Central Mass. and 'burbs south of Worcester
OK, when I last posted looking for suggestions near Worcester, I got a number of good tips. Block 5 Bistro, in particular, was great. The Struck Cafe turned out to be OK, but the service was spotty. We're still shooting to try Anthony's, Rovezzi's and Zipango. A few that we tried without recommendations were so-so (Flying Rhino: great apps; Leo's: great service, average Italian; Castellana's: pretty good and they try very, very hard -- we'll try that one again).
I'd like to hear anyone's thoughts on recommendations for the 'burbs in Central Massachusetts this time -- particularly south of Worcester, if anyone can point us in that direction. In particular, we're planning to try Alicante and Fresco in Mendon. Is the Oyster Something or Other still in business in Uxbridge? How about pizza choices south of Worcester -- anything non-Greek? (Tony's in Sutton isn't doing it for us; Stop and Taste in Oxford was shockingly good, though). And how about Thai food? Is there a decent choice for pad thai anywhere outside Worcester? (Come to think of it, we don't even know of any good Thai places in Worcester).
Foodies south of Worcester need some help!!!! Any suggestions gratefully accepted.
It's not south of Worcester, but try Sonoma on Rte. 31 in Princeton. It's been a while, but I remember the food as very good, very creative. For pizza in Worcester, I usually choose either Ciao Bella (Grove Street, next to Shaws in a free standing building)or the Corner Grille on Pleasant Street (at the intersection of Pleasant & Richmond). Ciao Bella has a thicker pizza, as well as a good menu of daily italian specials created for that day (they are good with seafood). Warning -- Ciao Bella takes only cash. The Corner Grille makes a thin crust pizza, that is easy to roll and eat. It also serves some nice sandwiches, and has a real earthy-crunchy organic feel (although I don't think that it advertises itself as organic).
As far as Thai restaurants, I can't help you. I keep hearing good things about Bamboo Hut (Vietmanese/French), on Rte 9 near Leceister, but I haven't got there yet. My impression is that you have to get closer to Boston for decent Thai food.
South of Worcester is a bit of a barren wasteland. Alicante is good, or was the last time I was in there (6-8 months maybe?). A friend told me Fresco is decent - old school Italian at good prices. The newish golf course - Blackstone National - isn't half bad and is bright & clean inside, very appealing. I frankly wouldn't even include it here if there was more to be had in the area.
Sarah posted a good review of Oyster Cabin that shouldn't yet be too far down the list - just last wk I believe?
Alicante has been a winner with us since it opened. Food is excellent and the service is attentive. The view of Lake Mendon is delightful.
Try Romaine's in Northboro -- located in a strip mall at the route 9/20 cutoff. Never had a bad meal there... and they just won a Platinum Plate with Billy Costa.
If you're looking for a reliable, friendly, neighborhood type place, where you don't have to pay outrageous prices, try Brian's in Uxbridge. Never had a meal there that wasn't good. They have very good seafood dishes. Children's menu. Daily specials. All you can eat prime rib that is by far the best (Monday Nights). Worth saving the weekend splurges.
I gotta say - I don't get the Brian's hype. I'd put it in the same category as the golf course.....only to be mentioned because there's so little in the area. I find the food just okay, and the place itself is old, dreary and depressing. I should add that I'd go to Blackstone National over Brian's any day.