Thursday, December 3, 2015

Thursday Sips & Nibbles

I am back again with a new edition of Thursday Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I highlight some interesting, upcoming food & drink events..
1) Pastoral Chef/Owner Todd Winer, co-owner George Lewis, and the rest of the Pastoral Artisan Pizza Kitchen and Bar team invites guests to join Pastoral for a special brunch benefiting pediatric cancer. On December 13, from 11:30am-3pm, 20% of proceeds from brunch served at Pastoral will be donated to the Pinky Swear Foundation.

The Pinky Swear Foundation provides financial support to children with cancer and their families being treated at Boston's oncology hospitals. As the holiday season means additional financial pressure for families already facing mounting medical bills, Pinky Swear Foundation works tirelessly to alleviate costs for patients and their families.

2) The Feast of the Seven Fishes, known as La Festa dei Sette Pesci, is a deeply rooted Italian Christmas Eve tradition, originating in Southern Italy and honoring the vigil prior to a religious holiday when no meat was served. Join Davio’s Boston on Thursday, December 24, from 5pm-11pm, to celebrate the Feast of Seven Fishes with good food and great company. The four-course prix fixe menu, prepared by Executive Chef Eric Swartz, will feature unique and delectable seafood courses in addition to the à la carte menu.

Artisan Lettuces, Baby Octopus, Scallops, Crabmeat, Citrus Vinaigrette
Squid Ink Spaghetti, Mussels, Calamari, San Marzano Tomatoes, Oregano, Garlic, Hot Pepper
Pan Roasted Codfish, Jumbo Shrimp, Roasted Tomatoes, Capers, Fingerling Potatoes, Green Beans
Selection from their Dessert Cart

COST: The prix fixe menu is $65 per person (tax & gratuity not included)
To make reservations, please call 617-357 4810

3) This year, come together and celebrate the holidays with a three-course, prix-fixe Christmas Day feast at Bar Boulud, located at Mandarin Oriental. Served in lieu of the restaurant’s à la carte menu, Chef Jonathan Kilroy and his talented culinary team have created an array of traditional and indulgent Christmas dishes, all served with a French-inspired twist. Composed of seasonal ingredients like local cranberries, decadent Maine lobster, and tender Brandt Farm beef, Bar Boulud’s rich holiday options are the best way to enjoy Christmas Day and create new holiday traditions with loved ones.

Complete your Christmas feast with a sweet treat from Pastry Chef Robert Differ. Enjoy a selection of homemade holiday favorites, including Bûche De Noël, a chocolate yule log with manjari mousse and roasted pears, Pain d’Épice served with nutmeg cremeux, gingerbread and butterscotch sauce, and Gala Apple Pie paired with a stollen swirl ice cream.

Additionally, guests seeking a complete dining experience have the option of sipping from a selection of wine pairings hand-picked by Bar Boulud’s resident sommelier.

Served from noon to 8PM, Bar Boulud’s Christmas Day menu includes:

Winter Root Salad (goat cheese mousse, watercress, toasted seeds)
Maine Lobster Bisque (verbena cream, lobster tortellini)
Smoked Trout Rillette (baby leeks, winter citrus, trout roe)
Foie Gras Terrine (poached pear, chestnuts, brioche)
Pâté en Croûte de Chevreuil (venison, chestnuts, local cranberries)
Additional Course--Acquerello Risotto (white alba truffle, Parmigiano Reggiano, mascarpone)

Main Courses
Chestnut Ricotta Gnocchi (celery root, hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, Swiss chard, brown butter)
Nova Scotia Halibut (Belgium endive, sunchokes, clementine, sauce Américaine)
Roasted Rohan Duck (farotto, salsify, wild huckleberries)
Boeuf Rossini (Brandt Farm all natural beef, hedgehog mushrooms, seared Hudson Valley foie gras, pomme fondante)

Sides for the Table ($10 each)
Super Green Spinach
Roasted Winter Root Vegetables
Potato Purée
Mushroom Fricassée

COST: $85 per person; Additional $59 for optional wine pairings
To make a reservation, call 617-535-8800

4) Chopps American Bar and Grill Executive Chef Jeff Williams and Mixologist Drew Jordan have collaborated with the Sons of Liberty Spirits to present a unique and truly American whiskey dinner. On Wednesday, December 9, from 6:30pm-9pm, Chopps American Bar and Grill is hosting a Sons of Liberty Whiskey Dinner. Guests are invited to indulge in Executive Chef Jeff William’s four-course menu, paired with whiskies from Sons of Liberty. This unique partnership highlights true New England cuisine and libations.

