Dining out, just for the Arts of it

SCENE & HEARD

Scene & Heard

October 01, 2006|By SLOANE BROWN

It didn't seem to matter that it was a Sunday night, or that there were dark clouds overhead (even though they had let loose with a few showers earlier over the open tents set up at Power Plant Live!). It really would have taken hell and high water to keep the sell-out crowd away from Palettes. This was the first fundraising dinner presented by Baltimore Foodies and Fraternite Gastronomique - a group of local chefs - with proceeds going to the Baltimore School for the Arts. And devoted food and wine fans weren't going to miss it.

The crowd of about 150 gathered at the outdoor Mosaic lounge for champagne and hors d'oeuvres. They included chefs Damon Hersh and Jerry Pellegrino, BSFA director Leslie Shepard, BSFA Stage One young leadership chair Sam Polakoff and his wife Carter Polakoff, Stage One board member Marjorie Rodgers and fiance Mark Cheshire, wine caterer Heidi McLain, developer David Cordish and his wife Suzi, Style Magazine editor Brian Lawrence and WCBM personality Eddie Applefeld. Then Baltimore Foodies founder, Lars Rusins, the self-described "chief eating officer," called his guests to the adjoining dinner tent for their five-course meal.

The first course of chilled butternut squash soup garnished with pumpkin croutons and pumpkinseed oil came with an auditory appetizer. Singer Loghan Bazan and keyboardist Joshua Thomas, both seniors at the School for the Arts, performed "If I Were a Bell" from Guys and Dolls.

They were followed by a salad of baby string beans, pine nuts and ginger topped with smoked salmon and a piquillo pepper coulis. Next up: dry-rubbed barbecue-seared rockfish over Maryland blue crab-studded corn and creamy cheese grits. Course No. 4? Braised duck and lamb, wrapped in crispy phyllo dough, served over mixed-berry basmati rice. Finally, dessert - pavlova filled with Grand Marnier-infused berry compote over Tahitian vanilla-bean creme Anglaise with citrus essence.

Hmm. These happy eaters had something there. With a Sunday feast like that, who cares what Monday - or Mother Nature - has in store?

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