Thursday, January 26, 2017

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) Coda is pleased to announce that a new Date Night menu will soon be available beginning January 23. The two-person, $40 menu will be offered nightly from 5 to 11 p.m. and will include two appetizers, a shareable entrée, and a shareable dessert. Additionally, guests may choose between a selection of three affordably priced wines to add to the meal ranging in price from $25 to $40.

Menu options will include:
Choice of two appetizers:
- Sautéed Baby Bok Choy with sweet soy sauce, ginger, bean sprouts
- Little Gem Salad with six minute egg, parmesan, garlic croutons
- Crispy Polenta with confit chicken, tomato gravy, parmesan
- Delicata Squash with arugula, ricotta, honey-walnut, balsamic
Choice of one shareable entrée:
- Fettucine with lemon butter sauce, peas, tomatoes
- Pork Chop with mashed potatoes, broccolini, bacon-onion gravy
- Hake with wok vegetables, sweet soy sauce
- Half Chicken with sweet potato, brussels sprouts, cranberry jus
- Flatiron Steak with broccoli rabe, fingerlings, garlic-herb butter
Choice of one shareable dessert:
- Ice Cream Sandwiches made with chocolate chip cookies and vanilla gelato
- Coconut Macaroons

To make Reservations, please contact Coda at (617) 536-2632

2) BISq, located in Cambridge’s Inman Square, will be revamping its brunch program to feature monthly, themed pop-brunches. Instead of offering a standard brunch every Sunday, BISq will be shifting its focus to offer guests a specially themed, pop-up brunch on the last Sunday of every month.

To kick off the program, BISq will be serving up a “Suckling Pig Brunch” on Sunday, January 29. Helmed by Chef de Cuisine Alex Saenz, the menu will be created entirely around whole-roasted suckling pig. In addition to the á la carte menu, the beverage menu will offer mimosas, micheladas, and a variety of other brunch cocktails. Live bluegrass music will also be featured during brunch.

Upcoming brunch themes will include “Reggae Brunch" and a "Street Food Brunch,” among others. The pop-up brunches will take place on the last Sunday of each month from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

For reservations, please call (617) 714-3693.

3) Super Hunger Brunch is an annual initiative hosted by various restaurants around the city and suburbs of Boston to benefit The Greater Boston Food Bank. Each participating restaurant serves a pre-fixe brunch menu with all proceeds donated to The Greater Boston Food Bank.

Saturday, January 28
· Brass Union
· Brownstone
· Cambridge Brewing Co.
· Clery’s
· Dillon’s
· Foundry on Elm
· Granary Tavern
· Harvest Restaurant
· L'Espalier
· Michael’s Harborside
· North 26 Restaurant & Bar
· Panificio Bistro and Bakery
· The Fireplace
· The Living Room

Sunday, January 29
· 80 Thoreau
· Alta Strada
· Blue on Highland
· Blue Ginger
· Cambridge Brewing Co.
· Catalyst
· En Boca
· Flour Bakery & Café
· Highland Kitchen
· La Morra
· North 26 Restaurant & Bar
· Post 390 Restaurant
· River Bar
· The Living Room
· Tosca
· Trade

HOW: Go to to find participating restaurants, and call the restaurant directly to make a reservation. Ask for the Super Hunger Brunch menu when you go to participate.

WHY: Every dollar spent on brunch provides three meals to those in need in Eastern Massachusetts. Last year, 2,000 people participated in Super Hunger Brunch helping to provide more than 200,000 meals to families struggling with hunger.

The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) is the largest hunger-relief organization in New England and among the largest food banks in the country. GBFB provides nearly 80% of the food distributed by its 550 member agencies throughout the 190 cities and towns in Eastern Massachusetts. GBFB operates four direct service programs at nearly 70 sites throughout the area. A member of Feeding America, the nation’s food bank network, GBFB provides the highest quality of food and healthy meals to more than 140,000 people every month in its mission to create a hunger-free Eastern Massachusetts.

4) Executive Chef Matt Drummond and the team at Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar invite guests to enjoy an array of new brunch items this winter at Southie’s funky neighborhood taco joint.

Guests can enjoy a lineup of new brunch dishes, including:
· Avocado Toast with marble rye toast, aji Amarillo spiced goat cheese, smoked mahi mahi, avocado, sea salt, aleppo and chives.
· Fried Chicken & Waffles served atop a housemade jalapeno cornbread waffle and topped with chile maple butter sauce.
· PB&J French Toast with two thick cut challah bread slices stuffed with peanut butter and homemade berry jam topped with banana foster sauce and spiced peanuts.

Coffee lovers can rejoice with a new caffeine-inspired boozy concoction from Bar Dude Will Falaro called the Brewed Awakening which mixes up vanilla vodka, RumChata, Kahlua and cinnamon-nutmeg cold brew for the perfect “buzz”.

5) February 5, the day of the Super Bowl, is fast approaching and here is an idea to bring your friends and family together for a Super Party: take over the entire space at the ArtBar at Royal Sonesta Boston. Executive Chef Brian Dandro is creating a menu of appetizers, chicken wings, bbq pulled pork, super chocolate fudge brownies with caramel bacon popcorn and more All you have to do is invite 50-75 of your friends, finalize the menu with Chef Brian Dandro, and come cheer on your favorite team! Royal Sonesta Boston is also offering discounted parking in its garage.

The Details:
Date: Sunday, February 5
Bar: Featuring “Bully For Brady” cocktail and a full bar – cash bar or open bar
Price: $30 per person/food ~ 50 guests minimum guarantee
Contact: Kevin Khem, Restaurants Director, ArtBar, 617-806-4200
This is a first-call-first-reserved opportunity, so make the phone call now to Kevin Khem.

