Showing posts with label boston restaurants. Show all posts
Showing posts with label boston restaurants. Show all posts

Friday, October 13, 2017

Farm-to-Post Foraged and Wild Dinner at Post 390 (Back Bay, Boston, MA)

Farm to Post is the dinner series at Back Bay's Post 390 that showcases the local farmers and New England producers the restaurant works with. I attended a pork dinner last year featuring Dogpatch Farm and I had another opportunity to attend a special dinner recently. In September, Post 390 held a "Foraged and Wild" dinner featuring (you guessed it) foraged ingredients.

Each Farm to Post dinner always starts with a cocktail reception with passed hors d'oeuvres. This year's most popular appetizer was probably the fried Damariscotta oyster (from Maine) with creamed wild spinach and bacon.
Post 390 Foraging
The first cocktail is a sparkling Cocchi Americano drink with wild peppermint and sweet fern tea
Post 390 Foraging

First course: "Secret spot" mushroom vol-au-vent
Marsh greens, spiced black walnuts, blackberries, wild flower petals, Solomon's plume vinaigrette.
This was paired with Oxbow Brewing Farmhouse Pale Ale from Newcastle, ME.
Post 390 Foraging
The pastry for the vol-au-vent was perfectly flaky. The mushrooms, and other foraged items in the dinner were foraged by Nicholas Deutmeyer. The mushrooms came from his secret spot (hence the name). We had black trumpet mushrooms, lobster mushrooms, and chanterelles. The greens also featured foraged sea beans and sea arugula. Perfect start to a foraging dinner!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Tapas Tasting at Toro, a Boston Mainstay

I have long wanted to try Toro. This tapas bar from duo Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette has been around for many years (since 2005), but there's still always a long wait every night since they don't take reservations, even after they've opened other locations in New York and Bangkok. I finally went to try it when I saw a Gilt City voucher for it. The voucher for a tasting menu wasn't cheap at $100 but it was 8 courses including wine pairing, but the best part is that it allows you to make a reservation! If you've never used Gilt City, you can save $25 off your first order with my invite link.

The tapas tasting started with a Tortilla Espanola (egg, onion, potato, nettle, aioli). A nice rendition of the traditional Spanish dish. The ratio between egg and potato is just right.
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Uni Bocadillo (pressed uni sandwich, miso butter, pickled mustard seeds)
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This is similar to the uni sandwich at Coppa. Of course, I'm always happy to get uni on a tasting menu.

Since my friend is kosher, we got different third courses - I wanted at least one porky dish. I got the Jamon Blanco (Toast with lardo, marinated Jonah crab, black garlic, crispy shallots and avocado)
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While this wasn't what I had in mind when I wanted a "pork" dish, I enjoyed the toast regardless.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Eat the Food from Trump's Banned Countries at These Restaurants in Boston

With all the political uncertainties that have been going on lately, we should stand together and not only show our solidarity by supporting local businesses from the affected communities, but perhaps also take this opportunity to learn more about the cultures of the different countries that are affected by the ban. Since we are all food lovers, why not do so by trying and supporting the Boston restaurants that are serving the wonderful cooking of these Middle Eastern countries? While I couldn't find Yemeni, Libyan, or Sudanese restaurants in Boston, you can try the food from the other banned countries at these restaurants:

Syria
Kareem's Restaurant
Kareem's
Kareem's is only open on Saturdays and Sundays and they only seat by reservation only, so plan ahead to try the refined Syrian cooking from Chef Ahmad Yasin. The menu offerings range from the Syrian national dish of kibbeh to Maqloubeh, a dish originating from the 9th century. Make sure you save room for the kanafeh for dessert. Yasin also offers Arabic cooking classes for those interested in delving more into the cuisine. You can read my full review of Kareem's here.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Boston: Dine at a Discount with GoPapaya App

Whether you're a student or someone with a "real job", everyone loves saving money, right?
Well, Bostonians can now have more opportunities to save money while dining out with this new mobile app startup called GoPapaya.

The idea of GoPapaya is like HotelTonight: they work with restaurants to fill tables during the restaurants' down time by offering discounts to customers, usually between 10-30%. On top of that, since they are new and promoting their app, you can sign up with my referral code "pigs10" and they will send you a $10 Amazon gift card after you complete your first reservation!

