Eating for Monkeys

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IMG_2299This past weekend, I was lucky enough to represent my job at a benefit for Helping Hands, a wonderful organization that pairs the paralyzed with a Capuchin monkey to help them with tasks and provide companionship throughout their lives.

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The cause is incredible, and I really wish the monkeys could have been there (although we were given stuffed ones at the end).  There was a lot of great food, awesome people, and music to keep the night alive. The space itself looked beautiful:

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I definitely strutted around the room looking for the best food I could find at the event, and I found it.

Firstly, we served an awesome shrimp ceviche with a homemade chip. It was light but had some healthy heat, and people were coming back for seconds and thirds at our table.

and the dish was bright and beautiful

and the dish was bright and beautiful

There were some other delicious ceviches out there as well, like the one from Trade with harissa, lime, and dukkah, which is kinds of like a spice and nit mixture from the Middle East. It added a nice crunch and the fish couldn’t be fresher.

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Zocalo’s ceviche was also really nice, with mango and cilantro, which made it very refreshing and a good reminder of my days trying traditional ceviche in Peru.

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I really liked the red wine poached pear from Cinquecento, although the crostini was a little hard.  The pairing with the blue cheese was perfect, however and I’m pretty sure I came back for seconds.

IMG_2278There was a ricotta bruschetta from L’Andana topped with figs, which I’m really into right now (along with a lot of other chefs, looks like). The cheese was creamy while the fig was perfectly sweet.

and very pretty

and very pretty

There was an excellent  tuna tartare from Sorellina, which is one of my favorite spots I can’t afford in Boston (except for restaurant week of course). Another great seafood dish.  I was pleasantly surprised how much seafood there was, and how expertly prepared it all was (thank god).

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The sliders from Moo… were also wonderful, the meat cooked beautifully, and lots of caramelized onions played off the meat really nicely.

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Beyond all that wonderful food, I had some real favorites, dishes I fell in love with and I’m still thinking about. Firstly, the duck confit risotto topped with shaved truffles from another favorite spot that I can’t really afford but I dream about, Mistral.  Before even trying it, I knew I would love it because it includes duck and truffles, which are some of my favorite things.  I was not disappointed.  It was rich and luscious and felt like a meal instead of a small preparation.

I died with happiness.

I died with happiness.

Finally, to tie it all up, I had the vanilla panna cotta from Teatro.  It was SO creamy and had so many fresh vanilla beans (the black specs in vanilla ice cream are a great sign). It was topped with candied nuts and a salted caramel.  Now, since I’m not the biggest fan of chocolate, this was a great dessert for me.  I had two, and I’m not ashamed.

I should have had more.

I should have had more.

This was a great event, guys.  Lots of wonderful food and great people, all for an unique and wonderful cause.  It was a great way to spend a Saturday, even if I was technically working. It didn’t feel like work.  I wish every Saturday could be this fun.

-L

 

 

 

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