Monthly Archives: February 2016

Alba Restaurant Quincy Discover Italy Wine Tour

Alba Restuarant  in Quincy invites you to savor a bit of Italy on Wednesday, March 2nd 2016 6-8pm   at their Discover Italy wine tasting. Alba's Restaurant Quincy  Italian Wine Tour in 10 Bottles

Atlas Liquors will be pouring ten different Italian wines from various regions showcasing a range of traditions, grape varietals and flavors. Appetizers will also be provided as you sip and find your favorite. Tickets are $39 per person, including tax and gratuity and the tasting begins at 6:00pm. To reserve a spot, call 617.376.2522.

About ALBA

The South Shore’s Premier Restaurant and Steak House.
Whether you’re looking for a casual meal or a special evening out, Alba offers the best of both worlds.  You can join us either in our spacious bar and lounge area, or the host would be happy to seat you in our classic, quiet and cozy dining room.  In the warmer months join us on our beautiful roof deck, complete with its own bar and plenty of seating.
Your experience here at Alba will include dry aged beef, fresh seasonal seafood paired with the South Shore’s largest and best priced wine list and delicious cocktails.

Here is some Swampie Buzz

Just want to start by saying the service here is impeccable. The staff thinks of every little thing you need or want BEFORE you can even think of it! Started with bread and butter, nothing exciting, just meh. I got a wedge salad that was fresh and delish. Definitely home made dressing, which was a plus. My husband got the surf and turf special. He said the lobster was amazing, yet the filet seemed under seasoned. I got the pasta bolognese, wouldn’t be my choice next time. It had an odd taste to it, I just can’t put my finger on what it was. Dessert was divine!  Definitely recommend for a wine and dine night out with your loves

ALBA Restaurant
1486 Hancock St, Quincy, Massachusetts 02169

Poppi’s Wine Sunday School Italian with Driftwood Publick House Plymouth

Join us for this fantastic Sunday School Wine Seminar  Italian  featuring Driftwood Publick House & Oysteria  at  Pioppi’s Package Store on Sunday February 28th 1-3pm

This Sunday School Wine Seminar will feature wines from Italy, a beautifully rustic menu from Driftwood Publick House & Oysteria. Niall McCallum a fan favorite here at Pioppi’s will be taking us on our journey though Italy via glass with a formal tasting and food pairing explanation.

Poppi's Wine Sunday School   Italian with Driftwood Publick House Plymouth

Fantastic wines, amazing food from local restaurants, top-rate speakers……

Our Sunday School classes begin in February and sell out quickly! Now in our 13th year, we continue to receive early requests and reservations for our growing seminar program. The best testament to our fun and informative wine classes is the fact that we sell out quickly, and our customers are eager to return every year. Our classes offer a variety of themes (regions, vineyards, varietals), and provide first-rate, wine knowledgeable speakers as well as amazing tasting menus from local restaurants. All classes are held at Pioppi’s Package Store from 1 P.M. until 3 P.M. includes a fabulous tasting menu paired with a sampling of wines.

$45 pp


183 Court Street (Benny’s Plaza)
Plymouth, MA 02360
Phone: 508-746-1943

Bridgewater Community Lions Chili Cook-off and Chowderfest 2016

The 5th  Annual Bridgewater Community Lions Chili Cook-off and Chowder fest will be on Sunday March 13th from 12-2pm at the Senior Center.

Bridgewater Community Lions Chili Cook-off and Chowderfest 2016

Come on out of the cold for a good time with friends. They will have festive music, raffles, a silent auction and snacks & desserts plus lots of CHILI and chowder.$3.00 a taste tester!!

Best Overall Chili

Best overall Chowder

Best Presentation

People Choice

Bridgewater Senior Center, 10 Wally Krueger Way, Bridgewater, MA 02324

You can enter your chili has well for $10  by March 1st

Head Swampie Rick has  won Best Chowder and presentation in the past for his Honey Roasted Corn Chowder.

