Brasstacks and Formaggio Kitchen: Late Summer Harvest Dinner

Monday night was one of the best dinners I've had in weeks; I went to the Brasstacks and Formaggio end of summer dinner. I've been trying to get tickets to a Brasstacks meal for a few months now, and finally managed to get tickets in time - and I'm so glad I did!

The first thing I saw when I walked in was the impressive display of charcuterie, pickles, linguica, chicken liver mousse and duck pate.

 I had to grab a bite of the chicken liver mousse - it looked so good. It tasted even better than it looked! I am definitely a fan, which is neat, because I didn't know I was into chicken liver mousse before.

 At the tables, potato onion and sunny flax bread were already set up, with raw goat's milk butter and raw cow's milk butter were waiting. Both had been seasoned with Maine sea salt, and were excellent on the bread.

 There were many different small bites being brought around, starting with these husk cherries roasted in salt pork. Warm, and such a delicious flavor. As easy to eat as popcorn.

The awesome husk cherries were followed up by a small salad of tomatoes, pickled chills, elderflower vinegar, and mint. I love jalapeños, and I don't normally have them pickled, so this was neat!

 Followed up the salad with a roasted new potato, with cultured cream, shad roe, and salt pork. As good to eat as you can imagine, given those ingredients.

 This was my favorite of the small dishes they brought out. Not only is the presentation ridiculously cool, the flavor was out-of-this-world good. It's a baked Hyslop crabapple, filled with chicken liver, cider vinegar, and poppy seed.

 Followed up that awesomeness with grilled cousa squash, sprouted grains, fennel, and almond. Delicious and nutritious!

 Under those leaves in the back of the picture is an excellent soused bluefish. In the foreground are cucumber balls, with horseradish and nasturtium. Bluefish is definitely one of my favorite types of fish, so good.

 This dish was as tasty as it is colorful; it's a sweet corn samp, with Maine crab, bayberry leaf, and samphire. This was another favorite dish of the night.

This is a matelote of Spanish mackerel, with eggplant, barley, and tomato relish. This also has the distinction of being the dish I couldn't finish. Luckily, the pleasant people I was sitting next to were more than happy to help!

 One of the coolest parts of the night was being able to see the dishes being prepared throughout the night. The Brasstacks crew is very impressive - so skilled and creative.

And here's what they were preparing: silver Cornish chicken roasted in wild juniper, with chicken mushroom, fermented broccoli, and bread sauce. Broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables, and I've never had it prepared like this - yum!

Here's where Formaggio shines - cheese! These were local cheeses from Formaggio Kitchen, including Brebis Blanche, Tarentaise, and Brother's Walk. I could probably live off of cheese from Formaggio, and be a very happy person.

Finishing up the night was a most excellent dessert, a Maine chocolate potato cake, with sheep milk, wild grapes, and black walnut. Very interesting flavor combinations, and an awesome way to finish off the evening. I definitely want to do this again!


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