Sea Dog Steak & Ale's menu catalogs hearty pub food and a deep well of beer. Every item on the menu pairs almost perfectly with one of the pub's 10 locally crafted brews served on tap, whether it's the milky Sea Dog Stout and the marinated grilled steak tips, the malty Winter Ale to wash down the chorizo-crusted haddock, or the crisp flavor of the Raspberry Wheat Ale as a palate cleanser after dinner. Sea Dog's chefs also grill 8-ounce filets mignons, which are as heavy as Willy Wonka minus his candy weight. The patties of seven specialty burgers blend ground beef, short rib, chuck, and brisket, all piled with toppings ranging from balsamic-marinated onions to root-beer barbecue sauce.
The alehouse's nightly crowd adds to the convivial ambiance of the pub by sharing drinks on its outdoor patio or in its rustic wood-paneled, chocolate- and almond-colored dining room. Frequent visitors can join the wine or mug clubs, which toss in benefits such as personalized mugs, T-shirts, and a spiritual connection with America's most famous beer drinker: Benjamin Franlin, the inventor of both mugs and T-shirts.
As Jessica Carroll explained to WFSB, her gardening center was never originally meant to be a business. It actually started out as a scenic storage space for a landscaping company she started with her brother. The two chose a pond-flanked plot of land in Marlborough as the storage grounds for their plants, and their well-tended blooms began to attract admirers, particularly in the summer. Soon after the siblings decided to help these visitors cool off, so they opened an ice-cream stand. These days, visitors to Jessica's Garden can take home their own plants, composts, and soil enhancers such as microscopic nematodes, rather than simply admiring the Carrolls’. Bass leap from the pond's waters, which are also used to nourish shrubs, flowers, or thirsty camels returning from desert jaunts. A rope swing and outdoor picnic tables make an ideal setting in which to enjoy the ice-cream stand's 21 flavors. As an added draw, the stand also serves lobster rolls in both the hot buttered and chilled mayonnaise and celery variety.
A greenhouse is a place for things to thrive?plants, flowers, miniature golf courses. Perhaps the last item in that group isn't as conventional as the first two, but at Trombetta's Farm, it's perfectly normal. The Marlboro location's 18-hole course snakes players across bridges, through tunnels, and past a trickling, hand-built waterfall, all beneath the sun-splashed roof of a greenhouse. Sticking with its green theme, Trombetta's Farm doubles as a garden center, showcasing vibrant annuals, perennial shrubs and trees, and herb and vegetable plants from local growers. Hanging baskets and gift plants also brighten the space. During visits, guests can even cool off by snacking on homemade ice cream, which Trombetta's has been crafting since 1978. The shop's diary specialists churn out 10 flavors of soft serve and several varieties of frozen yogurt.
The first Sorentos Italian Gourmet opened in Boston in 1988. It quickly won over locals, whose insatiable hunger for the restaurant's gourmet pizzas, Persian-inspired entrees, and plates of wine-kissed seafood inspired the Sorentos team to open a second locale in Marlborough in the summer of 2008. The timing of the addition was serendipitous?just half a year later, a neighborhood fire caused the Boston locale to burn to the ground, leaving behind nothing but fond memories and a lone calzone with especially crispy edges. Today, the Marlborough location works doubly hard in honor of its predecessor, drawing in crowds, press attention, and a rating of "excellent" from Zagat. Seated at tables draped in white linens, patrons can quell their cravings for the Mediterranean with appetizers such as fried calamari with red-pepper r?moulade; gourmet pizzas with toppings such as grilled chicken, caramelized onions, sun-dried tomatoes, and gorgonzola cheese; and elegant entrees featuring havarti-stuffed chicken breasts.
Southborough House of Pizza's original 1974 location was teeny tiny. With one table and six stools at the counter, only 10 customers could comfortably fit inside at a time. But people were so crazy for their pizzas that in 1984, the restaurant moved to its current home, a renovated town fire station. Now there's have plenty of room for the pizzeria's faithful customers, who come for the inventive specialty pizzas such as the Cheeseburger topped with pickles, ketchup, and mustard. Another favorite is the Garlic Infusion, with just enough garlic flavor to balance its ripe tomatoes and olives. Diners can also stuff themselves with other Italian-inspired delights, such as hefty grinders on french bread and hearty pasta dishes that will make your fork question whether it's good enough for the job.
Helmed by owner and pastry chef Kristen Livoti, the skilled baking team at BellaCakes creates customized cakes and cupcakes to wow guests at weddings and other special occasions. Livoti opened the boutique shop in 2008, after graduating from cooking school in Edinburgh and working as a pastry chef in New England. Now, from within their flour-filled kitchen, she and her team transform nearly any idea into a frosting-covered creation, such as cakes designed as castles, complete with turrets and grumpy handmaidens locked inside, to wedding cakes topped with vintage roses or fondant hand-painted seashells. In addition to being a nut-free shop, BellaCakes also specializes in accommodating customers with dietary restrictions by making vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free cakes and cupcakes.