Any good places in/near Foxboro?
My friend Bruce, a regular at chowhound, has suggested that I ask you-all for advice on where to eat in/near Foxboro, MA.
I am going to be here for 6 weeks, give or take a bit, starting today!
Thanks for your help.
re: Jeff Grossman/NYC
I personally have never been, but my mom has been several times and likes it. Its Italian Food. She's used to eating in the North End in Boston, and I trust her taste in food implicitly.
In Norfolk on 1A is the Eagle Brook Saloon, they are best known for brewing their own beer, but the food is good as well, pastas, burgers, meatloaf and other specials.
Big place, they host weddings, etc.
Murals on the walls.
Real Italian waiters.
Very standard red-sauce/marsala/florentine/etc. menu.
Food was good, a little pricey: appetizers $6 - $13, entrees $15 - $30 (most of the $25-$30 dishes are the aged steaks and rack of lamb), dessert $6.
I had an appetizer of green figs, mozz., prosciutto with aged balsamic; entree of chicken carciofi; dessert of orange ripieni and espresso.
The figs were nearly ripe, only a bit grainy. The mozz. was fresh bufala (very good), the prosciutto light in color and light in salt. The balsamic did not overpower, but did not express its casks clearly.
The remaining dishes were unexceptional. Perhaps I should have taken more of Massimo's (the waiter's) recommendations?
Red wine list was about 40 bottles, half US, half Italian. In each case, the wine maker, type, and vineyard was listed, but no vintages. Overall pricing was reasonable (lots of $30-$50, only one bottle over $100). By-the-glass was limited (cab, merlot, chianti). As I was the only wine drinker, I ordered one of the non-descript reds.
Overall, pretty good, not exciting, over the permitted expense line, but I may think of it when the red-meat-mood strikes.
re: Jeff Grossman/NYC
I would not recommend Luciano's with other great restaurants in the area and just 20 minutes down the road in Providence. If you want to stay close to Foxboro, I recommend La Cuccina in Walpole and Coriander in Sharon - two outstanding restaurants that really outshine Luciano's. Both take reservations and are great for peaceful dining or company entertaining. Or go to Providence - follow 95 South to Atwells Ave, take a right, park and just walk around checking out the menus - you can't go wrong. Or take a ride north on 95 into the Boston - only about 35 min from Foxboro - and hit the north end. Once again, just walk around checking out menus until you find one you like. Luciano's reminds me of Italian restaurants of 30 years ago.
re: Jeff Grossman/NYC
The menu says "Est. 1981" but the place looks a lot older: odd-shaped windows, stained glass, sixty-five clashing varieties of wallpaper (all hideous), bannistered terrace around the inside, smoke, wood -- it's a saloon, alright!
Food is standard-issue pub grub: mozzerella sticks, chicken fingers, half a dozen kinds of burgers, a page of pizza-with-choose-your-topping, etc.
And, about a dozen home-brew beers. I tried three:
-- the oatmeal stout was the best... dark, roasted, coffee and chocolate, no cream or head, very little carbonation; the waitress advertised it as "not tasting at all like Guinness" which is (a) peculiar, not to want to be associated with a good stout, and (b) not true.
-- the Buzzard's Beak ESB lacked substance, lacked bitterness, lacked viscosity, it just lacked.
-- the blueberry ale looks like an alien fish tank, or maybe a septic tank problem... cloudy, medium brown, with lots of sediment/debris floating in it, a handful of blueberries at the bottom, and, in my case, one blueberry that had exactly the right size and shape to keep floating up to the top, sinking down, rolling across the bottom of the glass, and rising again; very fresh tasting, interesting (if unsightly)
Lots of good places around! It would help to know what different foods you like, and if you have transportation available. Great Italian on Federal Hill in Providence (20 mins. away) and a dynamite Portuguese Restaurant in New Bedford (45 mins.away). Luciano's in Wrentham is always good! Let us know how you did?
You didn't mention what part of Foxboro you will be staying in, but if you are near Route 1 here are a few suggestions around the Foxboro Stadium area:
Don't be put off by its' looks. When you enter you will be transported back about 50 years - the same family has owned the restaurant since 1951. This is a genuine roadhouse with checkerboard tile floor, vinyl covered booths, and plastic laminate table tops - the kind of restaurant you could find along US highways all over the country before the Interstate era brought us McDonalds at every exit in America. Redwing is known for its' excellent fried seafood (clams, shrimp, scallops, oysters) and also makes a pretty good pizza. Think Mel's from "Alice" but with better food.
2. Outlaw Barbecue.
3. The Funway Cafe. Major sports bar scene with decent food. Boston's biggest sports radio station, WEEI, often does remote broadcasts from here.
4. The Lafayette House.
Basic American food (beef, chicken, etc.) in charming Revolutionary era tavern. Building dates to, I believe, 1786.
I would second the warnings about Luciano's. It is overpriced food in a rather stuffy atmosphere. Not your typical neighborhood Italian restaurant.
All along Route 1 are many pizza, chinese, sub places, even a Thai restaurant or two. If you are over in the I-95 area of Foxboro you are near Mansfield, a fair sized town with many restaurants, including a not too terrible Mexican place. As previously mentioned, the Eagle Brook Saloon on Route 1A in Norfolk has excellent micro-brewed beer. If you have time to venture farther afield, say on the weekend, you can search the New England board for recommendations in Newport, RI for example.