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Toro, South End

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Where: Toro - 1704 Washington Street, Boston MA
When: May, 2012

Toro, one of the most talked about Boston restaurants, has been on my “must-go” list since they opened. The need to get to Toro only increased after seeing chef Jamie Bissonnette on the Food Network’s Chopped (he also won Food & Wine’s 2011 People’s Best New Chef award) and after going to Coppa, Jamie’s and Ken Oringer’s other restaurant, which was fantastic.

I got plenty of warnings about the extra long wait times so we made sure to head over right after work on a Tuesday to be safe. We were seated immediately as they had plenty of open tables (which did not last long). We sat at one of the large family style tables in the middle of the room where I strategically placed myself facing the open kitchen. The only complaint we had was that there wasn’t a place to hang our jackets or put our bags so we had to put them on the floor (thank goodness we weren’t in Brazil as that’s a clear “I’m a prostitute and available” signal). We started off with Gypsys all around. Whats a Gypsy, you ask? Its a delicious cocktail of Death’s Door gin, Yellow Chartreuse, and St Germain. Its so good, in fact, that I had another two which made me the friendliest person in the room chatting with our neighbors as well as asking our server to introduce me to Jamie Bissonnette, who I could see was working in the open kitchen. He said I could just go up and say hi myself but, oh no, I needed an introduction. This was a big deal! I got one and Jamie was super nice as I gushed about what a big fan I am. At this time our dinner neighbors leaned over to my friends to announce that Jamie is married so I just want to reassure everyone jumping to any conclusion that even though he seems like a lovely person, its his food skills that I am completely lusting over.

We decided to pick two items off the menu each so we would have a variety of tapas to try. And this is what we got…

Boquerones – White anchovies in vinegar and olive oil. In 2011 I took on two new lovers: anchovies and oysters. I almost don’t remember what I was like before these life changing foods came into my life but I am sure I was not nearly as happy. That being said, I had to get the anchovies and introduce Daniela to them, who I believe may be a new fan. These were great, nice and salty and perfect alone or with some of the bread served with our tapas.

Queso de Cabra – Vermont goat cheese with pistachios and tomato honey. There isn’t much that makes my mouth water more than the combination of cheese and honey so I was really excited about this dish. The cheese was great as were all the components but I found myself wishing out loud for MORE tomato honey and MORE pistachios.

Tortilla Espanola – Egg, potato and onion omelet with aioli. This dish was Daniela’s choosing, saying Tortilla Espanola may be one of her favorite dishes ever. No pressure, Toro. No pressure. I generally like Tortilla Espanolas but its not something really crave worthy for me so I was really surprised by how much I loved this one. The tortilla was really moist and creamy. Just lovely. The aoili, which came on a few of the dishes was a really great compliment for it and just the right amount of garlic. I could eat that shit on everything!

Datiles con Jamon – Medjool dates filled with Marcona almonds and Cabrales blue cheese, wrapped in Jamon Serrano. Holy moley, guys. These dates were phenomenal! Seriously. They were so good that before leaving I insisted that our new dining neighbors get them. Insisted. The saltiness of the ham with the sharpness of the cheese with the sweetness of the dates all came together really well. My only complaint is that there were only two of them; I could have eaten a half dozen easily. I’m a little embarrassed to say that between three college educated, well traveled, career women we couldn’t figure out what dates are. Were they dried plums? No, those are prunes. Dried figs? No… I had to google it to find out that dates are… dates. Waking up and opening my safari browser to find “Whats a date?” made me feel like a genius.

Asado de Huesos – Roasted bone marrow with radish citrus salad and oxtail marmalade. The bone marrow was Olivia’s pick and although none of us really knew what to expect, I was looking forward to trying something new. I had never had bone marrow before and expected it to be somewhat mousse-like for whatever reason. It was not mousse-like at all, it was fat -ike. Very very fat-like. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it after the first bite but after the second I decided bone marrow is not for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love fat but this was just too much for me. The oxtail marmalade on the other hand, I could eat by the bowlful.

