Showing posts with label massachusetts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label massachusetts. Show all posts

Friday, June 9, 2017

Thompson Island, a Private Event Venue that Educates Public School Students

Summer is eventually coming to Boston, and when it does, it's time for harbor cruises and visits to the Boston Harbor Islands. Thompson Island is also gearing up for the season. Thompson Island is open for one of two purposes: 1) a private event on the island, or 2) Outward Bound, an experiential education program for students.

The two are connected, and I recently visited the island on their Open House to learn more about both and the great cause the island is supporting! While the education center provides educational programs for students of all ages (corporate team building included), the private events that are booked on the island provide the funds needed for Outward Bound to offer FREE summer programs to Boston public school students!
Thompson Island
The wonderful cause isn't the only draw for having your event on this island, though. Let's take a look at what they offer. The island is a mile off of downtown Boston and takes about 30 minutes with the Boston Harbor Cruises ship.
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It was nice to get off the boat and head to our own private island - at least for the evening.
Thompson Island

Friday, July 1, 2016

A Day of Wine and Spirit Tasting in Cape Cod with Truro Vineyards and South Hollow Spirits

When summer arrives, Cape Cod comes alive. With beautiful beaches, seafood shacks, and more, this New England coastal getaway draws massive amount of tourists each year. If you're planning a visit to the Cape this year, consider a visit to Truro Vineyards for a tour of their vineyard and distillery. This relatively off-the-beaten path destination offers a great day of wine and cocktail drinking with grape vines in the backdrop.
Truro
Actually, Truro Vineyards is not a completely hidden gem - it's a popular spot for bachelorette parties and other celebrations, and once you get there, you can easily see why. Day drinking at its best!
Truro
Truro Vineyards has been producing and tasting wines for a while, but there's a recent addition to the family: South Hollow Spirits. Started by the son, Dave Roberts, South Hollow Spirits is producing rum and gin that are definitely worth a taste. We actually started out with the spirits tasting first before moving on to wines. I have to say , I loved all three spirits.
Truro

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Gateways Inn and Restaurant in Lenox, MA. Relaxing in The Berkshires.

As part of my reviews of Select Registry, an association of bed and breakfasts, inns, and small hotels in the US, I stayed at Gateways Inn in Lenox, Massachusetts. Back in the Berkshires!

Gateways Inn
Gateways Inn is housed in a building that used to be the summer cottage of Harley Procter of Procter & Gamble and is now an 11-room inn.
Gateways Inn
I stayed in the Rosalind room, adorably decorated in light blue.
Gateways Inn

Friday, November 6, 2015

Hotel Review: Brook Farm Inn (Lenox, MA)

Fall is a great time to visit Massachusetts, especially towards the mountains. I used the opportunity to visit The Berkshires for some leaf peeping, staying at a Select Registry property, Brook Farm Inn in Lenox. Time for some fall foliage!

Brook Farm Inn

Brook Farm Inn is a small, cute inn/bed and breakfast set in a cottage built in 1882.
Brook Farm Inn

I was staying on the 3rd floor, in The Poet's Room. It's a cozy and romantic room.
Brook Farm Inn


Saturday, September 19, 2015

From Old School New England Classics to The Present at Turner's Seafood at Lyceum Hall (Salem, MA)

I was recently invited to check out the newer location of Turner's Seafood up in Salem, MA. Turner's Seafood opened their first seafood restaurant in Melrose over 20 years ago, taking the name of a popular old fisheries that used to supply to the Westin hotel chain. They opened up the Salem location 22 months ago.

Sure, Salem is mostly about the old witch trials and stuff, but I was more excited about this: Turner's Seafood is located at the old Lyceum Hall, which was where Alexander Graham Bell first did his public demonstration of the telephone! That's history right there.

Turner's Seafood
I also love how Turner's Seafood is supporting local businesses, like the Ryan & Wood Distillery in Gloucester, MA. They use this distillery's products in many cocktails, like the Pamplemousse (Beauport vodka, St. Germain, pink grapefruit juice, lemon)
Turner's Seafood
One of the key components of Turner's is the oyster bar. Sure, oyster bars are pretty common now, but when they first launched their oyster bar at their Melrose location 15 years ago, they were one of the few. Turner's still has a leg up, though, boasting one of their staff, Ryan Kripp (middle), the two-time champion of Boston Seafood Festival's Oyster Shucking contest!
Turner's Seafood
Naturally, we started with some fresh oyster: Kumamoto, Pemaquid, and Wellfleet
Turner's Seafood
Followed with broiled Pemaquid oysters with fennel butter
Turner's Seafood

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Sept 12 is New England Indonesian Festival

One thing I'm really missing after moving to Boston is Indonesian food. I can hardly find an Indonesian restaurant in this city, other than Kaki Lima which pops up every once in a while, but their prix fixe menu is pretty pricey for Indonesian food. If you know any Indonesian restaurant in the area, please let me know!

