Lydia Shire Dinner, Chili Champs

February 18, 2014
by Scott Kearnan

Urban Grape launches Urban Bourbon. Popular boutique wine shop The Urban Grape is branching out. On Friday, February 21 it will launch its first private label spirit, a single-barrel bourbon named Urban Bourbon. The signature blend is a collaboration between Urban Grape and the esteemed, 126-year old Four Roses Distillery of Kentucky. Four Roses master distiller Jim Rutledge will be visit the South End location of The Urban Grape on Friday from 5-7 PM to pour tastes of the special whiskey, and sell and sign bottles ($58). 

20-plus restaurants prep for Chili Cup. Sochi is so two weeks ago. This Thursday, February 20, prepare to celebrate the Chili Cup, a spicy fundraiser for Community Work Services (CWS), an organization that helps locals achieve greater economic self-sufficiency through workforce development. From 6-9:30 PM, Ned Devine's will transform into a wonderland of spicy soups prepared by competing chefs from over 20 restaurants, including defending champion Tico, Pier 6, Artisan Bistro at the Ritz Carlton, Post 390, Bambara, Lincoln Tavern and more. $20 tickets (available here) get you access to an all-you-can-eat chili chow down, and the chance to vote for your favorite bowl. A panel of local judges, including Hell's Kitchen alum and Tremont 647 chef Andy Husbands, will also help award the ultimate winner.

Wine and dine with Lydia Shire. Crimson-haired star chef Lydia Shire (pictured) is also heating up the kitchen of her Liberty Hotel restaurant Scampo on Thursday, February 20. At 6:30 PM the legendary toque will host Italian winery Tenuta Argentiera for a Tuscan dinner with wine pairings that sounds pretty close to perfect. On the menu: plates like charcoaled quail legs and rabbit jack with risotto di cardone, ravioli of Swiss chard and cinnamon oxtail ragu, and funghi fritti with porcini, porchetta and honey mousse. Seats are $125 and can be reserved by calling 617-536-2100.