Vegetarian dinner with wine pairing
Hearts of palm salad at Bistro Europa
As a food editor, I receive several dozen notices regarding special wine dinners and multi-course offerings every year. Honestly, most of them are uninteresting, but a few times a year something really unique or special comes my way and I can't resist the urge to spread the word.
Last fall, Spree.com readers may remember that we blogged about a truffle-themed dinner, hosted by the trailblazing Bistro Europa with a guest appearance from Sea Bar's Mike Andrzejewski. For that meal, thousands of dollars worth of fresh truffles were flown in from Italy, and diners enjoyed course after decadent course of dizzingly aromatic creations. You can watch a slideshow of the menu here.
Today I am happy to tell you about another fabulous meal, also hosted by Bistro Europa, and taking place on Monday, June 27. Dubbed the Plant Hater Dinner, vegetarians and vegetable lovers should take notice. This meal is designed to please true veg-heads (not pescetarians, who eat fish, but in this case, true vegetarians who really don't eat anything that has ever taken a breath or had a mother). This segment of the population, like vegans, often feel neglected by fine dining restaurants. How many plates of pasta prima vera can one person really eat in a lifetime? But few restaurants in town have an ongoing love affair with vegetables in any form, so perhaps you can't blame them.
Chef Steven Gedra, who has sought out the freshest produce from local farmers since the day he bought Europa in January of 2010, has been cooking up vegetable madness (with a hefty side of heritage breed pork and fresh-from-Boston seafood) at his popular and tiny 28-seat restaurant ever since. If you are looking for further proof of Europa's vegetable super powers, examination of their website—or our May restaurant review (by Spree writer Julia Burke)—may convince you of their skill. The regular and specials menu is meat-centric, but you'll also spot moments of veggie grandeur, such as this week's side dishes and accoutrements, which include pickled garlic scapes, celery root remoulade, lettuce puree, and watermelon gazpacho, to name a few.
The Plant Hater Dinner (named after a quote by funny man A. Whitney Brown) menu is below. It is approachable and exciting, with homey touches like "potato chip" noodles or bread pudding. The meal will begin at 7p.m., attendance is highly recommended, reservations are required.
Compressed watermelon, tomato caviar, Thai basil, 20 year balsamic
Potato geleé, leek pureé, truffle, chive flower
Minestrone terrine/ basil and “olive” oils
“1 + 1 =3″ Brut Cava
Potato chip noodles/ Oles Farm asparagus, preserved lemon, basil, zucchini flowers, pine nuts, house-made ricotta
Fava trio- budino, alla Nonna, and shucked with orange vinaigrette, Pecorino and saba
Selbach “Incline” Riesling
Intermezzo of macerated strawberries, sansho, celery sorbet, celery leaves
White gazpacho/ Marcona almonds, garlic, bread, grapes, spring water, Spanish EVOO
Leek and green garlic bread pudding
Pares Balta Mas Petit ’08
Dark chocolate toast, caramelized citrus, Spanish EVOO, Sea Salt
Broadbent Madeira 5 year