Bridgewater Community Lions Chili Cook-off and Chowderfest 2016 winner rick

YMCA’S Taste of the South Shore 2016 in Randolph MA

The Taste of the South Shore will be held on Thursday March 24th from 6-8pm at Lombardo’s in Randolph.YMCA'S Taste of the South Shore 2016 in Randolph MA

The Taste of the South Shore is a festive annual event that brings the best of the area’s restaurants, wineries and breweries together for an evening of celebration to support the South Shore YMCA’s Send a Kid to Camp appeal. New this year, guests are invited to mix and mingle at our 20th Anniversary Taste of the South Shore After Party at Vincent’s Night Club at Lombardo’s!



Tastings (6:00 – 8:00 PM)

Sample signature dishes from the area’s best restaurants as well wine and beer tastings from local wineries and breweries. Enjoy networking in our casual, open-seating.

A Taste of Camp (8:00 PM)

Learn more about the impact of South Shore YMCA summer camp programs, followed by dessert, coffee, beer & wine.

After Party (9:00 – 11:00 PM)

The fun keeps going with the 20th Anniversary Taste of the South Shore After Party at Vincent’s Night Club at Lombardo’s. Mix and Mingle with other area Professionals in our reserved VIP section and enjoy light hors d’oeuvres, a free cocktail and exclusive raffles. Entry to the After Party is included in the Taste of the South Shore ticket price. After Party-only tickets are available for $25.

Taste 2016 Restaurants, Bakeries, Wineries and Breweries 

Abby Park Restaurant Milton Hockomock Swamp Supper club South shore

Abby Park

Alma Nove

Alma Nove

Baystate Wine & Spirits

Baystate Wine & Spirits

Bia Bistro

Bia Bistro

Bin Ends

Bin Ends

Bistro Chi

Bistro Chi

Blue Hills Brewery

Blue Hills Brewery

Caffe Tosca

Caffe Tosca


The Chef's Table

The Chef’s Table

Clown Shoes Brewery

Clown Shoes Beer

Fratelli's Pastry Shop

Fratelli’s Pastry Shop

Fruit Center Marketplace

Fruit Center Marketplace


Fuji 1546 Restaurant & Bar

Galley Kitchen and Bar

Galley Kitchen & Bar

Greenside Grill

The Greenside Grille Restaurant




Harpoon Brewery

Harpoon Brewery

Hingham Beer Works

Hingham Beer Works


Hint Water

Honey Dew Donuts

Honey Dew Donuts

Jack's Abby Brewing

Jack’s Abby Brewing


Kama Lounge

Kama Lounge


Konditor Meister

Konditor Meister

Lavishly Dunn Catering

Lavishly Dunn Catering
& Event Planning





Mayflower Brewery

Mayflower Brewing



Montilio’s Baking Company


Orta Restaurant

Orta Restaurant

Plymouth Bay Winery

Plymouth Bay Winery


Restaurant Oro

Restaurant ORO

Scarlet Oak Tavern

Scarlet Oak Tavern


Stars on Hingham


Tinker's Son

The Tinker’s Son




West End Grill

West End Grill

Whole Foods

Whole Foods Market


Dine Out Boston – Restaurant Week Boston March 2016


What is Dine Out Boston?
Dine Out Boston formerly known as Restaurant Week Boston® is brought to you by the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau and American Express twice a year, providing locals and visitors an opportunity to sample area restaurants at special prices. Participating restaurants design prix fixe menus for lunch and dinner. Each participating restaurant selects ONE of the three price options – the Chef then prepares a menu to delight.Dine Out Boston - Restaurant Week Boston  March 2016

Diners can choose from old favorites to the latest culinary hot spots, from nationally known chain restaurants to local chef owned bistros, from Asian or Argentinean fare to French, Italian, tapas and sushi, from the award-winning restaurants of Boston and Cambridge to the gourmet gems in the suburbs north, west and south of the city.
When is Dine Out Boston?

March 6-11 & 13-18, 2016
What is the price of Dine Out Boston?
Lunch $15/$20/$25 | Dinner $28/$33/$38

Prices vary by restaurant – be sure to check the website for specific prices and menus for each participating restaurant.