The restaurant will set a discount on the app in real time, and you'll have 30 minutes to arrive at the restaurant once you make your reservation. When you open the app, it will show you what discounts are available and for how much, sorted by the distance.
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Once you reserve the table, they will hold it for 30 minutes. During this hold and when you're checked in, you can't reserve another table unless you cancel the current one. Here's when I made one for lunch at Patty Chen's Dumpling Room in Central Square.
Go Papaya
To use it, you'd turn on your bluetooth, and the app will automatically detect when you get to the restaurant and check you in. You don't need to purchase anything from the app so there's no upfront cost like Groupons.

When I got to Patty Chen's Dumpling Room, I just told them I made a reservation with GoPapaya, and they knew what I was talking about.

Patty Chen
Pork Dumpling "Ramen" at PC Dumpling Room


Friday, August 12, 2016

Devouring the Bar Menu at Grill 23 and Bar (Boston, MA)

Grill 23 and Bar may be celebrating 30 years of being one of the best steakhouses in Boston, but don't forget about the "Bar" part of the restaurant! Grill 23's bar menu features some great cocktails and satisfying bites like these Foie gras slider on cider doughnut with jalapeno jelly.
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No, really. Seared foie gras on a donut! I went to the bar menu launch party there and I think I ate 3 of these babies, and still wanted more. I would definitely come back for these - Foie gras lovers have to try them!

Grill 23 and Bar also has some nice cocktails - I love Death & Taxes in particular, with the smokiness of the cigar infused bourbon and the sweetness of the peach.
Grill 23
Grill 23

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Diplomatico Rum Tasting and Dinner at Barcelona Wine Bar (South End, Boston, MA)

I recently had the opportunity to taste the line of Diplomatico Rums at a tasting and dinner held at Barcelona Wine Bar in Boston's South End with Diplomatico's master distiller, Maestro Gilberto BriceƱo.
Diplomatico Rum @ Barcelona
Diplomatico was founded in 1959 and adhere to the traditional Venezuelan way of making rum. They have their own yeast strain for fermentation and use sugar cane molasses and honey from sugar cane for their rums. Diplomatico's distillation process differs from most Caribbean countries which use column distillation. Diplomatico uses column distillation for their light rum, copper pot (to get heavy alcohols), and batch kettle for medium alcohols. The copper pot tradition came about because Seagram's used to make whiskey in Venezuela.

Anyway, the rums. We tasted six different rums from Diplomatico.
Diplomatico Rum @ Barcelona

Diplomatico Anejo
This is their youngest product, which is aged up to 4 years and a mix of light and heavy alcohols (which they get from the different distillation processes). The rum itself has a hint of vanilla and with light sweetness. This rum is good for cocktails and a great value at about $15 a bottle!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Chinese BBQ, Cocktails, and More at Wu Er by WOW Barbecue (Brookline, Boston, MA)

First started as a truck serving Chinese BBQ skewers in Chinatown, Wow BBQ has a brick and mortar location in Malden and has recently expanded with Wu Er in Brookline. Unlike the truck, Wu Er serves a lot more than skewers.

When they get seated, each table gets a plate of fried mantou drizzled with condensed milk. Dessert first? Sort of, and why not?
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Originally, Wow BBQ is all about the Chinese BBQ skewers, so of course, I had to get those here as well. The lamb is definitely one thing to get, but they also have all kinds of other options - both meat and vegetarian skewers.
Wu Er Wow BBW
While these are not for everyone, some of my favorite skewers are the chicken hearts and the lamb kidneys! I also tried the beef neck tendon, but that was too chewy even for me.
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What I also particularly like about Wu Er is the cocktail program. It's pretty uncommon to have great cocktails at a Chinese or Asian restaurant, in general (although I have to say this is not particularly true in Boston, with Sichuan Garden II and Shojo and all). If you're ever curious about trying baiju, or cocktails made with baiju, Wu Er is a great place to try.

Moonlight over the Lotus Pond (Citadelle gin, lime, kaffir lime, jasmine tea, absinthe, egg white) - a nice sour with kaffir lime and jasmine, two of my favorite ingredients!
Wu Er Wow BBW

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Farm to Table Pork Dinner at Post 390 with Dogpatch Farm

Post 390 in Boston is already known for their farm-to-table fare, but every couple of months, they take it a step further by holding a special dinner featuring one local producer, and bring them into the restaurant! I recently attended this Farm-to-Post dinner with hog farmer Sue Frank from Dogpatch Farm in Washington, ME.

