Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Last night was the big night- the Annual Grilling Social held at Tremont 647 in Boston's South End. Luckily the rain (and possibly tornadoes?) held off until the party was wrapping up, and a great time was had. Of course, how could it not be, with some of the biggest Boston based Celebrity Chefs creating the menu?
Chef Andy Husbands, owner of Tremont 647 and Sister Sorrel, appeared on Hells Kitchen, and Chef Chris Coombs appeared on an episode of The Food Network's Chopped. Chef Brian Poe is a local celeb on his own simply by preparing fresh and delicious southwestern themed fare at his restaurant Poe's Kitchen at the Rattlesnake, and by making some of the most interesting nacho combinations around. All of these great chefs came together last night to serve up some tasty grilled offerings- the eating was good!
I haven't actually been to either Tremont 647, or to Sister Sorrel before, and was interested to note that they are actually located next door to each other, and connect inside. Very convenient. So the event took place at both of them in actuality, with the different chefs setting up shop outside the restaurants. My first bite of the evening was a slider from the inside grill. This was a lovely little burger, topped with cheese, pickles and "special sauce". Now, I am a girl who loves her pickles on hamburgers so that won big points with me. However the rest of the burger was just OK-not bad by any means, but certainly didn't blow me away either.
The second dish I managed to snag was outside at Brian Poe's grill- an adorable mini burger topped with a red cabbage slaw, as well as half of a biscuit slathered with black bean puree and topped with a beautiful shrimp. The burger was really delicious- so juicy and flavorful without relying on salt for the flavor, and the slaw was a nice addition. My one complaint was that it was incredibly difficult to eat it as it was not on any type of bun, and there were no utensils. It made for a sad abandonment. The biscuit with black bean puree and shrimp was also tasty- the shrimp was perfectly cooked, and the black bean puree had lovely flavor to it with just a slight kick of heat. The biscuit was soft without being too crumbly and stood up to the rest of the ingredients well- however it was oddly sweet. I kept thinking that there was some sort of solution that they must have painted on the biscuit itself, which for a dessert application would have been nice- but was just really odd here.
We ventured to the other side of event next, and found Chef Coombs and Chef Husbands stationed there with a Russian Shashlik dish, as well as a grilled Lamb dish. I was able to nab a Shashlik (basically a kebab of pork and onion) first. The cubed pork pieces were full of delicious flavor and the hearty nature of the pork was wonderfully offset by a sweet drizzle of plum sauce over the top. The onions, though grilled with the meat were still somewhat crisp, and provided great contrast to the pork. Really delicious.
The second dish at that station was the beautiful grilled lamb, set atop pita's with what appeared to be a delicious yogurt based sauce, and a chopped vegetable salad of tomatoes and cucumbers. This was absolutely the stand out dish of the night. The lamb was cooked perfect, tender and wonderfully spiced. The char from the grill was so nicely offset by the light and creamy sauce, and the salad topper provided a cool crispness that rounded out the flavors and textures of the dish. I, rather desperately, would like more of this. Immediately....
Of course, you can't have a summer cook out without some dessert- and what could be better than S'mores brownies? This was such a fun play on a classic camp out sweet treat- the graham cracker crust engulfed the bottom of the deep rich brownie, and on top a marshmallow was torched to a deep amber brown, and melted so it ran down the sides. All of the wonderful flavors of a S'more but in a completely different delicacy! Phenomenal!
This really was a fun event where everyone got to mingle, enjoy a few Harpoon ales, and dine on some fantastic food from some of the most notable chefs in the city. This really is what Summer is all about isn't it?
Posted by Boston Food Diary