Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Christmas Ham, Anchovy, and Planet Fitness Cocktail, Over Ice

Ho Ho Ho Ya’ll! With every post in the month of December, you and I get a little closer to Christmas and all of its appetizing trappings. And I can’t wait! I love this time of year, with sugary ham, chocolate galore, and my Madre’s pasta salad. Man, after all of that, I’ll be lucky if I fit into the same pants I’m wearing as I write this, they are really nice pants, so I hope I do. Because I fear this, I joined Planet Fitness this week. God help me. A member when I lived in Boston, I thought it was high time I got my slightly expanding bum off the couch and got physical (thank you Olivia Newton John).

Also I’m certainly in full holiday swing this year. Almost all of my shopping is done, I have Mariah Carey’s “Merry Christmas to You” on constant rotation, and I’m wearing some combo of red and green almost daily. Wow, in reflection, I need it to be summer again, apparently something about this cold weather makes me crazy. Just how much Christmas can one man take? (Apparently a lot)

Anyway, regardless of your score on the Christmas Cheer-o-meter, or your P.E test results for that matter, there is something in the air that makes dinners out this time of year a bit more special. Restaurants are decorated in “holiday style,” and each meal you enjoy feels more and more like a present to yourself, as opposed to sabotage to your workout plan. This could not be truer than the meal I recently enjoyed in Newburyport, MA.

This Sunday, or as it should be renamed, the day Mother Nature was pissed, was the day I choose to enjoy a nice, pre-holiday dinner out. It rained so much I couldn’t see in front of me as I drove down 95 to meet with my date for the evening. My journey to get there was awful. A bridge I needed to take was closed for repairs, I had to get back on the highway twice, and while I looked nice when I left my house, when I arrived, on foot to the restaurant, I resembled more of what you find after you run a washing machine.

Anyhoo, I made it to the restaurant, finally! The spot for the night was 10 Center Street,, and it was great! The place is the type of upscale rustic restaurant where you get what you pay for. The website claims this is a restaurant with "New American Cusine with French Flair," and this is certainly what you get. Fresh, hearty plates with an emphasis on cream and protein, the food here is French lite, with strong New England sensibility.
The waitstaff are very professional, gracious and relaxed, while swift and attentive. We were seated within seconds, and enjoying a cocktail within minutes. We sat upstairs in the rustic and cozy yet grand dining room, with lots of dark, character rich exposed brick, long family style tables and more intimate seating options. Our table was right next to a roaring fire, which was uber-comfy and a bit romantic too (hehe). To start, I enjoyed my favorite cocktail, a Greyhound, or fresh squeezed Grapefruit Juice and Vodka, and it was delish there (they made a great one, but not the best, for that, go to Sonny’s in Portland, ME)

Here is a picture of the upstairs dinning room, from the restaurant's website.

For starters, my date and I enjoyed a dozen oysters and I devoured a Caesar Salad, which was perfection dressed with Radicchio, and white anchovies, normal anchovies more refined cousin. It was sooo good I could eat it everyday. For my entrée, I chose the Lobster Mac & Cheese, with English Peas and aged cheddar cheese. It was so tasty I could almost overlook the massive portion I got. This was enough for a family of four to eat and possibly have seconds, it was ridiculous. My date had the “Herb-Encrusted Organic Statler Chicken Breast,” served with the Incan grain Quinoa and pumpkin risotto, it was healthy and rich simultaneously and since I managed to grab a bite, I can say with certainty that it was very tasty too.

This was a nice, rich, and expensive meal, and because of this, I figured dessert was in order. We shared a Creme Burlee, which was ok, but I should have had something chocolate because who was I kidding, I needed some. The meal was filling, delicious and gourmet, and what else would someone need? Maybe one more Greyhound, but no, I was satisfied.

It was still raining when I left Newburyport that evening, but for some reason I didn’t mind the drive home as much. A belly full of really good food may have helped. And the date, that was pretty nice too. So, rating time? Yessah! This is a 4 Fork place, because the food is on a caliber that impresses but the prices gouge a little bit while you eat. But, as I always say, you get what you pay for, and if you want good food, you gotsta spend some green, yo! (Or be prepared to spend a little on quality)  

Words for the day? But of course…

Christmas is coming and this goose is getting fat. Why wait to start your New Years Resolution on New Years day? Mine this year is look all Arnold Schwarzenegger-ish by beach time (but without the governator implications). And I also intend to enjoy many good meals in the coming year, so I had better start the gym membership now, just to get a head start. Moderation is a good word people, use it (in moderation).


  1. Love the new changes, and a little envious of your recent feast (mouth is watering as we speak)!

    Merry Christmas!

  2. Thanks hun! I'm glad you like the changes, and the writing :)

    Merry Christmas to you too!