Anna’s Empanadas – Chicken and potato empanadas with salsa rojo and aioli. I’m dying to know what sort of pastry these empanadas are made of as it wasn’t at all what I expected. In high school, in Panama, I would take my $1 a day lunch money to buy two empanadas from Oscar’s food cart (and spend the rest of cigarettes – $.10 each) and they were these really flaky buttery pastries. That’s what I always tend to expect when I hear empanadas but this was different – they almost tasted as though the pastry was made with corn or yuca or something. I could be off but either way, they were really good. And, again, they came with that phenomenal aioli.

Maiz Asado con Aioli y Queso Cotija – La Especialidad de la Casa. Grilled corn with aioli, lime, espelette pepper and aged cheese. Amy first introduced me to Elote at Ole in Cambridge and since then I have been hooked. I even have a couple recipes saved but something about smothering corn with cheese and mayo at home just seems a little too indulgent to me. This was super messy but equally delicious so was happy to have aioli across my cheeks for the experience.

Churros with chocolate sauce. Toro has one dessert and that’s all they need. The churros are light and fluffy on the inside and the chocolate sauce rich and velvety. We actually all agreed that although the chocolate sauce was delicious the churros were so good that we preferred them on their own. That’s saying something.

Overall, I thought the service and atmosphere at Toro was great. The drinks were delicious (and helped me meet a famous chef as well as have a heart to heart with a very sweet homeless man, Ritchie, on my way home). The food was all very well prepared and flavorful. I’d recommend it for a group of friends or coworkers or even on a date although be warned that a community table isn’t particularly cozy or romantic. I’d definitely go back but I do not think I would wait hours in their famous lines for a table. Don’t get me wrong, its great food but Boston has enough great restaurants that I am rarely willing to wait more than 20 minutes to be seated.

How did Toro measure up? 4.5 Spoons!

Toro on Urbanspoon

Praline Topped Brownies, Recipe

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I was making dinner for a friend this past Sunday and wanted, naturally, to include dessert but had a hell of a time trying to decide what to make. I didn’t want something too fussy that I would have to make during the evening as I wanted to enjoy being able to hang out. I didn’t want something common like a chocolate chip cookie as I wanted it to feel a little more special. I didn’t want something bulky or untransportable as I wanted to be able to get rid of the leftovers. Brownies! Yes. But not your everyday run of the mill brownies, they needed to have something special to them. Something to make them feel like dessert and not something you just add to your order at your local coffee shop. I think I got it… Praline Topped Brownies.

I made a note about the frosting below for you but, basically, the frosting will look very different whether or not you have patience. Either is totally fine and equally delicious, it’s just what you prefer esthetically. I think I prefer the cooled version myself although I have little patience when assembling desserts as I just want to eat them as quickly as possible.

The brownie recipe alone was actually really good (I ate three before I even made the frosting – not particularly proud of that). They were very chocolately and chewy and soft in the middle, just the way I like them. We enjoyed one after dinner and, turns out, they make a great mid-morning snack as well. They also transported well so that I could rid of my house of them as not to eat any more.

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Adapted from You Made That (modified from Delish.com)

Ingredients:
1 cup butter
4 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups sugar
1/4 cups light brown sugar
6 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Praline Topping
5 tablespoons margarine or butter
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 T vanilla extract + 2 T water
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 13- by 9-inch metal bakingpan with foil; grease or spray foil with cooking spray.

In heavy 2 quart saucepan over low heat, melt margarine or butter and chocolates, stirring frequently. Remove saucepan from heat.

Transfer chocolate mixture to a large bowl and beat in sugars, then eggs, until well blended. Stir in vanilla, salt, then flour just until blended. Gently stir in chocolate chips until just blended. Spread batter evenly in pan.

Bake brownies 35 min. (toothpick inserted in brownies will not come out clean). Cool brownies in pan on wire rack. If not using brownies within 1 day, cover cooled brownies with foil and refrigerate or freeze for longer storage.

20120310-113814.jpgIn 2-quart saucepan over medium-low heat, heat butter and brown sugar, until mixture melts and bubbles, about 5 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat. With wire whisk, beat in vanilla and water, then confectioners’ sugar, until mixture is smooth.

*Side Note: You Have two options here, both equally delicious. Option 1) Glaze your brownies as the frosting is still warm and let it drip down the sides or Option 2) Wait, somewhat patiently, for your frosting to cool to room temperature and then frost your brownies creating more of a traditional cake look / feel. Personally, I did one (I impatiently wanted one stat) and the the other which I think is the way to go.

