Last week, we had the pleasure of attending Taste, a fantastic culinary event put on by Boston Magazine. This year's event was held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, and featured more than 25 local restaurants and mixologists. (You can see the full list here) Proceeds from the event went to the Greater Boston Food Bank, a local non-profit that is extremely important to our local community, especially at this time of year. The Mandarin Hotel was the perfect locale for the event - restaurant tables were lined up around the periphery of several rooms, bars were scattered about, and high-top tables were strategically placed for congregating. We were impressed by the quality of nearly every bite we had, and excited to see so many local chefs serving up food themselves at their tables.
It's hard to give an accurate depiction of this event through pictures, but we did want to share images of some of the fantastic fare we sampled, and some of the libations as well. This is definitely an event we'll be back to in years to come!
The above photos can't even begin to do justice to this dish from Journeyman. They served a Foie Gras Ice Cream with Hazelnuts and Matsutake Mushrooms. I struggled to figure out what I thought of having foie gras in my ice cream, but really it was so delicious and complex that I stopped trying to figure it out and just enjoyed it!
This Crispy Glazed Sweetbread with Duck Confit and Butternut Squash Mousseline was from Artisan Bistro, and was one of my favorite bites of the night. It packed a real flavor punch, hitting sweet, savory and salty notes. Quite delightful.
From Sel de la Terre came this "Parfait" of Butternut Squash, Compressed Cranberries and Bacon Granola, and Smoked Sea Scallop. It was a bit tricky to eat, but extremely creative, and ultimately a tasty little dish. The scallop was perfectly cooked, and melted in your mouth.
Formaggio served up some Comte, crackers, and a couple of sweet accoutrements. Simple, delicious. They are so reliable!
This Seared Scallop with Cider Braised Beef was full of flavor, though the scallop was a bit tough. Were it not for that, this would have also been a top dish of the evening. The cider braised beef was tender and ultra-flavorful, and it definitely made the dish.
Jody Adams served up this brightly colored soup, which I tried recently at the Silk Road Gala and found to be even better the second time around. It was a bit of a lighter offering than the rest, which was a great break from the heavier bites!
The Kettle One Vodka Ice Luge was a sight to behold - when it was your turn, you opted for either a martini or a cosmopolitan, and the bartender poured your beverage of choice down the chute. This seemed to be quite a hit! I had the pictured cosmopolitan, it was good and strong.
I'd never seen a shrimp so red before, but this has a nice, subtle flavor. As off as it might sound, I found it to be quiet refreshing.
This beef "cigar" was to die for. I made a mess of myself trying to eat it, but I couldn't have cared less! It was super-savory and the meat was incredibly tender and juicy. The sunchokes offered a nice crunch, which make for great textural contrast.
We were a bit late making it to the dessert tables, so I think we missed some cupcakes from Cakeology, but we were able to sample a piece of chocolate bark from Purefections Chocolate, a tasty Pumpkin Goat Cheese tartlet from Bistro du Mudi, and the hot chocolate bar (pictured above) by Finale. We loaded up a mug of dark chocolate hot chocolate to share, with toffee, marshmallows, and a generous scoop of whipped cream. What a way to end a deliciously satisfying evening!