There are two places I think you should go next time you are visiting Geneva. Like me, they are not fancy. So if you quickly skimmed the title of this post and thought it would be about Rolex watches and Mont Le Blanc luxury writing instruments the following will deeply disappoint you.
“Ugh, I can’t believe we HAVE to go to Europe” said no one, ever. People have definitely thought it though.
It’s so laughable, but that was the sentiment just before our direct, over-night flight from Nairobi to Zurich. We were heartbroken to leave Africa but just after touching down in Zurich we became two little emoticons with hearts for eyes and a smiles as long as fondue forks.
Here’s a list of Boston cafes and restaurants to help plan your next visit. Or maybe you’re there now. Fabulous!
There is only one of two ways to be. You can be the type of person or place that is a little bit good at everything or you can be the type that is excellent at one thing. The guys from Roast Beast chose the latter and their passion, if you can’t tell from the pictures above, is puns. No, wait. That’s wrong. It’s roast beef, definitely roast beef.
Never mind how much I love the clever name of the small, convenient and quick shop, this is about the food. Maneuvering your way through is quick and easy. You choose a meat (beef, turkey, chicken breast, pulled pork). Then the size of your sandwich and the type of roll (deli, onion, wheat) (go onion!)(I know, but just do it). You choose your toppings and then make the very hard decision of a picking a sauce. Maybe (definitely) add on some cheese. And if you’re feeling crazy make it a full meal by adding a drink and some Cape Code potato chips on the side.
My only tip would be to savor it. This is one of those sandwiches that you sit down to eat and has vanished by the time you can look up to say, “Holy cow, how good is this!”.
These sandwiches are just delicious, it’s really that plain and simple.
1080 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215
(They offer curbside pick-up)
No. 9 Park is a special place.
I don’t mean “special” as in Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen live nearby in a similar looking, gorgeous brownstone in Beacon Hill, even though I hear they do. I mean “special” like it’s fancy, the type of place we’d all go to celebrate an achievement or occasion, or even just the fact we ended up with more money this fortnight than last.
This place has class, what with it’s dark lightning, mirrored walls, and dark wood finishings. It’s somewhere Ron Burgundy and the rest of the Channel 4 news team would have hung out had they broadcast in the 2000’s out of Boston. And even with that, it remains incredibly unstuffy and unpretentious.
The menu is the best part; there are so many mouth watering meals to choose from and so many ways to explore them. They offer a three-course prix-fixe, a chef’s tasting menu or a la cart options off the entire menu (they’ll just have to double check with the chef). So basically, anything is possible. We had so many questions for our excitable, patient and helpful waiter, but he actually seemed to like it.
The menu changes often and also seasonally, with the exception of their most famous dish, the prune-stuffed gnocchi (it’s VERY good). The slow roasted pork belly was exquisite, as was the Terrine of Hudson Valley Foie Gras I ordered. But! what ended up happening on our small table for four was that we each got the three-course prix-fixe menu of an appetizer, an entree and a dessert ($69 each) then shared everything. It truly was a eating extravaganza at No. 9 Park that night.
I am usually either over or underwhelmed by the amount of food consumed at three course meals but the portions we were given felt just right. That is, of course, until the bill landed on the table with complimentary, exotic looking chocolates. That’ll tip anyone over the edge.
If only I lived in Boston and had an Old English Sheepdog named Bleeker who just learned to rollover into a hug, we’d be at No. 9 Park high five-ing over the dark chocolate tart. Because, forget special occasions… any reason for a fancy dinner will do.
No. 9 Park
9 Park St, Boston, MA 02108, United States
617-742-9991 (Call to book in advance)
There are many times when expectations for a restaurant are raised ridiculously high and they are met with a handshake and a kiss on the cheek, but it is rare that expectations are surpassed. That was the case with The Butcher Shop in Boston.
My family was very excited to be going to many places in Boston together, but this seemed to be their number one. Located on the corner of one of the prettiest streets in Boston, visiting The Butcher Shop is a lovely way to spend an afternoon.
The decor is simple, modern but comfortable. It feels light with large, open windows and high wooden tables surrounding a butcher’s cutting table. You see, The Butcher Shop is not just a name, it’s a description. This is a wine bar and cafe situated inside a butcher shop with a butcher always on hand to help you select the perfect cut of meat or chicken.
We couldn’t take away meat, being tourists and all, but we did do a bit of damage on the menu: a shared plate of salami, prosciutto, duck liver mousse, cheese, jam and, of course, a glass of red wine. The perfect place for a business meeting or a friendly catch up session.
We then got into two delicious main plates: the flank steak and the burger with blue cheese and wagu and a second glass of wine. Making it the perfect place for nearly any occasion.
Also, their pre-meal offerings are excellent. A baguette and soda bread basket with a spread of vermont honey and salted butter are placed on the table as menu are passed out. Good luck controlling yourself on that.
The Butcher Shop
552 Tremont Street Boston, Massachusetts 02118
I’m going to keep this post simple, authentic and exciting as those are three adjectives that also perfectly describe Boston’s Italian restaurant, Sportello.
You gotta trust me when I keep repeating, ‘You have to try this place. TRUST ME’!
It will not be easy to choose from the small menu, but there is no need to worry as the friendly staff is there to help. They won’t only walk you through the menu, they will get you salivating for the feast to come.
The dish that made me desperate for a second visit was the Potato Gnocchi with mushroom ragu, peas, cream. It’s worthy of a little… OMG! OMG! OMG. The Tagliatelle with bolognese sauce and fried basil was a slam-dunk. My dad kept saying it tasted just the way my grandpa’s sister used to make it (she’s 100% italian, by the way). The Strozzapreti with braised rabbit, picholine olives, rosemary was like making a basket from half court!
Honestly, I recommend all the pasta on Sportello’s menu because I’m confident anything you order will be spectacular! I’m feeling a bit crazy so I will also recommend the Colorado Lamb Shank with vegetable stufato, risotto, rosemary glaze. It was spectacular.
And because I’m (apparently) completely insane, I think you should forget about your bedtime and stay out after dinner. Sportello is on the second floor of a two-story building; underneath it lives a place called Drink, a cool, dark bar where you can get a cocktail to match your personality! I KNOW! How fun!
So, there you go! Your first night out in Boston is sorted. All that’s missing is you!
348 Congress Street Boston, Massachusetts 02210
617-737-1234 (They take reservations)