Thursday, April 2, 2015

Thursday Sips & Nibbles

I am back again with a new edition of Thursday Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I highlight some interesting, upcoming food & drink events.. **********************************************************
1) Boston Nightlife Ventures (BNV) is excited to announce Akinto at Wink & Nod, a new culinary collaboration with Executive Chef Patrick Enage that is part of the craft cocktail speakeasy’s rotating pop-up dining program. Focusing on Southeast Asian cuisine, Enage’s six month residency in the kitchen at Wink & Nod begins on Monday, March 30.

The name Akinto means “this is mine” in Tagalog, reflecting Enage’s view of the program as a welcome opportunity to articulate and explore his own distinctive culinary perspective. Enage explains, “I see Akinto as an exciting opportunity to introduce guests to the Southeast Asian flavors and ingredients I grew up with—the flavors that shaped my culinary perspective.”

Enage was born in the Philippines and moved to Los Angeles at a young age. A culinary school graduate, Enage worked in fine dining establishments and hotels across the country before meeting his mentor, current BNV Chief Culinary Officer Bill Brodsky, while working the line at the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club. Prior to joining the BNV team, Enage worked as Chef de Cuisine at Brodsky’s City Landing restaurant in Boston. To prepare for this new project, Enage took a month to travel around Asia this winter, exploring traditions and ingredients at their source.

Akinto will showcase the distinctive flavors and ingredients of Southeast Asian street food from Enage’s native Philippines as well as India, Singapore, Thailand, India, Vietnam, China, Japan and Laos. Designed to encourage sharing, the menu features snack-sized small and medium plates that complement Wink & Nod’s cocktail program, as well as large plates and desserts that will satisfy guests seeking a full meal.

Highlights from the approachably priced menu include:

Small Plates ($7-$10)
--Pork Hash “Sisig” with quail egg, calamansi, and soy
--Traditional Shrimp Bao Buns in a curried mussel liqueur
--Spicy Pork “Drop Wontons” with anise BBQ, toasted sesame-rice wine, & peanut paste
Medium Plates ($11-$18)
--Braised Oxtail and Black Bean Water Spinach with jasmine rice and house chili oil
--18-Hour Pork Belly in a Kabocha-pho broth
--Kabayaki Glazed Swordfish Belly with grilled Taiwan lettuce and salted duck egg vinaigrette
Large Plates ($22-31)
--Teapot Fish Stew with lemongrass-native clam broth
--Steamed Striped Bass with orange miso tamarind glaze and long beans
--Korean Style Beef Short Rib with X0-coconut glaze, calamansi, cilantro, flowering chives, and peanuts
Desserts ($6-$9)
--Green Tea-Almond Chocolate Bar
--Thai Tea Crème Brulee with peanut crackle
--Turon Banana Fritter with jack fruit and smoky caramel

As I have written about before, I have bemoaned the fact that there is so little Filipino cuisine available in the Boston area, so I am very excited to see the arrival of Arinto. I hope you check it out too and let me know your thoughts.

2) On April 13, at 6:30pm, Legal Oysteria will host a Tuscan wine dinner with Wine Expert, Claudio Andreani. Legal Oysteria will team up with Andreani to host an exclusive four-plus-course dinner featuring signature cuisine paired with selections from the Tuscan vine.

The menu will be presented as follows:

HORS D’OEUVRES
Grilled Calamari Salad
Fresh Cod Cakes
Olive Oil Poached Tuna Crostini
Tenuta Campo al Mare Vermentino, 2013
FIRST COURSE
Pan-Seared Trout (fennel purée, warm pine nut dressing)
Tenute del Cabreo “La Pietra” Chardonnay, 2012
Tenuta di Nozzole “Le Bruniche” Chardonnay, 2013
SECOND COURSE
Swordfish Saltimbocca (slow-roasted balsamic turnips & cipollini onions, toasted fregola)
Tenute del Cabreo “Il Borgo” Super Tuscan, 2011
Tenuta TorCalvano Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, 2011
THIRD COURSE
Rosemary and Black Pepper Rib Roast (roasted wild mushrooms, grilled asparagus, porcini jus)
Tenuta di Nozzole “La Forra” Chianti Classico Riserva, 2009
CHEESE COURSE
Manchego
Aged Gouda
Pecorino Romano
Tenuta di Nozzole “Il Pareto” Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009

COST: $85 per person (excludes tax & gratuity)
Reservations required by calling (617) 530-9392

3) On Monday, April 20, in celebration of the 2015 Boston Marathon, The Beehive will host the second annual benefit event in support of the Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Fund. From 10am-1am, 100% of the profits will be donated towards the organization’s mission to fuel cutting-edge research and clinical programs in trauma healing and limb reconstruction.

The Reny Family established the Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Fund in gratitude to the doctors at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) that saved their 18 year old daughter’s life and limbs following the explosions at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon. The fund fuels innovative research and clinical programs in trauma healing and limb reconstruction to help future patients with traumatic, athletic and disease-related limb injuries regain their strength so they can step strong once again. The Beehive is proud to honor the medical heroes at BWH who treated and saved 39 patients with life-threatening injuries that day and support this effort to turn the tragedy that befell the Reny Family into hope for the future.

