April 25, 2011
When I’m in a new city, I love finding places like Mike and Patty’s because I feel like I’ve stumbled upon the neighborhood gem.
Situated on a quiet street corner, behind an unassuming storefront with no visible signage (excluding its little paper sign hanging in the window), Mike and Patty’s feels cozy and familiar as soon as you walk through the swinging screen door. It’s a little space – it barely seats 12 – but honestly, I couldn’t imagine it any other way. This place has character…and the best breakfast sandwich I’ve had in a long time.
The bacon and egg (fancy) – a couple slices of bacon, semi-runny eggs, cheddar, avocado and red onion placed between two lightly toasted slices of multi-grain bread – has the ideal balance of texture and flavor. The smear of house mayo – a smoky, garlicky, peppery concoction – elevates this sandwich from ordinary to awesomely satisfying.
April 8, 2011
Usually when I go to a new city on vacation, I heavily scout restaurants out before hand and make reservations long before I arrive. However for this past Boston trip, with the exception of Neptune Oyster (which was the only “must-go” on our list), Jenn and I winged the entire thing.
Sportello was one of these impromptu dining choices and it paid off, big time. The restaurant is primarily counter-seating, with its long marble counter zigzagging through most of the space and an open kitchen behind that. This is a place where you can either dress up or down – your choice – and still feel perfectly at ease and comfortable wearing whatever you decide. Walking in, I already had a feeling that this was going to be a fun meal.
As usual, the meal began with bread; however, a little dish of ricotta cheese, figs and olive oil was provided instead of butter. (It’s hard not to fill yourself up on bread when you’re provided with a creamy, sweet start like that – I think we went through at least two of them.)
The warm octopus salad was fantastic as well – tender octopus, sweet roasted peppers and fingerling potatoes linked in a light dressing.
The gnocchi in my main course were light and fluffy but were tossed in a creamy, rich sauce with peas and mushrooms. Although tasty, the serving was rather large given the heaviness of the sauce – this is a dish best shared with another.
We finished our meal with an affogato. Essentially a chilled sabayon (which had the consistency of semi-melted soft-serve) topped with two shots of espresso, it was the perfect pick-me-up after my heavy entrée.
With it’s casual yet classy atmosphere and fantastic food, Sportello was definitely a lucky find!
348 Congress Street
Boston, MA 02210
February 15, 2011
(Is she done talking about lobster rolls yet? Nope, not yet…)
Now that we’ve covered NYC lobster rolls (at least, for the moment), let’s talk Boston lobster rolls. As I mentioned in a previous post, lobster rolls are really a New England thing and New York, albeit close in distance, is just not quite close enough.
NYC’s lobster rolls got nothin’ on Boston’s.
When looking up restaurants for my weekend trip to Boston with my favorite “sister” Jenn, Neptune Oyster in the North End was the one place everyone seemed to agree on. The wait was supposed to be long (some reviews quoted wait times in hours), but the food was supposed to be worth it. In particular, I was told to order at least one of the three following things:
- Anything from their raw bar
- Their clam chowder
- Their lobster roll
(Of course, we ordered all three.)
We got lucky on the wait – we arrived about half an hour after they opened and immediately snagged two seats at their counter. If we had arrived 15-20 minutes longer, there would have been a crowd waiting at the door and people meandering in and out, putting their names on an ever-growing list. The place is small so keep that in mind if you ever show up yourself.
(My favorite – the kumamoto)
We started off our meal with two oysters apiece – one kumamoto and one kusshi. I slurped the clean and briny kusshi first and the sweet and creamy kumamoto second. (I just recently discovered my love for kumamotos and wanted to savor that flavor as long as I could.) A perfect start!
The clam chowder was served next. Little cubes of potato and celery floated around in the thin soup and plump clams rested at the bottom of the shallow bowl. I wish the soup base was a tad thicker (for heartiness sake) but the clams were fantastically fresh.
(Butter is better!)
Lastly – the pièce de résistance – the lobster rolls. Like some of the other lobster roll places I’ve been to, we were given the option of a cold roll with mayo or hot roll with butter. We ordered one of each and split the two plates between the two of us. (Note to self: I need to stop ordering the cold mayo rolls; I like the hot buttery ones exponentially better! Why do I insist on tasting the mayo ones!?)
These were some of the largest lobster rolls I had ever seen. I was full after half and, after two halves, thought I was OD’ing on lobster. (I never thought you could OD on lobster, but I came close!) Like all the other seafood we had at Neptune Oyster, the lobster was fresh, sweet and meaty and the warm roll sopped up all the dripping juices, making it a delicious buttery sponge of goodness. Definitely the best lobster roll I’ve had in life thus far.
Okay, now that I’ve had lobster rolls in NYC and Boston, the next stop is Maine…
63 Salem St
Boston, MA 02113