We popped into the brick building containing Micucci Grocery and Italian grocery and imports store. Micucci is located right near Duckfat in the Old Port and has a lovely mix of bakery items, deli and products.
We went back for a quick visit to Blackstrap BBQ (BMH’s first visit) because we had a serious craving for BBQ. One that I knew they could definitely satisfy, since I would be north of Boston that day.
I got all four types of BBQ sauce because I can never just try one. I’ll dab a little bit one type on a bite of food and another kind on another bite. Variety is the spice of life. There’s a sweet BBQ sauce that has smoked onions in it. Hot is a spicier, chunkier version of the sweet. Mustard is a thin, yellowy, slightly sweet and spicy BBQ sauce. Carolina is a BBQ standard of a thin tomato and vinegar sauce.
The fried pickles were a tangy crispy indulgent treat. The acidity in the pickle holds up to frying quite nicely. These are cornmeal dredged and surprisingly were quite crunchy. The tang of the pickles really shine through and isn’t hidden by the breading. I prefer saltine or panko dredged ones personally, but Blackstrap BBQ’s fried pickles hit the spot. The only thing I was missing was a side of ranch dressing.
We tried Reggie’s smoking hot ribs. They’re similar to the dry ribs, which means they have a nice savory crust and moist juicy innards with pleasant subtle smoke flavor throughout. They are flash-fried then doused in an all natural scotch pepper based BBQ sauce. If you love spicy hot food, this dish is for you. My sinuses were pleasantly tingling through every meaty bite. These ribs are part of the Blackstrap BBQ “Rude Boy” Rib Challenge.
The BBQ Sticky wings were very good. They are smoked, stewed in a pleasantly sweet BBQ sauce and then finished on the grill. The wing meat was moist, tender and smokey tasting in a good way. There was just enough smoke to suggest they indeed had been smoked at some point during the cooking process.Starting Clockwise from the lower left- Mac’n'Cheese, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Pulled Chicken, Pulled Pork, Burnt Ends
The mac ‘n’ cheese was my favorite side of the night. It was a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs, kind of pasta, chock full of sinfully good melted cheese and small chunks of delicious thick bacon.
The mashed sweet potatoes were good, but very sweet and heavy sitting in my stomach from the molasses, brown sugar, and butter that was added. We actually ended up saving them for last and eating them as dessert.
The pulled chicken was tender and moist with slightly sweet smoky flavor, suggesting it had been smoked at some point in the cooking process.
The pulled pork was very good, but could have been a tiny bit more tender. Pairing it with a drizzle of BBQ sauce added some heat and eliminated the need for the pork to be more tender.
The burnt ends were my absolute favorite of all the meats besides Reggie’s smoking hot ribs. They were tender, fatty, and full of smokey flavor. You still get a few chunks of smoky, soft and tender semi-fatty textured meat with a slightly crusty and chewy outside that I’ve become accustomed to over previous visits.
Lightly breaded eggplant parmesean doused in tomato sauce and mozzerella cheese is always a welcome entree. It is vegetarian friendly and exceptionally satisfying.
Adapted from AllRecipes and Smitten Kitchen
- 2 medium eggplants, peeled and thinly sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups plain bread crumbs
- 2 cups tomato sauce, divided
- 1 (16 ounce) package shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).
- Place sliced eggplant in a colander and sprinkle salt over eggplant and let stand 10 minutes; rinse salt and pat dry. Dip eggplant in egg then in bread crumbs. In a hot pan with a tablespoon of olive oil fry the breaded eggplant, about 5-7 minutes on each side.
- Add 1 cup tomato sauce to 9×13 baking dish, half of the eggplant, mozzarella and parmesean cheese; repeat layering process finishing with the cheeses.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
This simple sauce is great with all sorts of seafood, not just shrimp. I’ve made it to accompany lobster, tilapia, salmon, and halibut.
Adapted from Simplyrecipes.com
Makes 1 C of sauce, enough for 4 servings
- 6 jumbo shrimp per person, (about 1/4 lb per person) peeled and deveined
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 oranges
- 1/2 C white wine
- 2 tsp shallots, minced
- 1/4 lb (1 stick) unsalted butter (I reduced the original amount of butter in half for health reasons)
- salt and white pepper to taste
Zest half of one orange (about 2 tsp) and juice both oranges (about 3/4 C). Put the juice, zest, wine, and shallots in a sauce pan on medium high heat. Cook until it is syrupy and reduced. On low heat, whisk in the butter vigorously, 1 T at a time. Butter is used as the only emulsifier so if you had it slowly while continuously stirring, the sauce will end up with silky smooth texture. Do not let it boil. Salt and pepper to taste. Keep the sauce warm while you cook the shrimp.
Heat a skillet on medium high heat. Coat the shrimp lightly with olive oil then season them with salt and pepper to taste. When the pan is hot, add the shrimp. Cook about forty-five seconds on each side. Do not overcook the shrimp or they will be tough and rubbery.
Drizzle the sauce over the shrimp or serve the sauce on the side. This is wonderful with slices of warm, crusty whole wheat baguette or brown rice of your choice.
After waiting an hour for our reservation, the manager sent over a round of the drink we were having to us. Sister restaurant to Mistral, the ambiance is a cool, swank style. I loved their plates with an elegant tree motif.
Our friends really enjoyed their beef tartare, which had onion marmellata and black truffle vinaigrette. I had the American Kobe beef meatballs, barolo sauce and parmigiano which were tender, the sauce flavorful and tasty. I would get them again.
Maccheroncelli, American Kobe beef meatballs $18
Another favorite was the sirloin, cooked at the right temperature. The Angus prime, gorgonzola potato, chianti braised cippollini was devoured.
Last, but not least, dessert. A warm chocolate budino, vanilla gelato. The hearts were adorable and berry jellies.