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Dinner By a Naked Chef: Ty-Lör Boring's Epic Dinner at City Grit

As guests made their way inside supper club City Grit, it was immediately apparent that the TBD dinner (which, depending on how you looked at it, could be "Ty-Lör Boring Dinner" or "To Be Determined") was to be communal and convivial.  Seated at long tables, one could not help but introduce him/herself to their dinner companions for the night.  Some were veterans of City Grit's frequent chef-hosted dinners, others, like myself, were first timers.  Whatever the case may have been, it's safe to say no one was disappointed by the treats that Top Chef contestant Ty-Lör Boring sent out from the kitchen. Starting with a hothouse melon amuse bouche seasoned with saffron, vanilla bean honey and green olive oil, the delicate inter-mingling of flavors was apparent from the very start and continued throughout the evening.

While tablemates struck up conversation servers nimbly darted between tables, re-filling water glasses, presenting wine pairings and serving the subsequent courses.  As the dinner got under way, the first course that came out was a halibut crudo with a surprisingly fitting oyster coriander puree that neither overpowered the fish nor shrank into the background. 

ty-lor4.jpgPerhaps the best dish of the night was the follow-up: a plate of buckwheat noodles with cherrystone crowns (which, as Boring explained, is the meatiest center part of a clam), kale and miso panko.  The herbacious flavors and greens scattered in the dish seemed to portend spring's arrival--the meal certainly did not feel like a heavy winter feast despite the use of seasonal and local ingredients throughout. 


As we were twirling the last of our noodles, City Grit partners Sarah McSimmons and Jeremie Kittredge said a few words about the meal and their dining philosophy.  Neither a pop-up (City Grit is always open) nor a normal restaurant, the space plays hosts to a combination of revolving chefs who throw week-long dinners and meals cooked by McSimmons herself.  Perhaps the best explanation of their venue concept came from Kittredge who said it's "kinda like a concert hall for indie rocker chefs."  And, with that, the real rock star of the evening, Boring, came out to introduce himself. Though the former Top Chef contestant has been in the news lately for his unapologetically naked photos that surfaced recently, the whacky character some may have been expecting was not to be found last night.  Instead, Boring could not have come off as more sincere, thoughtful and gracious. He spent time walking guests through the meal, explaining his choice of ingredients, and sharing news about his plans for a future restaurant.   

After Boring went back to the kitchen, the main course came out: a bass with dashi broth. The fish was light and mild, accompanied with scallop-like mushrooms and apricot slices, but not quite as much of a knockout as the preceding courses.

ty-lor 2.jpg To round out the experience, Boring sent out delicious pandan chocolate finaciers with the most interestingly flavored candied coconut one could find this side of the Maldives. The dark chocolate-y cake was a nice change of pace from the milder, more delicate dishes that had arrived previously.  More than one person could be seen licking the goo off their spoon.  As if that weren't enough, as parting gifts Ty-Lör and the City Grit crew presented every guest with "to-go-skis": bags of popcorn flavored with truffle, saffron and vanilla bean.  I took two.  


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