With metal spatula, spread frosting on cooled brownies; sprinkle with pecans. To cut brownies lift the foil out of pan and cut even squares.

Cream Cheese Penguins, Recipe

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I’ve found that there isn’t anything that will wow a crowd like food shaped into cute little animals. Most aren’t appropriate for cocktail parties (“Here’s your Hello Kitty cake pop, Mr. CEO”), but I have found one that is black tie friendly, if you know what I mean.

This particular hors d’oeuvre is not only completely adorable but also very easy to assemble. I promise you’ll get lots of comments on these little guys.

Cream Cheese Penguins

Ingredients:
18 jumbo black olives, pitted
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
18 small black olives
1 carrot

Directions:
Cut a slit from top to bottom, lengthwise, into the side of each jumbo olive. Carefully insert about 1 teaspoon of cream cheese into each olive. Slice the carrot into eighteen 1/4 inch thick rounds; cut a small notch out of each carrot slice to form feet. Save the cut out piece and press into center of small olive to form the beak. If necessary cut a small slit into each olive before inserting the beak.
Set a big olive, large hole side down, onto a carrot slice. Then, set a small olive onto the large olive, adjusting so that the beak, cream cheese chest and notch in the carrot slice line up. Secure with a toothpick.

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My army of penguins are ready to go when you are.

Gingerbread Cupcakes with a Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting, Recipe

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Gingerbread is great and all but Gingerbread CUPCAKES? Sign me up!

The lemonyness of this frosting really goes really nicely with the spice of these cupcakes, what a perfect combination. As you can see from the image I had to take the cupcakes into work as I was finding they were going much too well with my afternoon cup of coffee, morning cup of tea, late night glass of milk… you get the point.

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
From Gonna Want Seconds and slightly adapted from Epicurious

Cupcakes:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick (1/4 cup)-softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1 teaspoon baking soda

Frosting:
8 ounce cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 stick (1/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Instructions:

Cupcakes
1. Into a bowl sift together the flour, the ground ginger, the cinnamon, the cloves, the allspice, and the salt.
2. In another bowl cream 1/2 stick of the butter, add the granulated sugar, and beat the mixture until it is fluffy. Beat in the molasses and the egg, beating until the mixture is smooth.
3. In a measuring cup combine the baking soda with 1/2 cup boiling water and stir the mixture until the baking soda is dissolved.
4. Stir the mixture into the molasses mixture (the mixture will appear curdled) and stir the molasses mixture.
5. Stir the molasses mixture into the flour mixture, stirring to combine the ingredients well.
6. Line twelve 1/2-cup muffin tins with paper liners and pour the batter into the liners, filling them evenly with all the batter.
7. Bake the cupcakes in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. (The cupcakes will be flat or slightly indented on top.) Transfer the cupcakes to a rack and let them cool.

Frosting:

1. In a bowl cream together the cream and cheese, softened butter until smooth.
2. Add the confectioners’ sugar and the vanilla, and beat the mixture until it is fluffy and smooth.
3. Beat in the zest and the lemon juice and chill the frosting for 30 minutes. Spread or pipe the frosting on the cupcakes and EAT.

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Paneer Methi Makhani (with homemade Paneer), Recipe Links

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Ever since I first heard that making Paneer is something a home cook can do I have been itching to do it. I mean, making cheese?! How cool! Coincidentally, my first attempt was the same day I went to a cheese and wine pairing course at Formaggio Kitchen so I got to learn a lot about enzymes, curds, whey, etc. That stuff is all dead sexy to me.

I used this Paneer recipe, from US Masala’s site, which has step by step photos as well as very detailed instructions. You couldn’t mess it up if you tried. The process was really fun and the final product delicious. It’s amazing how much milk you need to make a small amount of Paneer (good recipe to keep in mind if you have milk you need to use up!)

Once the Paneer was made I had to find a way to eat it other than devouring the little cubes straight up. I decided on Paneer Methi Makhani, from the same site. I surprisingly had most of the ingredients on hand except for the Asafoetida but with just a pinch of that called for I decided to omit it. This was an easy, delicious dish that put my homemade Paneer to great use. I can’t wait to try some other Paneer recipes, especially Saag Paneer. Nom nom.

