Thursday, March 15, 2018

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) Adelita, located in Concord, serves organic Mexican cuisine and is now open for both lunch and dinner. From the team behind Woods Hill Table, Adelita is the culmination of operating owner Kristin Canty’s passions for food, family farms and sustainable sourcing. The menu – developed and overseen by Woods Hill Table’s Executive Chef Charlie Foster – showcases Foster’s love and appreciation for the cuisine of his wife’s native Mexico.

The name of the restaurant, Adelita, was inspired by the name given to the female soldiers who fought in the Mexican Revolution. Adelita also represents Canty’s fight and advocacy work on behalf of small-scale farmers and the food sovereignty movement.

Living and working in Concord, Charlie and I noticed a lack of heartfelt, quality Mexican food in the area,” says Canty. “By continuing our tradition of sourcing from my Bath, New Hampshire, farm – The Farm at Woods Hill – and taking inspiration from Charlie’s regular trips to Mexico, we can offer guests flavorful, nutrient dense Mexican food that we’d be proud to serve our own families."

Composed of Chef Foster’s take on Mexican street food, the Adelita menu celebrates high quality ingredients, careful sourcing and scratch-made dishes such as tacos, ceviche and composed plates. Sourcing primarily from The Farm at Woods Hill, Foster uses grass-fed proteins throughout the menu, with dishes such as Housemade Pork Chorizo & Carnitas, Lamb Barbacoa, and Chicken Tinga. Canty and Foster also look to other small-scale purveyors for fresh ground masa, seafood, and organic (a mix of practicing and USDA-certified) produce to create flavorful, close-to-authentic Mexican dishes that are as ecologically viable as they are delicious.

Adelita’s bar program emphasizes quality ingredients and carefully selected products. The star of the drink program, the Adelita Margarita is made entirely from small batch reposado tequila, housemade triple sec, fresh organic lime juice and organic aqave syrup. Unique iterations of this Mexican staple include beet and guava. Additional cocktails range from the refreshing Paloma to the smoky Mezcal Old Fashioned.

There are twelve Mezcals on their beverage list, from three different producers, and Canty stated, “All three of the producers that we have are on because they highlight single village styles of Mezcal, and single varietal agave. They are truly unique products and a wonderful experience to try them all side by side. The Leyenda, which is not on the menu yet but will be on next week, is the only certified organic mezcal on the menu. This is important to the owner’s concept of supporting smaller organic farmers and distillers.”

Whether USDA certified or “practicing,” all wines featured at Adelita are organic, focusing on Spanish varietals. Adelita’s wine menu of minimally processed labels highlights Tempranillo and Viura’s diverse food-pairing abilities.

Adelita is open Monday – Saturday, from 11am – 10pm, with Lunch from 11am – 2pm and Dinner from 5pm – 10pm

I'm looking forward to checking out this restaurant, and enjoying a fine Mezcal with dinner.

2) On Sunday, March 18th, at 6pm, Brassica Kitchen + Cafe will host a Sunday "Pop Up." Brassica's Chef de Cuisine Matt Hummel will partner with Chef Yesid Areiza of Shepard, and cocktail virtuoso Moe Isaza of Pammy's for a dining experience inspired by the flavors of Colombia and Peru they’re calling, "Cajita Para Llevar".

A colloquial phrase heard in many Latin American restaurants,'Cajita Para Llevar” means "for here or to go "— a sentimental shoutout to both the Colombian roots of Areiza and Isaza as well as the gastronomic diversity and bounty of South American countries like Colombia and neighboring Peru. The menu is highly personal, including the arepas Areiza used to make with his Mom, or Hummel's take on Pollo a Parrilla, that he discovered in a tiny restaurant in Cuzco.

Bacardi Legacy Finalist Moe Isaza will craft signature libations and curate pairings that riff on classic South American flavors and popular spirits, similar to the rum and mezcal-heavy beverages he crafts at Pammy's.

