Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Sips & Nibbles

I am back with a special Friday edition of Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I briefly highlight some interesting wine and food items that I have encountered recently. There are lots of upcoming events so wanted to showcase some of the most interesting ones.
1) The American Diabetes Association is planning an Alert Day on Tuesday, March 27. This one-day call to action asks people to determine their risk for developing Type 2 diabetes through the Diabetes Risk Test available on the Association’s Facebook page. Though you will find a Test on their site before March 27, it is updated and re-launched with a new, more accurate algorithm on March 27 so you should wait until then to take the test. As a bonus, for every Diabetes Risk Test taken, Boar’s Head will donate $5 to the American Diabetes Association starting on March 27 through April 27, 2012 up to $50,000.

Did you know:
· Diabetes affects nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States but a quarter of Americans who have type 2 diabetes don’t know they have it.
· An additional 79 million (or one in three) American adults, have prediabetes, which puts them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
· Unfortunately, diagnosis often comes 7 to 10 years after the onset of the disease, after disabling and even deadly complications have had time to develop. Therefore, early diagnosis is critical to successful treatment and delaying or preventing some of its complications.

I was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes last December, but have been able to keep it under control through diet and lifestyle changes. But that was partially due to an early diagnosis, before the disease had taken hold and caused significant problems. So please take this Diabetes Risk Test, and just maybe it will save your life.

2)  Celebrate Easter, Sunday, April 8, with friends and family at The Fairmont Copley Plaza’s Oval Room with a brunch buffet, as well as a variety of children’s activities. Choose from an array of items that range from raw bar and charcuterie to soups and salads to caramelized onion and Gruyere quiche to Grand Marnier French toast. Action stations include made-to-order omelets and carving stations, each served with the appropriate accompaniments. The grand finale includes a dessert buffet, with treats for every sweet tooth, from fruit tarts and cheesecakes to chocolate mouse. The centerpiece of the dessert station will be a pineapple and bananas Foster action station. The buffet will be garnished with festive chocolate eggs, Easter bunnies and spring floral arrangements.

Easter Brunch will be served in the Oval Room on Sunday, April 8,  from 11:30am. to 3pm. The brunch buffet is available for $79 for adults and $39 for children. Prices are inclusive of juice and coffee. Reservations are recommended. Please call (617) 267-5300.

3)  Celebrate Easter, Sunday, April 8, from 11am-3pm, at Towne Stove and Spirits for an Easter brunch. In addition to serving their signature brunch menu, Culinary Director Lydia Shire and Executive Chef Mario Capone will also be dishing out exclusive specials. For their specialty entrée, dig into the Wood Roasted Leg of Lamb (crispy fried artichokes, ricotta & spring pea ravioli - $21). If a little more sugar is just what the doctor ordered, indulge in the Lemon & Poppy Seed Cheesecake (homemade strawberry preserve - $9).

These specialty items will join Towne brunch classics including: House-made Rum Smoked Salmon with Potato Pancakes (hot horseradish crema, beet chips - $12); Deep Fried Poached Egg on ‘Minute’ Skirt Steak (creamed spinach, curried croutons - $16); Cinnamon Fresh Toast (Lyles Golden Syrup, whipped marmalade butter - $11); Chicken & Waffles (grits, bacon, Tabasco - $14); ‘Kitchen Sink’ Bacon Sandwich (ripe tomatoes, Xtreme French fries); and Wood Grilled Pizzas (margherita - $16; crab, chive, ricotta - $19; sausage & pepperoni - $18).

For reservations, please call: 617-247-0400.

4)  Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is pleased to celebrate Spring Break with a special “break” for its guests: the iconic combination of a tender Filet Mignon and a sweet North Atlantic Lobster Tail, plus a starter course and a side, all for only $34.95* for a limited time.

