Thursday, September 3, 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) On September 16, Osteria Nino will host their first pairings dinner since debuting in Burlington in April. This authentic Roman kitchen will team up with Massimo Ballabio, Export Manager of Marsuret Prosecco, for an evening celebrating the best Italian tastes from land, sea and the vine.

Osteria Nino’s executive chef, Walace Benica, has designed a menu centered on expertly-sourced local ingredients that will transport guests back to the Old Country, honoring the timeless techniques and flavors of “cucina italiana.” To complement Chef Benica’s cuisine while highlighting Osteria Nino’s all-Italian wine program, proseccos from Marsuret will be featured. Founded in the 1936 by Agostino Marsura, Marsuret is located in Veneto, Italy, and features 111 acres of estate vineyards that are planted on the enchanting Treviso hills.

The four-plus-course menu will be presented as follows in Osteria Nino’s private dining room:

Crostini Misti
Treviso DOC Extra Dry
Baked Polenta (with baccala in a saffron cream sauce)
Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG Extra Dry ‘Il Soller’
Risotto (shrimp, zucchini & mint)
Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG Brut ‘Reves’
Prosecco Braised Duck Leg (with radicchio)
Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG Brut ‘San Boldo’
Biscotti Misti
Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze DOCG Dry

WHEN: Wednesday, September 16: Cocktails – 6:30pm; Dinner – 7:30pm
COST: $75 per person (does not include tax or gratuity)
Reservations are required via EventBrite at:
This event is reserved for ages 21+.

As I've said before, Osteria Nino is one of the hottest restaurants to open this year and you really need to experience their cuisine.

2) In addition, on September 19, the Osteria Nino team will travel to Methuen to host an authentic “farm to table” dinner at Pleasant Valley Gardens near the Merrimack River. This “pop-up” culinary event will feature Italian, family-style culinary creations paired with local beer and wine selections.

In keeping with the centuries-old Italian tradition, Osteria Nino’s mission is to make the most of the exquisite bounty of the land, manifested through its unparalleled sourcing practices and perfectly executed culinary techniques. Through unique “group outings,” the team at Osteria Nino visits farms throughout New England to gather a deeper understanding and respect for its abundant soils and livestock. With a daily changing menu dictated by the freshest and most peak ingredients of the season, Osteria Nino frequently sources from their friends, Richard and LuAnne Bonanno, operators of the 50-acre Pleasant Valley Gardens, whose farm has specialized in dairy, swine, vegetable and flower production for over a century.

Osteria Nino’s executive chef, Walace Benica, has designed a menu to best capture the wonderful tastes of Pleasant Valley Gardens, presented as follows in a scenic farm setting:

Salumi & Formaggi (mixed Italian cured meats and cheeses)
Caponata Crostini (with eggplant, raisins, pine nuts & cherry tomatoes)
Baked Risotto (with greens, eggs, bread crumbs & parmigiano)
ANTIPASTO (served family style)
Caprese (with house stretched mozzarella, heirloom tomato, basil)
Garden Salad (balsamic vinaigrette)
Peperonata (pane Pugliese toast)
PRIMO (served family style)
Meat Lasagna (with beef, pork, tomato & mozzarella)
Eggplant Parmigiana 'Lasagna' (with fried eggplant, tomato, mozzarella & basil)
Spit Roasted Porchetta (with cipollini jam)
Butternut Squash (with walnuts, sage & brown butter)
Grilled Zucchini & Summer Squash (with sea salt & olio verde)
Apple Crumble (with maple bourbon whipped cream)

WHEN: Saturday, September 19: Cocktails – 6:00pm; Dinner – 7:00pm
WHERE: 255 Merrimack Street, Methuen
COST: $80 per person (includes beverage, tax and gratuity)
Reservations are required via EventBrite at:
This event is reserved for ages 21+.

3) CHOPPS American Bar and Grill is excited to introduce Executive Chef Jeff Williams to the Boston culinary scene. Williams brings over seventeen years of experience in top kitchens around the country and a lifelong passion for culinary excellence to his new role at CHOPPS. Before relocating to Massachusetts earlier this year, Chef Williams climbed the ranks at some of San Diego’s most prestigious kitchens in addition to STK West Hollywood, Culver Hotel in West Los Angeles and Westin Bonaventure.

