Recently, Dish Gal has visited The Colonnade Hotel on two occasions. Once, meeting a friend for lunch at Brasserie Jo. And, on Thursday night I attended a charity fundraiser there for MARA—Mentoring At Risk Athletes. I'll tell you about both, dear reader.
The menu at Brasserie Jo reminded me of a great lunch that Dish Sister-in-law took me to in New York, so instantly I had a good feeling about it. I remembered that chilly day when she and I walked through the tree-lined streets of Brooklyn to a quaint French bistro (Dish Sister, help me out, I can't remember the name!) that served delectable bloody marys. However, this was a "business lunch," so sadly no bloody marys this time.
The crowd at Brasserie Jo skewed significantly older, and as I scanned the large dining room, I noticed I was the youngest. Our waiter brought us a loaf of bread to start, and a side dish of pickled carrots, which, while a strange starter, were AMAZING. I need to learn how to re-create that. I'd say this was a great, healthy alternative to bread, but of course I had lots of the crusty baguette too. Oh well.I ordered the soup du jour (insert soup of the day joke here)-- the pumpkin soup. This was delicious, a hearty and complex soup that really took care of that "can't warm up" feeling I've been experiencing the past few weeks. Brasserie Jo has some great lunch combos ($11.95 each), so with this soup came "la demi vegetable croquet." This "smaller" sandwich (it was still large) was a vegetarian take on the classic croque monsieur, with thin slices of eggplant and zucchini. I really enjoyed this sandwich, but it's hard to not enjoy anything smothered in cheese. ;)
I feel for Brasserie Jo. It has delicious food and it's located in a pretty good area of Boston, but with these newer, trendier French spots popping up all over Boston in the past years (Gaslight, La Voile, Bouchee, Eastern Standard), I'm nervous that Bostonians are forgetting about it! I only have good things to say about my experience there.
A few weeks later, I found myself back at the Colonnade. No, I wasn't trying to sneak into the kitchen to steal the recipe for the carrots. This time it was for a good cause, MARA. I urge you to learn more about this great organization.
We heard firsthand from a young woman who benefited from the program, and she really was quite inspirational. Other speakers included UConn coach Jim Calhoun and Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers! Both spoke eloquently, passionately, and earnestly about MARA. I was really impressed not only by their speeches, but also by the fact that they came early and stayed late. That shows a lot about a person's character—for one thing, it shows humility.
My new favorite person!The event was emceed by Former Massachusetts Treasurer Joe Malone, and attended by Dave Colella (VP and Managing Director of The Colonnade Hotel), and event cosponsors Will Dorcena, Frank Ciota, Joe DiLorenzo, and many other influential Bostonians.
And what about Dish Gal''s special interest — the food? No carrots, but there was hearty gnocchi, crunchy garlic bread, and prime rib sandwiches. Yummy, and for a great cause… What could be better?
Photos courtesy of visitbostonmassachusetts.com and Sports Illustrated Vault (cnn.com).