As Italian eateries go, Peppercorn?s is a chameleon. Entrees can be elegant?grilled salmon over mesclun, steak tips with a seafood casserole?or downright comforting, such as a pot roast with natural pan gravy. Families have an easy time ordering thanks to the thin-crust pizzas and kids' menu, whereas more mature crowds enjoy the benefits of Peppercorn?s proximity to Wormtown Brewery. The craft-beer producers are just next door, so they keep Peppercorn?s bar stocked with their regular brews, rare offerings, and to-go growlers. In the lounge, seven high-definition flat screen TVs broadcast the day?s athletic proceedings, and here spectators can order anything off the full menu while they second-guess the manager's decision to replace the catcher with a pyramid of fragile milk bottles.
Featured in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette as a neighborhood pizza staple, family-owned P&D Oxford House of Pizza decorates 19 specialty pies in a livery of savory toppings while dishing out platters of toasty Italian fare. The Inferno pizza ($8.50–$14) coaxes taste buds through a doughy ring of fire spackled with pepperoni, sausage, and hot peppers, and the Athenian's garlic butter sets the gustatory stage for grilled chicken morsels dressed in spinach togas and feta-cheese helmets ($8.50–$14). Patrons can choose their own pizza adventure with a slew of toppings, including broccoli, meatballs, and bacon. P&D's toasted grinders, such as the steak- and mushroom-laden "Flynn-IE" ($6–$7.50), deepen the roster of handheld edibles, and homemade lasagna ($6.25) leads a hearty caravan of pasta dishes. Guests can defer to the bistro’s free Internet access to settle dinnertime disputes over whether pasta was first invented by China, Italy, or Marlon Brando as a way to pass the time on the set of The Godfather.
Located inside a sprawling white farmhouse, Tre Amici has a warm, inviting atmosphere that works equally well for a romantic dinner or a large banquet. Italian meals culminate with decadent desserts such as chocolate truffles, lemoncello cake, or individual cake pops plucked from a nearby orchard. Alternatively, a lighter bar menu provides snack options along with an extensive wine and martini list.
Minute Man National Historic Park preserves the scene of the first Revolutionary War battle 1 mile north of Concord's Colonial Inn. Official and self-guided tours originate at the Minute Man Visitor Center where a multimedia theater presentation elucidates Paul Revere's Ride, the Lexington Green showdown, and the "shot heard 'round the world." Outside the center, the revolutionary spirit propels travelers down Battle Road Trail, a 5-mile stretch of restored colonial landscape between Concord and Lexington that approximates the path of the American Revolution's first battle and the road traveled by the minutemen. One mile east of the Colonial Inn, The Orchard House, former home of Louisa May Alcott, enchants visitors with its rich 19th-century history and authentic family heirlooms and foosball tables. During guided tours, the clapboard manor house where Alcott wrote and set her literary masterpiece Little Women reveals itself to harbor a multitude of period pieces that populate the beloved novel. Perched on an orchard of apple trees, the family home may have hosted legendary intellectuals including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Amos Alcott, Louisa's father, purchased the original property in 1857. It has undergone few structural changes since the family left in 1877, as ongoing preservation efforts help to retain its authentic charm and character.
Fresh from his homeland of Brazil, Chef Rodney Moreira set himself on a path to become a master of Italian cuisine, beginning humbly as a prep cook at Pizzeria Uno. Ultimately, Moreira found his culinary muse, cooking his way up the ladder to his current position as head chef at Porcini's Italian Restaurant, where he holds numerous awards for his pasta and risotto. Building a menu off of these staples, Moreira crafts Italian- and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine finished with homemade sauces and fresh herbs. The restaurant's nightly specials and permanent entrees include grilled swordfish steak and pounded veal cutlets, and pair easily with varietals from around the world represented on the carefully curated wine list. The intimate dining room features the warming tendrils of a crackling fireplace, and the garden patio invites guests to indulge in meals under a sky filled with more stars than the sun's rolodex.
It’s not what you think. The name, that is. Strip-T’s was named in accordance with owner Paul Maslow’s original vision—an eatery centered around sirloin strip sandwiches. But the price of sirloin strip skyrocketed sometime after the restaurant’s 1986 opening, and the rising prices clashed with Paul’s desire to keep things tasty yet affordable. And so, he dropped the sandwich, kept the name (new signs can be pricey), and expanded the menu to include the American-style comfort foods that influenced one Boston Magazine critic to hail it as “the most unexpectedly dazzling food I’ve had in years.” Chalk up some of that praise—which has also come in from the Boston Globe and Bon Appetit, to Paul’s son Tim, a culinary student and transplant of David Chang’s New York hot spot Momofuku Ssam Bar. Tim gave Strip-T’s menu a second makeover, veering even further from the namesake dish with new items such as grilled bavette steak and sweet potato and pork belly angolotti. Tim’s creations have turned this unassuming Watertown eatery into a bona fide foodie destination, yet the restaurant still retains its original charm: the t-shirt wearing waiters are still friendly (except on customer-abuse Fridays), and press outlets, including The Boston Globe, are still raving about the “extraordinary, reasonably priced fare.”