Last night I had one of those evenings that start out fairly common but turn into something special. A fellow board member and I had an AMA meeting with a prospective committee member at the Tap House in Tremont. I’d never been there but had heard good things. They had great Happy Hour specials – the draft beers were $1.50 off and a couple of the apps were $4 and $5. I tried the Magic Hat #9, which a friend has recommended multiple times, and we ordered a few menu items to share. The chorizo and goat cheese tacos were unbelievable – the contrast of the ground spicy sausage with the creamy smooth cheese was to die for – the olive tapenade pizza was perfect and the soft pretzels were fluffy and yummy. Including drinks, the three of us got out of there for $44 (not counting tip). The meeting was successful and it turns out that this new person I was meeting isn’t new to me at all – long irrelevant story but yet another example of how small this town really is.
After the meeting my AMA friend took me to Lilly Handmade Chocolates, nestled on a corner of Starkweather. They were closed but she knows the owner, Amanda (whose husband just happens to be the chef at the Tap House), so we went in for the personal tour. Wow – what a place! I’m not even that big a chocolate fan but I was blown away. Decorated in hot pink and black, Lilly is reminiscent of those upscale chocolate boutiques you see on the Food Network. The hand-painted chocolates are so gorgeous you don’t even want to eat them. I did, of course – have to sacrifice in the name of research. My friend and I each sampled the BoozieSusies, brandy-soaked French cherries encased in dark chocolate, then bought a box of six other truffles (there are 20 varieties) to take home. I had the Pistachio, a truffle coated with chopped pistachios, this morning for breakfast with a side of The Brunette, black mission figs in milk chocolate and covered with cocoa nibs. Who can pass up cocoa nibs? Both were amazing but I think The Brunette is possibly the best thing ever. I bought two pieces of The Redhead, a vegan delight of dark chocolate and vintage port, for two of my favorite people. Lilly has several vegan offerings so I’ll be pushing those on my soy-loving friends. I really could go on and on about this place, and perhaps I have, but check it out for yourself at 761 Starkweather or at www.lillytremont.com. Tell Amanda the redhead sent you to try The Brunette. –BB
My girlfriend and I have been trying out different happy hour specials lately to see who has the best deal in town. I think it’s fair to say that, for us, Sunset Lounge steals the show when it comes down to superb sushi at a fraction of the normal cost.
From 4pm-7pm, Monday through Friday, Sunset Lounge serves up more than 40 rolls at half price, making each roll roughly $3 a piece. Appetizers, martinis and domestic beers are also half off. With this kind of deal, you’re almost inclined to order everything off the menu because they’re practically giving away their food and drinks.
We gather up a group of our friends and head over to West 9th street after work and grab a round booth in the sleek lounge, decked out with fish tanks, neon lights and cool décor. The food at Sunset Lounge is really impressive, offering all the traditional rolls and some kicked up specialty rolls. Although the specialty rolls are not included in the happy hour prices, we always order a couple because we’re getting such a great deal. The Spicy Tuna roll and the Philadelphia roll are two of our favorites that we typically order in “bulk”. When the order comes out, we have enough food on our plates to feed an army, plates packed full of sushi rolls, spring rolls, dumplings and lettuce wraps.
After a couple hours of eating our stomachs are content and we split the tab accordingly. Last time, it came out to roughly $30 a person when it should have been about $100 when you consider all we ate and drank. If you’re looking for high quality food and drink at low cost, then Sunset Lounge is the place to be. -AS