Sunday, October 10, 2010

My husbands birthday week

Wednesday was my husbands birthday so we decided to go to the North End in Boston for Italian food.  We wanted to go to Giacomo's but the line was ridiculous (as always) so we went to another local restuarant Pagliuca's.
We ordered a nice bottle of Chianti and I loved it! I'm not a huge wine girl, but this wine went down really smoothly. We also ordered a Antipasto plate that was more like a salad. For dinner, Dave ordered... I actually can't find it on the menu online so it must have been a special.  I asked what would have been Dave's second choice and he said the Carbonara so I ordered that.

Dave loved his dish, mine was WAY too rich and I missed some sort of greens.  I've always been curious about Carbonara but I never ordered it before.  In general, I really love the vibe of Pagluica's.  The people are friendly and the food is very homey. 

Yesterday, we continued to celebrate Dave's birthday in the North End.  We met up with some friends and headed to La Galleria 33.  It's located on Salem Street.
I can't say enough about this place.  The food was so good.  It made me LOVVE Italian food again!!! (sometimes I think it's too heavy, but not here!) Here are the dishes we ordered + two bottles of Chianti!  I ordered the Chicken Bona Boca and it was perfect! I can't wait to go back here and order a different dish, there was so much on the menu that looked delicious! The pictures are in order of the descriptions (clockwise).
 After we left, we headed to a party to (ALSO) celebrate my friend Dana's birthday. Check out the picture above, recognize it from the movie "The Town?"
 Birthday Kids...
 Today, I had the families over for an Italian Birthday Dinner.  (See a theme here... Italian food is Dave's favorite!)  I had decided I wanted to make Fruiti De Mer (Fruits of the Sea) over Fettuccine along with Green Beans and Bacon, CSA Salad, Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus, and appetizers of Stuffed Clams and a REAL antipasto platter.
These stuffed clams are from the grocery store.  I bought them frozen and then cooked them in the oven.  I love these things.  The platter, I made- quick easy tasty app!  Here are the side dishes.

Green beans from my CSA sauteed in olive oil, salt and pepper with bacon and prosciutto wrapped asparagus that I baked in the oven and then flipped after 7 minutes so the prosciutto gets crispy.  And now for the main dish.  For the Fruiti de Mer I used Mussels (debearded), scallops, shrimp and lobster.

This recipe was inspired by Cuisine Tonight - a magazine my friend picked up at the grocery store that I stole some recipe ideas from.
Fruits de mer Fettucinne with bacon fresh bread crumbs
1.5 packaged of whole wheat fettuccine
12 sea scallops seasoned with salt and pepper
1 package of frozen jumpo cooked shrimp, thawed
1 lobster, cooked, shell removed, sliced
2 lbs of mussels, debreaded (this was probably too much)
Olive Oil, Garlic, Red Pepper Flakes
1 cup of Chicken Broth
3/4 Cup of White Wine
2 cups of grape tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons of butter
1/4 cup of chopped parsley
2 teaspoons of minced lemon
bacon-bread crumbs (3 pieces of bacon cooked and crumbled,  3pieces of bread toasted then processed in a food processor, seasoned with salt, pepper and thyme)
Cook fettuccine in a large pot of salted water.  Sear scallops and shrimp in a tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan until golden (1-2 minutes per side). Transfer to a plate.  Add another tablespoon of oil, then add garlic and pepper flakes and saute for 30 seconds.  De glaze with wine and broth and return shrimp and scallops to the pan, then stir in mussels and tomatoes.  Cover and steam until the mussels open.  Off the heat, finish with butter, parsley, lemon zest.  Add the drained pasta, toss to coat with sauce and season with salt and pepper, top with bread crumbs.
And my plate full of filling delicious food.
 Dessert was brought by my Mother-in-law.  She made a Spice Cake with Cinnamon Buttercream frosting and she bought a Rum Cake (Dave's favorite) from a local bakery near where Dave grew up.
 Birthday boy...
 Birthday boy in action... (and loving his Patriots sweatshirt I got him)
 And my dessert.  So yes, I'm full. And we have a lot of leftovers!
I have tomorrow off from work but I'm thinking of going into the city to (maybe) run the Tufts 10K and get ahead start on all the work I have to do.  If I run, I will be back with a full recap of that race AND my fast and hilly ten miles I did was my training partners on Saturday. Happy Long Weekend!


  1. I've been thinking of trying a new restaurant at the North End and your review is perfect. I actually LOVE carbonara but hardly order it in restaurants because I like making it at home. But sometimes I make exceptions ;) Too bad you found their version too rich - if I try it we can compare notes haha

  2. Happy Bday to your man!

    I would house that carbonara. No such thing as too rich for this girl. Good luck in the race if you decide to run!

  3. YUM! (I think that's my response to all your posts.) Happy Birthday to your hubby.

  4. Happy Birthday Dave!

    I felt the same way about Pagliucas, and so did my other dining companions - everything was very heavily sauced and the dishes were really nothing spectacular. I don't usually recommend it. and how funny is this, I have eaten that SAME dish at La Galleria 33! They do a great job, but totally fly under the radar.

  5. Happy birthday to your hubby! Looks like it's been a delicious bday so far :)

    I can't wait to hear about your (maybe) race!

  6. All that food you made looks delicious!