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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.

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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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A new FarmCoast restaurant I am dying to try

8 Jun

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I walked by the new Padanaram Village eatery this weekend and was greatly impressed with the high-end do-over with a flagstone patio, planters full of herbs and a swanky clean interior. Check out my recent story about Little Moss, the former site of the popular beach Plum Cafe in idyllic S. Dartmouth:

DARTMOUTH — Padanaram Village has a cool new hot spot.

Open for a week at 6 Bridge St., Little Moss Restaurant has been packed every night for dinner, according to owner Lisa Lofberg.

With items like spring dug parsnip soup and a seared duck breast with wild watercress and blackberry jam (that one recent diner said was “to die for”), the eatery has partnered with local farms and businesses to put the freshest ingredients on the plate.

The Lofbergs are local residents who owned the popular bakery Beach Plum at the same spot. Named after a boat in Moby Dick, Little Moss opened after an 18-month face-lift and includes a new porch with herbs growing in planters around it.

 

 

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.

Eat good food, build a Fishermen’s Museum

16 Apr

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If you believe in preservation and can shell out $100, here’s a great cause and what looks like it’s going to be a good dinner.

“Taste of the Port,” coming up April 24, is co-hosted by the New Bedford Port Society and WHALE.

Proceeds will benefit the Port Society Complex to restore, preserve, and make accessible the Seamen’s Bethel and the Mariners’ Home and to create New Bedford’s first Fishermen’s Museum.

Participating restaurants and chefs include Morton’s Fork Catering, M & C Café, Fathoms, Henry Bousquet, The Black Whale, Dorothy Cox Chocolates, Café Algarve, with scallops donated by American Pride Seafood.

Click online to buy tickets or call WHALE at 508-997-1776.

This is a great time to visit New Bedford

27 Sep

I have three top reasons for you to visit New Bedford this weekend :

1. If you love fishing boats
2. If you love fish and seafood
3 If you’ve never been to America’s largest commercial fishing port because really, do you want to be that lame?

The annual Working Working Waterfront Festival brings the fishing industry alive on the pier with demos, food, the opportunity to row a whaling boat and endless options to go aboard working fishing boats.

Here’s the schedule and map online. Admission is FREE.

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Join us in New Bedford, America’s largest commercial fishing port, to learn about the men and women who harvest the North Atlantic. Walk the decks of a scalloper, dine on fresh seafood, see fishermen’s contests, and watch a cooking demonstrations. Experience the workings of the industry which brings seafood from the ocean to your plate.

And then there’s another great reason to visit. Sir Eatsalot will be on the pier Sunday at 3 p.m. judging the seafood throwdown 🙂 So be there!

Continue reading

New Bedford – it’s a catch!

8 Aug

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Sir Eatsalot has been on a hiatus thanks to several life-changing events. That does not mean he has stopped eating or opining on food, if you’ve been following twitter. If anything, he has been hogging more. Namely, fresh catch and tons of shellfish, thanks to the move to the country’s biggest fishing port — New Bedford.

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For those who don’t know, this is a small city with a big history. Once the whaling capital of the world (I highly recommend the free film “The City That Lit The World” at the Visitor Center downtown) and home to the world’s biggest Whaling Museum, it boasts a working fishing port and, as a result, great fish markets and good value restaurants.

Ethnically diverse, it also presents unique Portuguese and Cape Verdean delights that I have only begun to explore. Watch this blog for a tantalizing glimpse of the delightful meals I’ve tried at Inner Bay – my local favourite! Continue reading

Spicy crab curry – in a pinch

17 Jul

When it rains, I craaaave crabs. Even when it’s quite dry, I pine for the spicy crab curry we ate at home in Calcutta on rainy afternoons especially during the monsoons. So I couldn’t resist the temptation when I found packs of rock crab claws being sold at Market Basket cheap. Dang it, I would make myself a crab curry. My treat.

It didn’t take long and it wasn’t complicated and despite it being the wrong kind of crabs and wrong kind of weather, it ended up being the right kind of taste. Here’s my vaguely remembered, slightly simplified recipe, step-by-step.

1. Buy crabs. These were the rock hard kind that I cracked in advance but thinner shells work better.

2. Add a spoonful each of salt, red chili powder and turmeric powder and mix well. More chili if you want it to be more spicy – I know I do.

3. Peel and dice a potato or two and toss in with the crabs and masala.

4. Grind up the ingredients you’ll need for the curry — red onions, ginger, garlic, green chilies.

5. Heat some oil in a wok and lightly toss the spice-coated crab and potatoes pieces on high heat for a couple minutes and put aside.

6. Add the ground paste to the oil with some whole garam masala – cardamoms, cloves, bay leaves and cinnamon stick – and toss until the paste is brown.

7. After oil separates, throw in the crabs and potatoes and toss well. Add a sprinkling of salt and sugar.

8. After it is fairly dry and beginning to stick, add a tumbler of hot water and cook on low heat. Throw in some split green chilies and frozen peas for taste and heat. Continue reading