Tupelo – Modern Southern

1193 Cambridge St. Cambridge, MA 02139

www.tupelo02139.com (617) 868.0004

*In Inman Sq. in Cambridge at the intersection of Cambridge and Tremont St

Seth & Ren, +3 guests

  • –Drinks–
  • Cote du Rhone
  • Abita Amber
  • Monk’s Blood
  • Ommegang
  • Peak Organic x2
  • Abita Turbodog
  • zombie killer
  • Mulled Red Wine
  • –Plates–
  • Fried Oysters w/ Tabasco aioli and house pickles
  • Pork Belly Corn Dog(!!!) *Night Special*
  • Triple-Fried Chicken wings *Night Special*
  • Deep fried Crispy Grits squares
  • Small Cajun Gumbo w/ pulled chicken, fresh okra and smoked andouille sausage
  • Southern Fried Chicken w/ hominy mashed potatoes, collard greens and pickled red cabbage
  • Crawfish Chowder *Night Special*
  • BBQ Pulled Pork w/ collard greens and hominy mashed potatoes
  • The King’s Favorite Meatloaf w/ jalapeño mac&cheese, collard greens and pan gravy
  • Texas Style Beef Chili w/ cheddar cheese, sour cream and pickled jalapeño peppers
  • –Dessert–
  • Apple-Pear-Cranberry Pie
  • Mississippi Mud Pie
  • $211.86 w/tax ($65 in Drinks)

Average Price/Person: $20-30 w/ Drinks: $30-45

Seth: Back out to Cambridge we went to check out some Southern food this week. Our search had put us to this location as well as a spot on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. We had a reservation and arrived a little late but was promptly sat. Our server was energetic and excited about our dinner. We decided on splitting four appetizers and got our first round of drinks. I had Peaks organic first and was especially excited about the Pork Belly Corn Dog(!!!). When it came it was delicious but the pork wasn’t as tender as I was hoping for. The oysters and wings were really good and I liked the originality of the deep-fried grits squares. For my entrée I decided on the meatloaf. It had good flavor and was tender enough. The accompanying collard greens were perfect and the mac & cheese was good though reminiscent of Velveeta. Bites of the Southern fried chicken highlighted the tasty crust and the Chili was good spicy, nice and hearty and flavorful. Ren’s BBQ pulled pork was cooked well and with one of the pickles proved an enjoyable mouthful. I had a another beer as I finished off my dinner and once again, though quite full, we decided on splitting a couple of desserts. I really liked the pie, which had a fantastic crumble on top. The Mississippi mud pie was decadence and too much for me after a couple small bites. My favorite thing: Either the pulled pork or those fried oysters

Ren: The smell of BBQ and the yearn for grits brought us over to Tupelo in Inman Square. Southern style comfort food is just what we needed to warm our bellies and incite conversation. I started the meal with a delicious Saison. For appetizers we split a pork belly corn dog, deep-fried grits, triple fried wings, and fried oysters. Everything was incredibly delicious, succulent and paired with excellent sauces. For my entrée I chose the bbq pulled pork with collard greens and hominy mashed potatoes paired with a cherry mead. The collard greens were the best I have ever had and the rest was pretty good. Everyone else’s dish was very good especially John’s craw fish chowder with Gruyère biscuits. We ended the meal with a slice of cranberry apple pie and a slice of mud pie. Both were a little sweet for me but definitely tasty so I ordered a glass of mulled wine to finish my meal. Tupelo is definitely worth a visit for anyone looking for delicious southern food. My favorite thing: the wonderful crawfish chowder

Food: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 Food Average:  8.5 *Certified Dericious* Delicious appetizers, great concepts of the food, some Southern classics and some modern updates. Execution on a few dishes fell a little short, but awesome overall

Service: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 Our server was friendly, original and gave us as much advice and recommendations as we asked for, plus some. The service was timely and he worked with our requests for timing and bill splitting

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 7.5 Ren 8.5 A cute little place in Inman Sq. Good place for a date. I’m glad they took reservations as the place was pretty filled up. Decor on the walls was well done

