7/15/2013 05:00:00 PM

Best Thing We Ate This Weekend: James Beard Preview at Paragon

On Thursday, July 25, the James Beard House will host a six-course dinner prepared by a team of chefs from Foxwoods Resort Casino, the popular getaway for high rolling Bostonians. (Tickets start at $130 and are available here.) But this weekend the toques previewed that dinner, dubbed “Foxy Foxwoods,” at the resort’s upscale Paragon restaurant.

Fine dining is not always to be found at casino kitchens, but the five-chef team (led by Scott Mickelson of Paragon and David Brai of Al Dente) are clearly aiming to impress. The first course, a scallop crudo with EVOO, wowed. The Bomster scallops, local Connecticut catch, were exceptionally fresh and got a subtle, tangy kick from Kabosu, a lemony Japanese citrus and aji amarillo, Peruvian yellow chile pepper. And paired with a robust, full-bodied Malbec, grassfed veal meatballs were also exceptional: sitting in amatriciana sauce and served with house-cured veal bacon, the meatballs had a perfect, crispy shell that gave way to a tender core. A sunomono-marinated Wagyu rib-eye cap (served with aged maitake demi-glace) was solid, but cooked slightly too-through for our taste. Though the courses were rounded nicely by duck confit rillettes (pictured) and decadent desserts - think lemongrass–mint granite with candied angelica and goat’s milk feta cheese crème brûlée accompanied by peach sorbet. If a visit to the James Beard House is on your summer “must” list, this should be a dinner date worth saving. We’d bet money on it.

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