Sunday, March 30, 2014

DINE OUT BOSTON: UNION BAR & GRILLE

Pimento cheese arancini
Hot chocolate cake
If your meal starts off with a hot skillet of cornbread, chances are you're about to have a wonderful dinner. Yes, our Dine Out Boston dinner at Union Bar & Grille in the South End of Boston began with that piping hot cornbread and but enough butter. It was the perfect way to kick off a fine 3-course meal.

Course one: roasted red & gold beets, kale salad or pimento cheese arancini. I can't pass up arancini and was certainly glad I didn't at Union Bar & Grille. This app was so good and I enjoyed having it with something other than marinara sauce.

Course two: gumbo with duck confit, ricotta gnocchi or sole. I continued with the Italian theme and ordered the gnocchi. It was a very fresh dish with mushrooms and asparagus and just enough cheese sprinkled on top.

Course 3: bananas foster bread pudding, hot chocolate cake or sorbet. The hot chocolate cake was rich and topped off with vanilla bean ice cream. 

All three courses were $28. Dine Out Boston may be over for this season, but check out Union Bar & Grille for a romantic dinner date in the city. They also serve up brunch on weekends.



www.unionrestaurant.com
@UnionBoston

TASTY TIP
- If you drive in, you can park FOR FREE in Gaslight's parking lot and walk over to Union. 
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TIRAMISU? DON'T MIND IF I DO!

Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts. I found this delicious dish at Stone Hearth Pizza in Needham, Mass. It's chilled perfectly and dusted off with just enough cocoa and espresso powder. You can't beat the price at just $5 a slice.
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Sunday, March 23, 2014

DINE OUT BOSTON: CINQUECENTO

Insalata di Piselli
Pesto alla Genovese
Panna Cotta al Cioccolato
It's week two of Dine Out Boston a.k.a. restaurant week and like I always say, this is the perfect time to try out a new restaurant. We headed out to Cinquecento in South End the other night for some Italian at this trendy new spot.

For dinner, they are offering a three-course menu for Dine Out Boston. Course one: insalata di piselli, zuppa du fagioli (bean soup) or bresaola e fichi (cured beer loin). I enjoyed the salad along with the bread and olive oil our waiter gave the table. We also ordered the fried baby artichokes off of the dinner menu, which were delicious. Course two: spaghetti with asparagus, Atlantic swordfish or roasted chicken. I LOVED the the spaghetti and was surprised by the huge portion they gave me. They didn't skimp on the asparagus either.   

The final course, everyone's favorite: dessert! The choices: chocolate panna cotta or lemon olive oil cake. I can't resist chocolate, so I ordered the panna cotta. It was so smooth and decadent. It's served with some amarena cherries which complemented it perfectly. By the way, all three courses were just $28!

The food, the atmosphere and the service at Cinquecento was excellent. I'm looking forward to going back to order off of their dinner menu. I noticed a bolognese on the menu, which is on my list to try. Oh yeah, they also have brunch from 10am-3pm on the weekend!

www.cinquecentoboston.com
@cinquecentobos 

Dine Out Boston runs through March 28. Lunches range from $15-$25. Dinners range from $28-$38. More info: www.dineoutboston.com.
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Saturday, March 22, 2014

SUNDAY BRUNCH AT BONEFISH GRILL

California omelet with toast and potatoes au gratin
Bonefish Grill is known for their delicious seafood, but did you know they also serve a delicious Sunday Brunch? I recently enjoyed their brunch at their Newington, Connecticut location. They have an extensive menu which, of course, features the Sunday brunch staples mimosas and Bloody Mary's. I enjoyed the California omelet with applewood bacon, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and tomatoes. It came with toast and a wickedly cheesy potatoes au gratin. There are several other omelets including the Oscar with crab, asparagus and smoked mozzarella and an egg white & asparagus omelet. They also serve up several eggs benedicts, creme brulee French toast, a kobe beef and egg burger and whole grain oatmeal. It was a really good brunch and I look forward to visiting again the next time I'm in Connecticut. , ,

