Great Eats North of Boston

My parents were in town (from Hawaii) last week, and while they’ve visited me on the East Coast twice before, this is the first time they’ve come since I left the city. Since we’re a family that loves food, I took them to a few foodie gems we’ve found closer to home, as well as a couple of great places in the city. If you’re visiting New England, I highly recommend stopping by any of these dining establishments to grab a bite.

Blue Fin

Good Eats North of Boston

We live just outside of a forest and within a stone’s throw of several farms, yet somehow we also have a fabulous Japanese restaurant in our neighborhood as well. Asian restaurants here are often fusion, with Chinese places serving sushi and Thai restaurants serving Chinese food (confusing!), but at Blue Fin you’ll only find real homestyle Japanese food and incredible sushi. The sashimi is always fresh. The sushi chefs are artists. And they serve up a pretty mean martini. Insider tip: the bar is the most comfortable, relaxed place to sit.

Richardson’s

Good Eats North of Boston

Just down the street from Blue Fin is Richardson’s dairy farm, which is a New England institution. I can’t tell you how many times James and I have finished off our sushi, only to drive two minutes down the road for dessert at Richardson’s. My favorite is the cherry vanilla ice cream, but I haven’t had a bad scoop there yet, and I’ve tried a lot of them! Mini golfing and batting cages are on the premises, but the real excitement is that there are cows! The ones that make the milk that goes in the ice cream! I mentally thank them every time we drive by.

Shea’s

Good Eats North of Boston

My dad’s number one request: New England clam chowder. James pointed us to Shea’s, which is a cozy restaurant on the water with award-winning chowder. I’m not sure if we’re just lucky, but we’ve never had to wait there, despite the fact that the fried clam place across the street is always insane and the food here is awesome. The chowder is perfect, and the sandwiches and salads are equally mouthwatering. You can easily get to the beach or to a bunch of antique stores from Shea’s, so it’s a perfect stop on the North Shore.

Mill River Winery

Good Eats North of Boston

Before heading to Shea’s, we stopped at this gorgeous little winery on the North Shore, in Rowley. The space is relatively new–airy and bright. They produce a wide variety of wines, and for just $5 you can taste them all. Although the chardonnay is award winning, our favorite was their crisp, dry Riesling. We might not be Napa, but this is a definite must for wine lovers. (Find a more comprehensive review, complete with actual wine vocabulary, at The Eats.)

I’m considering featuring more local places here on Frock Files with first-hand photos. Let me know if this sounds interesting to you. There are so many good ones; this is just a start! Where do you take people when they’re visiting your hometown?

Photo Credits: Blue Fin | Richardson’s | Shea’s | Mill River Winery

 

 

A Long Distance Coffee Date

Having friends all over the world is a blessing, but sometimes I just want to hang out with my girlfriends in a cafe. So when Tan had the brilliant idea of getting together for a coffee date despite living across the continent from each other, I was all in. We each decided to choose our favorite cafe so that we could feature a local gem. Even though I’ve written about it before, I knew that I had to choose Tatte. I mean, look at this place — if I had to dream up a perfect cafe, I couldn’t do any better than this.

The sky was full of heavy clouds when I headed over on Friday afternoon, but Tatte was warmly lit and welcoming, as always.

Frock Files | Long Distance Blog Date with Tan

One of my favorite things about Tatte is this amazing light fixture.

Frock Files | Long Distance Blog Date with Tan

And, of course, I love all the beautiful confections. Tzurit Or, who owns Tatte, began taking her baked goods to open markets just a few years ago. They were wildly popular and her clients begged her to open a storefront. She opened her first location, Tatte Brookline, in 2008, and this Cambridge location just last year.

Frock Files | Long Distance Blog Date with Tan Frock Files | Long Distance Blog Date with Tan Frock Files | Long Distance Blog Date with Tan

It was so fun to have an hour dedicated to chatting with Tan. Toward the end, Adina joined in, which just made the experience even more complete, since we all had breakfast together at Alt! You can check out most of our conversation on Twitter by searching the hashtag #longdistanceblogdate.

Although I would prefer to have Tan and Adina living nearby, having coffee with them virtually was the next best thing. Lately, I’ve been part of some awesome long distance get-togethers, including a twice-monthly Google Hangout. How do you stay in touch with long distance friends?

Speaking of which, Project Postal participants, if you haven’t sent out your inspirational quote yet please do so soon! Your recipients are eagerly awaiting your wonderful creations. xo

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