Thursday, October 30, 2008

beef tataki

Have you ever tried it? We got it as an appetizer at Yoki tonight and it was quite yummy. Must say, there are a lot of yummy things at Yoki. :)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

29 newbury

Have you ever heard of Open Table? It's an online restaurant reservation system that is awesome. You earn points for each reservation you make (and keep!) with a restaurant that participates in their program, and then after a certain amount you can redeem the points for a gift certificate. I just looked at my profile and I joined back in 2005 when I still worked at Pioneer (God, that seems like forever ago), and I used to use it for lunch outings once in a while. There weren't a ton of places (like there are now) that participated in it, so my choices around the Faneuil Hall area at that time were kind of limited.

Anyhoo, so it took us ten reservations at 100 point restaurants, and one reservation at a 1,000 point restaurant to cash in for a $20 gift certificate. (Note to the person out there thinking/saying, "Sheesh! It took THAT long!": they didn't start offering 1,000 point reservations until recently.)

Where was I going with this?

Oh yeah. So we decided to use our gift certificate at a restaurant that we've never been to, 29 Newbury. Tony gets credit for finding this one.

We made a reservation for 7:00 pm so that Tony would have enough time to get home, change, and for us to drive out to Newbury Street. Luckily, our parking angel was with us last night, so we managed to find a metered spot on Berkeley street. When we got to the restaurant, the hostess asked us if we wanted to take the first available seat or if we wanted to wait for a more private booth. We opted for the booth and waited about 15 minutes at the bar which was fine with us because it has a cozy atmosphere and we sipped wine. They have a patio area outside (with blankets!) that they don't take reservations for. I can't remember exactly what the place used to be (I think it was something like Parris Cafe?), but I remember that it was always packed outside on the patio during the daytime.

We were glad we waited for a booth because the other tables in the middle of the restaurant seemed a little too close to each other. I mean, I'm sure we would've been fine, but, you know, I'm just sayin' is all. They gave us some delicious, warm sesame bread (don't worry, I tore the crust off) while we waited for our food to arrive. We each had a glass of the Four Vines red Zinfandel and it was quite yummy.

(Note: they still have their summer menu posted on their website.)

Tony had the grilled pork chop dish with butternut squash, chard, and a caramalized apple sauce on top. He let me try a bite and it was really good!

I had the prime rib topped with blue cheese. It came with spinach and roasted potatoes. Of course, I had the steak medium rare and it was devine. :) It had a delicious port reduction sauce on it, too, and the cheese added just the right amount of tangy and saltiness. Let's just say that yes, I can be a pig, and that this meal was fit for anyone PMS'ing. LOL

Overall, as Tony said, "I'd give this a 9 on a scale of 10. We haven't had very many 10 restaurants, but this was nice." And I agree. The service was super friendly and it has a really nice, romantic atmosphere. The food was delicious. We can't vouch for dessert because we simply did not leave any room to try some. But that means we'll just have to go back some time again, right?

Oh and the bonus? We got 1,000 points for this reservation. Score!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

limoncello in the north end

After a couple of hours at the Ringling Bros. circus with Tony's niece and nephew, we met up with their parents, Joe and Marina, and walked over to the North End for lunch. Of course, all of the restaurants up and down Hanover Street were packed, so we looked for something on one of the side streets. We came across Limoncello and decided to give it a try.

Tony had the basic Spaghetti al Pomodoro Fresco, and I had the Linguine Alle Vongole (linguine with clams) with a white sauce.

The food was okay overall, nothing great. The pasta was overcooked which kind of sucked, and I thought my dish was a tad salty. At first I thought it was because I probably put too much parmesan cheese on top, but Tony thought his dish was salty too. The great thing was that they were very accomodating to the kids and put together a simple bowl of pasta with butter and cheese for them (totally not on the menu) and brought it out before our dishes so that they could stay occupied. It wasn't too pricy for the food so it wasn't a terrible experience, but we probably will opt for a different place in the North End next time.


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