Saturday, June 28, 2008

We Have A Winner!

Right in the heart of Worcester County is the town of Barre. Crisscrossed by Routes 32, 62 and 122, Barre is easy to get to. Why is that important? Because if you want a truly delicious dining experience in an elegant, but relaxed atmosphere, you need to drive to Picasso in Barre.

Chuck had heard good things about Picasso and had been wanting to check it out. I had the place tangled up in my mind with the previous restaurant which had occupied the former Post Office in Barre. That place had primarily served undistinguished, red gravy, Italian food, which all tasted pretty much the same. But that place is no more. Now Barre boasts Picasso, right on The Common and it is definitely worth the trip!

We went to Picasso around eight on a recent Friday night. A few folks were seated at tables on the outdoor patio, overlooking The Common. We were lucky that a table for two had just opened inside and we were seated promptly. The dining space is small, with a warm, inviting feel about it. Dani, our waitress, was cheerful, informative and attentive. She ran through the specials and pointed out the highlights of the menu. She brought us some warm focaccia with some olive oil for dipping. I had walked in the door thinking I would order fish or seafood. Chuck was thinking about beef. But within a few moments, the New York Strip Steak had caught my eye and Chuck decided on one of the seafood specials!

We each started with a dinner salad. The homemade dressings, a blue cheese vinaigrette and the creamy herb, both had a bright, fresh taste. Then Dani brought our entrees. Chuck’s evening special had salmon, mussels, peas and asparagus in a broth of white wine and butter. Some wedges of focaccia were added to better enjoy every drop of the broth. He declared it “witty” and the essence of spring! I had a perfectly charred, tender steak, covered in a rich port wine sauce, laden with caramelized onions. The steak was resting on top of a serving of the most decadently creamy, garlic mashed potatoes. Alongside were lengthwise wedges of grilled zucchini, which still had plenty of fresh bite. We traded tastes which left us each delighted with our own choice, but wanting more of the other’s entree!

After dinner, we were enjoying the experience so much that we decided to order coffee - not our usual custom. Even the coffee was great! It wasn’t just an afterthought, but a full bodied espresso roast that had us thinking about coffee in the North End of Boston. Then a single serving of Tiramisu arrived with two spoons. Each delectable bite had a feeling of “death by Tiramisu” about it. Tiramisu can be made in an industrial, mechanized way. Or it can be created with love like Mama used to make - if Mama was Italian and really knew her way around the kitchen. Someone at Picasso is making Tiramisu with love. Actually, the folks at Picasso are making everything with love and they’re serving nothing but their very best.

Need more convincing? Check out this stellar review in Worcester Magazine.


Roo said...

All I need is a zip code and I an sat nav it when we arrive ;o)

Pink Granite said...

Hi Roo -
I'll make it even easier for you. Here's the map to Picasso:
2 Common Street, Barre, MA 01005
- Lee

dancingmorganmouse said...

One day, one day ..... sigh.

Pink Granite said...

Likewise DMM - only in reverse!
- Lee