Vine Dining

Muir Glen Organic tomatoes and the Garden at the Cellar proved to be the perfect antidote to the coldest day that Boston has experienced in a long time. From the minute I arrived at the restaurant after a bitter walk from Central Station, until the minute I left, I felt so warm and delightfully at home – not to mention full – that the weather outside mattered not.

Have you been to the Garden at the Cellar? In a small space between Central and Harvard Squares, this locally-focused restaurant features food that comforts and completely delights, all at prices that are more than a value for its prestigious location.

Garden at the Cellar

The focus of last night’s dinner was Muir Glen’s Vine Dining Tour. Muir Glen tomatoes and five award winning chefs have gotten together to inspire home chefs to cook up deliciousness at home using Muir Glen’s 2010 Reserve Tomatoes. As the sign below states, the chefs not only created recipes, but they also participated in the Muir Glen harvest. I am insanely jealous. Muir Glen blogger harvest next year, perhaps? Winking smile


Muir Glen tomatoes

After arriving and meeting our hosts, I snapped a few photos while waiting for my blogger friends. Check out these gift bags, full of Muir Glen 2010 treats:

The Limited Edition Muir Glen Reserve Kit is available now. Experience the exceptional quality of this year’s exclusive tomato variety, Meridian Ruby™. Hand-harvested and hand-sorted in California’s Yolo County fields, these kits make the perfect gift for any tomato connoisseur.

Muir Glen gift bags

And I had a glass of wine. The Garden at the Cellar was pouring a delicious Spanish red, Rioja Vega Crianza 2007, made from Tempranillo, Mazuelo, and Garnacha grapes. It was incredibly smooth with a little bit of spice and red fruit. Quite an easy drink and a reminder that I love Spanish wine.

Rioja Vega Rioja Vega

Before long, I found Brian, Megan, Elizabeth, Katie, and Rachel (and had a brief hello with Project Food Blog winner Jen!), and we got down to eating.

Cauliflower and smoked tomatoes on a flatbread pizza? Don’t mind if I do.

flatbread pizza with smoked tomatoes and roasted cauliflower

Garden at the Cellar

Pork belly with sweet and sour tomato jam? Well, I sort of consider myself a once-in-awhile vegetarian, but when I am at the home of the Notorious P.I.G. pork belly is a must. And can I tell you, this is the second time I have had pork belly but the first time I have had pork belly the way it is supposed to be. Times two.

slow cooked pork belly with sweet and sour tomato jam

I was feeling a little oinky, but I persevered. I was a vegetarian for most of my life. Who am I? Oh yes, someone who really enjoys delicious, humanely raised local food. Oink.

Garden at the Cellar

And then there was Chef Gilson’s signature, tomato soup and grilled cheese, or as Chef put it, what pays his mortgage. If you have been to the Garden at the Cellar and indulged in the comfort that is this combination, you know. If not, go soon.

Garden at the Cellar tomato soup

grilled cheese and tomato soup at Garden at the Cellar

Megan had the brilliant idea of putting our wine down so that we could properly dip our grilled cheese. This is one of the reasons she is my friend.

grilled cheese and tomato soup

After all of the passed appetizers, I would have been happy to head home, but Muir Glen had more in store for us.

local seafood and tomato stew

In the form of a local seafood and tomato stew, dotted with flavorful cilantro and with the slightest spicy kick at the end.

Garden at the Cellar

And the rustic lamb with tomato and curry leaf confit. I avoided the lamb but completely loved the sauce and little roasted potatoes on the fringe.

braised lamb with tomato and curry leaf confit

But most of all, the aromatic, garlicky goodness of the pasta with tomatoes, grilled sausage, and parmesan won me over, bite after bite.

pasta with grilled sausage and parmesan

I think we all had significant garlic breath after this dish, and I am 100% sure it was worth it. Holy delicious, perfectly-seasoned, comforting warmth.

