Monthly Archives: August 2010

Loving Local: A Blogathon

This week (August 22-28) is Massachusetts Farmers’ Market week! The week kicked off today at the City Hall Plaza Market in Boston. The event included a reading of Governor Deval Patrick’s proclamation as well as other events held state wide.

As part of the celebration, my posts this week will be a part of a week-long blogathon, sponsored by In Our Grandmothers’ Kitchens with help from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and Mass Farmers’ Markets. The purpose of the blogathon is to have some fun writing about local markets, to increase awareness about locally grown food, and to raise money for the Mass Farmers’ Markets.

Mass Farmers’ Market is a non-profit organization that provides support services to all of the farmers’ markets across the state. In addition, they manage several markets themselves. Anyone who knows Howard and me knows that we are passionate about farmers’ markets, both the concept and the reality. Farmers’ markets are important to our way of life and eating. Mass Farmers’ Market is an organization that we have supported financially for many years. Visit their website to learn more about their mission and activities. While you’re there, please consider making a donation to support the important work that they do.

My local market, the Lexington Farmers’ Market, isn’t until tomorrow. The market is open on Tuesdays in Lexington Center, at the corner of Mass Ave and Fletcher Ave, from 2 pm to 6:30 pm, rain or shine. It looks like rain for tomorrow.

At the Lexington Farmers Market this week, they are celebrating Mass Farmers Week with a
raffle to win $25 worth of coupons to be used as cash at the market! Stop by the market managers’ tent to enter your name in the raffle to win some wonderful, delicious local foods!

I’ll try to leave work early enough to hit the market in its final hour. I’m looking forward to corn, tomatoes, peaches, and whatever else calls out to me. I’ll report more about what I find and what I cook after my shopping expedition tomorrow evening.

Stay tuned until then…

Restaurant Week Review: Bergamot

This is the first of two weeks of Boston’s Restaurant Week. We always take advantage of the promotion to try new restaurants around town.

For this week’s meal, we picked Bergamot in Somerville. Bergamot opened just a few months ago, in May. I had read some good reviews, but we hadn’t had the opportunity to try it yet. The cuisine is described as Contemporary American, which is always fun.

They had a special 3-course menu for Restaurant Week. I ordered from that menu. Howard didn’t see a dessert course he would enjoy, so he ordered from the regular menu.

We started with a complimentary amuse bouche. It was a mini-Nicoise salad, just a bite really. There was some tuna confit with a green bean, a garbanzo bean, and a sliver of red pepper, with a splash of an herb vinaigrette. It was very cute and a good teaser for the meal to come.

For an appetizer, I had the corn bisque with rock shrimp. The soup was silky and so very sweet. It was like liquid summer. Howard had grilled Spanish mackerel over a bed of tapenade and potatoes. He was very pleased with his choice.

For our entrees, Howard had the striped bass, served with mashed potatoes, corn, and some clams. It was like a variation on a mini-clambake. My choice was roasted haddock over braised kale and sliced potatoes with a clam sauce. It was tasty, though not as summery as Howard’s dish.

I had dessert, though Howard passed. Another area of the food incompatibilities I mentioned yesterday is often dessert. I like fruit desserts, cakes, and puddings. Howard prefers chocolate, straight, without any fruity infusions or accompaniments. I had a roasted pluot with a sabayon sauce on top, sprinkled with crushed cookies and toasted pistachios. I loved it. Howard just watched.

The service was attentive, without being cloying. The waiter was very informed and answered all our questions easily. I don’t usually drink white wine, but was in the mood. His recommendation both complemented the food and matched the preferences I described for him (dry, not too fruity).

Howard made an interesting observation. We sat in the row of tables against a wall. The wall had a continuous banquette. The person on the opposite side of the table sat in a chair. He posed the question whether it customary for the man to sit on the outside seat and the woman to sit on the banquette. I was perplexed by the question, but glanced around. At all tables to both sides of ours, this was the seating arrangement. Does anyone know if this is a traditional point of etiquette?

We both enjoyed the meal and would definitely eat at Bergamot again.