Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Brithday celebrations:)

Birthdays are very special...sure, everyone has one and one person's day is usually about a billion other people's as well...but this is not to say that one should not take full advantage of the opportunity to celebrate with friends, family and some good food and drink!
I started my celebrations on Saturday with a great hair cut from G20 Salon to freshen up and then met up with some friends for drinks and good times at both Zocalo and Red Lantern.  Between the great margaritas, Bubble Tea Cocktails and Flaming Plums (pictured above), it was a great start to my birthday!

Sunday was a little more low-key, but Monday, being my actual birthday, was when my friends graciously offered to take my out to dinner.  The best thing? I got to choose the location! Well, this was the best and the hardest thing because there are so many great places and to pick one is really challenging.  After going through the process of elimination, I decided to go for Area IV and from the very first dish to the candle on their olive oil chocolate cake, it turned out to be the perfect choice! 
Dishes come out as they are ready and many come out simultaneously, the style of dining makes sharing natural and easy.  We were really impressed with the butternut squash soup, which was a bit spicy and not too sweet. Only the freshest ingredients are used in all of Michael's dishes. The shaved brussel sprout salad complete with candied hazelnuts, pecorino and lemon was also delicious.
Another personal favorite that usually ends up surprising everyone is their signature bluefish salad. Marinated in pungent flavors with spring onions, although this dish is small in size, it is huge in flavor!

Their roasted cauliflower, peppered almonds and smoked paprika vinaigrette was another a tasty little number. We all really like the crunch of the almonds.
We also got their Mac and Cheese which unfortunately was missing the bacon (it was ordered and left out:( ) and the pretzel nuggets.

The pizza was last to arrive, which is to be expected as it is all freshly dressed and cooked in their open brick-oven. We decided to go with the mushroom and fontina cheese pizza with pecorino and gremolata. It came perfectly cooked and presented an excellent balance between crispy crust and toppings. This balance seems to be hard for many restaurants to strike.

Of course, my absolute favorite part of any dinner is the dessert and Area IV does not disappoint. We ordered their olive oil chocolate cake with creme fraiche, cookie crumble and salted caramel sauce. This dessert has been talked up in every review I have read and it delivered a really strong performance. I sopped up every last bit...and being the birthday girl, I definitely had more than my fair share:)
We also ordered their sundae of the day, a combination of pumpkin and vanilla house-made soft serve with house-made (sensing a trend here!) marshmallow fluff, salted-caramel sauce, and  toffee crunch. It was delicious and ordering two was an absolute necessity.
All in all, it was an amazing birthday dinner. Area IV presented the perfect space, casual and comfortable; great, friendly service; delicious food dish after dish; affordable pricing and in the end, we were all pleasantly stuffed.
Thanks so much to my friends for coming out to Cambridge on a Monday night to celebrate my special day:)  


  1. Happy Birthday and sorry I could not make it to Red Lantern. I was literally hosting a ball down in Rhode Island that night.

    PS Great new hair cut.

  2. Thanks and no worries, it was a great time:)
    Hope you had a ball;)