Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Taste of Beacon Hill - where everyone knows your name

Last week was basically the "who's who" in Beacon Hill dining - it was the Taste of Beacon Hill!  This year the event was held in the ballroom on the 14th floor of the Omni Parker House.  The ball room was set up with tables set up everywhere with plenty of food stations to go around.  We set off with a plan: up and down both aisles twice, making sure we didn't miss anything.  Here are some of the highlights.

The first stop was Zen Sushi.  I mean, how do you walk by that sushi boat - it has to be the biggest I have ever seen!

That's a sushi boat!
This place is one my favorites for sushi in Boston.  They had some shumai that was delicious, and I will definitely be ordering some the next time I head in. 

Next stop was Toscano for one of my favorites: a Panzanella salad!

Panzanella Salad

While this one did not have as many croutons as I like, the marinated shrimp was a nice addition.  They definitely added a bit more to the salad, which I will use in my next go around.

Our next taste was at 75 Chestnut, another neighborhood favorite.

Quinoa and Shrimp

This was an interesting bite: a piece of shrimp on top of black quinoa.  This was a texturally interesting way to dress up a traditional shrimp appetizer.  This dish seemed to be something really new and different for 75 Chestnut.  The texture of the quinoa is something I really like and am ready to see in more dishes.

Oddly enough, Scollay Square had one of my favorites of the evening.  I generally think of great drinks on the patio and maybe a simple appetizer, but they hit it out of the park here.

Shrimp on risotto pancake
This scollop on a risotto pancake totally changed my view of their food.  The scollop was perfectly cooked and had such a great flavor.  The pancake was tasty and not too greasy - great crunchy outside and a tender inside.  Both of these pieces are fairly difficult to cook with limited supplies, making the dish that much more impressive.  This is apparently on their regular menu, so I'll absolutely be heading there soon!

I was excited to taste Mooo...'s offering, especially since it was a slider. 

Beef Sliders

While this was good, the roll was a little bit overwhelming for the meat inside, which was on the thinner side.  A good "bread-to-meat" ratio is key, but this still had nice flavors.

As we worked our way through all this amazing food, we were treated to some Harpoon beers.


They had their traditional IPA, Belgian White and Summer Ale.  This was my first Summer of the season, and while it may not seem very summer-y out, knowing at least that Harpoon thinks it is helps a bit.

Even the neighborhood grocery store got involved - Savenor's had a sandwich and a dessert.

Elk Wrap and Raspberry Sorbet

Savenor's, where you can buy some of the strangest variety of meats, went a bit gamier than the other restaurants and did an elk wrap sandwich.  Having never had elk before, I was excited to try it.  The meat was good, and similar to steak.  The great part of this dish was the raspberry sorbet that was so light and refreshing.  I will definitely be buying some the next time I stop in.

Another neighborhood staple, The Paramount, was there handing out pulled pork tostadas. 

Pulled Pork Yumminess
The pulled pork was good and the chip supporting it all was still crispy - a feat considering the juices of the pork!

No 9 Park was also there, but I was a bit let down considering the substantial plates others were providing. 

Poached Lobster
There were micro celery bits and a pea foam on the dish as well, however, this all did not mix together well in my opinion.

Ruth's Chris is one the steak houses in Boston I do not normally think of when I am craving a big meat dish, but this plate will make me think twice next time.

Lamb Lollipop
The lamb lollipop and mashed sweet potato were amazing!  The lamb was cooked perfectly and the sweet potato tasted like it had just been cut from a pie - creamy, sweet and delicious.  Had I not been so over-full at this point I would have gone back for seconds.

Seeing as we were at The Omni Parker House, it only was appropriate that we share a piece of the Parker House's famous original Boston Creme Pie. 

Boston Creme Pies
All others are just attempting to be this good.  The cake and the creme were both so light.  I feel like the creme can get a bit heavy on some Boston creme pie, but this was amazing.  It deserves every accolade it's ever achieved!

Dessert #2 was courtesy of Isabelle's Curly Cakes.

With all the lovely mini cupcakes to try I wanted so grab all of the flavors, but being so full at this point, I went for a new (to me) flavor: lemon cake with a raspberry frosting - refreshing and delicious.

This was a great event, and such a fun way to taste so many places and their different cooking styles.  While most places I have explored on my own before, it is always great to see what new things they have in store.  Bring on 2012.


  1. looks like so much fun! I agree Zen has some great sushi. I'm also a big fan of Mooo. and of course The Paramount for brunch. STILL haven't made it to No 9 Park though which is a travesty!

  2. I have not done much dining in Beacon Hill... looks like I need to change that!

  3. Great review of Taste of Beacon Hill! I love some of those restaurants-great to see them come together!


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