7/31/2012 03:04:00 PM
Boston, Cambridge Pay Tribute to Julia Child With Special Dinners
“She called everybody deary,” recalls Maryanne Muller, past president of the Culinary Guild of New England, of which Child was a member. Muller had the privilege of attending events at Child’s iconic Cambridge home, the likes of its contents are now part of the Smithsonian.
On the eve of what would be Child’s 100th birthday, August 15, many Boston restaurants and chefs are celebrating with tribute dinners. And, as Child herself would happily say in her French gusto, “Bon appétit!”
Aquitaine: From August 7-15, enjoy a three-course dinner at the three locations - South End, Chestnut Hill, Dedham - inspired by Julia’s repertoire ($33 with a glass of wine; South End: 617-424-8577).
Gaslight Brasserie: This Frenchy in the South End will offer a three-course meal with a glass of wine, as well as free parking (August 7-15; $33 per person; 617-422-0224).
Grill 23 & Bar: Chef Jay Murray showcases a 100-day aged rib-eye in honor of Julia’s 100th birthday, with other dishes including pommes Anna; asparagus and foie gras-juniper butter; and peach tarte tatin (August 15-18; $59 per person; 617-542-2255).
Harvest: From August 15-18, the restaurant that Julia often frequented will offer a three-course special menu featuring salade niçoise; heirloom tomato Provençale; caneton aux peche; and Queen of Sheba cake for dessert ($44 per person; add $15 for half-glass of paired wines, and add $25 for full-glass of paired wines; 617-868-2255).
Menton: On August 15, Barbara Lynch's luxury French-Italian in the Seaport District will honor Julia as part of a national JC100, a 100-day celebration of Julia and her culinary legacy. One hundred restaurants are participating by presenting 100 of Julia’s most cherished recipes, handpicked by culinary luminaries that include Judith Jones, Dorie Greenspan, Jacques Pepin and others. The evening begins with passed hors d’oeuvres, followed by a seated dinner at communal tables. The four-course menu will include heirloom tomato Provençal; bourride of monkfish, saffron and rouille; saddle of lamb, ratatouille l’anglaise; and baked Alaska for dessert (6:30 PM reception, 7 PM sit-down dinner; $165 per person, includes wine pairings, excludes tax and gratuity; 617-737-0099).
Sel de la Terre Back Bay: August 7-15, chef Frank McClelland and his crew will whip up a three-course prix fixe dinner of Julia’s classics August 7-15, such as duck liver mousse on toast; blanquette de veau; and a lemon tart (5-10 PM; $45 per person; 617-266-8800).
Upstairs on the Square: Beloved is Harvard Square, home to Julia for decades. This American celebrates her cuisine August 15-31 (running alongside Restaurant Week, August 19-24 and 26-31) with two special menus in two dining rooms - a fancy Soiree Dining Room option ($43.12) and the low-key Monday Club Bar Dining Room lunch ($20.12 and $15.12), and dinner ($33.12); vegan and vegetarian options are also available (617-864-1933).
P.S. Years ago, when we interviewed her for the first time, we scrambled to find a question on any topic (it didn’t have to be cooking, did it?) that a journalist had not yet asked. Her name popped up on a list of people who promoted gun control (how apropos these days). That was new. Though the yellowing newspaper clip is buried in a box, we recall her quote as something as colorful as a tomato salad: “Those mucky-mucks, who don’t believe in it [gun control], ought to be shot!” One thing she certainly didn't lack was personality.