Thursday, February 6, 2014

Thursday Sips & Nibbles

I am back again with a new edition of Thursday Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I highlight some interesting wine and food items that are upcoming. **********************************************************
1) This year fall in love with not one night of Valentine’s Day celebrations, but four. The Beehive will indulge lovers with “Four Days of Lovin’” - a four-day long event featuring Valentine’s Day inspired dishes from Executive Chef Marc Orfaly, signature cocktail specials and live jazz performances from Thursday, February 13 through Sunday, February 16.

Chef Orfaly’s special cupid’s day dishes include Pressed Foie Gras, duck confit and artichoke terrine with vermouth soaked mustard seeds, toasted brioche and pickled sun chokes ($15), Seared Maine Scallops, black caviar, crème fraiche potato and celery root salad with mizuna greens ($16), 'Heart & Sole,’ broiled lemon sole with ragout of porcini, hearts of palm, fava beans and asparagus finished with mushroom jus ($28), and Australian Rack of Lamb, olive oil and whole grain mustard potatoes with sautéed spinach, and confit lamb shoulder ($38).

Lovers can shake things up with one of The Beehive’s Valentine’s Day concoctions like the Chocolate-Covered Cherry Martini made with vodka, Dorda Double Chocolate liquor and Cherry Herring ($12), the Willy Wonka made with Jim Beam, Dorda Double Chocolate liquor, Campari and fresh orange juice ($12.50), and finally The Heart Beat featuring Rose water topped with Domain Chandon Brut and garnished with a chocolate strawberry ($12.50).

Reservations are highly recommended so please call 617-423-0069.

Performance Schedule:
Thursday, February 13:
· Early Evening Jazz set with Doug Johnson: 6:30PM - 8:30PM
· Late night Jazz set with Greg Hopkins: 10:00PM - 2:00AM
Friday, February 14:
· Early Evening Jazz set with Kevin Harris: 5:00PM-7:00PM
· Mid-Evening Jazz set with Michelle Wilson: 7:30PM-9:30PM
· Late Night Jazz set with Mr. Nick: 10:00PM-2:00AM
Saturday, February 15:
· Saturday Jazz Brunch: 10:00AM to 3:00PM
· Early Evening Jazz set with Sharon Sugar Brown: 6:30PM-8:00PM
· Late Night Jazz set with Karma Exchange: 10:00PM-12:00AM
Sunday, February 16:
· Sunday Jazz Brunch: 10:00AM to 3:00PM
· Sunday Blues Jazz set with Bruce Bears 8:00PM-12:00AM

2) This Valentine’s Day wine, dine and seduce your significant other with a romantic rendezvous at Tryst, the award-winning boutique restaurant and lounge located in Arlington. Tryst’s quaint backdrop will set the perfect mood for an evening of Valentine’s Day surprises and romance while guests enjoy a special menu created by Executive Chef and Owner Paul Turano. Chef Turano’s Valentine’s Day three-course prix fixe menu will be offered exclusively on Friday, February 14 and as a la carte specials in addition to the regular menu on Saturday, February 15 & Sunday, February 16. Guests can relax, reminisce and indulge in Tryst’s specials including Duck & Kabocha Tart, Cioppino, Bucatini Carbonara and Beef Short Rib as well as sweet desserts such as Baked Apple Dumpling, Chocolate Brownie Bread Pudding and Italian Bignè.

COST: $45 per person (tax and gratuity not included). Optional $25 wine pairing.
Reservations are highly recommended. Please call 781-641-2227.

3) On Saturday, February 8, from 1pm-5pm, the Wine ConneXtion, located in North Andover, will team up with Ye Olde Pepper Companie, the oldest candy company in the United States, for a special Valentine’s Day tasting featuring a selection of Wine ConneXtion’s most popular Malbecs paired with Ye Olde’s signature chocolates.

Ye Olde Pepper Companies’ rich history dates back to 1806 when a woman named Mrs. Spencer landed on the shores of Salem, MA following a tragic shipwreck. To make a living, Mrs. Spencer began selling her candies on the steps of the First Church. Her signature confection, the “Salem Gibralter,” is said to be the first candy made and sold commercially, being distributed internationally by sea captains.

Guests will not want to miss an opportunity to sample a wide variety of Malbecs. Walk-ins welcome all day. Must be 21+.

4) Check out some of the new winter happening in Kendall Square at Belly Wine Bar

Aglio e Olio – Late-night pasta party
$8.00 per person
Aglio e Olio is a Rome-inspired, family-style nightcap of spaghetti with garlic and oil (or aglio e olio for those from lo stivale) for the night owl set. Guests are welcomed to wind down, sip vino and slurp noodles every night from 10:00 PM until closing time because really, a heaping bowl of pasta is way better than a full night’s sleep.

Spare Parts – Ensuring nothing goes to waste
Plates served a la carte. Menu changes daily
Since his appointment as Executive Chef this fall, Andrew Bonner has brought some spirited spontaneity to the Belly menu, showcased through the ever-changing “Spare Parts” menu. Written on a chalk board in the dining room, the daily specials exemplify Executive Chef Andrew Bonner's passion for expanding guests’ palates and experimenting with seasonal New England flavors, as seen in dishes like Sweet and Spicy Duck Wings, Open Faced Grass Fed Beef Pastrami with Sauce Whatever and Oxtail Ravioli with Maitake Mushrooms & Carrots.

Three Blind Wines – Grape trivia for the taste buds
$20 per flight
Every Monday night
Belly puts wine geeks to the test every Monday with Three Blind Wines, a mystery flight game comprised of three unknown grapes. Guests are challenged by the Belly team to guess the names of all three sips; if successful, the following week’s flight is on the house!

Coravin Pours – No need for vintages to collect dust
Approximately $20 to $38 per 5 oz. pour
Available daily
As card carrying Kendall Square wine nerds, the Belly team sends serious props to Greg Lambrecht, the Boston-based entrepreneur who engineered the Coravin wine opener, a way to drink vino without removing the cork, hence avoiding oxidization and keeping bottles as fresh as the first pour right until the last drop. Madonna! Belly employs a Coravin of its own to serve experimental guests rare pours without sacrificing taste or quality. A library of grapes available via Coravin includes magnums of 2004 Chateau Pibernon Bandol, 1993 Breton Bourgueil “Les Perrieres” and more, all served tableside from Coravin to taste tube and ultimately into the eager sipper’s glass.

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