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) In celebration of Khmer New Year (Cambodian New Year), a three day celebration which marks the end of the harvesting season when farmers enjoy the fruits of their labor, Elephant Walk (South End) is celebrating this holiday with traditional Cambodian New Year’s specials in addition to the regular menu from April 13 to April 15.
“These are the dishes that I remember most fondly from celebrating our New Year as a child in Cambodia,” said Chef/Owner Nadsa de Montiero.
N’Sahm Chrouk (gluten free) includes natural pork belly, mung beans enrobed in coconut sticky rice, wrapped in banana leaf and steamed; served pan fried with sweet soy and Cambodian pickles ($11). Another dish, Hong Chrouk with PT Farm pork shoulder and belly braised in caramelized pepper-garlic soy broth, with hard-cooked eggs and daikon radish ($20). Lastly, try the N’Sahm Chaek, sweet banana in coconut sticky rice, wrapped in banana leaf and steamed; served warm with coconut cream, fresh coconut and toasted sesame seeds ($8.50).
For more information or to make a reservation please call (617) 247 – 1500.
2) Company Chef/Owner Will Gilson and his at Puritan & Company is celebrating Spring with the unveiling of an enhanced Puritan 2.0. The restaurant concept continues to be that of an urban farmhouse where Gilson presents seasonal, fresh cuisine deeply rooted in New England tradition but Gilson and his team have been working on some changes.
“During this tough winter, my team and I started to think of new, fun ways to invite guests back in for the spring. Now, we have a bit of spring fever and so does the restaurant. We wanted to continue our focus of always evolving and moving forward to make sure that Inman Square continues to be an exciting and innovative dining destination,” said Will Gilson.
Some of the noted additions to the Puritan & Company experience this spring include:
· Saturday Meat Market: The space next to Puritan & Company will become the Puritan Meat Market on Saturdays from noon until 2pm. It will be a takeout, quick service “pop up” concept that pays homage to a throwback of New England lunch favorites. Some of the specialties available for takeout will include: an authentic New England Grinder with cheeses, cured meats, and pickled peppers; a meatball sub; corned beef sandwich; and sausage with peppers and onions. Prices will range between $5 and $10. The Saturday Meat Market begins this Saturday.
· Sunday Spotlight on Chef de Cuisine Alex Saenz: Chef Saenz will now have his own spotlight when he takes over Sundays with his own menu influenced from his South Carolina roots. Called “Southern Sundays with Saenz”, he will create different weekly playful and traditional Southern dishes for guests to enjoy. Some of the featured dishes will include Fried Chicken, Catfish Fry, Shrimp and Grits, and many pork dishes prepared in southern-style. He will also be offering fried green tomatoes, house-made pimento cheese and sweet tea.
According to Saenz, “Southern Sundays will be my vision of how I would be cooking food if I was back home in Charleston; whimsical but staying to the roots of traditional southern cuisine, because you don't change something that is already delicious, you just put your own take on it.”
· Chef’s Tasting Menu: Puritan & Company recently started a Chef’s Choice Tasting Menu every night that will be available in both the bar and dining room. The prix-fixe dinner is $70 per person and is six courses that will be selected by Chefs Gilson and Saenz and will change nightly. The entire table must participate to order the Chef’s Choice Tasting Menu.
· Patty Melt: Without a burger on the menu for the first two years, Puritan & Company has recently added a Patty Melt to the bar menu and Sunday Brunch. It started as a special and became a secret burger for guests at the bar. Due to its popularity, it now holds a permanent position on the bar and brunch menus. The Puritan & Company Patty Melt is $16 and is made with a dry aged beef patty, topped with house-made spicy special sauce, Swiss cheese, American cheese, and homemade rye bread.
· Charcuterie Bar: Puritan & Company has re-launched and re-designed its Charcuterie Bar. The six seat area has a special menu of crudo, cheeses, charcuterie, and amaro flights. A chalkboard will prominently feature the daily specials and a leg of ham will be on display. The Charcuterie Bar will also be available for private parties to reserve for charcuterie and amaro tastings.
3) On April 28, at 7:30pm, Legal Harborside will team up with Olivier Humbrecht, Master of Wine at Domaine Zind-Humbrecht, to host an exclusive four-plus-course wine dinner. With over 100 acres of prime estate vineyards, Domaine Zind-Humbrecht is the archetype of its French region and one of the world’s greatest wine producing estates. Since 1620, the winemaking lineage has proved to last as the hallmark of each Zind-Humbrecht wine is its overriding sense of terroir: the taste of the vineyard is always clear and unmistakable.
The menu will be presented as follows:
Razor Clam Ceviche, Fava Beans, Yuzu, Breakfast Radish
Pea Soup, Meyer Lemon Froth
Fluke Sashimi, Satsuma Tangerine, Japanese Mint
Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Muscat d’Alsace, 2011
Hamachi Crudo (coconut-curry vinaigrette, edamame, mango)
Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Riesling “Herrenweg de Turckheim,” 2011
Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Riesling “Herrenweg de Turckheim,” 2001
Five-Spice Lobster Tail (baby bok choy, ginger-verjus emulsion, Thai basil)
Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris “Rotenberg,” 2012
Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Gewurztraminer “Turckheim,” 2012
Tandoori King Salmon (braised chickpeas, grilled apricot, cucumber raita)
Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Riesling “Clos Hauserer,” 2009
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake (torched pineapple, lychee-buttermilk gelato, cardamom caramel sauce)
Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Gewurztraminer “Clos Windsbuhl,” 2011
COST: $110 per person (excludes tax & gratuity)
Reservation required by calling 617-530-9470 .
4) Hard Rock Cafe is celebrating spring with a new line of cocktails curated by rock legend Carlos Santana. The limited-edition beverages benefit The Milagro Foundation, a charity created by Carlos Santana in 1998 which benefits underserved and vulnerable children around the world by making grants to community-based organizations that work with children in the areas of education, health and the arts. Milagro means “miracle.” The image of children as divine miracles of light and hope, even as gifts to our lives, is the meaning of the name.
The Black Magic Press and the Maria Maria Coronita both feature Carlos Santana’s Casa Noble Crystal Tequila. The Carlos Santana limited-edition cocktails will be available at cafes around the nation beginning now through Tuesday, May 5.
“I'm honored that Casa Noble and I are partnering with Hard Rock Cafe to be a part of their new spring cocktail menu,” said rock legend Carlos Santana. “Like the music of Santana, each ingredient is fresh and new with vibrant flavors that will make guests want to move and celebrate life. Like Santana and Casa Noble, Hard Rock Cafe is committed to helping people, so a portion of the proceeds from this partnership will go directly to helping children in the Las Vegas area.”
The Black Magic Press, named after one of Santana’s top hits, features Casa Noble Crystal Tequila, Hard Rock’s made from scratch margarita mix, fresh blackberries, blueberries, lime wedges and mint leaves. The unique cocktail is served in a coffee-press style vessel that infuses the fruit into the cocktail through the drinking process. Guests can also enjoy the Santana-inspired Maria Maria Coronita – made with Casa Noble Crystal Tequila, orange liqueur, mango puree, lime juice and garnished with a Coronita Extra.