An Evening of Opera and Italian Wine Dinner at Scossa

Simpatico, Italy’s Finest and Scossa Restaurant & Lounge have planned a unique offering in their series of wine dinners that will deliver not only a tasting delight but also an evening of wonderful Italian opera. Bobbi Parlett, owner of Simpatico, says: “We have teamed with MAGNVM OPVS to present an evening of fine wine, food, and music in a one-of-a-kind Tasting Concert.  This Tasting Concert draws inspiration from the great Italian opera classics, designed to heighten the experience in all of your senses. We are so excited about bringing this level of entertainment to the area and hope it will be the first of more in the future”. The event is on Friday, August 23rd, at 7:00 pm in the private dining area at Scossa. Seating is limited to 60 seats and reservations are required.

The evening will feature performers who travel nationwide to share their talent through a wide range of opera productions and they will be coming to Easton for this inaugural performance of “Voce e Vini” (Voice and Wine). 

The program features soprano April Martin and tenor Benjamin Werley, curated by operatic bass-baritone and wine educator Matthew Burns, accompanied by Justina Lee.  Enjoy a seven-course meal while Matthew guides you through seven different wines, chosen to highlight the parallels between what you taste and what you hear. A CD of the music and the wines tasted throughout the evening will be available for special purchase at the dinner through Simpatico, Italy’s Finest. 

April Martin trained as a member of the inaugural class of Resident Artists with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City and apprenticed with Virginia Opera, Central City Opera, and the Aspen Music Festival. Recent operatic debuts include Opera in Williamsburg, New Jersey State Repertory Opera, New Amsterdam Opera, and Piedmont Opera. She has performed as a soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra as well as the Kansas City, Duke and Virginia Symphonies. 

Benjamin Werley was one of twenty singers nationwide selected to sing in the semi-finals of the 2012-2013 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in New York City. He has since participated in many prestigious young artist programs, including the Merola Opera Program, Santa Fe Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Virginia Opera, Opera Colorado, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance. This season, Werley returned to Virginia Opera in their first ever production of Kurt Weil’s Street Scene as Lippo Fiorentino. He made his Cleveland Opera Theater and role debut as Alfredo in La Traviata this April, made his debut at Dayton Opera as Narraboth and Second Jew in their production of Salome, and made his debut this summer at Central City Opera as Red Whiskers in their production of Britten’s Billy Budd

Matthew Burns is an internationally renowned bass-baritone who has enjoyed a twenty-year career with featured performances at Los Angeles Opera, Utah Opera, Central City Opera, and Michigan Opera Theatre, among many others. Mr. Burns has a passion for wine and experience as a wine buyer, wine educator, and frequent imbiber. In 2016, he combined his love of wine and experience in opera to create Magnvm Opvs tasting concerts. A unique event combining an operatic recital and a wine tasting, Magnvm Opvs tasting concerts have been enjoyed by audiences in California, New York, Utah, and Virginia, with many more programs in the works.

Tickets for the evening are $150 per person, which includes tax and gratuity. For details on the program of wine, food and music, please visit www.simpaticostmichaels.com or contact Bobbi Parlett at 610-209-5409. Reservations can be made by calling Scossa at 410-822-2202.

 

Brewer’s Art and Orchard Point Oyster Teamed Up to Create Tasty Brew

The Brewer’s Art of Baltimore, MD, and Orchard Point Oyster Company of Stevensville, MD, have teamed up to produce a light, oyster beer that’s drinkable all year long – “Bugeye: Oyster S’Light”. The beer is brewed using local Orchard Point oyster shells and a new RoastOat™ malt donated by Briess Malt of Wisconsin. A portion of the proceeds will benefit healthy waterways across the Eastern Shore through the work of ShoreRivers. Bugeye drinks like a full, rich stout, but is a gorgeous hazy golden color, with lovely fruit notes and a dense rocky head of lacy white foam. Smooth as silk, brilliant as a golden sunset – it’s like nothing you’ve tasted this summer.

The Brewer’s Art has brewed craft beer in Baltimore since 1996. It has produced many award-winning beers and its brewpub restaurant is consistently ranked as one the city’s best restaurants. Named the Best Beer Bar in America by Esquire Magazine in 2008, the Brewer’s Art supports clean water via partnerships with organizations such as ShoreRivers.

