Craving in New England: Spice, Raw, Fresh, Warm

Here are some of the dishes I’m craving right now. These are all things I have delved into lately.

Mushrooms

I love mushrooms all year but especially in the winter. The earthy umami flavour and toothsome texture of mushrooms are hearty, cozy and comforting. These are some gorgeous mushrooms from the winter farmer’s market in Concord, NH that I came across during a recent mom and daughter getaway to Concord.

Here are just a few things I love to make with mushrooms:

  • Concord, NH Winter Market
  • 7 Eagle Square, Concord, NH
  • Saturdays from 10 am to 1 pm
  • Mexican Steak

    Moving on from the meatiness of mushrooms to actual red meat, I have been craving this Bisteak à la Mexicana ever since I first tried it at El Potro. I have since been back for it again and always get two meals out of it. My son and daughter also fight over the leftovers so last time we got two orders to bring an entire one home.

    The sauce for this steak is completely addictive. It has heat but mostly flavour. My son who doesn’t tend to like spicy food loves it as much as I do. I think the sweetness of the tomatoes offset the spice

    El Potro

    61 Union Sq
    Somerville, MA

    Other locations: Malden, Chelsea, Lowell

    Salt & Fat

    Salt and fat are like magic when they hang out together. The ultimate salt and fat combos that I have been craving since a recent trip to Portland, Maine was butter and bottarga. I have been fantasizing about one more bite of the bottarga and butter toast for several months now!

    This is so crave worthy it hurts! I love the The Shop by Island Creek Oysters and am glad it’s a few hours away or I would probably be there daily.

    Another delicious buttery bit of goodness that I am craving is a great croissant. When I’m home my 1st stop for a croissant is always Praliné. In Portland though I had these beauties and they were perfection.

    Croissants at Bellville

    These are from Belleville:

  • Belleville * 1 North Street * Portland, Maine 04101
    • Tuesday – 7 AM – 3 PM
    • Wednesday – 7 AM – 3 PM
    • Thursday – 7 AM – 3 PM & 5 PM – 9 PM
    • Friday – 7 AM – 3 PM & 5 PM – 9 PM
    • Saturday – 8 AM – 3 PM & 5 PM – 9 PM
    • Sunday – 8 AM – 3 PM
    • Closed Monday

    The Shop by Island Creek Oysters

    123 Washington Ave Portland , ME 04101 

     207-699-4466

    • Sunday: 11am – 8pm
    • Monday: Closed
    • Tuesday: Closed
    • Wednesday: 11am – 8pm
    • Thursday: 11am – 8pm
    • Friday: 11am – 9pm
    • Saturday: 11am – 9pm

    Raw

    In addition to raw oysters I need the occasional sushi meal and crudo. I have a couple favourite spots for sushi and one go to place for crudos that I crave.

    Lunch at Café Sushi.

    The sushi I dream of is from (newly renovated space) Café Sushi in Cambridge if I want seasonal, respectfully sourced, fresh, and perfectly on point sushi. If I want an equally delicious meal but on a smaller budget, I’ll head to Fish Market. They are my favourite lunch spot for sushi. Also excellent is Sugidama in Davis Square and I can get my soba fix too. For fun cocktails and a generous meal of sushi and cooked dishes as well as familiar favourites like General Tso’s or Kung Pao chicken then I head to Fuji (at Assembly Row or at Ink Block).

    Crudo at Bar Mezzana

    Sushi at Fuji

    Warm

    Okay so the weather is having mood swings but we have had plenty of cold days and that has me craving warm food. Isabelle and I enjoyed this perfect mac and cheese in Concord, NH at O Steak and Seafood. Find an excuse to go to Concord (I have plenty here from markets to outlets) and order the mac and cheese.

    Also in New Hampshire but this time on the way to Portsmouth we found the best poutine. Stop here on your way home from skiing in Maine or on your way to Portland maybe? We were bold and had it for breakfast at Native Coffee + Kitchen in Hampton, NH.

    If you want heat and spice then you have to stop at Kittery for some spicy noodles at Anju Noodle Bar. I got the braised eggplant and it is melt in your mouth crave-worthy.

    If you want sweet and hot then stop at Commune Kitchen in Arlington for this Campfire tartine or get a delicious savory tartine or pizza and top it off with an extravagant hot chocolate.

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