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Boston Restaurant Blog -- January, 2012

Below are blog entries from January, 2012. Use the links in the left column to do a quick search of blog entries, or to see blog entries from other months. And feel free to use the "Comments" links under each blog entry to reply to us; your comments just might end up in our Boston restaurant blog! (Note: This page is part of our restaurant features section.)

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January, 2012

Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Ten More Unusual Food Items from Restaurants

photo of SOS (s--t on a shingle) from Danish Pastry House, Medford, MALast September, we posted a photo slideshow of five unusual dishes from restaurants in the Boston area and elsewhere in New England. Well, since then, we have come across a number of other unique and interesting food items, and have decided to create a "Part Two" of the slideshow (this time with ten photos rather than five). Once again, this slideshow focuses on dishes that you may not ordinarily see, including some rather odd desserts as well as upscale takes on popular comfort food items.

More slideshows are on the way over the coming months, including a sneak peek at some of the best dishes of 2012 and at least one or two slideshows on particular food items, so keep checking back!

Below is a link to the latest slideshow, which will take you to the photos of the ten items.

Slideshow for Ten More Unusual Food Items

Related Blog Entries: slideshows

Thursday, January 26, 2012
Ten Romantic Restaurants in the Boston Area

photo of Loco Tapas in Easton, MAIt may still be January, but Valentine's Day is not all that far off. And since many restaurants get booked quickly for dinner that evening, it is probably a good idea to start to think about where you might want to go for a romantic meal that night (that is, if you do plan to go out for Valentine's Day, of course). There are countless eateries in and around Boston that could be classified as "romantic," but many of them are popular places and hotspots that can be anything but romantic, with high noise levels, artificially high prices, and huge crowds. So what are some of the less crowded dining spots in the Boston area that might be good for a Valentine's Day meal? A number of such spots can be found within this site, including the ten mentioned below.

Within the Boston city limits, one restaurant that is a nice place for a romantic dinner is pretty much in the heart of the downtown area of the city, yet remains a bit under the radar. 75 Chestnut is a classy spot on a side street in the flats of Beacon Hill, making it virtually unknown to tourists and other travelers to Boston, but locals certainly frequent this inviting little place, which features a mix of traditional American and New American dishes. Nearby is Grotto, which is also on Beacon Hill and is a quiet spot that is below street level and features a nice mix of Mediterranean and Italian fare at moderate prices. Further out (yet still in Boston) is a somewhat similar restaurant in Roslindale called Sophia's Grotto, which has dark nooks, lots of exposed brick, and some terrific Mediterranean dishes, including Northern Italian cuisine. For a more exotic experience, there is a sultry and moody place a short distance south of downtown Boston called Shanti, which resides in the Savin Hill section of Dorchester. It is a quiet, cozy place with some of the best Indian fare in the Boston area, and the prices, while slightly higher than some Indian spots, are still pretty reasonable.

Heading north of Boston, you'll find a completely hidden Italian restaurant in Lynn called Antique Table, a place on a quiet street that looks almost like a rural Italian villa inside. The combination of wooden ceiling beams, mosaic lamps, and quality Northern and Southern Italian food make this a very special spot. Further north, in the old mill city of Lawrence, there is a deceptively large Mexican restaurant on the edge of the downtown area called Cafe Azteca that has colorful murals, quiet dining areas, and some of the best Mexican food you will find in all of Southern New England, let alone the Boston area.

If you are looking for romantic restaurants west of Boston, Vecchia Roma in the Nonantum section of Newton is a good place to start. It is a bit small, even with its two rooms, but it is a great "date" place, with excellent food, pleasant music, comfortable tables, and very nice people who work there. Closer to Route 495 (within sight of it, actually) is a Mediterranean spot in Marlborough called Allora Ristorante that is a bit pricey compared to the other restaurants mentioned here, but well worth it, with its elegant interior, lakeside views from the outdoor deck (not that you'll be out there on Valentine's Day), and outstanding dishes that include sausage rapini and pappardelle bolognese.

Heading south, it is tough to go wrong with Mezzo Mare, an Italian eatery across from Nantasket Beach in Hull. Cozy, dark, and quiet, this spot is mostly a favorite among locals and is indeed hidden away from the water unlike other restaurants in Hull, but it is one of our favorites, with all kinds of meat and pasta dishes available at decent prices. Closer to Route 24 is a Spanish place in Easton called Loco Tapas and Wine Bar, which can definitely get pricey, but may be the most romantic spot of them all on this list, with its deep red walls, Spanish arches, warm lighting, and copper bar. And oh, then there is the food, which includes some excellent tapas as well as regular-sized entrees.

We easily could have included another 10-15 eateries on this list, but these 10 seemed to stand out a bit. If you have any favorites for Valentine's Day, please let us know about them in the comments section here, thanks!

Related Blog Entries: romantic restaurants

Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Just for Fun: A Random Restaurant/Food Generator

How many times have you heard from a friend or loved one the term "surprise me?" when asking about what restaurant to go to for dinner (or breakfast or lunch, for that matter)? Sometimes it's fun to randomly choose a place to go to, which is the basis of a new page that we recently created. Basically, the page randomly picks restaurants that we have featured on the site by food or other categories (for instance, place with views), with six options to choose from for now (more options will be posted on the page over the coming weeks--stay tuned).

If you would like to try out the page, a link to it is below. Have fun, and remember, more categories will be added soon, as we're just getting started!

Random Restaurant/Food Generator

Thursday, January 5, 2012
Ten Funny Restaurant Names/Signs in New England and New York

photo of cigarette receptacle at Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewing Company in North Conway, NHA new photo slideshow has just been created for the new year, and this one focuses more on the lighter side of restaurants, with funny names and signs being the theme. And while we usually stick around the Boston area for most of our slideshows (the last one being excluded, as it was on restaurants in scenic spots), this one looks at places not only in the Boston area and elsewhere in New England, but also in New York, where there seem to be a treasure trove of humorous restaurant names, signs, etc.

A link to the latest slideshow can be found below. By the way, if you know of any funny restaurant names or humorous signs at any dining spots, please post comments on the places here, thanks!

Slideshow of Ten Funny Restaurant Names/Signs

Related Blog Entries: slideshows