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Hurry, it’s Restaurant Week – I mean, Dine Out Boston

25 Mar

dineoutMore restaurants and somewhat pricier, Restaurant Week is back. Only it’s now called Dine Out Boston. In its second and last week, restaurants are offering some great deals from the $15/$20/$25 lunches and the $28/$33/$38 dinners.

My tactic is usually to pick the most expensive spot where I know I’ll never go for a regular dinner. This week I am headed to Kitchen in the South End for a night out with my besties. Here’s the delectable-looking menu ($38).

My friends at Eater have a really neat overview of this year’s options. Luckily, Kitchen is among the “best bets” listed where the deal is most worthwhile. Cannot wait!

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…

Pigskin Party Packs – new from East Coast Grill

29 Aug

Here’s a great option for that rib cravin’ – Pigskin Party Packs from the dependable and innovative East Coast Grill for 6 to 30 people, ranging from $149 to $450. That’s a lot of ribs, wings, pulled pork, brisket, beans, slaw, cornbread and that awesome BBQ sauce.

Just in time for the arrival of football season, East Coast Grill offers up a play that can’t be missed with Pigskin Party Packs,available for all your game day gatherings. Barbecue dishes are prepared and ready to enjoy, containing all the necessary ingredients for an afternoon of football fun, so you can watch the game instead of the oven. Available for pick up, the party packs will feed the whole team with pulled pork, brisket, sides and more so there is no fumble.

“When the game is on, no one wants to be spending all their time in the kitchen,” explains Chef Jason Heard. “But then again, no one wants to just order the same old pizza every time either, We offer up an opportunity to enjoy both a great barbecue meal and hopefully, a great game too.”

I don’t think I need to wait for games. Especially since I have never had anything that wasn’t totally delicious there. Even when I almost burned my face off gobbling down that killer spaghetti on Hell’s Night.

And don’t even get me started on that Sunday brunch – smokehouse double thick bacon, sweet potato fries with Inner Beauty hot sauce, molasses glazed grilled banana, fruit with chile and lime… and of course the help-yourself Bloody Mary bar!

East Coast Grill
1271 Cambridge St., Inman Sq.
P: 617.491.6568

Sunday-Thursday 5:30 – 10:00 pm
Friday & Saturday 5:30 – 10:30 pm
NEW Saturday lunch 11 am – 2:30 pm
Sunday brunch: 11 am – 2:30 pm

Get your reservations – it’s restaurant week!

20 Aug

Thanks to Restaurant Week Boston foodies like me get an amazing opportunity twice a year to dine out at the area’s best at a reasonable price. Running Sunday-Friday for two weeks gourmet pre fixe three-course meals are offered at the almost 200 participating restaurants this year: 

2 course lunch – $15.12
3 course lunch – $20.12
3 course Dinner – $33.12

The Insider’s Guide to Restaurant Week and Open Table helps you browse menus and make reservations. Get on it because the slots fill up fast. If you have groups bigger than five it is better to call the restaurant directly, as Sir Eatsalot knows from prior experience. Happy chowing!

Perfect pickings at Pigalle for Restaurant Week

17 Mar

As is tradition, my girlfriends and I dined at Pigalle, the famous French-American bistro in the theater district downtown this week for a delicious dinner that was well worth a Restaurant Week try.

We did have a bit of a wait despite our 8:30 p.m. reservations and Pigalle does not have much space at the bar or a lobby to hang out in so we headed to the Theatre Cafe nearby for some drinks until they were ready.

The RW menu was extensive, the portions generous, and the renowned Chef Marc Orfaly’s creations definitely lived up to our expectations. The service was great (kudos to our waiter Manuel), the decor warm and cozy on a cold night, and the champagne affordable.

My picks were:

Beef tartare with a crispy toast triangles, fried soft boiled egg and olive (delicate and flavorful)

Crispy half duckling with a cherry glaze, bacony Brussels sprouts,
pearl onions and potato purée (just mouthwatering – crispy and tender at the same time with smooth, buttery potato)

Coffee cake Napoleon with caramel swirl ice cream ( a perfect sweet ending).

All in all, absolutely delectable and highly recommended!

Pigalle
75 Charles St. South
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 423-4944
Tue-Fri 5-10 p.m.
Sat 5:30-10:30 p.m.; Sun 5-9:30 p.m.

Make your reservations for Restaurant Week 2011

7 Mar

Boston’s popular Winter Restaurant Week is back and starts tonight! Between March 6-11, 13-18, you have the chance of sampling the best of the city’s fine dining menus at a fraction of the original cost.

This year there are 226 participating restaurants, many offering a 3-course lunch ($22.11) or dinner ($33.11).  Some also offer a 2-course lunch for $15.11 – a great choice for an office lunch out on a week day.

“With so many restaurants to choose from, locals and visitors alike will enjoy the exceptional value, variety and hospitality of Restaurant Week Boston®. It’s a win-win for everyone, restaurant volume is up during a traditionally slow time of year, and dining guests save money and get to try new restaurants,” said Patrick Moscaritolo, President & CEO of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau. “It’s also a time when local chefs get to shine and show off their restaurant’s unique atmosphere and service.”

Restaurant Week Boston® is sponsored and presented by founding partners, the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau and American Express®. Additional sponsors include Greater Media Boston radio stations: MAGIC 106.7 (WMJX), Radio 92.9, 105.7 (WROR), Country 102.5 (WKLB), 96.9 Boston Talks (WTKK), and TV Diner.

Looking for a particular food or theme? Be it Vegan, French, Afghan, Tapas or sushi – you can take your pick. This is really a great way to try a new cuisine or a talked-about restaurant and make a fun but affordable night put with friends or your significant other.

Last year I had a wonderful experience with dinner at Sibling Rivalry and lunch the Artbar. This year I am eying some splendid menus like Tremont 647, Toro, Pigalle, Pazzo, Bambara, Da Vinci, Umbria and Amelia’s Trattoria.

I try to pick those that offer some variety in cuisine and more options on the menu (fish, meat, veggie) as I usually go in a big group.

I never pick those that offer a measly choice of two or three in each course (Sel de la Terre, Union Oyster House, Back Bay Social Club), those that don’t publish their menus online (Via Matta, The Hungry I, Sauciety) or those that charge extra for an entree or sides (Ruth Chris’ Steakhouse,  Avila, Bistro 5) – that beats the purpose of the event I feel.

Let me know which you picked and how it was. Bon Appetit!

Persia meets Puglia on Tuesdays this month

2 Dec

Persian restaurant Lala Rokh pairs with sister restaurant Bin 26 Enoteca, Boston’s quintessential Italian wine bar, to bring diners on a culinary journey combining Persian luxury with Italian sophistication.

The migratory meal occurs every Tuesday and features a four-course prix fixe menu with two dishes served at Lala Rokh and two at Bin 26, with the option of expertly chosen beverage pairings at $49 (including tax and tips) + $29 for beverage pairings.

Please call 617-720-5511 to reserve a spot at either restaurant for 6:30 pm or 8:30 pm seatings on Tuesdays.

First Course
Kashk- e- Bademjan
Velvety roast of eggplant, caramelized onion and goat’s milk yogurt with minced beef

Second Course
Ghormeh-Sabzi
Boneless leg of lamb, red beans and dried lime in a bouquet of aromatic greens
Sagelands Merlot

Third Course
Branzino
Served over haricots verts
Nero Cheravasca Nebbiolo

Fourth Course
ThreeRamisù
Tiramisu served three ways
Eufemia 20 Year Tawny