Thursday, June 30, 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 Will Gilson and the Puritan and Co. team invite guests to enjoy a cone (or six) at their upcoming soft serve pop-up. The team at Puritan & Company is embracing the warm weather with the addition of a one-time-only soft serve pop-up on Saturday, July 9th. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  the space next to Puritan & Co. will transform into a decedent soft serve pop-up concept.

The soft serve will cost $5 with homemade toppings available for an additional $0.50 each. Specialty Puritan and Co. sandwiches may also be available for purchase.

Homemade toppings will include:
Homemade peanut Butterfinger
Homemade hard pretzel crumbs
Farmer’s market berries
Rainbow and chocolate sprinkles
Brownie pieces
Toasted salted nuts
Toasted coconut
Cookie crumble
Hot fudge
Salted caramel sauce

2) This Independence Day, Bukowski Tavern in Cambridge’s Inman Square will host a luau-themed celebration in honor of our nation’s fiftieth state. Courtesy of Buks, the Hawaiian 4th of July fête will dress patriots in grass skirts, leis and coconut bras to get into the festive spirit. Chef/owner Brian Poe will be serving up the special Hawaiian Luau Burger with spicy Napa cabbage, cucumber, mango and peanut slaw, spam bits and guava BBQ sauce ($12.95). To sip, bar manager Justin Lipata will lead the team in pouring tiki drinks while tapping the kegs to specialty brews including Goose Island’s Four Star Pils, 10 Barrel Brewing Co.’s Piña, a seasonal wheat beer with pineapple and passion fruit, and a special cask of the grapefruit peel-infused Blue Point Hoptical Illusion.

WHEN: Monday, July 4, beginning at 4pm
COST: Specials available at a la carte pricing

3) Parsnip Restaurant and Lounge invites guests to enjoy the warm, summer weather on their newly opened patio. Parsnip’s new patio, located adjacent to the restaurant’s Winchester Street entrance is the perfect spot for enjoying a bite while people-watching in Harvard Square’s Winthrop Park. The space, shaded by sleek umbrellas, seats 20 and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The patio features a special menu of lighter fare, which includes:
English green pea falafel ($6)
Oysters with mignonette and seasonal accouterments (Market Price)
Grilled shrimp with watermelon, feta, and basil ($18)
Cheese platter with chutney and crostini (three for $15 or 5 for $21)
Charcuterie platter ($25)
Maine lobster roll with butter poached lobster, chives, lobster-infused potato roll, and fries ($27)
Salmon sliders with shaved fennel salad and caper aioli ($15)

4) Owner Nick Frattaroli, Chef Kenny Schweizer, and General manager Mike Wyatt of Ward 8 have unveiled a new summer menu showcasing the season’s bounty. The cuisine and cocktails on the menu reflect Ward 8’s commitment to providing guests a casual but refined dining experience in Boston’s North End.

New, summer menu highlights include: Lobster “Hole” with fresh shucked lobster, black truffle mayo, griddled brioche and sweet potato fries; Crispy Pork & Watermelon with braised pork belly, fresh watermelon, watercress and feta; Curried Mussels with beer-steamed mussels, curry coconut broth and country bread; Carpetbagger Carpaccio with beef carpaccio, fried oysters and pickled crème fraiîche; Pan Seared Shrimp & Scallops with sweet potato gnocchi, tomato, scallion, spinach and citrus fumet; Fried Clam Lettuce Cups with whole belly clams, slaw and pickle chips; and raw bar options including a Seafood Plateau, Lobster Cocktail, Chilled Steamed Clams, and more.

Ward 8 is also now hosting Oyster Mondays and Lobster Clambake Sundays. Every Monday night throughout the summer from 5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., Ward 8 is serving up grilled oysters for $1.50 and raw oysters for $1. Every Sunday night throughout the summer from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Ward 8 offers a delicious Lobster Clambake for only $35, which includes a full lobster, clams, corn on the cob, mussels and chorizo sausage.

