Somerville, MA Edition: The Tasting Counter

By Candace Nelson - 3:00 PM

The Tasting Counter

The Tasting Counter is a really unique, high-end restaurant in Somerville that has been recognized for its creative tasting menu.

The Tasting Counter
A complete sensory experience, we hope you will taste, talk, listen, and taste some more. We want you to be wowed, satiated, and surprised. Our mission is to bring our guests closer to the creation of fine cuisine, served in harmony with inspired natural wines, sakes, beers, and handcrafted non-alcoholic cocktails. (WEBSITE)

The Tasting Counter

First of all, this restaurant is a "no wallet" space. You buy your ticket in advance (which is all-inclusive), note any dietary restrictions and pick the beverage pairing of your choice. Meanwhile, you have no idea what they'll be serving that evening. And no choice.

From Zagat: An “amazing experience” unfolds at this high-end yet “relaxed”concept from chef Peter Ungár, where inventive, always-changing multicourse tasting menus “transport you” beyond the intimate, spare setting within a “funky” Somerville warehouse; guests purchase tickets (gratuity is included), specify allergies and request beverage pairings online in advance, then assemble at a modern, 20-seat counter where the team theatrically crafts and presents each “exquisitely prepared” plate.

The Tasting Counter
As soon as we walked in to the intimate space, we were seated and promptly served our first course. We didn't have to spend time looking over a menu; they already knew who we were, and we could begin our experience.  Our first taste was these welcoming bites: (furthest to closest) beet, marscapone & cherry; buttercup squash tart with white miso, and cured ocean trout with sesame and grapefruit. This was served with Asahui Shuzo Dassai 50 Sparkling Nirori Junmai Daiginjo (sake, because I've never had a sake pairing before) - so, so good.

  The Tasting Counter

Next up was a melon soup with smoked tomato ice, parma ham and basil. It was served with Asamai Ama No To Heaven's Door. This was odd, but the flavors blended seamlessly.

The Tasting Counter
Then, it was schisandra berry tea with a pine nut and almond cookie. I loved this sweet little bite so much that I ate Kaitee's too.

  The Tasting Counter

Watching them make everything right in front of you is so cool, but this dish was my favorite to watch: striped bass with corn, kohlrabi, chanterelle and caulilini paired with Taka Noble Arrow. I could've licked my plate with that corn puree.

  The Tasting Counter

Next up was plum, sake lees, white chocolate, koji, plum pit sorbet paired with Kizakura Brewery Tozai Blossom of Peace.

The Tasting Counter
Finally, we had "parting morsels" which was an everything bagel bonbon, a peach & sunflower chew, and a run & vanilla canele.

The Tasting Counter
When they presented each dish, they talked about what was in it. But it's kind of a whirlwind of words and flavors. At the end they present you with a custom menu of what you just ate (complete with the drink pairings) so it's great to see it all at once.

Tasting Counter Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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