Thursday, November 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) Joslin Diabetes Center will host its 3rd Annual Dim Sum for Diabetes dining event on Friday, November 4, from 9:30am to 3:00pm at Empire Garden Restaurant in Chinatown in honor of National Diabetes Month. All proceeds from meals throughout the day will benefit Joslin’s Asian American Diabetes Initiative (AADI). The event is open to the public and guests are invited to enjoy cart-service dim sum classics while learning some important facts on diabetes within the Asian community, one of the largest at-risk populations, from Joslin’s leading researchers and clinicians.

2) After having soft opened late this summer, Trattoria Orsini is now officially serving up authentic Italian specialties to the public. Trattoria Orsini offers modern upscale Italian cuisine in a sophisticated space featuring multiple dining rooms, full bar, lounge, and an outdoor patio- accessible by both land and boat on Salem’s waterfront at 26 Congress Street.

Taking over the former Grapevine space, Will Gateman and partners, also behind Pasha Entertainment, Trattoria Newbury, and Abby Lane, envision Trattoria Orisini as a neighborhood go-to for quality Italian food and drinks. Former executive chef at the Grapevine and Tuscan, Italy native, Chef Vittorio Ambrogi oversees the kitchen and ensures that only the finest-quality Italian food is presented to each and every Trattoria Orsini guest.

Ambrogi pairs years of experience in local kitchens with his Tuscan upbringing to deliver guests a flavorful experience representative of a true Italian kitchen. A variety of insalata, antipasti, pastas, and proteins are available, which deliver traditional, rustic home-cooked flavors. Menu highlights include: Carbonara Arancini with bacon, egg, and parmigiano with a cacio e pepe sauce; Grilled Octopus with fried black polenta, olives, capers, and fresh tomato sauce; Lamb Shoulder Ragu with fresh rosemary papardelle and pecorino; and Pork Tenderloin Porchetta with fennel seed, rosemary, porchetta and roasted potatoes.

I’ve lived in this country for over 25 years, but have still yet to experience true Italian cuisine in the states. When Trattoria Orsini asked me to be their head chef, I told them one condition; we will not offer Italian American dining, rather rich and authentic Italian dining. Our customers can taste the difference,” says Chef Ambrogi.

The beverage program also offers a wide variety of Italian wine, classic cocktails, a selection of signature martinis, and beers available by draft or bottle.

Trattoria Orsini is now open daily from 4 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

3) Chef/Owner Michael Schlow and the Doretta Taverna team invite guests to join them for exciting events and happenings throughout the fall and winter. Doretta Taverna and Raw Bar has just unveiled a slew of exciting, recurring events and deals taking place throughout the fall and winter.

Happenings include:
Weekday happy hour deals
From 4 to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday Doretta will now be offering $1 oysters as well as a lamb burger and draft beer combo deal for $22.
Pop-up cider bar
Every Monday night, Doretta will be hosting a pop-up cider bar from 5 to 7p.m., which will feature tastes of rotating ciders perfect for warming up on cold nights.
Wine Wednesdays
On the last Wednesday of each month, Doretta will host a special "Wine Wednesday." Each Wine Wednesday will feature a rotating selection of three featured wines and a spread of mezze bites for $30 per person. Tickets will be available via Eventbrite as event dates near.

4) Patrick Campbell from Café ArtScience and David Bazirgan from Bambara will go head-to-head in Share Our Strength’s upcoming “Snack Star” Food Fight. On Monday, November 14, from 6pm-8pm, at Tico, Café Art Science’s Patrick Campbell and Bambrara’s David Bazirgan will be throwing it back to their favorite childhood snacks as they compete for the title of “Snack Star” at Share Our Strength’s upcoming Food Fight.

The "Snack Star" competition will benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, which aims to eradicate childhood hunger across the nation.

Tickets cost just $20 and include the food created by both talented chefs along with passed bites and two complimentary drinks. Tickets can be purchased at:

5) International Sherry Week starts next Monday, November 7th and runs through the 13th. We can be reasonably sure the governing body in Jerez had no idea what our government and bodies would be enduring that particular week, but however you lean, sherry will make election week a little more fun. Deborah Hansen of Taberna de Haro has been appointed Boston's Ambassador for International Sherry Week once again and she has planned a pair of tastings to tempt you into her fascination with sherry. I highly recommend you check out one of this tasty and fun events.

“What’s it All About? Sherry Explained”
November 8th, from 7 - 8:30 pm
An introduction for the curious or simply the thirsty!
1º Manzanilla Aurora
2º Fino Ynocente
3º Amontillado AB
4º Palo Cortado Península
5º Oloroso Santiago
$65 (plus tax & gratuity)

“Beyond the Basics: Let’s get Geeky”
November 9, from 7 - 8:30 pm
A deeper, more involved look at sherry and her mysteries.
1º Manzanilla Maruja
2º Fino en Rama Tio Pepe
3º Amontillado El Maestro Sierra 12 años
4º Palo Cortado Obispo Gascón
5º Oloroso Don Gonzalo
$75 (plus tax & gratuity)

Both seminars include Taberna de Haro’s authentic Spanish tapas paired with each sherry. Pre-payment and reservation required. (limited to 12 participants)
Please call Taberna de Haro any evening: 617-277-8272

In addition, Taberna de Haro recently threw their first Sherry & Oyster event and all were enthused. They will now be offering $1 oysters and $5 sherries at the bar every evening from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Go to the Straight Law Bar to try their suggested pairing - raw oysters with Manzanilla Deliciosa or grilled oysters with Fino Tio Pepe. Or drink whatever tickles your fancy with those bristling beautiful bivalves. You'll enjoy their garnishes, a sherry vinegar mignonette on the raw and a black garlic-sherry vinegar sauce on the grilled.

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