Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dining Out to Conquer Diabetes at Lucia Boston

By: Jessica Cickay

The city of Boston has certainly experienced both a tasty and charitable past eight years, wholeheartedly— and full-stomachly —due to the herculean efforts of Carla Gomes, the founder and organizer of CityFeast: Dining Out to Conquer Diabetes, an event to support the Joslin Diabetes’ Center High Hopes Fund. Just like every CityFeast of the past, Mayor Menino attended the 2013 event, but this time marked his fist appearance since being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes himself, which really hit home the message of the evening and brought the importance of Carla’s crusade full circle. Per the past, diners enjoyed a delicious five-course meal with wine pairings from a variety of best-in-breed restaurants in Boston’s North End, but for the 2013 CityFeast, Ms. Gomes was able to flex her muscles and expand the evening beyond its roots to include restaurants in both the Seaport District and the South End.  Carla Gomes founded CityFeast eight years ago in an effort to help the Joslin Diabetes Center continue its mission of raising awareness about diabetes, a disease that her 22 year old son has battled since his first birthday. As owner of the North End’s super successful Antico Forno and Terramia restaurants, she combined her love of food, her love of family and her professional passion to organize an event where she could reach people’s hearts through their stomachs.
Garlic and Olive Oil Shrimp

For the 2013 CityFeast, I was treated to dinner at Lucia in the North End, a very old-school looking and tasting Italian gem. To start, Lucia served succulent shrimp sautéed in olive oil and fresh garlic atop a platform of crusty grilled bread. The shrimp were not only plump, but plentiful, a rarity, I find, when it comes to shellfish in many restaurants. A sprinkling of fresh parsley really brought the dish to life and got me ready for more to come.
Mushroom Pasta
The highlight of the meal came next, a homemade linguine dressed with mushrooms and truffle oil. The texture of the pasta was on point, chewy and springy like any Italian grandma would make it. I’ve recently become obsessed with foods bearing the umami profile, and with the addition of some parmesan cheese to the mix, my taste buds were cradled in the comforting flavors of that fifth savory taste.
Lamb Chops
A simple house salad came next, and then for the main dish Lucia served grilled lamb chops leaning atop broccoli rapini and white beans. I will say it would’ve been difficult for nearly anything to surpass the headwind of deliciousness the pasta course presented, but the lamb chops certainly didn’t disappoint. The meat was nicely grilled and not at all gamey, while the bed of beans and broccoli was well seasoned and a welcome change from the standard mashed potato. However, I will say Lucia really took the “feast” in CityFeast to heart in the portion size. I have always been a member of the Clean Plate Club, but the portions at Lucia may result in my card being revoked.
To make the transition over from savory to sweet, Lucia served up some tiramisu that was a slight twist on the traditional. Instead of coming in cake-form and drowning in amaretto, Lucia’s version was a sinfully sweet cup of dense mascarpone cream hiding pillowy pieces of cake dusted in a light layer of cocoa. It was cold, it was creamy and it capped off a yet another perfectly pulled off CityFeast.

415 Hanover St
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 367-2353

Lucia Ristorante on Urbanspoon

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