dining

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I have been on a roll lately as far as blogging topics go, many thanks to my travels to Ireland and the Czech Republic. I am thankful for this considering the fact that, in December, I really wasn’t sure if I could even write another post! I just got stuck in rut, and I am happy to be out for the moment!

As a result of all of that busy-ness, I have completely neglected writing about some GREAT meals that I have had out in Boston recently.

 

Gaslight You may remember a recent post, Gaslight Enchants, where I sang the praises of the South End brasserie that combines comfort and great service with really fresh and delicious food. After that post we were planning on returning to Gaslight, and I was pleasantly surprised and grateful when the restaurant sent a gift certificate in response to my review, making it that much easier to go back. Since my husband started a new job last week, we decided to celebrate on Friday night, and on a bitter cold Boston night, Gaslight seemed like a perfect spot. What we weren’t anticipating was the fact that everyone else in Boston also decided to eat at Gaslight! I must say that after years of a bad economy, I am heartened to see restaurants completely full with people waiting. BUT we didn’t have to wait! Somehow they found us a table for two, and within minutes we were sipping on drinks, me a Madame Lillet, made with Lillet Rouge, St. Germain, and a champagne float, and the hubs a Fin du Monde beer. The oysters on this night were absolutely perfect, as they tend to be this time of year. I ordered the Poelee Espagnol, the same dish that the hubs had last time because I really wanted to steal it from him that evening. The hubs had the special rib eye which came with a delicious red wine caramelized onion and a fried on the outside mashed potato ball, which I am sure had a more sophisticated name that I can not remember. I do remember the crunchy, soft, butteriness of this side and how once again I wanted to steal his food, in addition to eating my own :) I know I mentioned it in my last Gaslight post, but they have parking, a little touch that can not be overlooked when going out in the middle of winter!

 

Craigie on Main It was probably pretty clear in this post that I really love Craigie on Main. If it wasn’t clear enough there, then maybe my Best of 2009 post will sell you on Craigie. All I know is that if you live in or are visiting Boston, you should try to go here. We celebrated the first in a string of 30th birthdays at Craigie on Main last week, and it was exceptional as always. I won’t do a full recap of everyone’s meals, but I will tell you about what I had. Raija, the birthday girl (and guest blogger) ordered an appetizer of grilled Spanish octopus that was grilled, sort of meaty, perfection. I was told by a few Twitter friends to try this, and I am glad that she ordered it so that I could. :) I went for the vegetarian tasting menu and had the same mushroom ragout topped with a delicious, runny farm egg as my last visit. In addition, I had the Early Winter Root Vegetable Gratin. I wish I had gotten a photo of this because the layers were so pretty, and the dish itself was pure comfort and deliciousness! My dessert was the Peanut Butter Parfait made with homemade Hob Nob cookies. Hob Nobs are English (I think) but abound in Irish desserts and are a crunchy, oaty cookie. Even though I am not much of a dessert person, I pretty much died over this one.

The Ledge The Ledge, in the spirit of keeping things local, is a relatively new Dorchester restaurant and bar and apparently is a huge hotspot. A 35 minute wait for dinner in Dorchester? Well worth it here! They have a really long, contemporary bar with a great wine list and even a house brew of their own. On the chilly Friday night that we had dinner here, I had just run 15 miles the night before and was in major hangry mode. I wanted something not so healthy, so I chose the fried haddock sandwich with sweet potato fries. A restaurant with good sweet potato fries can win my heart over, and these did. My fish was flaky and lightly battered, topped with coleslaw and served on a big toasty bun. The hubs had steak tips with two sides, mac and cheese and maple glazed butternut squash. Yummmmmmm. Everything was amazing, but the maple butternut squash was something that I would eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They have a fun looking cocktail menu, very friendly service, a young neighborhood vibe, and great food. And did I mention that the prices are sort of ridiculously low? I was happy to see that this new establishment was full of people, and happy people who looked like they would be coming back for more. I know we will be!

Pssssst Did you enter to win my raffle yet? The prizes, a $100 gift card to Williams Sonoma or a (me) & goji custom mix, the beneficiary of the ticket prices? The ALLY Foundation. Each ticket is $10, and they can be “purchased” by making a donation here:

http://firstgiving.com/meghanmalloyteamally

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Tags: Best of Boston, Boston, cocktails, dining, Dorchester, Food, foodies, oysters, Restaurants, wine

Did you all have a fun Halloween? I can hardly believe that it is November 1st. It is quite warm here in Boston today, and I was grateful for that extra hour of sleep after a very late night out. Normally Sundays kind of bring me down, but not this week. I can not even believe that in a few short days I will be on my way to San Francisco to eat, drink, and meet new people at the Foodbuzz Festival. It seems like we have been waiting for this forever! A 4 day work week means crunching a lot of work in, but the thought of being in wine country this time next week will definitely keep my spirits up! I had a really fun Saturday night. After spending the day cleaning and TRYING to become a self-hosted blogger, I had a little glass of wine and some Trader Joe’s arancini with my friend Raija. The arancini were good, a little bland, but perfect when paired with some spicy tomato sauce.
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We each had a glass of Rejadorada, a big, fruit forward Spanish red from one of our Bin Ends wine flea market purchases. I love this wine, it is super dark red with an explosion of flavor of dark berries and cherries. Yum. We had 7:30 reservations at Les Zygomates, and when we arrived it was pretty empty. We were immediately served warm, crust French bread.
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The birthday girl ordered a bottle of 2006 Château Nuits des Dames, Côtes du Rhône, Southern Rhône, France, and we all toasted to her last year of her twenties, and the official start of our thirtieth birthday yearlong celebration.
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I kind of like candlelit photos even if they aren’t super crisp. They’re so warm and cozy looking. The rest of my photos for the dinner came out really blurry, so my descriptions will have to be enough :) We started with the mussels in white wine with dijon mustard, shallots, and tarragon. I absolutely love tarragon, and my favorite part of mussels usually ends up being the bread and sauce part. For my entree, I ordered two appetizers, a frisee salad with a poached egg and bacon vinaigrette and the citrus cure salmon with Yukon gold blini, crème fraiche. I always order this salmon dish because it is absolutely delicious. The potato blini especially, soft, warm potatoe-y heaven. I skipped dessert and instead had a beautiful glass of Moet. After dinner, we walked across the Fort Point bridge and headed over to Barbara Lynch’s Drink, the subterranean creative cocktail hotspot.
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I love many things about Drink including its more adult crowd, as opposed to the many college-student thronged bars in Boston. They also have an amazing spread of fresh ingredients like herbs, fruits, and spices.
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We had a really fun time requesting drinks with different flavor profiles. My favorite of the night was a “bone” which is made of rye whiskey, lime, simple syrup, and tabasco sauce. I had asked for something spicy, and I got it. My mouth was burning, but I love hot food, so why not hot drinks?! We had planned on going to the South End, but an absolute downpour started and we decided to stay at Drink. So many combinations to try, so little time. At a VERY late hour, my wonderful husband picked us up and dropped everyone home safely. He is the best. I spent part of today having lunch with a lovely group of Boston bloggers, and I will be posting about that later today or tomorrow. Stay tuned. . . :) BTW. . . as you know I am obsessed with checking the search terms used to find my blog, and almost ALL of them today were for Trader Joe’s Super Red Drink Powder! It must be very popular!

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Tags: Boston, cocktails, dining, Food, wine

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