Thursday, March 21, 2013

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) A couple of the restaurants celebrating with Easter Sunday specials on March 31 include:

Aura at the Seaport Hotel
(From 11am-3pm)
Easter Brunch Buffet: $55 per adult; $13 per child (ages 5-14); complimentary for children under-5
There will be an Easter Brunch Buffet ideal for the whole family, compete with a visit from the Easter Bunny, an Easter Egg Hunt and festive crafts with Samara Lamm of The Kids Place 4 Fun. Chef Robert Tobin’s culinary offerings include the following: Scrambled Eggs; Eggs Benedict (Canadian bacon, muffin, hollandaise); Ricotta Blintzes; French Toast; Pancakes (caramelized bananas, strawberry compote, Chantilly cream); Pork Sausage; Chicken-Apple Sausage; Bacon; Granola & Berry Parfait (non-fat vanilla yogurt, granola, mixed berries); Smoked Salmon; Fruit & Cheese; Breads & Pastries; Young Greens (balsamic vinaigrette); Caesar Salad (shaved parmesan cheese); New England Clam Chowder; Quiche Lorraine (ham, caramelized onions, Swiss cheese); Leek & Truffle Quiche; Ravioli (wild mushroom & goat cheese sauce); Macaroni & Cheese; Roasted Salmon (creamed leeks, caper butter); Shrimp Cocktail (cocktail sauce, lemon, tarragon aioli); Honey Glazed Ham (pommery mustard sauce); Leg of Lamb (tamarind, raita sauce); Roasted Potatoes; Potato Puree; Green Beans (tomato confit); and, Spring Vegetables (chive butter). For dessert, Pastry Chef Karen Hodsdon will dish out a variety of cakes, pies, mousses and mini pastries alongside a chocolate fountain.

Towne Stove and Spirits
(From 11am-10pm)
Specials: a la carte pricing
Culinary Director Lydia Shire and Executive Chef Mario Capone will be dishing out a series of delectable specials this Easter Sunday. To start, there is Asparagus Soup (spring garlic flan, truffle foam - $9). For the entrée, the duo will serve up Rosemary Charred Leg of Lamb (baby artichokes, white polena, mint gremolata - $22). To finish off with dessert, there is a Lemon Layer Cake (vanilla & strawberry preserve - $10).

2) The Massachusetts Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® proudly presents the 5th annual “Chefs for the Cure” culinary event on Thursday, April 11 at The Residences at W Boston. “Chefs for the Cure” is an innovative and inspiring tasting-style event which features the opportunity to sample gourmet cuisine from some of the finest local chefs. Featured this year will be:

· Jose Duarte, Taranta
· Joanne Chang, Myers + Chang
· Keenan Langlois, Sterling’s
· Michael Zentner, Gaslight Brasserie au Coin
· Brian Reyelt, Citizen’s Public House and Oyster Bar
· Ben Lacy, Tastings Bar and Bistro
· Justin Winters, Cinquecento
· Mitchell Maxwell, Maxwell’s 148
· Peppino (Shingara Singh), Da Vinci’s
· Nicole Coady, Fixx Chocolates
· Rich Garcia, 606 Congress
· Alberto Cabre, Casa B
· Erin Erler, Cakes by Erin
· Larry Kessel, CTCA
· Michelle DeSalvo, Johnson & Wales
· Domingo-Martin Barreras, mixologist at Market

The evening will also include a silent auction, live raffle giveaways and a VIP hour featuring a live cooking demonstration. General admission tickets are available for $125 and provide admission to the grand tasting and include valet parking. VIP tickets, which also include a private reception, cooking demonstration and tasting with chef Jose Duarte, are available for $175.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

When: Thursday, April 11.
VIP Demonstration – 6:00pm
Tasting & Silent Auction – 7:00pm

3) On April 4, Neurofibromatosis Northeast (NF Northeast) will host their 25th Anniversary Celebration at Cruiseport Boston’s Black Falcon Cruise Terminal in the Seaport District. Emceed by Boston radio legend Ron Della Chiesa with appearances by NECN’s “TV Diner with Billy and Jenny” stars Billy Costa and Jenny Johnson, this silver anniversary charitable event will feature tastings from some of Boston’s best restaurants as well as a fashion show with looks provided by Ted Baker London.

