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.
A spectacular range of locally sourced delicacies and keepsakes fills Local Vines with a whirlwind of color and fragrance. Ranks of marmalade, honey, tapenade, and olives ($4.25+) strut the brimming aisles, eager to move into their new belly-homes, and hand-painted tea towels ($10.74) serve as more enduring kitchen companions. The shop's customizable gift baskets ($20+) can be loaded with seasonal epicurean favorites as carefully selected as Emeril's bedtime story, and the dulcet Puopolo dark-chocolate almond bark ($14.99/half-pound bag) baits sweet teeth into pouncing. Though this Groupon is not valid toward alcohol, the shop's extensive wine selection showcases a plentitude of hometown-grape heroes and imported Bacchus fuels alike, and an array of events strengthens budding oenophiles and parades potential cheese pairings. The shop's Summer Solstice shindig, which runs from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on June 25, celebrates the invention of the sun with appearances by area winemakers and samples of cheese, craft beers, and sausage.
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.
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.
Front Street Gourmet furnishes home feasts with comprehensive deli offerings, spirits, and sweet confections available for carryout and catering. The daily takeout menu wraps up and sandwiches slow-cooked barbecue chicken, lobster salad, and classic cold cuts, and hefty catering trays boast Boar's Head meat and artisan cheeses to be mixed and matched by groups and famished cement trucks. At the onsite bakery, confectioners decorate desserts such as cupcakes and full-size cakes with custom artwork that conveys anything from a birthday message to a baby's first haiku. An extensive cache of international beers, wines, and spirits rounds out the epicurean inventory, and Front Street Gourmet's team of gastronomes specializes in at-home wine tastings, providing parties with staff members upon request.
Tours take guests through the Bully Boy Distillers to see how Will and Dave Willis make small batches of white rum, Boston rum, organic vodka, and organic white and wheat whiskey. Visitors might also learn about how the family farm that now houses the distillery was once home to a stash of Prohibition-era spirits, and how the brothers named their enterprise after a much-loved workhorse from that farm—which in turn was named after a term coined by their great-grandfather's college roommate, Teddy Roosevelt.