Each dish featured tomatoes from Muir Glen’s organic farms, and as a result, allowed us to indulge in that fresh tomato flavor and texture that we long for all winter long. As Chef Gilson said, we try to cook/eat locally grown and raised food, but that is difficult to do in New England during certain parts of the year. Like when the high never goes above freezing. Muir Glen’s commitment to organic, family farming gives us the next best thing: perfect tomatoes, picked and canned within eight hours, by US farmers and their families. And, of course, fabulous chefs who place significant value on food with heart.

The kind folks at Muir Glen hosted an amazing event and provided us with a sweet collection of Muir Glen canned tomatoes and recipe ideas. And one of Boston’s favorites, Chef Will Gilson, cooked us up a feast, dishes that will hopefully be coming to the Garden at the Cellar menu very soon!

I feel so fortunate to have been part of such a winter warmer that combined great friends and conversation with a company that embodies good food values and a chef that carries those values into the kitchen.

For more info on Muir Glen, check out their website.

Muir Glen:

A Commitment to Quality

  • Muir Glen growers’ certified organic farming methods create healthy, nutrient-rich soil. Our products are all certified organic and bear the USDA Organic seal.
  • We harvest our tomatoes in late summer at their peak of ripeness and deliver them to the processing facility within eight hours of picking. Our processing equipment is triple-washed to guarantee no cleaning agents are present.
  • Our tomatoes are packaged without synthetic chemical additives of any kind.
  • Once processed, we preserve Muir Glen tomatoes’ vine-ripened flavor, pure and intact, in our signature white enamel-lined cans.

Please note that my dinner was provided compliments of Muir Glen. However, as you all well know, I am very opinionated and my opinions are entirely my own. Winking smile

We feasted on summery tomatoes last night. What food do you miss the most from summer?

Garden at the Cellar on Urbanspoon

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Tags: bloggers, cambridge, canned tomatoes, events, Food, Garden at the Cellar, Muir Glen, organic tomatoes, wine

  1. Elizabeth’s avatar

    This was one of the nicest and most well put together events I’ve been to in a while. That cauliflower flatbread pizza was phenomenal and I really hope Will puts that on the menu. So good seeing you!


  2. Daisy’s avatar

    It was cool to learn more about Muir Glen Tomatos from this post! The food looks so incredible, especially that pork belly. Glad you guys had a good time!


  3. Michelle’s avatar

    It looks like you had a blast last night! I’m really craving fresh tomatoes, corn on the cob and watermelon right now! :-)


  4. Emily’s avatar

    Great to learn more about Muir. As a Cambridge resident, I have been going the Cellar for years. It’s simple, yet classy. And they a have great, inexpensive wines. If you go again, try their truffle tater tots!


    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      I’ve had them, so yummy!


    2. Justin’s avatar

      Looks delicious. I’ve never been to Garden at the Cellar, but it’s been on my list for a really long time.


    3. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

      I’ve been to Garden At The Cellar once and it was great. This looks a fun and informative event. Grilled cheese makes it even better!


    4. Meghan’s avatar

      That sounds like an amazing night! I love Garden at the Cellar, and Muir Glen is my go-to brand for tomatoes when I can’t get them fresh in the summer.


    5. Lori Lynn’s avatar

      Sounds like a charming place. I am intrigued by tomato with curry leaf sauce…


    6. Belinda @zomppa’s avatar

      Great recommendation – thanks! I do like Muir Glen – nice gift bag!!


    7. Kankana’s avatar

      You had some fun there ! :) The love the cauliflower on flat bread pizza the most :)


    8. Kate @’s avatar

      Looks like an amazing time – I would have been all over that pasta dish … looks sooo good!


    9. Jason Phelps’s avatar

      Fresh tomatoes this time of year are definitely a treat! It does look like it was a very well orchestrated event.



    10. Katie’s avatar

      So good seeing you at this event! Hope you’re having fun in Ireland! Safe travels.


    11. Judy’s avatar

      You get to eat at the most interesting places!


new restaurant
WordPress SEO fine-tune by Meta SEO Pack from Poradnik Webmastera