The Boston Wine Expo’s Grand Tasting event unites varietals from nearly 200 wineries around the world with cuisine from more than 40 local eateries during four hours of culinary harmony. Attendees can sip more than 1,000 red and white elixirs culled from the grape-producing and wild-cork-taming regions of North America, Europe, the Southern Hemisphere, and the Mediterranean. Samples from Boston-area restaurants such as Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Sandrine’s Bistro complement each swig as vintners enlighten enophiles on current winemaking trends. Throughout the afternoon, top gastronomic maestros tread two stages during live demonstrations that divulge recipes and directions for finding the secret compartment hidden inside every wine bottle. Lifestyle exhibits and a full schedule of seminars enlighten guests on topics ranging from cheese-and-wine matching to the diversity of Italian varietals (not included with this Groupon). A portion of the event’s proceeds will benefit local charities.
Cambridge Brewing Company experiments with hops and barrel-aging processes to create house beers on-site. You don’t have to look hard to catch a glimpse of their brewing tanks and kettles—they’re as much a part of the décor as the exposed-brick walls and pine accents.
At Stix & Stones, pool tables take center stage?you can show off your billiard skills during the 8-ball and 9-ball tournaments that take place every Sunday at this Abington bar. But the food is a nice side dish to the competition, as the kitchen cooks juicy burgers, crispy french fries, meatball subs, and more. After sinking the eight ball, players can refuel with a cold pint of beer or a glass of wine while watching sports or Extreme Knitting on TV.
Tomato plants are imperfect, yielding just as many inedible fruits as the healthy, tasty ones. The organizers of The Tomato Bash devised an alternative employment for the unworthy bounty, transforming the leftover tomatoes into ammunition for a massive ketchup making party. Participants are encouraged to sport silly costumes for the big event, as they are inevitably going to get utterly filthy.
To kick off the festivities, revelers are entertained with a cadre of food trucks, beverage vendors, and DJ playing tunes, including rebellious anthems encouraging the tomatoes to throw themselves. At 3 p.m., the tomato foam machine outside of the tomato arena powers up, pumping the stage area full of bubbly, pink fruit foam. Then the hordes of goggle-clad contestants descend upon a large arena and lose themselves in a sea of red goo.
Executive chef Stephen Sherman (Union Bar and Grille, Aquitaine, New York's Union Square Cafe) heats up Scarlet Oak Tavern's kitchen with his culinary creativity, crafting a menu of upscale steak, seafood, and elevated tavern fare. The raw bar gathers wellfleet clams, crab, local oysters, and other shellfish, creating a flavorful precursor to main-course dishes. Stephen fires up locally sourced steaks, including filet mignon and sirloin, all of which are available au poivre—coated in pepper and cut into the shape of France. Though Scarlet Oak is firmly rooted in steakhouse soil, the tavern also serves a variety of specialties such as chicken pot pie, meatloaf, and pumpkin ravioli with roasted pecans and maple mascarpone.Scarlet Oak Tavern inhabits a restored historic home. Inside, warm fires roar during colder months, illuminating rich wood floors and classic historic architectural embellishments. The sophisticated interior sets the scene for nights out, special occasions, or private dining for groups while still remaining inviting for families. Part of the Webber Restaurant Group, the tavern holds itself to the strictest of standards regarding freshness and quality of ingredients. All produce is sourced locally from Gibbet Hill Farm in Groton, and meats and seafood are aquired from other local farms and fish mines.
Thanks to a $50 loan from his grandfather, Chef James Messinger was able to promote his small catering business in the local classifieds, kicking off the career he dreamt about as a student at the Culinary Institute of America. The unlikely success from this small ad helped The Crazy Chefs Caterers to flourish and allowed Messinger to finance a long-desired wine-tasting odyssey through Spain, where the local cuisine quickly captivated both his tongue and imagination. Upon arrival back home, he established Loco Tapas & Wine Bar with his wife, brandishing fresh, quality ingredients from local farms to construct traditional tapas influenced by Spain's Catalonia, Basque, and La Rioja regions. The highly praised seasonal menus flaunt a rotating arsenal of small plates and elegant entrees, including a saffron-rice paella with chicken, chorizo, and mussels that the Boston Globe declared as one of "40 fantastic dishes" in the Boston area.
Hovering above Loco Tapas & Wine Bar's fully stocked bar, a chalkboard announces a handwritten roster of Spanish wines by the glass. Elsewhere in the dining area, dangling chandeliers and flickering candles set the stage for shadow-puppet tours de force upon rich crimson walls. Striking black accents, tablecloths, and furniture punctuate the sleek color scheme.