We arrived in Westwood, MA around 11 a.m. and, after a brief setup, were sharing Javazen with the awesome Wegman's team and customers. We honestly love being out here every day, but we never get more enjoyment than when we're able to meet someone who truly understands what we're doing and supports our mission. This is one our favorite customer interactions of the day.
After leaving Wegmans, we drove into Brighton to drop Eric off for dinner with some old friends. It was stressful navigating our 35-foot RV through the old, narrow streets, but we pulled through unscathed.
From Brighton, we made a beeline to Waltham for a very special dinner. Ryan's cousin Cody, I learned, has been working as a chef near Boston for several years. His latest kitchen is the newly-opened Brelundi restaurant. He graciously invited Ryan and me to enjoy a meal that he and his coworkers planned for us.
We arrived at 7:30 not really knowing what to expect; we hadn't looked up the restaurant ahead of time. Walking in we felt the vibe of an Italian cafe from the coffee bar and gelato behind the counter. Alerting Cody that we had arrived, the hostess led us to our seats on the back deck. The soft lighting in the fading daylight made this area, which overlooked a river, a more apropos setting for the fine dining experience Ryan and I were about to have.
Almost as soon as we had been seated, Cody burst from inside to embrace Ryan in a familial bear hug. They exchanged their greetings and Ryan introduced me. Soon, both the sous and executive chefs had come to visit us as well. We were told that the meal would consist of multiple courses, all prepared to fit together and paired with a lightly carbonated red wine.
Before too long, our first course arrived. It consisted of fresh Caprese - like the tomatoes had been picked that day and the mozzarella had been made the same day - two types of homemade bread using hand-ground wheat, and an immaculate eggplant topping that had the consistency of salsa. (I can't remember the name.) This course was perfection and properly set the tone for the rest of the evening.
Next, we were served an Italian "dumpling" basically a spinach ricotta ball, similar to the filling of ravioli with a black truffle sauce and shaved black truffle on top. Again, the consistency, flavor, aroma, and wine came together with masterful precision.
For the third course, we were served a sweetcorn flat-bread pizza. There's not much I can say about the pizza without sounding repetitive, but it too lived up to the standard set by the previous two dishes. At this point, we were starting to get full and assumed that the next course would be dessert.
We were woefully, or wonderfully, wrong. Just as we thought we couldn't eat another bite, two large plates of pasta came out. To me was given Italian mac-and-cheese made with regular pasta instead of macaroni, and to Ryan was given a type of pasta I'd never seen before, much less be able to pronounce, topped with a wild-boar reduction. Looking at each other, and understanding the unique position we were in, Ryan and I dug in committed to finishing this marathon of a meal.
We didn't end up finishing the pasta, opting instead to box it for the next day, and finally, dessert was brought out. Two dishes sat before us. In a jar sat a five layer pudding with different type of chocolate and semolina pudding and topped with a layer of sea-salted caramel. On a plate lay a scoop of chocolate ice cream joined by three sugar-cinnamon-cacao powdered pastries filled with sheep-milk ricotta infused with lemon zest. It was all almost too much. Almost.
Arriving at the last mile of the meal we polished off these decadent treats. We sat back to reflect on the dining experience we had just been privy to with a degree of disbelief. When the last plates cleared, Cody returned from the kitchen beaming and asking us about what he had just devoured. I, personally, had never had a dining experience quite like this, and I told him as much. Ryan's sentiments were almost identical.
Before we left for the night, Cody and the sous, Marty (both pictured below) gave us a tour of the kitchen. Having gorged on cooking shows like Chefs' Table and Jiro Dreams of Sushi in the preceding months, the experience was almost surreal.
It was at last time to say goodbye. We reiterated our thanks over and over while promising to be back next time we were in the Boston area. The Javazen Road Crew gives Brelundi five stars out of five.
We hope that you're enjoying hearing about our journey! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us in the comments below!
The Javazen Road Crew,
EJ, Ryan, and Eric