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If you live in the Boston area, you probably know about Bin Ends Wine, discount wine stores in Braintree and Needham. Not only do they have an amazing selection and great prices, but they also have a true love, knowledge of, and passion for wine.  They periodically do wine dinners, and over President’s Day weekend, we got a group of friends together to go to their Sonoma wine dinner at The Townshend in Quincy.

The Townshend

wine dinner

Gundlach Bundschu Gewurtztraminer


scallop crudo

first course
smoked scallop crudo
served with pickled fresno pepper / pork rinds / cilantro
2013 Gundlach Bundschu Gewurtztraminer
"Estate" Sonoma Coast

This was easily my favorite pairing of the night. We love Gundlach Bundschu and have visited many times on trips to Sonoma County. Any sort of crudo is up my alley, and the wine was bright, crisp, and made the dish pop with notes of grapefruit and lemon.


second course
pork croquette
served with parsnip / gremolata / bone marrow
2014 Raeburn Winery Chardonnay
Russian River Valley

The second course paired a buttery Chardonnay from Raeburn (also a new favorite) with a rich pork and parsnip dish. The vanilla notes in the wine were lovely with the creamy parsnip, another spot-on pairing, and one that was great for a cold Sunday evening. 


third course
braised bone-in lamb shank
served with cappellacci / golden raisin / oregano
2011 Donelan Family Wines Syrah
"Walker Vine Hill Vyd" Russian River Valley

Talk about Sunday supper food. . . the third pairing was a hearty, fall-of-the-bone lamb shank with a delicious Syrah from Donelan Family Vineyards. Spice and chocolate and berry notes made for the perfect fireside sipper and a great pairing with the very rich main course.

Buena Vista Irish Coffee  

dessert course
mini "Ghirardelli" sundae
cocoa waffle cone bowl, caramelized white chocolate ice cream, salted caramel chocolate sauce, praline tuille 
  Prepared By Pastry Chef Kate Holochick
Served with The Townshend’s Irish Coffee

At this point I could have rolled out of The Townshend, but we had a San Francisco treat to finish off the evening. A Buena Vista-style Irish coffee and a homemade Ghirardelli Sundae put me in the frame of mind to head to the West Coast and wander the lovely Ghirdardelli Square (which I did just a few weeks later). Easily one of the best desserts I have had in a long time, and the Irish coffee was a sweet and potent way to end the night.

Buena Vista Irish Coffee

After this experience, I really can’t recommend these events enough. It was so much fun, and I hope Bin Ends and The Townshend collaborate again for something similar.

Since I just returned from a visit to Northern California, I have quite a few San Francisco and other posts to share. . . stay tuned!

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Tags: California, Food, food blog, Quincy, Restaurants, Sonoma, travel blog, wine, wine blog

Just order everything, is the advice that I would give for those thinking about visiting the newly opened Townshend restaurant in Quincy. Its location is a little odd; it’s in the same building as my doctor, so my arrival brought back less-than-stellar memories of having malaria this winter and feeling wretched, but once inside the actual restaurant, the space is bright, rustic, and lovely and lacks that doctor’s office smell.

Our group of four was seated at a table next to the window, where we could view the comings and goings of Quincy, which is a busy place! We started with cocktails, mine the Brooklyn: a simple and delicious mix of rye and orange bitters, served nice and cold.

Rye and Orange Bitters

We were all hangry and decided we needed appetizers in addition to entrees.

beet salad

The beet salad with whipped ricotta was one of my favorites. It was so simple but so well done, and it made me feel healthy after constant indulgences of late.


Arancini nestled in a flavorful tomato sauce were stuffed with peas and guanciale, a delightful, rich pairing.

grilled asparagus

Roasted asparagus with bacon cream was heavenly. Seriously, I always want my asparagus this way.

burrattaBurrata with spiced honey and toast was another crowd favorite, and our server kindly brought us extra bread for the burrata and all of the other bits of sauce left on the appetizer plates. We weren’t leaving a drop of anything behind!


For  my entree I went with the seared trout with fingerling potatoes, grilled spring onion, and chorizo. It was perfectly cooked, just falling off of the crispy skin, and so full of flavor. It was exactly what I wanted.

I also had a few bites of the hanger steak my husband ordered. It was tender and garlicky, served with a crispy potato rosti, which was like a really crispy hash brown.

hanger steak

We shared a bottle of Gruener Veltliner with our dinner. I am normally a big fan of Gruener, but this one was very acidic to me.

landhaus mayer gruner


amaro digestif

Before we left, we were treated to little splashes of Amaro as a digestif. It was just another small touch in already excellent service to end the night. We really loved our experience at The Townshend; it was one of the best meals we have all had in recent months, and since all four of us eat a lot, that’s saying something!

Did you try any new restaurants over the weekend?

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Tags: cocktails, Dining out, new, Quincy, Restaurants, wine

Some people are talking about how summer is almost over. While they are actually wrong, and the season changes the third week in September (and boat season goes a month AFTER that) it seems like many people are in a hurry to get on with autumn. I have seen Halloween candy in stores, and at work we are planning Christmas events.

I, on the other hand, am enjoying each simple bite of this season, including seafood enjoyed by the sea. When my family visited a few weeks ago, we all went out to Quincy to Tony’s Clam Shop, where we feasted on all sorts of seafood dishes.


I have had constant cravings for steamers, so I polished these off without assistance. I love the sweet and briny flavors and the hot buttery finish of steamers.

fried seafood at Tony's

I also love all things fried, so I shared a fried seafood platter with my husband. Piled high with shrimp, cod, calamari, and clams, this plate was one we couldn’t finish!

Tony’s has an enormous menu that also features grilled items like burgers and hot dogs and Middle Eastern specialties. You can also get beer and wine if you want to make things a little more festive.

Tony’s has a great, large patio that is often full but empties out at a steady pace, leaving tables open periodically.

Tony's Clam Shop

And the views, well the views from Tony’s Clam Shop patio just can’t be beat. Watch the sun go down over Boston, smell the sea air, and listen to the waves gently crashing. It’s a mini vacation just a short drive or T trip away!

wollaston beach

While I am on the subject of seafood, I have to mention the Harp & Bard seafood specials. They often have twin lobsters, steamers, and a filling, heavenly lobster pie. (They also have great drinks, and it’s an overall really fun place.)

steamed lobsters

In short, there is still time to be living out your summer dreams! If anyone tries to tell you differently, send them my way. Smile

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Tags: Boston, day trip. seaside dining, Dining out, Food, Quincy, seafood, summer

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