I had enough leftovers for a few days and then with my last day’s worth I did a lunch swap with a coworker and scored some sushi out of the deal. I think it was a win-win situation.

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Provençal Chicken Salad with Roasted Peppers and Artichokes, Recipe

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We outgrew our office space years ago so anytime we hire a new employee it’s like playing tetris trying to figure out where to put people. Our newest addition was squeezed into Alicia and my current office which turned out to be a great fit (while it lasts as we are moving next week)! Maeve quickly caught on that Alicia and I are obsessed with food and with my recent salad obsession she brought in a beautiful salad themed cookbook, Raising the Bar, for us to thumb through. I photocopied a few recipes and here’s the first I tried which is definitely share-worthy and worth a repeat. Can’t get enough of salads these days!

Provençal Chicken Salad with Roasted Peppers and Artichokes
From Raising the Salad Bar

Ingredients
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 can (14 ounces)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Salt & pepper
1 roasted bell pepper, cut into strips
3 tablespoons minced parsley
4 cups mixed baby lettuce greens, washed and dried

Dijon-Herb Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Pepper

Place sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let rest until softened, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain tomatoes and mince them. Rinse the artichoke hearts and cut into quarters, then pat dry wit paper towels.

Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat. Remove tenderloins from the chicken breast and pound the chicken to an even thickness. Season with salt and pepper. Oil the grill and either grill or pan fry the chicken 4 or 5 minutes on each side until just cooked. When cool enough to handle, slice into 1/2-inch wide strips.

I’m a large bowl, combine the chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted peppers, artichoke hearts, and parsley.

To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk all of he dressing ingredients; season with salt and pepper. Before serving, whisk dressing again and combine with the chicken salad.

To serve, place baby greens on a platter and top with the chicken salad or serve on individual plates the vinaigrette from the salad will seep through to flavor the greens below.

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Tryst, Arlington Center

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Where: Tryst - 689 Massachusetts Avenue Arlington, MA 02476
When: February, 2012

I stumbled upon Tryst’s menu while looking for brunch places to go with Beth and Daniela last weekend. Being car-less by choice, I don’t get out of Cambridge and Boston very often so thought it would be fun to explore a bit as I had the luxury of being picked up and dropped off (thank you, D!). Tryst caught my eye with their sexy, website and delicious looking dishes. Sold.

20120212-175223.jpgWe headed over around 11:30 Sunday morning and were promptly seated by the window, which was wonderful as the sun was out in full force! Our server was very friendly and made some honest recommendations which we appreciated and definitely helped with my decision making (omelet? french toast? tacos??). While we were waiting for our dishes to come out he were brought these adorable little breakfast appetizers. This photo is a little misleading as they appear to be normal sized but keep in mind that little jug of milk holds about a 1/4 cup. The pastries were small enough to eat in a bite or two. Cute.

The menu all looks delicious with everything from shrimp tacos (my fav) to omelets. Sitting there trying to decide what to get I vowed to come back again for dinner sometime.

I decided on the Croque Madame which came in a skillet oozing with cheese and mornay sauce. It was definitely a knife and fork kind of sandwich, there was no picking this beauty up. The sauce was perfectly done and the ham to bread ratio was spot on. I usually opt for the Croque Monsieur so it was a nice change to have a fried egg on top, I suppose that’s what made it more brunch-y. It came with a side salad (anything else and you might have a heart attack right then and there) which was a little too salty for me but overall fine. I also had their coffee which was lovely, I might be turning into a coffee snob after all.

20120212-175247.jpgDaniela got the Huevos Rancheros which was 2 fried eggs, beans, avocado, jack cheese, crispy tortilla & spicy tomato sauce. It was delicious and I didn’t have to just take her word for it, we all got to taste each others plates which was nice. I believe when we traded bites we simultaneously said “Ymmm but I still like mine better!”. We made good choices. D also got a side of breakfast potatoes which were delicious.

20120212-175241.jpgBeth ordered the Sloppy Paul, which she thought said Sloppy Balls when our waiter told us about it which obviously caused fits of giggles and innuendos. We are very mature. The Sloppy Paul was a Sloppy Joe type sandwich smothered in Bolognese sauce served with these homemade tater tots with cheese inside. The tots were served with a side of roasted tomato aioli which easily good as well.