Guests will enjoy a day of live jazz performances and cuisine from The Beehive’s Executive Chef Marc Orfaly. Opening for a special holiday brunch, guests can enjoy selections from The Beehive’s brunch menu including: Eggs Shakshuka, poached eggs baked “North African Style” in tomato sauce with polenta ($15), Quiche with hot & sweet Italian sausage, broccoli rabe, caramelized onion, mozzarella ($16.5) and Sirloin Steak & Potato Hash, poached egg, salad ($17.50). For kids ten and under, The Beehive has a “Little Bee’s Kids Menu” featuring scrambled eggs and toast, kiddie French toast and grilled cheese and frites (all $8).

For dinner, guests can indulge including dishes such as: Szechuan Style Beef Brisket with Kung Pao vegetables ($25), Roasted Salmon, truffled savoy cabbage and whole grain mustard broth ($26), The Beehive Prime Burger with frites & slaw ($18) and Cauliflower Parmesan, arugula and pomodoro sauce ($24).

For reservations, please call 617-423-0069

4) The South Boston Neighborhood Development Corporation presents the 13th Annual Taste of South Boston on April 12th from 6 - 9 pm at the Plaza Ballroom at the Seaport Hotel . Don’t miss out on this chance to sample delectable culinary creations from South Boston’s new dining establishments including: Pastoral, Bastille Kitchen, Loco Taqueria, J.P. Licks, and the Juice Box. In addition to these new establishments will be: American Provisions, Barking Crab, Café Porto Bello, Cranberry Café, Empire, Flour Bakery & Café, Jerry Remy's Seaport, Legal Harborside, Lincoln, Local 149, Lucky's Lounge, M.C. Spiedo, Miam Miam Macaronerie, No Name Restaurant, The Paramount, Salsa's, Salvatore's, Stephi's in Southie, Strega Waterfront, Sweet Tooth Boston, Tamo Bistro & Bar, Temazcal, and Trade.

Al's Liquors will be pouring samples of select wines, and Harpoon Brewery will be providing samples of their latest brews.

Purchase tickets today at: tasteofsouthboston.com

5) As the highly-anticipated premiere of the fifth season of “Game of Thrones” approaches, the show continues to establish itself as a true cultural phenomenon. In response to the excitement among devoted viewers, Violet Thorn, the signature bar and lounge located at The VERVE - Crowne Plaza Natick, will offer a special menu inspired by the fantasy drama during the weekend of the premiere.

On Saturday, April 11 and Sunday, April 12, “Game of Thrones” enthusiasts are invited to enjoy a selection of small plates created by Executive Chef Alastair Mclean and Chef James Booth for the return of the hit series. Fans looking for bold flavors will want to start with Dragons Tail with Fire Breath ($10), an appetizer of crispy pig tails tossed in a spicy sauce, while those seeking hearty fare that’s guaranteed to satisfy even the nobles of Westeros will want to dig into piping hot Beef n’ Bacon Pie ($12), a beef stew topped with a flaky puff pastry. For “Thrones” fans hoping to dine like true medieval royalty, Violet Thorn’s King’s Landing Confit ($10), a dish comprising of turkey leg with giblet gravy, and Baratheon Blood Wild Boar Rib ($12), a plate of ribs with braised tomato sauce, are the perfect fit. Providing a perfectly sweet ending is Sansa’s Homemade Lemon Pie ($8), a light and refreshing dessert drizzled with vanilla icing and topped with roasted almonds.

Guests looking for a complete experience will want to take advantage of The VERVE’s “Game of Throne’s”-themed overnight package that includes the following: two small plates from Violet Thorn’s special menu, a bucket of three beers from Ommegang Brewery, popcorn, and of course, a complimentary in-room viewing of episode one of the season five premier on Sunday, April 12th.

COST: Room package starts at $159 for Saturday, April 11th and $219 for Sunday, April 12th (tax and gratuity not included). Package includes: choice of two small plates from “Game of Thrones”-themed menu, popcorn, and a bucket of three beers from Ommegang Brewery.
For Reservations, please call 508-653-8800

6) On Wednesday, April 22,  The Wine ConneXtion, located in North Andover, is celebrating the opening of “The Back Room at The Wine ConneXtion,” the new high-end wines and spirits room, with a complimentary whisky sampling, “East Meets West.”

Last year Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible named Yamazaki Single Malt Japanese Whisky the best whisky in the world— the first time in its history that a Japanese whisky took the top spot, bypassing Scotch and shocking connoisseurs all over the world. But what are the defining differences between the two whiskys? From 6:30PM to 8:30PM the expert staff will be serving tastes of top-shelf whiskys from Japan, Taiwaan and Scotland, highlighting the subtle flavor differences between the two styles as a result of heating techniques, climate and landscape.

Don’t miss this opportunity to experience the evolving profiles of the whisky world and to support the expansion of The Wine ConneXtion.

COST: Tastings are complimentary and open to the public, 21+ only

7) In lieu of a vacation to Europe this spring, Davis Square watering hole Saloon is going on “Island Time, Scottish Style” as they host a whiskey tasting celebrating the liquid delights of Scotland’s shores on April 21 at 7pm. Emceed by Saloon’s resident malt man and Beverage Director Manny Gonzales, this spirits-based tasting will showcase single-malt scotches from various Scottish islands including Islay, Jura, the Isle of Mull and the Isle of Arran. Complemented by a selection of cheeses and charcuterie, Gonzales will hand-select some of the greatest tastes from Scotland’s premier isles while imparting his wisdom on how these whiskeys are developed in relation to their islandic surroundings.

COST: $35 per person
Advance reservations required. For tickets, please visit: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/island-time-scottish-style-tickets-16384532578?aff=es2

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