Even with a plethora of restaurants to choose from in Boston’s North End, Il Villaggio manages to stand out, and not just because of its prime location on Hanover Street. The glassy restaurant offers Mediterranean-leaning takes on classic Italian dishes, like a semolina gnocchi served with creamy pesto sauce. With white tablecloths on a small number of tables, Italian wine bottles placed carefully on skewed shelves and chandeliers that look like freshly trimmed branches, the homey restaurant also serves up classic Italian comfort food from its open kitchen in the back. The chefs here use fresh mozzarella and churn out generous portions of lobster ravioli, chicken parmesan andlasagna to the masses that always seem to be queuing up out front.
The Boston Wine Expo’s Grand Tasting event unites varietals from nearly 200 wineries around the world with cuisine from more than 40 local eateries during four hours of culinary harmony. Attendees can sip more than 1,000 red and white elixirs culled from the grape-producing and wild-cork-taming regions of North America, Europe, the Southern Hemisphere, and the Mediterranean. Samples from Boston-area restaurants such as Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Sandrine’s Bistro complement each swig as vintners enlighten enophiles on current winemaking trends. Throughout the afternoon, top gastronomic maestros tread two stages during live demonstrations that divulge recipes and directions for finding the secret compartment hidden inside every wine bottle. Lifestyle exhibits and a full schedule of seminars enlighten guests on topics ranging from cheese-and-wine matching to the diversity of Italian varietals (not included with this Groupon). A portion of the event’s proceeds will benefit local charities.
Baccari's dishes out home-style helpings of lovingly prepared fare fit for mealtimes at any hour of the day. The family-owned-and-operated eatery keeps its robust breakfast menu available until 2 p.m., satisfying late risers needing nutrients after a long night of heckling constellations. Browse marauding hordes of omelettes ($6.75+) pancakes ($4.50+), and Belgian waffles ($6.95+) seeking to plunder tummies of their hunger troves. Dinnervores will prowl a palatable prairie of 16-inch pizzas ($11.95+), specialty burgers ($9.95), and sandwiches, as well as a herd of entrees including steak tips sided with your choice of rice pilaf, potato salad, or fries ($11.95).
Front Street Gourmet furnishes home feasts with comprehensive deli offerings, spirits, and sweet confections available for carryout and catering. The daily takeout menu wraps up and sandwiches slow-cooked barbecue chicken, lobster salad, and classic cold cuts, and hefty catering trays boast Boar's Head meat and artisan cheeses to be mixed and matched by groups and famished cement trucks. At the onsite bakery, confectioners decorate desserts such as cupcakes and full-size cakes with custom artwork that conveys anything from a birthday message to a baby's first haiku. An extensive cache of international beers, wines, and spirits rounds out the epicurean inventory, and Front Street Gourmet's team of gastronomes specializes in at-home wine tastings, providing parties with staff members upon request.
Carol Russell comes from a long line of winemakers—her father, Herbert, and grandfather, Max, crafted sparkling wine at their vineyard in New York. After dreaming of rebooting the family tradition for quite some time, she moved to farmland in Westport, Massachusetts, in 1982 and her family planted their first vines four years later. Today, the winery family cultivates 80 acres of grapes including chardonnay, pinot gris, pinot noir, and riesling.
Made through a combination of old-timey and contemporary techniques, the sparkling wines, table wines, and aperitifs have earned more than 20 gold medals and twice-filled glasses at the White House. Wine flows year-round at the Westport Rivers’ store, which hosts tastings, an art gallery, and autumnal hayride vineyard tours where guests meet the giants who squash the grapes with a single stomp once a year.