Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Boston and Bacon

Kent and I recently went to Boston to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary and we had a delicious time.  I say delicious because we pretty much ate amazing food the entire time.

If you know me, you know I can NOT keep a surprise, the suspense kills me! Amazingly, I was able to actually keep a secret and surprise Kent... after much research, I made reservations at a french restaurant, L'Espalier, in the Back Bay of Boston.  While researching, I came upon reviews for sitting at the chef's table.  I figured it wouldn't be possible because it is usually booked months in advanced.  So, I called the restaurant to make reservations and they actually had the night of our anniversary available due to a cancellation (so remember it never hurts to ask).

Most Chefs' Tables are the table closest to the kitchen, but this table was actually in the kitchen. We are foodies, so for us it was like a dinner theatre,  we had so much fun.
This was the view of the kitchen, from our table.

The food was amazing, we both agreed, it was probably the best meal we have ever had.  All together, I think it was 15 courses (they were all a couple of bites each, but we were definitely full) and we did the wine pairings with each course.  Here are some of the pictures... I forgot to get a few of the pictures. 

Different Breads, the pretzel roll was AMAZING!!!
Creme Puffs with blue cheese filling and chicken mousse on a cracker.  
Halibut mousse with a seaweed salad on the left of the plate.  
This was an oyster, Kent loved it! The presentation was pretty cool, dry ice below and shells and seaweed around it. 

This was foie gras, with a caramel sauce and grape puree, it was incredible!! 
Filet with mashed potatoes and a bone marrow egg roll. 
Lobster with vanilla-apple butternut squash puree.
Egg mousse with cavier, the mousse tasted like creamy butter, very good!

Cheese Plate, yum!
Carrot cake with pumpkin mousse, black currant mascarpone, and ricotta ice cream
Caramelized white chocolate-Manjari chocolate cremeux with black sesame custard, wild rice puff, dulce de leche ice cream
Green apple soft mousse sphere with saffron coconut, coconut cake, calvados caviar, and tarragon ice cream
Compressed Asian pear with white chocolate, tonka bean meringue, bergamot custard, and Earl Grey ice cream
We also had Cod, Scallops, Squab, and Sweetbreads (I was in food heaven and forgot to take pictures).  

Now, I am a picky eater, but I got over it and tried a lot of new things.  I am glad I did.  However, I still do not like Oysters, I managed to choke it down, but definitely not one of my favorites.  We will definitely be looking for other restaurants that have Chefs' Tables in the kitchen!!

We also ate in Boston's North End, their Little Italy. I read reviews on Yelp and Giacamo's was the highest rated Italian restaurant in Boston.  So we had a late breakfast and decided to have an early dinner... it opened at 4:00, we got there at 3:30 and were 20 people back in line already.  It was well worth the wait!!  Giacamo's was AMAZING!!! Hands down, best Italian food I have ever had.  It was a Perfect meal.  

After leaving Giacamo's stuffed to the brim with homemade pasta and a bottle of wine, we went by a Bakery called Modern Pastry. We learned about it after seeing it on the Food Network. We got some sweets and definitely satisfied our sweet tooth, for the month... they were all incredible!

red velvet cupcake, eclair, woopie pie, butter cookies, strawberry shortcake, sfogliatella,  and a lobster tail.

We did not eat all of this, just delicious and delectable little bites of them.

When we got back from Boston, we were invited to a pumpkin carving party and were asked to bring a dessert or an appetizer.  So what do you get when you cross a dessert with and appetizer?  Candied Bacon, it's sweet and savory. The first time I had this was at a rehearsal dinner, as an appetizer, UNFORGETTABLE!

This was super easy and incredibly addictive.  Here is what you will need:

Brown Sugar (1/2 Cup)
Maple Syrup (a couple to Tablespoons)
I also ended up adding some black pepper.  

Preheat oven to 425.
Cut your bacon in half, it will be easier to eat and cook.  
Put bacon in a large ziplock baggie.   Pour in maple syrup and toss bag to coat all bacon.  Pour in brown sugar and toss to coat again.  

Put in cookie sheet and bake 10 minutes. Take out and drain cookie sheet of bacon grease.  Put back in oven until desired crunchiness. :)

Let cool and enjoy!

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