Orchard Point Oyster Company has been raising premium half-shell oysters since 2015. Originating in Rock Hall, it has expanded to operate in Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot county waters. Through its sustainable modern aquaculture practices, it continuously improves water quality via filtration and provides ecological services to the Bay ecosystem. Each adult oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water per day. Orchard Point’s farming practices are recognized by the EPA and State of Maryland as a Best Management Practice (BMP) in meeting mandatory Bay nutrient reduction goals. The shells are a representation of these efforts and lend the beer essential minerals.

Briess is a global leader in malt and brewing ingredients. Stemming from Czech roots, they currently produce more styles of malt than any other malting company in the world. The malt used in this beer is a brand-new hull-less, lightly roasted oat variety: “Blonde RoastOat™ Malt.” The malt produces a unique beer with a mild sweetness and blonde hue. A velvet mouthfeel and aroma are balanced by calcium and chloride additions from the oyster shells.

ShoreRivers is a local non-profit dedicated to improving water quality on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. With six major shore tributaries under their purview, ShoreRivers works to improve the health of our waterways through science based advocacy, restoration, and education initiatives. It is the organization when it comes to understanding our rivers’ health and implementing projects that have a direct effect on improving it.

We are excited to announce the release of Bugeye. Each Bugeye brewed and consumed, will directly contribute to the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. Bringing together industry leaders and clean-water advocates can certainly yield delicious results. Please support this effort by asking for a Bugeye, wherever fine beer is served on tap!

Big Veggies and Local Support of St. Michaels Farmers Market

Christmas in St. Michaels Board Members. Front Row L-R: Pat Martin, Barbara Rose. Back Row L-R: SMFM, Treasurer T. Dixon, Joan Schneider, Linda Seemans and Ginny Cornwall.

The St. Michaels Farmers Market is honored to announce support from Christmas in St. Michaels. The non-profit market supportslocally producer-only farmers market operations.  Founded in 1998, SMFM provides fresh, locally sourced foods, education and outreach and economic options for farmers and food producers.  The SMFM also participates in SNAP/EBT, WIC, FMNP and Senior Voucher programs. The market is open Saturdays in St. Michaels, at the public parking lot located at 204 S Talbot Street. 8:30-11:30 AM, through November 17, rain or shine.  For more information or to volunteer see our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/loveyourfarmer/ Mailing address: 606A N. Talbot St. Suite 113, St. Michaels MD.

For over 33 years Christmas in St. Michaels has provided resources to assist local non-profit groups enhance the quality of life for residents of the Bay Hundred Community.  www.christmasinstmichaels.org

DrinkMaryland Returns to the Town of Centreville

DrinkMaryland returns to Centreville on Saturday, June 15 from 12:00pm to 5:00pm. The market-like event will pop up for the afternoon at Lawyers Row and Broadway. Featuring ten Maryland wineries and nineteen breweries and distilleries, this gathering is an opportunity for
consumers to explore and learn about Maryland-made products.

The 2019 DrinkMaryland event series will pop up in three Maryland cities this summer. Kicking off in Gaithersburg on June 7, DrinkMaryland makes stops in Centreville on June 15 and in North Beach on June 29. Produced by the Maryland Wineries Association and the Town of Centreville, the DrinkMaryland series brings local wineries, breweries, and distilleries together with local artisans, musicians, and food vendors.

Unlike traditional wine tasting events, the DrinkMaryland series is an open marketplace for visitors to explore. Tasting passes allowing the sampling of wine, cider, mead, beer, and distilled spirits are available to buy; though, public entry to these events is free.

WHO: Maryland Wineries Association, Town of Centreville, attending public, and media

WHAT: DrinkMaryland: Centreville

WHERE: Lawyers Row & Broadway, Centreville, Maryland 21617

WHEN: Saturday, June 15, 2019, 12:00-5:00PM

Members of Maryland Wineries Association and participating vendors can be scheduled for interviews through Jim Bauckman.

