Tuesday, March 11, 2014
On Monday, James Beard Award winners Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier will launch their new venture, MC Spiedo Ristorante & Bar, in the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel.
The chefs, owners of MC Perkins Cove in Ogunquit and former owners of Arrows, will be giving the Today Show audience a sneak preview of the place Friday. They are taping the segment today, and it will air during the fourth hour of the show tomorrow with co-hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb.
MC Spiedo (pronounced spee-eh-doh) will feature the flavors of Florence, Bologna and Venice and have that Renaissance flair (spiedo means spit or skewer in Italian). Certain items on the menu will actually be dishes that were made during the Renaissance.
“One dish, for example, was served on Dec. 28, 1326 at a five-day wedding in Sienna, and we’re re-creating the dish,” Frasier said.
The wedding dish, a roast chicken, was served at a sit-down lunch for 90 people. The chicken is braised with dried fruit, apricots, figs, dates, golden raisins, herbs and mirepoix, then the fruit and vegetables are pureed for a sauce.
“It’s just fabulous and delicious and rich,” Frasier said.
Frasier told me that, for the Today show, they’ll be making a simple roast chicken with prosciutto, lemon and garlic, and a Leonardo salad, “which is one of the really fun dishes on the MC Spiedo menu.”
“It’s really cool because Leonardo, in one of his notebooks, actually scrawled out a recipe for a salad dressing and all the ingredients to go with it,” Frasier said.
Frasier said the Renaissance was a pivotal time in the development of food, so it was “very exciting”
to put the menu together.
“Rediscovering this past has been fascinating,” he said. “You know, the Renaissance we all tend to think of as architecture, sculpture, rediscovery of literature, rediscovery of philosophy, but it really was a rebirth of enjoyment of food too. The first supper club was started during the Renaissance. Every month one of the members of the supper club would have to put on a party, very elaborate, and of course they were trying to outdo each other.
“There are just so many stories like this. Before that, of course there were exceptions, but food was considered to be for sustenance and health, but not for enjoyment.”
MC Spiedo will have its soft opening on Monday, and will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. There will be a private grand opening party at the restaurant on Feb. 27.
Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.