Since attending Midnight Mass IV, we’ve missed an epic meal of foie gras and truffles featuring Bistro Europa’s sous chef Mike Thill and an Oktoberfest feast with Chef Jennifer Boye from The Mansion and Nickel City Chef. So when it was announced that Chef Carmelo Raimondi would be making the drive into the city from his Lewiston restaurant, I bought tickets right away. There was no way we were going to miss another great meal and I’m glad I acted so quickly, this was the quickest sell out in Midnight Mass history.
We showed up to Bistro Europa late Saturday night to see a restaurant packed with an excited crowd, for the first time we had absolutely no idea what was coming that night.
Before any food had arrived to the table, we were served a carafe of Rocky Marciano Punch which had Concord grape syrup, St. Germaine, Ransom Gin and Soda water. I gladly had a couple swigs out of the carafe as we waited for some food.
The first course was Tripe Terrine Puttnesca with sweet tomato jam, Sicilian olives, mint, garlic chips, yellow cherry tomatoes, capers, garlic oil, white anchovy, pickled jalapeno & spaghetti squash. The dish had a lot of salt and sour flavors but the tomato jam, cherry tomatoes and squash provided great contrasts in flavor.
The second and main course was the XXX Bomber; Veal breast, meatballs & smoked beef tongue with tomato sauce, spicy pickled eggplant relish, parmigiano & rapini on Ellen Gedra’s homemade hoagie roll. Not only was this sandwich gigantic, but the breast/meatballs/tongue were abundant and tasted great. The spicy eggplant relish had just enough spice to provide a strong kick but without over-powering the rich meaty flavor. The roll was perfect because Ellen Gedra is a magical baker. With all due respect to the other chefs who have participated in the previous six dinners, this sandwich was perfect and something I would order on a regular basis. I’ve never been a big fan of veal and have had mixed experiences with beef tongue, but the textures and flavors in this hoagie really won me over.
The third course was Carmelo’s Candy Bar, featuring quince paste, maple nougat, chocolate crisp and roasted chestnut all dipped in chocolate. It had a fruity, chocolate-y flavor that had a lot of crunch. I think I still enjoy the restaurant version we had in 2012 a little bit more, but this was still a fun way to end the night.
It was probably the biggest Midnight Mass meal out of the other three I’ve had and might have been the best. These Midnight Mass dinners have been getting better and better since the first one was held in April and if you consider yourself a fan of food, you need to keep up with what’s going on at these late night dinners. These dinners definitely have an a strong restaurant industry presence but over time we’ve started to notice some unfamiliar faces showing up to the events and they seem to be selling out quicker and quicker. If you’d like to keep track of these dinners and find out what’s coming next, follow Midnight Mass on Facebook.