Tag Archives: Somerville

Lil’ Vinny’s Restaurant – Somerville

7 Sep

I don’t get out to Somerville nearly as much as I’d like to. I mean, for one, it’s really far away, and certain areas of Somerville aren’t even accessible via the red line. Which means I have to take 2 buses and a train to get to Somerville. And I don’t have a car, which is sad. I really like Somerville, almost as much as I like Brighton. Almost.

When Renee from Eat.Live.Blog & Boston Brunchers sent out an invite for a blogger dinner at Lil Vinny’s Restaurant in Magoun Sq in Somerville, I immediately was in, location be damned.

Lil’ Vinny’s is about a 15 minute walk or a 3 minute bus ride from Davis Sq in Somerville. It’s very intimate on the inside, with less than 20 tables as well as a small bar.

They don’t have any beers on tap and none of the bottles spoke to me, so I settled on a glass of German Riesling. It went deliciously well with the warm and soft bread that was served with some olive oil.

Our first course was a traditional caesar salad that was served with thick slabs of Parmesan cheese. There was a little too much dressing for my liking, but it had a wonderful creaminess and there was a hint of anchovies that I love. The croutons were crispy and buttery, just how I like them.

Our second course was mussels served with fresh tomatoes, banana peppers in an amazing broth. Seriously, I could have just drank this broth. The mixture of the tomatoes with the banana pepper juice and the mussels made it just a little bit spicy. The mussels were cooked perfectly.

The third course was my least favorite. A chicken and tortellini pesto with sundried tomatoes and spinach. After the chunks of fresh tomato in the mussel dish, many of us were disappointed with the sundried tomatoes. It’s peak tomato season people! Use them up! The chicken was dry and the dish totally would have been better without it. The tortellini was also nothing to write home about.

At around the 4th course, many of us started to wavier. I sadly ended up leaving almost half of every plate I had because I was afraid of how many more courses we were going to get! The eggplant parmesan that was generously served with cheese and stuffed with spinach was a perfect size. The cheese was gooey and there were lovely brown spots throughout. The meal was certainly going back to being amazing.

Our 5th course was by far my favorite, as well as many other bloggers. It was a veal bolognese with homemade fusilli. Many of us wrapped this meal up because we didn’t want ANY of it to go to waste. My husband ended up having it the day after and commented on how amazing it was. The sauce soaked the past beautifully and the meat was tender and juicy.

For dessert, we were served a vanilla bean panna cotta with candied lemon peels and a caramel sauce. This was the perfect ending. I really didn’t want to have any kind of chocolate dessert (*gasp*) so I was ecstatic when this was placed in front of me. The panna cotta was incredibly creamy and you could certainly see and taste the vanilla bean. The caramel sauce balanced nicely and I really enjoyed the candied lemon.

Honestly, I can’t see myself coming back here anytime soon because I live so far away, but, if you DO live in Somerville, you must head down to Lil’ Vinny’s. You will NOT be sorry!

Lil Vinny's Ristorante on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer: Dinner at Lil’ Vinny’s Restaurant was provided to me free of charge, however all opinions are my own.

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Cupcake Camp 2011

17 Apr

Last week I had the AWESOME opportunity to head over to Cupcake Camp at Arts at the Armory in Somerville on Wednesday. Cupcake Camp is a chance for people of all ages to gather in love of cupcakes. Professionals and amateurs alike get to show their creativity when it comes to lots of sugar.

Cupcake Camp also raised more than $2300 for Lovin’ Spoonfuls, an organization that takes foods that would otherwise be thrown away and gives them to those who need it most. It’s a GREAT organization and I was happy to support it.

The view of Cupcake Camp!

I was lucky to get in before the doors opened at 7PM and before mayhem ensued. People sure do LOVE their cupcakes and the line out the door and around the corner in the rain proved it.

I mean, how could you NOT love cupcakes? I ate so many cupcakes that I swore off cupcakes for the next year (Oh wait, I had a cupcake yesterday, nevermind). I really loved the cupcakes from Cupcake Mojo. I tried the orange creamsicle, complete with one of those candied oranges. LOVED IT!

Over at Treat Cupcake Bar, it was make your own cupcakes! With a base cupcake of chocolate, vanilla or swirl, and choice of 3 frostings and loads of toppings, people were only limited by their imaginations. I went simple with a swirl cupcake with cheesecake frosting and chocolate covered pretzels. They incorporated the toppings with the frosting Cold Stone Creamery style, and it was really tasty!

My good friend Barbara Ann from Biba’s Baked Goods  rocked the vegan cupcakes. I have tried a MANY of her cupcakes before, and they are all magnificent, and this time I went for a chocolate cupcake with chocolate ganache on top with some vanilla frosting in the center. Kind of like a hostess cupcake but 1000000000x better.