Wine Notes: Simpatico-Scossa Wine Dinner Set for Friday April 26

Bobbi Parlett of Simpatico, Italy’s Finest Noah Stevens, owner of Global Wines, are very excited to welcome Dr. Martin Kerres of Toscana Valdonica to the USA from the Maremma area of Tuscany for a special “Release Party” wine dinner at Scossa Restaurant & Lounge Friday April 26th at 7 PM in association with WineFest at St. Michaels. Dr. Kerres will be introducing selections of his wonderful organic line of wines to the USA in Maryland at this dinner and also at Simpatico’s Italian venue at WineFest.

Dr. Kerres will speak about his story of his vision for the winery, his small passionate artisan team and the history of the vineyard in a unique place in Tuscany in the hills of Maremma which produce his limited production unique award winning wines. The wines literally just arrived into the USA.

Giancarlo Tondin of Scossa Restaurant and Lounge and Bobbi Parlett have planned a fabulous evening with Dr. Kerres with a dinner menu to pair with a selection of the Valdonica wines. Call Scossa 410-822-2202 for reservations or call Bobbi on 610-209-5409 for information.

Food Summit in Kent County February 22nd

On Friday, February 22nd, the University of Maryland Extension Office in Kent County is holding a Food Summit from 8am until 12:15pm at the Emmanuel Church in Chestertown. The summit will bring together growers/producers, recipients of food donations as well as various community organizations that could help in identifying people or places in need of extra food. The goal of the summit is to find answers to questions such as:

• Do we have excess produce/food in Kent County?
• What, if anything, happens to this produce?
• Who can use extra produce and what kind is most desirable?
• Where can people get excess produce?
• How can your organization help?
• Can we come up with a plan to get food to where it is needed most?

Three separate panels will try to address these questions. By the end of the summit, we should have the beginnings of a plan on how to distribute excess produce this upcoming growing season.

Growers Panel: Bob Arnold, Jen Baker, Barbara Ellis, Theresa Mycek, Wayne Gilchrest.

Recipients: Dave Menzie (Community Food Pantry), Cheryl Hoopes (Community Table, First United Methodist Church), representative from Mt. Olive AME, John Queen (Reconnect for Life).

Other agencies: Amy Cawley (MD Food Bank), Rosey Ramsey Granillo (LMB), Emily Vooris or Lynn Rubin (FSNE), Elizabeth Massey (WAC, Food Recovery Network).

The event is supported by the following local entities: Chester River Wine and Cheese Co., the Emmanuel Church, Evergrain Bread Company, Figg’s Ordinaty and Play it Again Sam.

The event is free and open to the public, but attendees are encouraged to register by calling 410-778-1661, emailing sharvey1@umd.edu or by registering online at Eventbrite (Food Summit).

“The University of Maryland is an Equal Opportunity Employer and Equal Access Programs”

Piazza Italian Market Kicked Off its Monthly Food and Wine Pairings

Piazza Italian Market kicked off its 2019 season of monthly Food and Wine Pairings featuring the island of Sardinia which is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. The Tyrrhanean Sea separates Sardinia from the west coast of Italy. The geography of Sardinia ranges from sandy beaches to the mountainous interior with hiking trails through the ubiquitous macchia shrubbery. The rugged landscape is dotted with thousands of “nuraghi”-curious bee-shaped ruins dating from the Bronze Age, remnant of the Nuragic civilization that lasted nearly twenty centuries until the Roman conquest.

The Argiolas Winery is the largest and foremost wine estate on Sardinia. It produces archetypal wines from native varietals and was the first on the island to convert to modern viticulture in the pursuit of quality over quantity. Its vineyards are located in Serdiana in the Trexenta hills just north of the capital of Cagliari. Argiolas farms 600 acres of native Sardinian grapes including Nuragus, Monica, and Cannonau.

As guests were seated, plates of Caciocavallo cheese with Pane Carasau (Sardinian thin cracker bread) awaited them. For the first pairing, the Argiolas S’elegas Nuragus di Cagliari DOC was paired with grilled octopus over roasted potatoes with preserved lemon and capers. The grape is 100% Nuragus, a white grape that is thought to have been brought to Sardinia by the ancient Phoenicians. The distinctive wine label features one of the Nuraghi bee hive forms. Flavors of lemons and peaches, undertones of nuts and herbs, bright acidity, light body, and a slightly bitter finish made a perfect pairing with the octopus. The pairing was a hit with the guests and one of my friends asked if Piazza would add the octopus salad to its menu.

