The fabulous ladies of Just Add Cheese, Jacki Mo and Meesh Z, teamed up with the talented Chef Brian Poe of Poe's Kitchen at The Rattlesnake to create an extravagant five course meal for their friends and blogger pals this past Wednesday evening. Invitees convened in the private event space on the second floor overlooking Boylston Street; it was great to catch up with Justin, Emily, Dan and Bianca and mingle with some of Jacki and Meesh's pals who were also dining with us!The evening kicked off with Pomegranate Jalapeno Sangria and Quail Tacos!The sangria was subtly sweet with a spicy kick; I love a cocktail that isn't afraid to bring some heat. The quail tacos came loaded with tender bites of the gamey bird, its distinct nutty flavor embraced a heaping topping of pumpkin and jalapeno salsa. These ended up being one of my favorite dishes of the night.The spicy sangria as well the innovative use of quail impressed the group as we continued to mingle around the bar while Chef's Jacki, Meesh and Poe got things done in the kitchen. They presented us next with an Asian inspired Tuna Tartare laced with hints of pickled ginger and marinated in a soy and chive vinaigrette. Finished with a refreshing wasabi sorbet, this imaginative ingredient managed to both kick up and cool down the tartare at the same time. The cubed portions tumbled over a crispy wonton laid with rectangular strips of seaweed. Quite the prelude, it was hard to believe we were only just getting started! I was already blown away by the chef's prowess (all three of them.) It was time to officially take our seats as the first course arrived. Back in the kitchen I had seen Chef Poe thinly slicing the apples on his mandolin for the Apple Carpaccio Salad, which were gently tossed with baby arugula in an apple cider champagne vinaigrette. This salad evoked a true sense of fall, the apples and the vinaigrette both crisp and comforting, were complimented by cinnamon sugar dusted cashews, Great Hill Blue Cheese and a slice of crispy prosciutto.The second course of Chanterelle Mushroom Quesadillas made with Cihuahua cheese, Chervil, foie gras and truffle salsa hit the spot.
The luxurious truffle laced vegetables and delicately seared foie gras elevated your classic run-of-the-mill Mexican appetizer to something truly memorable. The Chile Rellenos for course number three were yet another inventive interpretation of a traditional Mexican dish, with a hint of Japanese fusion. Over a vibrant tequila sunrise orange emulsion mingling with a pool of 5 Spoke Creamery Cheese sauce sat tequila spiked duck stuffed Anaheim chiles dredged in a saffron citrus tempura. Plated to resemble a maki roll of sorts and topped with an orange basil salsa, these brought heat and intense nuances of flavor. I was feeling pretty stuffed as the entrees hit the table, a Green Chile Braised Pork Belly came topped with a tomato confit and sprinkled with wild boar bacon bits and cotija cheese. The pork belly was nicely braised and laced with a good amount of fat. It was a little too oily and heavy for my taste, but the accompanying ingredients helped balance this out. Up next - the "Roulette Round" was a pallet cleanser of zesty peaches and herbs, where someone gets the ghost chile. Thankfully, it was not me, but the group definitely had a lot of fun with this course. It succeeded in preparing our taste buds for an impeccable dessert of Plantain Churros. The deep fried tropical fruits look nothing like a traditional Spanish churro, but I'm all for loose interpretations that still manage to succeed taste wise. The crispy exterior encasing soft plantains was served alongside a heavenly cinnamon ice cream met with a luscious zig zag of salted caramel, a taza chocolate cappuccino sauce coating and a sprinkle of coarse black sea salt. This was a most exciting end to a stellar dinner party. The dishes served to us this evening were evocative of a true creative spirit in the kitchen, where flavors and ingredients of fall were fused with innovative preparations. Many thanks to our amazing trio of chef-hosts for their generosity; providing guests with great food, drinks and fun!