Eric Fok M’13 — Boston, MA—
Love is in the air and for some of us, it’s about that time to pull up OpenTable and take that special someone out for Valentine’s Day…but where to go? Being right in the heart of downtown Boston, the immediately surrounding area is abound with quality restaurants. Great for those of us who live around campus, not so much for those commuting in from Cambridge, Medford, North End, etc. So let’s have a quick look at several spots from neighborhoods both near and far.
Over in Harvard Square, Grafton Street (1230 Massachusetts Ave) will be serving their annual Valentine’s Day pre-fixe menu at $45 a person. The day boat scallops is especially well-executed here with perfect searing to seal in the moisture and achieve an almost creamy texture. Pair it with your favorite white - a great one being the 2009 Domaine Jean Masson Apremont, Savoie, France. This vibrant style of Apremont possesses floral notes followed up by hints of citrus that should please even the most discerning palates.
Making our way closer to downtown, Chef Charles Draghi’s Erbaluce (69 Church St) continues to be a hidden gem of contemporary Italian cuisine. The braised veal shortribs are outstanding with unrivaled tenderness and a refreshing juniper & honey seasoning that shines through bite after bite. Given its lighter weight and flavors relative to other cuts of beef, a pinot noir would match nicely with this dish. Consider the 2004 Domaine Rollin Pere & Fils Pernand-Vergelesses Premier Cru “Ile des Vergelesses.” The body is soft and elegant, seducing you further and further as it rolls over your tongue. Pinot noir is described in sensual terms more than any other wine and this example will show you exactly why that’s the case.
Now for some of us that may prefer to just go out for drinks or follow up the meal with libations, look no further than Barbara Lynch’s Drink (348 Congress St) on the Waterfront. The bartenders here are top-notch and will gladly come up with a concoction on the spot based on your preferences. If you’re looking to try something new, give a pegu club a shot or a sazerac for the whiskey fans out there. And while you’re sipping on that, munch on some delicious candied bacon cashews. “Bacon” must be Drink’s code word for crack because there has be some laced in there.
Regardless of where you decide to go, be sure to make a reservation early and have a great Valentine’s Day!
(The aforementioned wines can be found at The Wine Bottega, 341 Hanover St. Tell the owner, Kerri, that Eric sent ya.)