Thursday, December 6, 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) Because December is for savoring the holidays with loved ones, Sumiao Hunan Kitchen in Kendall Square is giving you every reason to do just that. The contemporary and vibrant Hunanese restaurant will be decked out in sparkly festive décor, setting the mood for a Christmas-themed dining experience designed to spark holiday spirit - amongst even the grinches.

All month long, enjoy special chef creations such as Snow Pea Shrimp (pepper, scallion, garlic and seasoned soy sauce, $22); Merry Tomato Eggs (stir-fried eggs with tomatoes, $15); and Happy Yin Yang (mountain yam, black fungus, carrots, green and red peppers, $22). From December 21 to December 31, a decadent and healthful Christmas Roasted Chicken will be a must-try, made with organic, cage-free whole chicken and served with red and green accompaniments: beets, cherry tomatoes and broccoli ($58).

From the bar, there will be four new cocktails on the spotlight: a bubbly duo including the Lychee Bellini made with lychee liqueur, lychee puree, sparking, lychee garnish ($10) and the Pama Mimosa with pomegranate liqueur, cranberry juice, champagne, fresh cranberries and rosemary ($10); a steamy Spiked Apple Cider with Myers dark rum and a dried apple slice ($8); and the White Christmas, bursting with the quintessential winter flavors of eggnog, white chocolate liqueur, Southern Comfort and cocoa powder ($8). Sumiao’s November Hot Toddy will also be available for another 31 days, bringing you lemon-honey black tea, whiskey, house made lavender clove reduction, Disaronno and a lemon twist ($7).

2) Enjoy time amongst friends and family this holiday season with a variety of festive events at Bar Boulud, Boston and the Mandarin Oriental, Boston, including the following:

Family Bûche de Noël Decorating Class – December 8 & 15
Aspiring bakers and pastry enthusiasts of all ages are invited to join Chef Robert Differ and team for an exclusive Parisian holiday dessert decorating class. Participants will be presented a pre-rolled Bûche de Noël that serves as a confectionary canvas, allowing students to focus on all of the fun aspects of holiday baking without the stress of measuring, mixing and manipulating. After crafting this holiday-themed dessert, participants will depart with a recipe to recreate the iconic sweet at home, along with a freshly baked (and decorated!) Bûche de Noël to enjoy with friends and family. Tickets for the event are $98 per person and available on EventBrite.

Ruinart Champagne Dinner – December 13
What better way to toast the holiday season than to sip on bubbly with Guillaume Grillon, Maison Ruinart Market Manager; Bar Boulud Head Sommelier David Bérubé; and Bar Boulud Chef de Cuisine Brian Arruda as they host a festive four-course menu paired with the Maison Ruinart tradition in all forms. Accompanying menu includes Burrata Salad, Potato Gnocchi and much more. Bar Boulud’s Ruinart Champagne Dinner is $195 per person including tax and gratuity. View the full menu and make reservations here.

Holidays Champagne Afternoon Tea – Daily Through Jan. 6, 2019
After braving the cold this holiday season settle down at Mandarin Oriental, Boston for a Holidays Champagne Afternoon Tea. Whether you are looking for a fancy retreat or just a dash of warmth, join us daily from 1 P.M to 6 P.M in the Lobby Lounge for $78 per person. Listen to the crackling fireplace while enjoying a cup of house-blended tea, toast the holidays with a glass of bubbly and indulge in afternoon tea classics reimagined by Pastry Chef Robert Differ. Details and tickets available on EventBrite.

Christmas Day Brunch and Dinner at Bar Boulud
A festive feast awaits you on Christmas Day at Bar Boulud. Sit down with your family for a buffet of signature creations and crowd pleasers including Viennoiserie, a Brunch Egg Station, Coq au Vin, Artisanal Cheese and Charcuterie Boards, a Smoothie Station and more. Bar Boulud’s Christmas Day Jazz Brunch will be served from 11:30 A.M. until 3:30 P.M. for $98 per person and $46 per child under 12 years. Christmas Day Dinner will then be offered from 5:30 P.M. until 10 P.M. The prix fixe menu is $95 per person and features first course, main course and dessert; supplemental offerings to make your holiday dinner even more luxurious include the Petit Plateau of lobster, oysters, tuna tartare, peekytoe crab salad and shrimp cocktail, as well as black truffles shaved over house tagliatelle. To enjoy a feast before the feast join for Christmas Eve Dinner, also available 5:30 P.M. until 10 P.M. for $95 per person. To view the full menu and to make reservations, visit

3) Does it feel cold enough to ski the French Alps right about now? Let's stay warm and cozy instead, and just toast one another with beautiful wine from the Savoie region. Jesse Eslin, Wine Director, at the Table at Season To Taste, has collected extraordinary wine from the Savoie region of the French Alps and is creating a five course wine dinner with Chef Carl Dooley. It's the perfect season to experience the wine of the French Alps, without the cold!

The Savoie Wine Dinner will be held on Wednesday, December 12, from 5:30pm-9:30pm. The cost is $175 per person, which includes five courses, wine pairings, tax and hospitality. You can make a Reservation by calling the restaurant at 617-871-9468.

4) Chef David Vargas, of Vida Cantina, announces a new event this holiday season: Hip Hop Holiday: A Not So Silent Night, a celebration of art, music, street food and cocktails, and benefits Gather, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending local hunger through collaboration and leadership.

Vargas shares, "I have always wanted to do something like this during the holidays - to bring everyone in the community together to have a great time with food and music and to make a difference. I am so excited and grateful to this incredible team for making it happen this year!"

The event takes place December 15, at 7pm, at St. John's Masonic Lodge, 351 Middle St., Portsmouth, NH. Street food is by Vida Cantina and cocktails by The Nice. The music headliners are STL GLD & RAYEL; with DJ's Teeba and DJ Skooch. There will be live painting by Stephen Godlieb, Michael Valotto, and Marisa Kang.

Tickets are $20. and are available in advance via Eventbrite, or stop by Vida Cantina and The Nice to purchase tickets.

5) Celebrate Christmas Day at Chopps American Bar & Grill with a Three-Course Christmas Tasting Menu. The Dinner will be available from 1pm-6pm, and the full regular dinner menu will also be available.

The tasting menu includes:
--Maine Lobster Soup (cognac, tempura lobster)
--Baby Arugula (quinoa, wild mushrooms, feta, yuzu)
--Potato Crusted Atlantic Cod (roasted mushrooms, chestnuts, za'ata)
--Sweet Potato Ravioli (brown butter, sage and walnut)
--Butternut Squash Ravioli (hearty greens, sage butter, parmesan)
--Ginger Bread Cake (glazed, cranberry compote, gingerbread gelato)

The Cost is $49 per person and you can make Reservations by calling 781-221-6643

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