Thursday, March 3, 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) Puritan & Co. Chef/Owner Will Gilson, Chef de Cuisine Alex Saenz, Wine Director Peter Nelson and the restaurant’s talented team welcome Ferdinando Zanusso of i Clivi wines as their guest of honor at a special winemaker dinner on Wednesday, March 16th, at 6:45pm.

"Ferdinando Zanusso founded i Clivi upon his return to Italy after thirty years and three different careers in Africa, including a stint in the United Nation’s World Food Program. He seeks the fullest expression of Friuli’s esteemed Colli Orientali del Friuli and Collio growing districts."

"What distinguishes i Clivi from their peers are devastatingly low yields, steep terrain, and old vines that range from sixty to eighty years of age. Their vineyard’s soils of calcareous clay, or ponca in local dialect, have been compared favorably to those of Burgundy’s Côte d’Or, and organic farming goes without saying for vineyards of this caliber. All work in the cellar follows similar principles and attention to detail. Hand-harvested bunches are pressed very gently producing only the purest must, a practice that sets the stage for the superb quality of the finished wines. Using only stainless steel vats for the white wines, the Zanusso’s produce wines of precision and definition without the interference of maceration or prolonged contact with the skin."

Along with complementary dishes prepared by Chef Will Gilson and conversation with Zanusso about his unique wine production, dinner guests will enjoy a variety of i Clivi wines including 2015 Brut Nature, 2013 Fruilano, 2012 Galea, 2009 Rosso, and 2000 “Brazan” Collio Goriziano.

Cost: Tickets are $95 plus tax and gratuity and can be reserved by calling 617-615-6195.
Please make Reservations by calling (617)-615-6195. Due to the limited number of seats, Puritan and Co. requires a $30 deposit per person. Puritan and Co. will call to confirm attendance on Saturday, March 12. If the reservation is cancelled after that time, and the space is not able to be reserved, a Puritan & Co. gift certificate will be issued in the amount of the deposit.

I met Ferdinando back in 2008 (I Clivi Wine Tasting) and met his son, Mario, in 2009 (I Clivi Wine Tasting: Mario Zanusso). Both were compelling individuals and the wines were delicious and intriguing. This winemaker dinner at Puritan should be an excellent event and I highly recommend you check it out!

2) Chef Peter Ungár of Tasting Counter, a killer restaurant in Somerville is going to soon be serving lunch! Beginning March 15, it will serve a three-course lunch every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The $55 ticket price includes a beverage pairing, alcoholic or not, and tax and service. Ungár and his team will select dishes from the nightly tasting menu, including a pasta course, meat or fish plate, and dessert (with dietary restrictions accommodated). The menu will change daily and for reservations, please visit their website.

This is another matter worthy of my highest recommendation.

3) On April 6, Burlington-based NF Northeast (Neurofibromatosis Northeast) will celebrate the NF community and its supporters with their 17th annual Table for TEN charitable event in Boston. With honorary co-chairpersons Jenny Johnson, co-host of NESN’s “Dining Playbook” and Chris Himmel, executive vice president of Himmel Hospitality Group (Grill 23 & Bar; Harvest; Post 390), headlining this unrivaled evening, supporters will dine at some of the city’s top restaurants before closing out their night at a decadent dessert reception with live entertainment and an auction hosted at the newly renovated University of Massachusetts Club (One Beacon Street, Boston).

Groups of ten guests will arrive at their respective restaurant at 6pm on Wednesday, April 6, and will indulge in a specially created three-course menu paired with wine. This year, NF Northeast has joined forces with some of the best restaurants throughout the city to make their biggest splash yet. Participating restaurants in this year’s Table for TEN event include, but are not limited to: 75 Chestnut; Artu; Bergamot; Bistro du Midi; BOND at The Langham, Boston; Coppersmith; Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse; Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse; Empire; Grill 23 & Bar; Harvest; Lucca (North End); Parker’s Restaurant; Post 390; Precinct Kitchen + Bar at the Loews Boston Hotel; Scampo at the Liberty Hotel; Serafina; Tavern Road; The Tip Tap Room; Top of the Hub; and, Union Oyster House.

At 8:pm, supporters are invited to continue the festivities at the official after-party at the University of Massachusetts Club. At this dessert reception, Montilio’s Baking Company will provide sweet treats and revelers will enjoy music entertainment by Ancient Mysteries featuring Kevin McKelvey and Ben Buttrick. Additionally, there are raffles, a silent auction and a live auction with honorary co-chairperson, Jenny Johnson, serving as guest auctioneer.

