Let me just start my saying this is the most overdue post in the history of the world (<–fact). A few months ago, Jacki and I did a dinner with Chef Brian Poe of The Rattlesnake. His fusion of non-traditional ingredients into Mexican food is right up our alley, so we decided to join forces for one night and create a special dinner party for our friends with a menu that fused his culinary craziness with our undying love for cheese. Our friend Sonya took care of all the photos during the planning session and event itself, and ended up taking over 500. So, going through them was a somewhat daunting task that (sadly) kept getting put on the back burner, which is why I am writing about this fabulous dinner that took place in November in February.
Without further adieu…a recap of the Just Add Poe Dinner Party. (Facebook photo album here)
When we got together for menu planning Poe showed us the upstairs event space and gave us a thorough rundown of the current menu. We also got to check out his private stash of hot chili peppers, which could probably take down a small army.
After many emails back and forth, and more than a few beers, we came up with the final version of the menu which included 8 total dishes! Very ambitious for a Tuesday, but we just couldn’t choose between them.
We did the dinner on the second floor of the Rattlesnake, a retro looking space that has a great view of Boylston. It’s perfect for private events because it has its own bar and kitchen. When guest started to arrive the bartender had a couple carafes of jalapeño sangria waiting for us.
Apparently Jacki and I had forgotten to talk about what we were wearing that night, and both showed up in white lace outfits…normal.
As the guests started to arrive, we began assembling the quail tacos…
Swiss chard >> quail >> pumpkin jalapeño salsa >> reduced cranberry sauce
The taco was one of the highlights of the meal. The fall ingredients were a great compliment to the quail and the cranberry sauce added a bright tangy element.
Next up: Tuna tartare in a soy chive vinaigrette with pickled ginger, wasabi sorbet and a seaweed crouton.
We took an Asian approach to tuna tartare and the sorbet added a surprising icy texture
The apple carpaccio had a lot going on: great hill bleu cheese, baby arugula, champagne vinaigrette, warm cinnamon-sugar cashew dust and fried prosciutto.
It was beautiful.
The chanterelle mushroom and foie gras quesadilla was another favorite. We cooked the chanterelles in foie gras fat, so they were rich and full of flavor.
The basic cheese quesadilla was soaked with the juice from the chanterelles. Sometimes I don’t understand what everyone’s obsession with foie gras is all about, but this made me rethink my stance on it. Maybe I just like it better jumbled in with other ingredients?
The first thing we saw when we got into the kitchen was this tray of pork belly which had spent the better part of the day rendering. We love Poe because he was giggling when he showed this to us. There were no words, only bacon.
Green chile braised pork belly with tomato confit wild boar bacon bits and cojita cheese.
Inspired by Hell Night at East Coast Grill, we did a roulette ghost chili round where we served little dishes of the pumpkin salsa from the quail tacos and spiked two of them with ghost chili sauce. We chose Bianca as our ghost chili victim, but she didn’t even flinch when she ate it! Apparently she grew up with ghost chilis in her back yard, and is way more accustomed to spice than most humans.
And finally, dessert: plantain churros with cinnamon ice cream and taza chocolate cappucino sauce.
The Rattlesnake was the perfect venue for our dinner party.
Brian Poe, THANK YOU for such a fabulous evening. We had a blast and are so happy we got the chance to do this with you!
Thank you to the Rattlesnake staff for being unbelievably hospitable!
Also thank you to all of our guests: Erika, Lucy, Dan, Justin, Daisy, Bianca, and Emily. We knew you guys would appriciate this type of ridiculous food and we were so thrilled you were able to come out!
Finally, thank you Sonya for going HAM with photos — they are beautiful!