Thursday, February 1, 2018

Sips & Nibbles: Valentine's Day Edition

I am back again with a special Valentine's Day edition of Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I highlight some interesting, upcoming food & drink events.
1) The most romantic day of the year is quickly approaching and il Molo in Boston’s North End neighborhood is serving up some serious romance for the occasion. Because the heart wants what it wants, Chef Pino Maffeo has created an extensive prix fixe menu that will have you covered no matter your sweetheart’s cravings; whether a seafood- or hearty meat-lover, there’s something on il Molo’s Valentine’s Day menu to impress everyone.

The three-course dinner will feature a combination of Chef Pino’s favorite New England classics and exciting seasonal-inspired dishes. Choose from appetizers such as Lobster Bisque, Burrata Salad or Classic Shrimp Cocktail which will lead the way for a heavenly main-course with menu highlights including Fra Diavlo, Grass Fed Sirloin, Stuffed Maine Lobster ($15 supplement) and Veal Milanese. Nothing spells l-o-v-e- quite like a rich and decadent treat, so end your dinner on a sweet note with one of Pastry Chef Gabriela’s homemade desserts such as Coconut Cake, Tiramisu or Chocolate Cake.

DATE: Wednesday, February 14, 4pm-11pm
COST: $65 per person, excluding gratuity & taxes.
Reservations are required so please call 857-277-1895. Credit card will be required to hold any reservations.

2) Kane’s Handcrafted Donuts is pleased to partner for the second year in a row with Sweethearts® Brand Candies on a limited-edition Valentine’s Day donut, the Sweethearts® Brand Donut. This creation will be available beginning February 1st through February 14th at both Kane’s Handcrafted Donuts locations: 120 Lincoln Avenue in Saugus and 90 Oliver Street in Boston’s Financial District.

The special Valentine’s Day donut is a decadent red velvet cake style donut, carefully dipped in a sweet cream cheese glaze and decorated with a custom version of NECCO®’s classic Valentine’s Day confectionery, Sweethearts®, which declares the Kane’s slogan, “Donuts are Love.”

We are pleased to partner once again with a company like NECCO® with such a rich New England history,” said Paul Delios, co-owner and president of Kane’s Handcrafted Donuts. “We feel Valentine’s Day is the right holiday for us to join forces since Sweethearts® Brand is synonymous with the holiday, and because Kane’s ‘donuts are love.’ They’re the perfect way to tell your sweetheart just how much you love them.”

For the month of February, Kane’s is also featuring a Chocolate Orgasm Donut (pictured above),a cake style donut filled with creamy chocolate pudding, dipped in Hersey’s chocolate syrup and rolled in crushed chocolate cookies. This is certainly a great donut for Valentine's Day as well.

3) Oysters and romance go hand-in-hand just like going to Select Oyster Bar on Valentine's Day. Grab your date, a friend, or your mom and enjoy a memorable meal at Select where chef Michael Serpa will offer a prix fixe menu featuring a selection of crudos and more at just $75 per guest. Pair it with one of the many wines available by the bottle or glass.

Begin with Black Bass Crudo or Yellowfin Tuna Crudo. Then, choose Point Judith Calamari or Maine Lobster Salad. Finally, select Dayboat Scallops or Greek Bronzino.

This menu is available for dinner on Friday 2/9, Saturday 2/10 and Valentine's Day, Wednesday 2/14.

For reservations, please call (857) 239-8064

4) In celebration of Valentine’s Day on February 14, Sumiao Hunan Kitchen will be offering a lovingly-themed prix fixe menu for-two including a specialty cocktail and many of the restaurant’s new seasonal dishes. Sumiao’s beverage team will be mixing up a sweet and refreshing Peach Sangria for sipping, served alongside selections of hand-picked Hunan classics – including Steamed Pork Sausage, Avocado Meatballs, Sizzling Calamari and String Bean with Shang Gan – that will help conjure the image of love on this special day.

The $78 customizable, sharable three-course prix fixe options includes sangria, two appetizers, two entrées (with white rice included) and one dessert.

To make Reservations, please call 617-945-0907

5) Treat your sweetheart to a special Valentine’s Day weekend date night at the Seaport Hotel’s state-of-the-art Action Kitchen on Saturday, February 17th from 7:00-9:30pm. Relax by the fireplace and enjoy a four-course menu prepared by Executive Chef Robert Tobin, including Pan Roasted Rabbit Leg with cobb bacon, mustard sauce and house made pasta and Grilled Venison Rib Chop with smoked parsnip puree, duck fat potatoes and chocolate sauce, served with carefully selected rye and whiskey pairings from Vermont’s WhistlePig farm and distillery. Located in a 150-year-old dairy barn, WhistlePig uses homegrown rye to distill the whiskey and ages it in barrels made from their own oak trees.

Tickets are $150 per person and can be purchased online at The event is open to guests 21 and over.
Please reserve your seat in advance as space is limited.

6) Blackbird Doughnuts has specials for Valentine's Day with heavenly flavors such as a Heart Shaped Boston Cream doughnut as well as a Sweetheart Doughnut Cake.  Blackbird is also offering platters by the dozen wrapped in a ribbon and packaged box-of-chocolates-style for a never-ending, mouthwatering Valentine's Day experience.

Menu includes: Valentine's Half Dozen ($18)--one of each doughnut in their Valentine assortment & packaged in a box with gold foil sticker & ribbon; Valentine's Dozen ($36)--two of each doughnut in their Valentine assortment & packaged in a box with gold foil sticker & ribbon; Valentine's Assortment Platters ($108)--three dozen Valentine's doughnuts; Sweetheart Cake ($26)--citrus old fashioned donut cake filled with strawberry-raspberry jam, frosted with lemony cream cheese buttercream; and Valentine's Minis ($75)--a box of 50 mini-doughnuts decorated with Valentine's sprinkles, and select vanilla or chocolate ganache.

PS: Customers can select "naughty" or "nice" messages to be written on the doughnuts.

Call Blackbird at 617-482-9000 by Monday, 2/12 at 2pm to guarantee your order. They will also be available on Valentine's Day for walk-in purchases.

7) For Valentine's Day, you often give gifts of chocolate or other candies so let me give you one of my favorite candy recommendations. McCrea's Candies produces a diverse variety of tasty caramels and I've long been a fan of their caramels. Some of their flavors include: Black Lava Sea Salt, Single Malt Scotch, Rosemary Truffle Sea Salt, Tapped Maple, Classic Vanilla, and Ginger Fusion. I'm also pleased that this is a local company, another reason for my support.

For Valentine's Day, they offer a Chocolate Caramel Box ($24.95), containing 36 pieces of Deep Chocolate Caramels, wrapped in a festive box. You could also gift someone a 3 month, 6 month of 12 month membership in their Caramel of the Month Club. Each month, the recipient will receive 36 pieces of one of their special flavored caramels. My favorite flavor is their Single Malt Scotch, which is made with Ardmore Scotch, and it would please any Scotch lover.


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