Last week was quite the week! I learned, above all, that I can not go out three nights in a row. I was nice and disciplined with my workouts and buying vegetables and healthy meal ingredients, but somehow I ended up wining and dining around Boston instead. I am excited to have no plans this week. You know you are getting old when. . .
All kidding aside, I felt pretty lucky all at all of the delicious sips and bites I got to have over the last week. One dinner, Post 390′s Farm to Post, will get its own post (ha) later in the week, but below are a few places I highly recommend if you are looking for restaurants in Boston to visit.
I had a work engagement at Barcelona in Brookline, meeting a few visiting journalists who are on a very exciting journey around the US. More on that later, but because of their visit, I got to feel like a complete VIP at the gorgeously appointed new wine bar in Brookline’s Washington Square. A cold, crisp glass of Verdejo in hand, I got the menu rundown straight from Chef Steven Brand, who is doing delectable things at Barcelona. Its menu is different than other locations, and they seem to be having a ton of fun with it all while being incredibly knowledgeable about wine, food, cocktails, and especially jamón.
Part of the training included a professional cutter of jamón being flown in from Spain to teach the delicate, precise art of cutting this special meat. Another plus? Barcelona’s bread comes from nearby Clear Flour Bread, an obsession when I lived in Allston.
In addition to an extensive tapas menu and several types of paella, Barcelona stocks a fantastic by-the-glass wine list. It’s definitely a good place to go to try a few new wines while enjoying lots of little bites. And really, how beautiful is that bar?
Bistro du Midi, a favorite I have visited many times, has launched a new deal that makes going out on a Tuesday a little more delicious. Every Tuesday at the bar and cafe, Executive Chef Robert Sisca will present several $5 croques including a weekly ‘skinny croque’. There will be wine and cocktail pairings by Beverage Director Todd Lipman.
On this visit, we enjoyed the Par Avion cocktail along with three different Croques, a traditional, a smoked salmon and Gruyere, and a skinny Croque made absolutely addictive with pesto. Buttery, warm sandwiches and cocktails? Park me at Bistro du Midi Tuesdays this winter!
Cinquecento ( Times Two) We have had two fantastic experiences at Cinquecento in the South End so far, one a Saturday night date and another a Friday night double date with friends. After making our way through most of the menu on two visits, we have to say that we are huge fans. (Please excuse the size of the photos!)
Cinquecento feels like a chic-yet-comfy Roman trattoria, and they make some gorgeous food. From the kale salad (my favorite) to big bowls of pasta to creative cocktails to a great wine list. Cinquecento delivers.
It’s really hard to not order everything at Cinquecento, but a salumi platter is a great way to kick things off. And the Rigatoni alla Norcia (Fennel Sausage, Cognac Cream, Basil, Pecorino) is to-die-for, especially on a cold winter’s night.
The service at Cinquecento is really above and beyond as well. The first night we were there, I kept my coat on for awhile, and the manager came over to see if I wanted the heat turned up. That’s service, if you ask me!
As you can see, I have been eating up a storm. Barcelona Wine Bar, Bistro du Midi, and Cinquecento all made for fantastic wining and dining destinations in the Boston area over the past week. The Boston area is definitely the place to be these days when it comes to food and wine, and I am excited to be a part of it.
Where have you been dining lately?