Last week, I got an e-mail from Boston Bruncher creator, Renee, with an exciting event: Dinner at Lil Vinny’s Ristorante in Somerville, MA. She opened it up to the first 8 bloggers who registered. Luckily, I check my e-mail approximately 126 times a day (rough estimate) and jumped on the chance to have a delicious dinner with fellow foodies.
After a not-so-wonderful 2-mile run per my 10K Training Plan (I skipped that day’s strength since I did it the day before plus with 2 hours of dance), I headed out to Somerville. Note to self: Run outside more. You suck at it.
What should have been a short 28-minute drive turned into a 1(+) hour nightmare. With no GPS, I ended up in every city around Somerville except Somerville. I was aggitated to say the least.
When I finally found the restaurant, I walked in to a dimly-lit atmosphere, immediately greeted by the comforting aroma of Italian food. A few steps in and I recognized my fellow bloggers enjoying each other company. I instantly felt much better.
I was especially excited to go tonight to meet some of these bloggers in person. It’s one thing to follow a blog and converse on Twitter but there is something even more meaningful to me when I connect with someone through actual human interaction. I spent the majority of the dinner conversing with: Katy, Rachel, Audrey, Kathy and Amanda.
Dinner itself was served family-style but no one could’ve guessed how much food Lil Vin’s would provide for us. Six courses. SIX. Seven if you include the bread basket and herb olive oil before the meal. And the food was as scrumptious as it was beautiful.
I should’ve worn stretchy pants.
The salad course was a larger portion of caesar salad complete with homemade anchovy dressing and crisp croutons. I didn’t even know the anchovy was present until one of the servers told us. It gave a nice salty bite to the dish.
Next up, a little seafood for my palate. Served family style, we were given perfectly steamed mussels in a spicy, yet delicate sauce. Then they brought out extra bread so none of the broth was wasted. They already knew us so well… a mere 2 courses in.
Our first pasta dish (yes, I did say first) consisted of tortellinis in a yummy pesto sauce. They were perfectly al dente and I could’ve eaten the cheese filling alone. With a spoon. Out of a large bowl. What? I like cheese.
See that little beauty right there? It actually wasn’t so little. In fact, it was a huge slab of eggplant parm. Lightly breaded and fried, it was covered in cheese and not the least bit oily. I must admit, I’m partial to Boyfriend’s mom’s baked eggplant parm but this is the best restaurant version I’ve ever eaten.
My family makes homemade pasta. It’s incredible. Lil Vin’s also makes homemade pasta – fusilli with bolognese sauce – it is also quite incredible. At this point, I couldn’t eat more than a few bites so I asked for it to be wrapped up. Unfortunately, because of jumbling circumstances , it never made it home. Sad.
Finally, after much debate on whether or not I could take another bite of food, this plate arrived in front of me. If you’ve been reading C&W for more than a day, you know that I can’t say no to sweet stuff. Vanilla bean panna cotta with candied lemon peel and homemade caramel was the cherry on top of a very large, multi-course, Italian cake.
And I ate every bite.
A big thanks to Lil’ Vinny’s for hosting us and providing us amazing food and wonderful service (and lights for our photos!) It is the perfect place to go for a romantic date night out or to simply catch up with a good group of friends, like the Boston Brunchers, and enjoy an Italian meal with a tasty twist. Highly recommended would be an understatement.
NOTE: This dinner was provided to me free of charge by Lil Vinny’s Ristorante. All of the opinions expressed here are mine. Neither Lil Vinny’s or the Boston Brunchers asked me to write a review of my experience there.