Patio dining is one of my favorite summer activities, and Aragosta Bar + Bistro, located at the Fairmont Battery Wharf, has a great patio for just such an activity. I had to trek through the bustling North End to get there, but once I arrived, I felt like I was in a different world. The area was quiet and calm, and the white-light-trimmed trees provided a bit of privacy and a serene feeling.
I met Daisy just outside the patio area, and once we got in, we were seated on a cushioned bench surrounding a fire pit. We were invited to a blogger party to preview Aragosta's summer menu, and I settled in for what I was sure was going to be quite a treat, based on my past visits to the restaurant.
I ordered a Pisco Sour to start. The frothy drink was incredibly light and refreshing.
Then we were served small samples of the smoked watermelon cocktail with serrano-infused syrup and muddled watermelon. This had a light kick to it, but nothing I couldn't handle.
We snacked on truffled popcorn as we sipped our cocktails.
And then one of my favorite Aragosta appetizers appeared. The lobster and truffle crostini features chunks of fresh lobster over a white bean puree. With faint notes of truffle, the creamy bean spread, and generous lobster chunks, it's always a hit.
We next sampled the pomegranate mojito, which is a perfect sweet, minty summer drink.
A cute dish of veal and pancetta meatballs with polenta that was topped with fresh mozzarella arrived next and was maybe a little too heavy for a hot night on the patio but is something I'd definitely look for on the winter menu because it's so tasty.
The ahi tuna flatbread with thinly sliced vine-ripe tomatoes, arugula, truffle mayo, and Parmesan definitely made me a bit apprehensive. But oddly, the combination just worked. I would never have thought to put tuna on flatbread. It was awesome. And the raw tuna made the traditionally heavy fare seem a little lighter... and a little cooler.
I noticed others really enjoying the warm oysters oreganato with spinach and bechamel, and I gave one a shot, but I'm a raw oyster girl, so I wasn't a big fan. If you like warm oysters in creamy sauce, you should give them a try.
The watermelon and feta salad, on the other hand, was just my thing. I loved the cool, refreshing chunks of melon with the salty, firm cheese. A drizzle of olive oil tied it all together. I could eat this dish all summer long.
At this point, I switched to my go-to drink at Aragosta: the settante cinque (which I now know means 75 -- we've been doing Drive Time Italian lessons to prepare for our honeymoon). Switching out the gin for Aperol, the settante cinque is in fact an Italian version of the French 75, one of my favorite cocktails.
The seared sea bass, accompanied by white beans and pancetta, was tender and flavorful, while a sample of peach sangria offered another sweet, summery beverage option.
A scallop served over short rib farro gave us a small taste of one of Aragosta's entree options. I think the scallop serves to lighten this dish for the summer menu, but I gave my scallop to a friend (I've never liked them) and dug into the short rib farro. I'll take a whole bowl of that in the wintertime.
After we sampled all the savory items we could fit, we turned to dessert. We made our way through an array of them from cakes to panna cotta to sorbet and gelato.
And then, even though it was a very warm evening, we wanted to try making s'mores on the fire pits we'd been sitting around, so we asked our waiter if he would fire them up.
And then we grabbed our s'mores fixings -- jumbo marshmallows, graham crackers, Hershey's bars, and miniature tubs of peanut butter -- and got to work. (P.S. If you have not gotten on the peanut butter chocolate s'more bandwagon, get on it! My friends brought Reese's PB Cups for our s'more making at my bachelorette party, and it was like a whole new world!)
I had a really lovely evening at Aragosta and hope I get a chance to spend more time on the patio there before the summer is over.
This evening was complimentary, but, as always, my opinions are my own.
What are some of your favorite summer menu items?