Sunday, June 26, 2016

Bar Mezzana

          Bar Mezzana is Chef Colin Lynch's new restaurant (formerly of the Barbara Lynch Groupo), that just opened at Ink Block earlier this month. The menu features coastal Italian cuisine, with the largest selection of crudo I've seen in Boston. The fiance and I went in for dinner the other night, and I seriously contemplated ordering one of everything off the crudo menu. However, reason kicked in and realizing I couldn't possibly eat it all I started with half the crudo menu. Seriously. I really love crudo.

          We started with the sea urchin which came in the shell with fresh veggies, the langoustine with pink peppercorn and caviar, and yellowtail with grapefruit oil and chili. All three were excellent; the fish was perfectly fresh and the presentation was beautiful. I especially loved the creativity of the sea urchin in terms of both presentation and accompaniments.

          Next was the tuna tartare with herbs, flowers, and more caviar! The caviar may have played a part in my decision to order both the langoustine and tuna tartare; it ended up being a great compliment to both dishes without overshadowing them.

          The salmon with green chili salsa verde was one of my favorites; the salmon was such a good cut it just melted in your mouth.

          Our final crudo dish of the evening was the razer clams; this was a recommendation from the bartender and I can definitely see why it was one of her favorites! The onions and fennel paired with them were so simple and added a slight earthy flavor.

          The fiance sort of insisted we try something other than crudo, so after much debate (it all looked amazing!) we decided on two appetizers: the grilled octopus and prime beef tartare.The octopus was grilled perfectly, and the prime beef tartare was delicious with the egg yolk already mixed in served with grilled crostini.

          We shared the chocolate torte with hazelnut and orange for dessert. It was a small slice, but so rich that the portion was just right. 

          The meal at Bar Mezzana definitely lived up to my expectations, and I plan to return soon to try the rest of the crudo menu. The pastas and entrees also look amazing, so there will have to be 3-4 visits in my future!

Bar Mezzana Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Bar Menu at Grill 23

          Grill 23 has always been one of my favorite steakhouses in Boston, but I've never tried the bar menu until I was invited to a recent event where I was able to sample a good portion of the food and cocktails.

           The space was absolutely beautiful, and I loved the Mumbai Mule and Death by Taxes cocktails. 

          I normally don't like potato chips, but couldn't stop eating Grill 23's home made version seasoned with salt and pepper!

          It was hard not to fill up on this impressive spread of meats, cheeses, and charcuterie - I did my best to sample just a tiny bit of each. My favorite was definitely the "duck a l'orange" rillettes.

           There were three types of sliders beef with truffle cheddar and cured tomato, lamb topped with eggplant parm, and banh mi made with shortrib, pork, and chicken liver pate. I had to try all of these, and appreciated the creativity of each. Normally these come as full sized burgers - I recommend going with friends and sharing a few so you can try each!

          Some additional highlights included the chive biscuits with deviled ham,  spicy oyster shooters, and raw tuna poke.

          The bar at Grill 23 is a bit more casual than the dining room, but the full dinner menu is also available. It's a perfect spot for drinks and apps after work, or for a really great burger!

Grill 23 & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Northeast of the Border

          Northeast of the Border is a taco truck with authentic Mexican food made from locally sourced ingredients. They're in Watertown once a week, and have become one of my regular lunch spots.

          There are several meat, seafood and vegetarian options available - all are served on soft corn tortillas with creative toppings. My favorite is the beef brisket barbacoa taco topped simply with cilantro and onion.

          I like to mix it up a little and get a variety when I order; some of my other top picks are the chicken tinga with onions, tomato, and chipotle sauce, and the cochinita: slow cooked marinated pork, topped refried beans topped with pickled red onions.

           I continue to be impressed by the quality of food at the food trucks around Boston, and Northeast of the Border is no exception. If you see them around town, you should definitely check them out!

NorthEast of the Border Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

O Sha

O Sha is a tiny spot in Watertown that serves Thai and sushi. They have a ton of great lunch specials, but my favorite is always the sushi a la carte.

          I love that they offer toro gunkan on the menu, a lightly seared spicy toro served over rice in a seaweed wrap. It's my favorite preparation that I don't see at a lot of places. The tuna mango roll is also a favorite; it comes topped with sweet lemon and salmon sashimi, which is always incredibly fresh.

          One of my coworkers also swears by the shrimp tempura roll with extra eel sauce on the side!

          I never would have discovered O Sha if it wasn't right near my office, but it's so good I would even make the trip to Watertown on a non-work day!

O-Sha Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Red Lantern

          I've always enjoyed going out at Red Lantern; everything from the amazing cocktail menu, cool decor, and fun atmosphere make it a great spot. So naturally I was excited for the chance to preview the new drink menu from Brother Cleve, a legend in the cocktail world who recently joined the team at Big Night Entertainment Group.

           We sampled a large portion of the cocktail menu, which included everything from classics like the Mai Tai and Volcano to a boozy snow cone.

          I enjoyed all of the drinks, and especially appreciated that the mixers were made from scratch. They were delicious without the overly sweet syrupy flavor you sometimes get.

          I also tried the food at Red Lantern for the first time, and was surprised at how good it was (I'd always thought of them as a place to go out)! They have an extensive menu including a sushi bar and upscale versions of Chinese favorites like General Gao's chicken, fried rice, pupu platters, and more.

          If you want to check them out, Red Lantern is hosting a party this Tuesday June 21st  to preview the new cocktail menu and celebrate their fifth anniversary. Get all of the details here. They also have an amazing special on Tuesdays - unlimited sushi for $25 for person. I definitely plan to take advantage of this deal soon!

Red Lantern Restaurant & Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Chicken and Rice Guys

          My company loves to eat; one of my favorite perks are the several food trucks on site (in Watertown) every day. The Chicken and Rice Guys is legendary around the office, and people start lining up just before 11AM to avoid the long lines or even worse running out of food which has happened. A few weeks ago I decided to see what all of the hype was about, and now I'm lining up with everyone else!

       The menu is simple, but so good! The meats are tender and seasoned perfectly, with several dipping sauces to choose from. Options include chicken, lamb, or tofu over seasoned rice with a side of pita and lettuce. Plates come in small or large, or you can order a salad which has no rice and extra lettuce. My favorite is the combo salad, with mint sauce for the lamb, creamy garlic sauce for the chicken, and occasionally a little BBQ to mix it up!

           If you see The Chicken and Rice Guys around town, I highly recommend braving the line - you won't be disappointed!

The Chicken and Rice Guys Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Barking Crab

          The Barking Crab is the type of seafood place you'd find at the beach (think picnic tables, tents, outdoor seating) located in the heart of the city- Boston's seaport district. It's a great spot for drinks after work, and traditional New England seafood. I went with the fiance a few weeks ago for dinner on the first nice day of the season and the place was packed! We ordered a little bit of everything to share including all of the standards.

Half Dozen Oysters with Cocktail Sauce and Mignonette

Fried Whole Belly Clams

New England Clam Chowder

Steamed Lobster and Crab Leg Combo with Drawn Butter
          Everything was delicious and incredibly fresh! The clam chowder rich and creamy, the fried clams had huge bellies and the lobster and crab came with a very generous portion. We were way too full for dessert, but I've heard great things about the Boston cream pie and next time I go I'll be sure to leave room!