Prices are per person and exclude beverages, tax and gratuities

Here are some South of Boston restaurants participating

.Abby Park
550 Adams Street Milton, MA 02186
617-696-8700      Lunch$20/Dinner $33

Amelia’s – Stoughton
217 Washington Street Stoughton, MA 02072
781-886-6126 Dinner $33

Some Swampie Buss on Amelia’s

Valentine’s dinner at Amelia’s in Stoughton. Tonight I enjoyed a wonderful dining experience. Started with a peartini, then stuffed ricotta meatballs followed by a splendid salad. Main meal was lamb chomps one would die for and for dessert a tiramisu that melted in my mouth. All of which was enjoyed by myself and my beautiful bride of 21 years.

We went to Amelia’s in Stoughton and it was fantastic. I made reservations online and it was very easy. We were seated right away and bread with a butter and blue cheese spread and a garlic infused dipping oil was promptly brought to the table. I ordered a white sangria and hubby ordered a glass of merlot. Our server was friendly and very professional. We started with the grilled octopus appetizer. This was grilled octopus on a bed of red and yellow tomatoes, red onions and greens. It was tossed with a lemon vinaigrette. It tasted like summer to me. It was fresh and crisp. The octopus was cooked perfectly. I ordered the cedar plank salmon that was served with fingerling potatoes, pearl onions and an apple cream sauce. The fish was moist and had a hint of rosemary. The potatoes were crispy with just the right amount of seasoning. The portion was perfect. My husband ordered the lamb chops and they were served with potatoes augratain. He ordered the chops medium well and ma they were juicy and tender. The potatoes had a great crumb topping and were plentiful. We always order 2 different entrees and split them so we can have a little of every thing. Our dinner was amazing and we highly recommend Amelia’s.

Aquitaine – Bar a Vin Bistrot Dedham
500 Legacy Place Dedham, MA 02026
781-471-5212 Lunch$20/Dinner $33

Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse – Patriot Place
236 Patriot Place Foxboro, MA 02035
508-339-4810 Lunch$25/Dinner $38    Offering a special menu for Restaurant week 

556 Adams Street Milton, MA 02186
617-696-8400  Dinner $33


Check out the entire restaurant list 

The Swampie Lobster “On a Roll” Hunt 2015 South of Boston

Two local Swampie ladies took upon themselves to go on a great lobster roll hunt during the summer of 2015!  Thank you ladies!! The Swampie Lobster "On a Roll" Hunt 2015 South of Boston Best Lobster South Shore Cape Cod

They would  eat and evaluate using a number of criteria: flavor, quality oflobster, the mayo mix, size, the bun, price, etc. and report back with our findings.

“On a Roll” HONOR ROLL !!!!!
Da, da, dada!!!! Trumpets blaring! Drum roll please….
The moment you’ve been waiting for… at least WE’VE been waiting for it. Finally, we’re done!
We stayed local.Our top three… in no particular order. (We like them each for different reasons.)




211 Onset Ave, Onset MA   (Onset MA): Their buttered lobster beat out the one with mayo—we tried both.

Headed to Wareham, planned to check out Vel’s and Cafe Soleil since we had seen reviews from Swampies on both. Being a little early for dinner we headed toward Onset beach and LO AND BEHOLD we came upon a sign that said CAPE COD LOBSTER ROLLS!! Well we couldn’t CAPE COD LOBSTER ROLLS Best Lobster Roll Cape cod Onset MAignore that, so in we went, told the proprietor who we were (Ruth gave a card) and what we were doing. They opened Memorial Day and he INSISTED that WE WOULD NOT FIND A BETTER LOBSTER ROLL! The sign said served w a little mayo and seasoning but if you want more mayo or just butter to let them know. So we opted to get their standard, and also one just butter and share each (hence the roll 5 and 5b- I would call 5 and 6 but we were at the same place so it doesn’t count)
We were not disappointed- but surprisingly to us- the winner of the 2 was…. Just butter! Lobster was not warm and no noticeable butter, as in not drippy or soggy but great lobster flavor.
-Served on a side sliced butter toasted (on outside) hotdog roll with Cape Cod potato chips and a pickle.
Ruth’s weigh in:
Pro: The place is all about lobster. It was nice to find a place that offered BOTH lobster rolls with butter and with mayo.
Con: small place with take out only, and just two small tables on sidewalk.
Paula’s weigh in
Pro: this is the first roll that had noticeable tail meat. Had nice chunks with firm bite to it-but in a very good way and nice lobster flavor
Con: the seasoned one wasn’t my favorite



