July 9, 2020

Just because Aria has (temporarily) gone virtual, that doesn’t mean we left our love of good eats at the office (though, we really, really miss Amarin)! Now that we have entered Phase 3 of the quarantine here in Massachusetts, more dining options are becoming available to us, which helps to take the sting out of this whole “working from home” thing – just a bit. Restaurants have taken a huge hit during this pandemic, and many will not survive the year without the increased support of their local communities. In that vein, I wanted to take an opportunity to profile a few of our team’s local favorite restaurants that are doing their part to keep the Aria crew nourished. Check them out!


I’ll start: My favorite local restaurant, Steel & Rye, launched a bakery and began serving lunch (in addition to dinner service) during the pandemic and it has been a game-changer. Now, instead of ‘serving’ my husband and daughter three meals a day, I can focus on two! Seriously though, Steel & Rye’s BLT is amazing and the spelt chocolate chip cookie –while not bathing suit -friendly—is to die for. Take a drive over to my (and Scott’s) neck of the woods (Milton) and check them out!


I also have to give an honorary mention to The Grateful Diner in Dedham owned by my very good friend, Johnny Fortin. If you want the best grilled cheese east of the Mississippi, make sure to check this place out. They are doing inside, outside, curbside and delivery -- so they can get your good eats however you are most comfortable dining. For extra credit, also visit his Westwood restaurant, The Toast Office, and his West Roxbury diner, Rox Diner. They all are offering lots of different contactless and ‘pandemic friendly’ dining options. You will not be disappointed! (P.S. make sure to tell Johnny I sent you!)


SVP Ross Homer, my fellow ‘VP of Food’ said: For me, it’s 80 Thoreau, my favorite local restaurant that opened soon after my family moved to Concord. Though they are known for their high-end farm-to-table cuisine, they also make a damn good burger, which we ordered for curbside pick-up the other day. The whole thing is made in-house from scratch, right down to the house pickles and ketchup (or, as they call it, “Thoreau Sauce”). Yum!


And, here’s what our Wellness Officer Ashley Owen had to say: Long before COVID entered the scene and we were still working in the office, Los Amigos was my go-to lunch destination. Luckily there’s another Los Amigos location 5 minutes from my house, so even during the pandemic I have been able to sustain a “healthy” (i.e. weekly) burrito habit. The online ordering and take-out system is flawless — my food is always ready on time and easy to grab, run home, and demolish. Did I mention their takeout containers are mostly compostable and they use high-quality antibiotic-free meats? Dos thumbs way up!


Account executive Kara McCrudden shared: I recently discovered Craft Food Hall Project in Waltham, MA. There are two different restaurants within the food hall location, but I have personally been loving Project X Street Pizza. I recently tried their “Parmesan Pickle” and “Fig and Brie” pizzas and both were amazing. Curbside pickup was super easy and they now have outdoor seating available.


Lastly, account executive Kahler Buckley made me very thirsty with her response: While quarantining home in Connecticut the thing I miss the most (about Boston) is the excellent Asian food. To hold me over, I have been getting takeout from The Spice Club in Niantic, CT. Not only can I have some of my favorite dishes during quarantine, but they are also serving cocktails to go such as a mai tai and watermelon martini.


We would love to continue the dialogue around places to eat during the pandemic and give our favorite local eateries the attention they deserve. Tweet us @ariamarketing and let us know where you have been frequenting!

Blog post written by:
Jessica Cohen
Author: Jessica Cohen
Executive Vice President