Saturday, March 28, 2015

Dinner Lab

          Have you heard about the cool new dining club that just launched in Boston? Dinner Lab feels like a secret society for food lovers in the know... you sign up for an annual membership, which gets you access to their event list. Events are hosted by up and coming chefs, and are held pop up style in secret warehouse and gallery spaces (you find out the location a day or two in advance). Event tickets are generally $50-$95 per person, and include a multi-course meal, beer, wine, and signature cocktails, and all tax and gratuity.

          I had the chance to try on of their recent events, From Sand and Sea with Private Chef Geoff Lukas (formerly of Oleana and Sofra in Cambridge). The event was in a really cool gallery space in Fort Point, with several long tables set up family style and a couple of seatings throughout the evening. Everything was delicious and I was impressed by the creativity of the dishes, as well as the very generous portion sizes. 

          The first course was the Malauch, a runny egg with pan fried bread and spicy tomato matbucha. This was my favorite dish of the evening, the bread was perfect dipped in the egg and tomato sauce.

          Next was the Hamour mahshi; baked sea bream with pinenut stuffing, wilted greens, and preserved lemon. The fish was light and flaky, and the lemon and greens an excellent pairing.  

          The third course was the Yemenite Soup with chicken thigh, fermented lime hilbeh, and confit potato. This was a great take on a classic chicken soup, it was rich and hearty like a traditional homemade soup, with some more unusual eastern flavors which added depth.

          The smoked & braised lamb shoulder was another favorite. The lamb was incredibly tender and flavorful, and served with jeweled rice, roasted brussels sprouts, spiced lamb jus, and pomegranate molasses.

           The Rutab mu'assal for dessert was amazing; this consisted of a honey-stewed date and almond with semolina pudding. It was light and not too sweet, which was perfect after the meal we'd just had.

          After dinner, Chef Lukas spoke briefly about the meal and answered questions from the diners. It was great to see how passionate and excited he was about his food.

          Membership to Dinner Lab is $175 per year, and gives you access to all of these exclusive events. For more information or to join visit their website.

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