Neurofibromatosis (NF) is a prevalent genetic disorder of the nervous system that causes tumors to form on the nerves anywhere in or on the body at any time. Through NF Northeast’s efforts and the proceeds from their Table for TEN event, grants for groundbreaking research at Harvard Medical School Center for Neurofibromatosis and Allied Disorders, Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital are made possible. Over the years, incredible strides in research development have been made bringing us one step closer to a cure.

For more information on the Table for TEN event and to reserve online, please visit: Tables for ten are available beginning at $1,000 and individual tickets at a table may be reserved for $100 per person. Sponsorships are also available by contacting NF Northeast’s Paul Laurent at 781.272.9936 or

4) On March 24, at 6:30pm, Legal Harborside will host a wine dinner with Cyril Chappellet, Chairman of the Board of Chappellet Winery, to host an exclusive four-plus-course wine dinner. Located in the heart of Napa Valley, the Chappellet family’s romance with Pritchard Hill’s vineyards started more than four decades ago when Donn and Molly Chappellet first glimpsed its magnificent vista of forests and wildflower-filled meadows. From these vineyards, the Chappellets have been crafting extraordinary, age-worthy wines since 1967. The rugged terroir has become legendary for producing wines with great intensity and depth, qualities that define the world's finest Cabernet Sauvignons.

The menu will be presented as follows:
Lobster Cappuccino
Poached Shrimp, Meyer Lemon Gelée
Prosciutto, Parmesan Foam, Melon
Chappellet Chardonnay, Napa Valley, 2013
“California Roll” (king crab, yuzu, avocado mousse, crispy sushi rice)
Chappellet “Molly Chappellet” Signature Chenin Blanc, Napa Valley, 2013
Oxtail Cannoli (porcini mushroom, pecorino romano, watercress)
Chappellet “Mountain Cuvee” Meritage Blend, Napa Valley, 2013
Chappellet “Donn Chappellet” Signature Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2013
Dry-Aged Sirloin (miso braised chard, black garlic, smoked marrow teriyaki)
Chappellet “Pritchard Hill” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2012
Vermont Creamery Bonne Bouche (fig & filo tart, burnt honey caramel)
Chappellet Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley, 2011

COST: $135 per person (excludes tax & gratuity)
Reservation required by calling 617-530-9470

5) On Wednesday, March 9, 2016, Craigie On Main will continue its nose-to-tail tradition with the restaurant’s seventh “Whole Hog Dinner.” This year, Chef Tony Maws joins forces with Chef-de-Cuisine Aaron Chambers to collaborate on the annual feast. In true Craigie fashion, the six-course dinner will feature all parts of the pig (head, feet, heart, and more), with an optional pork-friendly wine, beer, and cider pairing.

Assiette of House-Cured Pork (Pig Foot Terrine, candied kumquats)
Pork Tongue (dried figs)
Pork Belly Pastrami Reubens
Rabbit Porchetta (crispy pig’s ears, mixed chicories, three mustards)
Slow-Cooked Hiram's (pork liver pate, guanciale, Asian pear, pickled pine nuts)
Brodo of Suckling Pig and Six Alliums (lobster, parsley root, black truffle, boudin noir)
Choice of:
Pork Heart Meatballs (Calabrian peppers, rye flour fusilli)
Wild Boar Ragout (buckwheat polenta, cabbage, mushrooms)
Choice of:
Smoked Berkshire Pork Belly (bluefoot mushrooms, tangerines, pistachio butter, pig foot jus)
Pork Fat-Poached Local Hake (watercress, marrow beans, chorizo sauce)
Coign Amann (bacon jam, butter pecan and bourbon ice cream)

COST: $108 six-course menu (exclusive of tax and gratuity) and $57 for wine/beer/cider pairings
Reservations are required, so please call the restaurant at 617-497-5511

6) The Painted Burro team invites guests to a join them in celebrating their fourth birthday with a Cinco de Marzo celebration. On Saturday, March 5, from 10am-1am, The Painted Burro is throwing a Cinco de Marzo party to celebrate turning four, or cuatro! The daylong fiesta will feature food and drink specials, musical entertainment, prizes, and much more.

The Cinco de Marzo festivities will include: a complimentary Iced Coffee Horchata offered from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for Burro Brunch guests, raffles for $100 Alpine Co. gift certificate, complimentary margarita cupcakes at 3 p.m. for the first 100 guests in the bar & lounge, and a mariachi band from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the bar & lounge. The celebration will continue into the night with a sparkling margarita special and throwback specials from years past.

For more information or reservations, please contact (617) 776-0005

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