When I got an invitation from Seth Resler a month ago about the first Mystery Meet, taking place on Tuesday, July 13th I was admittedly hesitant to commit. Just what is this all about and who else gets invited anyways?! But I guess those questions represent the premise of a mystery now don't they? The real deal behind Seth's latest initiative is to gather interested parties to dine at a new Boston restaurant once a month. The secret restaurant location was revealed through a series of hints posted on the website each week:
Hint #1: It's in CambridgeHint #2: The owner of this restaurant has more than one dining establishment in the area of Boston
Hint #3: Technically speaking, the name of this Cambridge Restaurant is inaccurate.
I've heard a lot of buzz about Ten Tables since the opening of the original location in Jamaica Plain. I arrived at 5 Craigie Street and descended into the restaurant hidden below a residential complex just as it was nearing the 8:30 reservation time.
The rest of the "mystery" crew of bloggers trickled in around then as well. Our party was a bit larger than the cozy basement space could accommodate at one table. Plus - this place was packed for a Tuesday evening! I was seated at a table for seven with Michelle, her Fiancee Bret, Meghan, Megan, Rachel and Justin. It was pretty cool to actually meet in person the wonderful ladies behind some of the blogs I've followed for months now.
But first, a delightful palate cleanser in the form of a Native strawberry coulis with buttermilk sorbet. Around this time Chef Dave Punch, can of Pabst Blue Ribbon in hand, came and visited with our tables for a few minutes. It was clear the chef is passionate about supporting local organic farmers whenever possible. He seemed like a real good guy. I was ecstatic once desserts were served. Placed in front of me was a Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta with strawberries in a saba (sweet balsamic) sauce and a candied pistachio topping.
Across from me, Megan was served the signature Chocolate Terrine with Sea Salt & Thai Basil Ice Cream ($8).
We pushed our plates to the center of the table to share and gushed over the new spin Greek yogurt gives to the panna cotta - a longtime favorite dessert of both of ours. The thick rich chocolate terrine with a welcome pop of salt was incredible. We continued to rave about just how much we love basil, and to put it in ice cream is pure genius. We raved right along with the rest of the table, as we finished every last morsel of the luscious indulgent desserts.Not the prettiest picture to leave you with, such is documenting reality. By the time us public transportation folk walked off our food comas and hopped the train home, it was nearing 11:45. When my head hit the pillow I clocked in at 12:10. It was all worth it for an excellent meal and my first legit Boston blogger meet-up! Ten Tables far and away surpassed my expectations. This cozy and sophisticated neighborhood locale is mindful of a philosophy we can all agree with. Striving to provide seasonal, local, organic, high quality food, Ten Tables succeeds with flying colors (literally, did you see those dishes!?) and comes very highly recommended.