Upcoming Events: November Noshing

Posted: November 8th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Event | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

How crazy is it that we’ve got summer-like weather at the start of November after a snow storm in October? We’re just happy to enjoy a little Indian summer before the holiday craziness sets in, and we’ve got some great food events for you to enjoy before the turkey and gingerbread take over.

First, don’t forget that Salem Restaurant Week started on Sunday and will run for two weeks (through Nov 17, not including Fridays and Saturdays). Participating Salem area restaurants will offer either a two-course prix-fixe dinner menu for $15, a three-course prix-fixe dinner menu for $25, or both (price does not include drinks, taxes or gratuities). The Salem Chamber of Commerce just announced the late addition of Red Lulu to the list, so now’s your chance to check out Salem’s newest eatery.

On Friday the 11th, Salem Wine Imports hosts its Third Annual Grand Tasting. This year it’s being held at Colonial Hall, Rockafella’s new function space, and proceeds will once again benefit Historic New England’s Phillips House; Historic Salem, Inc.; and the Salem Athenaeum. There will be more than 100 wines available for tasting, light appetizers, and live entertainment from a classical trio.  Tickets are $35 for the general public and $25 for members of the beneficiary organizations. Tickets are available at Salem Wine Imports, located at 32 Church St. This event does sell out, so advance tickets are strongly suggested.

 It sounds like Matt O’Neil and company really know how to throw a party. On Monday the 14th, head over to the Blue Ox in Lynn to Shuck, Taste, & Nosh. They’ll have CJ Husk from Island Creek Oysters on hand shucking shellfish,  wine pro Jerry Castleman pairing wines with the oysters, and Chef O’Neil will whip up a variety of hors d’oeuvres. Tickets are $40 per person and can be purchased in advance by calling (781) 780-5722.

 On Tuesday the 15th, area chefs, restaurants and business owners once again come together to host Take a Bite Out of Trafficking.  The fundraiser, held at the Ipswich Country Club, features culinary samples, live entertainment, live and silent auctions, and movie screenings. Participating restaurants include 62 Restaurant & Wine Bar, Tryst, 15 Walnut, Adriatic Restaurant & Bar, Ipswich Country Club, Mr. India, Green Land Café, Ipswich Inn, Off the Vine, Bistro 45, and 43 Church.

All proceeds from the event will go to help nonprofits in their fight to end human trafficking. Donations will benefit women and girls from Nepal to India in the form of medical emergency care, wellness visits, vocational training, and basic housing. Tickets are $45 in advance and $50 at the door, with a cash bar. For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.tabootrafficking.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share

Weekend Picks Sept 30-Oct 2: Beer, Chili, and Chowder. And More Beer.

Posted: September 30th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Event, Ipswich, Lynn, Newburyport, Salem | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

We haven’t been keeping up with events the past month or so, but we’re back in action and so are the events this weekend. Fall starts off with a bang (and lots of beer) this weekend.

Start things off right with the Lynn Museum’s Oktoberfest Celebration tonight from 7:00 to 10:00. They’ll have brews from local faves Cape Ann Brewing and Ipswich Ale and others, along with treats from Karl’s Sausage Kitchen and live music. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door.

Speaking of beer, we are smack dab in the middle of North Shore Beer Week. You may recall last year we interviewed the 2 Beer Guys about the development of NSBW. They are back again this year with even more events. Check out the schedule here for craft beer tasting all over the North Shore.

In Salem, Beer Week means the second annual Witchtoberfest , which this year includes a run to benefit the Boys and Girls Club as well as a beer garden featuring local brews and live music.

If you’re looking for something hearty and warm as the weather starts to cool off, on Saturday you can choose between chili and chowder. If spice is your thing, head up to Newburyport where the Grog will be holding its fourth annual Chili Con Carnival, a chili cook-off to benefit three area food pantries. The entry fee is $10 to sample the chilis and delectable cider doughnuts from Cider Hill Farm. Ipswich Ales will be on hand selling beer.

If chowder is more your style, then Ipswich is your Saturday destination, where the Lion’s Club hosts its annual Chowderfest. For $10 you’ll get to try chowder by various local restaurants, including Windward Grille, which won the people’s choice award for chowder at last year’s Essex Clamfest. We are also pleased to see 5 Corners Kitchen will be on hand. North Shore denizens have been missing Chef Barry Edelman’s tasty fare as his Marblehead restaurant is undergoing repair from a fire earlier this year.

