Thursday, February 2, 2012

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)  On February 21, at 6:30pm, Legal Harborside will team up with Jon David Headrick, owner of Jon David Headrick Selections, to host an exclusive dinner in the private dining room located on the second level of this flagship location. An American importer specializing in wines of France’s Loire Valley, Jon David Headrick will preside over this four-plus-course dinner set on Boston Harbor.

The menu will be presented as follows:

Hors d'Oeuvres
Kumamoto Oysters on the Half Shell, Wasabi Foam
Jean-Francois Mérieau “L’Arpent des Vaudons” Sauvignon de Touraine, Loire Valley, 2010
First Course
Seared Rare Hiramasa with Fennel Purée, Preserved Lemon and Heirloom Radish
Domaine du Viking “Tendre” Vouvray, Loire Valley, 2009
Second Course
Sautéed Abalone with Parsnip Purée, House-Cured Grapes and Guanciale
Domaine Vacheron “Les Romains” Sancerre, Loire Valley, 2009
Third Course
Pan-Seared Halibut with Tomato-Braised Romano Beans
Frédéric Mabileau “Les Rouillères” St-Nicolas-de-Bourgeuil, Loire Valley, 2009
Dessert Course
“Best Ever” Crème Brulée
Domaine du Viking “Cuvée Aurélie” Moelleux Vouvray, Loire Valley, 2002

COST: $110 per person (excludes tax & gratuity)
Reservations are required by contacting (617) 530-9470

2)  The Rattlesnake Bar and Grill is urging everyone to “fire it up” this winter by introducing its latest challenge: the Ghost Chili Margarita ($16). This “glass of fire” doubles as one of the world’s hottest margaritas. With a combination of ghost chilies, Trinidad Scorpion chili sauce, habanero powder and red pepper flakes, Poe’s Kitchen at the Rattlesnake has created "the tastiest glass of pure heat to ever fill one’s asbestos-lined belly."

The challenge is simple. After signing a waiver, the contender has sixty minutes to finish the drink and return the glass with nothing but ice remaining (needless to say, without the assistance of any heat-dulling aids). To the victors go the following spoils: a soothing treat of Brooklyn Chocolate Stout ice cream; a tough-looking champion t-shirt; and, a highly coveted spot in the “Ghost Chili Challenge: Wall of Glory” album on the Poe’s Kitchen at the Rattlesnake Facebook page. To the ones who couldn’t quite finish this margarita of pain? A shameful loser t-shirt, a not-so-coveted spot in the “Ghost Chili Challenge: Wall of Shame” album on the Poe’s Kitchen at the Rattlesnake Facebook page and an order of the Brooklyn Chocolate Stout Ice Cream.

The “Ghost Chili Challenge” will be accepting contenders anytime one dares beginning February 2nd at Poe’s Kitchen at the Rattlesnake. The challenge is $16 per person and comes with a bevy of prizes – win, lose or draw.

Also on February 2nd from 7pm – 9pm, Poe’s Kitchen at the Rattlesnake will host a complimentary launch event – complete with Cuervo girls – in order to light the torch for the new epic challenge. Open to the public, this group of fiery revelers will gather around for signature Poe-Poe Platters (a trio of fire-laced small plates - $10) and see who takes the Ghost Chili Challenge.

3)  Carnivale is coming to Mohegan Sun Casino for a three-day event. From a Venetian Carnivale to a Rio de Janiero Carnival, the three-day event will cap off with a tribute to Bourbon Street’s Fat Tuesday. Beginning at 9pm on Friday, February 17th, experience Venetian’s Nights of Carnivale, with the festival’s legendary masks, gondoliers, Venetian stilt walkers and Harlequin models all roaming The Shops concourse. In the hotel lobby, guests will be serenaded by Italian opera singers and over at Todd English’s Tuscany, there will be a party on the patio with a live DJ, specialty drinks and more.

The colors and excitement of Brazil’s Carnival invades The Shops concourse on Sunday, February 19th with the Carnivale of Color. Beginning at 2pm, enjoy Rio’s famed feathered dancers and carnival puppet birds, along with a live Samba band, specialty drinks, an angel aerialist and more. Guests not only can enjoy performances, but also free dance lessons from real Latin ballroom dancers.

The three-day extravaganza rounds out with a full on Madri Gras celebration. Beginning at 2pm on Tuesday, February 21st, The Shops at Mohegan Sun transform once again - this time bringing a little Creole up north. Just like in New Orleans, guests will receive traditional Mardi Gras beads while enjoying an array of entertainment including jesters, jugglers, a unicyclist, live DJ and strolling saxophonist. No Mardi Gras celebration would be complete without a King and Queen who will lead an indoor parade filled with music, puppets and performers. The parade begins at 9pm in The Shops at Mohegan Sun.

4)  Chef Paul Turano, chef/owner of Tryst restaurant in Arlington, has taken it upon himself to bring authenticity to his special prix fixe Mardi Gras dinner being held on Tuesday, February 21, from 5pm-10pm. Chef Turano has been communicating with the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC) and the Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) to pull together a menu that will feature authentic Louisiana cuisine and will offer guests a true Mardi Gras dining experience in New England.

Turano’s Mardi Gras menu will feature dishes replicated from some of New Orleans best chefs and restaurants including: Chef Vincent “Vinny” Russo, executive chef of M bistro at The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans; Chef Dickie Brennan, owner and operator of Palace Café and the Bourbon House; and Chef Phil de Gruy, chef/owner of Phil’s Grill. Served in addition to Tryst’s regular menu, Mardi Gras diners can look forward to experiencing the dinner as a three-course prix fixe menu available for $38 per person, or to ordering the dishes à la carte. Plus, guests will be able to enjoy authentic cocktails and Hurricanes galore.

A percentage of the prix fixe proceeds from the evenings Mardi Gras dinner will go to Louisiana Hospitality Foundation, a New Orleans charity that facilitates the efforts of the hospitality industry to improve greater New Orleans in a variety of ways and to provide support for the education, health and social welfare of children in the community.

Reservations are highly recommended. Please call 781-641-2227.

Starters (choice of one)
--Warm Crabmeat dip with pecan crumble & field greens
--Crispy Fried Chicken with Creole BBQ & tomatillo pickles
--1/2 dozen oysters with chorizo mignonette
Entrees (choice of one)
--Slow Roasted Pork with Black Eyed Pea & Collard Green Gumbo
--3 Shrimp Po Boy Sliders with tasso polenta fries & buttermilk ranch dressing
--Cinnamon & Sugar Beignets with cafe au late pot au crème

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