Thursday, May 16, 2013

Mystery Meet Dinner at Temple Bar

On Tuesday evening, I hosted Boston's 20th Mystery Meet Dinner at Temple Bar in Porter Square.

I've always been a big fan of Temple Bar (and their patio). Although Temple Bar is not a "vegetarian restaurant," I've always found them to make delicious vegetarian-friendly food (and cocktails).

The price of your Mystery Meet Dinner ticket covers your meal, tax, and gratuity - the only thing you have to pay for separately are drinks, if desired. Never one to pass up a drink, I enjoyed a Pretty Things Baby Tree (or two) over the course of the evening. 

Our meal started with two "on the house" Vegetarian Boards, which consisted of Parmesan-crusted amaranth cakes, romesco, white bean salad, spicy eggplant caviar, pickled mushrooms, and pita chips.

I sampled a little bit of everything on the board, and each element was well-flavored. It was like a charcuterie board for vegetarians - very creative!

While we all enjoyed our drinks and first appetizer, the group mingled. Over the course of the night, there were a lot of laughs, stories shared, and talks about trips to Iceland (several people at the table have trips to Iceland planned - what are the odds of that?). 

A short time passed before we were served our salad course: the Spring Vegetable Salad.

Made with English peas, baby turnips, chickpeas, asparagus, carrots, tomatoes, pea greens, frisse, and Thai basil, served with a carrot-rosemary puree and fig vinaigrette, there was a lot going on in this salad. Somehow, though, it all worked. I loved all of the fresh, seasonal flavors in this dish.

For our entree, we were served the Panko-crusted Lentil Cake

The heavily spiced cake was served with cumin-spiced carrots, sesame-seeded spinach, harissa yogurt, and lemon-tahini sauce. Again, everything worked well together in this dish, and many diners (myself included) appreciated how satiating the protein-packed lentil cake was.

Although it is pretty standard to have at least three courses at a Mystery Meet Dinner, we unfortunately were not served a third course by Temple Bar (the Vegetable Board was complimentary, and wasn't included in the ticket price). Dessert was not included to help make the ticket price more affordable, but I could tell that some of my fellow diners were disappointed that some kind of third course wasn't prepared, especially considering Temple's typical Vegetarian Tasting menu includes three courses, at a lower price.

Thankfully, though, the great conversation, good drinks, and tasty food helped to make this night a successful one. Mystery Meet Dinners provide a great way to meet new people, try different restaurants (they never go to the same restaurant twice), and just enjoy a fun evening out. 

Thanks again to Mystery Meet for giving me the opportunity to host this dinner!

Have you ever been to a Mystery Meet Dinner before?

Temple Bar on Urbanspoon

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