Northshore Magazine

Northshore January February 2016

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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20 | JANUARY + FEBRUARY 2016 nshoremag.com light and soft. Balance those with a few cold appetizers—the eggplant in agrodolce is a powerfully flavor- ful exercise in contrasts: sweet and sour, salty and bitter, the dish combines vinegar, sugar, currants, capers, and cocoa powder in intense harmonious balance. Topped with luscious, creamy buffalo mozzarella, every bite surprises and delights. Or try the rustic roasted beets, enriched with a salty topping of pistachios and ricotta salata. Not surprisingly, A Mano's menu offers a broad range of pasta dishes, from garganelli topped with duck to gnocchi with wild boar, as well as vegetarian options like taglier- ini integrale, a whole wheat pasta topped with roasted cauliflower, golden raisins, and pine nuts. Or satisfy that mid-winter craving for poultry with "Chicken Under a Brick"—a classic Italian preparation that literally uses a brick (wrapped in foil) to press the skin side of the meat into the pan. Cooked entirely with the skin side down to preserve the juices, the meat is indulgently rich and served with a side of grilled fennel and bitter broccoli rabe. The bar team from Restaurant 62 remains at A Mano, crafting com- plex cocktails while adding a new negroni menu. While it's hard to improve on that classic mix of gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari, they do it with panache, offering riffs that include house-infused apple whiskey or cherry liqueur, or a festive hit of bubbles in the Sbagliato Negroni. For dessert A Mano offers two flavors of gelato—vanilla and hazel- nut—both rich and creamy and made in-house. Or try the velvety warm toffee pudding made with melted dates and topped with toffee caramel sauce and lightly sweetened whipped cream—it's just the thing to bring warmth to a cold winter night. Bring on the Bubbles! A guide to choosing, drinking, and pairing the perfect sparkling wine BY BRANDY RAND drink AT ANY GIVEN TIME OF THE YEAR, I HAVE AT LEAST ONE BOTTLE OF BUBBLY in my fridge. While sparkling wine is the requisite toast for New Year's Eve and special occasions, it's also a fantastic choice for Tuesday night take-out. There's something uplifting in its effervescence, bracing in its crisp, bright acidity. As Charles Dickens once said: "Champagne is one of the elegant extras in life." In other words, don't save your sparkles. Thankfully, there's a sparkling wine to meet every budget. Maia Merrill Gos- selin, owner of Sip Wine Education in Swampscott, says price is not the only factor to consider when choosing the right one. "What makes a good sparkling wine is the combination of quality grapes, yeast, winemaker skill, region, and time aging in the bottle. Don't pick a sparkling wine simply because it has a fancy label and celebrities drink it. There are some exceptional bubblies that cost less than $15." Not all bubbles are created equal, both in price and quality. The difference between champagne and all other sparkling wines is simply geography; cham- pagne is produced in a specific region in France and often considered the best—and most expensive. Popular styles that are less expensive—though just as delicious—are cava from Spain and prosecco from Italy. Every country has its own style of sparkling wine depending on the region and types of grapes photograph by Elise Sinagra

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