We fondly remember those days when we’d lazily discuss where to get dinner in Wellesley, pick a place, and simply enjoy, perhaps with friends and family. Wait staff would bring our food, take away the dishes, and manage all clean-up. Those were the days.
It got me thinking, when was the last time I went AWOL from the kitchen and enjoyed a leisurely meal out? I asked a few Wellesley folks to reminisce about the good old days. The question: Where was your most recent restaurant meal in Wellesley?
Who: Mary Bowers, active with the Wellesley Council on Aging, namesake of the Mary Bowers Cafe and Lounge at the Tolls Parsons Center, mom of three (two daughters and a son), and Wellesley High School graduate.
Most recent sit-down restaurant meal: Mark’s Pizza & Subs, 10B Washington St.
Mary says, “My son was down from New Hampshire. He was on business at Hanscom Field. He called me up and said, ‘Hey, let’s go out for pizza.’ We went to Mark’s and had hot and spicy chicken fingers and pizza with peppers and onions. We washed it down with cold drinks.”
Due to COVID-19, Mary is now confined to the grounds of Waterstone at Wellesley, like the rest of the residents at the 134-apartment independent and assisted living facility in Wellesley Hills. “They just said they don’t even want us going over to CVS at this point,” she said.
Who: Veronica Sagherian, owner of Impulse in Linden Square
Most recent sit-down restaurant meal: Door No. 7, Linden Square
Veronica joined a friend over at the bar for drinks and appetizers after work one evening. “It was a couple of weeks before everything shut down and it was still normal to just go out,” she says. “We had crispy cauliflower, which they do nice and light, and I remember we had some type of taco. For a cocktail, the bartender made me a Blind Tiger. It had grapefruit, tarragon infused mezcal, spicy habanero agave, and there was salt on the rim, kind of like a margarita. It was great.
“I really miss my normal, everyday life,” Veronica sighed. “On the plus side, we’ve upped our online game at Impulse, and we do free curbside delivery now.”
Who: Beth Sullivan Woods, Board of Selectmen
Most recent sit-down restaurant meal: Maugus Restaurant, 300 Washington St.
Beth and her family went to their favorite family gathering spot, the Maugus. “For us, that’s kind of a touchstone. Our son (Wellesley HS student Jimmy Woods), loves it. He loves their hot dogs, french fries, and root beer. I do make hot dogs at home for him, but somehow my hot dogs are never as good. We’ve been going there forever. It’s comfortable, easy, and consistent. My husband Gary always brings his newspaper and then leaves it behind for the next person. He gets the open-faced turkey sandwich. I get the grilled cheese and tomato on whole wheat with a side of onion rings.”
Who: John Adams, Wellesley Rotary Club member
Most recent sit-down restaurant meal: Alta Strada in Wellesley Square
John and family members went to Alta Strada to celebrate the birth of John’s first grandchild, Carter John.
“We went to Alta Strada, and it was a lot of fun. It was a festive occasion because my grandson had just been born two days earlier on February 18th. At this point, there was a little bit of knowledge and worry about the virus, but restaurants were still open. We had a nice time. I had a pasta dish, ravioli. It was delicious. All around us were families with kids. It wasn’t super-crowded but there were families having a night out. My grandson lives in Wellesley, too, so I’ll get to see a lot of him.”
Who: Demian Wendrow, owner of London Harness in Wellesley Square
Most recent sit-down restaurant meal: Door No. 7 in Linden Square
This one is definitely cute. Demian Wendrow and his wife Amy, the team behind London Harness, went to Door No. 7 to celebrate Valentine’s Day. “It was our first time there,” Demian says, “and Amy and I though it was very good. We shared the shrimp cocktail and the brisket wontons. I had their special steal filet, and Amy had their pan-roasted chicken breast. Their cocktails are amazing. We had a nice time and really enjoyed the atmosphere.”
Glamorous Valentine’s Day celebrations are long behind them as they help their first-grade daughter Madison with her online learning. “Amy’s mother has been staying with us for the past six weeks, and she was a teacher so that’s been great.”
Who: Tory DeFazio, Celebrations Committee volunteer for Wellesley’s Wonderful Weekend
Most recent sit-down restaurant meal: Captain Marden’s on Linden St.
Tory knew right off the bat where he’d last eaten in town. “This one’s easy, because we had family visiting so I can even remember the date — Monday, February 17th, and we went to Captain Marden’s. I had what I love there, which was the lobster roll. The whole lunch there was very nice. It was a busy lunch hour and a crowd was there, but we could still hear each other talk.”
Although Tory’s commercial printing business, Windsor Press, is closed for now, he’s been making good use of his time. “I’ve been going through things and shredding my past,” he laughed. What we wouldn’t give to get our hands on those incriminating documents.
Who: Deborah Brown, co-editor of The Swellesley Report
Most recent sit-down restaurant meal: Smith & Wollensky in Church Square
Swellesley was in need of someone on the college admissions beat who could write an occasional column on topics like standardized tests and campus visits. I had found someone who seemed willing, so we went to lunch to figure things out. What we didn’t discuss at Smith & Wollensky, but what she ended up writing about: college admissions during a time of contagion.
“It’s really just a bad flu,” our server assured us. Martha and I exchanged glances, but didn’t pursue the matter. A week later, fine dining with white tablecloths and soft background music was a thing of the past.
But lunch was fabulous. I had the Caesar salad topped with grilled shrimp. My dining companion had the Broken Wedge salad with red wine vinaigrette, bleu cheese crumbles, red onion, heirloom tomatoes, and bacon.
If knew then what I know now, I would have added on a bottle of champagne, a dozen oysters, and one of those chocolate desserts restaurants always call “sinful.”
How about YOU?
Use the comments sections below to tell us all about your most recent sit-down restaurant meal in Wellesley. Or go over to the Swellesley Facebook page and let us know there. Remember to like and follow us on Facebook while you’re there. We’re pretty close to 6k followers. Maybe you’ll be the one to push us over that benchmark. Thank you!