Total Average: 8.333 Really good food, fantastic service and another great Date Night spot

One bad thing: A couple of food execution errors. The Southern Fried Chicken was a little over done and the Chowder may not have been seasoned as well as it could have been

Teranga – South End Senegalese

1746 Washington St. Boston, MA 02118

www.terangaboston.com (617) 266.0003

*In the South End, on the corner of Washington St and Massachusetts Ave

Seth & Ren, +4 guests

  • –Drinks–
  • Bouye juice
  • Tusker x4 (Kenyan beer)
  • Grimbergen Double x2 (Belgian beer)
  • Steinlager classic x2 (New Zealand beer)
  • –Plates–
  • Croquettes de poisson (Pan fried fish cake served w/ cilantro and garlic sauce)
  • Nems (Spring rolls stuffed w/ chopped chicken, ground beef, rice vermicelli, grated carrots, scallions, and dried mushrooms served w/ nuoc mam dressing)
  • Brochettes de Crevettes (Marinated grilled shrimp on skewers w/ sriracha sauce!)
  • Michoui (Marinated roasted lamb shank w/ caramelized onion sauce and Moroccan couscous)
  • Coquelet Braisé (Citrus & garlic marinated grilled Cornish hen served w/ vermicelli)
  • Dibi (Grilled marinated lamb shoulder chops w/ a pickled-onion and mustard sauce served with sweet potato fries)
  • Brochettes (Grilled skewered cubes of filet mignon served w/ yucca fries and homemade honey-mustard sauce)
  • Thiébou Yap (Seasoned lamb cubes cooked w/ mixed vegetables and served w/ broken jasmine rice)
  • Yassa Guinaar (Marinated grilled chicken cooked in a lemon and caramelized onion sauce and served w/ jasmine rice)
  • Side of Plantains
  • –Dessert–
  • Beignets Dougoup (Crispy fried millet donut mixed with vanilla bean and orange flower water served w/ crème anglaise sauce)
  • $188.50 w/tax ($47 in Drinks)

Average Price/Person: $20-30 w/ Drinks: $30-45

Seth: Always trying to keep with a rotating variety of cuisines, we made our way to the South End again. This time for something we hadn’t done yet: Senegalese food. I arrived after the rest of our party had already sat; a little late from class. I ordered a drink and dived into the menu. Ren had suggestions on appetizers and I thought they all looked great. With 6 of us there tonight we decided on 3 different ones and each got a small bite. Everything was impressive so far and I was looking forward to my lamb. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m always a little nervous on the lamb because it can so easily be overcooked. I was able to request it medium-rare which I was excited about. My Dibi (see above receipt) arrived cooked perfectly!! So excited. The sweet potato fries that came with were good as was the delicious dipping sauce. I grabbed bites of everyone else’s dishes and wasn’t disappointed anywhere. Mike’s Thiébou Yap had an excellent sauce to it and Makeda’s Cornish Hen was cooked just right. The whole table had that excited vibe to it as we all demolished everything on our plates. I’m pretty sure there was a scrap of food remaining on anyone’s plate. Given it was a late dinner and we were all hungry, but that was a good meal. Nothing of real note on the dessert. My favorite thing: My perfect lamb chop

Ren: A longing for exotic and new tastes brought us to Teranga a traditional Senegalese restaurant owned by a former Chopped contestant. We started the evening off with
croquettes de poisson: fish cakes, Nems: spring rolls, and Brochettes de Crevettes: shrimp skewers. Every single bite delighted my senses and left me wanting for more: a shame I had to share with five other people. I washed the appetizers down with a delightfully refreshing Kenyan beer called a Tusker while I longingly awaited my entrée. After a wait my Michoui and Moroccan couscous arrived. As it was placed on the table my eyes widened and stomach growled. It was one of the most beautiful looking dishes I’ve seen in a while and also one of the tastiest. The lamb literally melted in my mouth and the couscous was perfectly cooked and perfectly paired. I am seriously coming back for seconds of this dish! Everyone else’s dish was also incredibly delightful, rich, and full of flavor. I absolutely loved the array of delicious sauces that came with the meals. I washed dinner down with a refreshing Steinlager beer from New Zealand. We then decided to finish the meal with a variation on the beignets which I’ll have to say while not bad were probably the least exciting part of the night. All in all I would absolutely recommend this place to anyone; in fact I would insist on a visit. My favorite thing: the jaw dropping delicious lamb shank.

