May 4th, 2008

Kitchen face lift

 

Someone recently said to me, “I would love to see your kitchen. I bet it’s amazing.” It’s true; you would think that given my love of all things food (buying it, cooking it, eating it, going out for it and blogging about it.) I would have a fantastic kitchen. But the sad truth is my kitchen is sorely inadequate. Despite the fact that our home is 3 times larger than our previous house, the kitchen is 75% the size with barely any counter space. I had to annex another room for storing my All-Clad and a six foot butcher block counter. The stove is strangely situated in an alcove, which means it is dark and I have scotched the wall from high temperature cooking. The paint is cream and chipping, the counters are grey-flecked Formica, the floor is a tan laminate pattern, the lighting is institutional florescent and lastly the cabinets are also Formica, off white with grey veins running through it. Sound ugly enough yet? Then on the other end of the spectrum, I have my beautiful appliances (thank you, Yale), all stainless steel including my lovely double oven. There’s my Kitchen Aid mixer which is the flagship of my small appliances. My All-Clad addiction has garnered me quite a collection, as well as Dutch ovens of various sizes from Le Creuset. The Shun knifes are also glorious. It’s like Sur la Table threw up on a Salvation Army kitchen.

 

When we moved in 2 years ago, we agreed to a five year plan. We would live in it for five years before embarking on a massive remodel. The kind of remodel that takes twice as long as the contractor estimates (and probably costs twice as much, also). I want to knock down walls and create a gynormous kitchen. It will have hardwood floors, custom cabinets, granite counter tops, an island with a special marble top for pastry work, a two sinks (one farmhouse style and a smaller one in the island for prep work, a Viking stove with 6 burners, a griddle/grill and a separate induction area (maybe even a deep fryer?). I want at least two ovens, and maybe a pizza oven, too. The kitchen will be the crown jewel of the house.

 

But with all the other work that needs to be done to the house (roofing work, masonry, etc. etc.) the five year plan is looking like a ten year plan and I can’t stand to look at the kitchen as is any longer. So, we embarked on a simple cosmetic makeover for the kitchen. We are painting the walls yellow (Benjamin Moore’s yellow rain coat, to be exact), the cabinet doors are blue (Nantucket fog) and the ceiling and trim are just white. We also got new knobs and a new light fixture. The first coat of yellow is up and the cabinet doors are all done. The walls look great and I can’t wait till we hang the doors back up.

 

Anyways, the result of all this is that I haven’t had a kitchen since Friday and have been doing lots of eating out, so lots to post about!

Pescatore Seafood, Somerville

Pescatore is a small seafood restaurant in Ball square that opened up last summer. I imagined it to be similar to Moulton’s in Medford (http://gltsoi.livejournal.com/18288.html ), an inexpensive, but good restaurant you can hit without a reservation and wearing paint splattered clothing. It turned out to be a little nicer than I anticipated (tablecloths, linen napkins and nice, cozy décor (only 8 tables). We shared a Fisherman’s platter (fish, clams, scallops, calamari, onion strings and fries) and a fettuccine Bolognese.

 

The bread basket was Iggy’s Francese and came with a generous plate of olives in a fruity EVOO. The platter came first and it was fantastic. The problem with most Fishermen’s platters is that it’s a lot of fried food and you usually feel gross by the end of it. This platter was not greasy at all; the scallops were sweet, the shrimp was plump, the calamari was tender and the fish was excellent, probably the best fish in a Fishermen’s platter I’ve ever had. The clams were only okay. This may be my favorite Fishermen’s platter.

 

The fettuccine Bolognese was awful, but I almost feel like it’s my fault for ordering it. The pasta was homemade and good enough, but the sauce was bland and the meat was almost gritty. Steve (who shares my love of the Bolognese at Sweet Basil) and I just had a conversation last week about how there is no point in ordering it anywhere else, because it is never as good. Perhaps I just need to make a Declaration of Bolognese and vow to never order anywhere other than Sweet Basil.

 

But despite the awful pasta, I was impressed enough by the platter that I do want to come back. Next time, I’ll stick to the seafood dishes.

 

Pescatore Seafood

158 Boston Ave.

Somerville, Ma

617-623-0003

 

Here’s a review from the Globe:

 

http://www.boston.com/ae/food/restaurants/articles/2007/10/25/a_seafood_find_in_somerville/

Fuddruckers and Richardson’s ice cream, Reading.

While we were waiting for the ceiling paint to dry, R and I went to Jordan’s furniture in Reading to look at mattresses. If you have never been to Jordan’s, you should check it out. It’s the most bizarre furniture experience you will ever have. It’s like a theme park with couches and tables. There’s a trapeze school, an elaborate water fountain show and an IMAX theater. There’s also Fuddrucker’s and Richardson’s for food. As far as chains go, Fudderucker’s isn’t half bad; they will cook your burger to order on a buttered toasted bun. The toppings bar has lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickle, salsa and peppers.  It’s not Bartley’s, but if you’re at Jordan’s, it’s not a bad choice.

 

The ice cream at Richardson’s is pretty good. They have a huge assortment of flavors and they scoop out enormous servings. I had a “small” with peach and totally turtle (vanilla with caramel, brownies and cashews) and it was probably two-thirds of a pint of ice cream. R had Almond Joy and mint chocolate chip. All the flavors were good. We sat, ate our ice cream and watched the people on the trapeze.