Carlos and I broke our Valentine's Day tradition of having dinner at Machu Picchu restaurant in Somerville, MA by making a reservation at one of our favorite spots for fine dining, Beacon Grille. I was particularly excited about their exclusive Valentine's Day menu especially their Aztec Hot Chocolate drink.
Joyce who handles the social media for Beacon Grille took our reservation request through Twitter @BeaconGrille . We even got to ask for Michael our favorite server! Awesome people, food and service keeps us coming back to this place.
We pored over the menus, wanting to chose everything but noting that we were on a budget too.
We were starving by the time we got there so we quickly devoured the complimentary basket of warm bread rolls, crackers and whipped butter.
Our meal began with a kiss! In the form of a drink. First Kiss cocktail consisted of Prosecco, St. Germain and raspberry puree. It wasn't too sweet and they strained the seeds from the raspberries which I very much appreciated. The drink went down very easily and we had three before we realized what was going on!
For an appetizer, we chose the Valentine's Day special Chicken Ginger Pot Stickers. The flavors going on in this appetizer were strong. If you are not used to strong Asian flavors, you might be taken aback. The pot stickers were nice and hot and crispy and you could definitely taste the sesame oil they were fried in. The sauce was a delicious jalapeno-cilantro dip but I could taste the soy sauce and cilantro more than I could the jalapeno. It definitely wasn't spicy and while it wasn't all that great too look at, the sauce was deeeelicious.
I convinced Carlos to get one of the Weekly Specials which was a Terikyaki Glazed Sirloin steak which came with Jasmine rice and he swapped out the broccoli rabe for sauteed green beans. Oh man. He gave me a couple of pieces of his steak and it was so incredibly delicious. They butterfly the steak so the sauce covers more of the meat. When you chew the steak it it melts in your mouth! I really wish I had ordered that for myself.
I got the Roasted Vegetable Ratatouille, a regular item on the Beacon Grille menu which I've had before and enjoyed. It comes with penne, eggplant, yellow squash, zucchini, red pepper, onion and a delicious sauce and is served with grated parmesan over the top. I picked this plate for several reasons. I really wanted to enjoy the appetizers and desserts so I didn't want to go overboard on calories or price, I needed something that I could reheat as leftovers for lunch the next day and also this was a dish I had tried before and really enjoyed. I ate half of my dish and asked for the rest to be boxed up for me.
Our server Michael, whom we've raved about before, folded Carlos' napkin for him when Carlos had left the table for a moment. Michael is a great server because of his attention to detail, his years of experience, his attentiveness to his customers, his knowledge of the menu and his friendly demeanor.
For dessert, we tried the Valentine's Day special Chocolate Pecan Tart which came with a bourbon creme anglaise, chantilly cream and powdered sugar. It was delicious but we really needed a knife to cut into it and we didn't have one on hand. It would have been better as a slice of a larger tart, mini tarts or a pre-sliced small tart. Some of the chunks of tart went flying off our plate when we tried to break off pieces with our fork. While it tasted just fine, we wished we had gone with Michael's recommendation of the White Chocolate Crepe. (Note: I went off my "no baked goods" rule just for this one special night).
Finally, it was time for the Aztec Hot Chocolate. I reluctantly had to share one with Carlos who gave me much grief about how strong it was alcoholic-wise. I'm a weakling when it comes to alcohol and I was already buzzing from all those First Kisses. The Aztec Hot Chocolate was served warm in a glass mug (which is my favorite way to drink hot beverages). Michael was nice enough to get us two straws. The drink consisted of dark Taza chocolate, aged dark rum and three spices: cardamom, cinnamon, and Ancho chili. It had a thick cream on top which was slightly salted. That extra touch made the drink all that more special. It was worth it but I kind of wish I had gotten my own. Carlos' bad attitude soured my enjoyment.
That's Michael on the right. Shhh. Don't tell him that he ended up in one of my pictures.
At the end of the meal, patrons at Beacon Grille were handed a single long-stem rose which I thought was a nice touch.
Here I am with the rose, giving Carlos the evil-eye for ruining my Hot Chocolate experience. Overall, we had another amazing night at Beacon Grille. Thanks to Michael, Joyce and everyone at Beacon Grille who made our Valentine's Day dinner a special event.