Both events run from noon to 3:00, so if you’re really hungry and want to take a scenic afternoon drive, you could have your fill of each. If the weather holds, a stop at Cider Hill for apples or DownRiver for ice cream would complete the day. Autumn on the North Shore just doesn’t get any better.

Share

Salem’s 43 Church Opens in Grand Style

Posted: September 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: 43 Church, Event, Salem | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

The crowd was clearly having fun at 43 Church's Grand Opening last week.

One of Salem’s venerable restaurants has undergone a makeover, turning The Lyceum into 43 Church, a steakhouse and wine bar. Long-time owner George Harrington retired in June, and the new establishment is owned by George Harrington, Jr. and his wife, Mary.

Owners George and Mary chatting with TV Diner's Billy Costa.

The couple believed the historic space was a good fit for a creative steakhouse with, as George put it, “no attitude.” Richard Lambiase, who worked at the Back Bay Restaurant Group’s Abe & Louie’s, is the general manager. Executive chef Lee Fannon and sous chef Thomas Garfield, who worked together at Swampscott’s Red Rock Bistro, round out the team.

The menu includes classic appetizers like crab cake, french onion soup, and shrimp cocktail; entrees like tuna steak, free-range chicken with mashed potatoes, and salmon with lemon-caper sauce; and sides such as beer-battered onion rings, baked mac and cheese, and roasted asparagus with bearnaise. Steaks range from New York sirloin and filet mignon to ribeye and porterhouse, with a veal chop and t-bone lamb chop as non-beef options. Prices range from $23 to $43 for entrees, and Mary said she envisions many diners sharing an entree and sampling several side dishes.

The prime rib sliders were the hit of the night.

We were invited to an opening night event where we sampled gigantic shrimp from the raw bar, tender crab cake appetizers, and truly delicious prime rib sliced thin and served on sliders. We’re saving up our calories for a return visit and a proper review.

43 Church
43 Church St, Salem
(978) 745-7665
www.43church.com

Share

North Shore Favorites to Take Part in Saturday’s Boston Local Market

Posted: September 19th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Boston Local Market, Chococoa Baking Company, Event, Lark Fine Foods | Tags: , | No Comments »

There’s an interesting event happening this Saturday from 1:00 to 5:00 in Boston. Since there are a bunch of North Shore connections, and it’s all about local food, we thought you’d want to know about it.

Maggie Battista, a fabulous local writer and photographer, is one of the minds behind Eat Boutique. The event is the company’s first Boston Local Market, featuring food purveyors and cookbook authors.

Newburyport’s Chococoa Baking (gourmet whoopie pies) and Essex’s Lark Fine Foods (cookies for grownups) are among the participants. Ipswich’s Didi Davis Artisan Foods will be displaying their inventive condiments. Not from the North Shore, but certainly of interest to foodies, are Arlington’s Quinn’s Popcorn, Somerville’s E.H. Chocolatier, Vermont’s Fat Toad Farm (goat milk caramel sauce), The Stand (drink syrups and preserves), The Wine Bottega, and The Cupcakory.

Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery will be signing her cookbook from 1:00 to 1:45. Amy Traverso, senior lifestyle editor at Yankee Magazine and author of the just-released The Apple Lover’s Cookbook, will be signing her book from 2:00 to 3:00. And Amy McCoy, author of Poor Girl Gourmet: Eat in Style on a Bare Bones Budget, will be at the market all afternoon sharing sample items from her cookbook.

The market will be located at Twelve Chairs, a design shop and studio at 319 A Street in Boston. Attendance is free, but please let Eat Boutique know you’ll be there by signing up here.

Share

One Week in August

Posted: August 17th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Drinks, Event, News | Tags: | No Comments »

We’re excited about this weekend, which marks the start of the first annual North Shore Wine Week. The kickoff party is Saturday at Wine ConneXtion; information on the event is here. Andover’s Brasserie 28 will be serving up food samples that day, and Chef Matt Morello is the culinary chair of the entire event.

Morello said he’s slightly surprised by how well the concept has been received. “We have more than 30 restaurants, which is a great showing for the first year. I think when you offer a good product, it’s exciting to be able to partner with others who feel the same way.”

