Thursday, March 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) Morton’s The Steakhouse Back Bay is hosting Peter Mondavi Jr. of the Charles Krug Winery for a special Winemakers Dinner on Tuesday, March 22, with a Reception at 6:30pm and Dinner at 7pm.

"Hailing from Napa Valley’s first family of winemaking, Peter Mondavi Jr. was introduced to the process at a young age and quickly became versed in the world of wines. In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Charles Krug Winery, third generation proprietor Peter explores some of the estate’s finest vintages, including the 1980 Cabernet Sauvignon Vintage Selection. Located in the heart of Napa Valley, the famed Charles Krug is home to super-premium and reserve wines made with estate-grown, sustainably farmed fruit representing the region’s most prized sub-appellations."

The menu and wines include:
--Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes
--Belgian Endive with Blue Cheese
--Tuna Tartare, Diced Tomato and Avocado
Paired with Charles Krug, St. Helena - Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc, 2010

First Course
Mixed Field Greens topped with Grilled Colossal Shrimp
Paired with Charles Krug, Carneros Chardonnay, 2009

Second Course
Filet Mignon served with Chive Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Tomato stuffed with Sautéed Spinach, Shiitake Mushrooms
Paired with: Charles Krug, Vintage Selection - 125th Anniversary, Cabernet Sauvignon, 1980
Charles Krug, Vintage Selection, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006
Charles Krug, Vintage Selection - 150th Anniversary, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008

Cheese Course
Green Hill (Jersey Cow Milk Cheese)
Roasted Wild Rice (Gouda)
GoreDawnZola (Gorgonzola)
Snow Drop (Goat Cheese)
Paired with Charles Krug, Zinfandel Port, Lot XIV

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Cost: $150 per guest, inclusive of tax and gratuity. Call 617-266-5108 for reservations

2)  Hanami-zake is the term for "drinking saké while watching the cherry blossoms."

Haru, which means “spring” in Japanese, is inviting diners to celebrate the season with its new Spring Bento Boxes available on the first day of season, Sunday, March 20th. In Japan, the arrival of the spring season is celebrated by hosting traditional Japanese Hanamis celebrations, also known as “Cherry Blossom parties,” that include sipping sake with friends and picnics in the parks among the budding cherry blossoms.

Haru is toasting to this tradition with their Spring Bento Boxes and Cherry Blossom cocktail. Served on bento box-inspired dishes, the two new boxes – one for dining-in and one for delivery – will each include four spring and summer tastings.  The Cherry Blossom cocktail ($12) is a mix of Sevdka Cherry Vodka, Nigori Sake, Peach Puree, and cranberry juice garnished with a cherry and a small flower.

The Spring Bento Box for in-restaurant dining costs $24 and includes:
· Spring Sashimi Salad: tuna, Spanish mackerel and spring garden mix
· Not Your Mama’s Chirashi: Assorted seafood, sushi rice and vegetables
· Broiled Yuzu Marinated Spanish Mackerel
· Summer “Spring” Roll: Rice paper-wrapped roll with shrimp, mesclun, light summer vegetables and angel hair marinated in spicy tomato soy

For those who chose to celebrate the season at home, the Spring Bento Box delivery option costs $17.50 and includes:
· Tuna sushi and Yellowtail sushi
· Tuna Ceviche: Tuna, grape tomatoes, red onion, avocado, green apple in a citrus ceviche sauce
· Summer “Spring” Roll: Rice paper-wrapped roll with shrimp, mesclun, light summer vegetables and angel hair marinated in spicy tomato soy
· ½ Strawberry Fin Specialty Roll: Crunchy spicy yellowtail, jalapeño peppers and mango topped with scallops, wasabi tobiko and fresh strawberries; 4 pieces

3) On March 29th, at 6:30pm, Legal Sea Foods will celebrate April Fool’s Day a bit early with a three-course prix fixe menu that will introduce a combination of fun hors d’oeuvres paired with unique beverages.  Expect the unexpected. 

