Restaurants become favorites because they make us feel comfortable. We know we'll find foods we love on the menu and perhaps we go there with a particular dish in mind.
While one dish (plus great service, a fabulous wine selection, and relaxed atmosphere) drew us to the door, we always look at the specials board and review the menu for new items.
This summer these "Sautéed Petite Clams with Spanish Chorizo, parsley, lemon, and toasted garlic" popped up on the menu. We are both so glad we ordered it and have since recommended it to friends.
That same day this "Corn and Lobster Chowder with Chorizo Oil" was on the specials board and we both considered it one of the best chowders we had ever spooned up.
Missing Old Favorites
Don't get us wrong. We are still going to order those favorite menu items. We'll never regret all the times we shared a dish of Hamersley's Roasted Chicken. (Here's the recipe if you are missing it too.)
But we also rejoice in memories of the first dish of skate we ever tasted at Hamersley's or the many other masterpieces that arrived in front of us from that kitchen.
So when you find yourself sitting in a familiar place with a well-known menu, don't set it aside and go with your usual. Ask your server what's on the specials list and if any new items have been added to the menu. You could end up with a spectacular seasonal dish like the Rainbow trout with fiddleheads and bacon (photo above) that we enjoyed at Select Oyster this past spring.
Things Also Change Without Warning!
Sometimes an old item has been given a new twist and you may want to know that before you order it. We recently ordered a favorite sandwich for take-out from a local spot we frequent regularly. It came slathered with mayo instead of with chipotle ketchup as it had been in the past. Now we order it, "the old way" and specify, "no mayo."
What's on your food lover's shopping list?
Words: Penny & Ed Cherubino
Photos: ©2016 Penny & Ed Cherubino