Thursday, February 16, 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 Monday, February 27, from 6pm-8pm, The Beehive will host the 12th installment in The Beehive's continuing art series entitled, Sting! XII: Boston Contemporary. This installment welcomes 13 artists selected by the Boston Contemporary Group (BCG) whose members include Camilo Alvarez of Samsøn, Anthony Greaney of the Anthony Greaney Gallery, Russell LaMontagne of LaMontagne Gallery and Steven Zevitas of the Steven Zevitas Gallery. BCG was formed to support an environment in Boston for critically relevant contemporary art. BCG will use this exhibit at The Beehive to bring awareness to their group as well as to launch their new website hosted by Gallerist, the event’s sponsor, a New York based company revolutionizing the way people interact with art.

The ongoing Sting! series always signifies the launch of a new art installation at The Beehive and highlights an evening of live entertainment, food & libations along with amazing art. The 12th installment will highlight a remarkable group of artists (most of whom are working here in Boston or who otherwise have connections to the city) as well as brings attention to a dedicated group of gallerists in Boston who possess a deep well of knowledge and expertise just waiting to be tapped. Visitors to The Beehive will be witness to the broad diversity of mediums, materials and techniques presented by this group of artists, including works on paper, works made with film on linen, drawings, photography, paintings, video animation, performance and even a disco ball made from laser cut disco records.

The artists will include:
From the Anthony Greaney Gallery, 450 Harrison Avenue, Boston
Erik Benjamins, Greg Hayes & Wayne Stokes
From Samsøn, 450 Harrison Avenue, Boston
John C. Gonzales, Maria Molteni, Zsuzsanna Szegedi & Mike Szegedi
* All of these artists are former, current or future resident artists at sübsamsøn
From the LaMontagne Gallery, 555 East 2nd Street, South Boston
Holly Coulis, Kim Faler, Boru O’Brien O’Connell, Jeff Perrott & Daniela Rivera
From the Steven Zevitas Gallery, 450 Harrison Avenue, Boston
Michael Krueger, Ben Sloat & Jered Sprecher

Performances by: Funk, soul queen Sarah Brindell will bring her sultry and melodious blend of Soul, Jazz, Bossa Nova, Reggae, Pop and R&B that captivates audiences around the world. Also joining us artist Erik Benjamins who will present a textual intervention within The Beehive’s dinner and drink menus for this evening only. Erik is a graduate student at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts who explores the choreography of the performing, culinary and visual arts, teasing the relationship between the home and away place.

No cover charge, cash bar. Dinner reservations recommended.

2)  On Monday, March 26, from 6:30pm-9:30pm, the Spoonful of Ginger will once again feature Boston’s chefs for a special food tasting at the Museum of Fine Arts new Art of the Americas Wing. Guests will enjoy an evening of gourmet dishes prepared by some of Boston’s most renowned chefs, including Joanne Chang, Jose Duarte, Gordon Hamersley, Jacky Roberts, and Jasper White. Proceeds benefit Joslin Diabetes Center’s Asian American Diabetes Initiative (AADI) which strives to enhance the quality of life and health outcomes for the rising number of Asian Americans living with diabetes, as well as working with Joslin in their commitment to finding a cure.

At this year’s event, Joslin Diabetes Center will honor Chef Wesley Chen of Lotus Blossom Cuisine and local architect Been Wong for their contributions to the AADI’s mission and the Asian American community.

I have been to this event a few times, and it always is a fun and delicious time. It is great to meet and chat with local chefs, while enjoying some delectable dishes that they have prepared for the event. Plus, the event is for a very worthy cause.

COST: Tickets are $250.
FOR TICKETS: Call 617-732-2512 or e-mail

3)  In Quebec, maple syrup is an excuse to sit down for a feast at a Sugar Shack or “cabane à sucre,” where just-tapped maple sap is boiled until it's transformed into sugary syrup. Hundreds of sugar shacks lie just outside Montreal and Quebec City, and many have massive dining halls, where families sit at communal tables and are fed an endless parade of simple country cooking, pickled beets, pancakes, fried eggs, stews, sausage and bacon, split pea soup, pork cracklings, meat pie, maple syrup pie, often accompanied by a live band playing traditional folk music (similar to Cajun music) and dancing.

On Wednesday, March 7, from 5pm-2am, The Beehive teams up with Chef Alexandre Loiseau and his crew from Bistro Cocagne in Montreal, Quebec to offer Bostonians an original twist on the Sugar Shack experience with a multi-course family style feast accompanied by live musical performances by traditional Quebec performers. Guests will be seated at communal tables and served a series of dishes on shared platters as well as the diner’s own choice of entrée. The meal has a set price of $45 per person.