Tiradito al Pargo Rojo con Erizo de Mar y Leche de Tigre y Coco (red snapper sashimi, uni and coconut leche de tigre, rocoto chili jam, corn crunch)
Remolacha con Nueces de Macadamia y Queso de Mano (marinated beets, hand made cheese, cape berries, macadamia nuts)
Arepa con Pulpo, Aguate y Cebolla Escabeche (blue corn arepas, spanish octopus, avocado mousse, fermented onions, culantro)
Filete al Trapo, Hinojo Dorado, Sauco Jus de Carne (smoked beef tenderloin, caramelized fennel, quinoa, elderberry jus)
Maracuyá y Chocolate (Passionfruit parfait, dark chocolate cake)

Tickets for this 5-course meal begin at $65 with an optional $30 beverage pairing and are available via Eventbrite.

3) Sumiao Hunan Kitchen is pulling the (bar) curtain back on a secret cocktail program that will make it’s downlow debut, this month. Designed by Bar Manager, Vinicius Stein, the 25 drink repertoire can be accessed via invite only or by spilling the secret yourself at the bar. The program, which Stein has dubbed, “Walk Up The Wall of China,” is a multi-part challenge to cocktail enthusiasts beginning with a shot of Baijiu, the best selling spirit in the world yet uncommon among the Boston beverage scene.

The ancient Asian spirit is a staple in Stein’s cocktail program alongside a carefully curated selection of spirits, taste profiles and other unique accoutrements. Following the Baijiu initiation, guests will be invited to ring a Chinese bell at which point they will receive a personalized membership card to the program. Once initiated, guests will have the opportunity to extend invitations to fellow cocktail enthusiasts and challenge them to walk the wall and discover over two dozen off-menu, Asian and Hunanese influenced cocktail creations.

One of Sumiao’s standout secret cocktails includes The Emperor ($14), created with muddled fresh ginger and lime, Peloton de la Muerte Mezcal, Don Julio tequila, Crème Yvette, hibiscus liqueur, agave nectar and lime reduction that is delicately garnished with a mint leaf.

Available exclusively during the month of March, the beverage team has also created a $5.00 Hong Kong Mule ginger cocktail, inspired by Sumiao Hunan’s Kitchen’s dedicated support of Joslin Diabetes Center’s Asian American Diabetes Initiative (AADI). The Hong-Kong Mule further spotlights the beverage team’s celebration of Baijiu as an unsung hero in the cocktail world. A recreation of a Moscow mule, SHK’s Hong-Kong Mule marries HKB Hong-Kong baijiu and hibiscus liqueur that is topped off with ginger beer and a splash of fresh lime, garnished with fresh mint springs and a lime wedge.

4) Best Burger Bar brings Wild Game fare to Brookline. For the months of March and April, Best Burger Bar will be offering an array of wild game burgers. These burgers will be available in limited quantities, and once sold out they will move onto the next wild game special.

First up is the Wild Boar Burger, a Wild Boar Patty with Honey Crispy Apple Bacon Jam and Umami Aioli all on a Brioche bun. The Wild Boar meat tastes like a cross between pork and beef, with a unique rich and nutty flavor that adds to the depth of flavor in this burger. If you’re really feeling adventurous, Best Burger Bar is also offering the option to add dried scorpions to your burger! Other assorted bugs will be available as new wild game specials are released.

Best Burger Bar will also be offering three new cocktails in honor of the warmer weather that is upon us. These limited-edition cocktails will be available for the month of March only. The Concord Grape Fizz features Brockmans Gin, Pear Syrup, Lemon Juice, Egg White, and a Champagne Floater. The Violet Blue Margarita, a mix of Tequila, Lime Juice, Orange Curacao, Sesame Syrup, and Blue Curacao will be available by the glass, or in a fish bowl for sharing. The Violet Blue Fish Bowl will be available through the end of summer, the perfect beverage to share with friends on Best Burger Bar’s patio.

Wild game burgers are available from March 6 to April 30, 2018.
Cocktail specials are available for the month of March with an exception to the Fish Bowl which is available through Summer.