Morello said the theme behind his offerings at the kickoff party is smoke. One non-traditional element of each dish will be lightly smoked, including bourbon and tomatoes. At the restaurant, which Morello owns with his wife, there will be four flights of wine from its Napa wine station, which keeps wine temperature controlled and under pressure with argon gas, rather than in bottles. “This lets us offer amazing wines that most people can only buy by the bottle. It’s the freshest glass of wine—like opening a new bottle every time,” said Morello.

The Serenitee Restaurant Group is varying its Wine Week offerings by restaurant. At Alchemy in Gloucester, Sommelier Matt Rose has created a tapas pairing menu and is offering wines by the glass from the cellar list that are only available by the bottle during the rest of the year. At Latitude 43, you’ll find a raw bar pairing menu featuring oysters and sushi. And at Hamilton’s 15 Walnut just before the event (Thursday night), there’s a $50 five-course farm dinner with half glass wine and beer pairings for every course for $3 each.

At 62 Restaurant and Wine Bar (which will also be serving up samples on Saturday), Chef Tony Bettencourt is focusing on the relationship between food and wine. “Old world wines, or European wines, tend to pair better with food, but I wanted heighten the awareness of the lesser known varietals that people may not see as often,” said Bettencourt. “By pairing the dishes with these wines, diners can experience firsthand how pairing the right wine with food can make each better.”

The complete schedule of events is here, and if you make it to the kickoff party on Saturday, please make it a point to say hello–we love to meet readers and talk about our favorite restaurants.

Share

Farm to Table, Vermont Style

Posted: August 13th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Event, Farm, Smolak Farms | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

The setting at Wednesday’s  Whim dinner could not have been more perfect for a visit from some of Vermont’s finest culinarians. Chef Tom Bivins of The New England Culinary Institute brought teachers, students, and expert gatherers with him to help put together a terrific meal at Smolak Farms. The apple trees were heavy with fruit, the pond was calm, the music was carefully chosen, and the food showcased the best Vermont has to offer.

We sipped a Rosenblum Cuvee zinfandel supplied by North Andover’s Wine ConneXtion while enjoying incredibly fresh butter from Vermont Butter & Cheese on slices of freshly baked baguette. We were then served hot corn consommé with mushroom glace, pan-fried daylily corms, and toasted wild onions. The sweet broth contrasted wonderfully with the earthy glace and the pungent onions, a great start to the meal. It was followed by a savory and comforting entree of grilled grass-fed beef strip steak, lobster mushrooms, madeira demi sauce, mashed potatoes, and sauteed summer squashes.

The daylily corms, wild onions, and lobster mushrooms were gathered by Nova Kim and Leslie Hook of Wild Gourmet Food. Kim said she and others in the Wild Food Gatherers Guild are pleased with the recent movement toward local food and eager to pass their years of knowledge onto the next generation.

The guild helps members market their wares and promote sustainable gathering (they prefer this term to foraging, which had a negative connotation in past times). “We don’t take everything in a given spot; we harvest it so it comes back again,” said Kim. Bivins said his interest began in grade school when his class read Euell Gibbons’ Stalking the Wild Asparagus. “At first when Nova and Kim brought me some of their finds, I thought ‘What am I going to do with this?’ but then I just went with it,” Bivins said.

A generous cheese plate featuring three award-winning Vermont cheeses was up next. We greatly enjoyed the Cabot clothbound cheddar, Bayley Hazen blue cheese, and Vermont Butter & Cheese Bonne Bouche (Bivins favorite).

The cheese plate included plums from Smolak, and the dessert included the farm’s plump blueberries. The berries were paired with tiny sweet Vermont blackberries and an outstanding shortcake moistened with milkweed blossom syrup and topped with elderberry flower cream.

The Whim series continues for the next couple of weeks. Chef Evan Mallett of Black Trumpet Bistro will prepare the meal on Wednesday the 17th, followed by Chef Paul Turano of Tryst Restaurant on the 24th. Dinners are $60 plus beverages and gratuity; tickets can be purchased through the Smolak website.

Smolak Farms
315 South Bradford Street, North Andover
(978) 682-6332
www.smolakfarms.com

Share

Without Restraint: North Shore Wine Week

Posted: August 4th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: 62 Restaurant & Winebar, Drinks, Event, Grand Trunk Imports, Turbine Wine Bar, Wine Connextion | Tags: , | 1 Comment »

“Pour out the wine without restraint or stay
pour not by cups, but by the bellyful
pour out to all that wull.”

So said Edumund Spenser in Epithalamion, and that’s precisely what’s happening during the fourth week of August on the North Shore.

