In the last week I have had a chance to eat my way around the South Shore.
1)Café Bella in Randolph: I have heard raves about this place for years and never got a chance to go. We went last Thursday and while the food was very good I dont think I would travel to again to eat there. There are just as many comparable places near where I live. Apps were carpaccio-well prepared and with the yummy rolls they serve even better. DH had the traditional antipasti and he loved it. Entrée were steak which was cooked perfectly but mashed potatoes were gummy and lukewarm. I had the duck which had excellent flavor but even fattier than duck usually is. We had 2 cocktails, an $80 Barolo and decaf cappuccino. Total came to well over 200 before tip ($247/9 maybe?). Service was friendly and efficient. So like I said the food was great but to spend that kind of money I would prefer to stay closer to home and go to Tosca or Saporitos.
2)Kam Am Market-Quincy: stopped into the little cafeteria are before shopping and got excellent salt/pepper shrimp, some kind of BBQ eggplant and then pork in what seemed to be a hoisin glaze. Food was great, really cheap and everyone behind the counter was as friendly and helpful as usual. In the store we loaded up on fresh water chestnuts, freshly prepared (not frozen) steamed buns, sesame buns as well as few frozen dumplings. Also picked up pumpkin and avocado oil, fish sauce and some other kind of ginger based chili sauce. The steamed buns were awesome! Pork, leak and cabbage lightly seasoned. Sesame buns had a sweet white paste that didnt taste like almond or bean so not sure what they were but they were still good. Frozen dumplings were really good but discovered after the fact they were LOADED w/ msg. Oh well
3) Solstice in Kingston- this place was AMAZING. Service was excellent, food superb. I would definitely travel back to eat here often. We started with cocktails but didnt know what we wanted so the waiter asked our preference and had the bartender surprise us. What came out was the most gorgeous version of a pomegranate martini. When we couldnt decide if we wanted another he offered to have the bartender make 1 and put in 2 glassed. Nice touch and we did. Once we ordered and tried to decide on wine he told us what they were out of, offered comparable and was very informative. We ending up setting for 2 glasses of a pinot since we didnt want the whole bottle and didnt know the wine enough to buy one and take the balance home. Apps were a salad with medjool dates stuffed with goat cheese, mixed green in light vinaigrette and the whole thing sprinkled w/ pistachios. I ate every bite. DH had the carpaccio and it came w/ mixed greens, assorted breads topped w/ caramelized onions and roasted peppers. For dinner I had the bucatini pasta tossed with spring peas, assorted fresh mushrooms, and lamb meatballs all in a light beefy broth. It was one of the most amazing pasta dishes I have had in a ling time. DH got the duck and honestly I didnt even try it my dinner was so good! He raved and thought it was much better than Café Bella. Tab with 2 /12 cocktails, 2 glassed of $8.00 wine, tea, coffee and bottle pf Pellegrino was just over $100 before tip and worth every penny form the atmosphere, service and food.
4)Jay Jay's ice cram stand Cohasset. Finally open and we indulged in soft serve with coatings and a chocolate malted. You could almost believe it was summer!