Oliver's Chili Peppers

Oliver's Chili Peppers

Monday, February 7, 2011

It really IS good to be close!

Kendall-Jackson Pinot Noir
I'd like to take a moment to write about the importance of good, neighborhood restaurants. The kind that you can go to on a Tuesday or a date-night Friday, and you are always satisfied with the outcome. Near my house, that restaurant is now Stonehill Restaurant & Tavern. We have several choices around; standard Italian, good Vietnamese, dim sum, chains and fast food. But, when Stonehill finally opened, for me, there was a warm glow and choir music surrounding the place. It meant that I no longer had to compromise on experience for food, or wine for price or any of the other concessions that I make when I want to stay close to home. Here is my review of our most recent experience...

Spicy Pork Tacos
We were there to celebrate and without a reservation, and still were welcomed with excellent service, and beautiful cozy booth, and the well-thought-out wine list. A note about wine lists from someone like me, that thinks a $6 house wine cannot possibly be good; I like it when places list their glasses separately from their bottles, I like glass choices besides merlot and cabernet sauvignon, and I REALLY like the Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Pinot Noir. A good wines-by-the-glass list to me says, "Hey, try a few different things!" and "It's ok that your husband doesn't like wine enough to drink a whole bottle with you!" (Yes, I am personifying the wine list, it only really speaks to me after a bottle or two. I digress...). We shared the Spicy Pork Tacos for an appetizer. These are a treat of spicy pulled pork, cilantro and pineapple salsa in tiny little taco shells. For dinner, my Fettuccine with Lamb Ragout and Wild Mushrooms was, simply put, amazing. It was earthy, rich, and even decadent, if you can say that about meat. My husband's Forno Roasted Chicken was a spectacular feast, plated high and served with a well-made, flavourful reduction, and beautiful unique vegetables. Service was great, music was fun, and there was a happy hum to the whole room that said the other guests were having a similar experience to ours. Have I mentioned the wine tower in the middle of the place? Pretty cool, since there is an elevator running up the middle of it. All of this within walking distance to my house. 

Forno Roasted Chicken
I know that some of you live in places where a good meal, I mean a really good meal, is always close at hand. But, for those of you living in the 'burbs like me, where greasy, theme based restaurants abound, it is certainly a pleasant surprise to indulge in something so good, so close to home.

Stonehill Restaurant & Tavern on Urbanspoon


  1. Those tacos are to die for. A little spice, with a little sweat; and the perfect amount of TACOness (not so much that it inspires the Old El Paso jingle in your head).

  2. I love the idea of the pasta with lamb, but I'm always nervous to try those dishes, afraid of tough meat. But I take it this wasn't? What kinds of desserts did they have?

  3. @Kirstin: I am with you on the lamb comment, it can be tough and gamey when prepared incorrectly. The key I think is to cook it low and slow. My suggestion would be to try it in quality restaurants, and if it turns out badly, send it back! As for dessert, we were too full!
    @Community Garden: Yay for Spicy Pork Tacos!