Thursday, January 14, 2016

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/Owner Will Gilson is excited to announce the launch of a new bar menu at Puritan & Company. Kicking off the new year in a tasty way, the bar menu now offers a variety of delicious bites ranging from rosemary-maple bar nuts to corned beef ribs.

Available to bar patrons Sunday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 12 a.m., the menu includes:

Dry-Aged Beef Patty Melt with rye, Swiss cheese, American cheese, special sauce ($18)
Buffalo Skate Wings with shaved celery, Calabrian chili, blue cheese ($12)
Potato Croquettes with Parmesan, black pepper, onion dip ($8)
Fried Oysters with Johnnycake, maple aioli, lemon, bonito ($15)
Corned Beef Ribs with boiled dinner giardiniera, mustard-cider glaze ($12)
Rosemary-Maple Bar Nuts ($5)
Scallop-Linguisa Dumplings with piri-piri, garlic, paprika ($13)
Smoked Bluefish Melt with brioche cheddar, celery, red onion ($14)

The Scallop-Linguisa Dumplings sound especially interesting to me & I'll have to stop by to check them out.

2) On Sunday, January 31 from 2-4 p.m., Chef Tony Maws invites guests to The Kirkland Tap & Trotter to see and taste who can stake claim to the title of Boston’s Best French Fries! The Fry-Off is the second event in “Food Fights 3”—a series of charitable culinary competitions hosted by No Kid Hungry, leading up to the local Taste of the Nation this summer. All proceeds from Food Fights 3 and Taste of the Nation will be donated to the non-profit to help end childhood hunger in America.

Four of Boston’s culinary masters will throw-down the fry gauntlet, serving their best versions of French fries and dipping sauces for a cheering crowd. Attendees have the opportunity to sample all of the fries and crown a “People’s Choice” favorite, and a panel of three esteemed judges will select the overall winner. Tickets are $30/person (event is 21+) and include tastings of each chefs’ fries and accompaniments, bites from the Kirkland kitchen, and two complimentary drinks. The competitors are:

Tony Maws (Craigie on Main | The Kirkland Tap & Trotter)
Cassie Piuma (Sarma)
Andy Husbands (Tremont 647 | Sister Sorel | The Smoke Shop)
Lydia Shire (Scampo)

High on my list of favorite things are cooking, friendly competition, and supporting worthwhile causes—and this event lets me do all three,” says Tony. “I’m honored to work with No Kid Hungry whenever I can, and am pumped that some of my favorite local chefs will be joining! Plus, who doesn’t love fries?

TICKETS: Tickets can be purchased online at
*Event is 21+

3) On January 27, at 6:30pm, Osteria Nino will host its first pairings dinner of 2016, celebrating the flavors of Piedmont in the northwestern corner of Italy. Known for its Barolos and Barbarescos made from the Nebbiolo grape, wines from Piedmont are often characterized as velvety as the tannins are polished and integrated more and more into the wine.

Osteria Nino’s executive chef Walace Benica and director of wine Sam Alberts will team up to host this evening of perfect pairings, showcasing the best tastes from Piedmont’s vine and rich cooking style heralded as Italy’s most culinary progressive region. The menu is designed around expertly-sourced local ingredients that will transport guests back to the Old Country, honoring the timeless techniques and flavors of “cucina italiana,” while highlighting Osteria Nino’s all-Italian wine program.

The four course menu will be presented as follows:

Bagna Cauda (seasonal vegetables with anchovy & garlic dipping sauce)
Guidobono Nebbiolo 2014
Gnocchi al Castelmagno e Noci (housemade gnocchi with Castelmagno cheese & walnuts)
Cantina del Pino Barbaresco 2010
Bollito di Manzo (braised short rib with carrots, cabbage & salsa verde)
Barolo Oddero 2010
Sorta Nocciola (hazelnut cream tart)
Cocchi Barolo Chinato

COST: $85 per person (does not include tax or gratuity)
Reservations are required via EventBrite at: This event is reserved for ages 21+.

4) Following the October book release of Lidia Bastianich's Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine: Everything You Need to Know to be a Great Italian Cook, join the Emmy-winning host of Public Television’s Lidia's Kitchen and Lidia’s Italy, Lidia Bastianich, January 26 at 7:30PM at the Citi Shubert Theatre for an evening of conversation and storytelling celebrating our love of Italian food.

The best-selling author is a beloved ambassador for Italian culinary traditions throughout the world. Her multiple culinary endeavors have married her two passions in life – her family and food. Her extensive experience as a chef/restaurateur includes acclaimed New York City restaurants ‐ Felidia, Becco, Esca and Del Posto, as well as Lidia’s in Pittsburgh and Kansas City. Lidia and her team opened Eataly, the largest artisanal Italian food and wine marketplace in New York City, Chicago, and Sao Paolo and LIDIA's pasta and sauce can be found in supermarkets nationwide.

Steve DiFillippo, Chef/Owner, Restaurateur of Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse and author of “It’s All About the Guest” will moderate the evening. DiFillippo has been in the restaurant industry for 30 years, DiFillippo was inducted into the Massachusetts Restaurant Hall of Fame in 2008 and in 2014 he was awarded Restaurateur of the Year.

Tickets start at $45 and are available at the Box Office,, or by calling 866-348-9738. A limited number of VIP tickets that include a signed copy of her new book and the best seats in the house are available.

5) Executive Chef David Verdo of Outlook Kitchen & Bar at The Envoy Hotel and Chef/Owner Rachel Klein of RFK Kitchen invite guests to brave the cold and celebrate for a cause.

On Tuesday, February 2, from 6:30pm-9pm, Chefs David Verdo and Rachel Klein are teaming up to host “Baby it’s Cold Outside” at The Envoy Hotel. Proceeds from this pop-up event will go directly to the New England Center and Home for Veterans, a downtown Boston facility dedicated to ending homelessness for our Nation’s veterans. Guests are invited to indulge on bites from Chefs Verdo and Klein while listening to tunes mixed by a local DJ and getting a sneak peek at Chef/Owner Rachel Klein’s soon-to-be open restaurant, RFK Kitchen in Needham. Refreshing spirits and wines by the glass will also be available from top sponsors Perrier-Jouët, United, Papa Pilar Rum, and Tito’s.

Tickets are $48.47 including tax & gratuity and can be purchased via Eventbrite.

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