For the second pairing, the Argiolas Costera Cannonau di Sardegna DOC was paired with “fregolotto”;very small, round pasta with grape tomatoes (the toasted Sardinian pasta is cooked as a risotto with a saffron broth).The grape is 100% Cannonau, which is the local name of the granache grape. Since Sardinia was on the Mediterranean ancient trade route, this grape was likely brought to Sardinia from the Iberian peninsula where is has become the principal red grape of Sardinia.Costera, a name referring to hills, is the workhorse red grape of Sardinia that produces a deeply-colored, full-bodied red wine. Flavors of very ripe strawberries, black cherries, herbs, and spices and aging in French oak barriques provide rounded tannins and flavors of vanilla.

For the third pairing, the Vigne Surrau Isola dei Nuraghi IGT 2015, was paired with Panadas (savory pastry) filled with braised lamb and potatoes. Vigne Surrau is a newer winery founded by a former industrialist family.The vineyards are located in the sunny valleys of Gallura, a region in the northeast part of Sardinia. The grape is 100% Syrah, and Surrau has won five awards to date, including Tre Bicchieri from Gambero Rosso,  for its vintage 2009—the equivalent of 95+ points from Wine Spectator.

Emily has set the bar high for our 2019 food and wine pairings so mark your calendars for Piazza’s  winter offerings:

February 9Abruzzo

Buy tickets now https://bit.ly/2G9SEXq deadline Feb 8 at 5 PM

February 26: Wine Dinner A five-course wine dinner with special guest Catarina Sartarelli of the Sartarelli family winery.  Piazza will be Ms. Sartarelli’s only wine event in the area. Chef Chris and Emily will create a very special menu to accompany the all-Verdicchio line up from Sartarelli.

Buy tickets now https://bit.ly/2CTdAPf

March 9:Alto Adige

Spy Wine Notes: The Sardinia Food-Wine Report

Piazza Italian Market kicked off its 2019 season of monthly Food and Wine Pairings featuring the island of Sardinia which is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. The Tyrrhanean Sea separates Sardinia from the west coast of Italy. The geography of Sardinia ranges from sandy beaches to the mountainous interior with hiking trails through the ubiquitous macchia shrubbery. The rugged landscape is dotted with thousands of “nuraghi”-curious bee-shaped ruins dating from the Bronze Age, remnants of the Nuragic civilization that lasted nearly twenty centuries until the Roman conquest.

The Argiolas Winery is the largest and foremost wine estate on Sardinia. It produces archetypal wines from native varietals and was the first on the island to convert to modern viticulture in the pursuit of quality over quantity. Its vineyards are located in Serdiana in the Trexenta hills just north of the capital of Cagliari. Argiolas farms 600 acres of native Sardinian grapes including Nuragus, Monica, and Cannonau.

As guests were seated, plates of Caciocavallo cheese with Pane Carasau (Sardinian thin cracker bread) awaited them. For the first pairing, the Argiolas S’elegas Nuragus di Cagliari DOC was paired with grilled octopus over roasted potatoes with preserved lemon and capers. The grape is 100% Nuragus, a white grape that is thought to have been brought to Sardinia by the ancient Phoenicians. The distinctive wine label features one of the Nuraghi bee hive forms. Flavors of lemons and peaches, undertones of nuts and herbs, bright acidity, light body, and a slightly bitter finish made a perfect pairing with the octopus. The guests agreed and one of them asked me if Piazza would add the octopus salad to the menu.

For the second pairing, the Argiolas Costera Cannonau di Sardegna DOC was paired with “fregolotto”; very small, round pasta with grape tomatoes (the toasted Sardinian pasta is cooked as a risotto with a saffron broth). The grape is 100% Cannonau, which is the local name of the granache grape. Since Sardinia was on the Mediterranean ancient trade route, this grape was likely brought to Sardinia from the Iberian peninsula where is has become the principal red grape of Sardinia. Costera, a name referring to hills, is the workhorse red grape of Sardinia that produces a deeply-colored, full-bodied red wine. Flavors of very ripe strawberries, black cherries, herbs, and spices and aging in French oak barriques provide rounded tannins and flavors of vanilla.

