Category Archives: Brighton

Petit Robert Bistro

I went to Petit Robert Bistro in Brighton to celebrate my graduation with my dad and Judy (his girlfriend). For those of you who do not know, I graduated this past Saturday from Northeastern University and I know have a Master of Education in Higher Education Administration! I am finally done with school…for a while at least!
The thing I really liked about this place is that the entire meal was an experience. We tried new and different things (well I’ve had all these before, but not here and prepared differently). We were not rushed, and our entire meal lasted about 1 ½ – 1 ¾ hours.
Excellent service, very polite and friendly. Our waiter was very attentive without being too disruptive. He was very knowledgeable about the menu, gluten free options and wine pairings.
We started with three appetizers. The first was the Escargot with a pesto-type sauce. I loved it. Sometimes escargot is served with too much garlic, but this one had just the right amount of garlic, swimming in pools of butter. If you are not a fan of butter, I would be ware as they are not afraid to use butter here!

We also had the Sliced Red Beet and Soft Goat Cheese Salad. Delicious, one of my new favorite menu items to order out. This one was delicious!  And the Steamed Mussels Marinière in a White Wine and Shallots Sauce. The mussels were good, but white wine sauce could have used a little more flavoring. Big portion.

All sauces are thickened with cornstarch, not flour, which is great for us!! This made ordering so much easier! We were also given the choice to substitute any sides we wanted (i.e. the noodles on the chicken dish). Almost all entrees come with sides, so before you order any sides a la carte, double check with the waiter first.
We ordered 3 different entrees, but ultimately ended up sharing everything, which was fun! I ordered the Beef Short Rib Bourguignon and Roasted Potato. The beef was not as tender as one would expect beef short ribs to be served, but the sauce was incredible, a little on the salty side. It had a stew like feeling when I ate it, but not so thick and served with vegetables as well. I ended up taking half of this home and had it for dinner the next night.

Judy ordered the Chicken Coq-au-vin (Chicken with wine) It was tender and moist, and we all loved the sauce – butter and red wine, with such richness; the flavors shined thru on this one.

My dad had the Sautéed Scallops over Mushroom Risotto. The scallops were cooked to perfection. I love risotto. This one was a little bland and not very creamy. The lack of creaminess I liked, but it could have used more seasoning and mushrooms. This was the smallest dish of the three, which tends to happen with scallops.

For dessert we had the Vanilla Crème Brûlée, which was rich and creamy with a perfect-torched sugar topping, but I did not taste the ‘vanilla’ aspect. It tasted like a regular crème brulee, it was still good, don’t get me wrong, but it was missing the “vanilla”.

The Mousse au Chocolat (Chocolate Mousse) was just so so. It had a good texture and it is more chocolaty than sweet. I’ve decided not to order Chocolate Mousse anymore, because I am always dissatisfied.

My favorite dessert by far was the Chocolate and tangerine ice cream. This was the best ice cream I have ever had!! I don’t know how they did it, but the tangerine flavor was infused into the chocolate ice cream. It was so refreshing and delicious! I highly recommend this!

I’ve heard that the food at the other locations – South End and Kenmore – is much better. I wasn’t disappointed with our meal, but I wasn’t blown away either. If I go back, it would be to one of the other locations.
Free Valet. 3 other locations: South End, Kenmore Square and Needham.
Location: 1414 Commonwealth Avenue
Brighton, MA 02134

Tasca

I LOVE TAPAS!

I fell in love with Spain after I spent a semester in Valencia. 3 of my favorite things are tapas, paella, and sangria!! Tasca is right around the corner from me and I am a frequent visitor. I love going with a few people, 2 or 3, and ordering a variety of different tapas. I say 2 or 3 people, because if there were more I definetly would not be able to have seconds of my favorite tapas!
Now I do have to say the Sangria here is a little fruity than in Spain but much much much better than most places in Boston that use way too much fruit juice. Also, make sure to ask for the $5 pitchers!! (And $5 bottles of wine on some nights) This is a little secret not everybody knows about.

I love the atmosphere here, its dark, rustic and romantic, reminds me of being in Spain. 

So let’s see what haven’t I eaten here? …..

First, bring your own dinner rolls. They serve a bread basket with an amazing white bean spread. I’ve eaten by the spoonfuls when I forget my gf bread, it’s that good! It is also accompained by a small plate of fresh Spanish olives, makes me feel like I’m back in Valencia.

The Gambas al ajilo (Sizzling garlic shrimp)  served in a mini skillet and is still sizziling when it arrives at the table. Great flavor but tiny shrimp, even though there were a lot.

I also love the Atun salteado – perfectly prepared slices of rare peppered yellow-fin tuna over a mixed bean ragout in a saffron Dijon ailoi. Not a big fan of the beans but the tuna melts in your mouth.

The duck confit is a stand out. It is a small, petite duck breast and legs that are so juicy and moist, very well seasoned, with a nice size portion of a cider-spiced red cabbage and apples.

Two of my all time favorite Spanish tapas, and staples all across Spain, are the Tortilla Espanola (Spanish Omelette) and Patatas Bravas (fried potatoes in a spicy tomato and garlic aioli. Not the ”Omelette” is nothing like the American omelette. It is full or potatoes and onions and about 3 inches thick.

