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Asta is in for 5th Annual Urban Barn Dance
Features - Chefs and Restaurants
Written by Michelle Lahey   

On October 6th, the 5th Annual Urban Barn Dance is taking place at Community Rowing, Inc. Presented by Mass Farmers Markets - a non-profit organization that partners with farmers, consumers, and communities to foster, enhance, and sustain local farmers' markets - this popular event features live [bluegrass] music, a silent auction, and food that reflects the fall season. The best news? This year's featured chef is Alex Crabb from Asta, which was also just voted Best New Restaurant by Boston Magazine

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Locally Sourced Gelato
Features - Chefs and Restaurants
Written by Michelle Lahey   

This time of year, nothing beats a spoonful (or, bowlful) of cold and creamy gelato. But here in New England, it can be hard to find a gelato that’s made with ingredients produced locally. Thankfully, Pazzo Gelato Café, which has recently opened in North Andover, is changing that – just in time for summer.

Pazzo offers up to 20 gelato flavors each day. The flavors change regularly, but expect innovative creations such as Pistachio, Peanut Brittle, and Pineapple Mango Sorbetto.  

To help fulfill our gelato cravings, we had a chat with Pazzo’s owner, Jim Demotses, to get the lowdown on his product, and why he feels it’s important to work with local farmers. 

Why did you choose North Andover for Pazzo's location? 

My wife and I live in North Andover and so it was very appealing to be part of the community in a new way as a business owner. I also saw an opportunity to fill a niche with quality-driven, hand-crafted, artisan frozen dessert options in a warm, inviting atmosphere. 

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Cavendish Game Birds Farm to Post Dinner at Post 390
Features - Chefs and Restaurants
Written by Lara Zelman   

The sleek exterior of Post 390 at the corner of Clarendon and Stuart Street opens up into a warm, inviting space offering equally warm and inviting cuisine. Post 390 is an urban tavern featuring seasonally inspired dishes from Chef Eric Brennan. Post 390 is part of the Himmel Hospitality Group (which also includes Grill 23 and Harvest). Himmel Hospitality Group emphasizes the highest quality food and service. This starts with their focus on quality ingredients and suppliers and extends through the staff in the restaurants. 

The food and drink at Post 390 reflects this focus. Menus change often to reflect the seasons and availability. Post 390 offers Farm to Post, a special series to highlight local producers and farmers. Farm to Post is a menu highlighting the product of a local farm or producer. The Farm to Post menu allows a larger restaurant like Post 390 to support the local food industry at a manageable scale. Featured producers over the series have included Kimball Fruit Farm (Massachusetts and New Hampshire), Ward’s Berry Farm (Massachusetts), and 5 Spoke Creamery (New York). I had the opportunity to attend the kickoff dinner for the latest Farm to Post menu featuring Cavendish Game Birds of Springfield, Vermont. The menu features inventive dishes from Chef Brennan utilizing quail from Cavendish Game Birds. 

Post 390 quailCavendish Game Birds is a family operation run by Bill and Rick Thompson. Since the early 1990s the brothers have been growing their business supplying high quality game birds and eggs across the United States. From their location in Springfield, Vermont the brothers manage all aspects of the process from breeding through processing. It is a surprisingly quick six weeks from hatchery to table. The Thompson brothers have spent many years breeding the Coturnix quail and the high standards and dedication of the Thompson brothers are reflected in the premium product they produce. Their facility includes a state of the art hatchery that produces 6,000 to 8,000 quail each week. Cavendish Game Birds’ quail is a light meat with a slightly sweet flavor. Streaks of fat under the skin keep the birds moist during cooking. 

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Sunday Suppers at Area Four
Features - Chefs and Restaurants
Written by Michelle Lahey   

Local, sustainable, organic food – most of it cooked in a wood-fired oven. That’s what you’ll find at Area Four in Kendall Square. area four pizza

Area Four is one of the newer additions to Technology Square in Cambridge – in the neighborhood of Area IV – and it has been impressing patrons since the day it opened its doors. Serving everything from quality baked goods and coffee to local beer and salads, it’s hard to walk into Area Four and not find something that intrigues your taste buds. Oh, and 90% of their menu items are cooked in their custom-built, wood-fired ovens.

Local in Season had the honor of visiting Area Four to try their brand new Sunday dinner menu (we visited the same day the new menu launched). Served every Sunday from 2:30 – 9 p.m., the Sunday menu features wood-fired pizzas, sharable salads and starters, as well as sustainable wines and local brews, to name a few. (Side note: Area Four showcases Boston’s first sustainable wine program).

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Meal Kits Fit for a Chef
Features - Chefs and Restaurants
Written by Michelle Lahey   
chef sets

There's no better feeling than hearing your friends' and family's delight when they bite into something you made from scratch. But sometimes, we just don't have the time to make a completely homemade meal - and now, thanks to Ana Sortun's Chef Sets, you don't always have to. 

After two years in the making, Sortun - chef and owner of Oleana - and a team of nutrition experts in Upper Newton Falls have released a line of Chef Set meal kits. Each meal kit contains three packets: a fast-cooking whole grain, an aromatic seasoning packet, and a garnish. All the home cook has to provide is three recommended ingredients (such as onions, a protein, etc.), and in under 20 minutes you have a balanced meal for two, with each generous portion coming out to about 500 calories.

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