Saturday, April 8, 2017

Sweetgreen in the Prudential

          Sweetgreen is one of my favorite spots to grab a salad for lunch, but I've recently become obsessed with one of their warm grain bowls on the Winter menu: the shroomami. The shroomami is completely vegan and gluten free, and comes with a base of warm quinoa topped with marinated mushrooms, tofu, bean sprouts, kale, and miso ginger dressing.


          It sounds simple, but this bowl is sooo good! The dressing has such great flavor, and the dish feels warm and comforting on a cold day. I hope they keep it around when the weather gets warmer; if not I'll try my best to recreate it from the standard menu items!

Sweetgreen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, April 7, 2017

Bon Caldo

          Bon Caldo in Norwood used to be one of my favorite restaurants when I lived out that way, but I hadn't been since moving to Boston years ago until I tried it again recently with a friend. The cusine is Italian, with several gluten free options labeled on the menu including gluten free pasta.

          I tried the bacon wrapped pork tenderloin with madeira demi-glace, sautéed spinach, and bacon gorgonzola polenta. It was just as good as it sounded, the pork was tender and juicy and wrapped in plenty of bacon! The polenta was served fried, a crisp cake with just a hint of gorgonzola.

       
          Norwood is just a short drive from Boston, and definitely worth the trip if you haven't tried Bon Caldo yet!

BonCaldo Ristorante, Bar & Functions Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, April 6, 2017

An Eight Course Tasting Menu at Craigie on Main

           Craigie on Main in Central Square has been one of my favorite restaurants for years. The wide-open kitchen, blackboard listing featured ingredients for the evening, and warm atmosphere give it a cozy, intimate feeling like being a guest in someone's home. Craigie on Main was one of the first of Boston’s “locavore” restaurants and set stage for smaller gastro pubs that have become popular over the last several years. 

          I've dined at Craigie many times, and the most recent visit was with a Gilt City deal for multi course tasting menu with wine pairings. It's not often that I'm so into the food I forget to take pictures, but this happened several times at Craigie. There were at least additional 2-3 courses not pictured / described here!

          We started with an amuse of Tonato with scallion basil oil. This was rich and creamy; a perfect first bite.



           Next was one of my favorites, the duck and foie gras pate served with with pickled cranberry, beet tapenade, winter vegetable, whole mustard, and purple mustard. The pate was amazing, and my favorite pairing was the whole grain mustard. I kept taking tiny bites to make it last as long as possible!


           The next dish was another of my favorites, a slow poached egg with pears, mushrooms, and root vegetable puree. The runny egg mixed with the vegetables and made for a rich, and delicious sauce.


           The first of our main courses was a braised short rib served over creamy polenta. I love short ribs with polenta, but don't order it often because it's usually too rich and too big a portion. I enjoyed having a small plate on the tasting menu!


          The final savory course was a chicken ballentine served with sweet corn. The chicken was really well done, with crisp skin and tender white meat. The sauce was also a bit sweet, a perfect pairing with the corn.


          Dessert was a milk chocolate cremeux with feuilletine walnut ice cream. This was a bit like a deconstructed candy bar, and a perfect ending to a great meal.


           I was surprised that Craigie offered a Gilt City promotion; the place is always packed. But it was a great deal, and many of the items were from the regular menu. I would definitely take advantage of this offer if I saw it again!

  Craigie On Main Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Live Music Brunch at Club Passim with The New England Food Bloggers

           I've been a fan of Club Passim since I was in college and my friends used to play the open mike nights. They had a vegetarian spot in the kitchen until 2015 when the owners of Passim took over its kitchen operations. I was very impressed when I tried the dinner menu, and so I was very excited to try the new brunch menu with the New England Food Bloggers.

          The Live Music Brunch at Passim features a different style of music each service including Bluegrass, Old Time, Blues, Celtic, Classical, Folk, Jazz and more. The menu includes everything from several types of eggs benedict, to breakfast sandwiches, avocado toast, pancakes, and more. All menu items are created from scratch with fresh and locally sourced ingredients, and there are plenty of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options available. 
 
           When our group sat down, we were greeted with some of the house specialties including avocado toast, and made from scratch Thai sausage.



          The sausage was amazing, it had such great flavor and just a little bit of a kick. The avocado toast looked so good I had to order the gluten free version for my meal. I added an over easy fried egg on top, and it was the perfect healthy breakfast!


          I also enjoyed trying sides of the bacon, hashbrowns, and turkey sausage. The bacon was perfectly crisp, and the hasbrowns were definitely a favorite of the table! The turkey sausage was also tasty, but didn't compare to the Thai sausage.