5) Sumiao Hunan Kitchen is gearing up for a one-time Sunday brunch event dubbed “A Pinch of Ginger.” The event will take place on March 25, from 11:30am-2pm, and will unite the Boston-area foodie and medical communities while supporting Joslin Diabetes Center’s Asian American Diabetes Initiative (AADI).

Sumiao Chen – the restaurateur behind Sumiao, the city’s first Hunanese restaurant – is a pharmaceutical researcher at Novartis by-day whose passion for food and science inspired her to get involved with Joslin’s signature spring fundraising event, “A Taste of Ginger.” This brunch will serve as a preview to “A Taste of Ginger” happening in April at the Museum of Fine Arts which will feature cuisine from more than 30 restaurants.

Joining forces with SHK for this buffet-style brunch will be Chen’s second restaurant, Fengshui, as well as China Pearl and BLR by Shojo under the leadership of Brian Moy, whose family will be honored at this year’s “A Taste of Ginger” event.

The restaurants will showcase dozens of creative “diabetes-friendly” brunch dishes such as Lava Fish with swai filet and duo jiao and String Beans with Eggplant while brunch-goers enjoy live entertainment from Receita de Samba and SHK’s ginger-themed cocktail specials: the Hong-King Mule (Hong-Kong baiju, hibiscus liqueur, ginger beer, fresh lime, garnished with mint sprigs - $5) and The Emperor (muddled fresh ginger and lime, Peloton de la Muerte Mezcal, Don Julio tequila, Crème Yvette, hibiscus liqueur, agave nectar and lime reduction garnished with a mint leaf - $14).

Proceeds from both Sumiao’s “A Pinch of Ginger” and Joslin’s “A Taste of Ginger” will benefit the Asian American Diabetes Initiative (AADI) at Joslin Diabetes Center which works to enhance the quality of life and health outcomes for Asian Americans living with diabetes, and collaborates with Joslin as they work to find a cure.

TICKETS: Tickets cost $35 per person and can be purchased online or in-person on a first come, first serve basis:

6) On Monday, April 9, from 6:30pm-9:30pm, Joslin Diabetes Center’s will host the 14th annual “A Taste of Ginger” at the Museum of Fine Arts to benefit Joslin’s Asian American Diabetes Initiative (AADI) which works to enhance the quality of life and health outcomes for the rising number of Asian Americans living with diabetes, and collaborates with Joslin as they work to find a cure. Each year, hundreds of supporters and foodies gather to enjoy a lively evening full of cultural and musical performances and the opportunity to meet and taste the cuisine of more than 30 of Boston’s chefs such as Jasper White, Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery + Café, Andy Husbands of the Smoke Shop, Tracy Chang of Pagu, Karen Akunowicz of Myers + Chang, Sumiao Chen of Sumiao Hunan Kitchen and Avi Shemtov of the Chubby Chickpea, amidst the beauty of the MFA.

Emceed by NBC 10 Boston anchor and health reporter Kristy Lee, the event will honor the Moy family, restaurateurs and owners of China Pearl, Shojo, Rukus and BLR by Shojo. Longtime Joslin supporter and “A Taste of Ginger” founder Leverett Wing, whose parents helped to establish the AADI at Joslin, will serve as event chair.

Tickets to “A Taste of Ginger” are $250 and can be purchased at (Business casual attire required)

7) The Greeks have been making wine for more than 6000 years – from the age of Dionysus and Homer to the present day. But their wines have remained a mystery to many – until now. Winemakers from all over Greece are coming to Boston for Odyssey, a Greek wine tasting adventure. Expand your palate as you taste wines made from indigenous grapes found only in Greece; sip on international blends; and marvel at rare vintages uncorked just for Odyssey. Take the opportunity to support a great cause and experience the sights, sounds and tastes of Greece.