Food: Seth 8.5 Ren 9 Food Ave: 8.75 *Certified Dericious* Original, fabulous and delicious African food. You must come and try this place soon.

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 8 Ren 7.5 A cute little place with a good vibe. We went on a week night and we stayed late, ending up the last ones out of the place by ten

Service: Seth 7 Ren 7 The service started well with good recommendations and attitude. The a few slip ups were noticed with missed orders and such. The end was a little rough with splitting up our order (we did mention this in the beginning of the meal) and paying. My bill was actually switched with Ren’s and we had to work it out on our own

Total Average: 7.833 Excellent food and cute place. A good date spot. Had the service been consistent this would have been a contender for our top 5

One bad thing: Perhaps the few missteps with the service

 

Union Bar & Grille – South End Eatery

1357 Washington St. Boston, MA 02118

www.unionrestaurant.com (617) 423.0555

*On Washington St in the South End between Union Park and Waltham St

Seth & Ren, +4 guests

  • –Drinks–
  • Kona Firerock
  • Scottish Daisy
  • RW Red Wine
  • Southern Tier Double IPA
  • Verano de Amor x2
  • Ethereal Gin x2
  • American Classic
  • Berkshire Brew
  • RW White wine x2
  • Truffle Martini
  • Bourbon Flip
  • Anchor Steam beer
  • –Plates–
  • PEI Mussels
  • Grilled Flank Steak w/ Salt Baked Fingerlings, Marinated Zucchini Salad x2
  • New England Clam Bake w/ Grilled Corn, Red Bliss Potatoes
  • Tuna Tartare
  • Grilled brandt flank steak w/ chimichurri sauce, hand cut fries, pea shoot salad
  • Crispy calamari w/ “green goddess” aioli, pickled fresno peppers
  • Lobster cavatelli w/ heirloom zucchini, tiny tomatoes, basil & creme fraiche
  • IPA grilled chicken w/ chorizo cornbread, baby carrots, ketuckey bourbon sauce
  • Sweet Corn Fritters w/ Rock Crab Salad, Coriander Aioli x2
  • –Desserts–
  • Toasted S’more x2
  • Chocolate & hazelnut terrine w/ creme fraiche sabayon & salty caramel
  • Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee
  • Tasting of artisan cheeses w/ fresh fruit, toasted baguette
  • $327.00 w/tax ($107.50 in Drinks)

Average Price/Person: $30-45 w/ Drinks: $50-70

*Note: This was a restaurant week stop with 3 of us taking part that brought down the cost by at least $40.*

Seth: Off to the South End for Restaurant Week to a place we’d been before but never got to review on here. My friend Ryan and his girlfriend Jen came to join the normal crowd of the 4 of us. We made a reservation the day before and when we arrived we were sat in a circle high-back booth. We poured over the special menu and  half of us stuck to it while the rest went with the regular one. We all started with a round of drinks before picking out each of our appetizers, main courses and desserts. My tuna tartare was a little under-whelming but tasty; not as much flavor as I was hoping for. I tried a mussel that had a great sauce and the calamari was really tasty with a great dipping sauce. Next came the perfectly cooked flank steak with a chimichurri sauce that was quite tasty. John’s cod was cooked perfectly as well and had great flavor. Desserts were last and my S’more was ok. Not enough graham cracker and the I think it would have been better with the chocolate softened or melted. A pretty good meal, with good company and an all around enjoyable evening. I’d like to get back here again some time. Maybe I’ll take my fiancée here on a date soon. My favorite thing: The bite of calamari I grabbed

