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

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 Briceño.
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.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Waxy's Modern Bar + Kitchen Opens Modern Irish Bar with Great Cocktails in Brookline (Boston, MA)

A new Irish bar just opened up in Boston's Brookline neighborhood, but don't expect a dive bar with nothing but Guinness. Waxy's Modern Bar + Kitchen is a modern Irish bar concept from Waxy O'Connor's, a departure from their previous old school pubs, and that means great craft brews and cocktails. The name comes form the term "waxy", which colloquially means a lucky event.
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The cocktails and beer list come courtesy of James O'Brien, an Ireland native who learned the trade at New York City bars. Waxy's will feature 40 rotating beers on tap. The beer list is separated by styles (cider, sours, IPAs, etc) and feature breweries such as Founders, Sixpoint, Harpoon, Firestone Walker, Allagash, etc. Not to worry, though, they'll still have Guinness and Magner's.
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As for cocktails, he's concocted some fun cocktails to fit a wide range of palates, from the Tiki-style
Shake Rattle & Rum (Three Olives Elvis coconut water vodka, The Real McCoy 5-year rum, pineapple, ginger, and Angostura bitters) ...
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Sunday, April 17, 2016

The First Pig Roast at The Gallows (South End, Boston, MA)

The popular South End spot, The Gallows, recently held their first family-style Pig Roast on April 4. The event was successful so hopefully we will see more of it!
This was actually my first time at The Gallows, and I like the themed decorations like the ouija board on the wall.

The Gallows
The Pig Roast was $30 per person for a lot of great food, as you will see shortly!

When we got seated, we were served popcorn. First I thought it was bacon caramel popcorn, but even better - it was popcorn with cracklings! I kind of just went for the cracklings.

The Gallows

Everyone also gets sweet cornbread and sweet tea.
The Gallows

Saturday, April 9, 2016

An Authentic Izakaya Experience at Izakaya Ittoku (Boston, MA)

If you've met me in real life, you may have heard me complain about the lack of good ethnic food in Boston (with the exception of Brazilian and Jamaican food). Well, that's not quite true, because at least there is one authentic izakaya. Izayaka Ittoku in Allston offers what is probably the only authentic izakaya experience in Boston, with a large menu, great food, and cheap beer pitchers!

On top of the already large menu, they sometimes have special dishes, like this stir fried squid with green onions. So good we ordered another helping.

Izakaya Ittoku
Agedashi tofu ($5.75) - a classic, of course.
Izakaya Ittoku
Cucumber sunomono, another great dish to share and a great palate cleanser in between other plates.
Izakaya Ittoku

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Thirst Boston Celebrates New England Cocktail Culture on May 20-23, 2016

There are so many great cocktail bars in Boston, and what better way to explore them all (plus more New England bars) than at Boston's cocktail week, Thirst Boston? Well, lucky you, the next Thirst Boston is coming up soon on May 20-23 of 2016.

Hawthorne Thirst Boston
Thirst Boston took a hiatus but the last one in 2014 was a fun whirlwind of events! Here are some of what you can expect to happen this year, plus a recap of last year's events:

This year's opening night gala (dubbed The Thing) will take place at The Hampshire House. In addition to Boston's top bartenders, the winner of the Best Home Bartender competition will also get to showcase his/her drink here! If you're interested in entering this competition, you can still apply until April 1 (get the info here).
Thirst Boston
The gala is a night of extravaganza where cocktail lovers and bartenders don their finest garb and dance the night away - helped by live music and more than enough bar stations manned by the city's finest bartenders.

Another confirmed event is State Lines on Saturday evening, in which great bars from all over New England will hold pop-ups throughout the city!
Thirst Boston

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Cafe de Boston: A Boston Lunch Spot for Literally Everyone

Looking for a good lunch spot in the Financial District that will keep everyone happy, from your big group of friends or your coworkers? Make sure Cafe de Boston is on your radar. It's a big space with multiple stations, from salad station to prepared food buffet to other stations making pizza, pasta, crepes, sandwiches, and many more. There are desserts of all manners, coffee drinks, free wifi and power outlets at plenty of the seats in the cafe section!

Cafe de Boston
The owner had a couple other Middle Eastern restaurants in downtown Boston, so one of the most popular items at Cafe de Boston is the kebabs - from lamb shish kebab to chicken kofte kebab, which you can get both as a wrap and a plate. This restaurant is also actually halal, they do not use any pork - even the ham is made of turkey.
Cafe de Boston
The menu for the hot buffet rotates. You might find falafels, hummus, chicken wings. There is always something for everyone, no matter what your food restriction is.
Cafe de Boston
Cafe de Boston

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Charcuterie and Vegetables Showcase at BISq (Cambridge, MA)

The popular Bergamot Restaurant opened a more casual sister restaurant near my apartment in Inman Square. I had walked past BISq many times in Inman Square, and I finally had the perfect opportunity to try it when I saw a Groupon for a 6-course tasting menu for $30 per person! I hadn't used Groupon for a while but recently I took a look around and saw that they actually have some great restaurant deals in Boston. I convinced my roommate to join me for dinner one night.