Attendees at the tasting will tour the three main wine producing regions: The Islands, The Peloponnese and Northern Greece each with characteristic terroirs, indigenous grapes and 6000 years of winemaking history; meet the winemakers and learn about their vinification techniques, terroir philosophies and personal stories; and of course, taste indigenous, international and rare varieties and vintages from the Cava Spiliadis portfolio. Odyssey is hosted by George Spiliadis, son of noted Milos restaurateur Costas Spiliadis.

The Odyssey event is being held on Friday, March 30, from 5pm-8pm at Post 390, at 406 Stuart St, Boston.

Cost: $50 per person with 100% of the ticket sales being donated to Boys and Girls Club of Boston
Details and Tickets

I'll be attending this event as I love Greek wines and always want to expand my palate and try more wines from this compelling country. I've previously several wines from the producer that will be at this event and I was impressed with what I tasted. This is going to be a killer wine event and highly recommended.

8) Chef Rick Araujo and his team at Civic Kitchen & Drink welcome Chef William Nemeroff of B.T.’s Smokehouse as the featured guest at Civic’s Guest Chef Collaboration Series. The special event takes place March 21, at 6pm, at Civic Kitchen and Drink.

We are all about local product and the community, so we love taking this opportunity to showcase our local heroes in the culinary landscape” shares Araujo. “Bill is respected throughout the region for his fantastic BBQ dishes, and we can’t wait to welcome him to our kitchen on March 21. We’re going to be cooking up some amazing BBQ – I can’t wait to learn some of his secrets!”

The Menu:
BT’s 3 Year Aged Prosciutto with Assorted Sausages and Civic Accompaniments
Paired with Wormtown Helles Lager

Cold Smoked Faroe Island Salmon with house-made Crème Fraiche, Dill Pearls, Rye Crisp, Cured Spring Ridge Egg Yolk
Paired with Wormtown Irish Red Ale

Double Smoked Pork Jowl with Civic’s Four Star Farms Cheddar Grits and Vermont Plum Rumtopf and Local Pea Tendrils
Paired with Wormtown African Queen Be Hoppy IPA

BT’s 26 Hour Smoked Beef Brisket with Civic’s Roasted Carrot and Habanero Puree, Pickled Local Garlic Scapes and Two Potato Hash Browns
Paired with Wormtown Buddha Juice X2IPA

Banana Pudding with Civic Bourbon Roasted Banana Puree and Smoked Nuts
Paired with Wormtown Spies Like Us Imperial Stout

Cost: $59 per person
Reservations are highly recommend and can be made by calling 508-3429-5179 or visiting and click the ‘order online’ button.

9) Matadora, the Spanish tapas restaurant located at the newly-renovated Hilton Boston/Woburn, will open for brunch on Easter Sunday, April 1, from 11am-2:30pm, offering a buffet brunch with a dash of Spanish flare.

The Menu includes:
Scrambled Eggs | Cage Free, Espelette
Home Fries | Pimenton, Peppers, Onion
Breakfast Meats | Sausage, Bacon
Torrijas | Traditional Spanish Grilled Breakfast Bread, Cinnamon, Honey
Spanish Chicken & Kale | Red Mojo
Hornazo | Traditional Spanish Meat Pie, Chorizo, Eggs, Manchego
Spanish Baked Salmon | Lemon, Pimenton, Dill
Assorted Breakfast Breads | Muffins, Danish, Bagels, Croissants, Breads
Waffle Bar | Whipped Cream, Strawberries, Salted Caramel, Maple Syrup, Chocolate Sauce
Oysters & Shrimp Cocktail | Pimenton Cocktail Sauce, Aleppo Sherry Mignonette
Parfait Bar | Yogurt, Granola, Fresh Fruit Selection
Caesar Salad | Romaine, Crouton, Pecorino
Strawberry Fields Salad | Field Greens, Caramelized Pecans, Strawberries, Balsamic
Almond Cake | Whipped Cream, Strawberry Compote
Mona de Pascua | Traditional Spanish Easter Cake
Mini Desserts | Chef Selection

Cost: Adult $34.95; Children $17
Reservations encouraged so please call 781-904-0658

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