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) Connecticut pop-up venture, [oink], is taking over the kitchen at Ribelle in Brookline for three nights in late February. Titled the “CT Chef Takeover”, the collaboration dinners are meant to give the city of Boston a taste of what Connecticut chefs are up to. The dinners will be different menus each night and will be 5-7 course tastings ranging from $65-$85.
The chefs collaborating with [oink]‘s Craig Hutchinson and Alex Lishchynsky will be Matt Wick of River Tavern on February 23rd, James Wayman of Oyster Club on February 24th, and Tyler Anderson of Millwrights on February 25th.
Ribelle owner/chef Tim Maslow and [oink] co-chef Craig Hutchinson worked together while opening Ribelle in 2013. Hutchinson became the first Chef de Cuisine of Ribelle and the restaurant received the coveted “four stars” from the Boston Globe. Since then Maslow has gone on to win Food & Wine’s Best New Chef award. Maslow offered the restaurant to Hutchinson as he will be in Montreal at a food festival for those 3 nights.
Menu’s have yet to be written and tickets go on sale soon, however these dates and chefs have been finalized.
2) On Wednesday, February 10, Tony Maws will welcome Chef Deuki Hong and writer Matt Rodbard to The Kirkland Tap & Trotter for a one-night-only event celebrating the soju-slamming, pepper-pounding, kimchi-everything adventure that is Koreatown: A Cookbook (Clarkson Potter/Publishers; on sale February 16, 2016). For two years, co-authors Hong and Rodbard gathered recipes, stories, in-the-moment photos, and thoughtful interviews from Korean American neighborhoods all across the country to comprise their portrait of a culture in Koreatown. With a penchant for global comfort foods, killer wood grill to complement the flavors of Korean barbeque, and convivial atmosphere, Kirkland is the ideal place to kick-off the cookbook tour.
--Option 1: Guests can book seats at one of Kirkland’s communal tables and enjoy a family-style dinner and discussion with Hong and Rodbard, as they dig into dishes such as marinated and grilled Korean-style Beef Short Ribs; and, Kimchi and Bacon Fried Rice with Gochujang Butter. The evening includes dinner, a complimentary welcome cocktail, and a signed copy of Koreatown for $48.00 (exclusive of tax and gratuity).
--Option 2: The Kimchi and Bacon Fried Rice will be on the menu at Kirkland for any/all to enjoy that night, in addition to the restaurant’s a la carte menu. The cookbook will also be available for purchase for $30.00.
TICKETS: Advanced online ticket purchase is required for dinner at the communal table: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/feast-to-celebrate-the-debut-of-koreatown-a-cookbook-tickets-20933491637.
Space is limited, and guests are encouraged to book ASAP.
Seatings at the communal table are 6:30pm and 8:30pm. The Kirkland bar and dining room opens for a la carte dinner service at 5:30pm.
3) I'm back with a couple more restaurants which will have snow emergency specials this winter. During declared snow emergencies in the city of Boston, Coda will be offering a grilled cheese and tomato soup special. Variations may include braised beef grilled cheese among other flavors. Also during declared snow emergencies in the city of Boston, Pastoral Artisan Pizza, Kitchen, and Bar will be offering its margherita pizza with a select beer, normally priced at $24, for $18 at its bar.
4) Beginning February 1, Tryst, located in Arlington, will launch its all new pop-up concept, “Covengno” every Sunday through Tuesday from 5pm-10pm. Convegno, translating roughly to mean “tryst” in Italian, is Chef Turano’s new Italian-inspired menu which will be offered in addition to the regular menu every Sunday through Tuesday. Guests can choose from three pasta dishes including: hand cut tagliatelle with shrimp, olio santo, garlic and lemon; stuffed pasta with Sunday gravy; Roman Style Gnocchi with roasted winter vegetables, toasted pine nuts & brown butter; and orecchiette with house made chicken sausage with rabe & chilis. Each dish is $18 and will be served with a house-made to go cannoli.
Every few months Chef/Owner Paul Turano plays around with his concept. From his popular AFC, “Arlington Fried Chicken” to T’s BBQ joint, T’s Clam Shack and most recently T’s Taco Bar, each concept represents a fun trend in dining that Chef Turano and his team want to experiment with.
“We like to take everyday items and play with them at the restaurant. Sometimes I think you need to pay homage to where a dish comes from, but sometimes you simply need to use the concept as a vehicle to push the concept further,” said Turano.
Convegno will launch February 1 and will be available through spring 2016 for both dine-in and take-out.
5) Osteria Nino will be opening its doors to welcome San Valentino at 3rd Ave in Burlington. Throughout Valentine’s Day weekend, this authentic Roman kitchen will be dishing out a collection of treasures from the local seas in addition to a decadent dessert.
To start, executive chef Walace Benica will serve Oysters & Shrimp with mignonette and cocktail sauce ($15). For the pasta course, there is Lobster Pappardelle with tomato and prosecco broth ($26) and the main course is a Prosciutto Wrapped Monkfish with beet risotto ($26). To end the romantic evening with something sweet, there is a Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake with chocolate covered strawberries ($10).
Osteria Nino’s all-Italian wine list has extensive sparkling options by the glass and bottle, including prosceccos, rosés, moscatos and franciacortas. Highlights include the Vigne di Alice sparkling rosé ($11/45); Sul Lievito DOCG Adami, a bone-dry prosecco with small lively bubbles ($40); and Barone Pizzini DOCG Brut, a pinot noir structure rounded out by chardonnay and bubbles ($60).
WHEN: February 12-14
For reservations please call (781) 272-1600
6) Lydia Shire alongside executive chef Simon Restrepo and executive sous chef Alex Pineda now are dishing out a seasonal menu brimming with wintertime’s most comforting tastes at Scampo. Italian for “escape,” Scampo is providing diners with a winter retreat laced in delicious flavors and warm hospitality.
