Thursday, October 9, 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) One of my favorite restaurants, Bergamot , will soon be hosting a special Champagne dinner, highlighting a rare Grower Champagne. Chefs Keith Pooler and Dan Bazzinotti along with Beverage Director Kai Gagnon will prepare a champagne dinner featuring the Champagne Georges Laval which will be co-hosted by Kai Gagnon and Vincent Laval.

With his limited production (under 10,000 bottles per year) and relatively obscure locale (Cumières), Vincent Laval may well be the best Champagne producer you've never heard of. Vincent is the third generation of vigneron farming his Cumières vineyards naturally.

Bergamot has experienced the magic of Vincent's wines in his cellar in Cumières, and now they get to share it with a small group of friends at Bergamot. On Thursday, October 16, at 8pm, Vincent will join Bergamot for a dinner featuring five of his wines. This is his first time in the Boston area, and Bergamot is thrilled to welcome him to the city and to the restaurant.

The menu includes:

Terrine of Potato and Leek
Brut Nature (BV* 2011)
Gently Poached Oyster (grilled king oyster mushroom, chantenay carrot, brussels sprouts, almond-sherry sauce)
Brut Nature (BV 2010)
Pot au Feu de Andouillette (bouillon, pâte brisée, caviar, crème fraîche)
2009 Les Chênes
Sea Scallop (fermented potato, cabbage, bacon)
Brut Nature Rosé (BV 2011)
Butter-Poached Roulade of Brooks Cloud Beef (endive, piquillo pepper, cipollini onion, fingerling potato, aged balsamic)
2009 Haut Chèvre
Brut Nature(BV 2011)

Tickets are $250 per person and includes food, wine, tax and gratuity.
For tickets, please call 617-576-7700 or log onto Eventbrite at:

2) Beginning Thursday, October 9, restaurateurs Matt and Joanna O’Neil of The Blue Ox in Lynn, will debut a weekly Secret Supper Club series designed to provide guests with an exclusive and customized dining experience. Every Thursday, one party of four to eight guests will enjoy an intimate and original four-course dinner with wine pairings served in the main dining room. The catch? The secret menu is revealed upon arrival.

Guests who participate in the weekly Secret Supper Club series will be envy of the restaurant as they’re led to a table boasting a standout white-tablecloth setting. Once seated, Chef O’Neil will begin the guests’ personalized culinary journey, taking the diners through each course and pairing all the way through dessert. As the experience winds down, each guest will be presented with a surprise parting gift from the house.

With the excellent food at this restaurant, I think this is a special deal and I recommend it to my readers.

WHEN: Every Thursday evening, beginning October 9
COST: $79 per person (tax and gratuity not included)
Reservations and credit card deposit required. One seating per week. For additional details or to make a reservation, please call 781-780-5722

3) Food and Beverage Manager Dan Greenough and Culinary Operations Manager Danny Azzarello of Burtons Grill, a locally owned and operated restaurant group, are celebrating the Fall season with a variety of new lunch, dinner and beverage selections. They have been working together to create scratch made dishes and cocktails that highlight robust autumnal flavors. The new culinary creations include the festive flavors of cranberry, apple, and pumpkin for the ultimate comforting and satiating culinary experience.

At Burtons Grill, the changes of the season signify an opportunity for the kitchen to reinvigorate our menu and delight our guests,” said Food and Beverage Manager Dan Greenough. “When the weather cools down, I know our guests seek comforting dishes with bold flavors and hearty ingredients. Whether they enjoy a classic dish like Rigatoni Bolognese or want to be a little more adventurous with the Autumn Pork served with cider donut stuffing, there is something for everyone.”

The fall season has always been one of my favorite times of the year in New England,” said Culinary Operations Manager Danny Azzarello. “Fall is one of the most beautiful times in New England, but more importantly, the bounty from the harvest season is one of the most delicious and versatile. Our new fall items include my twist on the some of the classics and I am excited to share them with our guests.”

Chef Danny Azzarello is excited to introduce new menu items featuring ingredients from locally-sourced and notable New England purveyors such as Maine Family Farms in Portland and Smolak Farms in North Andover.

Highlights on the new menu include:
· Lunch: Maple Chicken Sandwich (grilled chicken breast with roasted sweet onions, applewood smoked bacon, maple dijonnaise, arugula and cranberry chutney served with hand- cut French fries), Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese (blend of cheddar American and parmesan cheese with crispy buffalo chicken topped with crumbled blue cheese and scallions)
· Dinner: Rigatoni Bolognese (meat and ragu over rigatoni topped with parmesan cheese and served with garlic toast), Autumn Pork (pork tenderloin grilled to perfection, accompanied by cider donut stuffing, Brussels sprouts and blueberry gastrique) and Pumpkin Ravioli (butternut squash ravioli with pumpkin sage cream sauce, arugula, cranberry chutney and toasted pumpkin seeds)
· Cocktails: Caramel Appletini (Absolut orient apple, white and red cranberry juice, caramel syrup, cinnamon sugar rim) and Harpoon Pumpkin Cider (real pumpkin and freshly pressed apples combined with season spices to craft this pure and naturally gluten-sensitive craft cider)

4) Last week, I asked you to throw your support to the Kickstarter for Blue Current Brewery, an artisan Sake brewery located in Maine. As Dan Ford stated, "the new brewery is ready and filled with an ever-growing array of shiny new equipment, ready to brew up the incoming ingredients. I just need a little financial push to make it over this last hump, to get our final smaller bits of equipment, oh, and to get that perfectly milled rice from Minnesota to Maine. There are also some marketing costs I’ll start accruing as soon after we begin brewing." Sake breweries are starting to pop up all across the country, and there are at least three in the planning stages for New England, including ones in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Blue Current was seeking to raise $33,000 "to ship the rice from Minnesota, to get bottling and pasteurizing machines to speed things up, and to help with the marketing and packaging expenses. There will be some setup costs to tie everything together," They have now reached their goal which is great news! However, there is still time to contribute to this new Sake brewery, and hopefully reach some of the Stretch goals. Check out all the incentives you can get for a donation, including the chance to be a brewer for a day! You only have about 48 hours to go, so if you wish to make a donation, please do so ASAP and support this local Sake brewery.

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