Remember when I wrote this? Eh. Probably not.
Well, I stand corrected on it. A tad, if not completely. OK, I’ll get there. Keep reading.
Every once in a while, something sneaks up on you and messes with something you knew you were absolutely right about. Maybe it’s J. Lo getting weirdly beautiful post-40 after you long ago decided she was a mall-rat-wannabe has-been. Or maybe it’s just a Robert Frost poem, which struck you as a lovely ode to how delightful nature can be, but is actually about, you know, keeling over dead. Or maybe only slightly less dramatically, it’s a plate of food that catches you completely by surprise.
I showed up at the bar of just-opened Forum with expectations of nothing other than getting a solid drink. (This was, after all, the new incarnation of Vox Populi. Which is all I’ll say about that.) And while they may still be working out a few kinks delivery-wise,the program is indeed already cocktails-solid. Incredible, flavor-sharp martinis. Beautiful, citrusy gimlets. After one of each, to make sure I got home alive, I also wolfed down an order of raviolo.
That’s not a typo. Ravioli’s a bunch. E replaced by O means you get one lone, gleaming pasta dome. It’s three bites at most, but who cares? In those three forkfuls, worlds intermingle. Because inside that pastry is an egg, meticulously poached during the cooking process of the pasta, so its yolk flows as soon as a fork splits it. Bacon shards and shingles of black truffle are scattered about it, and ricotta turns it into a something more like a savory dessert.
But really, it’s all about that damn egg. To which I, having thrown down my gauntlet strongly in the anti-egg-topper camp, must now admit that there’s just something ridiculously cool about having an egg ooze out at you surreptitiously, meaning from inside a dish as opposed to from its top. Maybe it’s the element of surprise a hidden treat imparts (though from a culinary standpoint that makes zero sense). Maybe it’s respect for novelty in the cooking process that demands. Mostly though, I’m guessing it’s that this dish just simply works, thanks to the strength of the bacon’s flavor, richness of the ricotta, and the texture of the pasta’s delicacy—all of which don’t just stand up to, but actually kind of demand the egg. Yes, yes, even if it were on top.
That just about justifies my 180, then, right? Good. Now I can go order another and still sleep tonight.
Raviolo, $16, Forum, 755 Boylston St., 857-991-1831, http://forumboston.com.
Boston has always been a city revered for its eats, but it appears it is finally taking a cue from New York City and expanding its offerings when it comes to finer fare. Forum, on 755 Boylston Street, will open its doors to the public July 15th. The Euz Azevedo (of both The Federal and Noche fame) restaurant is being designed by Martin Vahtra (L’espalier, ICA Boston/Water Café), so we can expect a sleek, minimal, and modern atmosphere – a clear reflection of the much-anticipated menu.
The restaurant will have a casual gastropub on the bottom floor, with a considerably more upscale dining area above. Boston food-lovers, does this ring any bells? Nouveau French restaurants Sel de la Terre and L’espalier employ a similar concept. And they were designed by the man now at the helm. Surprise, surprise. To add insult to design doppelganger injury, guests at L’espalier can spy on the Forum guests, and vice versa, as they’re nearly right across the street from one another.
That said, I’m curious to finally compare the actual food (lest we forget that restaurants are, in fact, about dining and not simply design). Jared Chianciola of Eastern Standard will fill the role of executive chef, featuring an “Eclectic American” theme. Sounds tasty, but what I’m most excited for are the cocktails…
Word on the street is beverage manager Alexei Beratis (Towne) will introduce barrel-aged cocktails, which are mixed and subsequently aged in small barrels, enhancing existing flavors with the characteristics of the barrels being used. Not exactly a ‘new’ technique, as you can currently find barrel-aged cocktails at Cambridge’s Temple Bar, among a few others in town, but I’m thrilled at the prospect of chilling out with one of these cocktails after a strenuous day of Newbury Street shopping (window shopping also permitted, natch). Location, location, my friends.
Make reservations for Forum now, or wait a couple weeks and I’ll see you at the end of the bar.
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