Thursday, July 20, 2017

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) Eastie’s latest newcomer, Cunard Tavern, is now be open for weekend brunch. Available every Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Cunard will offer brunch-goers an eclectic menu full of brunch classics and re-imagined, new interpretations of old favorites.

Ranging in price from $10 to $22, Chef Anthony Pino’s brunch menu will feature approachable, fun entrées including:
Elvis Sandwich (peanut butter, banana, and bacon in egg-dipped brioche and grilled)
Bacon and Egg Burger (Swiss, applewood-smoked bacon, over easy egg, fresh tomato, shredded lettuce, slice onion and chipotle hollandaise)
#BasicBreakfast (two eggs, cheesy hash browns, crispy applewood-smoked bacon, and toast)
Baked French Toast Casserole (baked brioche with seasonal fruit toppings and homemade whipped cream).
Lobster & Corn Salad roll (maine lobster and local corn in a buttered hotdog roll)

To complement its food menu, Cunard will offer guests a variety of handcrafted “adult beverages” including a Chili Verde Bloody, Mimosas, and an assortment of Bellinis made with various fresh purees.

2) On Tuesday, July 25, join Chris Schlesinger on The Automatic’s porch as he makes his famous Paella! Spanish style appetizers, seafood and pork paella and a whole lot of hospitality are going to be served homestyle out on the porch by Chris Schlesinger and The Automatic team.

Chris, a James Beard award-winning chef, founder of East Coast Grill and author of several books, opened The Automatic with his friend, legendary bartender Dave Cagle. “This is our first summer season out on the patio, so we figure we have to christen it with paella and rosé” says Chris.

It all started with a friendly paella competition over the charcoals at his summer home in Westport. Then Chris’ paella recipe was featured in The New York Times and it has become a summertime staple. Come with friends to cheer on “Old Man Schlesinger” as he cooks up his sacred summer dish. Toast the cook with The Automatic’s large format rosé! Make your reservations now, this will sell out.

Price: $35 per person, fixed price
Please call 617-714-5226 to make a Reservation

3) Babbo Pizzeria e Enoteca Chef Mario LaPosta and his team invite guests to join them on Thursday, July 27 to explore the flavors of Puglia. Babbo Pizzeria will host an Italian wine dinner to explore the flavors of Puglia. Starting at 6 p.m., the evening will include a tasting of four different courses, along with wine pairings from the region.

The menu is as follows:
--Bruschetta with Burrata di Andria
--Cozze Gratinate
--Peperoncini Ripieni with Tuna
--Zensa Salento Fiano 2014
Orrecchiette, Pomodorini Secchi, Salsiccia, Broccoli Rabe
Li Veli 'Primerose' Negroamaro Rosato 2016
Parmigiana di Melanzane
Pietregiovani Primitivo 2013
Goat's Milk Ricotta Panna Cotta, Vincotto Biscuit, Fresh Figs
Babbo Limoncello

Tickets are $95 and can be purchased by logging onto

4) Tapestry in Fenway is hosting an Aloha Party featuring Hawaiian cuisine such as Hawaiian Pizza along with Spam and pineapple dishes, tiki drinks and live Island music performed by Big Party Orchestra.

The event is open to the public and will take place on Sunday, August 20th from 2pm until 8pm. There is a $5 cover charge at the door and there will be a cash bar.

5) The Cambridge Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce Cambridge’s newest Summer food festival, The Char & Bar Wars – a head-to-head battle between 30 of the hottest local restaurants and bars benefitting the Rindge School of Technical Arts Culinary Arts and Hospitality Program.

On Wednesday, August 2, from 5pm-8pm, food lovers will take the judge’s seat as they taste slider size burgers and sample cocktails prepared by popular local restaurants, battling to win the title of Best Classic Burger, Best Signature Burger, and Best Summer Cocktail. The event will take place at 50 Landsdowne Street, Cambridge.

Restaurants that will be throwing their hats in the ring include: Glass House, AC Bar and Lounge, Harvard Square Shake Shack, ArtBar Cambridge, Craigie on Main, The Automatic, Café Luna and more,

Tickets are available via Eventbrite for $45 and include unlimited sampling of food and drinks – a valid 21+ ID is required to receive the Bar War bracelet.

