Hoping to revive the culture of the neighborhood butcher shop, with its personalized service, attention to detail, and artful products, restaurant-industry veterans Justin Rosberg and Jason Parent took a gamble on their first New Hampshire butcher shop in 2003. Dubbed The Meat House, their store quickly earned a foodie following, spawning additional franchise locations across the country. Today, The Meat House’s Mission Viejo location stocks fine cheeses, prepared side dishes, other gourmet grocery items, and hundreds of wines alongside the usual selection of traditional and exotic meats. Butchers also explain how to prepare each hand-carved cut of meat, sharing recipes, best slicing practices, and cooking techniques for giving pork chops the flavor of justice.
Formaggio is a gourmand's paradise that was named Best Cheese Shop in 2009 by Boston magazine and Best Gourmet Food Shop in 2010 by the Improper Bostonian. Its California mono-varietal extra-virgin olive oil, which you will receive with this Groupon, is cookable, dippable, and nearly sippable. Though Formaggio offers a wide range of imported gourmet spices, pastas, and sauces, the delectable delicatessen is best known for its great cheese wall, which contains hundreds of gourmet artisan cheeses. An in-house belowground cheese cave keeps the entire cheese stock fresh while it is taught to read, write, and count cards. Savor a variety such as Boule de Quercy, a goat's milk cheese topped with a wild raspberry leaf (5 oz. $9.95), or the strong-flavored provolone vernengo ($16.48 per half-pound). Stock and pricing may vary.
James Alexander Wilson, W.M. Wilson, and their brother-in-law George Reynolds traveled from Enniskillen, Ireland in 1884 to establish Wilson Farm. Once settled in Lexington, the trio bought 16 acres of land and rented nearby farmland to start harvesting a variety of produce. Since then, their farm has been passed down through the generations and undergone a number of expansions, with a farm stand built in 1952 and an 8,500-square-foot barn and 37,000-square-foot greenhouse built in 1996 by the most recent proprietors, Scott and Didi Wilson.
Today, the farm harvests more than 125 crops year-round, which range from rhubarb to fresh peaches, and it also carries farm-fresh milk and eggs, freshly caught fish, and homemade baked goods. The garden center and open-air nursery flourish with flowers as fresh as a newborn in parachute pants, as well as vegetable starters and spring bulbs, planting containers, and fertilizers.
The chefs at Café Nicholas adorn pizzas with one of three sauces before adding a heaping handful of toppings chosen from more than 30 options. Within the pizzeria's art deco-inspired walls, guests dig into 35 types of sandwiches, homemade pastas, and pizzas crowned with traditional and unique ingredients such as prosciutto, shrimp, and eggplant. For diners with gluten allergies, the cooks can substitute gluten-free crust for any of their pizzas. They also cater to low-fat tastes by serving up salads with low-cal dressings, frying appetizers in cholesterol-free canola oil, and pouring unlimited glasses of calorie-free water.
Dom's Sausage was founded in 1936 by two men who dreamt of making the most superb sweet Italian sausage. Since then, the shop has perfected premium blends of hot, sweet, fennel, and oriental links and expanded its selection to include uncased meat (such as steaks, roasts, and fresh veal), deli sandwiches and meats, and oven-ready meals. The shop is known for its marinated meats, especially the sirloin tips soaked in Dom's own stealthy, yet transparently tasty, marinade. Assemble a sandwich from authentic Austrian swiss ($5.99 per lb.) and honey ham ($7.69 per lb.), or request a pre-made hot pastrami ($6 for a large) or pepper-and-egg sandwich ($5 for a large).