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Thursday, May 24, 2018

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) On Thursday, May 31, from 6pm-8pm, CHOPPS American Bar and Grill welcomes guests to the outside Terrace at CHOPPS to celebrate the summer season with a Tunes & Tequila event featuring live music from Ward Hayden, appetizers from Chef Steve Zimei and summer cocktails by Maestro Dobel Tequila and Hanger 1 Vodka.

Tickets are available for just $20 per person and include a variety of mini cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres from Executive Chef Steve Zimei. Zimei’s hors d’oeuvres for the evening including Double Cut Bacon Bites, Kobe Meatballs with shaved parmesan and tomato sugo, Bocconcini, Tomato and Basil Skewers, Bruschetta with whipped avocado marinated tomato, and goat cheese, and Chicken & Waffles with pink pepper corn butter.

Tickets are available on Eventbrite. Call 781-221-6643 directly to book seats.

CHOPPS always puts on fun and tasty events, and the specific hors d’oeuvres being served for this event sound delicious. I will be attending this event and hope to see some of my friends there as well.

2) On Tuesday, June 12, at 6:30pm, you are invited to indulge in wines from Tuscany’s San Felice Winery alongside a five-course meal at il Casale Belmont. Countless generations of Tuscan farmers have produced exceptional wines at the San Felice Winery and on June 12, Bostonians will have the chance to experience the best of Italy’s Chianti and Brunello wines. Traditional techniques developed by native villagers have fused with modern advancements to celebrate the region’s wine, while also preserving the Chianti landscape. The team at il Casale Belmont, led by Chef/Owner Dante de Magistris, invite guests to learn more about San Felice at their Chianti and Brunello Wine Dinner.

With roots tracing back to antiquity, San Felice’s land has been utilized by many over the years—ranging from nuclear families to the Papacy. 1970 saw the vineyards come into their current ownership of the Allianz Group. The company worked arduously to restore the land to its prime form, where they now produce some of Italy’s most famous Chianti Classico and Brunello di Montalcino Bolgheri wines. Marco Secola will be in attendance to further illustrate the colorful history of San Felice.

And while wine certainly takes center stage this night, il Casale’s menu will serve as a stellar accompaniment. The full menu is as follows:

First Course
Insalata di gamberetti con fagioli su bruschetta al pomodoro, olio al basilico
Rock shrimp salad with cannellini beans on tomato bruschetta, basil oil
San Felice Perolla Rosato (2017)
Second Course 
Fusilli fatti in casa con ragù "bianco" di carne e salamino di cinghiale
Handmade fusilli with "white" meat ragù and diced wild boar salami
San Felice Il Grigio Chianti Classico Riserva (2014)
(served side by side with)
San Felice Il Grigio Chianti Classico Gran Selezione (2014)
Third Course
Quaglia Arrosto alle erbe aromatiche, cous-cous al pistacchio, molasse di melograno
Roast quail with aromatic herbs, pistachio couscous, pomegranate molasses
San Felice Campogiovanni Brunello di Montalcino (2013)
Fourth Course
Wellington di manzo con spinaci, salsa al tartufo nero con gratin di patate tartufate
Beef Wellington with sautéed spinach, black truffle sauce and truffled potato gratin
San Felice Pugnitello (2013)
Fifth Course
Cantucci tipici della Toscana....per intingere
Tartufi al cioccolato per la tavola
Tuscan style almond dip in the Vin Santo
Chocolate truffles for the table
San Felice Vin Santo

Wines will be available for purchase at CUVEE Fine Wines, just doors down from il Casale Belmont.

Price is $125 per person inclusive of tax and gratuity. Reservations are suggested and can be made by calling 617-209-4942. Tickets are also available on Eventbrite.

3) At this year's Seafood Expo North America, one of the hottest new fish was the Ōra King Tyee Salmon, farmed in New Zealand. A product of a nearly 25 year old sustainability program, these salmon area raised in the Te Waikoropupu Springs. These salmon easily run over 30 pounds and they have recently come available on the commercial market, although they only sell (worldwide) about 40 salmon each month. Originally from British Columbia, the Tyee salmon are quite large, maturing over the course of four years rather than the usual two. The taste is supposed to be exquisite, and the flesh has plenty of healthy Omega-3s.

The Ōra King Tyee Salmon has received Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification from The Global Aquaculture Alliance, and Best Choice from Seafood Watch. Get over your fears about farmed salmon as they don't apply in this case. The media likes to publish scare stories about seafood, even if they are based on out-dated and inaccurate information. This is high quality, sustainable farmed salmon which should please any palate.

Locally, Legal Harborside has recently acquired a 30 pound Ōra King Tyee Salmon which is now on their menu, until they run out, though they will acquire another salmon in June. It will be prepared in two ways:
--Ora King Tyee Salmon Tartar (whole grain mustard, fried capers) $19
--Pan-seared Ora King Tyee Salmon (wild mushroom ragout, pea greens, genovese sauce) $48

This is the perfect opportunity to taste this rare salmon, and Legal may be the only restaurant currently serving this fish.

4) Chef Kevin Scott and the Scorpion Bar Boston team are kicking off a brand-new Taco Tuesday special. Every Tuesday from 4pm until 10:30pm, Scorpion Bar Boston will offer a special build-your-own taco option for just $3 per taco. Guests can build their ultimate taco with an extensive selection of tortillas, protein, toppings, salsa, sauces, and cheese – for thousands of possible taco combinations. Taco Tuesday specials will be available at the bar and in the dining room, as well as on the terrace at Scorpion Bar with bistro windows that overlook Seaport Blvd.

Taco Tuesday guests will receive a checklist to build their personal taco creation. Start with your pick of tortilla (gluten-free corn options available), then choose from a selection of 10 protein options, including traditional Carne Asada, Chicken, and Pork as well as vegetarian-friendly options like Quinoa, Red Rice, and Black Beans. Stack your taco with toppings like pickled onions, roasted squash, pickled jalapenos, charred tomatoes and more, before topping it off with your choice of salsa including options like cucumber pico de gallo and pineapple jicama salsa, followed by sauces that range from avocado puree to zesty Cholula aoili, and topped with your choice of cheese.

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