Thursday, December 11, 2014

Off the Eaten Path

Tim and I love taking tours while traveling.  If tours were generally cheaper, we'd probably fill our days with tours!  But we usually take at least a couple tours if we can!  

In Boston, we wanted to get an insider's look at the Italian North End, so we took the highly recommended Off the Eaten Path tour (how cute is that name?)

Our first stop was a local pizza place that I had read about and was dying to try, Galleria Umberto.  It's reminiscent of the pizza we'd buy on the street in Rome, square pieces cut off of a huge sheet and sold for a dollar.  It was amazing and like we were transported back to Rome for a minute!

We also tried a traditional Italian snack that I've never heard of before: arancini.  It's a ball of filling surrounded by leftover risotto, rice, etc, and usually fried.  The specific recipe varies all over the country, but apparently they're really popular and a comfort food in Italy!
The oldest restaurant in the North End is Cantina Italiana.  We tried some uniquely shaped pasta, called the Bombolotti (the owner made that name up!).  They use a machine that they brought over from Italy way back in the 1930's and still use it to this day!

A great wine shop was our next stop, the Wine Bottega.  This place is so cute!  They are very serious about what wines the stock; only stocking wines without sulfates and bottles they've personally tasted and approaved.  Both the wines we sampled were very delicious!

The also have a wine subscription service that's modeled after a CSA membership called Farm to Glass; every month you receive carefully selected organic, unique wines delivered to your door.  We are very tempted to sign up!!
 Next we headed to CocoaNuts to sample some local chocolate!
CocoaNuts only sells gourmet chocolates and candies made in the area, or that are made in small batches nationally.  

We bought a couple sample packets of these amazing McCrea's caramels....and  I can't even describe how amazing they are!!!  The Black Lava Sea Salt are like little explosions of amazing.  We went back the next day and bought four full size tubes....

We briefly stopped at Bricco Panetteria to taste some of their fluffy fresh bread!  So light and fluffy, mmm!

 Our last stop was Cafe Paradiso, a cafe that loves futball!

Look at all those scarves!  Scarves up!
Here we tried our first cannolis ever, and they were so good!  I thought cannolis were filled with cream, but it's actually sweetened ricotta, which is so much better!  Mmm I'd like to have one right now!
 They had delicious espresso and gelato too!!
So those were all the establishments we visited on the Off the Eaten Path tour, but we did eat at some other amazing places as well!
Picco was our first meal in Boston.  Casual Italian in the South End, and it was just so good!  Such a cozy, neighboorhoody vibe.  
We went off Yelp reviews and had the warm spinach & mushroom salad, pumpkin ravioli, and margherita pizza, finishing off with dark chocolate gelato.  All delicious, but the salad was the best!

One night we had dinner at Pellino's Ristorante in the North End.  Homemade pastas for the win!

 This lobster ravioli was my very first taste of lobster ever!

We had to stop by for cannolis and espresso at Modern Pastry!

While we were there, we also had to try a Boston Cream Pie!

Lastly, Bostonia Public House was a nice typically Boston meal!  

When Tim saw that the Seahawk's game was on, we decided to sit at the bar and watch.  Plus, I just love sitting at bars and evsdropping on other patrons whiel watching the bar tenders make fancy drinks!

 A rum old fashioned, our latest favorite drink!

Have to try some clam chowdah while in Boston!!  And Tim tried just one oyster!
Lobster  mac & cheese and a lobster roll... delicious!  I had enough lobster after a couple bites, but I'd say my first lobster roll was pretty dang tasty!
And oh goodness....sweet potato donuts!!! They were so good!  I seriously ate this entire plate by myself except for one...whoops!
There you have it!  Lots of amazing food in Boston!  

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