Google Places+Church=The Feast of the 5 Macs

I’d won a contest.   

The email notification read,   

 “Hi Glenn,Congrats! You’ve got yourself a seat at our Mac n’ Cheese Tasting/Pairing at Church THIS Friday, 12/16 .”  

 Awesome.   

 I”d come across the contest sponsored by Google Places while reading a post on Just Add Cheese. I entered with no intention of winning. But I did. I’ve dined at Church before and was eager to return. Chef de Cuisine Jon Gilman does “creative comfort food” and as daylight becomes scarce and the temperature dips, I need to be comforted and what better way than with Mac’n’ Cheese. In this case, not one but five comforting opportunites.   

   

 The Line Up 

  • Mozzarella, Romano, Basil, Balsamic Tomato Relish
  • Pale Ale Vermont Cheddar, Mushrooms, Truffle Oil
  • Goat Cheese, Toasted Winter Squash, Spicy IPA Pepitas
  • Monterey Jack, Poblanos, Chorizo
  • Gorgonzola, Worcesteshire and Stout Glazed Onions, Braised Beef
  •  

   

 

The evening was hosted by the warm and vivacious Adri Cowan. My fellow diners were an assortment of bloggers – food and otherwise – tweeters, bon vivants and other interesting persons.

 

The first – only four more to go!

 We were offered a choice of two draft beers from Church’s somewhat limited “on tap” menu. (However, their “by the bottle” selection is quite extensive.) Since the mac’n’cheese dishes were presented in ascending order of culinary weight – light, simple renditions to more complex and hearty – my server recommended I begin with a lighter brew and move on from there. I heeded his advice and begin with a selection from one of my favorite local brewers, the Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale from Berkshire Brewing, and then went on to another local brew, the Ipswich IPA. 

This was mac’n’cheese heaven. All Chef Gilman’s renditions were enthusiastically received with the exception of the “Monterey Jack, Poblanos, Chorizo” iteration (too much heat). I really enjoyed the first, “Mozzarella, Romano, Balsamic Tomato Relish – the milkiness of the Mozzarella, the pungent kick from the sheepy Romano and the sweetness of the grape tomatoes. All evening though I was anticipating the final creation, “Gorgonzola, Worcestershire and Stout Glazed Onions, Braised Beef”. And I wasn’t disappointed. Judiciously balanced, it was chock full of umami, beefiness and Blue cheese funk. However, as one of my dining companions stated, it didn’t seem like mac’n’cheese. Yes, it was wonderfully over the top.    

I haven’t yet mentioned the extraordinary cocktails at Church. These libations alone are worth the trip to the Fenway. Nor have I mentioned the ambience of Church – not the physical aspects of decor – but the human aggregation. Young professionals, students, punksters and rock’n’rollers plus people of a certain age – comme moi. My tablemates and myself were admiring the sequined shirt of a man in group of middle-aged revelers. Was it new or a keepsake from his disco youth? I would like to think the latter.   

Thanks to Adri Cowan and Google Boston, Chef Gilman and Church.  

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