The 5th Annual City Feast was held on January 31 to benefit the Joslin Diabetes Center, specifically the Joslin's High Hopes Fund. Seven North End restaurants, including Terramia, Antico Forno, Lucca, Prezza, Tresca, Taranta and Cafe Graffiti, hosted special five-course dinners with wine pairings.
As mentioned previously, Carla Agrippino Gomes, the owner of Antico Forno and Terramia, is the founder of City Feast. She is very passionate for the cause of vanquishing diabetes. It is certainly a worthy cause, and the City Feast event hopefully raised lots of money. I saw plenty of people attending the event so it seemed like a big success to me.
I first attended the VIP Reception at Antico Forno which had free wine, beer and appetizers. The appetizers included slices of pizza (as delicious as usual) and large arancini, which were superb. They were perfectly crisp and crunchy on the outside, with lots of rice and gooey cheese inside, as well as some ground meat and peas. I would have been happy just eating the pizza and arancini all night.
I then moved onto Tresca for dinner, a North End restaurant partially owned by hockey legend Ray Bourque. The City Feast attendees dined upstairs, an elegant and cozy private area. I sat with Athena, another food blogger, who writes Forays of a Finance Foodie and has previously reviewed this dinner. Though I have met Athena before, this was the first time I held a extended conversation with her and it was a very pleasant evening. Two foodies can find plenty to discuss.
The first course was Caesar con Tartufi, a classic Romaine salad with white truffle Caesar dressing. The crisp, fresh Romaine had a delicious dressing, with touches of earthiness, and plenty of shaved cheese. The "crouton" was a long, thin and tasty cracker. A pleasant start to the meal.
Next up was Crespelle al Forno, crisp chive crepes stuffed with roasted wild mushrooms and truffled fresh ricotta. I was hesistant about this dish when I initially saw it listed on the menu as it didn't seem like something I might like. I was surprised though when I actually did enjoy it. The crepe was crisp and crunchy, with only a mild chive flavor, and the interior was creamy with a compelling earthiness. A very nice blend of flavors and textures very much pleased me.
The third course was Rigatoni Norma, rigatoni pasta tossed with roasted eggplant, San Marzano tomatoes,and fresh basil, topped with shaved ricotta salata. The pasta was cooked very well and the tart red sauce was good. Everything seemed very fresh.
Next came the Pollo Romano, a grilled, marinated chicken breast cutlet topped with arugula and grilled vegetables, served with creamy corn and sage polenta. The cutlet was quite large and had a tasty marinade atop it. The polenta was incredible, so creamy and flavorful, and I could have downed a large bowl of it.
The dinner ended on a very high note, with Sogno del Cioccolato, a warm chocolate truffle cake with espresso anglaise and vanilla gelato. The moist, rich chocolate cake was pure bliss, especially with the creamy gelato. It may have seemed a simple dish, but it was executed very well and would have pleased any chocolate lover. I would go to Tresca just for the dessert.
All of these dishes are available on Tresca's regular menu. The service was very good and it was quite a fun and delicious night.
233 Hanover Street