Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Rocca Boston...YUM!

Anyone who knows me well knows that I'm a big fan of dining out.  I moved into my current home about 18 months ago and have yet to turn on the oven!  I did buy myself a slow cooker with the intent on spending a couple evenings at home each week during the winter months and "nesting".  I have a few favorite spots in Boston, Atlanta and New York.  My most favorite in Boston is Rocca Kitchen & Bar.  This is one of Michela Larson's restaurants and she certainly knows how to design a menu.  The menu is based on food from Italy's small Liguria region, but the menu is quite diverse.  I've had just about every dish on the menu multiple times.  For casual dining I'm a big fan of the Rocca Burger.  It comes with just about everything imaginable on it (even bacon!), but you can also dress it down a bit.  It comes with a healthy serving of fries or dine more sensibly and pair it with a nice salad.  I'm also a huge fan of the Spaghetti Poveri (or as I call it, Poverty Spaghetti!).  But there is nothing "poverty" about it.  Paired with a salad it makes a great evening meal.  The Short Ribs are also tasty.  The bar staff is great.  I'm a big fan of Rob on Tuesday and Wednesday nights (also at Stella on Friday and Saturday nights) and Ean on Monday and Friday nights.  Colleen, who usually is a wait person in the upstairs diningroom is a fun Sunday night bartender.  Speaking of Stella,, this restaurant continues to be one of the hottest places to dine in Boston.  It's been open for a number of years and usually you'd expect a restaurant to slide a bit or need to reinvent itself after a long period of time, but not Stella.  Whether it's Monday or Saturday night, the restaurant is packed, as is the bar.  The bar staff has been there for many years and it's one of Boston's best bar scenes.  Stella is open late night as well and they have a great function room that is open on Friday and Saturday nights as additional restuarant seating and another bar (where you'll find Rob).  Another Boston favorite is Union Bar & Grill ,, on Washington Street in the South End.  Before Rocca, it was my "go-to" restaurant).  As you can see, I like to support the local restuarants in my neighborhood.  It's worth going just to get the corn bread that comes before the meal.  I still think it's one of Boston's best menus.  Co-owner Jeff Gates is also one of the most supportive restuarant owners in the city, always willing to help out a local charity.  Union is part of the Aquitaine Restaurant Group which also owns Gaslight, Aquitaine and Metropolis in the South End and a couple other restaurants outside the city.  I could write a book about the various restuarants and dining experiences in Boston, but I thought I'd highlight 3 of my favorites.  New restaurants are opening all the time, but more times than not, these new restaurants disappoint and need time to get their feet wet (Post 390, Banq - which is now called Ginger Park, Bin 26).  Oh, both Rocca and Gaslight have free parking in a lot adjacent to the restaurant.  Happy Dining!

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