Last week a few friends and I attended the fourth installment of Dine Out Boston, which took place at Franklin Cafe in Southie. I’ve been to the Franklin Cafe on Shawmut St. a handful of times but this was my first trip to the one on Dorchester Ave. This week, organizer Jesse Cook decided to do something different with the event. It was the first in a series of Chef Talks and Tastings that DOB will be doing this summer (The second one is happening tonight at Union in the South End).
A group of 15 DOB members got together to meet the new chef of Franklin Southie, Connor Davis, and to try out some of the new dishes to be featured on the Summer Menu over the next few months. But before we could even sit down and look at the menu, we had to grab a cocktail first. This one was a favorite, the Bourbon Belle, made with Four Rose Bourbon, Cinzano Rosso, Mathilde Peches, Angostura Bitters. Smooth and a litlle heavy, but we likey!
First up on the menu was Vichyssoise..the chilled potato soup, which was topped with some minced bacon, paired perfectly with the homemade pommes souffle served on the side. Usually not a fan of cold soup, this one totally changed my mind. The texture was perfect, not to chunky, and the chips were ideal for dipping.
Second course was a Lobster Carpaccio served with jicama, grapefruit and a cilantro sabayon.This dish was really light and refreshing. The Lobster was poached with no added butter. The jicama added crunch and the fruity citrus from the grapefruit was delightful. I will admit the cilantro sabayon overpowered the other flavors a bit, but I still enjoyed the dish. When it was time for the third course, their was an obvious look of excitement on everyone’s face. Pork Belly!!Confit Pork Belly served with Caroline BBQ sauce, watermelon and grits. Not only was this dish aesthetically pleasing (I <3 the color of watermelon) but pairing candied pork belly with watermelon and grits? Genius! And it was as delicious as it looked. The flavors paired perfectly together. I’m pretty sure the general consensus deemed this one the favorite.
Next came the fourth course, which I was almost too full to eat at this point, but…..how can you say no to Roasted Chateau Briand. This dish was served with peas and carrots and came topped with a Porcini demi. Tender, savory, and totally awesome. The carrots and peas were served al dente, which was awesome. I felt like it magically made the comfort classic a little more summery and kept with the overall crunchy theme.
For dessert we had a Rustic Strawberry Rhubarb Tart topped with fresh garden mint ice cream, made from ingredients from Chef Davis’ own garden. Which also happened to be the case with quite a few of the dishes. It was pretty adorable how excited Davis was about each dish he’d created for the event, which naturally made all of us even more excited. There was a lot of thought put into this menu, and every dish seemed to shine on its own while still working together as a whole.
At the end of the meal everyone turned in their own personal comment card with their thoughts on each dish. I’ll admit I sort of trailed off at the end after that last glass of Pinot but if I could describe this meal in three words they’d be…
152 Dorchester Ave.
South Boston, MA
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