Andover is a fairly upscale town, and I've had some quite nice meals, although there was some disappointment. Monday night was a trip to Bertucci's, one of a regional chain of Italian diners. The menu didn't have a lot of vegetarian choices, so I had an eggplant parma with a side of spinach. Neither was good, with the eggplant having tough skin and a mushy mouthfeel and the spinach was drowned in butter.
Tuesday was dinner with my manager and the main sponsor of my project at a French bistro called Cassis. The goat cheese and wild mushroom torte was a brilliant appetizer, with a delicate crust and a tart salad. The server had the kitchen make a vegetable plate for me from the side dishes of the other items, and it was quite good, with roasted tomato, cous cous, and braised root vegetables. My dining companions had various meaty things and French wine, and the total bill was over $200; I'm glad I get to turn in expenses.
Wednesday was quite nice. Annelies came out on the train with her friend Andrew, and we met Alicia, Andrew's girlfriend, for a dinner at Mootone, a Japanese restaurant adjacent to the train station. My miso soup was quite tasty as was the green salad with ginger dressing; the tempura vegetables were large and well coated, and it would have been nice to have had a knife to cut them into smaller pieces for sharing. I had an asparagus roll and a pickled radish roll, and both were nicely prepared, delicious to both the eye and tongue. I got to try a few pieces of Ani's sour plum and mint roll, which had an unexpectedly strong flavor; she didn't like it, but I thought it might merit an occasional order. After dinner, we ventured down Main Street to a mini-golf course where we shot 18 holes and then had delicious roadside stand ice cream.
This evening, I joined a group of co-workers for another expense account dinner, this time at Glory, a restaurant and lounge on a downtown Andover side street. My appetizer was one of the favorite things I've tried on this trip, an heirloom tomato and mozerella salad with a wonderful vinaigrette dressing. Everything tasted crisp and fresh and the portion size was quite large. My main dish was potato gnocci, a quite delicious pasta dish served with summer squash slivers and grated cheese. It was followed by a plate of sorbets; they were nice, but I preferred the ice cream from the previous night.
I've really been doing a lot more than eating, but I can't tell you about that part :) Things have been going well, though, and I feel like I won't be leaving too many loose threads over the weekend while I'm out running around New England.
My flight back to Austin in early Monday, with me getting into Bergstrom about 11:30AM after a Dallas connection. I think I'll be living on tomato and cucumber salad next week to make up for the rich living while on the corporate dole. In my defense, most of those places weren't my idea, although it's not taken a lot of arm twisting to get me to come along either :)