690 State Rd, Plymouth, MA 02360  The subtle seasoning in this made it more upscale.

Cost $16.99  Comes w/choice of starch including homemade kettle chips or sweet potato fries- both great. 42 DEGREES NORTH Best lobster roll Plymouth South Shore MA
Being a weekend we included our men in today’s adventure. Looking for outdoor seating on a beautiful day we went to Plymouth, and had seen good reviews on 42 Degrees N. We hadn’t thought about whether it was on the water (it wasn’t) but they DID have lobster roll on the menu. 3 out of 4 of us ordered it. Ok, SO FAR- THE BEST! Grilled hotdog roll, small amount of mayo and celery- not quite undetectable, thin chives/a seasoning or herb, not quite sure but GREAT flavor. Little bit juicy, tender, felt much fancier yet true to itself than the others that now in comparison felt more “fast food” or “take out”. Of course In fairness, having a fun summer cocktail with it may have helped give it an edge- we did say in a previous post that atmosphere may sway our opinion. Haylee our waitress was great, and dealt well with our silly selves- good for you Haylee!! All in all our rolls were fabulous, only thing that could make it more perfect would be being oceanfront- ok, well Ruth may have liked less claw but overlooked that because of flavor. A side note, appetizer calamari was decent, beet salad with pistachio and goat cheese lovely, dessert decent, company excellent as always!
Pro: tasty, moist, flavorful with subtle additions Like finely chopped celery and chive that didn’t overpower the lobster.
Con: I honestly don’t have a con for this lobster roll. The best of three so far. Outdoor seating left one of the husbands valiantly squinting into the sun.
Pro: lobster deliciousness
Con: none other than scenery would have added to atmosphere.


150 Warren Ave, Plymouth, MA  Not on a traditional New England hotdog roll, but delicious lobster mixed well with the Calise roll.

 We take your recommendations seriously and arrived at Pilgrim Sands- call me crazy but it just sounded a little off to me to be going to a little motel (I found out it is a hotel) for my lobster roll.   market price-$18.99(?) choice of potato salad, tortellini salad or chips, also pickle and raw veggies
pro: big portion, chunks of claw meat. Hint of lemon was subtle and delicious.
con: nothing–this is in my top three. I did add a little salt and pepper.
Pro- nice flavor! Roll surprised me and was really good with the lobster (spoil alert- toasted not buttered Calise roll from BJ’s!!)
Con- would roll taste even better buttered on the inside?


GREEN HARBOR Lobster Pound (Marshfield):

131 Beach St, Green Harbor, MADelicious and fresh—the smaller version on the buttered hotdog roll was our pick, rather than the famous “jumbo” on brioche.

Following recommendations from Swampies, we found ourselves at Green Harbor Lobster Pound- 2 sizes regular and jumbo. Which one? Ok let’s get both! Why? Because jumbo is served on brioche and is the meat of 2 lobsters we are told, and regular is on the grilled hotdog roll that we both like. So both in our hot little hands- jumbo in Ruth‘s, regular in mine. But who’s noticing that? Truth be told we cut both in half and shared equally so we could taste test each. Our final opinion? We would both go for the REGULAR roll and get 2 if you were that hungry- all because of the roll! But this roll is in one of our top 3 so far… It had a little mayo, no celery, a TINY bit of lettuce almost overlookable. Lots of claw meat it seemed- more “colorful” than others.
Pros: they have lobsters in the pound on site so meat is as fresh as you can get. Moist chunks of lobster.
Cons: for the jumbo roll to hold the meat of two lobsters, it had to be served on a brioche roll–tasty, but not as good as the toasted hot dog roll of the smaller roll.

