Thursday, November 12, 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) North End restaurateur and chef, Anthony Caturano of Prezza, has announced he'll open a restaurant this spring in Gloucester: Tonno, Italian for “tuna.” Tonno is slated to open in May and will be housed in the former Blackburn Tavern space. Blending together Caturano’s favorite culinary styles, Tonno will feature coastal Italian seafood and a raw bar.

The 4,000 square foot venue will undergo a full renovation over the winter and the new space will be outfitted with a dining room, a lounge complete with a fireplace, a cocktail bar, a raw bar and a private events room. Seating 99 people, Tonno will have partial ocean views and will be open year-round.

Chef Caturano will design a culinary program that is rooted in coastal Italian seafood classics with specials that reflect the New England waters daily catches. Guests can expect to see items like roasted cod oreganata, coppino, octopus salad and roasted whole branzino. At the oyster bar, hyper-local varieties will be shucked and served with an array of accompaniments.

The beverage program will consist of classic Italian cocktails and a selection of craft beers. From the vine, there will be a curated list of about 150 wines that are mainly focused on Italian varietals, with some additions from Spain and California.

Tonno will open at Two Main Street in Gloucester in the spring of 2016. Tonno will be open for dinner service nightly. Stay updated on the latest developments by following Tonno on Facebook.

As Prezza has long been one of my favorite Italian restaurants, I eagerly look forward to the opening of Tonno. Chef Caturano is an avid fishermen and I expect this new seafood restaurant will be a great addition to Gloucester.

2) When your child is sick, it’s hard to keep up a normal daily routine, and even harder doing so during the holiday season. This is something that Paul Turano, executive chef/owner of Tryst located in Arlington and Cook in Newton, knows all too well, having spent time with his son at Boston Children’s Hospital’s Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplant Units during past holidays. Both Turano’s children have Severe Combined Immune Deficiency Syndrome (SCIDS), and when his son was just two months old he had a bone marrow transplant at Boston Children’s Hospital that saved his life.

This holiday season, Turano is once again giving back to the hospital that was there for his family by holding a holiday fundraiser for the Patient and Family Resource Room, a program that helps provide services to families whose children are being treated at Boston Children’s Hospital Oncology and Hematology Center.

In cooperation with Boston Children’s Hospital, Turano has set up a branded donation page online and will be encouraging holiday donations for the family resource program from December 1 through December 31. To donate, guests can visit the donation page online on either one of the restaurant’s webpages. In exchange for donating, Turano will give donors a gift certificate to Cook or Tryst (for up to $20) with proof of donation.

“I can’t emphasize how much The One Mission Resource Room helped my family and I when we were going through this difficult time. It’s because of their team and services that we were able to maintain a sense of normalcy and routine, and I want to be able to give that back to other families that are going through it,” said Chef Turano.

Funded through donations from area businesses and families, The One Mission Resource Room is staffed by a patient and family educator who can help patients and families learn about their medical treatment. Receiving treatment for cancer and other serious disorders can keep families in the hospital for weeks and months on end, a process that takes a toll on their emotions. The One Mission Resource Room ensures that families who pass through the Hematology, Oncology, Bone Marrow Transplant, Neuro-oncology and Intensive Care units have the help they need at what is probably the most difficult time in their lives. It also offers a space for patients and families to relax and connect with others going through a similar experience. Whether the donated money be used for a morning coffee at the local Dunkin Donuts, or towards purchasing a generic American Express donation that can be used towards gas, or parking (daily routines that are often overlooked), each donation will help parents regain a sense of normalcy in their lives. With the extra help of these funds, Chef Turano will be putting the holidays back in the hands of these families.

HOW: Donate on
After donation, present your receipt at Cook or Tryst to receive your gift certificate (of equal value, up to a $20 value).
ADDITIONAL: Limited to one gift certificate per person. Gift certificates cannot be combined with any other offer, and certificates to Cook cannot be used at Tryst. Non-transferable. To receive gift certificate diners must visit Cook or Tryst. Cannot be done online or via mail.

3) On Monday, December 7, at 6:30pm, Terramia Ristorante, located on Salem Street in the heart of Boston’s North End, is celebrating the long standing history of Tenute Folonari wines with a five-course wine dinner. The Folonari family has worked in the Italian wine sector since the end of the eighteenth century and they were at the forefront of creating the “new frontier” of the Italian wine. At the end of the 1960s the family began devoting themselves strictly to estate-bottled wines and started acquiring some of Tuscany’s finest estates including Nozzole in the heart of the Chianti Classico and Cabreothat Ambrogio.

At this exclusive Tenute Folonari dinner, guests will feel as if they are in the rolling vineyards of Italy once they sample Terramia’s talented chef, Luiz Prata’s hand-crafted five course menu perfectly paired with the Tenute Folonari’s wines. The meal will start with a wild mushroom and chestnut soup with white truffle oil and goat cheese matched with a 2013 “Campo al Mare” Vermentino. The second course follows with polpette con polenta, oven baked meatballs with a creamy Fontina cheese polenta and San Marzano tomato sauce topped with parmigiano cheese alongside the 2012 “Nozzole” Chianti Classico Riserva. As the night continues, guests are treated to the bolognese, featuring pappardelle pasta with traditional ground veal, beef and a pork meat tomato ragù paired with the 2012 “TorCalvano” Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The fourth course includes the bistecca, a prime filet mignon complete with truffle potato mash, sautéed baby spinach, dolce gorgonzola and red wine reduction complimented by a 2013 “Campo al Mare” Bolgheri. The evening will finish on a savory note, with piatto di formaggi Italiani, Chef’s selection of Italian cheeses and dry fruits, which is enjoyed with a 2010 “La Fuga” Brunello di Montalcino.

The dinner is $70 per person (+tax and gratuity).
Reservations are required and can be made by calling Terramia at 617-523-3112.

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