To honor this quarter-century milestone, the NF Northeast organization will forego their signature Table for TEN event this year in favor of this one-time, spectacular fete that will provide support and research funds to people with neurofibromatosis (NF), a prevalent genetic disorder of the nervous system that causes tumors to form on the nerves anywhere in or on the body at any time.

Rallying for this worthy cause, family and friends of people affected by NF will hit the catwalk in fashions by Ted Baker London (201 Newbury Street, Boston). The theme of the fashion show is “travel-wear,” aptly chosen for the event’s cruise-centric locale. The models, men and women of the NF Northeast community and its Beauty Mark Nation initiative, will don temporary tattoos bearing the logo of the campaign. Guests at the event will also be invited to get (temporarily) “inked up” in order to show solidarity for NF patients and to raise awareness of an early indicator of NF, café au lait “beauty marks” on babies.

In addition to showcasing an unparalleled fashion show, guests will enjoy an open bar and savory bites from some of the city’s leading venues including: 75 Chestnut; 75 on Liberty Wharf; Anthony’s Pier 4; Artu; Brasserie Jo; Franklin Café; Legal Harborside; Lucia Ristorante; Taranta; Top of the Hub; and, Union Oyster House.

Long time NF Northeast supporter Montilio’s Baking Company will provide sweet tastes during the dessert reception which will also feature a special tribute video and live auction as hosted by “TV Diner with Billy and Jenny” duo, Billy Costa and Jenny Johnson, with items graciously donated by Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center, Himmel Hospitality Group, Boston Celtics, Strega Waterfront, Columbus Hospitality Group, Revere Hotel Boston Common and Ted Baker London, among many others.

This event is hosted on Thursday, April 4, from 6pm-10pm. At 6pm, guests will enjoy a cocktail hour and peruse silent auction items. At 7pm, the Ted Baker London fashion show will begin. At 7:15pm, the chef stations will open and guests will sample bites from famed eateries. At 8:15pm, guests will be seated for dessert accompanied by the live auction.

To reserve online ($125 per individual ticket) and for more information, please visit For sponsorship opportunities ($2,500 - $25,000), please contact NF Northeast’s Sonja Nathan at 781.272.9936 or

Neurofibromatosis Northeast has provided research grants to scientists at leading institutions around the country. NF Northeast is proud to have been the impetus behind the creation of The Harvard Medical School Center for NF and Allied Disorders (CNfAD), a virtual center whose mission is to define the pathogenetic mechanisms that cause NF1, NF2 and related disorders. NF Northeast is the leading resource in the northeast for patients and families who live with NF, a genetic condition that causes tumors to form on nerves anywhere in or on the body. Neurofibromatosis is more common than cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy combined.

4) This spring Tuscan Village, the culinary playground which houses both the Tuscan Kitchen restaurant and the Italian-based artisanal marketplace Tuscan Market in Salem, NH, will be hosting its first ever Easter Celebration on March 24. Guests are invited in for Easter activities for all ages including sampling at Tuscan Market, an Easter egg hunt and a visit by the Easter Bunny himself!

The festivities kick off at 10am on Sunday morning March 24 with an official visit from the Easter Bunny himself. Peter Rabbit will be roaming Tuscan Village piazza from 10am-1pm posing for photos with customers (customers should bring their own cameras) handing out candy and hiding eggs in preparation for an 11am Easter egg hunt. Children of all ages can seek out and find beautifully colored eggs filled with candy and prizes and every child in attendance will receive free gelato cards to try the wonderful handcrafted Italian treat!

This event speaks to what we’re trying to create here on the property. A village isn’t made up of buildings; it’s a community that comes together. We plan on hosting many more events in the future and making this a meeting place where people can spend the day,” said Joe Faro, Owner of Tuscan Kitchen and Tuscan Market

Complimentary sampling will be available all day so customers can try and discover the large selection of amazing artisanal products including: fresh meats and produce, cheeses, wine and sweets before purchasing or placing orders for their Easter dinner. Customers can also choose from a variety of custom made Easter chocolate eggs made by hand at Tuscan Market. When it’s time to eat, Tuscan Kitchen will also be open all day serving its award-winning fare including a Sunday Pranzo and dinner menu!

