Thursday, March 8, 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) Chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette announce the debut of JK Food Group Crawl, a tapas tour of their Boston restaurants Toro, Coppa and Little Donkey designed to enjoy throughout one evening. For groups of 4-6, the experience includes a selection of small plates, drinks, tax and transportation between restaurants (gratuity not included), available on Sunday – Thursday.

At Toro, their Barcelona-inspired tapas bar, guests can begin with a creative take on both modern and traditional tapas using market fresh ingredients, kicking off the evening with a festive porron of Cava or glass of Sangria alongside favorites like the Datiles con Jamon, Pan con Tomate, Pimentos del Padron and more. From there, it’s off to Coppa, their Italian enoteca located at a cozy corner of the South End, where a selection of house specialties can be paired alongside a glass of wine, such as Wood-oven Roasted Meatballs, Cavatelli con Pollo or the savory Salsiccia Pizza.

For a sweet finish, crawlers will end at Little Donkey, Oringer and Bissonnette’s global small plates restaurant in Cambridge’s Central Square, with a menu inspired by their world travels. Tuck into the beloved Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough with milk espuma, playfully served on the beater, Ice Cream Churro Sandwich and more, alongside a drink of choice, from dessert wine to Little Donkey’s signature rotating drink: The One in the Grapefruit. Guests can also opt for a savory third course, with bites like Duck Nachos and BLT Lettuce Wraps.

We wanted to offer our guests, both fans and newcomers, a taste of some of our favorites. Consider this our ultimate night on the town in Boston,” – Ken Oringer

Our food is designed to be shared between couples, families and friends. The JK Food Group crawl embodies this experience. Leave the transportation and logistics up to us and we’ll leave the eating and drinking to you!” – Jamie Bissonnette

Starting March 4, reservations will be accepted through Pricing options include $165 per person for drinks + two food courses plus dessert; or $175 per person for drinks + three full food courses. Credit card(s) are required to hold all reservations. Groups can cancel up to a week in advance with no charge. Cancellations within a week of the reservation will be charged $50 per person.

2) CHOPPS American Bar and Grill and Executive Chef Stefano Zimei invite guests to indulge in some of the West Coast’s best vineyard offerings with a special California Wine Dinner on Friday, March 16, at 6:30pm, featuring wines from Domaine Chandon, Duckhorn, Silver Oak Winery, Faust, and Foley Vineyards.

Passed Hors d’Oeuvre
First course
Baked Oysters (Spinach, Parmesan Cream, Herb Breadcrumbs)
Peppercorn Crusted New York Strip (River Rock Farms, Baby Beets, Potato Pave, Shallot Brandy)
Layered Crepe Cake (Mascarpone, Marena Cherries)

Seats are available now for $95 per person (inclusive of tax & gratuity).
Space is limited and reservations are required. Call 781-221-6643 directly to book seats. A credit card is needed to secure a reservation.

3) Thirteen million children across the country struggle with hunger, putting us at risk of losing an entire generation of leaders, innovators, and problem-solvers. For more than 20 years, Chef/Owner Andy Husbands has worked closely with No Kid Hungry, the national campaign run by Share our Strength, to end childhood hunger through his Cooking Matters Dinner and a variety of other events.

On Monday, March 12th, starting at 6pm, Andy Husbands and the team at Tremont 647 will host the 21st Cooking Matters Dinner to benefit No Kid Hungry with a cocktail reception at 6:00PM followed by a multi-course dinner with wine pairings served family style at 7:00PM and prepared by some of Boston’s most renowned chefs, including Tony Maws, Chris Coombs, Jeremy Sewell, Jason Santos, Tim Maslow and Joanne Chang.

100% of proceeds from ticket sales will benefit No Kid Hungry’s work to end childhood hunger in Massachusetts.

Ticket packages include:
$175 individual ticket
$1,000 Summer Meals Supporter (4 tickets, recognition on website)
$2,500 Afterschool Meals Friend (table for 6, recognition, email invitation)
$5,000 School Breakfast Champion (table for 10, recognition, email invitation, remarks as a member of Host Committee)
For tickets, please visit

4) Assaggio restaurant invites guests for a Fantasy Fine Wine Dinner in Boston's historic North End. On Wednesday, March 7, from 7pm-11pm, the newest restaurant to join Depasquale Ventures, Assaggio will be hosting a Fine Wine Dinner highlighting fantasy fine wines and a five course serving of their Positano cuisine from Italy's Amalfi Coast. Reservations are $65 per person and can be made by phone at (617).227.7380.

Assaggio's Fine Wine Dinner presents:
Bruschetta (Eggplant Caponata with Whipped Burrata)
2016 Prestige Rose Sparkling Aglianico – Compania, Italy
Shrimp Scampi (Jumbo Shrimp Sauteed with Garlic Olive Oil and Grechetto)
2015 Grechetto Azienda Vitivinicola Chiorro – Umbria, Italy
Revello (Caprese Ravioli, Soft Ricotta Pillows, Marjoram, Tomato & Basil)
2011 Montepulciano Riserva "Trinita" Cordona – Abruzzo Italy
Griglia Mista (Filet, Short Rib, Lamb Chop, Seasonal Vegetables, Aglianico Demi)
2011 Aglianico Kapinos Masseria Frattasi – Campania Italy
Delizia Limone (Citrus Cake, Lemon Glaz, Fresh Lemon Cream)
2014 Passito Masseria Frattasi – Campania Italy

Reservations are $65 per person and can be made by phone at (617).227.7380.

5) On Thursday, March 15, from 5pm-10pm, Viale, in Cambridge, will host a Roots, Rum & Reggae party, celebrating with a Caribbean inspired menu, Tropical Cocktails, and Island Music. They are partnering with Privateer Rum, who will provide all the rum for the cocktails. The music will be provided by Murf Reeves Music.

To make reservations, or for more information, please call Viale at 617-576-1900.

6) It’s traditional to celebrate special events with roses, so Chef Michael Serpa of Select Oyster Bar in Boston's Back Bay has decided to celebrate the restaurant’s third anniversary not with flowers—but rosé wines. Join Serpa and cooking colleagues from Myers + Chang, SRV, haley.henry, and pop up sensation, East Boston Oysters, for an evening of rosé  and rosé friendly dishes at Select Oyster Bar on Tuesday, April 3rd, at 6:00 p.m., to celebrate Select Oyster Bar's third anniversary.

Tickets start at $100 per person and seating is limited.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit No Kid Hungry through Chefs Cycle bike-a-thons this May in Santa Rosa, CA and in September in Charlottesville, VA, where Chef Serpa and other notable Boston-area chefs will be participating.

Visit for reservations and more details.

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