CityFeast raises funds for diabetes with North End 5-course meals –

Oh, no! I'm too late to book my annual dinner at Terramia's for CityFeast, the 11th annual fundraiser to benefit Joslin Diabetes Center's High Hopes Fund. Terramia and Bricco are already sold out for the Sunday, January 31, event. But thankfully there are plenty of other choices, although with this popular event, it's best to get your tickets ASAP.

This year's line-up is:

Antico Forno, 93 Salem Street
Aria Trattoria, 253 Hanover Street
Bricco Ristorante, 241 Hanover Street
Lucca, 226 Hanover Street
Lucia, 415 Hanover Street
Strega North End, 379 Hanover Street
Taranta, 210 Hanover Street
Terramia Ristorante, 98 Salem Street
Tresca, 233 Hanover Street

Which should I choose? Fantastic restaurants. Eating to help diabetes? Yes please. Each offers a five-course dinner with wine pairings, including a diabetes-friendly recipe or two.

The North End's own Carla Gomes established CityFeast in 2005, to thank Joslin's care for her son David, who was diagnosed for type 1 diabetes 23 years ago, on his first birthday. Gomes is the proprietor of Terramia and Antico Forno. CityFeast has raised nearly $280,000 for Joslin Diabetes Center's High Hopes Fund.

Another avid supporter of the event, chef/owner Jose Duarte of Taranta, has become more involved in raising diabetes awareness through food since his wife, Anna, was diagnosed with gestational diabetes during her 2006 pregnancy. Joslin named Chef Duarte the culinary chair of ritmos de salud, an annual event benefiting their Latino Diabetes Initiative.

There's a VIP reception to kick everything off, with Joslin's new CEO, Dr. Peter Amenta as the emcee, 5pm at Antico Forno. And the whole restaurant at each location is seating JUST for this event, so it's one long night of party.

Many of the meals are designed to be diabetes-friendly, with many restaurants offering a menu with an emphasis on fish. Fish contains a healthy fat-to-protein ratio, minimizing the risk of a spike in blood sugar— one of the main concerns for diabetics when choosing a meal—and it is rich in Omega-3s, which help to reduce the risk of heart disease.

CityFeast can be a carb-heavy event but this year, Joslin Diabetes Center worked with the participating chefs and restaurant owners to determine which items on their current menus can be considered "diabetes friendly" and to lay out guidelines for the chefs to follow in order to create an original DF dish. Since identifying certain dishes on restaurant menus as GF for gluten-free has been a big help to those living with celiac disease, Joslin is hoping to add "DF" to menus, too. There are 25.8 million Americans living with diagnosed diabetes, and an estimated 79 million ages 40-74 with "pre-diabetes."

Tickets are $150, but $100 is tax-deductible. There are no substitutions, although those with allergies should inform the restaurant after purchasing tickets.

CityFeast Raffle tickets are $25 each or 5 for $100, featuring the chance to win dinner for 6 at Terramia or Antico Forno.

For more information on CityFeast or to purchase tickets visit: or

Antico's Involtini di Melanzane

Antico's Involtini di Melanzane Courtesy of CityFeast

Antico's Involtini di Melanzane

Antico Forno's offerings will include:

  • Rigatoni alla Boscaiola (Rigatoni pasta sautéed with mushrooms, sweet peas, onions and Italian ham in a San Marzano tomato mascarpone sauce)
  • Involtini di Melanzane (Rolled eggplant stuffed with ricotta cheese and basil, baked in brick oven with San Marzano tomato sauce and parmigiana cheese)
  • Caprese, a diabetes-friendly (DF) dish with fresh mozzarella and tomato salad, mixed greens, toasted bread, topped with extra virgin olive oil and basil

Aria's Gamberi al Limone

Aria's Gamberi al Limone Courtesy of CityFeast

Aria's Gamberi al Limone

Aria will offer two DF dishes on their menu: Pollo Grecca, a Murray's farm organic chicken breast marinated with lemon and oregano served with roasted carrots, and yia yia's roasted potatoes; and Gamberi al Limone, Limoncello marinated shrimp with garlic, pine nuts, capers, and grilled salted lemon. Other items:

  • Polpette della Nonna: Nonna Rosalie's signature meatballs, San Marzano tomato sauce
  • Insalata Caprese, imported mozzarella di bufala, oven roasted heirloom tomatoes, basil, and homemade basil oil
  • Rigatoni Bolognese da Abruzzo, handmade pasta prepared with a typical abbruzzese style veal and beef ragout, enriched with pancetta and tomato

Bricco's Chitarrine

Bricco's Chitarrine Courtesy of CityFeast

Bricco's Chitarrine

Bricco will serve a Chitarrine with Colina cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, and Parmigiano as its diabetes-friendly dish. Other items include:

