Chris, Cardinal Hollow Winery's owner and winemaker, ferments more than 2,000 gallons of juice each year to fill the facility's wood-paneled, cabin-like interior and its tasting room with more than 25 innovative varieties of the potent potable. Both independently and as part of the grape-cobbled highway of the Montgomery County Wine Trail, Cardinal Hollow invites visitors to wet their whistles at tastings and nourish brain orchards in classes. A two-hour lesson includes a full tour of the facilities such as the tasting room, which can be rented for parties of up to 100 people. Along with a tasting, guests will be given an overview of the history and the process of winemaking. During the class, oenophiles sink incisors into salty cheese and crackers while absorbing lessons on wine-and-food pairings at a bar that's supported by sturdy wine barrels. Guests can also peruse Cardinal Hollow wearables at the winery’s retail shop or groove to the live music that permeates the air about once a month.
Peace Valley Winery's 20-acre estate delights wine gurus with its gorgeous facilities and vineyards brimming with two dozen varieties of distinctly flavorful grapes. Today's Groupon grants guests access to a range of winetivities and items. Start off with a wine tasting ($5 fee, waived with purchase of a bottle), and allow one of Peace Valley's fermentation-fanatic staff members to informally demonstrate how to analyze the winery's varietals.
People eat three times a day to prevent rebellious stomachs from escaping in search of peanut brittle, their natural prey. Today's Groupon uses the power of South Asian cuisine to placate restless tummies: for $15, you get $30 worth of international cuisine and drinks at Shanti: Taste of India in Dorchester. This Groupon is not valid for Shanti's lunch buffet.
More than 10 years ago, Shanti opened to provide the South Boston area with fresh, authentic Indian food. After realizing that the subcontinental focus limited the range of noshing experiences, the founders soon expanded their menu to also include Pakistani and Bangladeshi dishes. Now, stylish lamb, beef, and goat parade onto plates in a variety of spice suits, including the Indian gosht vindaloo ($11.99) and the Pakistani gosht kadai ($11.99). A well-equipped squadron of nine vegetables guards the nabaraton korma's creamy sauce ($10.99). Authentically stamp a palate-passport with the shrimp bhuna, seasoned shrimp imported from Bangladesh ($12.99). Tour the menu by blindfolding yourself, spinning around, and pointing randomly at your dinner, or engage the knowledgeable staff in a friendly game of 20 Questions to receive a personal recommendation.
The rich red walls and tablecloths give Shanti a regal ambience that reaches its full and inevitable consummation when the delectables arrive in gilded dishes. At the nod of your head, goblets full of beer ($3–$6.95), wine ($5.50–$7.50), or a creamy yogurt lassi ($3.99) levitate to the table in anticipation of exuberant toasts. Reservations are suggested for parties of eight or more and can be made online here.
More than 100 Yelpers give Shanti an average of four stars. Eighty-eight percent of more than 90 Urbanspooners recommend it, and three Insider Pagers give it a four-star average.
- This is amazing Indian. Since we don't really know anything about Indian food, we always end up asking questions; the staff always helps us choose the best meal for us. – Cassie M., Yelp
- Shanti is the real deal - high quality food at reasonable prices. – Mark P., Yelp
- This is some of the best Indian food I have had. I come here with my family and we each get different things and share. The flavors are so rich. ─ Emma M., Insider Pages
Growing up, Marcie Spampinato watched her father, Mike, masterfully manage a local country club. By seventh grade, she was working alongside him, and today—with a restaurant management degree from Penn State under her belt—she joins with Mike to co-manage their steak-and-sushi joint, Spamps.
Chefs trained in Japan artfully stuff the eatery's sushi rolls with fresh ingredients such as black-pepper-crusted tuna and flying fish roe. Fusion flourishes such as kimchi tartar sauce, miso beurre blanc, and sake reductions give entrees such as rib-eye steak an Asian flair.
And much like a chocoholic's dream journal, the eatery's new cocktails revolve around sweet flavors, especially Marcie's favorite, the pumpkin-pie martini. Libations, which also include wine and beer, flow freely behind a copper bar with TVs or fill glasses in a dining room with exposed brick walls and private booths. At an outdoor patio dubbed The Grotto, lofted TVs illuminate trellises and tabletops as well as bar-goers shimmying to a live DJ's beats on Friday and Saturday nights.
The penchant for modernity at o-toro recently caught the eye and taste buds of County Lines magazine’s staff, which named it one of Philly’s Best New Ventures of 2013. The restaurant’s track lighting illuminates a contemporary scene marked by wooden fixtures, vibrant splotches of red and orange, and plates of Japanese cuisine with Mexican, Korean, and American influences. Sushi, sashimi, and specialty rolls—such as the signature o-toro roll with fatty tuna tartar, spicy mayo, and jalapeño—are served alongside tapas-style plates of filet mignon dumplings, duck tacos, and skewers of Korean-style fried chicken. At the polished wooden bar, bartenders pour wine, sake, and craft beer.