Thursday, April 13, 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) TAMO Bistro & Bar at the Seaport Hotel has launched three new, large-format Fishbowls for spring: the Monkey Bowl, the Regatta Bowl, and the TAMO Tiger Bowl. Made for two to share, these goblet-sized cocktails feature Bacardi Rum, exotic fruit purees and fun garnishes. Sip on these tropical concoctions with friends while relaxing in the sun on TAMO Terrace, tentatively opening on May 26th, weather permitting.

TAMO Terrace is a great place for after-work cocktails, lunch, dinner and even to catch the big game. The Terrace features a custom-made 11 foot bar with a Skyvue 52” LED outdoor TV, and half the terrace covered with a lavish umbrella system for those who’d prefer to relax in the shade.

Monkey Bowl ($35)
Bacardi Banana Rum, Bacardi Coconut Rum, strawberry puree, banana puree, Falernum bitters, dragon fruit, mint and plastic monkey garnish
Regatta Bowl ($35)
Bacardi Tangerine Rum, Bacardi Mango Rum, fresh lemon juice, lychee puree, blue curacao, bitters, lime boat garnish
TAMO Tiger Bowl ($35)
Bacardi Oakheart Rum, Bacardi Dragonberry Rum, guava puree, pineapple juice, egg whites, angostura bitters, dragon fruit garnish

2) It's time for 'Brinner' aka Brunch-Dinner. The Gallow's executive chef Scott Jensen is now offering his weekend brunch menu for dinner on Monday nights, from 4pm-11pm. You'll now be order such Brunch items as Shakshuka, Sunrise Poutine, and Crack-Wich, on Monday evenings. Plus, they will be serving Blackbird Doughnuts. If your weekends all too busy for you to get out for Brunch, then now you have Monday evenings to check out Brunch. I've always been a proponent of having breakfast items for dinner, and this is an appealing idea. Will we see other restaurants start offering Brunch menus during the week?

3) On April 22 and 23, Legal Sea Foods will honor Earth Day by offering two specials whose sales will be donated to the Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM). Available at all Legal locations throughout the state, the specialty appetizer is a Lobster Spinach Oyster Trio baked with cheese and herbed crumbs ($12) and the entrée is Linguini & Clams sautéed with pancetta, garlic and white wine ($18.95).

Legal Sea Foods has partnered with ELM since 1996 and will generously give 100% of the proceeds, up to $10,000, of its two menu features on these days to help combat climate change and in protecting our land, water and public health.

4) On Saturday, April 29, from 1pm-5pm, The Wine ConneXtion, located in North Andover, is bringing Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery and Myers & Chang to the North Shore for a complimentary tasting of her famed Flour favorites paired with a selection of seasonal wines and fine cordials.

Guests can socialize and experience tasting a group of selected wines and cordials while sampling a unique take on Joanne’s famous Sticky Bun Kouign-amann, a round cake, made with viennoiserie dough containing layers of butter and sugar folded in, served with caramel goo, whipped cream and pecans. During the meet and greet with Joanne, guests will also have the opportunity to purchase a signed copy of her four published cookbooks.

Joanne is a super chef and I've often enjoyed treats from her bakeries. I'm also a big fan of her cookbooks, feeling they provide lots of valuable baking advice as well as many cool recipes. I strongly recommend you check out her visit to The Wine Connextion.

Tasting is complimentary. Walk-ins welcome all day, must be 21+.

5) Tonight, Scampo at The Liberty Hotel will debut “Jazzy Cocktail Nights,” a weekly late-night live music series that pairs sophisticated sounds with elegant cocktails and savory bites. Designed for Bostonians looking for a new twist on the nightlife scene, the Thursday night series, from 10pm-1am, will transform Scampo’s bar and lounge area into a sleek hideaway that showcases the talents of some of the region’s top music acts whose genres include jazz, vocals, Latin rhythms, funk and blues:

April 13: Ark, the duo of vocalist Danielle Angeloni and instrumentalist Alper Tuzcu that reimagine popular songs to Latin beats
April 20: Revolutionary Snake Ensemble, a traditional New Orleans jazz ensemble who also perform interesting covers and original music
April 27: The Sam Lee Trio, headlined by Mr. Lee, a top bassist in New England covering jazz, funk, R&B and rock
May 4: Paul Gaulin, a percussionist whose jazz trio spans genres including Latin, funk and blues
May 11: Mark van Bork, leader of VB & the Buzz, who transitions effortlessly through blues, soul, jazz and rock

With the new series comes a dedicated list of cocktails and bar bites available exclusively during the Thursday performances from 10pm-1am. For single-serve cocktails ($16 each), highlights include the Boulevardier, a stirred concoction of rye, Campari and sweet vermouth finished with an orange twist; Classy Champagne Cocktail served in a water glass with sugar cubes and a lemon twist; and, Roaring Violette with lychee, Violette, lavender, white wine and bubbles.

For those looking to take their imbibing game to the next level, there are sharable Punch Bowl Cocktails ($36) – that come shaken for two, served in festive brass pineapple-shaped vessels – like the Sparkling Jazz with Absolut, lime, Aperol and a prosecco float with floating orange pin wheels and Dubonnet Sangria with wine, fruit, anejo tequila and hibiscus with a ginger beer float and fresh fruit. For those with a late-night sweet tooth, there’s the Prohibition Milkshake ($36), a large format liquid treat of vodka, chocolate ice cream, crème de cacao, Kahlua and bubbles served with freshly made mini bacon doughnuts.

On the culinary side, there are a quintet of items that are available in addition to Scampo’s seasonal pizza offerings: Veal & Pork Meatballs in a 17-minute candeli sauce with shaved pecorino gremolata ($12); Fried Arancini with Pomodoro and parmesan ($10); Calamari a la Plancha with fennel salad and chipotle aioli ($10); Bruschetta with homemade ricotta, candied pistachios and warm guanciale ($11); and Lydia’s Stuffed Dates ($11).

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