Michael's Market is part deli, part restaurant, and part catering company. That means that sometimes customers visit one of its two locations to lunch on crabmeat salad on focaccia bread or chicken cordon bleu on a baguette, and sometimes they pop in just to pick up some fresh marinated meats. If patrons are hosting a morning meeting or a business lunch, they also can pick out a platter of stuffed finger sandwiches or pastries from the corporate menu so attendees won't start gnawing on their laptop power cords for sustenance. The catering menu is full of variety: chefs can prepare a platter of hand-rolled swedish meatballs, a tray of lasagna with house marinara, or a spread of seafood au gratin—baked shrimp, scallops, lobster, and shrimp pieces with cheese and Ritz Crackers crumbs.
Slow food is the opposite of fast food in more ways than just the speed at which it comes out of the kitchen. In fact, it’s the great care given to chopping each fresh ingredient and cooking it as soon as it’s ordered that rewards guests deep in pre-dinner conversation with meticulously prepared meals. Now under new management, the chefs at Buono Panini craft their menu of fresh Italian comfort fare with gourmet touches amid the dining room’s muted light, ivory linens, and cheery colors. Diners may savor the likes of pesto-laced shrimp risotto and veal saltimbocca or crunch through a signature panini during lunch. Whether dropping in for a sit-down dinner or a private party, meals here make for outings that leave bellies full and dinner napkins worthy of bronzing for the memories.
When festival founder Anne-Marie Aigner first noticed the burgeoning food-truck scenes on the West Coast and the Midwest, her prescient mind foresaw that the tide would make its way to New England. In order to cultivate the nascent movement, she founded her food-truck-festival tour to bring dozens of trucks' eclectic wares to locales outside of Boston. Already scoring mentions in Boston and Worcester Mag in its first year, the festival has featured such four-wheeled kitchens as Redbones BBQ and Roxy's Grilled Cheese. Aigner hopes to sustain the food-truck industry beyond the festival's inaugural year by attracting interest throughout the region and motivating grassroots support for the mobile culinary spots and their future descendants, sandwich-slinging helicopters.
For seafood and barbecue that's earned the attention—and praises—of Phantom Gourmet and TV Diner with Billy Costa, hungry locals need look no further than Lobster Q. Servers dole out cool pints of local craft beer and baskets of sweet potato fries to complement steamed crab, pulled pork, ribs, and grilled fish entrées. And, of course, lobster: steamed whole, baked into pies, stuffed into rolls, or hidden in ravioli, lobster is the centerpiece of the restaurant's broad menu. Lobster Q also uses its dual emphasis on seafood and barbecue as an artistic opportunity for kids, awarding a free meal to children who draw the best versions of the chimerically delicious Lobster Pig.