restaurant venture from restaurateur John Tunney III, opened its first Massachusetts location in June at the Burlington Mall, I previously wrote a rave review of the Burlington restaurant, and their second Massachusetts restaurant will open on Friday, November 7, in The Mall at Chestnut Hill. The Chestnut Hill restaurant will have over 125 seats and a full bar and during the warmer months will offer outdoor patio seating. The menu will be similar to that of Burlington, and I anticipate the food and drinks will be equally as good. Check out the new Besito when it opens in a couple weeks.

5) Chef & Owner Brian Poe is adding seasonal southern comfort dishes – and some wild game – to his menu at Estelle’s. In addition to the signature burger options, po’ boys, and classic southern fare, Chef Poe’s revamped menu brings forth new tastes and flavors to the South End.

For starters and salads, highlights include: BBQ Wings (peach-basil BBQ & beer glaze - $10.95); Southern Nachos (fried chicken skins, jalapeños, cherry peppers & pimento cheese sauce - $8.95); Buffalo Brussel Sprouts (buffalo sauce, blue cheese - $8.95); Tater Tots (horseradish cheese sauce, fried sage, lava salt - $8.95); and, the Autumn House Salad (arugula, apples, blue cheese, champagne cider vinaigrette - $6.25).

New savory burgers and entrées include: Elk Burger (rosemary and onion char-grilled maitake mushroom, cured cherry tomato, Belgian white mustard - $10.95); Turkey Burger (cranberry-fennel slaw - $10.95); Fried Avocado Burger (cilantro lime crema - $10.95); Poe Dawgs (alligator Andouille, venison, bison mini hot dogs - $12.95); and, Duck & Andouille Sausage Etouffee (trinity, tomatoes and spiced white rice - $23.95). Other newcomer sides are the Cornbread with Molasses Butter ($4.25) and Fried Sweet Potatoes ($4.25).

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