Thursday, October 8, 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 October 25, at 7pm, Osteria Nino will host its monthly “Sunday Supper” event to benefit the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (Rockland, MA), the state’s leading breast cancer organization. At this family-style dinner enveloped in warm Italian hospitality, Osteria Nino will team up with local farms throughout New England to feature the season’s finest bounty while honoring Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Osteria Nino’s executive chef, Walace Benica, will prepare a farm-to-fork menu celebrating the best tastes of the region, which will be paired with Italian wines and local beers. The four-course menu will be served family-style and presented as follows:

Ricotta Pudding Soufflé (lacinato kale, parmigiano)
Chicories Salad (toasted walnuts, pomegranate, persimmon)
Shaved Fennel (black olive, orange, red onion)
Butternut Squash Ravioli (brown butter, sage, amaretti)
Pasta e Lenticchie (maltagliati pasta, red lentils, hot pepper flakes, rosemary, ricotta salata)
Ribeye Steak alla Fiorentina (broccoli, spinach, cannellini beans)
Red Wine Poached Pears (mascarpone cream)
Fresh Turmeric Tisana

COST: $75 per person (includes beverage pairings; tax & gratuity not included). A portion of the proceeds benefit Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition.
Reservations are required via EventBrite at:
This event is open to all ages. Patrons must show a valid 21+ ID to consume alcohol.

2) On October 25, from 6pm-10pm, Davis Square speakeasy Saloon will team up with Somerville’s Razors Barbershop for an evening of distinguished gentlemen. Master barber brothers Anthony & Joseph Berriola will be on hand giving traditional straight razor shaves to ensure your lineup is looking tight for fall. To tease the palate, Johnnie Walker will shake up a custom-designed whiskey cocktail or purists can opt to take theirs neat. Once cleaned up (and looking dapper), treat yourself to an appetizer from Saloon’s menu like the signature Devils on Horseback (feta-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon, reduced balsamic), Grilled Bratwurst (tomatillo relish, smoked honey mustard, brioche roll) or Saloon Street Corn (two grilled cobs, spicy remoulade, cotija cheese, grilled lime).

COST: $40 per person (includes shave, Johnnie Walker cocktail and appetizer of choice; tax & gratuity not included)
To reserve, please visit:
Shave appointments are available in 20-minute sessions, beginning at 6:00pm. Guests are asked to arrive at least 15 minutes before their scheduled session.

3) Located in Cape Neddick, Maine, The Velveteen Habit is debuting a revamped cocktail menu that captures the peak flavors of the season and the timeless techniques behind true classic cocktails. The Velveteen Habit’s new libations are brimming with freshly squeezed citrus juices, garden-infused spirits, homemade syrups, bitters and shrubs as well as signature “Farmhouse Sodas.”

Utilizing the harvest from their kitchen garden, the beverage team has curated an exclusive collection of spiked house infusions. Imbibers seeking a unique drinking experience can indulge in these TVH Farmhouse Sipping Spirits including crabapple rye, orange spiced rum, coffee liqueur and crème de cassis. Still gloriously marinating behind the bar, limoncello, orangecello, basilcello, barenfang and Irish cream will make their debut later this season.

The Farmhouse 14 Shrub marries TVH’s own farmhouse crabapple vinegar shrub with house spiced rum and sparkling water. For an adult twist on a soda pop favorite, there is Uncle CJ’s Rootbeer with root liquor, Old Overholt, vanilla simple, TVH sassafras bitters and orange. The frothy Little Pucker is a shaken concoction of Pisco brandy, TVH cherry brand syrup, lemon and egg white. The herb-packed Scarborough Fair sees Hendick’s gin with sage liqueur, lime, rosemary and a touch of honey.

Other signature cocktails include the Velveteen Cosmo (Burnett’s Citrus vodka, orange, lime, violet-raspberry liqueur); Negroni Sting (Barr Hill Barrel Aged Honey gin, Campari, blended sweet vermouth); The Sazerac (Old Overholt, blended bitters, simple syrup, absinthe wash); Brooklyn Stop (Bulleit Rye, Domaine Canton, farmhouse ginger syrup, lime); Whiskey Paramore (Laphroag scotch, clement creole shrub, rosemary, honey, lemon); and, The Killer B (Bimini gin, Thai chile honey, lemon juice).

For those going virgin, a trio of refreshing housemade TVH Farmhouse Sodas are available including basil & fennel, pomegranate & lime and crabapple shrub.