I could go on and on about every dish, but I won’t, I will leave some surprises for you. In addition to the tapas I just raved about I also recommend:
– Jamon Serran and Queso Manchego (Cured Spanish Ham and Cheese)
– Steas Ronan (portabella mushrooms)
– Solomillo
– Brie a la plancha (baked brie, apples and raisin chutney – also one of my favorites)
– Mejillones (mussels) Very Typical of Spain
– Salmon ahumado (smoked salmon – again, I loved this)

For entrees I’ve tried the Grilled Salmon, cooked to perfection but a little too much sauce, I would ask for it on the side if that is possible. Don’t get me wrong, it is good, just too much. And sauteed spinach is one of my least favorite things, and theirs is extra oily (gross). I’ve also tried their Paella, both the Seafood and Valencian style, which has chicken, chorizo and duck. I prefer the seafood over the meat, the chicken was a bit dry, but the Seafood Paella is out of this world, and huge portion sizes. I love it! Definetly have to get this, it’s even big enough to split, especially after eating all those tapas….

 Zarzuela de mariscos (top) and Sefood Paella

Other entrees I recommend:
-Pato asado (roast duck legs)
– Zarzuela de mariscos (seafood in a lobster-tomato broth, bring some bread for dipping!)

So by now you are thinking come on there has to be something she doesn’t like! And there is. I did not like the Patatas aioli, it’s just a fancy name for a potato salad with garlic mayonaise, onions and capers. Stick to the patatas bravas.

Also dissapointing was the Pulpo Gallega – octopus – a traditional dish from Galicia (Northwestern Spain). This was also one of my favorites in Spain and I was unimpressed by their version; it was a little undercooked and way too oily. I also did not like the Carne tartara (tatar of beef), even though my boyfriend loved it. Rare beef was never my thing anyways.

They also have a 3-course prix fixe “stimulus” deal that is very reasonably priced during the week.

Gluten Free Menu Items

  Ensalada Tasca                                                                                            
Organic greens, tomato, and olives tossed in a red wine vinaigrette. no crutons    
                                   
  Gazpacho   (Chilled piquant tomato and cilantro soup)   No Croutons                 

      Sopa del día        (Homemade soup of the day)   No Croutons                         

             
Pulpo a la Gallega                                                                                       
Octopus served on olive oil sautéed potatoes with smoked Spanish paprika
    
Patatas alioli                                                                                              
Potato salad with garlic mayonnaise, red onions and capers                  
Boquerones                                                                                                            
Marinated fresh Spanish white anchovy filets over tomatoes and red onion                         
 Jamon Serrano y Queso Manchego                                                               
Cured Spanish ham and shaved Manchego cheese, no tomato toasted crostinis                                         
Carne tártara                                                                                             
Tartar of beef tenderloin topped with a wild mushroom and shallot duxelle served with cornichons and chopped egg, no crostini                 
Setas Ronan                                                                                               
Roasted portabella mushrooms with shaved manchego, capers, red onion in a sherry
vinaigrette without roasted red pepper toasts        
    
Pincho de pollo y chorizo                                                                              
Grilled chicken and chorizo skewer with peppers and onion in a spicy chili sauce
Tortilla española                                                                                           
Traditional Spanish potato and onion omelet                                                
        
Gambas al ajillo                                                                                            
Sizzling shrimp in garlic with chili pepper                                            
        

      Asado de cerdo                                                                                             

Char grilled pork loin over a rosemary infused white bean ragout with mushrooms     
Patatas bravas                                                                                              
Fried cubed potatoes in a piquant tomato sauce and garlic aioli   
                                                                                               

Confít de pato                                                                                               
Fall off the bone succulent roasted duck leg served over braised red cabbage   &apples     
        
Solomillo                                                                                                  
Petit filet mignon (3oz) served without a red wine sauce with mushrooms     
                                                 

     Caracoles                                                                                                    

Escargots baked in traditional herbed garlic butter with cognac    
        
Carpaccio de atun                                                                                       
Sesame crusted pan seared tuna over a black bean & mango salsa with wasabi 
aioli 
      

    Atún salteado                                                                                          

    Peppered yellow-fin tuna over a mixed bean ragout in a saffron Dijon aioli     
  
     Brie a la plancha                                                                                                   
    Grilled imported Brie cheese with a homemade savory apple & raisin chutney 
    served without the grilled baguette                 
Mejillones                                                                                                  
Fresh mussels steamed in a white wine tomato broth with garlic and onion, served
without grilled herbed crostinis

      
       Salmón ahumado                                                                                         

Smoked salmon served on a potato pancake with red onion, capers & dill crème fraîche                    
Entrees
Bistec de ternera                                                                                                 
Grilled 12oz top filet steak over garlic mashed potatoes with a red wine jus and creamed spinach (no creamed spinach allowed!)  
Salmón a la plancha                                             
Grilled filet of salmon in a white wine basil sauce over spinach and mashed potato                                   
Paella de mariscos                                                                                                  
Shrimp, scallops, mussels & calamari with saffron rice cooked in a lobster broth (individual portion)
Filete de cerdo al rioja                                                                                         
Dijon mustard and herb crusted roasted pork tenderloin served with a mixed bean ragout and spinach over a scallion potato cake in a red wine shallot reduction     
Pollo al jerez                                                                                                          
Oven roasted boneless breast of chicken stuffed with chorizo, Manchego cheese and spinach without sherry mushroom sauce                                            
Pato asado                                                                                                            
Roast duck legs with braised red cabbage and apples over scallion mashed potato with blackberries  
Filete de buey                                                                                                     
Grilled 10oz Black Angus filet mignon over a scallion potato cake and vegetables no  cognac and green peppercorn sauce   
Zarzuela de mariscos                                                                                              
Shrimp, scallops, mussels & calamari in a zesty lobster and tomato broth without garlic toasted crostinis 
Paella Valenciana                                                                                                       
Chicken, chorizo and duckling in saffron rice with roasted red peppers and peas (individual portion)
    
Pescado del día                                                                                                      
Chef’s daily fresh fish special    (Check with manager about sauce/breading)     

Location: 1612 Commonwealth Avenue  Brighton, MA 02135. Green B line to Washington St. t Stop
Website: http://www.tascarestaurant.com/