To purchase tickets, visit

6) On Monday, July 31, celebrated Chef Paul O’Connell from the legendary Chez Henri shares the secrets of his famous Cuban sandwich with The Automatic. The Automatic’s Dave Cagle and his team are honored to launch The Automatic’s new signature Cuban Sandwich – with the blessing of Chef Paul O’Connell.

We are thrilled that Chef Paul O’Connell is bringing back his famous Pork Butt!” says Dave Cagle. “We say it’s time to Stop The Madness!! He’s sharing his recipe, teaching us his tricks, and we will begin serving the classic Cuban Sandwich starting at 5pm on July 31. And then every night after that.” It will be The Automatic’s new signature sandwich.

To make reservations, please call The Automatic at 617-714-5226

7) Chef/Owner Lydia Shire – alongside executive chef Simon Restrepo and executive sous chef Alex Pineda – is debuting 25 new creations at Scampo that encapsulate the boldest and brightest flavors of summertime.

To whet your appetite, there are a series of new starter courses. In the “Handmade Breads” category, there is Crisped Lebanese Pita Bread with whipped white bean and anchovy, sumac and pistachio oil finished with grated, cured egg yolk ($15) and on the pizza side, there is a new Tiny Meatballs Pizza with jowl bacon, candele sauce and gremolata ($20) as well as a White Pizza with truffle cheese, sherried chanterelle and fig preserve ($25).

Other new starters include the summery Avocado Soup with a salt-baked prawn a la plancha and charred scallion crème fraiche ($17); Peekytoe Crab Salad on a lemony artichoke heart with red sorrel, lemon aioli and apple jelly cubes ($25); Maple Torched Foie Gras with sous-vide coffee butter and yellow raisin brioche ($26); the sharable Char-Grilled Lamb Shoulder Chops with whipped French feta mash (two for $22; three for $32); Tandoori Fired Large Sea Scallops on whipped white eggplant ($24); Spain’s Ibérico Ham with warm Portuguese custard tarts and shaved persimmon ($39); and, Heirloom Tomatoes with horseradish panna cotta, melon and pine nut puree ($16).

From the signature mozzarella bar, there is a trio of newcomers: Mozzarella with Prosciutto on grilled watermelon steak ($29); Mozzarella with Beef Sirloin Carpaccio with peppery red watercress and petit cracked black pepper arancini ($22); and, Burrata on olive oil-fried chestnut polenta with broiled Frog Hollow Farm’s organic peaches ($22).

New “Handmade Pasta e Risotti” offerings include the Delicate Three-Cheese Lasagna, a deconstructed creation filled with robiola cheese and topped with zucchini blossoms and truffle honey ($21); Sweet Potato Agnolotti with crisped pork belly and caramel ‘pulled’ roasted hazelnuts ($19/29); Beet Pappardelle with blue poppy seeds, white baby beets and black summer truffles ($18/28); and, Butter ‘Toasted’ Acquerello Risotto, from Piedmont, with summer’s soft shell lobster and ‘silver queen’ corn ($28).

The entrée-sized “Plates” also have undergone a full seasonal revamping, with Rare Tuna served with frites, crisped ‘black and white’ squid and curly parsley bagna cauda ($36); Roast Day Boat Nova Scotia Halibut with cockles and rouille of rolled gratin with the thinnest zucchini and summer squash ($38); Crisped Salmon with spiced laksa butter and micro citrus greens on steamed coconut milk jasmine rice ($34); Classic Brick Chicken with red chard gnocchi, Alabama white BBQ sauce and a fried pickle ($30); Heritage Red Wattle Pork Chop with an intense rum-raisin butter and French fried parsnips ($36); Scampo Duck with celery leaf and almond milk risotto finished with Sangue Morlacco dark cherry liquor gastrique ($35); Seared Darling Downs Wagyu Skirt Steak with ripe tomato and peach with a pistachio pesto ($38); Scaloppini of Tender Veal with king oyster mushrooms and young taleggio with farro grains and marsala wine ($36); and, Fish & Chips with apple cider-battered hake and lobster served with root chips and Tokyo tartar ($44).

For sides, diners now can round out their experience with new accompaniments like Grilled Corn & Corn Sformato with chipotle and chili-lime salt ($10) and Simon’s Incredible Dauphine Potatoes & Tempura Onion Rings ($10).

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