Overall, everything was delicious and i can’t wait to go back! I’d even, gasp, take the bus for Tryst. It’s casual enough for brunch, nice enough for dinner, great for groups or a date. Not sure I would pick it for a particularly romantic date but maybe I just didn’t pick up that vibe as it was so early in the day.

How did Tryst measure up? 4.25 spoons!

Tryst on Urbanspoon

Doughnuts

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Donuts or Doughnuts? Who cares, get in my belly!

In December I had won the office cookie contest and was awarded a $50 gift card to Crate and Barrel. For months I pored over the website trying to decide what I’d treat myself to. A griddle? Think of all the seared meats and pancakes I could make… A potato ricer? I’ve always wanted to make gnocchi… New cookies sheets? I’d be able to bake even more cookies than now… Extra knives? I always seem to be running short as I only have 4… Ultimately I settled on some small practical clear glass bowl, as my Tupperware seems to always go missing (ahem, you know who you are), and a totally frivolous donut pan.

I received my package last week and couldn’t wait to make donuts. Sadly, most donut recipes I was coming across were deep fried (yum!) which wouldn’t work with this fabulous new donut
pan (and I have an aversion to deep frying) so had to dig deeper. I found this recipe on With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart’s website for Baked Donuts.

I don’t think this is a traditional donut as those seem to have yeast in them, like bread does. The texture / consistency of these were much more cake-like then a deep fried donut but still very good. You just can’t really compare apples to oranges, or baked cakes to fried dough in this case. I tried three different toppings, posted at the bottom, and I think I liked the Cinnamon Sugar one the best. I took the leftovers into work as they were still pretty good the following day although the donuts with the chocolate glaze do not travel well. I repeat, they do not travel well. The powdered sugar ones seem to have absorbed most of the sugar the following day so the only ones that looked close to as they do in this photo were the Cinnamon Sugar ones. My coworkers said they all tasted pretty good though so that’s good (after overdosing on donuts the night before I didn’t test them out again the morning after).

Baked Cake Doughnuts
recipe found on Wilton Doughnut Pan package
makes 12 regular-sized doughnuts

2 cups cake flour, sifted
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp butter, melted

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray the 6-cavity donut pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Sift together cake flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in buttermilk, eggs, and butter and beat until just combined. Fill each donut cup until about 2/3 full.
3. Bake 7-9 minutes, or until the top of the donuts spring back when touched. Cool in pan for about 4-5 minutes before removing from pan. Complete donuts with either a dusting of powdered sugar, glaze, or cinnamon-sugar topping. Best served fresh on the same day.

Toppings

Cinnamon Sugar
2 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
2 Tbs. butter, melted

In a shallow bowl or plate, stir together the sugar and cinnamon. Dip the baked doughnut in melted butter (I used a pastry brush to apply the butter so I could get a lighter coverage) and roll in the mixture to coat.

Chocolate Glaze
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 Tbs. melted butter
1 Tbs. corn syrup
1 tsp, hot water

In medium bowl, microwave chocolate chips, butter and corn syrup on 50% power for 1 minute, stirring frequently until completely melted. Stir in1 tsp. hot water, until the glaze is thick and smooth. Add another tsp. hot water if the glaze is too thick. Use immediately to glaze doughnuts.

Confectioners’ Sugar Doughnuts
Put 2/3 cup of confectioners’ Sugar in a resealable plastic bag. Add a doughnut, close the bag, and shake to coat. Repeat with remaining doughnuts.

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Superfood Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette, Recipe

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Superfood! Just that term alone gets me giddy about all the super I am putting into my body. When I first pulled this recipe I didn’t necessarily think it would taste super, I pulled it because of the nutritional benefits of all the ingredients. But! It actually tasted delicious as well. I modified the original recipe a bit… I omitting pomegranate seeds as I couldn’t find pomegranates at the store but feel free to add them. I also halved the olive oil as I didn’t think a whopping 6 tbsps is really necessary.

This is a great Monday night salad to try to undo a lot of the weekend damage.