First Course
Crispy Hake Chicharrones with Spicy Aioli and Jicama Salsa
Paired with Allagash White Ale

Second Course
Surf & Turf Tostadas with Barbacoa Style Pulled Pork, Grilled Shrimp, Black Beans and Queso Fresco
Paired with Kaiken Malbec, Mendoza, 2009

Third Course
Churros & Dulce de Leche with Nieve de Canela
Fonseca 20 Year Tawny Port

COST: $35 per session (includes tax & gratuity).  Reservations required by calling: 617-530-9392. For online reservations, visit:

4) Take a culinary wine tour around the world with the Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro’s Wine & Dine Mondays series. The series is designed to both educate and entertain. Aimed at oenophiles of all levels, “Wine & Dine Mondays are about wonderful wines, creative food and friendship,” said Cecilia Rait, Proprietress and resident Wine Director of the Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro.

As the series spans the globe from our very own vineyards here in the U.S., to various locals such as Spain and France, the series is not simply about the wine; but, also the food. Each four-course dinner showcases regional fare as well as the culinary artistry of the Chef of the Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro, Executive Chef Matt Molloy whose selections will accent each featured wine.

This intimate Monday evening adventure always begins at 7pm and is set in communal seating to encourage conversation. For the price of $55 per person (tax and gratuity not included), guests are treated to the full four-course dinner including the various wines to accompany their dining and educational experience. Reservations are encouraged as most nights sell out well in advance.

Upcoming Themes include:
March 21: South Africa - a Selection from Thelema Mountain Vineyard
Thelema is family-owned winery located on the slopes of Simonsberg in the Stellenbosch, mostly planted with international varietals. Come taste their wonderful wines!
March 28: A Voyage along the Rhône River
The Rhône originates in Valais, Switzerland, enters Lake Geneva and then flows into the Mediterranean. During this evening, we will sample wines from along its banks.
April 11: Washington State
Even though modern viticulture is quite recent in the area, Washington State is the second largest producer in the country. The vineyards are located in the desert like eastern part of the state where a unique combination of climate and soil crafts some very interesting wines.
April 25: The Wines of Western Spain
During the course of the dinner we will taste wines from the wet and cool areas of Galicia in the north and end up in the hot and arid area of Jerez in the very south. Salud!
May 9: "Drink Like a Fish" - Seafood Friendly Wines
On this fun day, French wines lead the way. But neither Sauvignon Blanc nor Chardonnay gets to play!
May 23: Blind Tasting
Test your skills at this tasting where we have selected four of the wines from this season's wine dinners.

5) On April 6th, Neurofibromatosis, Inc. Northeast will celebrate their 12th annual Table for TEN event in Boston. With Honorary Chairpersons Jenny Johnson (Producer and Hostess of NECN’s TV Diner) and Donato Frattaroli (Owner of Lucia Ristorante) emceeing this unrivaled evening, supporters will be shuffled off to some of the city’s top dining establishments to enjoy a three-course meal before closing out their night at a decadent dessert reception and live auction hosted at Parris in Faneuil Hall.

Groups of ten guests will arrive at their respective restaurant at 6pm on Wednesday, April 6th, and will indulge in a specially created three-course menu. Participating restaurants in include but not limited to: Post 390; Haru; Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse; Cafeteria; Lucia’s Ristorante; Towne Stove and Spirits; Morton’s Steakhouse; Petit Robert Central; Pairings; Da Vinci Ristorante; and, Taranta.

At 8pm, supporters are invited to continue the festivities at the official after party at Parris in Faneuil Hall. At this decadent dessert reception, Montilio’s Baking Company will provide custom sweet treats and revelers will enjoy entertainment and a live auction by Honorary Chairperson, Jenny Johnson. Silent and live auction items include, but are not limited to: a tour of Fenway Park, complete with field access during batting practice and tickets to the game; an overnight stay at the W Hotel in Boston coupled with a gift certificate to Jean-George’s esteemed in-house restaurant, Market; overnight stays and breakfasts-for-two at The Back Bay Hotel and AMES; and, a membership to Equinox Fitness in Boston.

Table for TEN is one of NF, Inc. Northeast’s largest fundraising events of the year. Through their efforts, grants for groundbreaking research at Harvard Medical School Center for Neurofibromatosis and Allied Disorders, Mass General Hospital and Children’s Hospital Boston are made possible. Over the years, incredible strides in research development have been made bringing us one step closer to a cure.

To attend this event, please contact Sonja Nathan of NF, Inc. Northeast at 781-272-9936 or For more information on the Table for TEN event and to reserve online, please visit: Tables for ten are available for $1,000 and individual placements at a table may be reserved for $100 per person. To attend the dessert reception and auction only, guests are kindly asked to make a $20 donation to NF, Inc, Northeast. Sponsorship levels are also available.

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