To complete the dining experience, Ward 8’s carefully curated menu of high-quality, craft cocktails has been updated to highlight the summer’s flavors and ingredients. Ward 8’s delicious and refreshing cocktail options now include: Charles Marie with passion fruit, green chartreuse, cacao and club soda; After School Special ketel oranje, falernum, pineapple and mango pale ale; Hotline Sling tanqueray 10, aperol, lemon and pink bubbles; and Cute But Pyscho ron zacapa, grapefruit, lemon and bantam cider.

5) Experience an All-American feast at Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse in honor of the Fourth of July as Davio’s is offering two exclusive specials just for America’s birthday. Available on Saturday, July 2 and Sunday, July 3, the Surf N’ Turf Burger ($30) takes it to the next level with the bi-coastal bounties of Kobe Brandt beef from California and fresh Maine lobster, topped with truffle béarnaise sauce and served with a heaping side of truffle fries. And available from Tuesday, July 5, to Friday, July 8, enjoy some Red, White & Blue Sangria ($13), a light and fruity libation.

6) Local beverage innovators Spindrift and Night Shift Brewing share values of making real, quality ingredients a priority in everything they do, and for one night are aligning for a fun summer celebration of Boston’s real food movement, and the consumers who care as much about what they drink as what they eat. The evening will highlight Boston’s freshest food and drinks with local food trucks brought in for the occasion, live music, complimentary Spindrift and an interactive “The Real Squeeze” station where attendees can fresh-squeeze their own Spindrift flavors.

WHERE: Night Shift Brewing, 87 Santilli Hwy, Everett
WHEN: Wednesday, July 13th, 7-11 pm

Spindrift is proud to make the first and only sparkling waters with real, fresh fruit. The water is triple-filtered, and the fruit is picked from family farms and then squeezed and bottled/canned within only a few days from harvest. The result is light, bright, and slightly pulpy sparkling beverages.  Night Shift Brewing was founded in 2012 by three friends passionate about home brewing. This Massachusetts brewery aims to create and share a world-class culture with memorable craft beers that offer a wide array of unique, complex flavors through culinary inspiration and innovation.

7) Located in the heart of Harvard Square, Asian-Fusion eatery Night Market is rolling out a tasty, and refreshing way for Bostonians to beat-the-heat this summer. When temperatures reach 85+ degrees, diners who order any flavor of Night Market’s famous Sake Slushies, will receive half-off an order of the “Lick ‘em Sticks.”

Diners can choose from a refreshing variety of slushie flavors including Pineapple Coconut Punch, Yamato Mule, and a rotating “Slushie du jour.” Night Market’s Lick ‘em Sticks includes five sticky rice balls served with garnishes and an addictively tasty dipping sauce.

Guests must be 21+ and show valid identification to take advantage of the special.
WHEN: Available Tuesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to close whenever the temperature is 85+ degrees.

I have tasted the Sake Slushies and they do a very good job, and the slashes definitely are perfect for summer weather.

8) Chef Moe Kuroki of OISA Ramen is hosting another pop-up event, this time at Brassica Kitchen + Cafe, located in Jamaica Plain. The event will be held on Monday, July 11, from 6pm-9pm.

The Ramen Dinner ($35/person) will include three courses and you must purchase tickets ahead of time as there is a limited amount of ramen available. And Chef can work with dietary restrictions if she is notified 5 days before the event. Please let the Chef know if you have food allergies, because not all of the ingredients are listed.
--Shabu shabu salad (thinly sliced pork, ponzu dressing)
--Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen (Pork broth with homemade noodle, pork belly, egg, burnt garlic oil, scallion, sesame)
--Mitsu Mame, Japanese style fruit salad (Elderflower kanten jelly, watermelon, orange, mint syrup)

Buy tickets online here.

There will also be an a la carte Izakata menu offered all night, with no ticket purchase nesessary.
--Shichimi Fries (Spicy seven spice French fries)
--Age dashi Tofu (Tofu with mushroom and kombu dashi)
--Tsukune (Chicken meatball)
--Buta Don (Pork, soy soaked egg, rice)
--Yasai Don (Summer vegitable, rice)
--Chasu Chili Dog (Chili with pork, cabbage)
--Old Fashioned Mitsu Mame (whiskey kanten, orange, cherry)

I've been to a couple of the OISA Ramen events and the Ramen is absolutely delicious. This should be an excellent event and I highly recommend you check it out.

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