Thursday, November 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) Want to experience a taste of one of the North Shore’s newest restaurants without having to leave the city? Don’t miss Chef Christopher Jackson’s Chef’s Studio at Tavern Road. Prior to taking the helm at No. 8, Chef Jackson worked under some of the biggest names in the Boston food scene, including William Kovel (Catalyst), Dante de Magistris (Restaurant Dante), and Michael Schlow (Tico; Radius). Dominated by shareable small plates and modern takes on classic New England cuisine, Chef Jackson’s menu at No. 8 brings the best of city dining to Amesbury, and he’s excited to debut it in Boston at Tavern Road.

Featuring a new chef in the TR Street Food space each month, the Chef’s Studios series is a great way to discover your new favorite restaurant. This evening will feature a sampling of four signature dishes from No. 8’s menu of modern American Cuisine. Drinks ranging from tempting tipples to refreshing glasses of wine or beer are available courtesy of Tavern Road’s bar.

WHEN: Monday, November 17, 7pm
COST: $55 per person; alcohol and gratuity at cost

2) On Thursday, December 4 at 3:30 PM, the 5th Annual Crucolo Day Parade will take place, where more than a thousand residents of Concord will line Walden Street to pay homage to a 400-pound wheel of crucolo cheese whose diameter equals the size of a 3-year-old child.

The gigantic cheese travels from the Italian village of Scurelle, where it’s been produced by the Purin family for the past 200 years. Smaller wheels of crucolo cheese are available in the U.S., but only a handful of towns take shipment of this custom-produced behemoth, and only the town of Concord celebrates its arrival. The cheese retails for $19.95 per lb., and The Cheese Shop of Concord estimates that it will be sold out by December 24th.

The cheese arrives with all the pomp and circumstance given to a head of state:
--A parade featuring a ringmaster, a troupe of costumed mice, Italian music, prancing teenagers with Italian flags, a Miss Crucolo Universe, and a horse drawn carriage to transport the cheese down the town’s main drag.
--The reading --- and Occupy Wall Street style echo – of the 5th Annual Crucolo Day proclamation, read in English by the Chairman of Concord’s Board of Selectman, and in Italian by the cheesemaker himself, Quirino Purin, who will fly to Boston especially for this event.
--The ceremonial cutting of the cheese, followed by photo opps with the massive cow’s milk cheese, and public sampling.

The ½ hour event will take place rain or shine. Ample free parking is available in two public lots off Walden and Main streets.

3) When your child is sick, it’s hard to keep up a normal daily routine, and even harder doing so during the holiday season. This is something that Paul Turano, executive chef/owner of Tryst located in Arlington, and Cook in Newton, knows all too well, having spent time with his son at Boston Children’s Hospital’s Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplant Units during past holidays. Both Turano’s children have Severe Combined Immune Deficiency Syndrome (SCIDS), and when his son was just two months old he had a bone marrow transplant at Boston Children’s Hospital that saved his life.

This holiday season, Turano is once again giving back to the hospital that was there for his family by holding a holiday fundraiser for the Patient and Family Resource Room, a program that helps provide services to families whose children are being treated at Boston Children’s Hospital Oncology and Hematology Center.

In cooperation with Boston Children’s Hospital, Turano has set up a branded donation page online and will be encouraging holiday donations for the family resource program from December 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014. To donate, guests can visit the donation page online on either one of the restaurant’s webpages. In exchange for donating, Turano will give donors a gift certificate to Cook or Tryst (for up to $20) with proof of donation.

I can’t emphasize how much the Patient and Family Resource Room helped my family and I when we were going through this difficult time. It’s because of their team and services that we were able to maintain a sense of normalcy and routine, and I want to be able to give that back to other families that are going through it,” said Chef Turano.

Funded through donations from area businesses and families, the 6th floor Patient and Family Resource Room is staffed by a patient and family educator who can help patients and families learn about their medical treatment. Receiving treatment for cancer and other serious disorders can keep families in the hospital for weeks and months on end, a process that takes a toll on their emotions. The Family Resource Room ensures that families who pass through the Hematology, Oncology, Bone Marrow Transplant, Neuro-oncology and Intensive Care units have the help they need at what is probably the most difficult time in their lives. It also offers a space for patients and families to relax and connect with others going through a similar experience. Whether the donated money be used for a morning coffee at the local Dunkin Donuts, or towards purchasing a generic American Express donation that can be used towards gas, or parking (daily routines that are often overlooked), each donation will help parents regain a sense of normalcy in their lives. With the extra help of these funds, Chef Turano will be putting the holidays back in the hands of these families.

HOW: Donate on After donation, present your receipt at Cook or Tryst to receive your gift certificate (of equal value, up to a $20 value).

ADDITIONAL: Limited to one gift certificate per person. Gift certificates cannot be combined with any other offer, and certificates to Cook cannot be used at Tryst. Non-transferable. To receive gift certificate diners must visit Cook or Tryst. Cannot be done online or via mail.

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