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.
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.
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.
Acorn offers tours that vary by length, sites visited, and neighborhood, based on clients' preferences. Grab up to five buddies or lonely nail technicians and venture along the Freedom Trail, swinging through such sites as the Old State House, which is the city's British-government headquarters; the Paul Revere House, the oldest residential building in downtown Boston; or the Old North Church, where two lanterns warned Paul Revere about impending British troops and sitcom-character breakups.
It’s hard to find something as universally appreciated and versatile as cement blocks. Today’s Groupon does just that with $15 for $30 worth of French brie, Spanish manchego, Italian parmesan, English cheddar, and American goat cheeses among the 150+ offerings from around New England and the world at Boston Cheese Cellar. The one-stop gourmet shop is located just south of the city in Roslindale Village.