A few weeks ago, we made the trek out to the Somerville Winter Market. It was Saturday, we were moving slowly (Steph may or may not have fallen into the slush in the Commons), so despite our best efforts we missed the hours when the market was in full swing. As we arrived, the dozens of winter farm vendors were packing up (insert sigh here), but fortunately for us Russ from Apotheker’s was still around, and with a giant thermos of hot cocoa, no less.
Last week, my collegiate partner-in crime introduced me to a fantastic North End spot, Parla. A far cry from the plethora of Italian tourist traps on Hanover, Parla offers a sophisticated menu of custom cocktails and small plates. Most interestingly, each cocktail is titled with a name from an evocative piece of literature. Despite not having been in an English class in several years now, I was happy to brush up on my skills.
Last weekend, we were lucky enough to meet up with Leigh of Nella Pasta during her demo at the new South End Whole Foods. If you don’t already know, Nella is a Boston-born line of raviolis with insane fillings. We’re talking something very different from the 99-cent bag you find in the bottom shelf at Shaw’s (hey, at least it’s not in a certain red can…). They combine seasonal vegetables (think Brussels sprouts, leeks, cauliflower, beets) and different cheeses and stuff them inside their signature fresh pasta. One of the best qualities of Nella is that these ravioli are intended to stand on their own. A little butter and olive oil is all you need, and you are ready to serve. In fact, having tried them with and without sauce, the simple version is much better. In the 20 minutes or so that we were with Leigh, we saw a good handful of people be converted to the Nella Pasta way – and we’re sure we won’t ever go back to the old stuff either.