Thursday, October 13, 2011

California Olive Ranch Dinner at Troquet

Last week I was treated to dinner by the warm, passionate folks of California Olive Ranch at Troquet, a cozy French restaurant and wine bar in the Back Bay. An unassuming facade at 140 Boylston Street is home to a polished restaurant with simplistic decor, where hardwood floors and rustic tones inside are complimented by views of a lush leafy green grass expanse of the Boston Common outside. The event was held on the second floor dining space, where an open kitchen meets you at the top of the stairs. I was greeted with a glass of Saivignon Blanc and before we sat for dinner got to know Katie Lipman of Formula PR, Mike Forbes from California Olive Ranch and Tony Polito, author of the cookbook: Fresh - Eating Healthy Never Tasted So Good. I also mingled with fellow bloggers Fiona, Richard, Janelle and Tracey.
Before dinner Mike lead the olive oil tasting (this was my first one, drinking olive oil is a totally new "thing" for me.") He reminded us to just think of it as fruit juice because essentially, it is. The freshness of this olive oil is inherent as a result of the approach the company has taken to growing and harvesting their olives and making and packaging their oil. For example, they cold press their olives within hours of careful harvesting, and they package the product in dark glass. These methods are essential to locking in the purest taste possible; as soon as the fruits come off the vine for as long as the oil remains in the bottle.
The olive oils were seamlessly and yet so poignantly woven throughout each of our three courses, prepared exclusively for our group by chef Scott Hebert. The smooth and versatile Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil subtly enhanced our first course of Buratta Ravioli. The presentation was striking; a pastel backdrop of luxurious and foamy braised artichoke and sweet heirloom tomato fondue sets the stage. The ravioli parades around a creamy and nutty bright green artichoke pesto ball, the soft set pasta enveloping springy buratta cheese. I thought this was a brilliant dish.
For the main course, an emulsion of Eggplant and Vandouvian spices under a bed of saffron cous cous proudly displayed the King Salmon which was poached in Millers Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
This olive oils balanced fruity-with-a-peppery kick flavors make it ideal for using in dishes containing strong spices, much like this one. This delicate preparation of a favorite fish will long stand out in my mind, bold orangey pink colors of flaky velvety layers were exquisite, with a topping of barely there olive oil fried crispy toast and a bouquet of crunchy green peppers.
While the fusion of olive oil into the first courses was beautifully accomplished, the dessert course of Valhrona Chocolate Tart was especially impressive in this respect. A firm pastry shell with a decadent chocolate exterior contained Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil mingling with a divine black olive caramel sauce. This type of olive oil is characterized by fresh tropical fruity flavors, the distinct combination with rich chocolate and orange ice cream was quite a sensation. Dining at Troquet was a real treat. I love discovering hidden gems among well traveled streets. While I had heard vaguely of this restaurant, it somehow wasn't on my radar to try. Based on tonight's food and hospitality, I would happily return and would definitely recommend it.
We received two bottles of California Olive Ranch Olive Oils as well as Tony's cookbook as a parting gift. I am eager to start using the award winning olive oil in the kitchen, with the help of a new cookbook that focuses on healthy, 10 minute meals. 
Troquet on Urbanspoon

18 comments:

  1. The dessert sounds truly impressive. I don't know why this place isn't on my radar either. Looks adorable!

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  2. I love Troquet and I really have been enjoying my California Olive Ranch samples. I'm bummed I couldn't make it into town in time for this dinner.

    And I'm having the opposite problem....I've been cooking up a storm and blogging more about the kitchen and less about restaurants!

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  3. Hmm... I don't know why I've never been to Troquet. Everything looks delish - especially buratta ravioli and that dessert!

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  4. So sorry I missed this - looks delicious! This is a place I continually walk by, but it looks like I need to stop in!

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  5. Great to know you'd recommend Troquet. I've never been but walk by all the time since it's near where I work. I'll have to check it out soon!

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  6. I'm such a sucker for salmon, cooked any way! And the dessert...it looks like a visit to Troquet is worth that alone.

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  7. wow, your descriptions of these dishes reads like poetry! looks like a lovely restaurant as well, haven't heard of that one before ;)

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  8. I never really thought olive oils would taste all that different from each other. Maybe I should stop by the store brand :)

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  9. That ravioli looks and sounds fabulousss. As does that tart.

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  10. I've never heard of this oil -great to know!

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  11. Wow! Great blog and photos! I love it :)

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  12. I have heard amazing things about Troquet and need to get there! I love the concept behind this dinner!

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  13. Oh my gosh. I love Troquet. I used to live in Boston (moved to NYC about 6 years ago,) and that was one of my favorite spots. So incredible... I still dream about that butter!

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  14. Oh my gosh. I love Troquet. I used to live in Boston (moved to NYC about 6 years ago,) and that was one of my favorite spots. So incredible... I still dream about that butter!

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  15. you're still eating delicious foods!! How do you stay so thin!

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  16. I wish I could have gone to this because I have been totally obsessed with California Olive Ranch olive oil! This dinner looks like it was so much fun! :)

    Sues

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  17. Mr. Pineapple man, I always ask her the same question. Daisy, If I ate this salmon meal with that beautiful olive oil it would always & forever stay on my mind too!

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