Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thursday Sips & Nibbles

I am back again with a new edition of Thursday Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I briefly highlight some interesting wine and food items that I have encountered recently.
1) The Beehive partners with Save Venice Boston to create a Baroque musical party & dinner to celebrate Carnival/Mardi Gras the Venetian way on Wednesday, March 9th, from 5pm-2am. Enjoy Italian specialties including octopus salad, scallops with Swiss chard and polenta, roast cod with Orecchiette & broccoli rabe and carnival fritters. Celebrate with one of the most extensive wine and cocktails lists in Boston, MA at the bar while An “All Baroque Ensemble” including the best early music players in from the Longy School of Music in Boston play high energy and thumping classical music.

Later in the evening the music will be taken over in a contemporary way by Roberto Cassini and members of Gran Fatilla for a funky take on Italian folk music. "A Carnevale Ogni Scherzo Vale." It means, “...anything goes at carnevale,” It is rarely said aloud, for the words would be wasted, redundant. Masks, period-style attire and costume are highly encouraged. Reservations recommended by calling 617-423-0069.

2) Great food and a great cause.  The “A Spoonful of Ginger” food tasting event, to benefit Joslin Diabetes Center’s Asian American Diabetes Initiative, will be held on Monday, March 28, from 6:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m.  This will be a fun and delicious event, held in the new Art of the Americas wing at the Museum of Fine Arts – will bring together Boston's finest chefs to raise funding and increase awareness of the growing incidence of diabetes among Asian Americans.

This year’s event will honor Dick & Deb Carlson, Eugene & Lai Wong, and Boston Chef Joanne Chang for their long-standing commitment to the Joslin Diabetes Center and the Asian American Diabetes Initiative (AADI). Participating chefs and restaurants include Ming Tsai of Blue Ginger, Jasper White of Summer Shack, Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery and Myers + Chang, Wesley Chen of Changsho, Jose Duarte of Taranta, Cafénation, Chinatown Café and many others.

All proceeds from A Spoonful of Ginger support Joslin’s AADI which enhances the quality of life and health outcomes for Asian Americans living with diabetes through research, education, outreach and culturally appropriate treatments.  Tickets to this event cost $250 each and all proceeds benefit Joslin’s AADI.  To purchase tickets: Please visit, or contact Joslin’s Development Office at 617-309-2531.

I attended last year's event, and will be attending again this year, and it was an excellent event, with lots of great food and all for a very worthy cause. The Museum of Fine Arts makes for a unique and fascinating venue, while the line-up of star chefs brings its own fascination.  And this year, they might even pour Sake, in conjunction with the usual wine and beer.  Hope to see you there.

3) Tryst Restaurant, in Arlington, is bringing value to dinner with their special “Return To The Table” menu, which is also supposed to remind us of the past, when families gathered around the dinner table at 5pm to share a meal together

Beginning Sunday, February 20th, Tryst Restaurant is offering a “Return to the Table” menu on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evenings from 5pm-10pm, which features 10 of Executive Chef Paul Turano’s house-made entree, each for only $10 each (tax and gratuity are not included).  So what’s the catch? No bar or lounge seats for you. This special is only available in Tryst’s dining room. Reservations are not necessary, but recommended by calling 781-641-2227. “Return to the Table” menu is offered in addition to Tryst’s regular dinner menu.

Return to the Table Menu
--Classic Sliders (pickles, cheddar & sea salt chips)
--Fish & Chips (house-made tartar sauce & sea salt chips)
--Tomato & Fresh Mozzarella Flatbread
--Pork Ribs (house-made slaw, cornbread & scallion mashed potatoes)
--Mac & Cheese (country ham, peas & ritz cracker crumbs)
--Hearts of Romaine (grilled chicken, spicy pepitas, cornbread croutons, avocado & chili lime dressing)
--Tagliatelle Bolognese (shaved parmesan)
--Mushroom Pizza (goat cheese, sweet onions & truffle vinaigrette)
--Turkey Panini (Gruyere, apple, smoked bacon with house pickles & sea salt chips)
--House-Made Pork Sausage Sandwich (vinegar peppers & sea salt chips)

4) Can Boston chefs compete with top celebrity chefs?  The answer is clearly Yes, and we have had proof in the past, such as Chef Joanne Chang when defeated Chef Bobby Flay on his Throwdown! television show.  Another challenge has now come to Boston, and let us hope Boston can once again prevail.  Chefs Carla and Christine Pallotta of Nebo will face off against Bobby Flay on his Throwdown! show in a battle over vegetable lasagna. The show will air on March 2nd at 8:30pm on the Food Network.

Nebo was my 2010 Favorite North End Restaurant, Moderate and I recommend it to everyone. Plus, they both are from Stoneham, my home town. So I am really pulling for Carla and Christine to win this one.  Tune in on March 2 and root for the ladies to take down Bobby Flay!

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