Tasting Counter, Somerville, MA, 6/12/21

exterior of building

Tasting Counter is a dining room/kitchen experience for the diner.  A 9 course tasting menu is offered to all diners with optional wine pairings and vegetarian options.  Choices are made when you book your reservation, offered Thursday through Sunday at 5:00 and 7:30 pm.   The pre-paid tickets include the menu, beverages, service and tax.  The menu is a surprise but guests receive a copy with their Parting Morsels.  Chef Peter Ungár opened the restaurant in 2015 and is in the kitchen and makes all the explanations of the courses.  The restaurant is located in a building that houses a large brewery.  We sat at some of their extra tables while we waited for the doors to open.   Inside there were 12 of us at the counter but I read they can seat up to 20, so I suspect they were still trying to keep people spaced for Covid-19.  Inside it is fairly bright, music was in the background and the walls are decorated with preserving foods and wine bottles.   Pacing was excellent and portion control was great. Continue reading

Tordesilhas, São Paulo, 9/14/19


Tordesilhas is a large place inside with an additional covered patio.  The closely spaced small tables were set with white tablecloths and paper napkins.  Lots of photos cover the walls as well as mirrors.  A slightly vaulted wood ceiling and dark wood floor accented the off white walls.  A bar area is on the main level that seemed to offer communal dining for small parties.  No music was in the background but the setting felt very tasteful.  They serve pretty traditional, homestyle food and do offer a tasting menu at night.  At lunch it is all a la carte.  Our server was friendly and helpful but had limited English. The crowd indicated that it’s a popular place and I saw a real variety of age groups in attendance. Continue reading

Bar da Dona Onca, São Paulo, 9/13/19


Bar da Dona is a large place located in a striking architectural building.  One side of the interior is a bar and service area opposite of which are windows to the street.  The bare wood tables are set closely with black napkins and padded armless chairs.  The large menu is supplemented by some specials written on a chalkboard above the bar that is decorated with illustrations and lots of decorated cats.  Also above the bar were windows to what looked to be a supplementary kitchen.  People were lined up to enter before it opened and were a group varied in age and dress.  Inside music was in the background, lots of photos and other decorative items on the walls and friendly servers with passable English bustled to service the many tables.  At the entrance was an open air patio that was also filled by the time we exited. It was a great lunch or dinner, if you wanted to eat it later.  Continue reading