Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Restaurant Review - Bergamot (Somerville, MA)

This is the first restaurant review I am publishing on my blog. Though I do write reviews regularly on Trip Advisor and Yelp, I haven't done this before on my blog. I have been planning to do this for some time, but it just didn't happen. Most of it were because the pictures did not turn out to be that great. Restaurants around dinner time are mostly  dimly lighted to keep the proper ambiance; so getting a nice and clear shot is not always possible. But as they say, everything has a beginning, so here it goes!

This Monday we went to Bergamot for dinner. A few months back we bought a Groupon offer of theirs for a 7-course Chef's Tasting menu for two. Finally we decided to reserve a table for us this week. They don't take OpenTable reservations for tasting menu (since it takes longer, about 2.5 hours for this), so we called them much in advance to put us on the list. They run pretty busy on any day, and getting a table on the weekends is not that easy. The groupon said, the dinner was French, but we later found out that the restaurant is more American. The dinner menu items were not pure French, but more of the American-French style; you can even consider them as a fusion type; they even served a Korean style skirt steak entrée. The portions were obviously small (as all upscale French restaurants do), but by the time you finish dinner, you will be full. The restaurant ambiance was casual and was dimly lighted. Please excuse the grainy pictures; there was insufficient ambient light, so I had to bump up the ISO.

Complimentary Bread
This was the usual complimentary fare and it tasted real good!

We had 3 drinks that evening-

Chambéry Gimlet & Beacon FIx

And Paper Plane

Samosa-potato filled fried spring roll with fruit chutney
This was another complimentary item served to us. It tasted like an authentic samosa would, specially the chutney was superb!

Roasted Beets
We loved this item; the beets were succulent and the seed crackers were a perfect balance to the plate.

Bean Salad
This tasted okay; nothing special as such.

I loved this item. They served it over a bed of rich parsley sauce.


Mahi Mole
This dish was not that good, rather it tasted mediocre. The fish was dry, chewy and tasted bland. However, the elements of the dish was an interesting choice.

Korean-Style Grilled Short Rib
The grilled beef was good; probably if they cooked it a bit less (more pink in the middle), it would have been great.

Peach Panna Cotta served with Blueberries
This dessert was made very nice. The blueberries were perfectly balancing it.

Vanilla bean Ice-Cream with Charred Cherry Sauce
This was my favorite item on the menu for the evening.

They served Coconut Macaroons with the check. These were yum!

This seven course dinner is actually $75/person. But we payed $70 total for two; so I won't be complaining, specially since Bergamot was in my list of go to restaurants for quite some time now. I will say, Bergamot is definitely worth a visit. We enjoyed our evening there.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Jute Leaf Fritters / Paat Patar Bora (পাট পাতার বড়া)

For the first time in US, I found fresh jute leaves/paat pata (পাট পাতা) stocked at a Bangladeshi store. I have many sweet nostalgia related with paat pata. I was so happy that I did not even think twice but bought a few bunches. My first longing was to make paat patar bora (পাট পাতার বড়া) or jute leaf fritters. It has been ages since I had tasted any; I don't even remember when I had one last time. These fritters are served hot and crispy just like pakoras; it goes well as an afternoon snack or you can serve it along with rice and dal. We snacked on it with our afternoon tea; it was a treat to taste it after such a long time!

Jute Leaf / Paat pata - 1 Bunch
Gram Flour / Besan - 1 Cup
Rice Flour (চালের গুড়ো)  - 5 Tbsp
Chili Powder - According to Taste
Salt - According to Taste
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 Tsp
Kalo Jeera / Nigella Seed - 1/4 Tsp
Oil for Frying

Preparation:Use only the leaves and discard the stems.
Wash the jute leaves properly, drain and leave aside for a while until it's dry.
Mix all the dry ingredients (except jute leaves) together.
Add enough water to make a thick paste.
Heat oil in a kadhai or pan for deep frying.
Take 3-4 leaves together, coat it well in the gram flour mixture.
Now drop it in the hot oil and deep fry it on a medium heat.
Fry till both side turns light brown in color.
Serve hot.