Thursday, March 21, 2013

Cocktails, Coffee, and Restaurant Week

Spring is here at last, but someone forgot to tell New England.  We celebrated the last official day of winter with yet another big snow storm, and we're expecting more snow tonight.  Our family and friends in Texas are already basking in sunny warmth and spring wildflowers. But here in Boston? It's the end of March, and it's still snowing.
There is one silver lining here, though. Work was canceled on Tuesday thanks to snow!  We had dinner plans with friends in the city that evening, so knowing we would have to face the elements regardless, we bundled up and made our way into town a little early for pre-dinner cocktails at Drink   The walk from South Station was brutal; we were battered by wind, snow, and sleet.  But once we stepped into Drink, ditched our wet coats, and sidled up to the bar, we knew that it was well worth the walk.

I've raved about Drink before, and I'll probably rave about it again.  I just haven't found another spot like it.  We snacked on pimento cheese with toasted sourdough and let a few rounds of drinks warm us up from the inside out. My favorite was The Martinez, a gin and sweet vermouth cocktail, a predecessor to the martini, that I've been trying to make at home lately (theirs blew mine out of the water).
Next door to Drink is a coffee shop, Barrington Coffee, serving coffee and espresso brewed from beans that they roast themselves,right here in Massachusetts (Lee, MA to be exact). We stopped in for a pick-me-up before dinner. I ordered the espresso with milk and was tickled pink by the pretty foam art. Beneath the pretty foam was a delicious cup of coffee.
The snow had finally stopped as we made our way to dinner. A group of friends invited us to join them at Mistral for Boston Restaurant Week, going on right now from March 17-22 and March 24-29. If you've yet to participate, it's a great opportunity to try out many of Boston's nicest restaurants at reduced prices.  You choose from a three course Prix Fixe menu for $38 per person. While prices went up this year (from $33) it's still a good deal, and it's a fun excuse to get dressed up for a night on the town.
This was our second trip to Mistral, and we enjoyed it just as much as our first visit.  For my three courses, I chose the mushroom bisque, a roasted cornish game hen, and the meyer lemon pot de creme. We split a bottle of wine amongst the group and sampled bites here and there across the table. The bisque, served in an adorable individual soup tureen, was rich and comforting -- ideal for a snowy night. The cornish game hen was spatchocked with tender meat and perfectly crisp skin.  The meyer lemon dessert, pairing sweet with tart, brought the meal to a nice close.

Now here we are on Thursday, almost through another week. This evening, we have very good friends coming into town that will be staying with us for the weekend. They're visiting from LA, and I can't wait to see them and to show them around Boston!

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