It’s kind of like a Japanese omakase menu in that you have to trust the chef to prepare for you what he thinks is best. If you’re a picky eater, the surprise menu might not be to your liking. But for someone like me, who’s completely indecisive, but loves to try new things, it’s a match made in heaven.
Last night I indulged in everything Chef Matthew Sullivan had to offer. Each course was also paired by Sommelier Christopher Sealy with a wine from Coyote’s Run Estate Winery. I left the dinner happy, full and looking forward to the next one!
The menu looked like this:
1st Course: Lobster and Chicken Crackling
2nd Course: Monforte Hallumi and Smelts
3rd Course: Toro, Watermelon and Pork Fat
4th Course: Gazpacho and Lardo
5th Course: Alphaghetti’s 2.0
6th Course: 90 Day Dry Aged Beef and Peaches
7th Course: Cherries and Buffalo Milk
As with most pop up dinners, diners were not informed of the location until the day of the event. Boxed Toronto was hosted last night by BruDa Restaurant, a lovely spot in Little Italy with an open kitchen. This allowed Chef Matt Sullivan to interact with dinners, present each of his plates and answer any questions that might arise.
The open kitchen also meant that guests were often teased by the scent of the next course before it was served. This was especially the case with the 90 day dry aged beef. As soon as it hit the flat top and started to sear, the smell was intoxicating. The beef was the dish that resulted in the most silence from diners after being served. That’s always a good sign. Full and happy mouths do no talking, (I feel like that should be a Chinese proverb or something…).
What stood out for me were the little touches that enhanced each plate. The hallumi, for example, was crusted with a burnt honey that gave a sharp sweet taste at first but then gave way to a salty finish of smelts. The gazpacho was garnished with salty and sweet elements as well, form dehydrated olives, to strawberries and basil, each hitting a different part of the palate.
And what would any dinner be without drinks? Excellent wine pairings and education were courtesy of Sommelier Christopher Sealy. Stand out wines, (all from Coyote’s Run Estate Winery) for me were the 2010 Chardonnay and the 2009 Cabernet Franc.
To get in on the next Boxed Toronto dinner, follow @BoxedToronto on Twitter. It will feature new guests, a new location and a new menu from Chef Matthew Sullivan. And if you can’t find anyone to come with you- I never turn down a dinner invitation!