Ren: We took a hop, a skip, and a jump right into the chic booths of Union Bar & Grill this week for the ever tempting restaurant week menu. Though only three out of the six of us ordered off the special menu as some were lured by delicious regular menu items. This was my third visit to this dining establishment and I’ll have to say probably my least favorite visit; though it was still quite an excellent experience. I started my evening with a drink called a new American Classic that contained bourbon, bubbles, and bitters (a delightful combination). My first course was corn fritters topped with crab; a decent beginning, though I thought my boyfriends mussels was the tastiest appetizer on the table. My entrée was the steak with fingerling potatoes and zucchini paired with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. The dish was decent, the meat perfectly cooked but a little over salty. I wasn’t wowed by anyone else’s entrée though my boyfriend’s fish was excellently cooked. I topped off my evening with a cheese platter and a bourbon flip both were extremely delightful and made for a perfect end to the evening. My third experience to this restaurant leads me to think fish and cocktails  is definitely what they do well and everything else is fairly average. My favorite thing: The well paired cheese plate

Food: Seth 7 Ren 7.5 Food Average: 7.5 We’ve been here before and it was tastier then. Still good tonight, some unique takes on dishes

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 Great round booths that fit our party of six. Nice decorations and a vibe that was comfortable and trendy

Service: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 Service was attentive. The waiter was on his toes and accommodating as a busy Restaurant Week had a few items out of stock.

Total Average: 8.083 A great place to take a date. Better than average food that may have missed a half-step due to the business of Restaurant Week. Still worth a check

One bad thing: Ren and Makeda’s steak was a bit over salted and the potatoes under-seasoned

Hungry Mother – Southern Comfort

233 Cardinal Medeiros Ave. Cambridge, MA 02141

www.hungrymothercambridge.com (617) 499-0090

*A couple blocks from Hampshire St and Broadway. Near Kendall Sq Cinema

Seth & Ren, +1 guest

  • –Drinks–
  • Stirred cocktail
  • Vieux Carre cocktail
  • Meadowlark IPA x2
  • Old Monk cocktail
  • Gin Mule
  • –Plates–
  • Duck liver pate
  • Bluefish croquettes
  • Stube Ranch Wagyu beef with creamed corn and blackened arrowhead cabbage x2
  • Grilled Striped Bass with fried green tomato and summer squash
  • Bacon and Sweetbread skewers with tomato and chimichurri (free tasting)
  • –Deserts–
  • Chocolate cream pie with whipped cream and caramel sauce
  • $166.39 w/ tax ($50.50 in Drinks)

Average Price/Person: $30-40 w/Drinks: $40-60

Seth: On a rainy Friday afternoon we finally made our way to hungry mother.  Ren and I finally accepted a 45 minute wait and it was worth it.  I arrived first and put in out name, and Ren and john arrived minutes later.  Once we were sat we figured out our cocktails pretty quick and got to ordering.  We started with an appetizer of duck liver pate, which was tasty but perhaps not as rich as I would have liked. The blue fish croquettes on the other hand were absolutely phenomenal.  While were waiting for out  entrées, the chef brought us out a free tasting of sweet bread and bacon skewers with a chimichurri sauce.  I’m pretty sure this is my first experience with sweet bread and paired with the tomato and bacon, I’m now a fan.  Ren and I couldn’t resist ordering the same entrée this week, as one cannot turn down wagyu beef.  I’m glad I went ahead with this as the beef was tender and perfectly cooked.  It came with a nice cream corn and blackened cabbage that added the proper contrast to the dish.  Somewhere in there we ordered a second round of drinks.  I followed up my first cocktail with an IPA.  As is mandatory, we picked out a dessert to share, decided on the chocolate pie with the  caramel sauce.   I was completely full and could only have one bite, but it was sweet and moist and tasty.  Hungry Mother has an ever revolving menu, so I will absolutely be here again.  As a note: be sure to make reservations in advance. My favorite thing: That incredible cut of beef.