The ArtBar has also created a special cocktail to commemorate Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady,  the Bully For Brady. “We created this with Tom Brady in mind” explains Kevin Khem, restaurants director at Royal Sonesta Boston. “We kept the cocktail clean and fresh with nothing artificial – the way Tom likes to eat. Bully Boy Whiskey is perfect for a football themed cocktail.” You can make this cocktail at home for the Superb Bowl.

Bully For Brady
1 ½ oz. Bully Boy Whiskey
½ oz. St Germaine Liqueur
½ oz. agave
½ oz. lemon juice
3 dashes Cranberry Bitters
Directions: Add all ingredients in a shaker and shake. Pour into glassware on the rocks.
Glassware: Rocks
Garnish: Lemon Twist & cranberries

6) Margaritas Mexican Restaurant will be offering three specialty catering packages on Superbowl Sunday to fit any size gathering. Guests can choose from the Coin Toss, First Down and Touch Down catering package options, along with their standard Party and Catering Menu and Take Home Kit. All options include their signature Squeeze margarita mix, so you can kick-off the game the right way – with their ‘ritas at home! To place an order, guests simply call their local Margaritas location before 6pm.

Coin Toss Package - $20.95: One pint of signature Squeeze margarita mix and a Salsa Sampler
First Down Package – $62.95: Take Home Kit , Juan’s Wings (BBQ or Buffalo), Chicken Baby Chimis
Touch Down Package - $83.95: Take Home Kit, Hector’s Quesadillas, Chicken Tenders (BBQ or Buffalo), Jalapeno Baby Chimis

7) The Hawthorne is hosting two more installments of their winter tasting seminars. Led by The Hawthorne’s Jared Sadoian and Craigie on Main’s Rob Ficks, they will help guests deepen their appreciation for sipping spirits via guided tasting seminars in The Hawthorne’s Stone Room. The dead of winter may not be good for many things, but as Jared will tell you, it’s the ideal time to enjoy these “naked spirits” in all their warming, full flavored glory:

Monday, January 30th from 6-7pm – Tasting Deep Dive: Bitters for Health and Pleasure
For well over a century bitters have been a staple at the Italian dinner table, the French aperitif hour, and the American cocktail. What makes these bitters bitter? Why are some so much more drinkable than others? Join Rob Ficks, Bar Manager at Craigie on Main, as he guides a delicious and far-reaching tasting of the world of bitters and their application in fine cocktails.

Monday, February 6th from 6-7pm – Tasting Deep Dive: Rum, Ron, Rhum
More than nearly any other spirit category, rum has grown explosively over the past decade. Not only does it represent a great value compared to Scotch, Brandy, and American whiskey, Rum also is one of the only spirits that can cater to a wide audience of spirits enthusiasts and cocktail-centric bartenders alike. This seminar will cover the history of rum from its origins in the Caribbean to its spread throughout the world, and include a flight of rums demonstrating the variety of styles and flavors in this fantastically delicious spirit.

For Reservations, please call (617) 532-9150.

8) On Tuesday, February 7th at 6:30pm, the team at Branch Line is offering “A Taste of Corsica,” a four course meal with wine pairings. Wine Director Charlie Gaeta specifically paired all wines from Corsica with Chef Stephen Oxaal’s dishes such as Corsican Seafood Soup with lobster, octopus and oregano and House Strozzapretti with marinated squash and chervil.

Particularly unique, the wines of Corsica pair well with the grilled meats and deep flavors that the restaurant specializes in; the wines are earth-driven and acidic. Full-bodied whites and light reds balance the flavorful yet not spicy fare.

Dinner with pairings cost $125 per person (does not include tax & gratuity).
For reservations, please call Branch Line at 617-420-1900.

9) Blackstrap BBQ is hosting an evening for burger connoisseurs, the “Uncle Pats Pop-Up Burger Night and Magic Hat Takeover” on Tuesday, January 31, from 5pm-9pm. Blackstrap BBQ is taking a break from serving up their slow and low smoked BBQ to fire up the grill for an epic night of burgers. Blackstrap chef and owner, Chris Thompson (formerly of East Coast Grill), is inviting longtime friend and burger expert, Pat Spencer (formerly of Cambridge’s All Star Sandwich Bar and East Coast Grill), to give him a hand in creating 5 epic burger options on the planet for one night only.

Magic Hat is joining the party and will be taking over the taps, serving three of their favorite brews to accompany a mouthwatering burger – #9, Low Key and Circus Boy.

Burger choices include:
· The Pizza Patty Melt: Ground Beef, Pork and Pancetta Patty, Marinara Arrabbiata, Pepperoni, Mozzarella, Garlic Sour Dough
· Hawaiian Burger: Grilled Beef Burger, Spam Cracklins, Molasses Butter Grilled Pineapple, Vermont Cheddar Cheese, Kahlua BBQ Sauce
· Spicy Cajun Burger: Cast Iron Blackened Beef Burger, Crawfish Pimento Cheese, Crispy Fried Pickled Okra, Habanero Remoulade
· Lamb Burger: Cumin Crusted Grilled Lamb Burger, Whipped Feta Cheese, Pickled Carrots, Harissa Mayo
· BBQ Burger: Grilled Beef Burger, Kansas City Style Pulled Pork, American, Munster & Cheddar Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Pickle

o All burgers come with choice of fries or salad
§ Fry Choices: Cajun, Truffle, Hell, Salt & Vin
· Add an Egg $2, Add Bacon $3

Reservations are suggested but not required. Please call 617-207-1783 for reservations.

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