Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Boston, South Shore: Scituate, MA

September 9th to September 11th 2006

The south shore of Boston you escape from the urban jungle into another jungle. Lush woodlands hiding wealthy neighbourhoods with houses comfortably far apart along secluded country roads. If you choose to drive along the coast, take Jerusalem road south, where large mansions face the sea. You can enjoy a day at the Nantasket beach or turn around and travel towards Cape Cod. The South Shore is beautiful, charming, scenic, representing all what New England is supposed to be. I usually stay in Scituate on the Irish Riviera, where green, white and yellow flags compete with the Star-Spangled Banner. Here I stay with the Brady’s at 54 Kenneth Road.

And you eat well at the south shore. But I am also fortunate to enjoy some American home cooking. This as the South Shore is the nearest place to Norway for me to call home, and believe me – Erica Eastman Brady is a great cook.

But before we come to that, I mentioned that we missed our Dim Sum. Instead we decided to eat Italian, heading for a large mall in Hannover MA, where we found Bertucci’s, serving brick oven pizzas and pasta. At the end of the 80,s the only Bertucci’s I knew was situated a block away from Harvard Square. It was a charming small-scale restaurant. Now Bertucci’s is a chain found all over New England.

I am not very happy about chains. As the number of restaurants multiplies, the overall quality of the food seems to fall. But we decided to have a try.

Being seriously hungry, we decided to have a large meal (See menu). In fact we were so filled up after the meal, that we hardly ate anything the rest of the day.

First we were served wonderful crisp ciabatta with herb infused olive oil to dip. Then we ordered an antipasto misto to share, with of a large variety of different ingredients - Brick oven-roasted peppers, zucchini, artichokes, olives, prosciutto, fresh asparagus, broccoli, fresh mozzarella and grape tomatoes served with baby field greens and balsamic vinaigrette. To share, this was perfect for three, with a nice glass of Pinot Grigio. Then Laila and I ordered a favourite – Lobster Ravioli.

Oversized, home-style ravioli stuffed with sweet lobster in a cream sauce with diced plum tomatoes and fresh orange. Delicious!! The other members of the party ordered Eggplant Parmegiana – aubergines topped with marinara sauce, made al forno with cheese on the top. As we ordered the restaurants special choice of wine, we were offered free desert to share, a trilogy of Cannoli, Chocolate cake, and Tiramisu, but give me break. After a large antipasto and a substantial main course it was neatly wrapped and brought home to the refrigerator in Kenneth road. And the price? For a Scandinavian the neat sum of $130 for a three-course meal for five, with wine and soft drinks is dead cheap. And believe me – as chains go, this was a great surprise!
If you want to eat in Scituate, you have some nice places close to the harbour. The Mill Wharf is a wooden structure built by the seafront with large windows so you can enjoy the view. They have a traditional menu with steamers, fried seafood, assorted meats pasta and pizza and of course, if you are just a little hungry, snacks as fried onion rings, buffalo wing, potato skins.
Then you can go on to TK O’Malley’s, an Irish place to hang out. I’ve had a few drinks there and ended up with ”TK-O’Malley flu” more than once. Saturday we ended up there for lunch – had Buffalo Tenders (do not tell me that I’m predictable – I have a ritualized relationship to Buffalo chicken in all variations), a baked Cod Sandwich with fries and – two Samuel Adams on draught, and had a sip of a divine Bloody Mary. Food – good, but not great, it was the view on the deck in front of the restaurant that was great!

So – to the home cooking! Sunday evening was lobster dinner take 1. More on this later.

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