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.
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Parking: Metered street parking
Most popular offering: Artisanal chocolate, macarons tea, caviar, foie gras
Pro Tip: Reservations for the tasting event needed
Good for Kids: Yes
What sets your business apart from your competition?
Artisanal hand painted-chocolate bonbons and truffles, over 60 different brands of chocolate from around the world, chocolate with unusual flavor ingredients (bacon, spices, herbs, flower petals), caviars such as domestic and imported, full range of imported foie gras, and chocolate pasta
What was the inspiration for starting this business?
To capture the joy of travel and the food enjoyed in the various locations, but presented all in one place for the times you can not get away.
What is the best reaction you’ve ever gotten from a customer?
"You are in the business of making people happy"
What’s your favorite part about your job?
Sharing our knowledge, love, and appreciation of the various gourmet delights we sell and the world of specialty food with our customers. Most importantly, seeing the joy and delight our customers experience when wondering upon a specialty they tried during their travels and have not been able to find since.
The Zanti family is no stranger to the sea. In 1898, Giuseppe Zanti, Sr., left his tiny Italian fishing village for the more fertile waters of America. When his son, Giuseppe, Jr., heard of the senior Zanti's success on American shores, he too made the trek across the Atlantic to net lobsters, crabs, and fish in Boston Harbor, teaching his own sons along the way. After World War II, Giuseppe, Jr. sensed an oncoming boon in the lobster trade and teamed up with his sons to debut Commercial Lobster, a wholesale business devoted entirely to lobster. Still under the rule of the Zanti family, the Commercial Lobster of today makes up the wholesale branch of Yankee Lobster Fish Market, a full-fledged seafood market. In addition to selling whole live and stuffed lobsters like their predecessors, modern-day Zantis also serve a seafood-centric menu of oysters, clams, and, of course, lobster in the casual, ocean-themed eatery of Yankee Lobster Company. After finally removing the protective rubber bands from his hands, Guy Fieri dubbed the lobster mac ‘n' cheese here “ridiculous” on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.
Bacco’s Wine + Cheese offers up exactly what it promises, plus a little more, including a selection of charcuterie items, a variety of pâtés and mousses, craft beers and other items that pair nicely with wine and cheese. The shop has its own wine rating system called the “Wine Guy,” which it uses to describe wines instead of the usual 100-point system. The system breaks wines down into three categories. Wine Guy Value is the first category; these wines are marked for being a good value, no matter what the price. Second is Wine Guy Best Buy, and the third is Wine Guy Favorite. The selection of cheeses is always changing, but is always excellent and customers can ask for a sample. There are wine tastings almost every day and craft beer tastings on Tuesdays. This Back Bay shop is a favorite in the neighborhood.
Step down from its Salem Street entrance into the small North End Fish Market, also known as the Mercato del Mare. The place may be hard to spot at first, but look for the steady stream of hungry locals desperate for a cup of hot New England clam chowder, a lobster roll or sushi – nigiri, sashimi, maki and specialty rolls are all on offer – made by the on-hand sushi chef. Each order is taken to go, as there is no seating inside the market, but that’s ok; the main focus here is the fish market anyway. Look for an impressive daily selection of fresh seafood that varies depending on seasonal availability, with rotating stock that may include halibut, bass, cod, swordfish, haddock and mahi mahi. The shop also offers free oyster shucking lessons every Saturday.