5 Courses of Tomatoes and Wine at Bistro 5

It's always the a of a good night when you sit down to a table full of amazingly talented food bloggers, in a location that feels so warm and welcoming you kind of want to stay for hours and loudly laugh at jokes, smile so much your cheeks hurt and sip wine so smooth you're not even sure you actually drank it, but the flavors just so nice, you know you have.

Bistro 5, out in Medford (insert obligatory audible Boston pronunciation of Medford) is tucked away on a side street, directly across from the commuter rail (in case you are like me and lack a set a wheels).  After you are welcomed in and your coat is given, the narrow hallway opens up to a variety of rooms that seem to snake around and all with lots of action.  There's the dining room which is packed with a bustling crowd of happy diners, a small bar in the far right and an exposed kitchen to the left, followed by smaller private rooms for tastings and private functions.  The constant theme typing everything together is that of the Italian theater, with vividly playful art on the walls and dramatic candles on the walls and curtains trapezing their way across the ceiling, creating a canopy. Which makes sense to have a theater theme, because after all, isn't that what cooking is all about?  Entertaining and putting on a show to please others?

Last night I was fortunate enough to receive an invite to attend a tomato tasting dinner at Bistro 5 and because I make it a personal rule never to miss anything involving a tomato, I was there with a giddy look on my face and ready to eat.  And eat we did.  It was course after course of unique and creative dishes all featuring the star of the show, the tomato.

The first course started with a serving of creamy tomato lobster bisque.  Served at a perfect couple notches above room temperature, the bisque was complimented by a raft of floating brioche bread and was accentuated by a pile of saffron bubbles that really brought this dish to life.  It was served with a refreshing glass of crisp white wine (2009 Domaine Felines Jourdan, Picpoul de Pinet, Languedoc).

Bistro 5, Lobster Tomato Bisque with Lemon Basil and Saffron Bubbles 
Next up was a teasing little sample (I could have eaten a baker's dozen of these) fried green tomatoes with a dollop of fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese balanced on top of the crispy tomato.  The dish was finished with shreds of purple basil and also paired with white (2008 Larochette Manciat, Macon Les Morizovittes) that when sniffed, opened up a world of florally scents.

Bisto 5: Fried Green Tomatoes with Buffalo Mozzarella and Purple Basil
For the third course, we were presented with an heirloom tomato risotto that was served with creamy Spanish goat cheese and a wedge of salty fried prosciutto rising above.  The combination of the crisp saltiness was a perfect match for the creamy risotto.  This dish was paired with a rose wine (2008 Lancon, Domaine de la Solitude, Cote du Rhone Rose) that yielded a perfect slightly sweet (but certainly not too sweet) and really cut through the rich risotto.

Bistro 5: Heirloom Tomato Risotto with Spanish Goat Cheese
Next we were presented with what I still consider to be one of the creative and imaginative dishes I've seen in a while.  This one was certainly a crowd pleasure (audible moans could be heard round the table).  In this dish, duck confit was held captive inside a flaky crust and resting on top of cubes of roasted sweet and sour Kuri squash.  Sitting next the duck was a small shallow dish of smoked tomato brulee (think creme brulee but with smoke twinged tomatoes and a salty crunchy exterior.)  Packing a punch of deep flavors, it was out of this world good.  It was paired with an amazingly accommodating red wine (2008 Vigneti Zabu 'Il Passo, Nero d'Avola Blend, Sicily).

Bistro 5: Duck Confit Strudel
Bistro 5: Smoked Tomato Brulee
And finally, we were presented with a savory-sweet dessert of tomato Napoleon with a tart cinnamon basil gelato.  I'm not usually one to turn to the super sweets so this dessert was totally right up my alley!  All of the flavors were stacked up and layered by a thin, light and flaky pasty.  It was served with a sweet Moscato dessert wine (2009 Sarocco, Moscato D'Asti)

Bistro 5: Tomato Napoleon, Cinnamon Basil Yogurt Gelato, Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise
I then finished up my meal with a decaf cappuccino that was warm and with with frothy cinnamon goodness.  It was the perfect ending to a fantastic evening.

Special thanks to the team at Bistro 5 for hosting such a delicious event!

In case you haven't seen it, you can read my blog disclaimer HERE.

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Boston Food Diary said...

Yuuuummmmmm!!! It all looks delicious!!! So sorry I missed out, but so glad you had such an amazing meal!

Lauren said...

I couldn't make it to the event... but it looks like all of the food was amazing!

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

Katie, what a beautiful recap of the event and your photos look gorgeous! I had such a great time and sorry we couldn't chat more!

Daisy said...

Oh I heard about this dinner!! I wish i could have been invited but instead I am happy to live vicariously through your awesome recap and pictures. all of it sounds amazing!

C said...

Their heirloom tomato tasting menu runs for the rest of the month. I went to one last year and I've been waiting all year for it to happen again :D

Megan said...

Beautiful recap and beautiful pictures. So glad we got to see each other there!

Zach said...

Vittorio is a true artist!!!

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