Ten Tables

Weekly Dish Recommendation By Julia Burgi

Ten Tables in Cambridge, Massachusetts seeks to be more than a restaurant and bar - it is part of the neighborhood in community. From the service to the locally-oriented menu, this is successfully achieved.

There are tasting menus, an extensive wine list, creative cocktails, and a great selection of foods that draw from the diverse American heritage. One of the standout menu items is their pasta with a cream sauce. The pasta at Ten Tables is house-made and you can definitely tell; the care put into it is makes for delicious, silky strands of pasta. The cream sauce is laden with mushrooms and squash, making it rich and flavorful. This dish is a satisfying option for vegetarians and meat eaters alike.

Leave some room for the desserts. The house-made ice cream is another highlight with exotic flavors such as basil, and goes well with the accompaniment of a salty chocolate terrine.

Ten Tables is located at 5 Craigie Circle in Cambridge, Massachusetts near Boston.

Hasaki Sushi Providing Relief To Japan

Dish Recommendation By Julia Burgi

In the wake of the terrible disaster in Japan, it is on the mind of many New Yorkers to help out with the crisis relief abroad. Bon Yagi, the owner of Hasaki Sushi had the same idea. He brought together Hasaki, a hidden gem in the East Village of New York City, the 10 other restaurants that he owns, and partnered with other restaurants, to provide relief to Japan. Even though Dine Out for Japan Relief campaign ended on March 30th, the restaurant is still a great place to enjoy a steaming bowl of Miso Soup.

It is one street north of the busy St. Mark's, filled with souvenir, tattoo, and piercing shops, and has the ambiance of the calm of a storm. Your experience begins with the descent on a barely noticeable staircase to an antiqued wooden doorway that takes you to the hostess' stand.

One of my favorite parts about going out for sushi is the Miso soup - even on the hot days, there is no better way to start a meal at a Japanese restaurant. I love the variety you get around the country and especially in New York City.

I start my meal out with a green tea, which has an uncanny depth at Hasaki. Next is the miso soup, a star in and of itself. It is always served in a geometric black bowl with a red interior and matching top to keep it warm before it reaches your table. As you lift the top, a savory, salty smell rises with the steam. The translucent red soup is filled with tiny, juicy cubes of tofu and tasty strips of seaweed. The flavor is more intense than your average miso, with a subtle smokiness and distinct heartiness.

As far as sushi goes, I trust the chef's choice. The fish here is fresh, tender, and full of flavor. If you're in for an after-dinner treat, order the coffee which is brewed in a contraption straight out of a 19th century scientist's lab!

Hasaki is located at 210 E. 9th Street in New York City.

Beef Carpaccio Topped With Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil, Arugula and Parmesan

Weekly Dish Recommendation By Julia Burgi

Add some color to your weekend with glowingly red Beef Carpaccio topped with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, arugula and Parmesan. The way this dish is served at Fig & Olive in New York's trendy Meatpacking distract is a treat for your eyes and taste buds to witness!

The finely sliced strips of tender, raw beef are topped with an aged 18-year-old balsamic vinegar and truffle olive oil. Each of the flavors plays off of the others for a true medley in your mouth. The peppery arugula adds a welcome extra dimension, augmenting the texture of the beef. Topped with shaved Parmesan, there is an exquisite addition of a saltiness to round the dish off.

While Fig & Olive's proposal of Mediterranean cooking using a distinctive oil in each dish may sound gimmicky, the food is far from a mere ploy for attention. The menu is expertly crafted so that the oils rarely take your full attention, but are contributing forces in pleasing your palate.

To read about Fig & Olive's multiple locations and menu offerings, check out their website.

Poleppte Infilzate at Regional

After a long week and a cold walk, nothing says "I love you" to your body like little balls of protein and flavor. These spiced veal treats, called Polpette Infilzate, are Sicilian and will warm your stomach and your soul. Served hot, the meatballs are a feast for the eyes too, skewered in between croutons and fried herbs. Another dimension of flavor is added by the parsley and oregano sauce pooled below that gives the dish a fresh and slightly citrusy tang.

Served at Regional, the Poleppte Infilzate are not the only delight available. They are an appetizer, an opening act to an array of stellar pasta and secondi courses. As a follow up, you won't be disappointed by the Pappardelle ai Funghi e Carciofi, from the Basilicata region of Italy, a sumptuous and creamy pasta dish with mushrooms and artichokes.

Regional is certainly a step above the average Italian eatery in New York and stands out even on the Upper West Side. The atmosphere is chic but relaxed. Regional is a perfect place for a good catch up with old friends over great food.

To check out the menu, go to Regional's website here.

Resto's Tete De Cochon Sandwich

Weekly Dish Recommendation By Jason Bell

Before Lent begins next week, get your fix of meat at Resto.  If your perfect Saturday night involves an acute case of the meat sweats, check out Resto's tete de cochon sandwich. Invented by former executive chef Ryan Skeen, now at Fish Tag, the tete de cochon produces dizzying spells of meat euphoria.

Smashed between slice of charred bread with sriracha mayo, pickled red onion, cilantro, and pickled carrot, the tete de cochon-aka pig's head-tastes like an absolute expression of savoriness. Dripping with fat-Resto's model is, after all, "bringing fat back"-the tete de cochon sandwich uses tat bitter charred bread to cut the grease. $12 nets a heaping helping of sandwich, almost more than one person could reasonably consume in one sitting. Almost.

For dessert, order Resto's pig's ear salad. A crunchy combo of carrot, squash, greens, buttermilk vinaigrette and ear, this salad takes the health out of "health food." Resto serves serious meat to not-so-serious diners, and is an appealing choice for weekend dinners.