The dinner starts out with a cocktail reception on the second floor of the restaurant with delectable hors d'oeuvres like Coppa di testa (olive gardiniera, smoked provolone), Pork fat fried chicken oysters and habanero honey, and Pate en Croute (pistachios, pickled mustard seeds, apricot, pork liver, their own pate herb blend, other meat parts)
Post 390

The cocktail of the evening of course features the beloved pork as well: Lipstick on a Pig (smoked Bulleit bourbon, Pedro Ximenez sherry, bubbly charred rosemary lemonade, candied crackling)
Post 390
It took them 6 days to dry the pig skin to make the crackling!

The Farm to Post dinner was held in their private dining area which was beautifully set.
Post 390

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

An Irish Pub Brunch at The Kinsale (Boston, MA)

A couple of weeks ago, I joined a group blogger brunch at The Kinsale, an Irish pub right by the Government Center station in downtown Boston.
Kinsale
As you can see from the beautiful decor, The Kinsale is a classic Irish pub, but their food menu beyond traditional Irish offerings. While many Irish pubs have an extensive menu, we don't usually equate them with brunch either, so it was fun to check out what they would offer for brunch.

Our group started with some French 75, made gin, lemon, sugar, and sparkling wine. While not traditionally served in a tall glass, it was a well made version of this refreshing cocktail.
Kinsale
We also started with some traditional New England fare: Brown bread with cedar syrup
Kinsale
The Boston brown bread is round since it's made by steaming it in a can. Since no yeast is added, this style of brown bread is dense in texture. This is only my second time having brown bread, and I have to say I like it sweetened with the cedar syrup.

As a starter, I opted for the Irish red ale onion soup with New England brown bread
Kinsale
I thought this version of the French onion soup is a fun take that incorporates the Irish pub backdrop using the Irish red ale, and the Boston locale with the brown bread inside the soup.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Global Flavors at Tavern Road (Boston, MA)

The airy Tavern Road in Fort Point is a hip eatery that merges the neighborhood's recent emergence and the creative community who's long occupied the area. DiBiccari has a lot of connections to the art community in Boston (his uncle was an artist), so the artwork displayed in his restaurant is also done by local artists.

Tavern Road
Tavern Road's menu spans diverse global influences. Diners may start with some Sumac hummus and grilled beans with apple, sesame, and freshly baked pita ($8)
Tavern Road
In fact, diners should start with this amazing sumac hummus, along with the warm, fluffy pita. It's unlike other hummus you've had. The sumac and apple adds a refreshing tartness, and I am always partial to the nutty sesame flavor. I could't stop munching on the pita and hummus!

Chickpea frites, sweet and spicy tomato jam ($5)
Tavern Road
When I read the description, I was imagining falafels, but these cubes of ground chickpeas are surprisingly smooth and creamy morsels.

Maine Crab conserva, soffrito, fried pita, pickles, herbs ($12)
Tavern Road
Shifting direction to a jar of light marinated crab. The fresh pita makes another appearance here and is a great vehicle for the cool, fresh lumps of crab meat.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Modern Meze at Sarma: Worth the Trek (Somerville, MA)

Boston isn't all about seafood and Italian food, there are a few special places that add a big diversity to the available food in town. Sarma is one of those few special places and I have to say it's only a type of restaurant I won't be able to find in LA, making Sarma one of my favorite spots in Boston so far.

Located in Somerville, Sarma is the sister restaurant of Oleana in Cambridge, both specializing in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food, but Sarma focuses on meze /small plates and is more casual.

Sarma
Go to Sarma with many people, so that you can try a lot of dishes - and trust me, there are a lot you'd want to try. Sarma also changes a big part of their menu regularly, so even if you're a regular, you'd always find something new to try. Here's what I had at Sarma over two different visits:

Lamb kofte sliders, tomato, brown butter, pickles ($10) - one of the must gets!
Sarma
It may look simple in the photo, but these are seriously some of the best sliders ever. The patty - made with lamb kofte - was really good and the buns had the perfect texture.

Corn cakes, goat cheese, salty date butter, cilantro, pecans ($10)
Sarma

Thursday, November 13, 2014

B&G Oysters (Boston, MA)

There's no lack of oysters in Boston, but B and G Oysters in the South End from prolific restaurateur Barbara Lynch is one of the best places to get some.

