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) Tonite, at 10pm, turn your television to Food Network to watch an epic grill battle. Chef/Owner Matt O’Neil of The Blue Ox in Lynn, is making his in a special grilling-themed episode of Beat Bobby Flay. Season Five, Episode Five, entitled "Stars and Stripes", will pit our local chef against Bobby Flay. This should be a fun way to start the July 4th holiday, and maybe you'll even pick up a few grilling tips.
I'm a big fan of what Chef O'Neil is doing at The Blue Ox, and he is also a two-time reigning Champion of Boston magazine’s ‘Battle of the Burger,’ with his Sin Burger. What will he prepare for this grilling episode? Will his food be good enough to defeat Bobby Flay? Catch the episode tonite and see what happens.
2) As part of Legal Sea Foods’ “Endless Summer” at the Charles Square location in Cambridge, their outdoor Terrace Bar will feature an “All American Hot Dog Bar” during the month of July.
Legal Sea Foods will dish out a single specialty hot dog or a three-dog sampler board. There are five loaded varieties to choose from, including:
· Sonora “Bacon Wrapped a la Plancha” - grilled onions, tomatoes, jalapeño relish
· Chicago Vienna Beef Dog “Dragged Through the Garden” - tomato wedge, piccalilli, pepperoncini, dill pickle, mustard
· New Jersey Thuman’s Dog "Ripper Style" - crispy fried "rutts style" relish, steamed bun
· NY Sabrett All Beef Hot Dog - sauerkraut, sweet onions in tomato, brown mustard
· Rhode Island Little Rhody Brand "Hot Weiner" - diced onions, meat sauce, yellow mustard, steamed bun
Cost: One Dog ($5); Three Dog Sampler Board ($15)
3) On July 21, at 7:15pm, Legal Sea Foods in Park Square will host a wine dinner with Jordan Vineyard & Winery. Established in 1972, the winery was inspired by the great wine estates of France and the timeless connection between food, wine and hospitality. Located in Sonoma's Alexander Valley, the home for their wine is an extraordinary chateau combining winemaking facilities, guest suites and dining areas under one roof. Founders Tom and Sally Jordan set a standard for a Bordeaux-style California Cabernet Sauvignon and wine country hospitality, a top standard that is still held at Jordan today.
Legal Sea Foods will team up with Jordan’s National Sales Director, Chris Avery, to host a four-plus-course dinner paired with selections from the Jordan vine. The menu will be presented as follows:
Maine Crabmeat Salad, Yuzu, Cucumber Cups
Pan-Seared Scallop Tartlet, Vanilla Infused Leeks
Charred Shrimp & Roasted Tomato Bruschetta
Jordan Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, 2013
Pecan Wood Grilled Tuna Steak (Shiitake Creamed Orzo, Cavolo Nero, Local Blueberry Gastrique)
Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, 1995
Herb Crusted Lamb Loin (Grilled Eggplant Caponata, Agrodolce)
Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, 2006
Bacon-Pepper Wrapped Beef Tournedos (Boursin Smashed Potato, Crispy Leeks, Bordelaise)
Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, 2009
Aged Vermont Dandy, Grafton Three-Year Aged Cheddar
Chili Chocolate Truffle, Apricot Chutney, Brioche Toast Points
Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, 2011
COST: $125 per person (excludes tax & gratuity)
Reservation required by calling 617-530-9397
4) Akinto, which debuted in March., is the current culinary residency at the South End speakeasy Wink & Nod. Executive Chef Patrick Enage has created a tasting menu to give guests the opportunity to try the many flavors of Akinto, inspired by Southeast Asian street food from Chef Enage’s native Philippines as well as India, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Japan and Laos.
I've been to Akinto, though I'm behind in my review. I will say that the food rocks! It is delicious, with a great depth of flavor, and we need more of this cuisine in the Boston area. Chef Engage earns my highest recommendation and he needs to have his own restaurant in the Boston area. Thus, I heartily recommend you check out this new tasting menu.
The five-course tasting menu will be available Monday – Thursday beginning at 5pm. The tasting menu, which features popular dishes and highlights from Akinto’s dinner menu will allow guests to try a variety of dishes, served family style, for only $65 / person.
The full tasting menu is as follows:
Roti Paratha, Red Curry Dipping Sauce
Cucumber Salad, Bean Sprouts, Toasted Sesame
Marinated Shiitake Mushrooms
Spicy Pork “Drop Wontons”, Anise BBQ, Toasted Sesame-Rice Wine, Peanut Paste
Pork Hash “Sisig”, Quail Egg Yolk, Calamansi, Soy*
Head On Chili Shrimp, House Sambal, Patola*
Kabayaki Glazed Swordfish Belly, Taiwan Lettuce, Salted Duck Egg Vinaigrette
Braised Oxtail, Black Bean-Water Spinach, Jasmine Rice
Roasted Duck Bao Bun, Hoisin-Ginger Sauce, Green Onion
Vegetable-Pineapple Fried Rice, Fried Egg, Cilantro
Chicken Tom Kha Gai, Thai Coconut Broth, Lemongrass, Lime
Teapot Fish Stew, Lemongrass-Clam Broth
Kalbi, XO-Coconut Glaze, Calamansi, Cilantro, Flowering Chives, Peanuts
Mango Sorbet, Lychee Boba, Chili Essence
Turon, Banana Fritter, Jack Fruit, Smoky Caramel
Reservations recommended so please call 617-482-0117
5) On Monday, July 13, at 6:30pm, guests will take a virtual culinary wine tour of the Italian countryside at Fiorella’s Restaurant’s summer wine dinner. Designed to both educate and entertain, Fiorella’s wine dinner features a five-course prix fixe meal, paired with Italian wines from Martignetti Companies.
Inspired by homemade and authentic Italian cuisine, Fiorella’s all-inclusive meal ($85 per person + tax and gratuity) offers seasonal dishes. Each course will be accompanied by a paired wine. In addition, Len Presutti, the corporate wine educator from Martignetti Companies will guide guests through the wines, expanding on the history, curiosities and nuances of each selection.
Summer Wine Dinner
--Chilled and marinated Spanish octopus served with seared Yukon gold potato, green olives, evoo and arugula
Wine: Batasiolo Gavi di Gavi Granee
--Roasted fig stuffed with gorgonzola with prosciutto and balsamic glaze
Wine: Roagna Dolcetto
--Corn, chanterelle mushroom, and mixed heirloom tomato risotto with rock shrimp sautéed with meyer lemon and chives
Wine: Ascheri Arneis
--Honey, orange, soy and ginger marinated duck breast served with sweet fingerling potatoes with golden raisins and pancetta served with a frisee salad
Wine: Sperino Lessona
--Native bing cherry and blueberry crisp with a dark chocolate sauce and mascarpone gelato
For Reservations, please call 617-969-9990