Thursday, January 24, 2013

Birch Street Bistro Nom Nom Bonanza

Before I get into the fantastic experience that was last Thursday night's live jazz dinner at Birch St. Bistro, I wanted to quickly point out an easy way to save money: don't actually use any. Revolutionary, I know.

Here's the thing, people LOVE giving gift certificates these days. It's fast, it's easy, it's more personable than just a wad of cash, and shows some modicum of thought when giving gifts. Gift certificates are free money and I am sure you can think of plenty of occasions where you'll receive a gift - and likely one you don't want (looking your way, habitual fruit cake givers and Aunt "Knit Socks and Hats").

Here's how you fix that: just let everyone know where you like to go, or what you want, and tell them. It's that easy. Shoe store, clothing retailer, restaurant, bar, strip club - you name it, you can get a gift certificate of some kind to it. Just like that you've turned unwanted and awkward gift giving events into fountains of free money. You're welcome. (I accept thanks in the form of adulation in the comments section or burritos).

One place you should strongly consider getting some of the aforementioned free money to is the Birch Street Bistro in Roslindale. It's a nice, small restaurant tucked onto a one way street in the heart of Roslindale Village with an upscale dining atmosphere, well stocked bar, and delicious rotating menu. I mean, they have an ambiance section on their website for crying out loud! We went there for dinner last Thursday night with a gift certificate courtesy of Yana Davis Photography, partly because we didn't feel like cooking (welcome to every night of my life) and partly because it was jazz night. They do weekly live jazz on Thursdays with a rotating group of musicians and it really adds to the experience.The music is excellent for those of you into jazz, and for those looking for some nice ambiance on a date night out nothing beats background jazz (though I would recommend asking for a table near the back if you don't want to shout at your date all night).
While this sounds like something your dad might be into (and mine probably would be) I assure you it is not only acceptable, but cool, for you to enjoy as well.

You didn't come here to hear about jazz or my dad though (I don't think?), you're here for the savings stories. Here is what we ordered: We split a caesar salad to start, which featured a healthy amount of fresh parmesan cheese much to our Kendra's satisfaction and delicious homemade dressing. So fresh. I had the grilled pork chop topped with caramelized apples and gorgonzola cheese, with sides of spinach and mashed potatoes (the latter conveniently covered in more cheese).

Serious 'Noms
Kendra had the roasted lamb served over green beans and seasonal vegetables (which she substituted in for summer squash or something - shocking, I know). Both our dishes were fantastic, with the meat juicy, tender and literally falling off the bone. The sides had excellent flavor and complimented the main dish. I really enjoyed the sweetness of the apples in every bite of my pork chop, which I was somewhat concerned about initially.

Now, for the savings. The food we ordered came to a grand total of $50, which was conveniently the exact amount of free money we had so free dinner for us...

...except for a certain nameless (yet dashingly handsome) someone who happened to break the "only drink water to save money" rule and get a beer with his dinner. In my this person's defense, the Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA was both delicious and paired fantastically with the meal, balancing out the sweetness of the apples with its smooth and not overly hoppy flavor.

So, factoring in tax, tip, and one minor rule violation for the sake of quality beverage pairing, our total came to something like $15 or $20, I'm too lazy to look up the exact amount. Either way, a significant savings over what the the meal would have ordinarily cost and another huge success in the eat great, save money, buy a house and then be poor again project.


  1. 1. Didn't I get you a gift card there in our first days of Rosi?
    2. K was it raining out that day?
    3. Mad props on being adventurous and ordering lamb (and only one substitution?!?)!


    1. Yes you did as part of a magical Christmas present experience. I like to call it the best of Rosi. And that is "I worked out and sweat and didn't shower" hair. Unfortunately, that was the best of the picture options. Sigh.

  2. Nicely done. Oh, but I have to add there will be no gift card to a strip club in your birthday card. Just so we're clear.