Thursday, February 13, 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) Restaurateurs in Portsmouth and the New Hampshire Seacoast are looking ahead to Spring and the latest edition of Restaurant Week Portsmouth and the Seacoast. Sponsored by the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce, this Spring celebration will take place Thursday, April 3 – Saturday April 12, and will feature restaurants located in Portsmouth and throughout the Seacoast.

Whether you’re a local resident or a traveler, you can find what you are looking for in Portsmouth and the Seacoast, said Valerie Rochon, Tourism Director for the Chamber. “Want to shop our independent stores or rich gallery scene before dinner? Take in dinner and a show? Stay the night in one of our charming hotels? Portsmouth and the Seacoast have it all. And, if you are new to the area, Restaurant Week is a great way to introduce yourself to this charming, culinary destination.

Participating Restaurants, to date, include: Agave Mexican Bistro; Anneke Jans; BG's Boathouse; Blue Mermaid; British Beer Company; Café Nostimo; Carriage House; Cava Tapas & Wine Bar; Common Man; Dolphin Striker; Epoch at Exeter Inn; Galley Hatch; Grill 28 at Pease; Jumpin' Jays Fish Café; Library Restaurant; Martingale Wharf; Mombo Restaurant; Moxy; Orchard Street Chop Shop; Portsmouth Gas Light Co.; Radici Restaurant; Ristorante Massimo; River House; Rosa Restaurant; Rudi's Portsmouth; Harbor's Edge; Three Chimneys Inn; Vida Cantina; and Wellington Room.

2) This Valentine’s Day relive the past while making new memories at Hyatt Regency Cambridge’s renowned Spinnaker restaurant. On February 14, from 6:30PM to 9:30PM, the Hyatt is opening up the doors to the Charles View Ballroom, once the home of Spinnaker Italia, Boston’s only rotating restaurant, for a classic $70 prix fixe Valentine’s Day dinner as a nod to the romance and celebration that Spinnaker evoked.

Spend Valentine’s Day taking in the same vast and impressive views that once ushered in countless special events, engagements, birthdays and anniversaries while indulging in a variety of dining stations, operated by expert chefs. Containing a classically inspired raw bar and contemporary, New England-style dishes; including, oven roasted, garlic beef tenderloin; creamy Arborio rice with cabernet sauvignon, prosciutto and Romano Reggiano cheese; and white chocolate crème brûlée. The Spinnaker pop-up will also include signature Spinnaker cocktails as a toast to days not long forgotten.

Located on the sixteenth floor and known for its vast and impressive views of the Charles River and Boston skyline, the Spinnaker restaurant rose to fame when it opened in 1976. Evolving from a lounge to host a variety of cuisines, including northern Italian and regional inspired fare, the Spinnaker served the public for 28 years before closing its doors in 2004.While the original Spinnaker has lost all ability to in fact “spin” the renovated meeting room space, today known as the Charles View Ballroom, will transport you back in time as you walk the circumference taking in the sweeping views of today.

To make a reservation please call 617-492-1234

3) Chef & Owner Anthony Caturano is reprising his popular Gravy Sundays weekly culinary series at Prezza. Keeping in the longstanding Italian tradition of family and food, “Gravy Sundays” provides a menu of Old World-style comfort cuisine with a new special each week, served Sundays from 4pm-9pm.

Prezza’s “Gravy Sundays” menu has six homestyle options including: Gnocchi (San Marzano tomato, parmigiano - $14/$28); Meatballs (tomato, tagliatelle - $14/$28); Fried Clams (cherry peppers - $14); Linguine alle Vongole ($14/28); Veal Saltimbocca (spinach, roasted potatoes - $26); and, Chicken Parmigiano (tagliatelle, San Marzano tomato - $26).

Over the next six weeks. Chef Caturano will dish out an additional special to celebrate the return of the Prezza tradition:
February 9: Tagliatelle (pecorino cheese, black peppercorns - $14/$28)
February 16: Porchetta (roasted potatoes, braised kale - $28)
February 23: Eggplant Parmigiano ($14)
March 2: Roasted Veal Breast (stuffed with ricotta and broccoli rabe - $28)
March 9: Ricotta Gnocchi (sausage, broccoli rabe, Taleggio - $14/$28)
March 16: Pork Cheek Ravioli (aged balsamic - $14/$28)

4) On Monday, March 17, from 6:30pm-9:30pm, A Spoonful Of Ginger will offer guests the opportunity to taste the cuisine of 24 of Boston’s restaurants at the beautiful Art of the Americas Wing at the Museum of Fine Arts. Guests will enjoy an evening of gourmet dishes prepared by some of Boston’s most renowned chefs, including David Becker, Joanne Chang, Andy Husbands, Kevin Long, and Jasper White. I have been to this event numerous times and it is a great and tasty time.

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. This year’s event will honor the Director and Founder of the AADI and Joslin Diabetes Center’s Director Research, Dr. George King, for his contributions to the AADI’s mission and his active role within the Asian American community.

COST: Tickets are $250 per guest
FOR TICKETS: Call 617-309-2512, e-mail or visit:

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