An event celebrating my favorite cuisine, the chance to win a Ferrari for the weekend, and all proceeds benefiting a cause that’s very near and dear to me – that was the A Taste of Italy evening at Towne last Monday.
We were promised “a spectacular evening celebrating all things Italian,” and it was pretty spectacular, with a special menu for that night prepared by Lydia Shire. Beautiful Ferraris were lined up along Boylston street, and we also enjoyed some aperitivos. It was a lovely event, and I especially liked it because proceeds benefited Perkins School for the Blind where one of my sisters, Monica, studied.
Richard from The Passionate Foodie very kindly took me as his guest and as soon as we arrived, so did the Ferraris:
(photo from Will)
And then we went inside for dinner, and I was particularly excited because in the course of one year, I have come to regard Towne as one of my very favorite places in Boston. When I first hobbled into Towne a year ago, I said that the food was undeniably good, but I wasn’t exactly blown away. Fast forward one year later, and I’ve been to Towne dozens of times already – for dinner, late night bar snacks, weeknights, weekends – and I’ve fallen in love with the place. The food IS undeniably good, and it just keeps getting better as they keep fine-tuning the menu and introducing new dishes. The service has always been impeccable and the ambiance – chic and welcoming – is right up my alley. My excitement was justified because the menu that night was incredible.
Cacio e pepe means cheese and pepper, and it is one of the simplest and tastiest ways that I love to eat spaghetti. Just pecorino romano and freshly grated pepper, with perfectly al dente pasta. This was divine, and was my favorite dish of the night.
It was warm and silky, with the deep dark chocolate flavor tempered by sea salt. I was tempted to lick the bowl clean but before I could even attempt it, who else comes over but Lydia Shire herself? Now, I don’t get star-struck often and I’m normally pretty composed, but when I talked to Lydia Shire, I started stammering like a lovestruck schoolboy. She was incredibly friendly and she even kissed me on both cheeks! (I faked a calm demeanor but squealed on Twitter.)
A Taste of Italy was a fantastic event and I’m looking forward to trying the new Italian dishes that will be introduced to Towne, as well as the new fall menu that they will be rolling out soon.
And as for Perkins? Towne was helping to promote Taste of Perkins. I have volunteered for this event and it is one of the most incredible fund-raising events I know. Taste of Perkins features a night of blind food and wine tastings, prize drawings, a silent auction and more.
My family and I will be eternally grateful to Perkins School for the Blind because it helped my sister Monica, who is deaf-blind, grow and live a richer, more fulfilling life. After she came to Perkins, my sister has learned to prepare her own breakfast, write and mail letters, make new friends, dance in a prom, and work at a part-time job. These may be just ordinary activities for many people, but to Monica these are personal and social milestones. I always say that Perkins changed my sister’s life, and it changed my family’s life.
I urge you to please help support Perkins and try to come to Taste of Perkins. The event will be held on Thursday, October 6, at the Perkins campus in Watertown. You can buy tickets and make donations via the Perkins website. If you have any questions about the event or about Perkins, let me know, and I hope you can join me!