Thursday, August 25, 2022

Thursday Sips & Nibbles

I'm back again with a new edition of Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I highlight some interesting, upcoming food and drink events. I hope everyone dines out safely, tips well and are nice to their servers.
1) Saloniki Greek is expanding with two new locations, in Boston’s Back Bay and Beacon Hill neighborhoods, set to debut in September 2022. 

Inspired by the Saloniki in Harvard Square, the new locations will accommodate about 30 guests. Both locations will feature ‘first come, first serve,’ casual seating options, and the Back Bay location will offer a walk-up take-out window. Owner, Eric Papachristos, born and raised in a Greek family, along with partner and owner Jon Mendez, have brought "the authentic flavors and culinary traditions of the typical cuisine found in the native land" to the Boston-area.

The first location, located at One Beacon Street in Boston’s historic Beacon Hill, is set to open its doors September 15th. The second of the two locations, is set to open September 28th at 316 Newbury Street in Boston’s Back Bay,.

The menu will feature Greek cuisine like the signature Spatchcock Chicken, served with crispy smashed potatoes and tzatziki, as well as Chicken Souvlaki, Griddled Spanakopita, Classic Greek as well as Seasonal Salads, dishes with Braised Pork, Spicy Lamb Meatballs and Zucchini-Feta Fritters, and Saloniki’s own frozen yogurt.

Located in Vermont, Barr Hill produces some excellent gins, including some amazing barrel-aged gins, from honey. As a fascinating aside, back in 1820, there were over 200 distilleries and Vermont and gin was the most commonly produced spirit. Check out my prior review of the Barr Hill gins, and I'll note that I currently have some Barr Hill aged gins in my home bar. 

In 2016, Barr Hill started their annual Bee’s Knees Week initiative, which takes place every September.  This year, it will be held from September 23-October 2. The 10-day celebration honors the Bee’s Knees Cocktail, shines a light on the importance of pollinators and creates a community of cocktail lovers working together to save the bees. 

During Bee’s Knees Week, individuals are invited to order a Bee’s Knees Cocktail at their favorite bar and share the photo on social media. For every photo posted using the hashtag #beeskneesweek, Barr Hill partners with one of several non-profit organizations located throughout the U.S. to plant 10 square feet of pollinator habitat, in order to save the endangered bees and pollinators. This initiative is especially important in an era where honeybees face colony collapse disorder (CCD) and other threats - Barr Hill wants to keep them buzzing not only for their own spirits, but for the 90 different food crops and 90% of flowering plants that these bees pollinate annually. Last year generated world-wide participation and Barr Hill planted 200,000 square feet of pollinator habitat which was an increase of 2.5 times the previous year’s impact.  

The phrase “bee’s knees” was prohibition-era slang for “the best.” This classic cocktail born from the prohibition era combines gin, lemon, and honey. 
2 oz Barr Hill Gin 
.75 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
.75 oz Raw Honey Syrup (2 parts honey to 1 part hot water. Let cool.)
Lemon Twist Garnish

3) Hub Hall, the new food hall on Causeway Street, next to TD Garden, is now offering some interesting wine pairings for some of the various foods available at the hall. They offer five specific wine pairings, with the wines available by the glass, carafe or bottle. Glass prices range from $9-$12, with bottle prices ranging from $35-$45.

The pairings include: 
Ferrari Trento Brut and Fried Chicken (Lily P’s)--This is my favorite pairing of the five. Sparkling wine and fried chicken is such an excellent pairing.
Trimbach Dry Riesling and Oysters (Reelhouse)--This is my second favorite pairing, as I love the Trimbach winery
Saracina Unoaked Chard and Lobster Roll Sampler (Cussers)
Los Vascos Carmenere and Ribs (Smokeshop)
Los Vascos Syrah and Pizza (Apizza)

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