Now through April 7 at all Fleming’s locations, guests can start the Spring Break Celebration with their choice of the Wedge Salad with crisp iceberg lettuce with grape tomatoes, red onions and crumbled blue cheese or French Onion Soup baked with gruyere and parmesan cheeses. The filet mignon—Fleming’s leanest meat—and broiled lobster tail with drawn butter are accompanied by a choice of French Green Beans with shiitake mushrooms and porcini essence or Fleming’s Mashed Potatoes topped with blue cheese, parmesan-peppercorn or roasted garlic. The Spring Break Celebration is not on the regular menu and is available only upon request.

5)  Chef Michael Leviton of Lumiere teams up with Rabbi Lev Ba’esh for a Seder dinner offered on two nights this Passover. Entitled “A Journey Toward Freedom in 4 Acts and 4 Courses,” the dinner event is a Passover of welcoming and inclusion for Jews, interfaith families and anyone who appreciates a good story, a good song and good food. The interactive four-course dinner will be served family-style with open seating to encourage people from all walks of life to sit together and celebrate Passover. The dinner also includes the traditional four questions regarding the story of Passover, as well as singing with a live band in between and during courses.

A Reform Rabbi, Lev Ba’esh is also the Interfaith Ambassador for Combined Jewish Philanthropies in Boston and the Director of the Resource Center for Jewish Clergy at Lev can be found teaching courses on Jewish living and life cycles, and facilitating workshops on ‘Inclusion and Welcoming’ of unaffiliated Jews and interfaith families in Jewish life and community.

The four-course, locally and sustainably-inspired Seder dinner menu features:
--Matzoh Ball Soup (Vegetable and Chicken Options)
--House Smoked Line-Caught Chatham Haddock Salad (Carrots, Beets & Parsley, Horseradish-Mustard Vinaigrette)
--Aunt Sharon’s Haroset and Persian Haroset (Area Four Wood Oven Baked Matzoh)
--Roasted and Braised Misty Knoll Farm Chicken (Spring Vegetables and Potato & Spring-Dug Parsnip Gratin, Wild Mushroom Jus)
--Valrhona Manjari Flourless Chocolate Soufflé Cake (Coconut Sorbet, Toasted Coconut Meringues, Salted Caramel Sauce)

When: Friday and Saturday, April 6 and 7, at 6pm
Cost: $125/person (includes wine, tax & gratuity); children are ½ price

6)  Make summer plans to attend the 4th Annual Vermont Cheesemakers’ Festival at Shelburne Farms on Sunday, July 22. There will be over 200 Vermont cheeses along with dozens of specialty foods, fine wines and locally-crafted beer. More than 40 Vermont cheesemakers will showcase their products at the festival,
sampling and selling hundreds of different cheeses. Artisan bread makers and small-batch chocolatiers are among the 20 specialty food producers that will join the cheesemakers, along with 20 Vermont wineries and breweries offering local and organic microbrews, ice wine, and award winning cold-climate wines.

Cheesemaking in Vermont has grown from a cottage industry with a few well-known brands to a vital piece of our agricultural fabric,” said Rachel Schaal of the Vermont Cheese Council. “In fact, Vermont has the highest number of cheesemakers per capita. That, along with the fact that Vermont cheeses continually bring home the gold from national and international competitions, has earned us the reputation as the Napa Valley of cheese.”

Admission is $40 per person, or $50 with wine and beer tasting. Seminars are $45 per person and seating is limited. For additional information and ticket reservations please visit or call FlynnTix at 802-86-FLYNN (802-863-5966). Early registration is strongly recommended as the Festival typically sells out well in advance.

I have attended this event several times and it is a very worthy event, with tons of fine food and drink samples. There is a limited amount of tickets so you really should order your tickets early, or you might find out it is already sold out. Who doesn't like cheese?


levjoh said...

Rabbi Lev is wonderful--he married us! We can't attend but the seder at Lumiere is sure to be a great time with him presiding! Happy to see this event featured on your blog.

Richard Auffrey said...

Very cool. The dinner sounded like such a fascinating event, that it was certainly worthy of being highlighted.