Ren: Hungry Mother equals taste bud bliss! Me and Seth have been meaning to go here for quite sometime and a visit with a friend finally prompted a visit. Joined by my boyfriend we set off on a journey of delectable proportions. We commenced with a few tasty beverages from the bar. My Vieux Carré was excellently made as was every concoction we ordered; especially a taste of a Corpse Reviver variation invented by the bartender. The round of sumptuous taste relievers was followed by an appetizer of pâté and shortly after by an appetizer of blue fish croquettes. The pâté was tasteful but not quite as rich as I would have like it to be. The croquettes, however, were incredibly flavorful and well-balanced. The chef  then sent us a taste of sweet bread paired with bacon and tomato to tease our taste buds and prepare us for our entrées that followed which were mind-blowing! My boyfriends striped bass, Seth’s and my Wagyu steak were all cooked to perfection. Everything simply melted in our mouths. My steak was well paired with a creamed corn and a side of cabbage. We topped the evening off with a smooth and tasty chocolate pie with coffee whipped cream and caramel sauce. Two words: go here! We had an amazing experience and I am definitely going back whenever I am in the area. My favorite thing: my out of this world Wagyu steak with the creamed corn.

Food: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.75 Food Average: 8.625 *Certified Dericious* Tasty, well done, intelligent southern inspired comfort food

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 Cute little place with nice wood tables and a good crowd. Everyone seemed so pleased to be here

Service: Seth 8.5 Ren 9 Excellent service. Napkins folded when you step away. Knowledgeable of the menu and doing their job well.

Total Average: 8.625 A place we’ve been meaning to get to and it was worth the wait. Cute place, well thought out delicious food. Check this place out. *Make reservations a week in advance.*

One bad thing: The pate I guess was a little drier and less rich than I was hoping for. Not bad per say but have to  find something to put here.

Cafe Polonia – Polish Comfort

611 Dorchester Ave. South Boston, MA 02127

www.cafepolonia.com (617) 269-0110

*On Dorchester Ave, a block south of the Andrew T station

Seth & Ren, +2 guests

  • –Drinks–
  • Black Currant juice
  • Zywiec beer
  • Zywiec Porter
  • Sauvignon Blanc 
  • –Plates–
  • Bacon wrapped sea scallops
  • Smoked Salmon with Russian caviar
  • Breast of Duck w/ asparagus, potato medallions and cranberry sauce
  • Pierogi (half with blended meat, half potato and cheese) fried w/ caramelized onions
  • Pierogi (potato and cheese) fried w/ sour cream
  • Polish plate w/ Hunter’s stew, 3 pierogis, stuffed cabbage and grilled keilbasa
  • –Dessert–
  • Chocolate Babka cake filled with melted chocolate
  • $111.28 w/ tax ($20 in Drinks)

Ave Price/Person: $15-20 w/ Drinks: $20-25

Seth: A place Ren had been before and a cuisine we haven’t put here on this blog was enough to get us over to South Boston for some comfort style Polish food. We walked in to a small welcoming family owned looking place and were sat at some nice raw wood style bench tables. We took a look at the menu and John and I started with some Polish beers. For appetizers we got the smoked salmon with russian caviar that was really nice and some bacon wrapped scallops that I think had more bacon than scallop (though I wasn’t complaining). The bread we got before those came with a bacon fat spread that for any pork lover out there was a dream. For entrees, Makeda and John got the pierogis that I thought, from the bites I had were pretty nice. The caramelized onions added a little something. Ren had that duck that was done well but not outstanding. I was happiest with my own plate which was something of a sampler. It came with stuffed cabbage that had a nice creamy sauce on it, a few of my own pierogis and that grilled keilbasa that was phenomenal. I was completely full after, but we couldn’t very well leave without trying a dessert. We ordered on Chocolate Babka cake to split that was exceptionally rich. I think the girls had a bit more of it. The service was pretty average over all but I liked the atmosphere of the place. I would probably come back here again for that keilbasa and maybe to try out a few more of the traditional dishes. My favorite thing: The grilled keilbasa.

