Thank you for joining me on my first food-related blog post. I am thrilled to dip my pen, or keyboard, into the culinary arts – and what better way to start my new career than a witty blog post about my second favorite thing in life (next to sports of course)…food.
As many of you already know, I am an avid home cook. To foster this, I am attending culinary school in January (Cambridge School of Culinary Arts) and I recently finished a food-related project in Los Angeles. I also wrote my first cookbook over the summer, “Bullied Into Cooking,” which helps support an anti-bullying campaign in all 134 Boston Public schools. I’m in the process of writing my second book that will be out in early December.
All this means is that my days in the world of sports reporting may be coming to an end. Imagine that. When I’m not covering the Red Sox or Bruins and on days I’m not making a complete mess of my own kitchen, I thoroughly enjoy eating out with my girlfriends. There are, however, some dining experiences I would like to forget. And as most of you know, there is nothing worse than a bad meal, bad service, and being served overpriced garbage. Rather than focus on the negative, I’m giving you some suggestions for my favorites.
It’s important to have some go-to places you know will not disappoint you. After a long day of work, it’s nice to know you have a home away from home where you’ll be treated kindly, receive incredible service, eat incredible food, and leave satisfied. Some of the benefits of having go-to restaurants are everything I just mentioned. From my experience, there’s nothing more impressive to a restaurant than a familiar face. Seeing repeat customers can make any restaurant owner or employee feel like they’re doing something right. Not only that, it makes them feel appreciated and validated. In turn, it’s in their best interest to make sure you never stop coming in.
Over the next week I am going to let you in on my top five restaurants in Boston. Today, I will give you my #5 and next week I’ll share with you #’s 4,3,2 and finally on Thursday my #1 choice.
5. Bricco, North End – While this is one of my overall favorite restaurants in town, it’s an even better place to hit up for a late-night cocktail and/or snack. Here’s a secret: On Friday and Saturday nights, they spark up their brick-fired oven at 11pm and serve some of the best pizza the city has to offer until 1:45 am. SCORE! The margherita pizzas are to die for. Add prosciutto and your night just got a whole lot better.
I’m a vodka drinker. Period. I retired from gin about 10 years ago during my early days in New York City, and tequila brings out the devil in me. But there’s nothing better than Bricco’s signature espresso martini to top off the night. Your belly may question your choice to eat pizza and drink a cream-based beverage after midnight, but your taste buds will be very happy.
The two-sided bar area can be fun as well. Though a lot of the patrons are waiters, waitresses and chefs from the North End, it’s a very friendly and welcoming environment filled with professionals who are just looking for some of the freshest Italian food in the neighborhood. This is certainly Frank DePasquale’s finest achievement.
My only gripe with Bricco, and this may have changed over the past year, is that the female bartenders are not very friendly. In fact, they can be downright rude. I once had an entire three-course meal at the bar where the bartender may have said three words to my beautiful girlfriend and I. On another occasion, my two girlfriends arrived for dinner before me, yet I found them sitting at the table instead of the bar when I arrived. The reason? “The bartender was such a bitch to us, we refused to stand there with our drinks.”
Dear female bartenders, women tip, too.
On Monday…favorite #4