Sunday, April 6, 2014

Soon Spoon Popup Event with PHaDe Food Labs

           Soon Spoon is a  startup that just launched in Boston, making it easier to score last minute reservations at hard to get into restaurants including Menton, Uni, Journeyman, l’Espalier, Puritan & Co, Bergamot, Bogie’s Place, 51 Lincoln, Beacon Hill Bistro, Casa B, Clio, East by Northeast, Farmstead Table, Stir, Tupelo, and Waban Kitchen. To use the service, diners can follow them on twitter, receive email notifications, or simply check the website for the evenings list of available reservations (which come primarily from cancellations). Soon Spoon isn't an Open Table replacement, but an added tool to search for last minute openings - functionality that Open Table doesn't offer. The service is free to diners, and the rewards program offers additional perks including complimentary products such as cheese or wine, and monthly popup dinners for the most active users.

          I recently attended one of these popups, hosted at Eli's gorgeous apartment in the South End. The food was prepared by PHaDe Food Labs, with wine pairings by Jonathan Fenelon of Clio restaurant. PHaDe Food Labs is a company started by two PHD students who share a love of science and food. They wanted to combine their interests, so they created PHade - a scientific approach to cooking. The evening started with some sparkling wine and passed hors d'ouvres, and then we headed upstairs for a sit down, multi-course dinner. 

Fava Bean Puree with pickled ramps
Arugula salad with beets, goat cheese, and pecans. 
Sea and Sand: bay scallop in squid ink agnolotti with uni butter
Maccheroni alla chitarra, lamb ragu, egg yolk, and cacao
Beef tenderloin cooked sous vide with coffee, asparagus, blue cheese, and garlic

Caramelized banana "creme brulee", miso chocolate, and "shroom bread"
          Everything was amazing, and what was most impressive was that the Chefs from Phade prepared everything in house, using ingredients they'd purchased from Whole Foods. The meal was definitely on par with many I've had at high end restaurants. Though I enjoyed all of the courses, my favorite was the banana which was caramelized to the point it had a texture like creme brulee. The shortbread infused with mushrooms added an interesting savory contrast.

          I plan to start using Soon Spoon because I love the concept, and I'd love to be invited back for another dinner!

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