T.W. Food

Buckwheat GnocchettiT.W. Food is tucked away in West Cambridge, a quiet area of town I don’t venture to enough. It had been high on my list to try for awhile. So, when I won a gift certificate to any Boston area restaurant from the nice people at Tasted Menu recently, I picked T.W. Food.

Matt and I had originally planned on ordering off of the regular menu, but were completely drawn in by the seven-course Grand Tasting option. The cozy atmosphere and wonderful waitstaff probably helped steer us in that direction. They offer both a regular and a vegetarian tasting for $85, with the option of adding wine pairings for an extra $45 a person. We splurged on both, and called it an early birthday celebration for Matt.

To be honest, I was extremely close to ordering the vegetarian option with Matt. The menu looked fantastic! However, he suggested I try the regular menu and just steal bites of his dishes. I got the best of both worlds, and a lot of photos.

AMUSE BOUCHE

Gazpacho

Gazpacho

The shooters of gazpacho were light and refreshing – a perfect way to start our meal and enjoy summer tomatoes while they last.


COURSE ONE

Red Kuri Squash Soup

Red Kuri Squash Soup
chicken mushrooms
,

Matt’s soup was one of our favorite dishes of the night. It was velvety smooth with a hint of curry flavor. The chicken mushrooms had a meaty texture and wonderful earthiness that went well with the sweet, smooth squash.

Heirloom Tomato Soup

Heirloom Tomato Soup
tuna confit, black olive

My soup was good, but felt too similar to the gazpacho they had just brought out. It was loaded with pieces of the tuna confit, which I enjoyed, and the briny olives were a nice contrast to the sweet tomatoes.


COURSE TWO

Foraged Mushroom Salad

Foraged Mushroom Salad
heirloom tomato, pickled daikon radish, pecorino

Matt got even more mushrooms in the next course. The components were simple, but beautifully cooked and presented.

Hogs & Rocks

Hogs & Rocks
moon shoal oyster, pork cracklin, cauliflower

I was happy I hadn’t ordered the vegetarian option when they brought over the oysters. They were served with a crispy pork cracklin and a lightly spicy sauce. Each oyster was the perfect bite.


COURSE THREE

Roasted Zephyr Squash

Roasted Zephyr Squash
horseradish, jimmy nardello pepper, toasted nuts

Matt’s next course was also salad-like. There wasn’t anything particularly wrong with this course, but it wasn’t his favorite.

Creme Brulee Foie Gras

Creme Brulee Foie Gras
summer crudites salad, toast

I was worried that a foie gras course would be too heavy at this point (I was already getting full!) but I couldn’t believe how light the brulee tasted. It was basically a foie gras mousse with a bruleed top. This dish might be worth the trip alone.


COURSE FOUR

Slow Poached Egg

Slow Poached Egg
crispy polenta, chard, eggplant

Their preparation of a slow poached egg is one we’d like to try to replicate at home. It was served with crispy polenta cubes and buttery chard and eggplant. Breaking into the egg provided a perfect sauce for the polenta and vegetables.

Lobster Roe Gnocchetti

Lobster Roe Gnocchetti
maine lobster, summer squash, sweet corn

I was very happy with the lobster roe gnocchetti; they had a perfectly al dente texture that went wonderfully with the tender lobster and sweet, crunchy corn.


COURSE FIVE

Buckwheat Gnocchetti

Buckwheat Gnocchetti
ginger, shiitake mushroom, local seaweed

Matt’s buckwheat gnocchetti had a similar texture as the lobster version, but a nice nutty flavor. The combination of the ginger, seaweed, and mushroom was so unexpected and addicting. This was another one of our favorites of the night.

Veal Trio

Veal Trio
veal scallopini, sweetbreads, boudin blanc sausage

The veal trio was disappointing. It didn’t feel as exciting as the courses we had up until this point, and each preparation of the veal was sort of lacking. The scallopini and sweetbreads were a little soggy, and the sausage was a little tough and dense for my taste.


COURSE SIX

Sorbets

Sorbets
concord grape and mango sorbets, summer fruit, basil seeds

Matt told our waitress that he didn’t need the cheese course that was listed on the menu (he’s not a huge fan of cheese), and she nicely offered to bring him some sorbet instead. It was very refreshing at this point, and the basil seeds gelled together and provided a really interesting texture to go with the sorbets and fresh fruit.

Cheese

Cheese
oma, cow, vermont
manchester, goat, vermont

The cheese course was good, though not very interesting. It also probably didn’t help that I was getting so full by this point!


DESSERT

Scotch and Cigars

Scotch and Cigars
beignets with tobacco ice cream, macallan scotch syrup, valrhona chocolate ganache

Both tasting menus had the same dessert, so we asked if it was possible to get two different desserts. Our waitress was incredibly accommodating and handed us the dessert menu to choose from. We chose the Scotch and Cigars because it sounded so unusual. The beignets were light and crisp, and the ice cream had a little burn at the end from the tobacco (I swear, it was better than it sounds).

Summer Feuilletine

Summer Feuilletine
puff pastry, candied rhubarb, saffron ice cream

We weren’t as big of fans as the dessert that came with the tasting menu. The saffron ice cream was great, but the other components just got kind of mushy.

(I should probably mention that we really liked most of the wines we were served, and the pours were generous! However, I didn’t get a chance to write down the name of each.)

Overall, we had a wonderful time at T.W. Food. Not every course was perfect, but there were certainly several stand outs, and the service was excellent. I will say that, for the money, we have had better meals elsewhere in the Cambridge area. But I do think it’s worth a visit and would be much less of a splurge to order a la carte.

T.W. Food
377 Walden St
Cambridge, MA 02138
T.W. Food on Urbanspoon

See my favorite dishes at this restaurant on Tasted Menu

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  • http://indulgeinspireimbibe.blogspot.com/ Daisy

    I have always wanted to visit T.W. Foods! I would probably go with the a la carte based on your recommendations. but so fun that you went for the splurge!!

  • http://twitter.com/InAndAroundTown In and Around Town

    This looks like a massive meal! Tasting menus are tough, never know what works, but they are a fun way to sample loads of the menu.

  • yummychunklet

    Everything looks fantastic!

  • DeliciousDish

    I have wanted to go here for so long. I always get emails about wine dinners they’re holding or their action kitchen, and I feel like it would be fun to go on a themed night. Sounds like there were some memorable (and forgettable) dishes here. The gnocchettis both look good to me.

    • http://www.culinarycolleen.com/ Colleen

      It would definitely be a great place for a wine dinner – the wines they gave us were really interesting!

  • http://www.acambridgestory.com Emily

    I keep meaning to make the trip to TW! The gnocchetti sounds really intriguing and, wow, tobacco ice cream? I can’t even imagine!

    • http://www.culinarycolleen.com/ Colleen

      Yeah, the tobacco ice cream was really hard to describe but it was surprisingly delicious!

  • Joanne (Eats well with others)

    That sounds like such a fun experience! I’ll have to find time (and a dining partner) to go with me the next time I’m in Boston!

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