Thursday, September 1, 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) Restaurants in Boston’s North End are coming together to help victims of the devastating earthquake that hit Central Italy. Restaurants in Boston’s North End will support the victims by donating funds from orders of bucatini all’amatriciana as part of a fundraising effort to help the hard hit town of Amatrice and others in central Italy.

Guests will be able to enjoy the homemade pasta dishes at participating restaurants in the historic North End where 100% of the proceeds from the dish will go to The Italian American Red Cross Relief Fund. to support the victims in Central Italy during their time of great need.

WHEN: Through Labor Day

Participating North End Restaurants include: Strega North End, Nico, Il Molo, Trattoria il Panino, Mare, Lucia Ristorante, Ducali, and Nebo.

2) Erbaluce, a compelling Italian restaurant in the Bay Village, is also running a special charitable endeavor to benefit the victims of the earthquake-devastated area around the Italian town of Amatrice. For the next couple weeks, Chef Charles Draghi will be offering plates of bucatini all'Amatriciana (made with local San Marzano tomatoes, house-cured guanciale, Summer onions, and shaved pecorino.), a traditional pasta dish from the Amatrice region. The total amount paid for each serving will be donated to the Italian Red Cross for relief efforts in that region.

3) Today, September 1, is National Gyro Day and you can head to Committee to celebrate during lunch service (Mon – Fri 11:30AM - 2:30PM) and try the Committee Gyro (olive loaf with crispy basturma, kasseri and sweet onion labne).

For those who want to keep the Gyro celebration going throughout the weekend, you can go to Committee for Brunch (Sat - Sun 11:00AM - 2:30PM) and enjoy the Breakfast Gyro (scrambled eggs, grilled haloumi, loukaniki, florina pepper sauce, wrapped in pita, served with patates tiganites). I've had the Breakfast Gyro before and it is quite tasty.

4) The Painted Burro team invites guests to a join them in celebrating Mexico’s Día de la Independencia with exciting food and drink specials. On Friday, September 16, from 4pm-close, the Painted Burro will be celebrating Día de la Independencia, Mexican Independence Day, by opening its doors early at 4 p.m. and offering guests delicious food and drink specials.

Featuring the colors of the Mexican Flag, The Painted Burro will be serving up a patriotic margarita flight for $15. The flight will include one mini coconut avocado margarita, representing the green of the flag, and one mini raspberry margarita, representing the red.

In keeping with Día de la Independencia tradition, The Burro’s menu will also offer Chiles En Nogada - an authentic Mexican dish customarily eaten to celebrate the holiday. The dish costs $11 and includes a roasted poblano pepper stuffed with house-made chorizo & tres queso, covered in a walnut creme sauce and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. The green pepper, white sauce, and red pomegranate seeds also portray the colors of the Mexican flag.

To make reservations, please contact (617) 776-0005

5) Joslin Diabetes Center, the world's largest diabetes research and clinical care organization, will celebrate its annual “ritmos de salud” event on October 6th from 6pm-10pm at Space 57 at the Revere Hotel. The event will benefit Joslin’s Latino Diabetes Initiative (LDI), which works to improve the lives of Latinos who are at high risk of, or are affected by, diabetes through culturally-oriented care, education, outreach and research.

Emceed by Alberto Vasallo III, of WHDH Channel 7 & El Mundo Newspaper, the event will feature a fabulous array of food from nearly a dozen of Boston’s most renowned chefs led by culinary chair, Chef Jose Duarte of Taranta; other participating restaurants include Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, Temazcal Tequila Cantina, Il Molo, Capo Restaurant and more. Upbeat Latin rhythms by Alexander el Cantante will fill the room, and guests will be encouraged to join in on the dancing with a special performance by Boston’s own “Salsa Y Control” Dance Company.

Lazaro Lopez and Javier Bellini will serve as event co-chairs for the third consecutive year and Felix Arroyo, Chief of Health and Human Services for the City of Boston, will be the event honoree.

Diabetes is a disease of epidemic proportions across all populations, affecting certain racial/ethnic groups in even greater numbers. National data shows that Latinos have two times the risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to the Caucasian population.

Joslin Diabetes Center’s Latino Diabetes Initiative (LDI) strives to improve the lives of Latinos affected by diabetes, or at risk for the disease, through culturally-oriented patient care, education, outreach and research, as well as working to find a cure.

