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Boston Restaurant Blog -- January, 2010

Below are blog entries from January, 2010. 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, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Reminder About Posting Reviews of Your Favorite Restaurants

The Boston's Hidden Restaurants site has hundreds of featured reviews on little-known restaurants around Boston and New England, and many more blog reviews as well. But we also have a section where our readers can post reviews on their favorite restaurants. This Viewers' Favorite Restaurants feature allows you to tell us about restaurants in Boston, elsewhere in New England, or perhaps somewhere else in the country (or in another country!) that you particularly like. At the present time, we have nearly 200 reviews from our readers, and the number of reviews keeps growing.

If you would like to post a review of your favorite restaurant, please go to the link above. And to read reviews from other folks, you can access them from the same link, or go to the latest page of reviews at the link below and work your way back.

Latest Reviews of Our Viewers' Favorite Restaurants

Thanks once again for posting, and we look forward to reading your reviews!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Posting Food Photos to Our Facebook Fan Page

As many of you know, we have been increasingly active on the Facebook site over the past several months, and our fan page has become a "community" of sorts, with folks talking to us, as well as each other, about all kinds of restaurant-related topics. It seems that we have only scratched the surface of Facebook, however, as there are so many tools within the site that can be used to get people to participate even more. And one such way is by uploading food-related photos.

We have posted a number of pictures to our Facebook fan page, but are now looking for others to post their own pictures. A couple of people have already done so (including someone who had a great photo of the Challenge Burger at Eagle's Deli in Brighton), but we would certainly love more.

If you have any interesting pictures from restaurants in the Boston area or elsewhere in New England, it is easy to post them; all you do is head to our Facebook fan page (see link below), go to the status area (the window that says "What's on your mind?"), click the photo icon under the window, and upload your picture. We have nearly 8,000 fans now, so chances are you'll receive more than a few comments about the picture!

Here is the link to our fan page. Thanks for posting!

Fan Page for Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Superb Meal at Metropolis Cafe in the South End

The South End of Boston has been known as a real hot spot for dining over the years, with a mix of trendy places, high-end restaurants, and ethnic spots offering all kinds of options for diners. I have been to a number of places in the neighborhood, but for some reason I never got over to the Metropolis Cafe on Tremont Street even though I have probably walked by it more than 100 times. Well, we finally did check out this casual, upscale eatery (which is part of the Aquitaine Group) a couple of weeks ago, and were greatly impressed by the food there.

photo of Metropolis Cafe, Boston, Massachusetts Located on one of the main thoroughfares of the South End, the Metropolis Cafe is a small place (like so many other restaurants in the neighborhood), with dining areas to the left and right of the door and a wine bar in the middle with a few seats. The feel of Metropolis is generally cozy and seductive, though the romantic ambiance is offset a bit by the relatively high noise level and tight seating. Candlelit tables, deep red walls, large windows looking out over the street, and an ancient-looking mosaic tile floor add a lot of character to the space. The menu focuses on Mediterranean cuisine (including French and Italian dishes), with perhaps a bit of a lean toward New American fare.

After munching on some fresh bread with roasted garlic and sipping on some hefeweizen beer, we ordered a couple of soups and our entrees. The soups were wonderful, with the hearty butternut squash bisque bursting flavor and the roasted chestnut soup having a mix of sweet and earthy tastes. Our meals arrived a few minutes after we finished our soups, and one of the entrees turned out to be perhaps one of the five best dishes I've in the past year or so. It is difficult to describe how good the bucatini carbonara was, with its delightfully chewy hollowed-out pasta combining with egg, cheese, and pork to produce an almost impossibly rich-tasting dish. The creamy chicken and mushroom risotto was also an impressive entree, though the chicken had a little too much gristle for my liking. Service was businesslike but efficient, while prices really weren't all that bad for the kind of food we had (nothing on the menu is more than $20).

The year is young, but the bucatini carbonara that we tried at the Metropolis Cafe will likely be among the best dishes of 2010 for me, with the soups being not too far behind. This will definitely be a place I'll be returning to soon, perhaps trying the weekend brunch the next time around.

For those who want the address for the Metropolis Cafe, here it is: Metropolis Cafe, 584 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02118. The phone number is (617) 247-2931.

Related Blog Entries: Boston restaurants, Mediterranean restaurants, New American restaurants, South End restaurants

Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Another New Year's Eve at Sardella's in Newport

Over the past several years, it seems as if I have spent more time in Rhode Island than Massachusetts for New Year's Eve. This is due in part to the fact that I used to go to a terrific place in Providence called Ristorante Romanza until they closed, and now, two out of the last three years I've gone to another cozy Italian spot, this one in Newport, called Sardella's. Now Sardella's will never quite be able to replace the unforgettable Ristorante Romanza, but it is a very nice place in its own right, and just far enough away from downtown so it doesn't get completely mobbed on New Year's Eve.

photo of Sardella's, Newport, RI We have already described Sardella's in a previous blog (go to the New Year's Eve Dinner at Sardella's, Newport, RI post to read our first review of the place), so I won't go into too much detail, but I can say that we were once again impressed by the charm and character of the restaurant. As mentioned in the earlier post, Sardella's is quite big, with several rooms of various sizes, including a beautiful old room with a fireplace (where we ate last time) and an attractive four-season porch along the side (where we ate this time around).

We started our meal with some tasty bread, a couple of glasses of Chianti and Pinot Grigio, and a delicious antipasto that included all kinds of meats (including capicola, pepperoni, and salami), cheeses, and veggies. We also ordered an appetizer of eggplant fries, which were outstanding, with each one having a crunchy exterior and a moist, tender interior, and a slight salty bitterness that I won't soon forget (and the zesty tomato sauce that came with it for dipping was equally good). It took awhile for us to get our dinners, but this wasn't unexpected considering that the place was pretty crowded. Our entrees turned out to be impressive and satisfying, though the rich and creamy gemilini e pollo al fungi (which we tried on our previous visit) was quite a bit better than the somewhat plain campobasso (the prosciutto and garlic did help give that dish some flavor, however, and a helping of grated parmesan cheese enriched up the penne pasta a bit). We had just enough room to share a dessert, and the sweet-tasting tiramisu did not disappoint; indeed, the flavors coming from the rum, coffee, and mascarpone made for a sinfully delightful dish that almost made me want to get another.

It was another fun New Year's Eve at Sardella's in Newport, and perhaps just the first of at least a couple of visits to the restaurant over the coming months. Even though there are so many great restaurants in this historic Rhode Island community, Sardella's will certainly be near the top of my list of places to go while there.

If you would like the address for Sardella's in Newport, here it is: Sardella's, 30 Memorial Boulevard West, Newport, RI, 02840. The phone number is (401) 849-6312.

Related Blog Entries: Italian restaurants, Newport restaurants, Rhode Island restaurants