Thursday, May 2, 2019

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) Share Our Strength Founder and CEO Billy Shore, Boston's top bartenders and local food/drink enthusiasts will eat, drink, and socialize for a good cause throughout May.

Shake It Up with Boston Society on Monday, May 6th: To celebrate the countdown to Boston’s Taste of the Nation, SOS is launching a kick-off event for Boston Society. From 6 to 8 p.m. at Shore Leave on Monday May 6th, guests will enjoy sips and bites while learning more about the Boston Society, a young professionals group dedicated to making no kid hungry a reality in Boston and across America.

The Shake Up Competition from Wednesday, May 1st through Friday, May 31st: Further celebrating the countdown to Boston’s Taste of the Nation, SOS is hosting its first annual Shake Up competition a four-week cocktail competition where Boston’s top bars compete to be crowned cocktail champions while raising funds for SOS' mission!

Each participating bar will feature a signature No Kid Hungry cocktail on their menu for the entirety of May. A portion of each cocktail purchased will be donated to Boston’s Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry. The restaurant who has raised the most by the end of May will be featured at Boston’s Taste of the Nation with a premier set-up alongside Shake Up sponsor Hotaling & Co. Participating restaurants including Back Bar, Little Donkey, and Shore Leave.

To purchase tickets or for more information, please visit

No Kid Hungry is a campaign of national anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength. No child should go hungry in America, but 1 in 5 kids will face hunger this year. Using proven, practical solutions, No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger today by ensuring that kids start the day with a nutritious breakfast and families learn the skills they need to shop and cook on a budget. When we all work together, we can make sure kids get the healthy food they need.

2) Chef David Vargas is planning to roast a pig with all the trimmings for a Cinco de Mayo Birthday Party at Vida Cantina in Portsmouth, NH. It’s been quite the year for Vargas, recognized by The James Beard Foundation as a Best Chef Northeast, Semi-finalist, and welcoming Food Network’s Chef Tyler Florence and his crew to Vida Cantina and Portsmouth as part of The Great Food Truck Race show. (A little known fact is that Vargas had his own food truck before Vida Cantina).

Come celebrate Vida Cantina’s 6th Birthday on Cinco de Mayo, Sunday, May 5, from 11am-9pm with special flights, bites, a pig roast, birthday specials and live music.

3) The Chamber Collaborative of Greater Portsmouth announces plans for the Seacoast’s annual salute to the summer season: Hit The Decks on Thursday, May 16. Dozens of restaurants, bars, breweries and several of the city’s shops and businesses will feature Hit The Decks specials. For example: Earth Eagle Brewing is opening its Beer Garden on May 16, as is the Portsmouth Brewery, complete with live music. Several restaurants are offering extended Happy Hour specials, and there will be plenty of specials on Sam Adams pints, Rose, Mojitos and Portsmouth Punch at participating restaurants and bars. And you will want to hit the shops when you hit the decks, with specials on sweatshirts, sunglasses, tote bags and more – everything you need for the summer season! Local inns and hotels are offering special Hit The Decks overnight rates with welcome amenities and upgrades. Please visit for offers and up-to-date information. Hit The Decks will take place rain or shine.

The public is invited to the official Hit The Decks Kickoff Party at The River House, 53 Bow Street, Portsmouth, 4-6pm with Kayla from 100.3 WHEB, Greg & The Morning Buzz.

4) Executive Chef Robert Sisca of Bistro du Midi introduces seasonal tasting menus at this destination known for French cuisine inspired by coastal New England. The latest installment is his luxe Spring on the Garden tasting menu.

I love spring and the thoughts of warm weather, flowers blooming and knowing summer is around the corner. Best of all, the ingredients are endless. From morel mushrooms, to wild ramps and soft shell crabs, there are so many flavors that inspire my me as I create new menus. Here at Bistro du Midi, we have one of the best views of spring overlooking the Boston Public Garden. Sometimes during the day, I take walks through the park where the colorful tulips and fresh greenery feed my creativity. With our new Spring on the Garden tasting menu, I intend to deliver my passion for this season’s best ingredients.” – Robert Sisca

The Spring on the Garden Chef’s tasting menu is available starting Friday, April 26 until late June. The price is $125 per person, with the optional wine pairing for an additional $75 per person.

--Yellowfin Tuna Crudo, wild sorrel, fiddle heads, fresh wasabi
Henriot, Brut Souverain, Champagne NV
--Jumbo White Asparagus, iberico ham, rhubarb, green almonds, white sturgeon caviar
Nigl, Freiheit, Gruner Veltliner, Kremstal, Austria 2017
--Crispy Soft Shell Crab, chorizo, morel mushrooms, arugula rabe, saffron aioli
La Chablisienne, Cote de Lechet 1er Cru, Chablis, Burgundy 2015
--Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras, green strawberries, white chocolate foie gras truffle
Domaine Zind-Humbrecht, Gewurztraminer, Calcaire, Alsace 2016
--Hopkins Farm Lamb, grilled loin, doppio ravioli, ramps, huckleberry
Domaine du Vieux Telegraph, La Crau, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhône 2016
--Hazelnut Mousse, feuilletine, coconut-lime sorbet
Castelnau de Suduiraut, Sauternes, Bordeaux 2012

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