Friday, November 18, 2011

Flavors of Fall: A Recap

I never expected that a spoonful of food at Flavors of Fall would so intrigue me.

This past Monday, as part of the media, I attended the Flavors of Fall event at the The Charles Hotel. The event was organized by, and cosponsored by City Square Associates, Inc. and The Charles Hotel. This fun event offers food from local chefs, wine, beer and live music, and all of the proceeds go to a local charity. I have been to this event in previous years and it is usually a very enjoyable evening.

This year, the charitable donations were given to Tutoring Plus. "Established in 1964, Tutoring Plus supports and encourages the academic, personal, and social growth of Cambridge youth with the help of volunteers and community partners. Teaming up with area schools, community organizations, universities and local companies, they provide safe, trusted, structured and highly personalized programs. Proceeds from this year's Flavors of Fall specifically support Tutoring Plus's Girls, Media & You, a joint project with Lesley University that brings under-served and at-risk middle school girls together with Lesley undergraduates to focus on the influences of society, culture, and media on girlhood in the contemporary U.S."

Over fourteen restaurants and other companies participated this year, including Area Four, Bergamot, The Blue Room, Bondir, Catalyst, EVOO, Garden at the Cellar, Harvest, Henrietta's Table, J.P. Licks, Noir, Russell Tavern, Sandrine's Bistro, Upstairs on the Square, Brooklyn Brewery and Dreyfus, Ashby & Company.  Each restaurant offered up a small plate, from The Blue Room's Brussel Sprouts Popcorn to Harvest's Caramel Budino.

My only minor complaint was that the lighting was not the best for photos, so I don't have as many photos as I would have liked.

While enjoying the various small plates, you could sit and listen to the Rollo Tomasi Quartet, whose slogan is:  "Jazz Straight Up. Funk Chaser."

To accompany the food, there were six wines and three beers available, including three white wines and three reds. The reds included a Chianti, Burgundy and Malbec, and they were all tasty, albeit relatively simple, easy drinking wines.

That intriguing spoon! Garden at the Cellar presented the Salted Caramel Apple Textures, a combination of apple, peanut praline, caramel powder, and Maldon salt. It had such an interesting mouth feel, and the clean flavors burst forth, meshing well together. It was not as thick as usual caramel sauce, but easily slid down my throat. I enjoyed a few of these spoons, which would make a perfect Thanksgiving ending.

The fine pig that is being sliced up was brought by Bondir, who served up Porchetta on a spelt soft roll with Bacio di Satana pepper jelly. The pork was quite delicious, moist and tender meat, and the pepper jelly added a spicy element.

Catalyst Restaurant provided another very intriguing dish, a Horseradish Flan with braised brisket, smoked paprika and herb salad. I loved the smokiness of this dish and the brisket was meaty and tender. All of the ingredients worked well together, a fine interplay of textures and tastes.

I also enjoyed the Crispy Fried Oysters from Russell House Tavern which were topped by sriracha aioli, citrus salt and pickled watermelon rind. The heat from the siracha was balanced by the fruit flavors and the saltiness of the fried batter and oysters. A mouthful of delights. Bergamot, as usual, pleased me, this time with their Braised Beef Panini topped by taleggio cheese, arugula, and truffle aioli. A delicious sandwich which I would have greatly enjoyed for lunch anytime.

With all of the savory entrees, there was a compelling dessert too.  J.P. Licks brought a Wild Turkey Bourbon ice cream which I thought was excellent.The ice cream was smooth and creamy, with a definite bourbon taste, a bit of noticeable alcohol and no bite. This is an adult dessert which I very much enjoyed and I liked that you can tell it has some alcohol in it, and not just some artificial alcohol flavoring.

I hope the event raised plenty of money for Tutoring Plus.

1 comment:

Jason Phelps said...

Those are the flavors that jazz me up this time of year! Thanks for sharing this one. Gives me ideas...