Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Love on Larchmere

For an intimate, affordable, and sure to be absolutely amazing Valentine’s Day dinner, I suggest taking the object of your affections to the Vine & Bean Cafe on Larchmere Boulevard. Heather Haviland, who owns the place along with Lucky’s Café in Tremont, wants you to feel the love…her love, that is, for local farm fresh food. And if sets off some sparks between you and your sweetie, all the better. Since the fields around here are not actually full of good things to eat right now, she’s raiding the stash of stuff she froze and canned when it was at its seasonal peak. With help from her new Chef de Cuisine the talented Ky-wai Wong, formerly at Lockkeepers and Dante, she’s using it for a three course prix fixe meal that features handmade pasta and dessert surprises. The cost is a mere $25 per person plus optional wine and beer pairings. Click here for menu details and reservations (required) .

The two chefs are a good pair, both equally driven to make virtually everything from scratch, and that includes the bread and sauerkraut for a Reuben as well as the ketchup, and pickles that go into the 1000 Island dressing. Starting Feb 25, their sandwiches and a couple of weekly entrée specials will be available at Vine and Bean until 8 PM.

A few days ago Heather shared some exciting news with me. Beginning Feb 21 she’s going to be spending her Saturday and Sunday mornings cooking at Vine & Bean. Now I won’t have to drive across town to get her divine burritos, biscuits and gravy, and those egg extravaganzas known as The Shipwreck and The Canoe. These are the dishes that have made Lucky’s famous. And I use the f-word with good reason. In the February issue of GQ Magazine it was named one of the best places to have brunch in the entire countrty. When the reporter called her, Heather being the self-effacing soul that she is assumed it was a prank. But for those like me and all my clan who regularly enjoy her weekend cuisine, the recognition comes as no surprise and is well deserved. Schedule an eastside or a westside pit stop and judge for yourself. One word of advice- come hungry.

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