When I was invited by POM Wonderful for dinner at Restaurant Eugene, for a pomegranate themed dinner, I had no idea what to expect. A dinner with every dish having pomegranate? I knew we were in for a great evening of exploring the versatility of this fruit and I was interested to see how creative Restaurant Eugene would get with the dishes with a fruit that is wonderful on its own.
We started the evening with a few passed appetizers. This chip with caviar and pomegranate arils (also known as the seed) was awesome. I drink pomegranate juice quite often, but I wasn’t familiar at all with the seeds of the fruit. The aril is the botanical term for a seed surrounded by a juice sac. The arils of the Wonderful variety (which is what we had and is grown in California) are ruby-red, with a sweet, tart juice inside. When you bite into the aril it literally bursts in your mouth with tons of juice. I could just sit and eat these all on it’s own.
I was pleasantly surprised at how awesome the pimento cheese macaroons were. The outside was just as a macaroon should be which is soft, but instead of a sweet filling, it was savory. I’ve never had a savory macaroon before and I hope this won’t be the last. It was really creative and tasty.
First course was also something I’d never had before. Lamb tartare with mint and pomegranate. I mean at some point we’ve all had beef tartare, but lamb? I was once again pleasantly surprised at how good this was. It didn’t taste gamey at all and I really enjoyed the pom pom’s (pomegranate arils) that were also nestled inside. It added some sweet acidity to the dish that I really enjoyed.
Next up was the pomegranate pickled beets with ash roasted carrots. The salad was pretty simply prepared and you could never go wrong with beets. I didn’t taste much of the pomegranate in this dish, but it all fairness, beets have a pretty strong flavor on their own that would hard to cover.
Third course, was the toasted crab with pomegranate vadouvan. My favorite of all the dishes we had, there was lots of crab meat and I loved the slight crunch from the toasting on the outside. I couldn’t taste a lot of sweetness from the pomegranate but I could taste the acidity that the fruit brought out in the dish. Anytime you have seafood, you need a little acid.
For the fourth and final course, we indulged in a chocolate souffle macaroon with a pomegranate sorbet. I’ve made a pomegranate sorbet before at home in my ice cream maker and it’s one of my favorite light desserts to have after having a big meal. The sorbet was not super sweet and I loved the graham cracker crumbles it sat on. The macaroon was super soft, chocolatey and by far the largest macaroon I’ve ever eaten lol. This was truly the perfect dish to end the evening.
We are at the start of POM season and I can’t wait to share with you all some of my ideas on how to use the fruit! 🙂
Until next time…Happy Eating!! xoxo -Milla
*This was a media dinner, however all opinions are my own.