Thursday, May 14, 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) Chef Brian Dandro at the Royal Sonesta Boston thinks the ultimate Patio Dining experience essentials are a water view with a sailboat or two on the horizon, a heaping lobster roll and a pitcher of Sangria on the table to share with good friends. With this vision in mind, Chef Brian has created a Summer Patio Party line-up at ArtBar, with special events happening every night beginning June 1.

Rat Pack Mondays with Rich DiMare - Contemporary spins on classic cocktails paired with classic songs by Boston’s hottest lounge singer, Rich DiMare. Look for fresh new cocktails like:
Boston Tea Party/Infused Stoli Vodka, St. Germaine, Lemonade, Ice Tea
Plan Bee/Gin, Yellow Chartreuse, Lemon Juice, Lavender Honey Syrup
Cherry Blossom/Cherry Vanilla House Infused Bourbon, dimmi, black walnut bitters

Sweet Relief Tuesdays – Pastry Chef Christina Allen-Flores will be creating S’mores, Lemon Panna Cotta, Key Lime Pie, Strawberry Shortcake as some of her summer confections. Dessert is compliments of the house on Tuesday evenings with the purchase of a sandwich, burger, or entrée.

Beer & Burger Wednesdays – ArtBar is offering a special Wednesday burger at half price, paired with a beer of your choice.

Trivia by the River Thursdays – Surrounded by the world’s leading universities, it’s time to show your smarts every Thursday night at ArtBar with Trivia Nght hosted by Stump Trivia. Show your trivia smarts and win delicious prizes.

Lobster Fest Fridays – Chef Brian is creating an all-lobster menu to be offered on Friday evenings with special discounts out on the ArtBar patio. Dig your claws into twin lobsters, lobster bisque, lobster corn dogs, lobster rolls, lobster lettuce wraps, lobster pot pie, and more. Bibs optional.

Saturday Sangria and Tapas - Summer = Sangria + Patio Dining. Chef Brian is creating a Summer menu of small plate favorites paired with authentic Spanish tapas. Buy a pitcher of sangria and get one item from the tapas menu free.

Sunday Bloody Mary Brunch - Design your own Bloody Mary at ArtBar’s Bloody Mary Brunch. The ideal way to spend a Sunday afternoon on the patio.

Table #30 – Looking for Summer’s Best Patio Table? Ask about Table #30 at ArtBar – it’s a corner table with great views of the Charles River.

2) Charlie Gaeta, the GM and Beverage Director at The Blue Ox in Lynn, has launched an intriguing new initiative for wine drinkers called ‘Throwback Thursdays.’ This is a play on the popular hashtag #TBT, and a way to engage their customers concerning older wines.  Charlie is sourcing out wines with a considerable amount of age on them; wines that are essentially never poured by the glass but are generally cellared away or available only by-the-bottle at most restaurants.

Every Thursday, Charlie hand-picks aged varietals (hence the 'throwback' terminology) that showcase specific grapes in specific regions that age well as a way of providing his guests the experience of drinking an older wine without having to splurge on the entire bottle. Because he tastes the wines prior to selling them, Charlie is able to ensure guests aren't just getting an aged wine; they're getting a unique and enjoyable wine experience. Typically, the #TBT offerings are served table-side by decanter, which includes having a conversation with Charlie about the varietal.

Here are a couple examples of what Charlie has already offered as part of 'Throwback Thursday.'

2005 Domaine Coursodon Saint Joseph Blanc
A great producer with a decade of age on it. It showcases how white wines can age from the Northern Rhone. This is a blend of Marsanne & Roussanne.
1996 Farella-Park Vineyards Merlot
A great way to showcase the quality or old Napa reds. This was the oldest wine they have poured so far.

I think this is a very cool program and recommend you check it out, to get to taste wines you might not normally have access. And The Blue Ox has excellent food to accompany these wines.

3) Chef & Owner Anthony Caturano is bringing new flavors to his weekly Gravy Sundays culinary series at Prezza in the North End. “Gravy Sundays” provides a menu of Old World-style comfort cuisine with a featured special each week.

For the remainder of May, Chef Caturano will dish out the following weekly specials:
May 17: Crispy Pork Chop with vinegar pepper sauce and roasted potatoes ($28)
May 24: Prosciutto Wrapped Monkfish with roasted tomatoes, ramps and potatoes ($25)
May 31: Veal Milanese with arugula, lemon, radish, red onion, cucumber and cherry tomatoes ($26)

Prezza’s core “Gravy Sundays” menu serves up six homestyle options including: Fried Calamari (cherry peppers - $14); Gnocchi (San Marzano tomatoes, parmigiano - $18); Chicken Parmigiano (tagliatelle, San Marzano tomatoes - $26); Veal Saltimbocca (crispy prosciutto, broccoli rabe,, roasted potatoes - $26); Orecchiette (sausage, broccoli rabe, chili flakes, parmigiana - $18); and, Meatballs (tagliatelle, pecorino cheese - $18).

4) Beginning on Tuesday, May 19, Besito Mexican, at the Burlington Mall and The Mall at Chestnut Hill, will offer a new “Appy” Hour, Every Monday through Friday, from 3pm-6pm, guests can grab a seat in Besito’s bar area and take advantage of $5 appetizers and $5 tacos as an end-of-day treat.

“Appy” Hour patrons can choose from a selective list of appetizers and tacos, including:
Flautas de Pollo featuring crispy chicken tacos, queso fresco, crema, salsa verde cruda and salsa guajillo
Quesadillas Calabaza, flour tortillas, queso Chihuahua, roasted green chiles,squash blossom, mushrooms, salsa verde cruda
Tostaditas, corn tortillas, frijoles negros, shredded queso Chihuahua, pickled jalapeno, chorizo, crema,pico de gallo
Empanadas de Hongos: wild mushroom empanadas, goat cheese, salasa manzana
Tacos (2 each), including Tacos de Camaromes (shrimp), Tacos de Pollo Tinga (chicken), Tacos de Pescado, (fish), and Tacos de Carnitas (pork).