To whet your appetite, there are a series of new starter courses. In the “Handmade Breads” category, there is the Roti, served with or without chili, cumin lamb meatballs ($5/10) and Hot Flaky Moroccan Flatbread with petit Moroccan salad bites ($10). On the pizza side, there is a Long Cooked Broccoli & Speck with sweetened ricotta and spicy pecans ($19) and White Pizza with truffle cheese, mushroom duxelles and a Vin Santo and fig preserve ($25). The Winter’s Chestnut & Roasted Garlic Soup is poured tableside over crisped duck leg confit ($16) while the Scampo Twice Fried Chicken ‘Paddles’ sees a trio of wings served up with sweet potato tempura ($15).
For sea treasures, there is the Manila Clams Limoncello steamed with hot oil sashimi of Shire’s signature “#1 tuna” and Hamachi ($21) and Brown Butter Crab Cake with Peekytoe Maine crab, English mustard and pomelo aioli ($21). Other new appetizers include Beef Tenderloin ‘Minute Steak’ with duck fat fried gaufrettes, quail egg and caviar ($24) and Hungarian Mangalica Prosciutto with crushed Marcona almonds and hot tangerine soufflé ($36). From the signature mozzarella bar, there are a duo of newcomers: Mozzarella with Prosciutto & Warm Black Truffle Gougere, black radish and pineapple crema ($26) and Beef Sirloin Carpaccio with fried artichokes, zested winter citrus and Aleppo pepper ($21).
The “Handmade Pasta e Risotti” offerings have been refreshed to include Pear & Pecorino Ravioli with grilled trevisano and warm potato ‘butter’ ($18/28); Preserved Tomato Tortelli with crisped skate wing, garlicky toasted hazelnuts and saffron aioli ($19/29); Handmade Whole Wheat Bigoli with baby lamb ragu, giant yellow raisins and pale celery leaf chiffonade ($19/29); and, Wild Rapini Rissoto with grilled “Greek style” quail, skordalia, dill and burnt lemon ($24).
For reservations, please call (617) 536-2100
7) Alpine Restaurant Group’s Posto will be offering guests limited-time only dinner specials in addition to their regularly available menu on Valentine’s Day weekend.
The specially added dishes are as follows:
Scallop Crudo with preserved lemon, celery hearts and meyer lemon vinaigrette
Root Vegetables with wood-roasted vegetables, pickled carrots and herbed yogurt chardonnay vinaigrette
Love Letter Raviolis with beet and ricotta filling, mint and shaved parmesan
Ribeye Tender with Yukon gold puree, foie gras and black truffle madeira sauce
Risotto with parsnips, grapefruit, thyme and parmesan
Dark Chocolate Cake with chocolate mousse and raspberry port coulis
Napoleon with marsala zabaglione and raspberry mousse
WHEN: Saturday, February 13, from 5pm-11pm; Sunday, February 14, from 4:30pm-10pm
To make reservations, please call (617) 625-0600
8) Saloon will welcome Cupid to Davis Square this Valentine’s Day weekend. On Saturday and Sunday nights, executive chef Shayne Nunes will dish out two nights of specials laced in comfort that are designed to complement Saloon’s 120 rare whiskey selections.
On Saturday evening, Chef Nunes’ will dish out a customizable three-course prix fixe menu with optional whiskey pairings and the items also will be available a la carte. Appetizer options include Fried Oysters with kimchi tartar sauce ($12) or Honey Glazed Baby Carrots with pistachio-basil ricotta and crispy parsnips ($9). For entrees, there is Stout Braised Short Rib with roasted rainbow carrots, cauliflower puree and pickled red onion ($26) or Sweet Potato Gnocchi with chanterelle mushrooms, baby kale, parmesan and maple cream ($21). For a taste of decadence, there is an Espresso Molten Lava Cake with brûléed banana and hazelnut ice cream ($7) or Clementine Panna Cotta with citrus curd and roasted pistachio crumble ($7).
On Sunday evening, appetizer specials include the Chipotle Vanilla Butter Poached Lobster Tail with Applewood smoked bacon, clementine, frisée and avocado crème ($18) and Roasted Beets with mesclun and chicory greens, pistachio and a goat cheese fritter ($12). Chef Nunes has designed two entrees, a Pan Roasted Filet Mignon with truffle whipped potatoes, crispy shallots and mushroom demi-glace ($38) and a Sweet Potato & Red Quinoa Hash with chanterelle mushrooms, baby kale and lemon-maple ricotta ($18). For those with a sweet tooth, there are a duo of desserts: Espresso Molten Lava Cake with brûléed banana and hazelnut ice cream ($7) and Clementine Panna Cotta with citrus curd and roasted pistachio crumble ($7).
COST: Saturday: Prix fixe available for $40 per person or $65 with whiskey pairings; specials also available at a la carte pricing. Sunday: Specials available at a la carte pricing.
For reservations, please call (617) 628-4444
9) Chef/Owner Will Gilson and the Puritan and Co. team invite guests to join them for a night of all things sparkling wine at their upcoming Bubble Rumble. The winter counterpart to Puritan and Co.’s popular summertime wine rumble event Rosé Rumble, Bubble Rumble will offer guests the opportunity to immerse themselves in the best bubbles in Boston like a true insider.
Taking place on Wednesday, February 10th, Bubble Rumble will showcase a variety of sparkling wines for guests to taste, discuss, and learn about while enjoying bites from Chef Will Gilson and the Puritan and Co. team.
The night will feature two, separately ticketed sessions- one at 5:30 p.m. and one at 8 p.m. Tickets are $80 and can be purchased here: http://bit.ly/bubblerumble2016.