Last week I attended The Taste of Columbus Hospitality Group at Mistral. The event showcased the restaurants in the Columbus Hospitality Group, which include Mistral, as well as L'Andana, Mooo...., Sorellina, and Teatro. I'd already been to Mistral, L'Andana, and Sorellina and looked forward to trying bites from those restaurants as well as the two I haven't yet been to.
I arrived at Mistral early and joined Lin and Meghan for a cocktail at the bar. I had a paloma blanca, which combined tequila, grapefruit juice, and some other things and was incredibly refreshing and bright. I'm definitely on a grapefruit drink kick right now.
Once it was time for the event, we were led to a back room that was set up with tables around the perimeter manned by representatives from each restaurant and displaying food for us to try.
Sorellina, which is located in Copley Square and known for its modern Italian-Mediterranean cuisine, had little shooters of zuppa: chilled pea soup with lemon ricotta cream and chive blossoms. The soup was very spring-appropriate with fresh green pea flavor, and each shooter even had a generous amount of green peas in it.
There were tortilla chips from Tortilleria La Niña, the newest venture from chef/owner Jamie Mammano. According to Boston. com, Mammano opened the tortilleria in Chelsea after a visit to Mexico. His wife was disappointed about not being able to find good tortillas in the Boston area, so Mammano focused on making good corn tortillas. He eventually closed the Chelsea location and started a wholesale operation in Everett. He now sells the tortillas to other restaurants and hopes to sell them to retail outlets soon too.
Teatro is located in the theater district and, like Sorellina, offers a contemporary approach to Italian dishes. I sampled the hand-crafted fig and prosciutto sausage in spicy tomato brodo with shishito pepper. I seriously could have eaten a whole bowl of this. The brodo and sausage were both so flavorful. I still haven't been to Teatro and this dish has me convinced I need to get there soon.
Mooo...., the steakhouse in the mix, is located in Beacon Hill and offers modern takes on classic steakhouse dishes. To get a taste of Mooo...., we tried beef sirloin sliders with Mooo.... sauce and caramelized onions on homemade rolls. The rolls were wonderful and I loved the sweet caramelized onions and obviously the sirloin.
L'Andana is actually in Burlington, and I ended up there once after a tasting for our wedding, which was held nearby. We met a couple of our friends there and shared appetizers and drinks in the bar area. The website bills the restaurant as city dining in the suburbs, and based on our experience, I think that description is accurate. At this event L'Andana had swordfish skewers with wood-roasted peppers, onions, and cured tomatoes. These were presented on grills, and the swordfish was perfectly cooked.
Mistral, located in the South End and serving uncomplicated French cuisine, was offering some of my favorite selections from the restaurant. The beef tenderloin, mashed potato, and truffle oil pizza is incredible. It blew me away the first time I had it, and I was excited to see it again. I'm not even going to admit to how many slices I had. Another thin crust pizza on offer was the simple but delicious tomato, mozzarella, and oregano. There was also the white cheese, whipped ricotta, hot pepper, sea salt, and arugula pizza, which I didn't end up trying because the hot peppers scared me a little, and let's be honest, I was too busy eating the beef tenderloin pizza.
The show-stealer of the night was, of course, Mistral's tuna tartare. It's pretty much legendary, and if you haven't tried it, you must. The sushi grade tuna was displayed in mini martini glasses, sitting in a pool of ginger and soy and topped with crispy wontons. It's just so flavorful and fresh -- a must order when you dine at Mistral (just like the beef tenderloin pizza).
The Taste of Columbus Hospitality Group was a wonderful opportunity to try some bites from restaurants I haven't been to (and now want to check out more than ever) and to enjoy some old favorites. Jamie Mammano clearly knows what he's doing, as is evident in all the amazing food from his restaurants.
On Wednesday, May 1, a portion of the proceeds from all five of the Columbus Hospitality Group restaurants (L'Andana, Mistral, Mooo...., Sorellina, and Teatro) will be donated to The One Fund Boston, so that would be a great time to check out one of these restaurants. And if you can't go on Wednesday, you can buy a gift certificate for future use, the purchase of which will also go to The One Fund.
Have you been to any of the Columbus Hospitality Group restaurants?
This event was complimentary (I only paid for my initial cocktail at the bar), but as always, my opinions are my own.