          Others at the table raved about the french toast, the BKK street bread, and breakfast scramble.


          Live Music Brunch at Passim takes place every Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, and if you have a chance to check it out I definitely recommend it!

 The Kitchen at Club Passim Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, March 6, 2017

Viale

           Viale is an Italian and Mediterranean restaurant in Central Square, from the same owners as Giulia but a little bit more casual. I tried them for dinner this past weekend, and had a great experience.

          The fiance and I started with a Charcuterie Board to share, which came with chicken liver mousse with figs, proscuitto, house made pork sausage, soprassata, mortadella, whole grain mustard, hummus, pickled veggies. Everything was delicious, but I especially loved the homemade sausage and chicken liver pate. The figs in the pate was a really interesting touch, and added just a hint of sweetness.


           I ordered the Prime Ribeye Tenderloin, with smashed potatoes, spinach, and caramelized onion aioli as my main course. The steak was fork tender, and cooked perfectly. It was such a large portion I thought there was no way I would finish, but it was so good I couldn't stop eating until every last bite of steak was gone!



           The fiance went with the Pork Milanese special with aioli and asparagus and carrots, which looked amazing and was also a huge portion!

           For dessesrt we shared the Gluten Free chocolate ganache brownie with burnt caramel ice cream and hazelnuts.The brownie was very similar to flourless chocolate cake, and was rich and chocolately.

 
            Overall I really enjoyed the meal at Viale, and appreciated that most of the menu can be done gluten free including several of the pastas (which I hope to return soon to try!)

 Viale Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, March 5, 2017

My Second Visit to Forage

          With so many new restaurants to try it's not often that I go to the same restaurant twice in one year, never mind twice in just a couple of months. But, after having an amazing first experience at Forage over the summer the fiance and I went back again for dinner recently with a Gilt City special.
What struck me most about Forage during my first visit was the focus on local seasonal ingredients, and the great wine list with an interesting selection of small production and biodynamic wines. This was just as true in my second visit.

           We did a three course tasting menu, which started with soup of pea puree and roasted squash. It was rich and creamy, and set the stage perfectly for the rest of our meal.


         
           Next was the herb brined and roasted half chicken with dill dumplings and braised kale (my gluten free version had roasted potatoes instead of dumplings). This chicken had the crispiest skin I've ever had (my favorite part of roast chicken!) and the kale was also the best I've ever had. The fiance doesn't even like kale, but even he couldn't stop raving about how good it was. We ended up taking a good amount of chicken home because it was such a huge portion, and it was just as good for lunch the next day!



          Next was a bonus course, a sweet onion ice cream with melted cheese on top. I know this may not sound appealing to everyone, but trust me when I say that this dish was soooo good! The sweetness of the onion was perfect in an ice cream, it had an almost caramel flavor. The addition of cheese that was charred a bit on top added even more complexity, and a really great contrast of sweet and savory.


          For dessert we had a buckwheat chocolate cake and I learned that buckwheat is naturally gluten free (it's not actually related to wheat) and it's delicious when cooked together with chocolate!


           Forage is quickly becoming one of my favorite spots, and I hope to make it back in again soon!

Forage Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Artisan Bistro

          Artisan Bistro is the restaurant inside the Ritz Carlton Boston, and I recently tried them with a great Gilt City Special they were offering! The dinner for two included two apps, two entrees, and a dessert to share.

          I started with the grilled oysters with grapefruit caviar and micro greens. These tasted just as good as they looked, and I loved the creativity of the grapefruit caviar!



           The fiance started with clam chowder, which was thick and creamy. It was such a generous portion he had to force himself to stop eating so he would have room for dinner! Thanks to the convenient labels on the menu, I saw that this was also gluten free and will definitely try it when I go back!



           I ordered the steak frites as my main course, and the steak was cooked to a perfect medium rare. I appreciated that the herb dusted frites were served in a separate cast iron plate so that they stayed nice and crispy.



          The fiance also enjoyed his seared George's Bank scallops with dill risotto, chard, and romesco.



          For dessert we shared the white coffee creme brulee, which was a delicious twist on a classic dessert, and so smooth and creamy!



           I also had an espresso shot, and loved the presentation in this fun mug!



           In addition to being very impressed by the creativity and care that went into each dish, we both appreciated the fantastic service. Our sever was incredibly friendly and accommodating with every table, making sure all guests had a great experience. I will definitely be back!

Artisan Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato