Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Catalyst in Kendall Sq + Tufts 1ok

Monday was one of those days where I had a very “balanced blogger” type of day! 

Note: big delicious dinners always go down easier after you burn a bunch of calories earlier that day ;)

Now I know this isn’t often possible, and I wouldn’t say I had a “great” time running that 10k…but it sure worked up my appetite!


Last year I ran the Tufts 10k for the first time, and at that time it was longest I had ever run before!  My friend and I trained, and come race day I felt awesome!  I took it easy, but felt great the whole time and it was at that moment I realized I could handle a half marathon if I wanted to!  Which I did about 7 months later!

This year…not so much.  I didn’t really train, no one came to watch me or run with me (thank goodness I had Elizabeth in the beginning!), and well…it was hot as balls!! 

(we were already sweating before the race began…not a good sign)

We would have a heat wave on Columbus Day wouldn’t we.  So I took it easy, ran slow, stopped for water at every chance…to drink and to pour over myself.  H.O.T.  I was feeling OK until halfway through, then the heat was getting to me,I just didn’t feel so hot (pun intended), but luckily I did NOT eat a sticky bun prior to this race, so all I needed were some walking breaks…and walk I did! 

(at least with this crappy iphone photo you can’t tell JUST how sweaty I really am) 

I walked more in this race than any other…hell this felt harder than my half-marathon!  But I did finish!  :)  Grabbed my WARM water and PowerAde (ew), pretzels, Luna bar, and dole fruit cup and headed to a shady spot on the lawn to cool down and stretch before heading home.


My time was 1:15:26, which is actually better than I was expecting considering all the walking I did…but the last thing I was looking for was a good time.  I even forgot to stop my Garmin when I crossed the finish line haha!

All this sweating however worked in my favor when I arrived for a beautiful blogger dinner that evening at the new Kendal Square restaurant: Catalyst.


It’s amazing what a shower and some make-up can do!

(had to take advantage of shorts weather! Navy lace top: F21, tan shorts: J. Crew, heels: Libby Edelman from Lord & Taylor)

It was a beautiful summery evening, and I immediately noticed their great outdoor space!  I bet they get a great after-work crowd…but it was a holiday this night so it was on the quiet side…which was actually nice for a change.



The restaurant has a gorgeous large space!  It appears as though they fitted out part of an office building! 


There were many different stunning glass light fixtures throughout the restaurant.


And a fabulous bar area and lounge with an awesome fire place


Our table was right in front of the open kitchen.  I love being able to see the chefs at work!     IMG_1306

My company for the evening were these lovely ladies: Elizabeth, Emily, Megan, Daisy, Shannon, and Bianca


We sat down and perused the menu, but it didn’t matter…little did we know we were about to taste almost everything they had to offer! IMG_1308

First the bread basket, which included a deliciously salty focaccia!  Mmm that bread was addicting!! IMG_1310

Creamy butter drizzled with olive oil…oh yes, they did. IMG_1315

Then the wait staff started bringing seemingly endless plates of almost every appetizer on the menu.  A few of each for the 7 of us to share!

Grilled scallions with a (walnut?) pesto.  These were a favorite of the group!  Such a great flavor.  IMG_1317

Crispy Quail, Black Mission Fig, Gastique, Mizuna, Autumn Berry Jam  IMG_1318
there wasn’t much meat to eat, since we were sharing, but the meat+greens+accompaniments were delicious.

Chicken Liver Mousse, Pickled Onions, Country Bread, Herb Salad IMG_1320
Not a big fan of liver, but I gave it a try with the grilled bread and mustard!  Pretty good!  I probably wouldn’t order it but glad I tried it.

Seared Spice Crusted Hiramasa, Orange-Yuzu Syrup, Cucumber Radish Salad IMG_1321
This was a rare/raw very mild/fatty fish, and I thought it was really good with the syrup and the orange slices!  I was surprised how much I liked this!  Very light and refreshing.

Farmer’s Market Vegetable Salad, Peppercress, Crispy Onion  IMG_1323
Basically pickled veggies!  I LOVE pickled veggies so this was a favorite!

Next course was soup! 
Jerusalem "Sunchoke" Artichoke Soup, Lobster, Curry Oil, Creme Fraiche  IMG_1328
We had it with no lobster (I believe someone had an allergy), and I actually had no idea there was curry oil on it until now!  I didn’t taste curry at all (Thank god! I hate curry) but thought the soup was comforting and delicious.  Creamy, but not heavy, and a strong artichoke flavor…so you really need to like artichokes for this.  I bed the lobster would pair very well with it!