4) Maitre Cuisiner de France Jacky Robert of Ma Maison has all your autumnal cravings covered. Name a seasonal ingredient, and be assured that chef Jacky Robert of Ma Maison is using it on his new fall dinner menu.

Tatin of apples accompanies Hudson Valley foie gras
Bone Marrow Butter
A silver tureen of it, in which to dip giant sea scallops
Butternut Squash
… and chestnut soup
… is creamed into a velvety soup with bacon
Glazes a Normandy-style roasted veal loin on the bone,
Gastrique adds scent and sensuousness to foie gras and blackboard specials
Fillets are house-smoked and served with Potato and Onion Salad
Jack Daniels
Splashed over honey, bitters and ginger beer for a unique fall libation
Oyster Mushrooms
Star in an earthy risotto, alongside creminis and shiitakes
Baked Alaska
Silly Rabbit, Leg of
When Chef Robert served this dish to Julia Child and Jacques Pepin back in 1997 at the legendary Maison Robert, Julia exclaimed “Jacky, this is a very silly rabbi t!” The leg is served with brandade and vinegar sauce.
Cooked to the chef’s whim, are the Plat du Jour every Wednesday.

5) In celebration of National Seafood Month, this October, some Boston-based restaurants are cooking up new and innovative seafood dishes so diners can get their seafood fix. The USDA recommends that people consume a minimum of two servings of seafood per week to increase intake of Omega-3 acids, help decrease the risk of heart disease and improve physical and cognitive health and it’s not hard to do with these offerings. Here are some of the local choices available.

Bistro du Midi
Executive Chef & Partner Robert Sisca has a deft touch with seafood having worked for famed Chef Eric Ripert at Le Bernardin. At Bistro du Midi, Sisca delights the senses with a tremendous respect for all things seafood and an immense appreciation for local product. Sisca’s ever changing selection of crudo exemplifies his passion for utilizing seasonal ingredients combined with refined, classic techniques. With choices like Yellowfish tuna with quinoa, heirloom baby beets and basil crème or fluke with duck cracklings, lime and bottarga consommé, these flavorful dishes are tasty and absolutely beautiful.

Chopps American Bar and Grill is the joint creation of national acclaimed Consulting Chef Daniel Bruce and Executive Chef Jeff Williams. The dynamic duo has given new meaning to the American chophouse by elevating familiar dishes with new flavors and inventive techniques. The new yellowfin tuna dish with sesame soba noodles, thai basil, tomato and ginger soy is a fusion of flavors and textures that will delight any palette. Chopps American Bar and Grill features a new “Classic American” era of culture, cuisine, cocktails and beer, making it the perfect spot to grab a drink, enjoy live entertainment and get your dose of Omega-3s.

Between being located adjacent to the Boston Fish Pier and having chefs from the Mediterranean, Committee is the spot to get the freshest and most flavorful seafood. Guests can enjoy succulent Grilled Octopus made with orange, fennel and caper berries or flex their mussels with Committee’s Midia dish consisting of poached mussels, fried cauliflower, fennel and ouzo. .

At dbar guests can dive into enjoying a new entrée showcasing scallops as Chef Christopher Coombs is serving up Seared Diver Scallops. His version includes lemon glazed day boat scallops, shishito pepper infused quinoa, rooftop tomato, radish and basil. When you’re getting scallops straight from the boat to your plate you know they are going to be nothing less than delicious.

Chef Daniel Bruce of Meritage Restaurant + Wine Bar brings a unique Vineyard-to-Table concept to Boston. He has formed special relationships with winemakers from all over the world and has created dishes like the Maine Lobster and Ricotta Gnocchi to complement the finest selections in wine. This simple, but delectable recipe is made with saffron tomato essence, allowing the flavors of the lobster and ricotta to speak for themselves.

Akinto at Wink & Nod
Akinto is the latest culinary collaboration at Wink & Nod’s innovative rotating pop-up dining program. Akinto’s menu showcases the distinctive flavors and ingredients of Southeast Asian street food and is designed for sharing. Executive Chef Patrick Enage’s innate South Asian influence shines through in his seafood offerings, especially in the Crispy Soft Shell Crab Bao Tacos. With tastes from Taiwan, Thailand and New England these up-scale tacos are made with crispy soft shell crab bao, cane vinegar pickle, sweet chili and green onion sauces.

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