Last summer, as we visited Patriot Place, Tastings Wine Bar and Bistro had this sign out front. Whenever one of our local restaurants posts that they support local farmers, I am one of the first who will advocate to go to the restaurant. Why? Because Jeff and I have a good size garden in our backyard. We have a 40 x 12 garden, 6-4x8 raised bed gardens and numerous spots around our yard for additional plantings. Our 2013 garden season was an exciting one as we deemed it the season for sharing. Many of our neighbors helped with watering and weeding as well as enjoying the homegrown produce from the garden. We can't wait for the 2014 gardening season as we are already plotting out where we will be planting beginning in April.
So, back to our story. Last weekend was our anniversary and we were looking to go for a nice dinner to celebrate. It was rainy and cold so a trip to Boston or Providence was out of the question. I love to walk around when we hit the big cities and that wouldn't be possible. I went onto Open Table and there was Tastings Wine Bar and Bistro. We had been there a few times, but I thought it would be nice to have dinner there. I went through the menu and everything sounded delicious...and the above sign kept running through my head...we support LOCAL.
LOCAL is a great word to describe Tastings Wine Bar and Bistro. Tastings is owned by Foxboro residents, Bill and Patti Martin. They are unique at Patriot Place because many of the restaurants are large corporations with secondary restaurants. This is there only restaurant and it's owned by LOCAL folks.
We arrived at 7:00 PM and were seated in a cozy little corner booth. We started with a glass of wine from their extensive wine list. I decided on a white wine, Chateau de Sancerre, Sancerre, from France, which brought back memories of our recent trip to Paris. Jeff enjoyed a red, Lucente Sangiovese, 2010.
We ordered the calamari with the tarragon pistachio pesto as an appetizer which was excellent. The calamari was perfectly cooked and the pesto had a nice flavor with hints of pistachio coming through.
For dinner, I had the sweet potato gnocchi with a pork ragu while Jeff enjoyed the braised lamb with butternut squash ravioli. Both meals were delicious and the serving size was perfect. We normally try to get two dinners that both of us would enjoy so that we can share. I felt like we got to taste a little bit of everything. But, there is nothing better than when you can enjoy the meal and still have room for dessert.
Our waitress, Jessica, was amazing and was extremely attentive the entire evening, as we got ready for dessert, she asked if we had been there before and we told her yes and that we were back to celebrate our anniversary. We ordered the apple creme brulee and when she returned with the dish, along with two spoons, she had two glasses of champagne to celebrate. What a perfect touch! The creme brulee was amazing and the 4 little oatmeal cookies, which were warm from the oven, ended the last of a wonderful evening.
I can't wait to return and I think the next time will be in the spring. The weather will be warmer and we can sit outside on their deck to further enjoy an amazing local cuisine from some amazing locals!
By Tricia White