TICKETS: Individual tickets cost $100; to purchase tickets or for more info please visit:

6) From September 15 to October 12, Legal Sea Foods’ will bring half-shell hedonism to mollusk mavens and oyster newbies alike during their 8th annual Oyster Festival. For four weeks, a sequence of in-restaurant menu features and special events will take place to celebrate everything oysters and all are invited who share the belief “the world is your oyster.”

In-restaurant features will be available for the duration of the Oyster Festival and include Fried Oysters (three for $10) in four preparations (buffalo, BBQ, Sriracha lime and BLT); Baked Oysters (three for $12) available in a quartet of options (lobster spinach, crab & cheese, scampi and roasted); Oyster Stew ($14.95); and, the Legal Sea Foods teams will shuck seasonal standouts at their raw bars daily for those who opt to go au natural. Legals also suggests washing it down with the official drink of the 2016 Oyster Festival, the Deadrise, with American Harvest organic vodka, muddled cucumber, lime and grapefruit bitters ($10).

This year’s oyster-centric events include the following:

Shellfish Shindig
A “shuckout” with $1 oysters at the outside Terrace Bar*
Legal Sea Foods at Charles Square: 20 University Road, Cambridge
Sunday, September 18, from 2:00pm-4:00pm
a la carte pricing
Reservations: not required
*In case of rain, this event will be held in the atrium of the restaurant.

Sip, Slurp and Sup
A trio of small plates paired with oyster-friendly wines
Legal Sea Foods at Park Square: 26 Park Plaza, Boston
Tuesday, September 27, at 6:30pm
$45 per person (does not included tax and gratuity)
Reservations: 617.530.9392 or online

Mollusk Mania
A 21+ “everything oyster” party featuring a raw bar of eight varieties, four passed appetizers and a “How to Shuck an Oyster” station hosted on the all-weather rooftop
Legal Harborside: 270 Northern Avenue, Boston
Sunday, October 2, from 1:00pm-3:00pm
General Admission: $55 per person (includes tax, 1:30pm admission and access to raw bar with 8 varieties of oysters)
VIP Admission: $65 per person (includes tax, 1:00pm admission, access to raw bar with 8 varieties of oysters and four tickets to redeem specialty oyster appetizers)
Reservations: online only

WHERE: The Oyster Festival is celebrated at all Legal Sea Foods locations throughout Massachusetts, with the exception of airport venues.

HOW: Advance reservations are required for events, excluding the Shellfish Shindig. For more information on the Oyster Festival, its special events and for reservations, please visit:

7) As summer concludes, Pantry, located in The Verve Crowne Plaza—Natick, invites guests to join Chef de Cuisine Jim Booth for an artfully prepared four-course dinner on Friday, September 16, boasting ingredients from Natick Community Organic Farm. From start to finish, all dishes will feature hand-selected fruits, vegetables and meat, all sourced from within three miles of the restaurant.

Upon arrival, guests will be treated to a refreshing Natick Cucumber Basil Gimlet as well as farm-inspired, delectable hors d'oeuvres. In an effort to bring the culinary experience full circle, Chef Booth will enhance each course with a paired glass of wine sourced from a variety of notable domestic and international wineries.

Inspired by Natick Community Organic Farm’s 40 years of providing productive open space and its commitment to farming methods that are ecologically healthy and sustainable, Chef de Cuisine Jim Booth’s four-course dinner will be as follows:

On Arrival
Head Cheese
Lamb Bacon
Braised Lamb Rillettes
Chef Jim’s Selection of Pig & Lamb Accoutrements
Local Pickles Vegetables with Rustic Breads
1st Course
Natick Frisée Salad
soft egg, lamb, herb vinaigrette
2nd Course
Lamb Moussaka
winter squash & yellow tomato soup
3rd Course
Brined Pork Chop
onion jam, brown butter Parisian gnocchi, Olympic red kale
4th Course: Dessert
Variety of Carrot Cake
Natick organic maple

WHEN: Friday, September 16
Welcome reception starts at: 6:30pm; Dinner begins at 7pm
COST: $70 per person for four-course dinner (Tax and gratuity not included)
To make a Reservation, please call 508-416-1352

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