5) Guests are invited to celebrate Easter Sunday, March 31, from 11:30am-3pm, with the entire family at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. In addition to serving their regular menu, Fleming’s will offer a special three-course brunch menu for adults and children where each party will receive a $25 dining card valid for a future visit. There are also three festive specialty cocktails available: Bellapolitan (Stoli, Solerno, lime juice, Monin Blood Orange, simple syrup, orange twist - $8.95); Scottish Beauty (Glenfiddich, blueberries, raspberries, agave nectar, orange juice, lemon juice - $9.95); and, Blood Orange Mimosa (Solerno, orange juice, Monin Blood Orange, Mionetto prosecco, orange wheel - $7.95).

The culinary experience begins with a choice of three appetizers including: Lobster Bisque (sherry cream, lobster garnish); Modern Caesar (hearts of Romaine, parmesan, fried capers, crisp prosciutto chips); or, Fresh Seasonal Fruits (Moscato d’Asti, mint leaves). Up next, there is a choice of four entrées: Fleming’s Signature Eggs Benedict (choice of sliced filet or smoked salmon, served atop a toasted Wolferman’s English muffin with wilted arugula, béarnaise sauce); Baked Brioche French Toast with a Walnut Crisp (pan-style brioche French toast layered in vanilla and orange custard with a brown sugar, butter and walnut streusel, served with maple blueberry syrup, Chantilly cream, grilled sausage); Prime Rib with a Trio of Sauces (slow-cooked herb and garlic-crusted prime rib, natural au jus, creamed horseradish sauce and horseradish mustard sauce); or, Fleming’s Egg Strata (eggs, cream, vegetables and cheese, baked fluffy and served with pico de gallo, crumbled Chevre cheese and choice of spicy grilled shrimp skewers or slow-roasted filet). Each entrée is served with family-style sides, Fleming’s Smashed Potatoes O’Brien (baked potato, crumbled and fried crisp, tossed with peppers, onions, parsley and seasonings) and Ginger & Orange Baby Carrots (heirloom carrots sautéed with honey oil, citrus and garlic). The brunch adventure ends with a choice of three desserts: White Chocolate Bread Pudding (bourbon crème anglaise); Crème Brûlée (creamy Tahitian vanilla bean custard served with fresh seasonal berries); or, Walnut Turtle Pie (housemade caramel, walnuts and chocolate baked in a chocolate pie crust).

COST: $36.95 per adult; $17.95 per child (under-12)
For reservations, please call 617-292-0808

6) To commemorate the historic battles of Lexington and Concord, Legal Sea Foods in Park Square will host their next Legal Holiday in honor of Patriots’ Day. Hosted a few days early on April 10, at 6:30pm, the Legal Sea Foods team will pour and dish a trio of wines and small plates that celebrate spring.

The three-course pairing menu will be presented as follows in Park Square’s 10,000 bottle wine cellar:

Early Spring Pasta (sautéed shrimp, charred ramps, crimini mushrooms, cherry tomatoes)
Bethel Heights Pinot Gris, Oregon, 2009
Grilled East Coast Haddock (roasted beets salad, dill & orange gremolatta)
Capcanes "Mas Donis" Rosat, Montsant, 2011
Spring Berries Crepe (rosa regale brachetto d'aqui zabaglione)
Michele Chiarlo "Nivole" Moscato d'Asti, Piedmont, 2011

COST: $35 per person
Reservation required by calling 617-530-9397

7) Lucia Ristorante Owner Donato Frattaroli and Executive Chef Pino Maffeo introduce the next class in the Lucia Winchester cooking series: Artisan Pizza Making. The second installment of “Cooking Classes with Chef Pino and Donato,” this time highlighting Artisan Pizza Making. This class is the perfect opportunity to gain insight on the tips and tricks to making Lucia’s famous dough, and have the opportunity to experiment with different toppings, such as a guest favorite, Pizza del Buongustaio (white pizza with mozzarella, potatoes, pancetta, gorgonzola, and fresh rosemary).

The Artisan Pizza Making Class will be held on Wednesday, March 27, from 7pm-9pm.
Cost: $55 per person
For reservations and/or more information, please call (781) 729-0515.

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