I too hit the Plough & Stars for my Cambridge lunch on Thurs. and thought the cubano was quite good (I know one of the cooks and a bartender there). Altho it seemed like the pork had an odd consistancy. In any case, it was huge so I just ate half plus the delicious fries. I don't think they were like O'Sullivans at all, smaller and much crispier, with a little spice to them it seemed. One friend got a burger and another had a corned beef dinner. Most lunch items were about $7-10. Dinner items are not available at lunch but they sound great and are all in the $15 range. Only had been there once before the renovation so can't comment on the difference but certainly a good lunch option if you're in the area.
Thurs. nite was dinner at Umbria on Franklin St. and it was great but there were repercussions the next day. After the semi miserable hostess seated us in the cute downstairs room, we had a fun flirty waiter from Italy who informed me their mango drink was no longer available. I had a melon martini while we munched on their rustic bread with an interesting spread. Two of us had caesar salad w/ fried sardines, one had mixed greens w/ goat cheese and one had the scallops which were 3 big beauties in a nice sauce. I had lobster ravioli in prosciutto sauce which basically meant some bits of prosciutto in a tomatoey sauce. Tasty but I prefer the newburg style sauce for that dish. We also had a pappardelle w/ wild boar, filet & mashed and salmon, all of them very good. Dessert was sorbet, an amazing warm choc. cake and bread pudding with white and dark choc. sauce. They do know their bread pudding. With two glasses of wine, a scotch, a grappa and an espresso, it came to $235 before tip. I had commented on how I never got my two drink headache the whole time in Paris and spoke too soon cuz it came back in full effect on Fri. Absolutely miserable in many ways (and I'm not even getting drunk before all this happens). Is it the wine here or was the food too rich or what? My friend who had the scallops and boar pasta couldn't get out of bed the next day. Maybe we had a delayed reaction from flying, and I wouldn't not go there again, but it kind of put a damper on things.
That changed my Fri. plans and I ended up just getting some pancakes at Sorella's in JP to stuff my stomach with bread products in the afternoon. Ordered the banana/raspberry/macademia nut and while the bananas and nuts were mixed in the batter, they just threw the raspberries on top which I've never seen them do there. I hate it when the featured ingredients are just put on top instead of incorporated into the batter. They were easy to mix in tho and the breakfast served its purpose.
We had to move our big dinner at North St. Grill from Fri. nite to Sat. for a smaller group of people. It was very good and it's amazing that we had 4 entrees, two coffees and a bottle of Italian red wine (Sangiovese?, of which we two sickies did not partake) for $100 before tip. Two of us had a very nice chicken dish with parmesan grits with some butternut squash in it along with green beans. One had lamb and one had skirt steak with a huge amount of fries on the side. Service was good but a bit odd and I love that space, but unfortunately, the ventilation problem continues. It seemed okay when we first arrived but became more noticeable as dinner went on and I had to lay out my clothes to air out when I got home. It's very annoying and I hope they finally really get that fixed.
Stopped at Antoinetta's on Rt. 99 in Everett cuz I think people here had mentioned it as being good Italian. Their menu is certainly cheap enough and I noticed on Sun. they have 2 dinners for $19.99 including salad, drink and dessert. I just wanted a sub to go and they said their chicken parm. was the thing to order ($4.95). The drive back to Boston probably didn't enhance its tastiness, but it was pretty average. The chicken was real and freshly fried, but the bread was super boring and maybe I should have ordered steak & cheese which is my tester for subs.
Finally, I did hit one Rest. Week lunch at Domani before I went away and that was very good. Portions seemed much bigger than when we went there for dinner shortly after it opened. Friend had a nice arugula salad w/ prosciutto and pear while I started with greens and fried calamari. Calamari had cooled off too much but the frying was perfect. He got braised short ribs which he loved and I had potato ravioli in a buttery truffle sauce. Good but a tad boring. Warm choc. cake and vanilla bread pudding with fruit sauce were great but at that point, we were stuffed. Sat at the bar where service was decent altho some long lapses for our entrees and dessert at 1PM.
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