Pretty Things

yogurt + rhubarb

Rhubarb Panna Cotta

No. 9 Park, Boston, MA. Why go to that Barbara Lynch restaurant when you (and by you, I don’t mean me—unless I start a collection fund) can experience the tasting menu at newer, more daring Menton? But I assure you this old special-occasion standby is still turning out perfectly executed plates. Although the food is inspired by classics, each dish is still inventive—its fresh flavors shocking in their clarity. Each bite somehow manages to be simultaneously delicate and packed with flavor.

honey-cardamom2

One of my favorite recipes on this blog is last year’s Honey-Cardamom Panna Cotta with Roasted Rhubarb. The tangy, fragrant yogurt panna cotta is a beautiful bed for tart, almost floral roasted rhubarb, a condiment I make and use until those long, ruby-pink stalks disappear.

Great minds think alike, methinks. OK, I know, I know. I should never utter my name in the same sentence as No. 9 Park’s Pastry Chef, who was nominated in 2012 for Food and Wine’s “Best New Pastry Chef.” So I guess the real point is simply that yogurt panna cotta and rhubarb taste damn good together. Jamie’s version:

Panna Cotta
squares of goat’s milk yogurt panna cotta set in agave syrup, accompanied by rhubarb sorbet, dehydrated goat’s milk tuile, lilac angel food cake, diced rhubarb, rhubarb gelée, candied lilac petals.

And because the plates were so damn pretty, there are some others below.

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Power Lunching

sportello


Fort Point is now home to some lunchtime giants. I know first hand that a swooping line of hungry nine to fivers occupies Flour without end from 11-3. Their patience comes from visions of tender lamb sandwiched with spunky-sweet chutney, a palm-sized oreo cookie, and a seltzer to wash it all down. The queue at Channel Café is similarly long and proof that Fort Pointers just don’t pack lunches. Why would they? For those looking for a real power hour, though, Sportello is sit-down chic with its lunch counter style and all. It’s mod and clean, almost stark in its whiteness, but somehow the space also proves warm and charming with its friendly (and very “Boston”) servers, place mat menus and casual, up-close and personal open kitchen. Sure, there’s a “takeout” bakery in the same space, but if you have the time, the counter experience makes the meal.

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