As I mentioned on Wednesday, I had the pleasure of attending the kick-off for Restaurant Week in Boston. This event is divided into two parts. The first part is the press conference portion. This is the cerebral part of the event. The charity that has been chosen to benefit from this year’s event is announced, and other special promotions are presented. To learn more about the press conference, please read my previous post, or visit Restaurant Week’s website.
Part two of the kick-off is the sensory portion. Each year several restaurants take part in the kick-off, sending a chef or two to prepare samples from their menu for the audience. This year we were treated to three culinary delights created by Executive Sous Chef Aurelio Zacchi of Pairings, Chef Mike Pagliarini of Via Matta, and Chef/Owner Marc Orfaly of Pigalle.
Chef Zacchi prepared a delicious appetizer of seared red snapper. A bite-sized piece of snapper was served in miso broth. Topped with pickled daikon, cucumber, and daikon sprouts, it was as beautiful as it was flavorful. This tasty little bite was packed with flavor. Nice and light, it was the perfect start to my sampling.
Next, I sampled what I considered to be the main course, Tuscan ribs, which were prepared by Chef Pagliarini. These ribs were delicious and appeared to be coated in a dry rub that had rich Italian flavoring. Served atop a bed of cooked escarole and white beans, it was hearty yet not heavy. The ribs, greens, and beans worked well together offering different textures and tastes to savor.
Finally, I made my way to dessert, which was presented by Chef Orfaly. He served a vanilla bean panna cotta topped with raspberry sauce. This panna cotta was incredibly smooth and silky; it simply played upon your tongue. The raspberry sauce added a nice burst of flavor and color to the dish. This was the perfect way to complete the tastings.
Having sampled three dishes from chefs that will be partaking in Restaurant Week, I know that I need to try more. With food this fabulous and a great charity to support, it seems like terrific reasons to schedule some lunch and dinner reservations.