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Dishing out SouthCoast reviews, delighted and pleasantly full

22 Sep

The best part of my stint at The Standard-Times has been the food reviews.

A long time traveler, cook and a foodie, I had a fairly visible food blog in Boston that took me to junkets and events around the region. So I was delighted at the opportunity of writing food reviews for Coastin’ when I arrived here 3.5 years ago.

When I am out and about here, people inevitably comment on or remember me from my reviews and ask me for dining recommendations , which I think is a huge honor. I hope they will follow my resurrected food blog and continue to share in my food adventures here.

For your hungry pleasure, here are my final three reviews in Coastin,’ the Thursday arts adn entertainment supplement. They include a warm welcome at a family-friendly restaurant and crab legs, my love affair with pasta and fulfillment at a popular haunt, and hands down the best steak I have had on SouthCoast — these round up my last three Dine Out reviews at The Standard-Times.

Crab legs appetizer at Mike's Restaurant in Fairhaven

Crab legs appetizer at Mike’s Restaurant in Fairhaven

I cook regularly at home, but try not to buy red meat in the interest of health and the environment. So I like to indulge when I am eating out. I debated some steak options: the prime rib ($20) rib eye ($22) and the tenderloin tips ($18). I consulted our waitress and picked the tips because she said she loves them.

Read my review of Mike’s Restaurant in Fairhaven online.

Littlenecks at The Pasta House

Littlenecks at The Pasta House

With the sun setting in the horizon, the hills turning a milky purple, and a soft breeze fluttering the chiffon layer of my borrowed dress, I fell in love with tagliatelle. After years of eating instant noodles and ramen, the creamy strands changed my life and made me forever a lover of pasta.

Read my review of The Pasta House in Fairhaven online.

airport

Ribeye with sauce and sides

Walk through the main entrance and a swanky glass wall to the left heralds you into the restaurant described on the website as “an intimate upscale American bistro framed within a modern architectural setting and a warm relaxing environment.

Read my review of Airport Grille in New Bedford online.

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Who doesn’t love brunch?

16 Nov

brunch

Check out my top 10 very subjective list ranking some of the places I’ve enjoyed brunch at on SouthCoast.

It’s hard to pick the top 10 weekend brunch/breakfast spots anywhere, let alone on SouthCoast where there is no dearth of delicious and affordable options. As a recent transplant, I have only been to a few and almost all serve the typical egg and hash dishes. So I tried to compile a list of the spots that serve up something different. By no means is this a comprehensive list. It is really based on my tastes, preferences and experience, and is highly subjective. But I love brunch, and if I’ve missed your favorite spot, do let me know so I can try it!

Check out the list published in SouthCoastToday.com

Hidden gem charms with exquisite Italian food, service

17 Apr

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When I entered Cafe Italia in New Bedford’s South End, I really felt I entered a popular Boston North End haunt. The entire experience was exquisite — from the charming waiter to the most delicate littlenecks I’ve ever tasted — and that’s saying something on SouthCoast.

You can read all about it in my review in Coastin‘:

IMG_5199It’s been a long winter and I was delighted to herald spring on Saturday with a perfectly executed meal at a local hidden gem.

My editor and fellow reviewer Joanna suggested Cafe Italia in the South End so I called Friday night for a 6 p.m. reservation Saturday. The nice lady who answered accommodated me in a 6:15 p.m. slot, warning me that I would get the small table by the kitchen. She also informed me that it was a BYOB restaurant, which I appreciated.

Dollar Dumplings in Central Sq. Sunday – a dream come true!

26 Sep

If you hanker for dumplings as much as I do, you need to go to this Sunday afternoon. And Joyce Chen gets a stamp to her name.

dumplings

Participating Restaurants:

1369 Coffee House, 757 Massachusetts Ave
Asgard, 350 Massachusetts Ave
Dosa Factory, 571 Massachusetts Ave
The Middle East,  472 Massachusetts Ave
Patty Chen’s Dumpling Room, 907 Main Street
Thelonious Monkfish, 524 Massachusetts Ave
Yoki, 485 Massachusetts Ave
Zuzu’s, 474 Massachusetts Ave

Kenmore gem tops Munch Madness 2014

2 Apr

I once had great oysters and cocktails at the bar so I’m not surprised to see Kenmore Square gem Eastern Standard sweep the boston.com contest Munch Madness this year.

Read more at The Boston Globe.

And not only does the restaurant have a blog, it even lists it’s favorite things around town.

The Hungry I charmed us during 2012 Restaurant Week

9 Sep

Having relocated to New Bedford, this is the first year that I missed Boston’s Restaurant Week, a fabulous way to try fancy restaurants and great food at a decent price for two weeks. This year it ran Aug. 18-30 & 25-30.

Thanks to my laziness in posting this last year, I do have a fantastic Restaurant Week experience to share:

chefSo I ignored the not-so-great reviews, the unexciting menu and booked a Restaurant Week dinner at The Hungry I last August. We were a group of loud ladies on a rare week night out together and were already in high spirits, dressed up and determined to have a good time. So that might have had something to do with amazing reception and service we got from Chef/owner Peter Ballarin at what is slated “a destination for both romance and traditional French gourmet food.”

At first glance the Beacon Hill gem tucked beneath Charles Street looked cozy and romantic, just as it claims. We arrived for a late dinner at 9:15 p.m. when most others had left and definitely got full attention from the charming staff who started us off with some delicious grapefruit-champagne cocktail. We moved on to a crisp fruity white that did not disappoint. After that things get a bit hazy.

cozyFor starters, the chilled watermelon gazpacho was a sweet hit, followed by a roasted  polenta cake with pork and a really delicate white fish dish. Many bites later we totally underestimated the delectable fig pie which is one of their signature desserts and wished we had ordered more of it.

I remember the rave reviews the restaurant got years ago and am glad I finally got to try it. It did not disappoint. So all you Yelps and nay-sayers who whined about it, fail! We loved it and would go back in a heartbeat. Maybe some day I will try their famous Venison au Poivre Noir…

Downtown Orlando and wine

18 Aug

Most tourists don’t even know Orlando has a vibrant downtown with unique stores and a Central Park.

After a quick stop at the Morse Museum showcasing a Louis Tiffany collection, we were pleasantly surprised with our brief stroll through picturesque Park Avenue in Winter Park – Orlando’s own “Rodeo Drive” – 10 tree-lined streets of stores.

Some of the attractions include Gourmet Temptation, The Cheese Shop, Tuni, John Craig, Williams Sonoma and Spice Shop.

We were wooed at the Wine Room – a unique wine bar and deli with more than 150 wines on a tap-system that we used with smart cards.