RAW BAR (Mashpee, Popponesset):

252 Shore Dr, Mashpee, MA  fresh, chunky, lots of knuckle, not overly dressed.

We  decided to make this a supper meal rather than our usual noon time lobster rolls. Paula is the scheduler and she really wanted to get to The Raw Bar because so many of you have said such good things about their lobster rolls.RAW BAR (Mashpee, Popponesset) Best Lobster Roll Cape Cod
We got there at dusk on this chilly fall evening. The inside, by the bar, was full of men (not that we have a problem with that), who apparently play golf on Fridays and congregate at the Raw Bar afterwards. They were belly up to the bar three deep, so we prepared to sit outside, hoping not to shiver at the table in the enclosure, where a sign warns to keep the door shut so “animals won’t come in.” Hmmm…?
But along came the waitress/manager of BOB’s SEAFOOD CAFÉ right next door—the inside version of raw bar (same management/same food) but a warmer indoor environment–minus all the men. She saw that we were pondering what we wanted to do, so she invited us next door.
Brenda’s service was exceptional! She was friendly and chatty but knew when to let Paula and me chat alone. On her advice we split the HUGE 12-ounce lobster roll voted #1 in New England by Billy Costa (who?). We complemented the roll with wine and delicious creamy clam chowder.
The lobster was served with minimum mayo and no fillers on a large split roll (not the traditional hot dog roll and not toasted) necessary to hold the truly generous portion of lobster meat. It came with onion rings—the frozen kind I think (meh). Fairly pricey for one roll ($27 and change), but when you consider that it serves two the price was MORE than fair.
So the rating: the lobster was delicious and I can see why so many people love it. Fresh, chunky, lots of tender knuckle meat. If only there was a giant New England hot dog roll that could have been buttered and toasted, and would have held 12-ounces of lobster, this roll might have made the top three.

**THE REST OF THE CONTENDERS (that didn’t make the honor roll)

HADDADS (Marshfield)
WATER CLUB (Marina Bay, Quincy)
SANDY’S (Long Beach, Plymouth)
EMMA’S (Norton)
SCITUATE LOBSTER POUND (Crocetti’s, East Bridgewater)

Two Providence RI Restaurants to be tip-free

Guest won’t be able to tip their servers  any more at two local  Providence  resturant According to ABC 6 , both Rosmarin at Hotel Providence and Vinya on Westminster Street are going to go tip-free and instead do  a 22% fee.  Married owners Massimilliano and Alethia Mariotta told ABC 6  that they are taking tipping out of their restaurants and instead implementing a 22-percent fee on their meals.


Here is what the  New York Times said last year about going tip Free

Going tip-free makes the experience simpler for all involved. Restaurant owners do not have to worry about the mechanics of dividing tips among the entire staff and settling up at the end of shifts. Servers do not have to worry about being stiffed or being penalized for things that are not their fault, such as poorly cooked food. Cooks, dishwashers, and other support staff will get equitable compensation. Diners do not have to bother with calculating tips or deciding whether the service warranted more or less than a standard tip.

“Everybody, the dishwasher, the prep, the chef, the busser, the server, share this success and everyone should be having a living wage,” says Max Mariotta.

Restaurant workers will make around 12-15 dollars an hour without tips, compared to the state minimum of $3.39 with tips. Mariotta says instead of a tip, they are charging the customer 22 percent fee on their meal.

“This is what most restaurants/hotels put on the bill when you have a party of four or more or six or more. It’s usually between 18-22 percent,” he adds.12694714_1555854048065094_4103785908277889627_o


Here is some Swampie buzz on no tipping when the NY Times article came out last year

If they get paid that much there should never be an automatic gratuity on the bill. If that ever passes, you would see some businesses close and others increase the prices. As a former waitress, leave it the way it is. I tip accordingly. Good service, good tip, bad service, not so good tip.

Tipping for good service will be hard to stop, especially for an “old” bartender like me.
On the other hand, tipping has always been to augment a very low wage, $15 an hour, is in some cases 5 times current wage. $120 a shift is considered good money any day of the week.

It certainly will help in those cases where the customer doesn’t understand what tipping is for, ie, those who subtract for long food waits, crying babies, bad ambience, et

In Europe there is no tipping. It’s part of their wage. Granted, there’s also no free refills but a penny saved is well, a penny.


Taste of Whitman & Hanson 2016

Whitman & Hanson Dollars for Scholars will be celebrating the 9th Annual “A Taste of Whitman and Hanson” on Thursday, March 3, at the VFW Post #697 in Whitman from
5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Taste of Whitman & Hanson 2016 Dollars for Scholars

Up to two dozen local restaurants and food service providers will be offering samples from their menu to the general public.