Ren: Best suited as a cold weather destination the hearty Polish fare from Café Polonia tempted us with promises of bacon butter and delicious perogies. I have been to this restaurant once before and found the food good enough to return with my brother and or significant others in tow for a review. The waiter immediately brought us bread with bacon butter: a promising start. We then ordered a round of drinks. I picked a Sauvignon Blanc which to my dismay the waiter replied with ‘which one was that’? (There only about eight wines on the menu). It seems to me with such a small selection he would at least know the types of wines, though to be fair I am sure they sell mostly beer here. We paired our round of drinks with an order of bacon wrapped scallops and salmon with caviar. I loved the scallops, with its crispy bacon shell, really how could you go wrong? The salmon and caviar were a little salty for me but my dining mates seemed to heartily enjoy the dish. For my entrée I chose the duck breast with asparagus, cranberry sauce, beets, and homemade thick cut potatoes chips. The chips were a little plain and the rest of the dish was fairly good tasting with no particular flair or stand out flavors. Our significant others ordered pierogis which were delicious. I was surprised by how sweet the cheese pierogis which were almost dessert like in flavor. If you  tend towards the savory I definitely suggest getting  meat or adding potatoes to the them. My Brother ordered a sampler dish which consisted of one of the most delicious items Café Polonia serves: kielbasa! Next time I go I will order this as my main dish and perhaps even the kielbasa appetizer which I recalled later was one of the more delicious experiences of my previous visit.  We finished the meal with their molten chocolate cake which even though I don’t have much of a sweet tooth was delicious and is a must for the end of any experience at this restaurant. My favorite thing: the kielbasa: to bad I only had a bite.

Food: Seth 7.5 Ren 7 Food Average: 7.25 Kielbasa stood out. The pierogis were pretty good. Most everything was average. Don’t get us wrong; we enjoyed the food but no real standouts

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 8 Ren 8 Cute little place. Copper pots on the walls and raw wood chairs. Feels like it could almost be some Polish mother’s kitchen.

Service: Seth 7 Ren 6.5 Our server meant well, but made a few mistakes including with our food and wasn’t sure what Ren meant when she said she wanted a Sauvignon Blanc!? Good attitude and was trying.

Total Average: 7.333 It’s the only Polish place I know of and I would recommend it. A good average cute place that’s worth a visit.

One bad thing: Perhaps the missteps with our pierogis. Makeda wanted the fried potato and cheese ones and she got the boiled cheese only ones first. Our server fixed it pretty quick though

B & G Oysters – Sublime Seafood

550 Tremont St. Boston, MA 02116

www.bandgoysters.com (617) 423-0550

*On the corner of Tremont St and Waltham St, across from Boston Center For the Arts

Seth & Ren

  • –Drinks–
  • Bottle of Val De Sil Montenovo Godello 2006
  • Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale x2
  • –Plates–
  • A Dozen Oysters: 4 Chincoteagues (Virginia), 4 Baynes Sound (British Columbia) and 4 Pebble Beach (Washington)
  • Clam Chowder w/ bacon lardons and spicy croutons
  • Fried Oysters w/ a house made tartar sauce
  • Fried Point Judith Calamari w/ a spicy aïoli
  • Hake (Cod-like fish) w/a lobster bisque, pearl onions and artichoke hearts
  • Mac and cheese w/ parmesan and mascarpone
  • –Dessert–
  • Rhubard Tartlet
  • $152.36 w/tax  ($23 in Drinks) 

Ave Price/Person: $50-60 w/ Drinks: $60-75

Seth: Barbara Lynch has some pretty incredible restaurants around the city. B & G is one that I’ve been meaning to get to for quite some time. The opportunity arouse with a call from Ren and I jumped at the chance. We had a 6pm reservation and arrived a few minutes early. We were sat immediately with the assistant manager coming by for a hello in the first minutes after sitting down. Our waiter came by and we made some small talk and ordered a beer apiece as we surveyed the menu. We started off with the dozen oysters; four apiece of three different types. All quite fresh and delicious. Three appetizers followed that: First the clam chowder. I usually a fan of thicker cream based chowder, but the bite that this one contained had me almost licking the bowl. Fried oysters and fried calamari followed. An amazing spicy ailoi accompanied the nicely cooked, thinly battered calamari and the fried oysters sat on a half shell with a little tartar sauce between them. I think it had a little wasabi in it but I’m not sure. A beautiful white wine arrived before the entrée. Light, crisp and so delicious, we had to restrain ourselves to keep from finishing it too quickly. We split the Hake plate next and the mac and cheese. The Hake had a bit of lobster bisque, and some roasted pearl onions and artichoke hearts that all paired exquisitely. The mac and cheese had a really tasty lightness and creaminess to it that was  a treat. To close it all off we requested the Rhubard tartlet. I liked it. It was nice but I wish they hadn’t tamed down the tartness so much. It’s my favorite part and was hoping for more of a throwback to my mothers rhubarb dessert. My favorite thing: The fresh oyster opening.

