Random eats [MA: Belmont, Concord, Andover; Providence RI]

I’ve been guilty of eating out and not reporting back thinking, “not worth reporting back” or “I don’t have time.” Family health issues and work have been taking precedence but I need to continue doing things that make me happy…such as participating in this board.

A few random recent restaurant visits that I can remember:

The Wellington, Belmont
We went some time ago, not long after they opened their doors. The space is cool and the staff was friendly but we were underwhelmed by the food and the relatively large prices. I remember very little from the meal, except for a decent short rib special. I do remember stingy wine pours (to the point that I mentioned it to our server, especially compared to the glasses going to other tables). This mama needs her wine! This is based on one visit so this serves as a reminder to myself to return.

Sorrento’s Pizza, West Concord
Located at the train depot (and very close to 80 Thoreau, a place we’ve enjoyed on our one visit many moons ago). Dear friends of ours just moved to Monument Square and invited us over for a housewarming pizza/wine+beer party. Grabbed a few adult pizzas (some with artichoke, whole anchovies, olives, etc) and wine at the shop across the street. The cheese pizzas went over very well with the kids. This lovely family are wonderful cooks but with a newborn and 2 other kids, Sorrento’s has become a regular rotation kind of place. And no wonder - the pizza was quite good. Looks like there is an Acton location as well.

Malted Barley, Providence RI
A place that B and I both really like. After a long few days spent at RI Hospital and at home with mom, I asked mom to drop me off downtown a little early so I could knock around my old haunts. Malted Barley was my last stop before grabbing my train back to Boston and it was as good as ever. I wanted just a snack so an everything pretzel with spinach/artichoke dip and a well-paired malbec were in order. Man, do I love their pretzels!

Oak and Iron Taproom, Andover MA
We stopped in this past Sunday after an awesome but chilly Trustees event at Ward Reservation. Neat space in a mill building but smaller than I expected. Sadly, the beers were not to our taste. The Bavarian pretzel came straight out of the oil and way greasy. Poutine was tasty, though. We don’t regret checking it out and it paired nicely with our visit to Ward (and the nearby Whole Foods afterwards). The small patio outside I imagine would be quite pleasant in the warmer months.

Other places we’ve visited recently: Bukowski’s, Cambridge (we didn’t know about the reboot by Brian Poe…we kinda miss the vibe of the old place; our food was good but had some bun failures…makes me wonder about what has happened to the Boston location); Commune Kitchen, Arlington (yes, still really good); Oscar’s, Dedham (a new favorite place); PJ Ryan’s, Somerville (an old favorite place that is still putting out delicious food).



Taking care of your family and yourself is always the most important thing, of course. Gotta have the right priorities.

That said I am always delighted to read your reports! You inspire me to go out and try new spots.


As always, a very enjoyable read, thanks for taking the time! Hope things settle down for you soon and favorably.


We’ve also some suprisingly decent pub meals at Town Tavern in Capitol Sq Arlington. The name keeps reminding me of Old Town Tavern from “Cheers,” which both dates me and makes me laugh.

I think there is some Asian presence in the kitchen based on some of the good dishes we’ve had (for example, “Mongolian” culotte in steamed Chinese-style buns). But I’m too shy to ask if the cook is Asian (don’t ask me why…it’s a weird Asian thing).