Posted on

Instagram Your Rosé the Worcester Way

Whether dining in or enjoying the summer weather with BYOB Rosé is the drink you should be choosing. Pictured: 90+ Cellars Lot 33 Languedoc Rosé is the perfect summer sipper.

There was a short time in my adult life when the mere mention of “pink wine” produced wrinkled noses and piteous stares from my sophisticated friends. A glass of white zinfandel rendered the drinker not only cheap, but also destined for a hangover.

With the rise of Instagram came America’s widespread introduction to a proper rosé. Yes, it was pink, but it could also be dry and delightfully sessionable. Plus, it was attractive and French—like Brigitte Bardot or an Hermès bag.

By 2013, American millennials had developed an unquenchable thirst for rosé.

My yearning for rosé continues to correspond directly to the temperature. When the weather gets warm, I want crisp pink wine, light salads, and fresh seafood. Mesmerizing instagram shots are also a must. Worcester has plenty of spots for sunny day sipping, snacking, and snapping. Here are a few of my favorites.


Rosé is picture perfect on Instagram
Rosé is picture perfect on Instagram

Bocado Tapas Wine Bar
Pairing: Bocado offers a wide selection of “light reds” or rosados from Spain and Portugal. Pair with tapas frias like the gazpacho or the ensalada de madalena, made with chopped lettuce, red onion, hearts of palm, tomato, avocado, and manchego.
For the Gram: Bocado is located just up the block from one of Worcester’s ghostly manufacturing murals. This hand-painted advertisement for Heywood Boot and Shoe Company features a faded red heart. Murals by street artists Adam Fu and Earth Crusher are also within walking distance, located at the rear of the Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center.

The Sole Proprietor
Pairing: The Sole’s selection of rosé sparkles all summer long. Pair with a Buster Roll made with blue crab, apple, avocado, and cucumber then topped with crisp smoked salmon.
For the Gram: Buster the giant inflatable crab was conceived more than 25 years ago when The Sole Proprietor closed for a week’s worth of renovations. Owners knew they would need a boost to make up for the dip in sales. Buster still brings in the crowds year in and year out. Just a short walk from the Sole, you’ll also find the iconic iron bridge at Elm Park and more than a dozen striking Pow! Wow! Worcester murals at Elm Park Community School.

North Main Provisions
Pairing: North Main Provisions offers the makings of a perfect picnic. Ask owners Nate Rossi and Alexis Kelleher to help you pair a bottle of rosé with just the right artisanal cheese. Pick up a loaf of naturally leavened bread next door at their flagship establishment, Crust Bakery.
For the Gram: Take your picnic haul up the hill to Bancroft Tower, Worcester’s breathtaking feudal castle and have at it.

Lock 50
Pairing: Lock 50 has hosted entire evenings dedicated to rosé. As such, the staff is exceptionally knowledgeable when it comes to thinking pink. Pair with the chilled Spanish octopus served with salsa verde and Aleppo pepper.
For the Gram: In many ways, Lock 50 has succeeded in becoming the most Instagrammable restaurant in the city. Aside from the eye catching igloos, Lock 50 is home to a special mural painted by esteemed Native American artist Spencer Keeton Cunningham. Owners are opening a new restaurant called Russo across the street with a camera-ready cave room this spring.

deadhorse hill
Pairing: deadhorse hill has the strongest natural wine program in the city on account of manager, Julia Auger. Her intimate relationship with winemakers from around the world distinguishes deadhorse’s rotating wine list. Visit with a partner or pal on a Tuesday or Wednesday to enjoy their $45 date night experience.
For the Gram: Just a few paces from deadhorse’s front door, you’ll find stunning murals by artists Arlin Graff and O.G. Slick on the Palladium Theater. Owners opened an equally vibrant Korean-American eatery on Shrewsbury Street called simjang, which features another of Graff’s mesmerizing works.

Posted on

Lock 50’s Ed Russo to Bring Classic Italian Eatery to Familiar Canal District Location

A few short years ago, Ed Russo wasn’t in the restaurant business. But he had a vision to open a restaurant in the burgeoning Canal District of Worcester and today, that vision is the restaurant Worcester has come to know as the award-winning Lock 50.

Lock 50 opened in May of 2016 and immediately made its mark. Executive Chef Tim Russo (owner Ed Russo’s nephew) pushes the limits of creativity by featuring contemporary American dishes that rely on local, fresh ingredients. The seasonal menu combines shareable plates along with larger entrees. There is a large outdoor patio that is extremely popular in the warmer weather and this Winter, Russo was again making news by introducing outdoor Igloo Dining to Worcester. Eight colorful and heated igloos allow for patio dining throughout the Fall & Winter months. The igloos have proven to be an extremely popular dining destination, as well as causing a social media stir when they debuted.

Now we learn, Russo has plans for a second restaurant, aptly named Russo, to take the space vacated by the Canal Restaurant & Bar at 65 Water Street.

“The success of Lock 50 speaks for itself. We are grateful for all the support we’ve received and honored to be part of the rebirth of the Canal District,” said Russo. “Now it’s time to bring authentic Italian American food to the hottest neighborhood in Worcester,” he added.


Expanding in the Canal District

Opening a second restaurant wasn’t necessarily on the radar when Russo visited the vacant space at 65 Water Street for the first time. But when he walked through, he knew immediately what he wanted to do. “The space has the feel of a classic North End Italian restaurant with exposed brick, rich wood accents and large windows,” said Russo. And the distinctive “cave room”  he says will be transformed into something very special. “We’ll make it a focal point of the new restaurant, serving as both a dining room and wine cellar allowing customers a truly unique dining experience.”


Ed Russo reviews plans for new restaurant to occupy space on Water Street in the Canal District

New Menu, Classic Dishes

Like Lock 50, the seasonal menu at Russo will include fresh, local ingredients. All the pasta will be handmade and only the highest quality meats, cheeses and seafood will be served. Expect to see approachable, familiar offerings such as Gnocchi, Veal Marsala and Pasta Bolognese. Russo will also pay homage to some of his classic Italian American family recipes, passed down from generations, including signature dishes such as a traditional Sunday Gravy and Minestra Fagiolo Verde (pork & green been stew).

Another surprise you’ll find when the new restaurant opens…antique furnishings from the recently closed Durgin-Park. Russo purchased century-old table bases, bar decor, lighting fixtures and more when Boston’s landmark restaurant closed last month. “The purchases from Durgin-Park will fit perfectly into the space and compliment the natural atmosphere,” Russo commented.

The new restaurant will feature two dining rooms and a full bar area.

Breathing life into the vacant space will take vision, but Russo says he is up to the task. “With Lock 50 really hitting its stride, people tell me to sit back and relax. But I believe in this new project, I believe in this neighborhood and I believe in this City,” he said. And we have no reason to doubt him.

Renovations at Russo have already begun. Stay tuned to MassFoodies for more information about this new Italian American restaurant and a possible Spring opening.