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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Taste of Iceland Weekend, Concert Tonight

Taste of Iceland Back in Boston

For the sixth time, Iceland has invaded Boston. As stated in the earlier Taste of Iceland Back in Boston article, the tourism board of Iceland is in town for the weekend. You get to try out the food (and drink) of Iceland all weekend at Tavern Road, hear the music of Iceland and Boston at The Middle East in Cambridge and watch the Icelandic Film Festival at the Kendall Square Cinema on Saturday. Its a fun weekend to experience the culture of the land.
According to Frommers:
Iceland is located just south of the Arctic Circle, but thanks to the Gulf Stream, temperatures are cool in summer and remarkably mild in winter. (New York's winter lows are normally lower than Reykjavík's.) Icelandic weather is unusually volatile, however. The Gulf Stream brings mild Atlantic air in contact with colder Arctic air, resulting in frequently overcast skies, fog, driving wind and rain, and abrupt weather shifts. You could well encounter four seasons in 1 day.
Compared to Boston this past winter, Iceland probably feels like summer. Basically, it is not really that cold compared to the imagery the name implies.

With all that said, I got to experience the Taste of Iceland at a press preview Thursday evening. We got to sample the foods, not get the full meal that the $65 cost covers. After speaking with who was probably the restaurant manager, they didn't appear to have much room for any walkins yesterday or today, if you're still interested. Sunday might still have openings.
The night started with drinks at the bar featuring Reyka Vodka and Brennivin. Reyka is a vodka made with glacial water. Brennivin is an unsweetened schnapps that is the signature distilled beverage of the island.
Along with the mayor of Reykjavik, I tried the aptly named "The Mayor" drink. I also chatted with the distributor for Brennivin in the states. Combined with the dry sherry, Cynar, and peach bitters, it creates a rather unique taste that supposedly goes well with fermented shark meat. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), fermented shark meat is out of season.
I liked the look of the menu. I'm a big fan of lamb, so the third course sounded best. The second and first courses were served in reverse order, with an amuse-bouche served before both. I wish I knew what the amuse-bouche was, but it had some fish eggs and was served in a small bowl. The picture was too dark to make out anything.
The arctic char tasted very much like salmon. I might have to try adding some horseradish the next time I serve myself salmon. The second course, served first, was cod langoustine on a stick. I wish this was something I could find in the states. Both dishes present a very tasty side to seafood from Iceland.
The lamb was to die for. A perfect medium rare with a sweet madeira sauce. I thought the carrots were fingerling potatoes.  I'm not typically a fan of mushrooms, and they weren't bad. I could eat this every day.
The dessert trio doesn't come across well in the picture. My favorite of the three was the raspberry mousse. A great ending to a spectacular evening.

If you have the chance to try out the meal, you won't be disappointed. This year might be full already but sign up early for next year, assuming they're coming back.

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