Category Archives: Uncategorized

NIBBLES 4-28-17

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Taj Boston offering Sunday Brunch on the rooftop

BOSTON – The Rooftop at the Taj Boston with its covered terrace and views of Boston Common and the Public Garden, will complement Sunday Brunch and Chef Gurminder Gidda’s broad menu of traditional favorites and specials such as Chicken and Waffles, sushi, dim sum and more. The brunch is $89 per person and includes a glass of rosé wine. Children (ages four to 12) are $39, while youngsters under four are free.

 

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Is fast casual the future?

BOSTON – We asked that question of Chef Jody Adams recently and she feels it is. Her fast casual Greek concept, Saloniki, is poised for growth with several units now open and more to come, she discloses. She went into the segment with partners who, she recalls, told her “come on, have fun!” Expect the fun to continue with additional units, Adams says.

 

Batali’s first restaurant closing in NY

NEW YORK – Mario Batali’s first restaurant, Po, which he opened in 2000 with Steven Crane and later left, is closing, thanks to a 120 percent rent increase. The real story, however, which some publications have buried in their reports, is what Batali points out when asked about the closure. He calls it a “sign of the times” and points to rising costs, tougher legislation on labor, and customer “ambiguity” over tipping policies. Those issues, he’s quoted as saying, will lead to a closing of possibly 15 to 20 percent of freestanding establishments in the city in the next several years. And that’s a sad story.

 

Taste of the North End returns tomorrow

BOSTON – Coming up this weekend is a favorite neighborhood event – Taste of the North End, a night of food and philanthropy hosted by Donato Frattaroli, owner of Il Molo on nearby Commercial Street.

It’s an event that began with Frattaroli and his wife in 1993, seeking to raise money for Casa Monte Cassino after learning of a family staying there while their child was treated at Boston Children’s Hospital and were moved to help them.
Today, Taste of the North End has more than 45 participating restaurants and foodservice suppliers taking part. Restaurants serve small plates that represent their menu offerings and diners get to taste them all as part of the entrance fee.
This year, Taste of the North End begins at 7 p.m. at the Steriti Memorial Skating Rink, 563 Commercial St. Tickets purchased prior to the event are $99 and will be $125 at the door. It’s a great event for families, singles, and friends.

Come celebrate 24 years with the North End neighborhood and thank the Frattaroli family for creating this special occasion. Go to: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2906733

What’s Brewin’ – Amstel Light

WHITE PLAINS, NY – Heineken USA recently launched Amstel XLight in three markets – Boston, Arizona and Texas. It’s a light brew – 90 calories and two grams of carbs, 4.2% ABV. The goal is to set a new standard for a session able, premium beer with full flavor not found in other ‘light’ offerings.

This beer meets its goal of delivering premium imported beer taste while meeting the needs of those with active lifestyles and offering refreshing flavor. It’s a low-cal, low-carb beer that is available in 6-pack bottles, 12-pack cans and bottles, and a 24oz. single serve can. It will be bolstered with a marketing campaign around the slogan: “90 Cals, 2 Carbs. Finally, an Extra Light Beer with Great Taste.”

Amstel’s brewing tradition in Amsterdam dates to 1870. Visit www.amstelxlight.com.

Wine of the Week – W & J Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve Porto

If  you’ve been curious about Port wines and wanting to learn more, there’s probably no better place to start than with the Symingtons, a family with Scotch, British and Portuguese ancestry that spans 14 generations, all the way back to the mid-17th century and the beginnings of the history of Port.

Today, they own 27 individual estates in the Duoro Valley of Portugal, described as the most significant vineyard holding in the region. Symington Family Estates is responsible for making nearly one-third of all premium Port categories. Wine Spectator’s Robert Parker has called the family “the most consistent produce of great Port in the post-World War II era,”

That being said, Six Grapes is an iconic brand that dates to the early 19th century when W&J Graham (William and John) began using a coding system to classify wines from each harvest by their quality. A  select group of ‘lots’ is picked in a rigorous selection process to make up their Vintage Port and the best of the remaining lots are blended and bottled as Six Grapes Port, described as more like a “declassified” Vintage Port than a typical reserve Port.

This wine is 20 percent ABV with grapes from five separate vineyards. It received 91 points from Wine&Spirits in 2013 and 5 Stars-Best in Show that year from Decanter Awards. W&J Graham began in 1810 in Oporto, going on to produce vintage Ports of great quality.

