CityFeast which was held this past Sunday in the North End. Carla Gomes (pictured above) is the owner of two restaurants, Antico Forno and Terramia. She also has a son with diabetes and founded City Feast to help raise awareness of the disease and support Joslin Diabetes Center's mission of conquering diabetes in all of its forms. I attended this event last year, a resounding success, and attended it again this year.
Taranta with Athena (of Forays of a Finance Foodie) and Dale (of Drinks Are On Me). I am a big fan of Chef Jose Duarte (pictured above) and his meal thoroughly impressed me once again, especially with his use of Peruvian ingredients which you will find in few other places. It really makes me curious why other restaurants have not started using some of these unique ingredients as they certainly offer enticing flavors.
The evening at Taranta began with a Pisco Sour apertif, a popular South American cocktail, and I enjoyed its puckery taste. Next up, we were poured a glass of Estrella Damm Inedit, an intriguing Spanish beer. "Inedit is a unique coupage of barley malt and wheat, flavored with coriander, orange peel and liquorice. Inedit is the first beer specifically created to accompany food... Has been created by Damm brewmasters, ...and by Ferran Adrià, Juli Soler and El Bulli’s sommeliers’ team." I am generally not a fan of beer, so this was not something I liked, but I appreciate its use in the meal and think beer lovers would enjoy it.
Lucuma is an interesting Peruvian fruit that can add a butterscotch flavor. This hearty dish contained a very nutty flavor with hints of exotic spice and cream. It was complex, and the flavors created a very harmonious whole. It was the type of dish you craved seconds, thirds and more and also showed the vast potential of Peruvian ingredients. This dish needs to be on Taranta's regular menu.
The gnocchi was paired with a 2008 Chono Carmenere Reserva from Chile. I am not usually a fan of Carmenere as far too much of it has a green/vegetal flavor which I dislike but this wine was not like that at all. It was actually more fruit driven, with a decent complexity and smooth taste. It is a wine I would buy and enjoy and I was very glad to find a Carmenere that appealed to me.
Fusion cuisine sometimes gets a bad rap, but Chef Duarte proves that two different cuisines can meld seamlessly and create a unique blend of flavors. The Peruvian ingredients he uses are compelling, and add depth, taste and complexity to his dishes. I am extremely pleased that I got to dine here for City Feast, and will return again and again, to see what new dishes Chef Duarte has created.
Thanks very much to Carla Gomes for another successful City Feast, and I hope my readers lend their support to the Joslin Diabetes Center.