The first annual North Shore Wine Week is taking place from August 21 to 27, and we’re excited to be part of the event. The kickoff party is being held on August 20 from 12:00 to 5:00 at Wine ConnecXtion in North Andover. It’s a free event, but you need to email vip@northshorewineweek.com to request an electronic ticket. There will be wine tastings all afternoon, paired with food from Brasserie 28, Oregano, 62 Restaurant and Wine Bar, Tuscan Kitchen, and Burtons Grill.

During the week, there are wine tastings and wine specials at restaurants and wine vendors all over the North Shore. For example, on Sunday from 5:00 to 9:00, you can sample a flight of four summer whites and sultry reds for $12 at 62 Restaurant and Wine Bar in Salem. On Wednesday from 6:00 to 9:00, Urban Wine Project is hosting wine and jazz night at Turbine Wine Bar in Lynn featuring the project’s 2009 Central Square Chardonnay and 2009 Oxford Street Pinot Noir. Everyone who purchases a glass of either wine will receive a complimentary appetizer with their first glass. Friday afternoon at Grand Trunk in Newburyport, there will be a free tasting of Spanish wines and 15% off all bottles during the tasting.

A schedule of events is here, and more are being added daily. We’ll post again with further details about events as the date nears.

Share

Getting (Sur)Real at the PEM

Posted: July 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Event, Salem | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

During a cooking demonstration, Chef Matt O'Neil creates a layer of chive cream for his tuna tartare

The Peabody Essex Museum is throwing several evening parties this summer. We decided to check out Thursday night’s event because one of our favorite North Shore chefs, Matt O’Neil of The Blue Ox, was doing a cooking demonstration.

Army of Broken Toys provided the evening's soundtrack

The night was dedicated to surrealism, with a special exhibit of Man Ray paintings and music by Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys.

O’Neil was serving up tuna tartare with chive cream on a potato crisp. The connection with surrealism is the surprise of combining seafood with cheese (there is mascarpone in the cream under the tuna). Surreal or not, it was an outstanding combination of texture and flavor.

Sushi grade tuna awaits dicing, adding the "special" sauce, the finished tuna tartare

The chef mixed together one part sour cream to two parts mascarpone and added a generous amount of chives. He suggested making the cream a day ahead for more “chive presence.” The cream is piped or spooned onto thick potato chips (potatoes soaked in water for one hour and then fried).

The sushi-grade tuna gets finely diced. O’Neil prefers the very-tender loin over the belly (torro) for this preparation. To the tuna, he adds the green part of the scallion, black sesame seeds, cilantro, diced cucumber, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt.

The last step is the addition of his “special sauce,” which includes sriracha, soy, sesame oil, seasoned rice wine vinegar, and honey

The live chess game

Tastebuds satisfied and recipe in hand, we were ready for the final event of the evening: a live chess game, complete with outrageous costumes.

Check out upcoming events at the PEM here. The next summer party is Waterworks on August 25, featuring a cash bar, experiments with water, Andrew Sempere’s Bowl of Oceans sculpture, and Susan Fishman and Elena Kalman’s The Wave, an interactive installation in the Asian Garden.

Share

Weekend Picks, July 15-17

Posted: July 15th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: 5 Corners Kitchen, Event, Gloucester, Marblehead, Peabody, Salem | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

I’m sure you’ve noticed a lull in the action around here lately, but these things happen when summer (and numerous family events) hit town.  We’re back in action now and have a few quick  ideas to supplement your summer fun this weekend.

Looking to start the thing off right? Head over to Pamplemousse in Salem this evening from 5 -7 pm to help them celebrate 9 years in business. They’ll have cupcakes, wine and treats as well as Magic Hat’s #9 Not So Pale Ale.

If a bit respite from the sun sounds good on Saturday afternoon, Kappy’s in Peabody will be hosting their Taste of New England, which features locally produced spirits, beer and wine. It’ll be a nice opportunity to taste the wares of one of our favorite distilleries, Gloucester’s Ryan & Wood, as well as the brand new Privateer Rum out of Ipswich, MA.

Saturday evening the place to be is Gloucester, for their 2011 Downtown Block Party. Not only will there be live entertainment, street performers and general carousing, many of the local restaurants will be running deals for the evening.Yyou might want to stop in Cape Ann Brewing, where the guys are throwing a pig roast with live music, starting at 6pm.