With the guidance and expertise of Consulting Chef Daniel Bruce, Chef Williams and the CHOPPS team are introducing a new fall menu featuring seasonal dishes that remain true to CHOPPS’ signature style and focus on fresh regional ingredients. The new seasonal additions to the CHOPPS menu reflect influences by Chef Williams’ extensive background working with a variety of international cuisines and flavors.

In addition to the signature antibiotic and hormone free cuts of beef and their modern twist on American classics, the new seasonal lunch and dinner menus will feature inspired seasonal plates. Highlights include unique appetizers like Yellowfin Tuna Tartare with crushed avocado, wakame salad and cucumber, inspired small plates including Soba Noodles with spinach, mushroom, and ginger soy and fresh seafood offerings including Salmon with yellow corn succotash, lemon thyme, and crème fraiche. The menu will also offer variety seasonal CHOPPS favorite soups, salads, pizzas, burgers and sides.

CHOPPS fall lunch menu features small plates including Fish Tacos with cod, pico de gallo, cheese, lime and pickled carrots, a variety of classic sandwiches and burgers including the Dry Age Burger featuring River Rock Farms beef, BBQ aioli, cheddar, and crispy onions, and a lineup of fresh soups, salads and pizzas.

If you haven't been to CHOPPS, now is the time to check it out.

4) On September 16, at 6:30pm, Legal Oysteria will host a wine dinner with the Artadi winery. Located in Northern Spain, a group of local winemakers founded Artadi in 1985. With careful cultivation and passion, the personality of the vineyard is one of tradition and preservation. The maintenance of these natural processes with a combination of respect for a historical heritage has resulted in the production of truly inimitable wines.

Legal Oysteria will team up with Owner & Winemaker, Juan Carlos López de Lacalle, to host an exclusive four-plus-course dinner featuring signature cuisine paired with selections from the Artadi vine.

The menu will be presented as follows:

Shrimp with Smoked Cocktail Sauce
Clam Pizza
Fluke Crudo, Buttermilk, Yuzu, Poppy Seed
Summer Crudité with Bagna Càuda
Artazuri Garnacha Rosado, Navarra, 2014
Monkfish Medallions (late-harvest succotash, salsa verde)
Artadi Tempranillo, Rioja, 2011
Pomegranate Glazed Duck (walnut & green olive risotto, roasted maitake mushrooms)
El Sequé, Alicante, 2009
Chili-Coffee Rubbed Sirloin (creamed kale, extra virgin olive oil roasted potatoes)
Artadi “Pagos Viejos,” Rioja, 2010
Artisanal Cheeses from Spain (Torta del Casar, Pico Melero, Valdeón)
Santa Cruz de Artazu, Navarra, 2011

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

5) Joslin Diabetes Center, the world's largest diabetes research and clinical care organization, will celebrate its annual “ritmos de salud” event on October 1st from 6pm-10pm at the Artists for Humanity EpiCenter to benefit its Latino Diabetes Initiative (LDI). The benefit’s aim is to increase awareness about the high risk and impact of diabetes on children and families in the Latino community.

The event will feature a fabulous array of food from some of Boston’s most renowned chefs led by culinary chair Chef Jose Duarte of Taranta. Guests will enjoy dishes from a number of renowned Boston area chefs- including Rodney Murillo of Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, Manuel Sifnugel of Masona Grill, Brian Poe of the Tip Tap Room and many more - while listening to the upbeat Latin rhythms of Alexander el Cantante. Guests are also encouraged to join in on the dancing with a special performance by Boston’s own “Salsa Y Control” Dance Company.

Co-chairing the event, well-known Latino business leaders Lazaro Lopez and Javier Bellini will welcome special guest and Red Sox legend, Luis Tiant, fondly known as “El Tiante,” who has type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a disease of epidemic proportions across all populations, affecting certain racial/ethnic groups in even greater numbers. National data demonstrates that Latinos have a two-fold increase in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to the Caucasian population.

Joslin Diabetes Center’s Latino Diabetes Initiative (LDI) strives to improve the lives of Latinos affected by diabetes, or at risk for the disease, through culturally oriented patient care, education, outreach and research, as well as working to find a cure.

TICKETS: Individual tickets cost $100; to purchase tickets or for more information please visit:

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