Mixx bakery had a great assortment of cupcakes. I had my eyes on the Salted Caramel, but I was so distracted from the THOUSANDS of cupcakes, that they ran out before I could try it. Drats! Guess I’ll just have to grab an order of them soon!

Whole Foods River Street featured some two bite cupcakes and some bigger decorative cupcakes. Always nice to see them!

Party Favors from Brookline had a great assortment of different flavors. I think I was in cupcake overload and just couldn’t stomach the larger cupcakes from them! But I have tasted their cupcakes before and they are good!

King Arthur Flour sponsored the event and they had a table up at the front where they were demoing how to decorate your cupcakes for Easter! It was very fun and whimsical, and the creations made were great!

The cutest cupcake in the world award went to JannaBee’s. These banana nut mini cuppycakes as they called them were delicious! And the bee on top was so cute, I almost didn’t want to eat it. Almost.

The amateur bakers brought it just as much as the professionals. Cara from Cara’s Cravings made some AMAZING Bailey’s Mint Chocolate Chip Mini Cupcakes. The mini cupcakes were the way to go. Unless you came with someone, or were feeding your friends that were helping out the leftovers that you couldn’t finish, it was REALLY hard to eat all of the full sized cupcakes. Not that they weren’t delicious, they were just BIG.

Jen from Beantown Baker made Frito cupcakes and cookie dough cupcakes. I didn’t try the cookie dough cupcakes but I DID try the Frito Cupcakes. These were PHENOMENAL. Chocolate cupcake, filled with peanut butter and fritos. Crunchy, salty, sugary, good. One of my favorites of the night.

A view of the amateurs side

I was really impressed with EVERYTHING. I’m totally doing this next year. Now just what to make?

So who was the mastermind behind Cupcake Camp? Well it was Liz of Free Food Boston! She’s pictured on the right with Ashley Stanley of Lovin’ Spoonfuls.  She did such an amazing job with this event. Way to go Liz!

And in case you wanted to know how successful Cupcake Camp was, this is what some of the areas looked like just an HOUR after the doors opened.

And….

If that’s not success, I don’t know what is. So grateful to have been able to come to Cupcake Camp! Can’t wait for next year!!

Boston Bruncher’s Dine & Dash!

17 Mar

For March’s Boston Brunchers a bunch of us decided to sign up for the Ras Na hEireann 5K race in Davis Square Somerville. After that, we would be brunching at Gargoyles on the Square. I was pumped for two reasons. #1 I love races and #2 I have been DYING to try Gargoyles Disco Brunch. So it was absolutely perfect.

The race itself was great, and filled with thousands of people, some dressed in just shorts (too cold!), others dressed in their greenest finery. I managed to finish in 27:02 (a personal best for me!) and nommed on a snack from Diesel Cafe while waiting for everyone to finish the race. Then, it was off to brunch!!

Since the rest of the bars in Davis were packed to the brims we decided to head over to Gargoyles early. They let us hang out at the bar area until our table was ready. The bartender that morning was fantastic! (Wish I remembered her name). For my drink I had a coffee with Irish Cream since I hadn’t had any coffee yet. It was delicious! And the coffee was strong! I also tried some of Renee’s bloody mary. Now, I am no bloody mary drinker but this was AMAZING. They make their own in house gazpacho infused vodka, and it literally tasted like soup and DIDN’T taste like alcohol. And I KNOW there was alcohol because I saw her pour it in. That drink is dangerous.

We finally sat down and it was like a party was going on. Disco ball, flashing lights, glow bracelets, and even a hot pink boa. Oh, and of course the seventies music. And it was REALLY dark.

We all decided to split a couple of orders of their homemade donuts. These babies were light fluffy balls of cinnamon and fried goodness. Pillows of air covered in cinnamon sugar. Served with a cream sauce on the side. I could have eaten 5 of them. But I didn’t.

Instead I saved room for the pretzel pancakes that were served with peanut butter fluff and two sausage patties. The pancakes didn’t scream PRETZEL, but that’s ok, it was the right combination of sweet and salty and peanuts. The sausage patty was pretty tasty too. I also managed to grab a couple of waffle fries, and I gave them a big thumbs up.

The only downside of the party? Once we sat down at our table we were ignored for at least 20 minutes. I didn’t mind too much, as I was surrounded by party music and friends, but it was a little off putting. We were told that they were a little backed up and that was why there was a long wait, but it was still off putting.

If you haven’t tried the disco brunch at Gargoyles you need to try it ASAP!

Oh, and you are probably wondering by now why there are no pictures? It’s because it was a homework assignment from Boston Food Bloggers. But don’t worry, if you want to check out pictures of the brunch, you can head over to some of the other bloggers that came!

Gargoyles on the Square on Urbanspoon

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