Executive Chef Rick Araujo and General Manager Sarah Lee are not your typical pair. For starters, Araujo is a hometown hero who hails five miles from the restaurant where he now serves as Executive Chef. If his reputation as a former star athlete at Algonquin Regional High School isn’t enough to get the locals through the door, his menu will be. Lee, on the other hand, is a restaurant industry lifer who has worked her way up from busser to manager over the course of her storied career. As a team, Araujo and Lee are complementary in every sense of the word. Her beverage creations effortlessly enhance the subtle nuances of his locally inspired dishes. And, the view from The Civic Kitchen + Drink’s deck overlooking Westborough Country Club’s lush golf course isn’t bad either.
Araujo and Lee recommend pairing the Spring Raviolo with a crushable lager like Banded Horn’s Pepperell Pilsner. The bready malt character of an unfiltered German pilsner suits Araujo’s housemade pasta stuffed with fresh ricotta and Narragansett Feta. The Pepperell Pilsner’s herbal hop presence and its zesty aroma lends themselves to the raviolo’s soft, leafy pea shoots and lemon butter.
Lee names the Blackberry Sage Margarita as one of The Civic Kitchen + Drink‘s flagship drinks, a constant on their ever changing menu. She suggests that you go with a natural pairing and order yourself some tacos. Araujo’s housemade chorizo and sharp pico de gallo hold up to the smoky allure of Chinaco Blanco tequila. Local honey, fresh blackberries, and sage round out Lee’s signature Margarita, the perfect match for the cilantro and lime crema that complete your plate.
Once Lee knows you enjoy tequila, there’s no escaping a special treat from The Bean Counter and a taste of her Nighttime Stroll. Pair a slice of decadent chocolate cake with Dos Alas Anejo tequila, Cynar, brandy, orange bitters, and a luxardo cherry. Cynar is a bitter liqueur that notably contains artichokes. This traditional Italian amaro offers a sharp, bitter edge, and the benefits of a digestivo. Trust us, you’re going to need some Cynar in your life after three delicious courses at The Civic.