I can taste again so I'm making up for the weeks of few dinners out. I'd noticed that Paparazzi on Dartmouth offered brunch on weekends with most items <$10 INCLUDING a bellini or mimosa, so we stopped by Sun. That's one thing NYC does right, great brunch deals with a cocktail all over the place, not seen much up here. It was quite empty at 1PM. Very friendly service, bordering on too friendly (why ask if we've been there before, it's not like they have some schtick to tell us about). Bellini and mimosa hit the spot. A basket of thin bread sticks was served, no big deal but good to munch on since the food took a while but it was worth it. I had the tuscan eggs benedict w/ pancetta & tomato on grilled crostini. Well poached eggs, grilled bread was great, good side of roast potatoes and a few pieces of fruit. Friend had a huge plate of steak & eggs (that was $13.95), absolutely no room for dessert. We really enjoyed it and it's a good place to keep in mind if you have a large group.
Had to be in Salem on Sat. but since the weather sucked, that nixed my plan to finally see Willows Park and try Cappy's fried clams. Got a couple seats at the bar at Finz where they have lots of fun drinks, had a kiwi and strawberry "martini" while my friend had scotch ($16 which surprised him). We split the soft shell crab sandwich w/ fries ($12), his first soft shell experience which he enjoyed. I only like them with a good fried coating and this fit the bill with tasty aioli and decent fries. Good service and I really like the bar area (fireplace and couches too). The dining room was surprisingly slow for 6-7PM on a Sat. but the rain probably didn't help. Altho that didn't slow people down from going to Rockefeller's where the bar area was packed. We grabbed two seats by the window, had an IPA and a HUGE apple martini (only $8!) with our crabcakes ($9.95 and $1 if you want sweet potato fries). Two small cakes with a good amount of crab altho my cake was a little burnt. Crisp fries, pretty good deal.
Went to Tryst in Arlington Ctr. Thurs. where everything on the menu looked good. Got a "tristini" at the bar ($9) while waiting for my friend and forgot that you can't just have a drink in Arlington without eating (but I was fine as long as I was eventually going to eat). We thought we'd sit at the bar but there wasn't much elbow room so we took a table in the dining room. There's something odd about that room, not a favorite in the Boston area for sure. We split a special appetizer that they called gnocchi but I don't know why. He said it was semolina and it came out more like a polenta custard with some great wild mushrooms and maybe truffle sauce ($12). Whatever, it was great. I could have eaten any of the entrees and I haven't had that feeling in a while. I went with bacon wrapped trout w/ lobster/cornbread stuffing and greens. Didn't really taste much lobster but it was a nice lemon tinged dressing, two good sized pieces so made for dinner the next nite. Friend had a wonderful rack of lamb and got a side of spaetzle which was a side with the black bass special (which also sounded great). Dessert was a banana cream pie on a choc. crust with some caramel, pretty darn tasty. Entrees topped out at $27. Good sounding sandwiches are available at the bar. Service wasn't quite on top of things; forgot about me at the bar (and I'm not sure the martini glass was chilled) and lots of waiting for water, but wasn't too distracting. Would like it in my neighborhood.
Our original plan to finally hit Rendezvous in Central Sq. was nixed since it was closed on Mem. Day so we went across the street to Central Kitchen and had a nice meal at the bar. They had no fancy "martini" menu so I asked for my standby girly one that she didn't make into a martini and had to be redone. I was surprised that a place that prides itself on wine uses such run of the mill glasses. We split the mussels & frites app. ($11) and they were quite good. But I don't think anyone holds a candle to Aquitaine Bis (and I assume Aq. in the south end). I had a 2nd app. for my entree, duck confit w/ salad and that was great ($12). Friend had a halibut dish I think that he liked. Good stuff, but it might be another 7 years before I get back there.
Grabbed lunch at Tenneesee's after shopping in Natick last week and thought the spicy carribbean sandwich was pretty tasty. I needed a little more of a kick to clear me out but it was good and their cole slaw is great. Friend thought she wasn't hungry but the pulled pork sandwich disappeared quickly. Prices seem to have gone up a bit tho. Also got a cubano at Miami in the south end and thought it was a good version for only $5 (got a 2nd meal out of it).