Last night I attended the first Boston Mystery Meet. I didn't know very much about Mystery Meet, but I stumbled across it one day when I noticed I was getting some blog traffic from MysteryMeet.org. I feared my blog had somehow ended up on some Internet dating site and went to investigate. Turns out that Mystery Meet is not an online dating site but is something more like an online dining site. Mystery Meet gets foodies together at a different restaurant each month, but the particular restaurant is kept a secret until the event draws near (hence the mystery).
As soon as I discovered that this first Mystery Meet would be held at Ten Tables in Cambridge (and found out that some of my blogger friends were also going), I signed up for the dinner: a $40 four-course tasting menu.
Yesterday evening, I left our house, umbrella in hand, about an hour before the dinner was to start and strolled down to Harvard Square. My plan was to wander the streets nearby the restaurant to get a little fresh air before dinner. (I don't get enough time outdoors these days.) Well, that plan was soon foiled when the threat of rain became a reality, and I picked up the pace a bit and searched more earnestly for Ten Tables. Don't take the word searched lightly. Ten Tables is tucked down a little side street and is not the easiest place to find. Luckily, there's a rather large sign out front that you can see once you get close enough to it.
I thought the entranceway was quaint and inviting, so I snapped a quick picture of it in the rain before ducking inside.
As soon as I got into the restaurant, I found Meghan and met Kristen and began chatting with them while we waited for the others to arrive.
The restaurant is so tiny that it doesn't take long to take it all in. Its size is definitely part of its charm. I loved the wine rack, the shelf full of cookbooks, and the chalkboard with the dessert specials written on it. I wish I could show you pictures of everything, but it was just too dimly lit in there.
Soon Michelle and her fiance, Rachel, Justin, and some other "Mystery Meeters" showed up, and we all caught up and mingled while we waited to be seated.
And then the dinner began...
Prosciutto Americano with asparagus, fava beans, shaved pecorino,
walnuts and black truffle vinaigrette
Pan-roasted cod with cucumber gazpacho and stuffed zucchini blossom
Berkshire pork chop served over creamed corn (from Ward's Farm)
Strawberry coulis with buttermilk sorbet (the palate cleanser)
Chocolate terrine with sea salt and Thai basil ice cream
(Look at that perfect quenelle!)
Greek yogurt panna cotta with strawberries and candied pistachios
Every dish was clearly prepared with a lot of thought and consideration for flavor combinations. I enjoyed every bite. I am a huge fan of truffle oil and loved the inclusion of it in our first course. I relished the cucumber gazpacho served with the cod -- it was just so light and fresh. The Berkshire pork chop was cooked perfectly. I'm always afraid to order pork chops because they can be awfully dry and tough. This pork was incredibly tender and juicy, and the local corn underneath was so sweet. That little shooter of strawberry coulis and buttermilk sorbet was refreshing and might have been my favorite part of the meal if that chocolate terrine hadn't followed it. The chocolate terrine with its sprinkling of sea salt and fragrant basil was phenomenal. I shared the terrine with Kristen and tried some of her Greek yogurt panna cotta, which was really lovely both in texture and flavor.
Not only was all of the food well prepared and incredibly delicious, but it was also carefully selected. Ten Tables aims to be a neighborhood spot both by creating an inviting, cozy environment and by using local ingredients.
"Our menu isn't based upon whim; it's built with deference to seasonal rhythms of what's locally fresh and available, wild and organic, and consistent with our commitment to the highest of quality standards." - Ten Tables
I had a wonderful time and would definitely return to Ten Tables, and I'm looking forward to the next Mystery Meet dinner! Thank you to Ten Tables for having us and thank you to Seth at Mystery Meet for organizing this event!