Pasta course was next and by FAR my favorites of the night!!  I want to go back right now just for some of these delicious bites!

Garganelli, Chicken Oysters, Bacon, Black Truffle Butter  IMG_1331
Garganelli, being the pasta shape, had a great firm texture…a really fun alternative to a ziti or penne! 

Chicken oysters!! 
Wondering what those are??  I was for a second too, but then I remembered!!!  My dad used to always dig out the oyster from the bottom of the chicken or turkey if we roasted one at home!  He always said it was the most tender bite of meat in the whole bird :)  I can’t believe I almost forgot…I haven’t heard their name in so long.  This dish brought back great memories :)

By the way…DELIICOUS!  The bacon and truffle butter made for a decadent taste. 

This next pasta might tie with the chicken oyster pasta as my favorite dish of the night…

Georgia Candy Roaster Squash Tortellini, Braised Escarole, Parmesan  IMG_1335
Seriously, nothing beats a good homemade pasta!  These little purses of dough were filled with such a pure and naturally sweet tasting squash puree!  They just melt in your mouth.  The braised escarole had quite the butter bath, but in a totally yummy way :)  And who doesn’t love cute little carrot balls! 

Last pasta:

Mushroom Ravioli, Hen of the Woods Mushrooms IMG_1339

I’m really REALLY glad I’ve gotten over my mushroom “issues” because man they are flavorful!  I’m still not keen on biting into a big chunk, but the flavor they impart is incomparable. 

We were all starting to get filled up fast at this point, and a couple people passed on these (more mushroom issues haha), so long story short I got to take home the extra…score!! 

It was now that we realized there could be a number of main courses coming our way and we were already borderline full…so to save room for dessert we asked the chef to pair down the rest of the entrées. 

We tried 2:

Chilled pork tenderloin with warm spices, honey, an apple and cilantro salad, and an apple puree.IMG_1342
Don’t let “chilled” turn you away, it was more room temp.  Plus all the flavors and textures were amazing!  The apple and cilantro were so great together.  I really loved this dish.

I could hardly even muster a bite of the fish, but of course I did :)

Lemon Sole, Roasted Baby Fennel, Creamed Leeks, Lobster, Vermouth Butter IMG_1345
Or at least picked out a lobster chunk from underneath!  Crispy light fish, and I loved the fennel with this one. 

We were all highly anticipating dessert, and were shocked when instead of sharing, we each got an individual plate of 4 different tastes! IMG_1347

Butterscotch and Passion Fruit Pudding, Warm Pound Cake Croutons  IMG_1348

If you go here, GET THIS!! OMG!! I don't think it would be something I would order just from reading the description but it’s incredible!!!  Reminds me of my family’s butterscotch pie!  I must try to make this one at home!! 

This was a coconut cake, with creamsicle ice cream in the middle, and  chocolate shell!


pear tart.  Simple, soft, not to sweet…this was my #2 IMG_1350

Finally, a cantaloupe sorbet with hazelnut brittleIMG_1351 IMG_1354 

Thank you so much to Chef William Kovel and everyone at Catalyst for a gorgeous and delicious dinner, and a big thanks to Elizabeth for putting this together!!

Full Disclosure: the meal was complimentary, however all opinions expressed are my own.


  1. Our recap/blog post are going to sound very similar haha (mine is scheduled to publish this weekend). So great seeing you at Catalyst, it really was such a lovely dinner!

  2. Great job on the 10K and so glad we got to enjoy this fabulous dinner together! I was hoping to get my post done for today, but that didn't happen. The pasta courses were my favorites too!

  3. Great job on making it through the 10K girl! Its funny how much weather can throw you off! And a delicious meet up? yes mammmm! Your top is adorable. Love all the mini desserts

  4. Yep, those buttery homemade pastas were just remarkable. What a fantastic dinner we had!!

  5. great job suffering through those warm temps!! and what great company to enjoy all that food :)

  6. Your photos are fabulous! Great seeing you at dinner!

  7. nice job on the 10k! Your look is adorbs- love the lace top, and this place looks delish! I am a sucker for home-made pasta too (who isn't?) and that mushroom rav dish is calling my name ;)

    looking forward to your nespresso post!!

  8. Nice job! :) Great photos. I love it ;)

  9. Congrats on the 10k! I'm trying to train up to that distance right now and I really like reading about other people's experiences!

  10. Woop congratulations for the race!
    That meal looks fantastic :-)
    The pasta looks particularly amazing, I love pasta!

  11. Great job on the 10K... especially in that heat wave!

    Dinner looked fabulous... And I LOVE your outfit :)