Food La La: ‘Seasons’ blossoms at Fresh Cafe

Sep. 21, 2013 | 0 Comments

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BY LINDSEY MURAOKA / Special to the Star-Advertiser

When Fresh Cafe opened in 2009, I remember spending almost every night there studying and eating their delicious pesto pasta salad. Back then, it was an eclectic and cozy cafe in the middle of nowhere, but it’s now also known as a community hub for events and concerts. Owner Tiffany Tanaka is constantly coming up with creative events, whether it is an art show or garage sale to keep things, well, fresh.

One of their newest events is “Eating with the Seasons,” a dinner series held on the third Wednesday of the month as a showcase of local ingredients used at Fresh Cafe. This month’s special ingredient was sweet basil from PacFresh Farms on the North Shore. Basil was incorporated into every dish, and the menu items served will be available to all customers in October.

The dinner was held on the outside patio at Fresh Cafe, with family-style seating to encourage socializing. A sweet and slightly tangy pineapple and basil infused champagne started off dinner.

My friend Avy Chan and I enjoying our drinks!

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My favorite dish of the night was this creamy zucchini sweet basil soup. It had chunks of fresh mozzarella cheese in it, too.

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Everyone oohed and aahed when this adorable basil watermelon salad was brought out. The salty and tangy feta cheese enhanced the sweetness of the watermelon while the chia seeds and sunflower seeds brought everything together and gave the salad an additional crunchy texture.

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It was challenging yet fun to mix it all up before eating. I am going to recreate this dish at home, Mason jar and all.

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The main entrée was a hearty smoked mozzarella prosciutto basil panini.

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Dessert was sweet basil with pineapple and pepper popsicles from Ono Pops. Very refreshing!

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Fresh Cafe is keeping next month’s special ingredient a secret for now, but follow them on Facebook or Twitter for updates and to purchase tickets, priced at $45.
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Lindsey Muraoka blogs about food and drink for the Pulse. Contact her on Twitter or via email at foodlalablog@gmail.com.

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