Friday, November 24, 2017

Visit the Chef's Playground with Leo's Lab at Tico (Boston, MA)

The best meals are created when chefs get to play around and innovate with their ingredients. Chef Leo Asaro at Tico Restaurant in Boston's Back Bay gets to do every once in a while with a special dinner called Leo's Lab, which happen every 2-3 weeks.

Leo's Lab
For Leo's Lab, guests are seated at the lab kitchen counter, so you can see all the action of Chef Leo Asaro preparing everything. There are only eight seats and only one seating for the night, so it's quite an exclusive experience.

Each Leo's Lab dinner comes with five savory courses, a dessert, and a chef's special cocktail - plus a welcome glass of prosecco for $75. Instead of a server, chef Asaro serves and explains each dish to the guests.

I attended the last dinner, which started with some Bay scallops with autumn berry, pine, and smoked oil
Leo's Lab
It was near the end of the season for Nantucket bay scallops, and we savored it paired with tart autumn berry sauce.

"Wrapper's Delight" - vegetables wrapped with jamon serrano and mole
Leo's Lab
The mole took chef Asaro 2-3 days to make and was very rich in flavors. The wrap filling was also accentuated with some rau ram (culantro).

Hearts of Palm "Carbonara", uni and oyster crema, pancetta, pink peppercorn
Leo's Lab

Here, he took hearts of palm from Hawaii and slice it thinly to resemble pasta. The sauce is made with uni and oyster, while the bottom of the bowl hides plenty of fresh uni. Being an uni fan, I loved this dish!

Still on Vacation (mezcal, coconut, fruit loops)
Leo's Lab
This week's chef cocktail was a fun one inspired by the chef's recent family vacation.

Duckdog and "fixins"
Leo's Lab
The duck dog is one dish that has been in every Leo's Lab menu since it is the chef''s and also most guests' favorite. Here, he takes ground duck breast encased in the duck skin itself. It's topped with green tomato chutney, pickled red jalapenos, pickled shallots and cuban style mustard in a brioche bun. It's a great dog and may be my favorite duck dog I've had so far. I can see why it's stayed on the lab menu all this time!

Our last savory course was Wild boar wellington, boar sauce, and pommes Robuchon
Leo's Lab
The boar wellington was stuffed with kale and wild mushroom mix, then encased in serrano ham right under the puff pastry. The potato is one that chef Joel Robuchon has made famous, and it's basically twice as much butter than potato - that's what makes it so good!

For dessert: PB &J ice pop with honey roasted peanut crunch on the outside
Leo's Lab

These Leo's Lab dinners are a great way to showcase chef Leo Asaro's creativity and for diners to get a fun and unusual dinner with front row seats of the kitchen. Next Leo's Lab will be on Nov 28. Get tickets here.

222 Berkeley St
Boston, MA 02116
Tico Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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