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Carrying at least a dozen different types daily from local to the other coast, paired with prosecco mignonette and a strong wine list, B&G's bar is a great place to taste through new varietals of this mollusk.
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The oysters here are market price, but you can fill your stomach with the rest of their seafood-focused menu, like a tuna tartare bourride with citrus, soft yolk, chicharron crumble ($16)

But don't miss the Fried oysters with housemade tartar sauce ($15)
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These are the perfect bites hiding juicy oysters inside.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Boston Restaurant Reviews (Boston, MA)

A
Abby Park (Milton, MA)
Alden and Harlow (Cambridge)
Ames Street Deli (Cambridge)
Amorino (Back Bay)
Amsterdam Falafel Shop (Davis Square, Somerville)
Anna's Taqueria (multiple locations)
Area Four (Cambridge)
Artu (North End)

B
B & G Oysters (South End)
Backbar (Somerville)
The Baldwin Bar (Woburn)
Bar Boulud (Back Bay)
Barking Crab (Fort Point)
Beat Brasserie (Cambridge)
Bel Ari (Leather District)
Belle Isle Seafood (Winthrop)
Beta Burger (Roxbury)
BISq (Inman Square, Cambridge)
Blue Dragon (Fort Point)
Boston Chops (SoWa)
Bostonia Public House
Brelundi (Waltham)
Brick and Mortar (Cambridge)
The Brook Kitchen and Tap (Holbrook, South Shore)
BurgerFi (West Roxbury)
by CHLOE (Seaport)

C
Cafe Sushi (Cambridge)
Cambridge Brewing Company (Cambridge)
Clio (Back Bay)
Club Passim (Cambridge)
Coppa (South End)
Craigie on Main (Cambridge)

Del Frisco's Grille (Burlington)
Drink (Fort Point)

E
Earl's Kitchen + Bar at Prudential Center (Back Bay)
East by Northeast (Cambridge) - CLOSED
Ebi Sushi (Somerville)
The Elephant Walk (Cambridge)
Estragon (South End) - $1 tapas

F
Fiorella's (Newton)
Fleming's Steakhouse (Back Bay) - late night happy hour
Freshii (Back Bay)
Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe (Chinatown)
Gourmet Dumpling House (Chinatown)

H
Hojoko (Fenway Kenmore)
The Hourly (Harvard Square)
Island Creek Oyster Bar (Fenway Kenmore)
Izakaya Ittoku (Allston)

K
Kareem's (Watertown)
The Kinsale (downtown / Government Center)
Kirkland Tap and Trotter (Somerville)
KO Catering and Pies (South Boston)

L
LA Burdick (Cambridge)
Lansdowne Pub (Fenway)
Les Zygomates (Leather District)
Loretta's Last Call Tavern (Fenway)
Lulu's (Allston)

M
Max and Leo's (Fenway)
Muqueca (Cambridge)
Myers and Chang (South End)
Nebo (Waterfront)
Neptune Oyster (North End)

O
Odyssey Cruise: champagne brunch cruise
Ogawa Coffee (Downtown)
Ostra (Back Bay)
O Ya (Leather District)

P
Pabu (Downtown)
Post 390 (Back Bay)

R
Ribelle (Brookline)
Rino's Place (East Boston)
Russell House Tavern (Cambridge)

S
Santarpio's Pizza (East Boston)
Sarma (Somerville)
Select Oyster Bar (Back Bay)
Shake Shack (Cambridge)
Shojo (Chinatown)
Sichuan Garden II (Woburn)
State Park (Cambridge / Kendall Square)
Sumiao Hunan Kitchen (Cambridge / Kendall Square)
Summer Shack (Back Bay)
Sweet Cheeks Q (Fenway/Kenmore)

T
The Reserve at The Langham - afternoon tea (Financial District)
The Tasting Room at 51 Lincoln (Newton)
Tavern Road (Fort Point)
Ten Tables (Cambridge)
Teranga (South End)
Toro (South End)

U
Union Square Donuts (Somerville)

V
VERTS Mediterranean Grill (Downtown)

W
Wagamama (Seaport)
Waxy's Modern Bar + Kitchen (Brookline)
Waypoint (Harvard Square)
WHISK at Fazenda Cafe (Jamaica Plain)
Wink and Nod (South End)
Wu Er by Wow Barbecue (Brookline)
Yume wo Katare (Porter Square, Cambridge)

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