To ensure authenticity and in observance of Celebrations de la Francophonie in March, a month long celebration of the diversity of the French speaking world, The Beehive has partnered on this event with the Association Québécoise en Nouvelle-Angleterre, the Quebec Delegation of Boston, and the Consulate General of Canada in Boston. Harpoon Brewery will be participating as well, with an advanced release of their limited batch Catamount Maple Wheat Ale.

This event is an opportunity to sample the talents of Chef Alexandre Loiseau, one of the top young chefs in the highly regarded Montreal culinary scene. After years working with some of the greats such as Norman Laprise, David McMillan, Stelio Perombelon and Jean-Paul Giroux, Chef Loiseau opened Bistro Cocagne in 2004 to critical acclaim. Chef Loiseau will be working with resident celebrity Chef Rebecca Newell producing authentic, yet innovative twists on traditional Sugar Shack fare.

The Beehive is proud to present two very special performances from award-winning Québec artists.

Beginning at 6:30pm, guests will delight in the sounds of Isabelle Cyr and Yves Marchand. From Témiscamingue Lake in Québec, to the Acadian shores, Isabelle Cyr and Yves Marchand offer a stunning repertoire of original songs and traditional pieces. To the spellbinding rhythms of the piano, the harmonium, the drum, the autoharp and the guitar, the irresistible duo blend their voices and cultures for the greatest pleasure of us all.

At 8:30pm, The Beehive is proud to present De Temps Antan. Songs from the past and songs of today, dosed with uncontrolled laughter, deep-rooted couplets and sudden impromptu shifts - this is the sum total of De Temps Antan! Since 2003, Éric Beaudry, André Brunet and Pierre-Luc Dupuis have brilliantly explored and performed a traditional repertoire of Quebec's musical past. With an explosion of fiddle, accordion, harmonica, guitar, bouzouki and a number of other instruments, they enjoy a devilishly good time straying from the ordinary and thrilling audiences with their contagious joie de vivre.

The Sugar Shack Menu:

Table Accoutrements
Beets Marinated with Cider Vinegar & Maple Syrup,
Homemade Pickles, Homemade Ketchup, Maple Syrup Bacon
Family Style First Course
Cream of Turnip Soup with Maple Syrup Crouton
Pork Creton (Rustic Pate)
Plate of Dried Ham, Raspberry Vinegar Reduction & Maple Syrup
Lettuce Salad, Oreille de Christ (Pork Cracklings), Maple Dijon Vinaigrette
Entrée Course (Each Diner Chooses one of following):
--Roast Pork, Apple Cider, Maple Sugar & Baked Beans
--Seared Salmon, Maple Roasted Root Vegetables, Crystallized Lemon & Sour Cream
--Braised Lamb Shank, Tomatoes, Maple vinegar, French Beans Amandine
--Baked Stuffed Lobster, Garlic, Parsley, Lardon, Maple Vinegar and Lobster Butter, Mashed Parsnip Puree, Creamy Spinach +$10
--Quebec Meat Pie (Pork, Turkey, Venison) with Baked Beans
Family Style Dessert
Vanilla Maple Panna Cotta
Maple Syrup Pie
Bread Pudding Chomeur with Maple Ice Cream
*Menu Subject to Revisions

Cost: $45 per person (Tax, Gratuity, Beverages not included).
Call 617-423-0069 for reservations.

4)  Beginning this month, Tavolo chef-owner Chris Douglass and Tavolo chef de cuisine Nuno Alves will take their act on the road, conducting pasta-making classes in customers’ homes. Nuno will trek to your home kitchen on a Saturday afternoon with all the necessary equipment and ingredients. Within two hours, you and your friends will have learned the secret to making restaurant-quality pasta.

Nuno recommends these curriculums:
· beet, saffron, squid ink or other flavored linguini or spaghetti
· ravioli with various stuffings like ricotta, sausage or escarole
· gnocchi with mushroom Bolognese, artichoke or other sauces
· garganelli, cavatappi, orrechietti or other hand-cut pastas
· gluten-free pastas

A minimum of six people are required for a class. Cost per person depends on the dish to be made, the location, and the size of group. Those who prefer to mess up a kitchen besides their own can arrange for Saturday classes in the Tavolo kitchen in Dorchester anytime. $60 per person includes instruction, lunch and wine.

For more information, or to schedule a class, please call 617-822-1918.

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