We’d been skeptical about Ports, not really knowing anything about them, until tasting a number of them at a wine event about a year ago. From the very first sip, we knew we’d discovered something worth learning more about.  We’ll be writing more in weeks ahead about rich and elegant vintages produced by this family. They note that long-term vision and commitment are the requirements for success. Through many generations, they’ve proven their dedication. With several Wine Spectator Wine of the Year awards and high rankings, the Symingtons, who also own Quinta do Vesuvio, a leading vineyard estate, have proven their commitment many times over with a group of outstanding vintages.20170421_103107#1.jpg

This vintage pairs well with rich chocolate desserts and strong blue cheeses. It’s a rich red color with a nose of plums, blackberries and cherries. Well structured, the  Ports are designed for drinking in special Port wine glasses or white wine glasses to allow the wine’s aroma to be fully appreciated. This fresh, rich wine makes an excellent starting point for learning about vintage Port. The six grapes symbol has become a mark of quality. Visit http://www.sixgrapes-port.com.

NIBBLES

Open Blue® Cobia fillet wins best new foodservice product

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA – Open Blue, described as the largest deep water, open ocean fish farm worldwide, won the Best New Foodservice Product honors at this year’s recent Seafood Expo North America (SENA, the largest seafood trade event in North America.

The honors were given to the frozen IVP Open Blue Cobia filet and will be presented at Seafood Expo Global in Brussels, April 25-27th. Open Blue’s Cobia IVP Fillet was selected by the judges as the winner in the Best New Foodservice category based on factors such as taste, market potential, convenience, nutritional value, uniqueness and originality. Sashimi-grade frozen cobia fillets can be used in both raw and cooked applications across a variety of global cuisines. Go to www.openblue.com

giphy-6.gifPhilly vegan concept said to eye DC unit

PHILADELPHIA – Vedge owners Richard Landau and Kate Jacoby, are reportedly eyeing a second V Street unit in a new D.C. development. The restaurant is known for its vegan noodles, fries and tacos, according to a published report.

 

Vermont Creamery receives 4 sofi™ awards

NEW YORK- Vermont Creamery received four Sofi™ awards for artisan cheesemaking excellence, said to be the Specialty Food Industry’s most prestigious distinction.

St. Albans, the newest non-GMO certified aged cheese in its line won Best New Product in the cows’ milk category, while Vanilla Créme Fraiche won gold in the dessert sauce category. Bonne Bouche, always a winner, took a silver in the non-cows’ milk group while Cultured Butter with Sea Salt won bronze in the dairy category.

While it was the first award for St. Albans, the other three were previous winners of honors.

The Sofi™ awards honored 154 winners of Gold, Silver, Bronze and Best New Product honors in 39 categories.
For more information on Vermont Creamery’s line of fresh and aged goat cheeses, cultured butter and crème fraiche, go to www.VermontCreamery.com.

 

 

Scampo jazzes it up at Boston’s Liberty Hotel

 

BOSTON – Jazzy Cocktail Night at Scampo in the Liberty Hotel debuted recently, providing a new way for guests and others to enjoy some of the area’s top musicians whose genres include jazz, vocals, Latin rhythms, funk and blues. Coming up will be:

April 20: Revolutionary Snake Ensemble, a traditional New Orleans jazz ensemble who also perform interesting covers and original music

April 27: The Sam Lee Trio, headlined by Mr. Lee, a top bassist in New England covering jazz, funk, R&B and rock

May 4: Paul Gaulin, a percussionist whose jazz trio spans genres including Latin, funk and blues

May 11: Mark van Bork, leader of VB & the Buzz, who transitions effortlessly through blues, soul, jazz and rock

With the new series comes a dedicated list of cocktails and bar bites available exclusively during the Thursday performances from 10pm-1am. For single-serve cocktails ($16 each), highlights include the Boulevardier made with rye, Campari and sweet vermouth finished with an orange twist; Classy Champagne Cocktail served in a water glass with sugar cubes and a lemon twist; and, Roaring Violette with lychee, Violette, lavender, white wine and bubbles. For those looking to take their imbibing game to the next level, there are sharable Punch Bowl Cocktails ($36) – that come shaken for two, served in festive brass pineapple-shaped vessels – like the Sparkling Jazz with Absolut, lime, Aperol and a prosecco float with floating orange pin wheels and Dubonnet Sangria with wine, fruit, anejo tequila and hibiscus with a ginger beer float and fresh fruit. Other beverages include the Prohibition Milkshake ($36), a large format liquid treat of vodka, chocolate ice cream, crème de cacao, Kahlua and bubbles served with freshly made mini bacon doughnuts.

On the culinary side, items in addition to Scampo’s seasonal pizza offerings include: Veal & Pork Meatballs in a 17-minute candeli sauce with shaved pecorino gremolata ($12); Fried Arancini with Pomodoro and parmesan ($10); Calamari a la Plancha with fennel salad and chipotle aioli ($10); Bruschetta with homemade ricotta, candied pistachios and warm guanciale ($11); and Lydia’s Stuffed Dates ($11).