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Thursday, February 18, 2016

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)T o celebrate the extra day in 2016, Chef Brian Poe will hop to it by dishing out a series of Leap Year specials at his three restaurants on Monday, February 29. Chef Poe’s creative culinary style and his flair for using exotic meats will be showcased through creations that use “hopping” proteins, putting the “leap” into “Leap Year.”

Bukowski Tavern in Inman Square will be celebrating Leap Year with “Hoppy Hour” from 5pm through midnight. Each hour, Bukowski Tavern will feature a hops-forward beer to pair with Chef Poe’s Leap Day special, the Cilantro Szechuan Peppercorn Kangaroo Burger with hopped cashew Thai chile aioli, hop-battered onion rings and ginger beer pickles.

Poe’s Kitchen at the Rattlesnake, in the Back Bay, Chef Poe will be serving up Hoppin’ Frog Tostadas piled with jalapeño-braised frog legs and topped with a saffron aioli on crisp corn tortillas.

The Tip Tap Room, on Beacon Hill, will be dishing out a Bacon-Wrapped Rabbit Loin with yuzu apples, garlic and a pistachio crumble. Chef Poe recommends pairing the rabbit with Jack’s Abby Hoponius Union brew.

COST: Leap Year specials are available for $13.95 at each restaurant. Specialty beers available at a la carte pricing.

These dishes certainly intrigue me and I'm very tempted to visit one of the restaurants on Leap Day.  I love kangaroo, frogs and rabbit so it might be tough to decide which I want.

2) The Cheese Shop of Concord has launched a new program to please the palates of cheese lovers – those who live or work near the Town of Concord, and even those who don’'t. It’ is the shop’'s first-ever, Monthly Cheese Club, with memberships available in increments of 3, 6 and 12 months.

In March, the cheese lovers club will showcase the Great Cheeses of Massachusetts. There are more than two dozen family farms across the Commonwealth making artisanal cow, sheep and goats milk cheeses.

Club members will receive 1.5 lbs. of whatever three cheeses are at their best, pairing suggestions, plus 2 or 3 “surprise” gifts such as jams, nuts, candy or more from The Cheese Shop’s. With more than 1,000 cheeses rotated throughout the year at The Cheese Shop of Concord, club members are guaranteed a wide-ranging selection of flavors, textures and styles in cheeses made from Deerfield, Massachusetts to the Italian Dolomite Mountains … and from Stowe, Vermont to Fribourg, Switzerland.

Introductory prices for 2016 are as follows:
$225 for a three-month membership …
$420 for a six-month membership …
$720 for a full year (that’s close to 20 pounds of cheese, and almost 40 culinary extras from now until February 2017)

3) On Wednesday, March 9, at 6:30pm, Legal Sea Foods in Park Square will host a wine dinner with selections from Ravines Wine Cellar. A boutique winery located in an emerging world-class wine region, the Finger Lakes of upstate New York, this small, distinctive winery crafts elegant and food-friendly wines using Old World winemaking traditions with New World innovation.

Legal Sea Foods will team up with owner & winemaker, Morten Hallgren, to host a four-plus-course dinner featuring cuisine paired with his selections from the Ravines vine. The menu will be presented as follows:

Mussel Escabeche, Warm Baguette
Oysters on the Half Shell, Blood Orange Granita, Caviar
Shrimp Arancini, Passion Fruit Aioli
Ravines “Methode Classique” Brut Sparkling Wine, Finger Lakes, 2006
Diver Scallop Ceviche (Navel Orange & Aji Amarillo Leche de Tigre, Salsa Criolla)
Ravines Dry Riesling, Finger Lakes, 2014
Ravines “Argetsinger Vineyard” Dry Riesling, Finger Lakes, 2012
Pan-Seared Halibut Fillet (Hazelnut Beurre Blanc, Mashed Turnip, English Peas)
Ravines Chardonnay, Finger Lakes, 2013
Cedar Plank Roasted Tuna & Pork Belly (Herbed Yukon Gold Potatoes, Braised Broccoli Rabe)
Ravines Cabernet Franc, Finger Lakes, 2013
Ravines Meritage, Finger Lakes, 2012
Caramelized Pineapple Empanada (Coconut Ice Cream, Sabayon)
Ravines “Late Harvest” Vignoles, Finger Lakes, 2013

COST: $85 per person (excludes tax & gratuity)
Reservation required by calling 617-530-9397

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