Sons of Liberty Spirits is a Rhode Island based distillery that is proud to lead the rebirth of American Whiskey by challenging century old traditions with American Single Malt Whiskies born from distinctly flavorful beers and the first ever seasonal line of whiskies.

On Wednesday, December 9, Chopps American Bar and Grill is hosting a Sons of Liberty Whiskey Dinner. Guests are invited to indulge in Executive Chef Jeff William’s four-course menu, expertly paired with the finest whiskies from Sons of Liberty. This unique partnership highlights true New England cuisine and libations.

Sons of Liberty believes being American means “taking a stand without compromise and fearlessly pursuing your dreams no matter what stands in your way.” Sons of Liberty has chosen their best spirits to pair with this cuisine, including the Battle Cry American Single Malt Whiskey, incorporating rye malt and honey malt for added spiciness and sweetness. This dinner also showcases the Pumpkin Spice Whiskey, a new release capturing the essence of autumn in New England with locally grown pumpkins and traditional autumn spices.

Scallop (Paprika, pineapple, hazelnut, yogurt, micro celery)
True Born Gin, “The Belgian Wheat Act”
Juliet & Romeo Act II
Sockeye Salmon (Buttercup squash, kale, ham hock broth)
Pumpkin Spice Whiskey
Pumpkin Sour
Venison Tenderloin (Goat cheese brioche, asparagus, blackberry gastrique)
Battle Cry, American Single Malt Whiskey
Boulevardier Cocktail
River Rock Farms New York Strip (Local mushroom, pee wee potato, marrow jus)
Uprising, American Single Malt Whiskey
An Old Fashion Uprising
Black Sesame Cake (Coconut, caramel ice cream)
Blood orange sparkling punch

Tickets: Price is $65 per person (not including tax and gratuity). Space is limited and reservations are required. Tickets can be purchased at

5) Chef Carolyn Johnson is a huge fan and supporter of Pete & Jen’s Backyard Birds & Farmyard, right down the road from her restaurant, 80 Thoreau in Concord. “Pete and Jen are amazing farmers and demonstrate particular care for the animals they raise and their sustainable practices at the farm” shares Carolyn. “As the winter months come upon us, it means a lot to be able to support the few local farms that are still open.”

December 1-17 Carolyn is creating a series of chicken dishes that highlight each part of the bird. Here is her menu for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday Chicken Specials featuring chicken from Pete and Jen’s Backyard Birds:

Risotto Stuffed Breast (Pumpkin, carnaroli, pecorino)
Red Wine Braised Thighs (Wild mushrooms, bacon, biscuits)
Crispy Confit Brik Roll (Potatoes, cabbage, zhoug)

6) Executive Chef/Partner Robert Sisca and Head Sommelier Todd Lipman of Bistro du Midi invite guests to celebrate Chef Sisca’s favorite pastime with a decadent dinner. On Tuesday, December 15, at 6pm, Bistro du Midi is hosting their second seasonal game dinner. Brought back by popular demand, guests have the opportunity to reserve a spot for this dinner pairing  game dishes with curated wine selections from Rhône Valley hand-picked by Head Sommelier Todd Lipman.

The full menu is as follows:

Moose Caillette, frisee, cranberries, black truffle
2012 Tardieu-Laurent, Les Becs Fins, Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc
Roasted Grouse, sweet potato, baby artichoke, almonds, blood orange
2009 JL Chave Selection, Blanche, Hermitage Blanc
Wild Boar Sausage, smoked yellow tomato, chanterelles, manchego
2012 Coudoulet de Beaucastel, Côtes-du-Rhône Rouge
Elk Loin, vadouvan spices, celery root, baby brussels, sauce au poivre
2010 Vin de Monsieur le Baron de Montfaucon, Château de Montfaucon, VdP du Gard
Oyster Egg Éclair, wild huckleberry, cardamom oat clusters, Guinness ice cream
2013 Domaine du Fenouillet, Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise

Cost: Game dinner is $150 per guest
Reservations are required so please call 617-426-7787

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