Friday, March 14, 2014

2014 ST. PATRICK'S DAY NEW ENGLAND DINING GUIDE

Bar Louie (Fenway & Foxboro, MA) March 15-17; special drink features include green beer & Irish whiskey 
Beehive (Boston) March 17; 7th annual St. Patrick's Day festivities with musician Kate McD, Irish drinks; a la carte specials include corned beef & cabbage flatbread with sauerkraut & cheese and grilled lamb chops.
First & Last Tavern (Hartford, CT) Corned beef & cabbage with soda bread all weekend; green beer on St. Patrick's Day 
Harpoon St. Partrick's Festival (Boston, MA) The Harpoon beer will be flowing on Friday and Saturday allowed with food vendors selling traditional Irish food 
King's (Dedham, MA) Food & drink specials, costume contest, party favors on Monday
Ladder 133 Bar & Grille (Providence, RI) On March 17, Irish food and drink menus; live acoustic music; green beer; giveaways
Miller's Ale House (Watertown, MA) March 15-17; Corned beef & cabbage, Irish nachos, corned beef reuben, beer cheese soup, Irish egg rolls
Patrick's Pub (Gifford, NH) Irish music all ay long on Monday; special beer vendor visits and Irish Buffet all day.
Ri Ra Irish Pub (Providence, RI)  Beer specials and a band on Monday
Shamrock Shuffle Pub Crawl & Scavenger Hunt (Portland, ME) at The Old Port; $25 tickets; 11 am Saturday thru 1 am Sunday. PortSports Social Club is hosting an all day event of food and fun.



Thursday, March 13, 2014

IT'S GREEN BAGEL TIME!

It's my duty to remind you that you can now help yourself to a green bagel for St. Patrick's Day. Bruegger's Bagels is now selling green bagels like they do every year. You can also get a green bagel at any Einstein Bros. Bagels location. Happy St. Patrick's Day! ,

Monday, March 10, 2014

RESTAURANT WEEK IS COMING IN PORTSMOUTH, NH

Here's another welcome sign of spring: it will soon be restaurant week in Portsmouth, NH. Radici serves up some wonderful Italian food in an intimate setting, so I can recommend them. Really, there are so many great restaurants in the Portsmouth, NH area so it's hard to go wrong. ,

Sunday, March 02, 2014

A COZY BREAKFAST AT SPOT CAFE IN WATERTOWN, MA

One of my favorite places for a hearty breakfast in Watertown, MA is Spot Cafe. The dining room is very small and intimate, so if you go for breakfast on the weekend expect a wait. While you're waiting, check out there extensive collection of teapots on display throughout their Paris-inspired dining room. 

Spot Cafe serves breakfast and lunch. For breakfast, choose from Belgian waffles topped with fresh fruit, fruit-filled pancakes and several specialty omelets. Their omelet dishes are served with toast and home fries. Their pancakes are huge and topped off with powdered sugar. Go for brunch and you won't b hungry again until dinner. Spot Cafe also has many lunch options, including salads, soups and sandwiches. 

CONTACT
385 Main Street
Watertown, MA 02472
(617) 923-2339
 
CLOSED on Monday
7am- 3pm
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Saturday, March 01, 2014

SMASHBURGER JOINS THE BOSTON-AREA BURGER WARS

Smashfries with BBQ, bacon & cheddar burger
Veggie frites
Say hello to Smashburger. In December, the Denver-based chain opened its first Massachusetts location in Natick right across from the Natick Mall.  

The burgers are smashed right on the grille here, seared and seasoned to give them their tasty flavor. They come in two sizes: smash and big smash. Burger prices are very reasonable from $4.99-$6.99. I tried the "BBQ, Bacon & Cheddar" burger, which has a light cranberry BBQ sauce, applewood-smoked bacon, cheddar cheese and haystack onions. What a tasty combination of flavors and the burger itself is so flavorful and juicy. Melts in your mouth. Sure, there are safe options like the "Classic Smash" cheeseburger and their "Bacon Cheeseburger," but I'm looking forward to trying some of Smashburger's more interesting burgers. "The New Englander" comes with cranberry sauce and grilled onions. There's also the "Truffle Mushroom Swiss" with truffle mayo, baby portabella mushrooms and swiss. There's also a "Spinach, Cucumber & Goat Cheese" burger and an "Avocado Club" burger. Mmmm. By the way, you can order a chicken sandwich with all of the same combos.

Order up some of their famous "Smashfries" on the side. You get a whole basket of skinny fries tossed in rosemary, olive oil and garlic for $2. They also have regular regular French fries, haystack onions and sweet potato fries. If you want something healthy, you've got to try Smashburger's "Veggie Frites," a nice portion of carrots and beans.

Other menu items include salads, veggie burgers, hot dogs and kids meals. Smashburger is also known for their milkshakes made with Haagen-Dazs ice cream. They also serve bottled beer.

Smashburger plans to open a dozen new locations in the Boston area in the coming years. No doubt, I'll be back for more of these mouth-watering burgers.

Deals & Discounts
Smashclub: Enter your email address on Smashburger.com for coupons and discounts in your email. I got a $2 off $5 for joining the Smashclub. They'll also hook you up with a free meal on your birthday. , ,