Do you enjoy dining out in Boston? This month’s Boston Magazine might be worth picking up as they feature what they are calling Boston’s “Top 25 New Restaurants”. Despite the fact that I eat out more than most people, I’ve only been to 5 of the restaurants on the list. I find the article more interesting for the restaurants that didn’t make the list. After spending the past year listening to hype about new restaurant openings nearly every month in the Seaport, I wasn’t surprised that not a single one made the list.
On a more positive note, I wanted to give a shout out to several restaurants in my neighborhood including 2. SRV – an equally beautiful and delicious Italian restaurant worth trying; 7. Bar Mezzana – also Italian in the Ink Block is on my list to try but I’ve yet to visit; 21. Gita at Wink & Nod is New England inspired cuisine; and 22. Kava Neo-Taverna is a delicious Greek restaurant in a cozy space on Union Park that I can’t rave enough about.
Last month (in case you missed it) The Boston Globe, EaterBoston and other news outlets reported that Eataly Boston would host their grand opening just in time for the holiday season on Tuesday, November 29th.
For those unfamiliar with Eataly, Boston is only the third city in the United States to have such a store but the chain has 31 locations worldwide. Eataly Boston will have 45, 000 square feet dedicated to all things Italian. The store will have three levels and be a mixture of full-service restaurants, fast-casual counters, and places to buy products to take home.
The Boston location includes three casual restaurant spaces that offer waiter service: La Pizza & La Pasta, La Piazza, and Il Pesce. While they’re all located within Eataly, they operate independently.
Area Four first opened as a casual restaurant in Kendall Square in Cambridge in May 2011. Since that time it has remained a popular neighborhood restaurant best known for their pizza and commitment to using locally harvested ingredients. On Friday, October 21st the owners opened a new location in the Troy in Boston’s South End.
I really like the look and layout of the space. The restaurant has a large bar in the back, open kitchen and soaring ceilings. I’m happy to say that the food and service was also very good. The menu is divided into three sections: 10″ PIZZAS which range in price from $13-$20; VEGETABLES (think of them as appetizers or sides) that range from $6-$13; and MEAT & FISH which I found the most confounding in part because these “dinner options” range so wildly in price from a Smoked Trout Salad for $13 to a Whole Fish & Chips for $40.
Brussels Sprouts & Kale $12
I started dinner with the Brussels Sprouts & Kale Salad for $12 which included candied hazelnuts, red onion and shaved pecorino and lemon. The shredded vegetables along with the citrus and nuts was delicious and made me think of the summer, but will be a plate I continue to order well into the winter months.
Shown below are the traditional Magherita Pizza with tomato, mozzarella, pecorino and basil – this was light and flavorful; the Shitake Mushroom & Fontina Pizza which had a creamy / earthy taste and was my favorite; followed by the Wellfleet Clam & Bacon Pizza that tasted salty initially from the bacon but finished with a nice kick thanks to the hot peppers.
10″ Margherita Pizza $13
A10″ Shitake Mushroom & Fontina Pizza $17
10″ Wellfleet Clam & Bacon Pizza $18
I predict that Area Four is going to be a popular destination for pizza lovers who live in the neighborhood. The bar is large and inviting and the service on the main dining room floor on the night we were there was efficient and casual. Add this to your list of new restaurants to check out. They have a full bar with cocktails, wines by the bottle and glass as well as a solid beer selection.
Area Four is located at The Troy Boston at 264 East Berkeley Street, Boston and is open 7-days a week for dinner from 5 – 11pm (the bar is open until 2am). You can call ahead for reservations at (857) 317-4805.
Last week the New York Times wrote a nice article about Boston’s neighbor, Cambridge, MA. While I might make different suggestions on what to do and experience, I thought this was a great article showcasing one of America’s oldest and most unique places to visit. If you are planning a trip to Boston, make time to cross the river and enjoy all that Cambridge has to offer.
Post dinner selfie with Sergio, Chef Danko and his longtime friend, Patty Whelen
Provincetown never ceases to surprise. Our most recent trip last week for Carnival is a good example. We’ve been going to Ptown for so long it would be safe to say that we have our routines but there always seems to be a twist or surprise; maybe that is part of Provincetown’s appeal. This year when friends said they had a friend who was an amazing cook who was having a casual get together deep in the East End we tagged along not expecting much.
Imagine our surprise when the friend happened to be Chef Gary Danko, a celebrated chef who spent years running award-winning kitchens in the Bay Area, including Beringer Vineyards and The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco.
Sipping wine in the East End before a delicious dinner
After passing a pleasant hour outside meeting dinner guests as they walked back from the center of town, we were invited to dinner. My only regret from the entire dinner was that I didn’t pace myself better or bring a better camera to capture how beautiful everything was.
Chef Danko’s “casual dinner” for twenty was easily my best I’ve had in Provincetown. What a treat to get a chance to spend time with Gary in his kitchen and to watch him entertain. While I realize not everyone has the same chance that we did, his self named San Francisco restaurant, has received raves from the likes of the NY Times and may be a place you’d like to put on your list of places to try the next time you visit the Bay Area.
Post Carnival lobster dinner with more sides than I can count
Photo Credit: Michael Boots
Photo Credit: Michael Boots
For more about Gary, his cooking and his successful restaurant: garydanko.com.
Boston’s Ocean Prime is serving $1 oysters all day today to celebrate
Apparently today is National Oyster Day and to celebrate number of Boston area restaurants are serving $1 oysters all day. The gorgeous photo is courtesy of the Boston Ocean Prime restaurant, that told me about this great excuse to enjoy your favorite bivalves earlier this week. I wanted to encourage you to stop by the restaurant should you be in the area and enjoy their $1 oysters.
Earlier this summer EaterBoston also created a map of places you can get $1 oysters in their June post The Ultimate $1 Oyster Guide for Summer 2016.
Last week Aquitaine Boston reopened with a Bastille Day celebration that Sergio and I attended. After closing earlier this year to renovate the 20 year old restaurant, their opening was highly anticipated to say the least. The most notable changes to the restaurant include a private dining section in the space formerly occupied by the tiny wine bar and moving the redesigned 11-seat pewter bar to the left of the newly monogrammed floor entrance.
The restaurant is much lighter. The black and burgundy color scheme has been replaced by French oak paneling and brass antique lighting, but perhaps the most appreciated change by patrons will be the second bathroom. Aquitaine has proposed a 14-seat outdoor patio but that may not be a reality until next summer. The menu remains largely the same, with the exception that their lunch special, featuring many of their plates for $12.95 is not currently being offered.
Sergio & Chef Chef Bob Krajewski
Plat du Jour
Aquitaine Bar courtesy of Aquitaine Boston
Aquitaine monogrammed entrance courtesy of Aquitaine Boston