Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Dinner at the Blue Room, Dessert at Mooo....
We recently had a great food night around Boston. Matt had a work dinner at The Blue Room in Kendall Square, and I tagged along as his "plus one" along with Betsy (who was on the guest list). As we joined the group that had arrived a few minutes before, my gaze fell upon a dark and very tasty looking beer in front of one of the guests. He noticed my stare and offered me a sip. I dropped all sense of decorum and grabbed the closest chalice I could find...a wine glass. So much for class. When it comes to dark beers, everything I learned from fine dining just seems to be so irrelevant. Here is the photographic evidence of my fall from grace. Hint: The beer is in the left glass.
While I was enjoying the beer, the server poured a bottle of Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir. It was a bit of an awkward moment when she tried to fill my glass.
First up, some snacks. Our side of the table fired off a few orders that ran the gamut of sweet, savory and just plain different.
The brown sugar, cayenne spiced nuts put out the right combination of sweet and spice. Never would have guessed that based on what the name of the snack was... but I have to put something in between these photos...
I loved the texture and taste of the real, homemade chickpea dip with crispy flatbread.
The best of the bunch by far were dates stuffed with ricotta and pistachios; a bite sized snack with a lot going on. The creamy ricotta blended perfectly with the date and pistachios, with a hint of honey. I can't wait to try to recreate these at home.
Snacks in the belly. Time for more wine.
No, this is not a prop bottle from "The Great Gatsby," but rather a very earthy Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles, California. I am not an earthy wine fan, but in this case it did not overpower the big, juicy flavor of the wine.
For the main, I opted to combine two appetizer dishes; the pasta special and a Vietnamese steak salad.
The pasta was orecchiette with pea tendrils, lemon, and ricotta. It was a light pasta dish which was perfect for the warm night.
Later, the three of us headed across the river into Boston to what we like to call "our living room" (Mooo....) for a nightcap and maybe... a look at the dessert menu.
The ladies decided to go against the stereotype and we ordered...the... Lady's Martini. Ok, not really against the stereotype, but with Lilet blonde infused with fresh lemon, hibiscus syrup and a champagne chaser, it became too tempting to pass over. The martini was full of fantastic flavor but I'm not sure it could be really classified as a martini. Very sweet, not much alcohol... or so it seemed... not bad for a night cap.... not good if it is your first drink of the night because these go down like a Capri Sun and would end your night before you even knew what was happening.
For some reason, the dessert menu taunted us with a very intriguing dark chocolate stout cake. Now I'm not a huge chocolate fan but I do enjoy the "health benefits" of dark chocolate and a good stout. The cake was wonderful and really well done. Thank God Betsy and Matt were there or I might just have developed a real passion for chocolate... and by that I mean I would have eaten the whole thing.
Overall, this unscripted rambling back and forth across the river was a culinary and viticultural success. You can see Betsy's perspective here. Our photos are almost identical. We were snapping dueling pictures so much that Matt had compared us to the most flash happy crowd in Boston in a tweet:
"@upwitholives & @amateurgastro take pics of food like Asian tourists take pics of the Cheers facade #canon #Boston."
Give these ladies a camera that fits in a pocket and combine that with a love of food, and what do you expect? I'll post my pictures of the Cheers facade in another post ;)