  • Mozzarella Di Bufala Caprese: vine-ripe tomatoes and basil pesto
  • Prosciutto di San Daniele & Spek Tirolese: quince & stracchino cheese, bruschette
  • 7-Spice Murray's Brick Chicken roasted "under the brick," swiss chard timbale stuffed with potato pure, prosciutto & roasted red peppers
  • Prime Beef Tenderloin with double mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach
  • Alaskan King Salmon with roasted fennel & shallots, red pepper puree and bagna cauda
  • Veal Ossobuco, Marcho Farms, with traditional saffron risotto, sautéed spinach
  • Bricco's Signature Bread Pudding with caramel sauce, or traditional handmade tiramisu

Apple-glazed Bay of Fundy Salmon

Apple-glazed Bay of Fundy Salmon Courtesy of CityFeast

Apple-glazed Bay of Fundy Salmon

Lucca will serve an Apple-Glazed Bay of Fundy Salmon over sweet potato puree, roasted carrots, parsnips, braised Tuscan kale and radicchio as its "DF" dish. And…

  • Confit Artichoke and Potato Salad, Pink Grapefruit, Parmesan, Lemon Aioli
  • House-made Three Cheese Ravioli, Braised Chicken, Wild Mushrooms, Arugula Pesto, Toasted Walnuts
  • Grilled Petite Filet, Wild Mushroom Risotto, Balsamic Cipollini Onions and Truffled Demi-Glace
  • Tiramisu, Toasted Hazelnuts, Orange Coulis

Diabetes-Friendly Vegetable Quinoa Soup recipe

Diabetes-Friendly Vegetable Quinoa Soup recipe Courtesy of CityFeast

Diabetes-Friendly Vegetable Quinoa Soup recipe

Taranta will serve a Vegetable Quinoa Soup as its diabetes-friendly dish.

Diabetes-Friendly Vegetable Quinoa Soup (Recipe)
serves 4

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
3 small or 2 medium/large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 to 2 cups chopped seasonal vegetables, like zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper, sweet potatoes or butternut squash
6 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 can (28 ounce) diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well in a fine mesh colander
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
2 bay leaves
Pinch red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup of precooked Giant Peruvian Lima Beans
1 cup or more chopped fresh kale or collard greens, tough ribs removed
1 teaspoon lemon juice


  1. Warm the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, seasonal vegetables and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring frequently, about 1 minute. Pour in the drained diced tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often.
  3. Pour in the quinoa, broth and the water. Add 1 teaspoon salt, 2 bay leaves and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Raise heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer.
  4. Cook for 25 minutes, then remove the lid and add the beans and the chopped greens. Continue simmering for 5 minutes or more, until the greens have softened to your liking.
  5. Remove the pot from heat, then remove the bay leaves. Stir in 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Taste and season with more salt and pepper until the flavors really sing. (You might need up to ½ teaspoon more salt, depending on your vegetable broth and your personal preferences.) Divide into bowls and top with grated Parmesan if you'd like.

Terramia Ristorante's offerings

  • Zuppa Di Funghi – Wild mushrooms and chestnut soup, goat cheese and truffle oil, accompanied by a glass of Castello di Querceto Chianti DOCG (Tuscany, Italy)
  • Ravioli – House-made short rib ravioli, braised short rib, beef au jus, accompanied by a glass of Masi Campofiorin Rosso del Veronese (Veneto, Italy)
  • Pesce – Pan seared filet of halibut, saffron risotto, wilted baby spinach, lobster reduction, accompanied by a glass of Feudo Arancio Stemmari Chardonnay (Sicilia, Italy)
  • Bistecca – Prime Filet Mignon, truffle mash potato, sautéed broccoli rabe, red wine reduction, accompanied by a glass of Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma)
  • Budino Di Pane – Salted caramel bread pudding with vanilla gelato, accompanied by a glass of Port Late Bottled (Portugal)

Tresca's tasties

Tresca is serving an Insalata Romano as their DF dish, plus:

  • Polpette di Vitelli with crispy veal meatballs served with pomodoro and poached garlic, herbs dipping sauces
  • Calamari Fritti garnished with spicy aioli and pomodoro sauce
  • Rigatoni Norma (available vegan and gluten free) with roasted eggplant, San Marzano tomatoes and Fresh Basil, topped with fresh ricotta salt
  • Tagletele Bolognese: northern style veal and pork ragout enriched with pancetta and tomatoes
  • Pollo Romano, a grilled, marinated chicken breast cutlet topped with arugula and Grilled vegetables, and fingerling potatoes
  • Salmon Genovese served with shaved fennel and apple salad, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, finished with an apple cider reduction
  • Family-style dessert plate featuring North End classics