Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Six Courses At Brasserie JO

We were recently feted like French Kings at a six course feast at Brasserie JO at The Colonnade in Boston, complete with wine pairings. Our hosts could not have been more gracious for this very special evening and meal that began with passed plates of appetizers including Croque Monsieur, Chicken With Honey and Peanut Butter and Jam Biscuit, which was my favorite.

Upon arrival, we were invited to sample some of the new Autumn Martini Recipes. This is the Cranberry Cobbler. I enjoyed the Spiced Apple Cider. Other mixes included a Pumpkin Pie and Vanilla Carrot renditions.

TBF (it was a windy night) with David Colella, V. P., and Managing Director of The Colonnade and Chairman of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association. I had spoken on a panel on Social Media at the annual M.R.A. Summit last year. We had a very interesting conversation about the power of Social Media in the food and hospitality industries and casino gambling in Massachusetts, which the organization is against.

We began with an Amuse Bouche of Pressed Lamb with Housemade Relish and a very dramatic presentation. Nice start.

Not only did Executive Chef Nicholas Calias visit each table to introduce and talk about every dish but Sommelier David Cicciarella also introduced each wine. Very nice, personal touch.

Our First Course was Pan Seared Diver Scallop with Vanilla Beurre Monté, Butternut Squash and Confit Fennel. I loved the vanilla undertones. That was new to me. Wine Pairing: Francois Villard Viogner.

A Frisee Salad was our Second Course with Poached Quail Egg, Brioche and Banyuls Glazed Lardon. Any salad that includes a poached quail egg and those amazingly rich lardons hits all the chords. I loved this dish. Wine Pairing: Louis Boillot Cremant de Bourgogne Rose.

Our Third Course: Sablefish with Saffron Fumet, Mussels and Pommes Boulangére. Wine pairing: Domaine Ferret Pouilly-Fuisse. Great dish and great French pairing.

Fourth Course: Beef Tenderloin En Croute included Wild Mushroom, Parsnip, Fondant Potato, Mustard Greens and Thyme Jus. This is a difficult dish to carry off. The crust on the tenderloin is usually gummy. I wish they could find a way to make it crispier. Wine pairing: Chateau Greysac.

The Cheese Course included Pear, Bleu d'Auvergne Pot de Créme and Tomato Marmalade. According to Chef, those tiny pear balls took hours to prepare. The Pot de Créme was excellent. Wine Pairing: Pierre Sparr Riesling. Very nice choice here.

Detail of the Tomato Marmalade.

Dessert was Carmelized Pumpkin Tart, Salted Caramel Ice Cream and Almond Brittle. Flaky, creamy, sweet and a touch of salt. The wine pairing was especially nice here, Redwood Orange Muscat.

This often-overlooked destination for French cuisine reminded us that their fresh, new takes on dishes deserve a fresh visit. We'll definitely be back.

Brasserie JO
120 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02116
Telephone: 617.425.3251

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