I was officially stumped. After driving up and down Fairfield Avenue, all I saw were seemingly abandoned industrial buildings and parking lots. Where on earth was the Community Plates fundraiser?
“It’s wayyy in the back,” a friend texted me from inside the event. We turned the car around and headed to the parking lot we had first pulled up to. We slowly began following it back toward the water. After about a tenth of a mile, we could just make out the figure of a man motioning us into a parking space. Still skeptical, we climbed out of the car. We spied a couple in fancy attire and followed them to a long, dimly lit building.
Once inside, the space was anything but. Colorful art adorned chic white walls. Music pulsed as blue lights dimly illuminated a sprawling room. People in chic clothing mingled in small groups, cocktails in hand. We’d found it.
On October 2, 2013, Community Plates got local restaurants to offer small plates for an annual fundraiser. The organization, whose mission is to combat hunger, raised money for the cause via the evening’s ticket sales and donations. Throughout the room, tables from popular eateries such as Boca, Mama’s Boy, and the Spread prepared tasting portions of their signature dishes in front of eager guests. My personal favorite of the night came from Oak and Almond. They provided a beautifully juicy pork belly adorned with a crispy scallop and marmalade. Another favorite heralded from Bar Sugo: chicken liver toasts. The restaurant also provided homemade ricotta bites.
“Our chicken liver toasts are our bestseller,” explained Chef Pasquelle Pascarella. “As for the ricotta… no one should be buying their own ricotta. It’s so easy to make.”
Cask Republic served a fascinating version of barbeque sauce that they used to marinate a delectable meatball. It included a variety of ingredients such as Seahog IPA, onions, garlic, molasses, maple syrup, and balsamic vinegar. I relished every morsel.
At 8:45, Community Plates regained our attention to remind us about the worthy cause and honor the people who made the night possible. “We won’t kill this vibe for long and don’t expect everyone to be extremely quiet,” they joked. Still, they held our attention as they told us how 1 in 5 children go hungry. They encouraged us to be “concerned about the people we live next to” and thanked their members for being “compassionate, generous, and passionate.”
Community Plates believes that “all of our small efforts when combined form something substantial.” The evening was a testament to their philosophy. Thanks to talented chefs, generous donors, and enthusiastic guests, the evening proved a success.
For more information about Community Plates, please visit http://communityplates.org.