Monday, August 30, 2010

Calories Consumed with Friends Don't Count

This is not a restaurant review - I leave those to the professionals! This is a recap of a fabulous night with some of my blogger buddies. When I first got on twitter and blogging last year, I "met" some Boston food bloggers and Jessie organized dinner to get everyone together to meet and talk food in person. We had a fun dinner at Cuchi Cuchi and kicked off new friendships! (You can check out a fuzzy photo of our evening via JQ Lounge).

Fast forward to this summer and restaurant week. I have mixed feelings about restaurant week, some places do it great and some are like hanger steak factories. But with all the new restaurants around town, I decided that I wanted to give it a try. I saw Jessie tweet about restaurant week and quickly sent her a note. We both got busy creating our restaurant lists. The criteria: new to us and not a shellfish/pork heavy menu. We went through about 40 restaurants each and agreed on Sportello - Barbara Lynch's fancy-ish diner in the Fort Point Channel. With an attendee list of a few of my favorite bloggers, the evening was sure to be a blast!

Nothing says summer restaurant week like a Nor'Easter! We all put on our rain boots and braved the elements to cross over the windy bridge to Sportello. Upon opening the door we were welcomed by the warm, comforting smell of browning butter. Really, is there a better smell?

We started off with a bottle of Rosato and a toast to good food and friends. Then we got down to decisions.

The menu was full of fresh, seasonal ingredients and each dish sounded mouthwatering. While we pondered the great choices, we were served whipped ricotta with olive oil and figs. The bread was sturdy, topped with sesame seeds, and had a wonderful buttery flavor.

A nice touch was the amuse bouche sent out to us from the kitchen sent. Fresh pink salmon, horseradish crema, finely diced chives, and a mini green garnish!

The first course was a unanimous choice by everyone - corn soup. It was lusciously smooth and rich. We asked our server if there was cream - she said no - just corn and olive oil which helped achieve that smooth velvety texture. We all cleaned our bowls, using the bread to get every last drop of soup, oil, and scallion. Here's what food bloggers do at dinner - Alicia from The Clean Plate Club documenting course one. To see the resulting picture, visit her blog.

I could write a series on the steak entree during restaurant week. I always order it. Some places do it better than others, and this was one of the best. It was not until our server brought out the meal that I realized that she didn't ask how I'd like the steak prepared. I like that! The chef knows the meat, knows the dish, and I trust that they serve it at the optimal level doneness. It was pink in the middle, a little crispy on the outside. What I loved about all the courses was that the portion size was just right. I didn't feel like I was struggling to finish and I definitely didn't think that the portions were skimpy. And I really liked the plates...and glasses, and the whole vibe). The diner feel was cozy, comfortable, and I felt very much at home.

In tribute to Alicia's blog - we were all members of the clean plate club!

Dinner was delicious and we laughed off all the calories! Or, as Alicia wisely says, "Calories consumed with friends don't count." Words to live by! 

Alicia, from A Boston Food Diary and Alicia from the Clean Plate Club

Me with  Katie from Once Upon a Small Boston Kitchen
Thanks Katie for the photo of Alicia and Fiona and you and me! I love your new camera!!

Fiona with Barbara Lynch (over her right shoulder!)
We all found a little more room for dessert. I opted for the chocolate bread pudding. It was served with caramel that tasted like it was poured straight from the pan onto the plate. It was buttery and just a little salty.  It was the perfect accompaniment to the dark, almost bittersweet, chocolate bread pudding. I kept saying I was going to stop eating, but who was I kidding? It wouldn't be very nice to waste any food!

It was a wonderful night! It was great to see everyone offline (links to their take on the evening or their blog):

Jessie (How2Heroes)
Katie (Once Upon a Small Boston Kitchen)
Fiona (A Boston Food Diary)
Alicia (The Clean Plate Club)
Peter (

I can't wait to head back down to try Sportello's regular menu, and stop downstairs for a cocktail at Drink.  I am especially looking forward to seeing and meeting more blog friends in person!

Sportello on Urbanspoon


  1. Hi Lara! Just found your blog, I love it! I was recently in Boston (my husband, the Booze Hound (see my blog for explanation :) is from Worcester and wanted nothing more than home Red Sox tickets for his birthday!) and discovered that we barely missed Restaurant Week!! Bummer! But I did blog about our long weekend adventure in my Bean Town ( Thought you might find it interesting! You have great recipes, keep it up! I, too, want to turn my blog into a full-time thing!

  2. The blogs posts from this night just keep coming. (I love it!) So glad you enjoyed Sportello. You definitley have to go back to Drink which is equally as fun.

  3. Sounds like a fabulous evening. It's great to share a good meal with a group of friends.

  4. I'll try the regular menu with you!

    Love when the chef just cooks the meat the way it's supposed to be cooked. That's the best.

    Great pictures and great recap.

  5. LOVE the Barbara Lynch shot! Very cool! Sportello is so delicious! Would love to have a blogger dinner there soon!

  6. The blogs posts from this night just keep coming. (I love it!) So glad you enjoyed Sportello. You definitley have to go back to Drink which is equally as fun.


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