Ren: A series of events strayed us from our original plan to dine at Citizens Public House and we instead found ourselves at a small but elegant restaurant by the name of B&G Oyster. Through a chain of acquaintance we were greeted at the door as if we were old friends and promptly seated. The selections on the menu were vast in flavor and the decisions difficult to be sure. Several moments of discussion and a delicious Lagunitas red brick ale later we came up with and executed our dining plan for the evening.  They started us off with a fresh salmon ceviche amuse bouche which was followed by a dozen amazing oysters; I could have sworn one of which tasted like bubble gum. Next up was fried oysters with a homemade tartar sauce, fried calamari with a spicy aioli, a clam chowder with a kick, and a sample of their fish deviled eggs. Now I normally prefer a clam chowder a bit creamier but I found their  broth to really compliment the flavor. At this time our charming and attentive waiter David brought over an incredibly delicious and crisp bottle of Godello; which we had to prevent ourselves from downing in one gulp. Next up we dined upon Hake with artichokes, pearl onions, and a chowder sauce as well as an order of parmesan mac & cheese. Let me tell you that mac & cheese was just out of this world light and delicious; I’m told the secret is the mascarpone they add. We finished off the meal with a rhubarb tart which while light and perfect for spring was a little lacking on the tartness we love about rhubarb.  It was an incredibly delightful evening
that we will definitely be repeating in the near future with more dining companions. My Favorite thing: A tie between the fresh amazing oysters and spectacular mac & cheese.

Food: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 Food Average: 8.5 *Certified Dericious*  Fresh fish and other seafood. Great sides. Good execution in all dishes.

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 8 Ren 8 It’s a small space that’s well-managed. Cute and clean and a good vibe

Service: Seth 8.5 Ren 8.5 Great and attentive service. Present when you needed and gone when you didn’t

Total Average: 8.333 Cute, delicious, great little date spot. Got to check a box for another Barbara Lynch location! Woot.

One bad thing: Perhaps the loss of tartness to the rhubarb

Grotto – Intimate Italian

37 Bowdoin Street Boston MA 02114

www.grottorestaurant.com (617) 227-3434

*On Beacon Hill, closer to Govt. Center, off of Cambridge St

~Restaurant Week~

Seth & Ren, +3 guests

  • –Drinks–
  • Bottle of Ca’ Furlan Prosecco Cuvée Beatrice
  • Bottle of Campanile Pinot Grigio
  • Moretti Dark beer
  • –Plates–
  • FondutaFontina cheese fondue, Beef tenderloin tips, Aged balsamic, Truffle oil, Portobello mushrooms x2
  • Zuppa: Garlic soup, Black truffle, Parmesan, Toasted bread crumbs
  • Piccata: Mussels, Garlic, Lemon, Capers, White wine sauce
  • Zafferano: Crab ravioli, Asparagus, Roasted tomatoes, Almonds, Saffron
  • Pettini: Pan roasted diver scallops, “ravioli”, Leeks, Wild mushrooms, Arugula, truffle
  • GnocchiShort ribs, Mushrooms, Gorgonzola x2
  • Fra Diavolo: Butter poached lobster, Linguine, Spicy tomato sauce
  • Antra: Apple stuffed duck breast, Crispy leg, Prosciutto, Dried cherries, Potato gratin, Black truffle aioli, Madeira
  • –Desserts–
  • Cioccolato: Melting chocolate cake & vanilla ice cream
  • Tre: Ice cream: Vanilla, Chocolate, Caramel
  • Budino: Banana bread pudding, Caramel ice cream, Spiced walnuts
  • $289.97 w/tax ($71.00 in Drinks) With the restaurant week actual cost was $253.16

