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Fork & Wrench/Red Devils

Updated: Wednesday, June 25 2014, 11:52 AM EDT
Last Thursday evening I joined a small cadre of food writers for a chef's tasting dinner at Canton's Fork & Wrench on Boston Street. Chef Cyrus Keefer has been in the kitchen here for  about a year, but I've followed him around the city in all of his previous posts, and the fit here of chef to establishment may well be the best. The rustic, vintage feel of the interiors here are a suitably interesting backdrop for the always-intriguing dishes that come out of Keefer's kitchen. Seated in the first-floor dining room, I ordered the rye-based Brass Tacks cocktail and settled in to read the menu. Joining me for the meal were writers Dara Bunjon, who organized the outing, along with Kathy and Neal Patterson (whose new book, "Baltimore Chef's Table," is just out) and morning radio personality Reagan Warfield, of Mix 106.5. After Cyrus came out and went over the menu with us, I knew that making a choice for dinner would be difficult, as there were so many tempting options. We started off with a hearty platter of poutine with whole-pig ragout for the table, and Cyrus also sent out a big plate of marinated octopus. My kale salad with cured lemon and torn bread arrived next, and proved tasty  Other apps around the table included an authentic Scotch egg and steamed escargot buns. Now, those who know me know that I almost never order fish, but the prep for Keefer's Arctic char (done with petite pois, beer batter bits, tendrils and a malt vinegar nage) proved irresistible. It arrived at the table pink and delicate, bathed in a rich butter poaching sauce. Dessert was a dark, dense,  chocolate layer cake, courtesy of pastry chef Janae Aiken. It's always fun to experience a great meal with fellow foodies, but the downside is that when each dish arrives at the table, all the cameras and camera phones come out instantly and begin to record everything-- sometimes it's hard to resist just digging right in!
   The prior evening, I'd been in Canton as well-- just down the street at The Can Company, where Langermann's was hosting a kick-off for the Red Devils' charity dining series. I was greeted by chef Neal Langermann, and sampled a few of the great appetizers being passed around the room. While there, I encountered events promoter Randi Rom, caterer Gail Kaplan, food writer Dara Bunjon, morning radio DJ Reagan Warfield with his wife, Sara, Celeste Corsaro of Foreman/Wolf and WCBM radio's Eddie Applefeld, all having a great time on a beautiful evening.

(Shown above: Poutine with whole pig ragout and stracciatella, at Fork & Wrench in Canton.)Fork & Wrench/Red Devils

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