Thursday, July 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) In celebration of summer in the city, Lydia Shire – alongside executive chef Simon Restrepo and executive sous chef Alex Pineda – is bringing seasonal specialties to the menu at Scampo with nearly 30 new offerings.

To whet your appetite, there are a series of newcomers. For a decidedly summer starter, the Lemon Cukes & Avocado are served over a cilantro and peanut salad with a toasted sweet sesame dressing ($13). For sea treasures, Scampo is bringing back their signature Clams Casino ($16) in addition to debuting Sushi Tuna that has been crisped in bean thread noodles and served with kabocha squash dumplings ($21) and Purple Garlic Soup with homemade almond milk and buttered crab ($16). For meat lovers, new options include the Tender Broccoli Raab with farro strozzapreti and caramelized pork belly ($21), a sharable platter of Greek Style Lamb Chops with tomatoes over a whipped garlic and vinegar skordalia ($32) and Hungarian Mangalica Prosciutto with dark maraschino cherries and a stuffed zucchini flower ($36). From the signature mozzarella bar, there are a trio of newcomers, one served with vine ripe heirloom tomatoes and basil ($14), one with beef sirloin carpaccio, arugula, beet root hummus and fried chick peas ($23) and another with burrata, corn shoots and sweet vidalias on a warm puffed caramelized red onion tart ($21).

In the “Handmade Breads” category, there is Garlic Bruschetta with baccalà mantecato ($10) and on the pizza side, there is a White Pizza with truffle cheese, sherried chanterelles and fig preserve ($28) as well as Melting Stracchino with crushed potato and crumbled hot sausage ($20).

The “Handmade Pasta e Risotti” offerings have been refreshed to include Corn & Mascarpone Ravioli with sherried chanterelles and toasted hazelnuts ($19/29), Spinach Gnocchi with delicate poached shrimp “meatballs” and an ‘assertive’ green herb sauce ($18/28), Spiced Lamb Manti with saffron yogurt and a brown butter tomato sauce ($19/29) and Walnut Risotto with robiola and brûléed fresh figs on a grilled, toasted fig leaf ($28).

The entrée-sized “Plates” also have undergone a seasonal revamping, including the Yellow Miso Glazed Chilean Sea Bass with lemony cous cous in tagine with ras el hanout ($38); Grilled Scottish Salmon with blistered kale leaves, beet red wine butter and white truffled potato gnocchi ($34); Pink Swordfish ‘Piccata’ with sliced green heirloom tomatoes, Sicilian pistachio pesto and crisped Florida rock shrimp ($36); Brick Chicken with coconut onion rings ($30); Charcoaled Duck Breast with broiled fresh plums on a toasted olive oil cake, finished with red sorrel leaves and candied fennel ($34); Sugar Cane Roasted Kurobuta Pork Chop with summer’s fresh corn risotto and shaved black truffle ($39); Charcoaled Porcini Rubbed Veal Chop with charcoaled sugar snap peas, buttermilk aioli and aligot potatoes ($46); and a 1.75lb Lobster Savannah ($48), a resurrection of Shire’s famed dish at Locke-Ober.

2) On Thursday, July 21, from 6:30pm-9:30pm, Bar Boulud, Boston, located at Mandarin Oriental, Boston, will embark on a vinicultural journey to Provence. Provence, located on the southern coastline of France, has long been regarded as one of the world’s best winemaking regions and it happens to be one of Chef Daniel Boulud’s personal favorites.

Guests are invited to join Bar Boulud's Sommelier, David Bérubé, for this four-course educational experience, which will feature bold and classically complex wines paired with seasonal French-inspired classics.

The “Summer in Provence” Wine Dinner Menu will be served as follows:

Seared Tuna Niçoise (Taggiasca olives, haricots verts, cherry tomatoes, white anchovies)
Estandon Vignerons, Côtes de Provence Blanc 2015
Grilled Loup de Mer (Fennel, lemon, sauce vierge)
Estandon Vignerons, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2015
Herb Roasted Leg of Lamb (Petits farcis of summer vegetables)
Estandon Vignerons, Côtes de Provence Rouge 2013
Honey Rosemary Peach Tart (Homemade puff pastry, crème anglaise, frangipani ice cream)
Domaine de Cristia, Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, 2007

COST: $95 for four-course menu and wine pairings (Ticket price includes tax and gratuity)
Tickets are available here:

3) Sister restaurants Parsnip and Night Market of Harvard Square, are pleased to reunite Chez Henri alum Jason Tom, Mark Thompson, John Hendron, Rembs Layman and and former Chef/Owner Paul O’Connell, for a very special pop-up dinner. that pay homage to a much missed and beloved institution. On Thursday, July 28, there will be two seatings, a 5:30pm/6pm and 7:30pm/8pm for this dinner which will bring back Chez classics such as empanadas, guava-glazed ribs, and of course the (infamous) Cuban sandwich. A mélange of Cuban-inspired cocktails will be available for purchase.

25% of the proceeds will benefit Chef Paul O’Connell’s new organization, NECAT. NECAT's Culinary Arts Job Training Program provides opportunity to resource-poor, chronically unemployed and underemployed adults and at-risk young adults. Through in-demand job training, support and employment services, NECAT helps individuals launch careers in the food services industry and achieve economic self-sufficiency.

Tickets cost $48, not including drinks and gratuity. Tickets can be purchased at:

4) French culinarians extraordinaire Jacky Robert and Sam Sosnitsky invite you to join them in the celebration of Ma Maison’s one year anniversary. Their cozy Beacon Hill restaurant transports you directly to a boutique Parisian cafe, where diners can enjoy authentic cuisine Francaise. Period. In recognition of thus milestone, Chef Jacky has created a special $45 dollar, pre-fixe menu to mark the event.

Menu as follows:
First Course
Fried Clams With Mustard Creme Brûlée
Second Course
Maine Lobster (1 LB) Cooked In Smoke On A Crispy Sushi Roll, Mango Salsa
Peach Cobbler W Vanilla Ice Cream

The special anniversary menu of will be available starting the night apres Bastille Day on July 15th and continue through September 1. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling 617- 725-8855.

5) Chef Dan Bazzinotti and the BISq team are excited to announce a new summer menu that presents some of the summer’s best ingredients in innovative ways. While delivering fresh summer flavor, BISq’s new menu remains focused upon the rustic yet refined food with emphasis on eclectic, shareable small plates that the Inman Square eatery has become known for.

New dinner menu items include:
Red Snapper Ceviche ($12)
strawberry-habanero tigers milk, cucumber, roasted sweet potato, and basil
Green Gazpacho ($7)
cornbread, smoked almonds, sour cream
Beet Salad ($8)
quinoa, cotija cheese, chimichurri, avocado, and castelvetrano olive
Drumlin Farm’s Peas and Radish ($9)
kohlarabi, soy-wasabi beurre blanc,, and crunchy ginger
Smoked Cornbread Blood Sausage ($12)
red cabbage slaw, bbq baked lentils, and tobacco shallots
Local Striped Bass ($14)
duxelle, baby summer squash, yellow tomato vinaigrette, and basil

The Smoked Cornbread Blood Sausage really intrigues me! Probably going to check it out.

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