Did you know that Hawthorne Hotel Chef de Cuisine Jennifer Normant is a contestant on this season’s Hell’s Kitchen? To celebrate, The hotel will be hosting a viewing party in their Grand Ballroom on Monday night at 7pm. Meet the chef, watch the show, and partake of cocktail and hors d’oeuvres special on offer that night.

On a sad note, we were devastated to see that an electrical fire caused severe smoke damage to both 5 Corners Kitchen and Terry’s Ice Cream in Marblehead Wednesday afternoon. Both eateries are closed until further notice for clean up. We wish them a speedy recovery and hope they’ll be open again as soon as possible. If you’re in Marblehead this weekend, show Terry’s your support by stopping by their brand new ice cream truck, which will be parked across the street from the building. We love the idea of one Facebook poster, who suggested that Chef Barry of 5 Corners open an adjacent “pommes frites” truck so local could get their fix of his addictive fries during the clean up. We’d certainly be in line.

And here are a couple of ideas from our pals in the North Shore Bloggers Consortium

Seth is all about what’s happing in Lynn in Lynn Happens.

Share

Weekend Picks, June 10-12

Posted: June 10th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Cider Hill Farm, Event, Lobster Shanty, Marblehead Farmer's Market, Wine Connextion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

If you’ve been running around crazy busy for the past few weeks, you’re not alone. We feel your pain and think you might enjoy kicking back and relaxing at some of the great tastings and fun events going on this weekend.

Start things off right by stopping into Cup ‘n Board in Swampcott from 5:00 to 7:00pm for a beer tasting from Blue Hills Brewery. They’ll have tasty treats on hand as well, and an awesome selection of both beer and wine to take home for the weekend.

This weekend marks the beginning of strawberry season and Smolak Farms in North Andover is throwing a kickoff celebration from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm with strawberry picking, free activities for the kids and complimentary wine and prosecco tastings provided by Wine ConneXtion from 1:00 to 2:00pm.

They’ll also be starting pick-your-own season at one of our favorite farms, Cider Hill in Amesbury. And speaking of Cider Hill, they’ll be participating in the Marblehead Farmer’s Market, which opens on Saturday for the season. In a recent newsletter Glenn Cook, owner of Cider Hill said ” This is one of the best markets in the state!” Check it out from 9:00am to noon.

On Saturday afternoon there are several opportunities to try new tastes you may want to add to your summer drink list. At 2:00pm Busa Wine and Spirits in Salem is hosting an Iberian Wine Fiesta with summer reds from Bodegas San Valero in Carinena, Spain on offer as well as a handcrafted sangria. They will also be raffling off two $50 in -store gift certificates. The raffle tickets are $5 each and proceeds to go to Northeast Animal Shelter.

At 4:00pm Kappy’s Liquors in Danvers hosts a Grand Beer Tasting, which looks to be a terrific way to sample north shore brews with selections from Cody and Cape Ann Brewing, as well as more esoteric quaffs like Stone Brewery’s Arrogant Bastard Ale and Les Brasseurs’ Amadeus Biere Blanche Witbier.

There are also a couple of fundraisers worth attending on our radar. Salem’s Lobster Shanty hosts the 6th BaldBil YMCA Day. The Shanty will donate 5% of the entire day’s house proceeds to the Y’s financial assistance program in support of kids and families. All bartender tips will go to the Y, as well as what the waitstaff give to the bartender at night’s end. There will also be live music and some very cool items raffled off.

On Monday the 13th, head on over to Victoria Station in Salem. At 7:00pm they are hosting a Fundraiser for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. When executive chef John Andrews discovered that one of his staff had been diagnosed with MS he stepped up to rally support for her and the Society. There will be food tables by Victoria Station, Finz and The Lobster Shanty, Seaport Cafe and more, as well as raffles, auctions, celebrity bartenders and live music. Tickets are $10 at the door and all proceeds go toward the cause.

And as usual, we’ve got the weekend picks from our pals in the North Shore Blogger’s Consortium:

Seth keeps you up on everything going on in Lynn at Lynn Happens, including the debut of the new Arts After Hours production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, directed by our awesome pal Corey Jackson.

Kim Bingham talks about meeting the Boston Brunchers along with her weekend picks on Lighter and Local.

Author Jane Ward lists her weekend ideas, but we’re even more entranced by her luscious looking curried chicken salad recipe.

Rob and Laura head all over New England for some great ideas at The Two Palaverers.

Share