BISq
Our tasting menu starts off with some grilled avocado, grapefruit, frisee, salumi jam, peppercorn vinaigrette
BISq
I love avocado so this was a great starter for me, but the star of the dish was really the salumi jam. Yes, really, it's "jam" made with salumi instead of fruits!

Herb-marinated beets, raita, fennel, sunflower seed granola
BISq

It was unusual to have beets paired with spicy flavors as in this dish.

King oyster mushroom carpaccio, queso verde, red cabbage, peanuts, omelette, soy-ginger dressing 
BISq

This was my favorite dish of the night. A thin slice of king oyster mushroom is topped with small cubes of egg omelette, peanuts, and a bold queso verde.

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.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Healthy Dining at Freshii (Boston, MA)

When you eat out as much as I do, and eat as much unhealthy stuff as I do, a dinner filled with salads and healthy options is a welcomed change. A couple weeks ago that change came in the form of a blogger dinner at Freshii in Back Bay.
Freshii
Freshii is a fast food franchise out of Canada that focuses on fresh, healthy items like salads, wraps, juices and such. They have multiple locations in Boston including one on Dartmouth St in Back Bay.

We tasted samples of quite a few things during dinner including the popular Metaboost Salad (field greens, spinach, kale, mangos, carrots, edamame, almonds, goat cheese, balsamic vinaigrette)
Freshii

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Max and Leo's Coal-Fired Pizza, Now Open in Fenway (Boston, MA)

Max and Leo's is a highly rated coal-fired pizza join in Newton, and lucky for us they've just opened up shop in the Game On! space in Fenway.

Max & Leo's
This is such a great place to grab a bite and a drink before or after a game at Fenway. I really enjoyed the thin crust! We tried a white pizza with mushroom, sausage, and caramelized onion.
Max & Leo's
Wings are also a good appetizer to share. They're not deep fried and the meat was tender and juicy. The favorite (if you can take the heat) seems to be the Honey Hot Habanero wings ($10.50)
Max & Leo's

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sicilian Breakfast at Brelundi (Waltham, MA)

First, let's talk about the name. Brelundi may sound like an Italian word to some, but it actually just refers to "breakfast lunch dinner" - the three meals this Italian cafe in Waltham serves. They actually have quite a unique breakfast offerings. Breakfast, Sicilian style. Brelundi is open from 7am everyday and it's close to the T station, so it's great stop for locals on their way to work.

The unassuming eatery actually has quite a few surprises, like their breakfast arancini ($4 each). If you're not yet familiar with it, arancini is a fried risotto ball and it is said to have originated in Sicily back in the 10th century. They're usually filled with cheese, meat, or vegetable, but Brelundi takes a unique approach with their breakfast versions!

Brelundi

The breakfast arancinis, which were quite big - two might fill me up, are filled with either eggs and spinach, or eggs and sausage. They're also great for a grab-and-go breakfast since it's easy to hold and eat them with your hands.
Brelundi
I really enjoyed these since I usually like both arancini and eggs in general, why not put them together, right?

There's also a 12" breakfast pizza for $8, topped with fresh, housemade mozzarella cheese, bechamel sauce, eggs, and a choice of spinach, prosciutto, or sausage.
Brelundi
I was impressed by the thin crust of this pizza - usually I end up not eating the edges of pizza because it's too doughy or too plain or something, but this one was nice and crisp.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Beta Burger Brings Sous Vide Patties to Fast Food

Using the sous vide method to cook burgers has been done by some higher end restaurants, but at a fast food restaurant? Beta Burger, steps away from the Roxbury Crossing T station, may be the first. While I do think thick patties are the best for sous vide, using this method for the usually thinner fast food style burger still promises a healthier and juicier burger than its counterparts.

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The patties have been slow cooked all day, and when you place your order, they will grill it briefly. You can order one of their three burger options, or build your own with a choice of toppings. Their fries (dubbed "skinny fries") are thin fries that come with a packet of seasoning - pour the seasoning in the bag and shake. They had 4-5 seasoning options but everyone opted for the garlic parmesan.
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Topping options include the usual like onions (fresh or caramelized), tomato, along with mushroom, bacon, peppers, and perhaps some special ones for the month - we'll get to that later.
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