Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Spoonful of Ginger

A Spoonful of Ginger is an annual event put on by the Joslin Diabetes Center to benefit the Asian American Diabetes Initiative. They raise money and awareness each year through this well orchestrated culinary and cultural experience. It was held in the gorgeous, ultra sleek and modern Art of the Americas Wing Courtyard at the Museum of Fine Arts. I attended as media, capturing the delicious bites of food and taking in the scene, while learning how diabetes significantly affects the quality of life and health outcomes for a rising number of Asian Americans. It was inspiring to see local restaurants and chef's such as Ming Tsai, Jasper White and Joanne Chang come to together to support Joslin and AADI in their commitment to finding a cure. 

The participating restaurants put on an impressive spread. In order of appearance: Seafood Pearl Balls from Summer Shack | Wonton Soup from Xinh Xinh | Tuna Tartare (with chive, shallots, kiwi, truffle oil and yuzu tobiki, served on a lotus root chip) from Lotus Blossom | Pork Buns from Bao | Cockles with Ginger Broth and Chinese Sausage from The MFA's New American Cafe | Salmon Tartare from Basho | Carrot and Ginger Soup from Myers + Chang | Sushi Boat from Basho | Spicy Tuna Volcano Maki from Empire.  

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

march 17.

I couldn't imagine celebrating St. Patrick's Day any other way, than with a corned beef and cabbage dinner and a green beer at Durgin Park. It's a tradition four years running, and definitely the reason I look forward to this holiday. (That along with a reminder of how good Guinness is and the once a year Shamrock Shake from McDonald's. Guilty.)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

more VT.

This time venturing even further North into Vermont, hanging at my friends farmhouse and skiing in lots of fresh snow at Jay Peak. Sunday we meandered down Route 100, stopping to check out the wares at Buggyman Antiques and the Stowe Mercantile. We capped off the weekend with a wine and cheese tasting at the Cabot Annex Store in Waterbury. Vermont, you're my favorite. But then, I think you already knew that.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Rochester, Vermont

From some time spent in Rochester back in February, encompassing pretty winter views and cozy nights drinking by the fire after days skiing at Killington and snowmobiling on nearby trails. Also, apres ski brews at The Lookout and an Avocado Melt at The Rochester Cafe. Winter weekends like this are just what the season begs of us, and why Vermont really is the best.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

No. 9 Park

2013 has brought some change. I have not been photographing as many meals or spending time here nearly as much. So many things still inspire but the shift in mindset, focus, dedication - it happened. For now, a recent (birthday!) dinner at No. 9 Park.
Should you need a reason to splurge or an excuse to visit one who sets the precedence for fine dining in Boston, No. 9 Park in an intimate Beacon Hill townhouse displays timeless elegance under sparkling antique chandeliers, with a celebrated bar and wine program, gracious hospitality, and the best of Barbara Lynch's flavorful and inspired dishes.
The Air Mail ($10) made with Neisson rhum agricole blanc, honey, lime and sparkling wine proves a lovely aperitif and the Conquistador ($14) garners high praise with an exotic spiciness and a hint of smoke, it blends Soberano brandy de jerez, Del Marguay Vida mezcal, Carpano Antica vermouth, cacao and thai chili. The old world meets artisan wine list is pricey but the good news is, they offer half bottles. The sommelier described quite a few in beautiful detail and we chose from Bandol, Provence, a Chateau de Pibarnon.

We started with six oysters on the half ($21), which were tiny, but of unique character; Fin De La Baie from New Brunswick, Sun Hallow from Washington and Bagaduce from Maine. The appetizers to kick off the three course prix fix ($69) were the chef's special of Seared Yellowfin Tuna with torgarashi, foie gras vinaigrette and Periguex truffle and the unphotographed but ironically favorite dish of the entire evening, the dish I would go back right now for, a rich and velvety Autumn Vegetable Potage with poached pear, seared bay scallops and sage brown butter. (It wasn't even my dish, but man, it somehow blew my sashimi away! It was more of a soup night anyways.)

The entrees of Glazed Beef Shortribs with potato mille-feiulle, baby vegetables and macomber turnip and Prime Flatiron Steak alternating with a bone marrow bread pudding and a swiss chard and spinach parcel were flawless; perfectly plated, refined, balanced, solid. (But they still did not outshine that soup!) Then there were desserts in abundance, beacons of goodness and at times otherworldly, a Tres Leches Cake with Earl Gray ice cream, grapefruit and lemon, and Fried Carnaroli Rice Pudding with pineapple, cardamon and basil. Lastly, a surprise Happy Birthday treat with the beloved chocolate and peanut butter combo was a nice touch!
The restaurant that began an empire is exquisite; it is classy and expensive, but by no means pretentious or stuffy. Our waitress was a gem. Her cheerful, easygoing, and informed nature truly added to the experience.

No. 9 Park
9 Park Street
Boston, MA 02108

P.S. If I'm not here, I'm still here, here and now here....