Friday, May 4, 2012

Boston heats things up for Cinco de Mayo

 May is an exciting month, people have generally been out of hibernation for at least a couple of weeks and summer is just around the corner (we hope!).  Of course, there is another cause for excitement and that is the traditional celebration of Mexican heritage and pride, Cinco de Mayo.
All across the United States and regionally in Mexico, festivities commemorating a number of various triumphs from the cause of freedom and democracy during the American Civil War to the defeat of the French by the Mexican Army on May 5, 1862. (Yes...I did my homework:) )
Of course, for many of us, Cinco de Mayo is also an opportunity to bring people together to enjoy delicious Mexican inspired menus, cropping up in restaurants all over. 
 I, myself, ventured over to Church in Fenway for their 'Cinco de Mayo' celebration on Tuesday.  So it wasn't exactly the right date, but the menu, developed by Chef Jonathan Gilman was certainly spot on.  This was my first time actually eating here and all the rave reviews I had heard turned out to be true.

 Apart from the first dish, a Chile relleno with hominy and mango, which I found a bit dry, all the other courses were absolutely delicious.  I was completely blown away by their Acadian redfish ceviche, fresh and light with prickly cactus pear slaw and their 'carnitas style' suckling pig, which was probably the most moist, fall of the bone mean I have had in a while. I could have eaten about three more of these dishes.

The show stealer was perhaps the 4th course, a wagyu carne asada, which arrived perfectly pink with a salty and tasty seared outside.  Street corner, always a favorite of mine was a great accompaniment with a delicious avocado salsa verde.  
I was especially happy when the dessert arrived, a take on a 'choco-taco', made with dark Taza chocolate, candied chili mousse and strawberry rhubarb pico.  
With each dish paired with a tequila, the menu was festive, creative and daring and admirably executed. I can't wait to go back and try their regular menu.
Of course, Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner and so you all have a chance to enjoy something festive and delicious.  Even places you may not expect are turning up the Mexican heat - try The Barking Crab and Common Ground Bar and Grill for Cinco de Mayo themed apps and drinks...or a bucket of Corona:)  Some, like El Centro in the South End, are really going wild with special appetizers served 'gratis' through lunch and dinner, or Masa, with live music from 10:30 p.m onwards and special menu items all day long.  For something with more a 'buzz', join top bartenders from around Boston from 2 till 4 p.m. at Lolita Cocina for a Margarita-off - and reap the benefits:)

It would be a shame to pass up this opportunity to hone in on the Mexican flare everyone has inside of them - and it will not be for lack of options!
Where will you be this Cinco de Mayo?

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