For the third pairing, the Vigne Surrau Isola dei Nuraghi IGT 2015, was paired with Panadas (savory pastry) filled with braised lamb and potatoes. Vigne Surrau is a newer winery founded by a former industrialist family. The vineyards are located in the sunny valleys of Gallura, a region in the northeast part of Sardinia. The grape is 100% Syrah, and Surrau has won five awards to date, including Tre Bicchieri from Gambero Rosso,  for its vintage 2009—the equivalent of 95+ points from Wine Spectator.

Emily has set the bar high for Piazza’s 2019 food and wine pairings so mark your calendars for next month’s offerings:

February 9:  Abruzzo

Buy tickets now, deadline Feb 8 at 5 PM

February 26: Wine Dinner  A five-course wine dinner with special guest Catarina Sartarelli of the Sartarelli family winery. Piazza will be Ms. Sartarelli’s only wine event in the area. Chef Chris and Emily will create a very special menu to accompany the all-Verdicchio line up from Sartarelli.  Tickets here.

 

 

Chef John Nocita at the Eastern Shore Food Lab Nov. 20

John Nocita, master chef and president of the Italian Culinary Institute, will visit Chestertown on Nov. 20 to lead two presentations at the new Eastern Shore Food Lab about how to make the most of every bit of your food by not wasting any of it.

Nocita, who is among Europe’s leading consultants for menu development and is a certification specialist for the European Community’s Product Authenticity Program, will demonstrate advanced and conventional cooking techniques to transform refuse into luxury. While necessity ignited the creativity in peasant communities, and what they created from all parts of their meals became the basis for most traditional cuisine, fully 40% of food in the United States goes to waste. Nocita’s presentation, “The Day After: How to Make the Most of Your Food Waste,” will teach a zero-waste approach as you plan the big meal.

These are free events but registration is required. One event has already sold out, but some space remains on Nov. 20 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Reserve your spot here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-day-after-how-to-make-the-most-of-your-food-waste-tickets-51975915362

Nocita is an award-winning chef, a member of the Italian Olive Oil Masters, and a sommelier. He founded the Italian Institute for Advanced Culinary and Pastry Arts to constantly update cooking techniques and menu development for chefs and pâtissier in the world’s increasingly competitive environment.In 2001, he was awarded for Outstanding Contributions to Promote Fine Dining from the Distinguished Restaurants of North America, whom Wine Spectator describes as “the authority on fine dining.”

The Eastern Shore Food Lab is a one-of-a-kind teaching, learning, and production space, led by Bill Schindler, associate professor of anthropology and a world expert on primitive technologies and ancient foodways. Drawing international chefs and food innovators to rethink our food systems by using ancestral food knowledge and technologies, the ESFL aims to create food for today’s palate that is more nutritious, meaningful, and sustainable. Schindler calls this “learning to eat like humans again.”

While working for global food system change, the ESFL will be grounded in the local, propelled by the notion that environmental and cultural sustainability should be at the forefront in our approach to food. By researching the resources unique to the region based on weather, climate, soil chemistry, and microbial biology, and fusing ancient and historic foodways with modern technologies and methods, faculty, students, community members, and collaborative researchers will re-envision our food system, from how we define food to how we grow it and prepare it.

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and a dozen nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

Bistro St. Michaels Wins Oyster Stew Competition

Bistro St. Michaels chef Doug Stewart has been named the first place winner in the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s 2018 oyster stew competition, held Oct. 27 during OysterFest.

Bistro St. Michaels and Stewart earn bragging rights with the People’s Choice award. Votes were taken during blind tastings of the different stews, with Bistro St. Michaels served as stew ‘F’. The oyster stew is currently being served at the restaurant in historic St. Michaels, Md.

Six restaurants competed, with 500 festival-goers taking part in tastings before voting by ballot for their favorite stew. Second-place winner Sunflowers & Greens of Easton, Md. was served as stew ‘D’, with third place going to stew ‘A’ from “t” at the General Store of Royal Oak, Md. Other participants included Crab N Que (stew ‘B’) and Theo’s Steaks, Sides & Spirits (stew ‘D’), both of St. Michaels, Md.; and Milestone Catering (stew ‘E’) of Easton, Md.  More information about the event is at cbmm.org/oysterfest.

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