Tickets are $15 each with limited capacity. Ticket sales begin on February 15th at Duval’s Pharmacy, Ford’s Insurance, Sandy’s Coffee Corner and the Town Clerk’s Offices in Whitman and Hanson. A list of participating restaurants will also be available at that time. All proceeds from the evening will benefit Dollars for Scholars in the form of scholarships at Awards Night.


Dollarsfor Scholars appreciates your continued support!! Dollars for Scholars is a local chapter of Scholarship America. Scholarship America was founded in 1959 by Dr. Irving A. Fradkin in Fall River, Massachusetts under the name Citizens’ Scholarship Foundation. The Whitman and Hanson chapter was established in the fall of 1962 by residents who wished to assist graduating high school seniors further their education. Community volunteers raise scholarship funds for graduating Whitman and Hanson high school seniors. All students graduating from the public high schools or any private high school are encouraged to apply. Scholarships are awarded on a merit-based system

Get your Tickets soon as this event is usually a sell out!!

** all monies raised go directly to 2016 graduating seniors from Whitman & Hanson in the form of Scholarships.

Here is the list from previous years of restaurants

Mia Regazza Italian Restaurant  Abington
Pinches & Pounds Candy shop
Christo’s Restaurant
Trio’s Cafe
McGuiggan’sIrish  Pub
Old Hitching Post
Meadowbrook Family Restaurant Hanson
Mike’s Pizza Hanson
Skinners Candy & Ice cream shop East Bridgewater
Edible Arrangements
I Pop Cakes
Joy of Baking

Stix & Stones in Abington

PizZings Pizza and Wings Abington

Whitman VFW
95 Essex St, Whitman, Massachusetts 02382

Chocolate Festival 2016 at Portugalia Marketplace in Fall River MA

Portugalia Marketplace in Fall River   is rolling out its first-ever Chocolate Festival.The chocolate fountain will be flowing as chocolatiers and experts on chocolate gather for an afternoon of chocolate sampling, wine tasting and all things chocolate this Saturday, February . 13, from 11 am. to 2 pm.12646927_741847515916144_6543426822444821565_o

In addition to the store’s assortment of chocolate-covered nuts for sale in the bulk bins, and the individual desserts such as chocolate mousse in the cafe, Portugalia is bringing in chocolates that aren’t usually for sale in the store.  Dorothy Cox Chocolates, a legendary SouthCoast chocolate company whose products are sold under many labels, will be selling its chocolates and offering samples,

Chocolate Regina, the exclusive dealer of Canadian-based Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut chocolates, will also be at the Chocolate Festival selling the preservative- and chemical-free chocolates that are made in the Belgian tradition.
For those on diets avoiding gluten, dairy or soy there’s Augusta Street Kitchen. The specialty food company was founded by Shanel Sinclair, a clinical nutritionist who was diagnosed with celiac disease. Some of the products featured on the company’s website include sea salt and chocolate chip cookies, pecan and chocolate candies and chocolate cake bombs.

Westport Rivers Vineyard and Winery will also be on hand offering samples and expertise in pairing its wines with chocolate.
489 BEDFORD STREET, FALL RIVER MA, 02723 • 508.617.9820

PizzaPalooza: Marshfield’s Best Slice Competition 2016

Who make the best pizza in Marhshfield  and maybe the whole South Shore?  Come find out and judge for yourself on Tuesday   March 1st at Marhfield High school.  10 of your favorite Pizza establishments in Marshfield will compete to win one or more “choice” awards: Kid’s Choice, People’s Choice, Judge’s Choice.PizzaPalooza: Marshfield's Best Slice Competition 2016

Bring your family and friends and choose your FAVORITE pizza in Marshfield at this feel good community event presented by the Marshfield Chamber of Commerce. All profits benefit the Marshfield Chamber Senior Internship Program. Tickets available at the door.

$5 Student (with ID)
$5 Seniors (over 60)
$10 Adult
$20 Family

Marshfield High School
167 Forest Street
Marshfield, MA 02050