Superfood Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Adapted From Iowa Girl Eats

Ingredients:
1/2 cup dry quinoa
1/3 cup red onion, chopped
1 orange, peeled and segments chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1.5 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
salt & pepper

For the Lemon Vinaigrette:
2 lemons, juiced (need 1/4 cup juice)
2 garlic cloves, microplaned or finely minced
dash of sweetener (agave nectar, stevia or white sugar)
salt & pepper
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Cook quinoa according to package directions. Set aside to cool.

For the Lemon Vinaigrette: combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid, and shake to combine. Or, add lemon juice, garlic, sweetener, salt and pepper into a small bowl and whisk in oil.

Combine cooled quinoa with red onion, orange segments, avocado, beans, corn, cilantro, salt and pepper. Pour Lemon Vinaigrette over the salad and stir to combine. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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Trade, Fort Point

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When: Trade – 540 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA 02210
Where: February, 201

We’ve had Trade on the calendar for weeks so I had plenty of time to stalk their menu and set my expectations high. And that exactly what I did.

I got there right at 8 and the place was packed. Luckily Sarah had made a reservation so we we’re quickly seated. I love the decor and atmosphere – clean lines, high ceilings, lots of wood, funky metal lights, and just the right level of music (and good choices – I heard The Kills, Phoenix, and MGMT while we were there). They had wine stored in hidden wood drawers in the walls which I thought was cool.

We got a nice big table which I thought might be hard to hear each other around but turns out to be totally fine. I read somewhere that Jody Adams had the tables soundproofed but can’t re-find that article and can’t really wrap my head around that on my own. What does that even mean and how does it work?

Our waiter was attentive and really knew the menu. We giggled that when we asked him what was good he listed pretty much every item on the menu.

We decided to share a few things (as well as a few bottles of wine), all of which were phenomenal.

Small Plates:

Local burrata with quince-lemon jam: This was not my choice and I would have never thought to get it if the table didn’t want to get it. After trying burrata for the first time at Coppa I decided it wasn’t really my thing. The texture on the inside was just too watery for me. Boy, did this burrata change my mind! It was firm with just a little more give I the center and went oh so we’ll with the sweet quince-lemon jam. It was delicious, I’m a burrata convert.

Pomegranate glazed eggplant with capers, olives and pine nuts: This was a beautiful plate, it was a shame to break into it but well worth it. The eggplant was tender but still firm, the capers and olives added a nice saltiness, the line nuts a crunch, and the pomegranate a sweetness. It came together beautifully.

Fried oysters and buckwheat waffles with maple syrup and sour cream: Waffles and oysters? That’s cray! I’ve never even had chicken and waffles so had no idea what to expect of this, not that I can compare the two. I expected this dish to be much heavier than it was so was really pleasantly surprised. The oysters were lightly battered and fried and waffles were hearty but not heavy. The two went really well together and worked with the sweetness of the maple syrup. I think I need to get myself a waffle press – they aren’t just for breakfast anymore.


FlatBreads:

Mussels, tomato, leeks, with saffron and garlic flatbread: Of the two flatbreads we ordered this was my favorite. My office ate had recommended it from her visit to Trade and I’m glad we got it. The flatbread was crispy and the combination of ingredients did remind me of a big bowl of moules frites. Very different but worked really well.

Mushrooms and figs with gorgonzola, sage pesto and walnuts flatbread: This flatbread was also very good with nice contrasts of sweet and salty. That’s all I really have to say about it as I was so focused on getting another slice of that mussels flatbread.

Desserts:

Honey roasted pear crostada with crème fraîche and caramel: You really can’t ever go wrong with a warm mini fruit pie with cold crème fraîche and caramel. The pears were still a little firm, pastry was soft yet crisp, and caramel just salty enough to bring it all together.


Meyer lemon panna cotta with pomegranate gelee and citrus crisp:
This panna cotta is mysecond burrata (what I am now calling anything that pleasantly surprises me) of the night. It was another item on the menu I would have never ordered as when I think of panna cotta I think of the texture of flan, which I am not a fan of. This was not like that at all. This was firm, fresh, tart, and a complete surprise. It was beautiful and delicious and I wanted another as soon as we were done with it.

Overall, everything was fantastic from the atmosphere, service, food and company. The most memorable dished for me were the burrata and the panna cotta as they surprised me the most. I would go back in a heartbeat!

How did Trade measure up? 5 Spoons!

Trade on Urbanspoon