Thursday, February 29, 2024

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. For this edition, I'll be mentioning some spots for Valentine's Day celebrations. I hope everyone dines out safely, tips well and are nice to their servers.
1) XOXO Sushi Bar soon will bring a modern American-Japanese experience to Chestnut Hill. Slated to open March 8, the contemporary restaurant and bar will feature omakase-style presentations, à la carte sushi masterpieces, robatayaki specialties and inventive cocktails in a lively izakaya setting.

Executive chef Kegan Stritchko (Uni, Fat Baby Sushi) brings more than a decade of experience in the fine dining industry from restaurants across the country. At XOXO Sushi Bar, Stritchko has invented a menu that melds unique layers of flavors and texture with aesthetically stunning presentations. Stritchko will dish out handrolls, izakaya-style plates, aphrodisiacs, and composed sashimi creations. 

Highlights from Stritchko’s menu include Ora King salmon sashimi with a Thai herb puree and fermented gooseberry salsa; an indulgent A5 wagyu tartare embellished with caviar, black truffle and black garlic; and a spicy tuna temaki handroll comprised of bluefin tuna, aji amarillo, charred pineapple and jicama. In true omakase (“I leave it up to you”) fashion, Chef Stritchko will offer two “chef’s choice” options with a traditional 16-course omakase experience featuring in-house dry-aged fish and a sashimi moriawase where Stritchko assembles a platter of seasonal sea treasures.

On the liquid side, general manager Ashif Nirola (Douzo) oversees a curated beverage program that mixes classic techniques with whimsical flair. In addition to showcasing an extensive collection of sakes and Japanese whiskies suited for any palette ranging from novices to connoisseurs of rarities, the cocktails are rooted in the classics with reimagined bold takes as seen in the Smoked Honeycomb with Toki whisky, tamarind and honeycomb; the Ginza Spritz with Empress gin, ume plum, yuzu and cava; Matcha Julep with Toki whisky, mint, honey, lavender and matcha; and Hot Date with Alto reposado, Cointreau, dates, habanero, lime and lavender.

XOXO Sushi Bar is located at 1154 Boylston Street in Brookline’s Chestnut Hill neighborhood just a block from The Street at Chestnut Hill. XOXO Sushi Bar will be open for dinner service nightly from 5-10pm with a late-night menu of handrolls and hot bites offered through 11pm Sunday through Tuesday and midnight Wednesday to Saturday.

2) On March 16, from 10am-2pm, the Easter Bunny will host a magical morning at the Coach Grill in Wayland. While kiddies patiently await the arrival of the cuddly rabbit with activities like coloring, a jellybean counting contest and other special treats, settle in for a leisurely brunch with the signature menu enhanced with standout specials like a Maine lobster omelet ($36), Quiche Lorraine ($19) and the Lavender French 75 ($16). For the kids, there’s Easter Bunny mac and cheese ($9) and confetti pancakes ($11). During the little ones’ meet-and-greet with the Bunny, a professional photographer will be on-hand to capture the memorable moment before the mini guests depart with a bunny gift bag. Reservations are recommended via OpenTable

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