There is never a shortage of things to do or restaurants to try in the city. Within a mile of my apartment there are easily over a hundred restaurants I think. Venturing a bit further than a mile (okay, maybe 1.3 miles) - I had read about this wine and local food tasting at a local wine shop in Somerville, up by Ball Square. Ball Square Fine Wines is over by Tufts on Broadway Street (716 Broadway to be specific). I grabbed a new coworker friend of mine and we made the trip over to check the event out. They have a "tasting bar" every Friday night where they let shoppers sample different wines being highlighted each week. I'm not sure that this alone would've gotten me there, but they had this special tasting going on a couple weeks ago where they also had local restaurants coming in to let guests sample their along with the wine and beer they were sampling. Now that caught my eye! And I'll be honest - I remember the name of the restaurants, but could not tell you the name of the wines they were sampling for anything. They had a white and a red (in addition to 2 or 3 different organic beers), but neither my friend or I loved them. The white was too sweet and the red too dry, in my opinion.
True Bistro (1153 Broadway St), known for their vegan menu (they also offer gluten free and nut free menus). I was pleasantly surprised - and they were sampling 4 or 5 different dishes from their menu: black bean and plantain torte, tempe and walnut pate, vegan brownies (yum!), a homemade cheese that was made out of some sort of nut (I still don't really understand how that works) and maybe one other dish. The tasting definitely inspired me to try out the restaurant, though I don't think I'll be going vegan anytime soon - it would make my cooking much more challenging and I love my milk!!
The second restaurant offering samples was Ronnarong Thai Tapas Bar (255 Washington St), which really excited me as I've been meaning to get to this place for a while now. Combining Thai food and small tastes of dishes to share with friends - sounds like a great idea to me! They offered 2 different dishes over brown rice (I think), with lots of vegetables and delicious sauces - and underneath all the spiciness that burned my sensitive palate I could tell this place would be good. On their website you can see that they grow their own chilies right at the restaurant - maybe that explains the serious spice.
And while we're talking about Ball Square - I'll remind you that this is also the same area as Sound Bites - the breakfast review you might've seen on here from last weekend. I may be coming back to this area soon! Also in the area: Lyndell's Bakery (supposedly the best moon pie cookies around), Yak and Yeti - read a review for their great Nepalese food and the breakfast place next door - Ball Square Cafe.