Ave Price/Person: Restaurant Week deal is $33.12 w/ Drinks: $50

Seth: Hooray Restaurant week! An excuse to get to a little nicer of a restaurant and not break the bank. About 200 restaurants participating all with a prix fixe menu prices at $33.12 per person. A better deal at some places than others but just needs a little research. This weeks list (with a lot of help from Makeda, thank you!) was narrowed down to the Grotto. An excellent little Italian place on Beacon Hill. This week Ren and I were joined with 3 others and made our way to a late reservation. We arrived a little early but were sat pretty close to our time. We ordered a bottle of Prosecco to start things while we hashed out what we were all going to order. We try to not repeat too many things as we always try some of each others orders. I started with the crab ravioli that came with a nice little sauce and some nicely grilled tomatoes. Bites of the fondue and mussels were quite tasty. For my entrée I jumped on the apple stuffed duck breast that was decadently wrapped in prosciutto with a cherry and truffle sauce. The duck was cooked perfectly and the whole dish was absolutely delicious. I really liked Makeda’s diver scallops that were also cooked just right and I enjoyed both my bites of Gnocchi and Lobster Diablo. Somewhere part way through the entrée round we decided on another bottle of wine. A crisp Pinot Grigio was welcomed and we moved on to the dessert round. I’m always a big fan of bread pudding and didn’t hesitate to order it here. It was pretty good though not exceptional. A pretty good meal all round. It’s a great place for a date. Nice and intimate. The server may not have been the best but I suppose you’d have to give him a little credit as it was late into the second week of Restaurant week. My favorite thing: The perfectly executed duck.

Ren: Due to the bi-annual occurrence of a Boston event known as restaurant week, though it goes for two weeks, we ended up in a small cozy restaurant by the name of Grotto. My cohort selected this restaurant for its unusually large restaurant week menu selection and they still had reservations for the night we wanted to go. We showed up a bit early in hopes that we could be seated before our reservation as the hour was late, but alas to no avail. While we waited we gazed upon their wine menu in search of our first selection. Upon seating we ordered a bottle of Prosecco  for the table and commenced with the course choosing. I settled with the cheese fondue appetizer, gnocchi and short rib entrée, and banana pudding dessert. The fondue was fairly tasty,  the only draw backs were some of the steak was slightly over-cooked and I personally thought the cheese could have a little bit of a stronger kick. My gnocchi dish that followed was a tad disappointing. The gnocchi and meat were perfectly cooked but I just felt like the flavor wasn’t where I wanted it to be and left the palate longing for something with a bit more variant in flavor. The bite of my cohort’s duck was very tender and delicious as was his scallop potatoes and one of our dining guest’s lobster dish.  During our entrées we decided on a bottle of smooth and balanced pinot gringo. I wish dessert redeemed my slightly disappointing meal but alas while the flavor was good, I’d been hoping for an actually pudding instead of the cake I received. Our server for the evening was eager but forgetful as he neglected to clear various dirty dishes of our table. All in all it was a pleasant evening with only a few minor disappointments. My favorite thing: The portabella mushrooms dipped in the fondue cheese!

Food: Seth 8 Ren 7 Food Ave: 7.5 Good food overall. Some dishes were particularly delicious

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 9 Ren 8.5 Very cute intimate place. Seats maybe 25-30 people. Lovely place for a date

Service: Seth 7.5 Ren 6.5 Some good intentions from our waiter. Polite and came ans checked on us often enough. Seemed a bit flustered presumably from it being restaurant week. Didn’t really take dirty plates often or quick enough.

Total Average: 7.750 Good overall place. Not blown away by the food but it was all good with no real missteps. Cute place and decent service. Was a nice place to check out for Restaurant week and a place Ren was looking to get to as it’s the sister restaurant to an old employment place for her.

One bad thing: The service missteps with the plates.