Indonesian festival

At least, once a year, I can satisfy my cravings when the New England Indonesian Festival hits town. Organized by PERMIAS Massachusetts (the Indonesian student association), this festival brings in many Indonesian food vendors from the suburbs (who typically only offers catering), from Philadelphia, Washington DC, and others. This year's festival will be held on Saturday, September 12, 2015 at Copley Square.
The vendors will be selling various satay, curry (like rendang!), desserts. I just moved from LA last year so I hadn't been missing Indonesian food for that long, but this year I might have to go all out.
Indonesian festival
Here are some things you might want to look out for :

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Ladies' Night Deal at Abby Park (Milton, MA)

Mondays are Ladies' First at Abby Park in Milton, where they are offering a 3-course meal for $30 and includes your choice of beer or wine! I thought it was a pretty good deal, with a generous portion of the entree and a good selection of wines and beers on tap. There are 3-5 choices per course, including a vegetarian option.

The appetizer choices include clam chowder, but we decided to be somewhat healthy and opted for the two salads.

Caprese salad (vine ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, crostini, balsamic glaze)

Abby Park

Caesar salad (Romaine salad, garlic croutons, shaved parmesan, creamy Caesar dressing)
IMG_4654

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A Tour of Island Creek Oyster Farm in Duxbury, MA

Because it's National Oyster Day, I wanted to share with you my recent visit to Island Creek Oyster farm in Duxbury, MA. Island Creek has some of the best oysters in the North American east coast!

Island Creek Oyster Farm
One thing I did not know is that the waters in this area (Duxbury, Cape Cod, etc) is actually too cold for oysters to spawn. They can grow and live here, but not spawn because the water never gets warm enough. Still, there are 3 acres with 24 osyter farmers out in Duxbury bay now.
Island Creek Oyster Farm
Island Creek used to buy seeds when the owner, Skip, started growing oysters in 1994. But recently, they've started their own hatchery. These colorful tubes contain various types of algae that they use to feed the spawning and growing oysters in the hatchery.
Island Creek Oyster Farm

Monday, July 20, 2015

Fiorella's (Newton, MA)

Fiorella's in Newton has been around for 15 years; the owner was only 23 when they opened. The restaurant used to be half the size and had since expanded to include the bar area. This restaurant has a lot of local following - it's off the beaten path and can be a little hard to find at first, but people keep returning and I went to find out why along with a group of other Boston bloggers.

Fiorella's

Before sitting down for dinner, we mingled over a glass of Blueberry Smash, made with bourbon and blueberry simple syrup.
Fiorella's
Fiorella's
The new bar area
We shared some appetizers to start: Arancini (large crisp risotto ball stuffed with mozzarella cheese, served with their signature marinara sauce, $7)
Fiorella's
A nice dish that also showcases their marinara sauce. It's quite a comforting dish with the melted cheese and the hearty sauce.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Gloucester-based Matlaw's Stuffed Clams for Grilling Season

In New England, summer and grilling season shouldn't just mean burgers and hot dogs ... but New England seafood! I recently got sent some stuffed clams from Matlaw's, a seafood company based in Gloucester, MA that was started in 1950s and got popular because of their stuffed clams (they call them "stuffies").
IMG_2855
The stuffies are pre-packed and sold at grocery stores in the area. There are multiple flavors available including chorizo stuffed clams, bacon and cheese stuffed clams, chili lime and more. I tried the classic New England style which was a blend of golden breadcrumbs, chopped clams, minced celery, red and green peppers, and sprinkled with paprika and parsley.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Upgrade Your Office Lunch with Farmavore, Delivered

Cambridge has many great restaurants, but there's not much on MIT campus. I tried my share of Anna's Taqueria, the food trucks (which are too far to be my daily lunch), and the food court at the student center. Nothing worth seeking out.
Enter Farmavore.
Farmavore delivers homemade lunches made with local, sustainable ingredients to your office. The founders actually started out as farmers, so they're committed to supporting local farms.

Farmavore

They delivered a couple of lunches for me to try (OK, to my home because sometimes I go to work really late ....). The lunch boxes are labeled with the menu and how to reheat them (and the calorie count, if that's important to you).
The first was a Moroccan chicken tajine with rice.
Farmavore

As promised, the meal tastes homemade, with fresh asparagus and tender chicken. The chicken had a lot of flavors but not overly salty, I thought it was quite healthy. The portion was just right, as well, not too big, but enough to maintain your energy.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Hello and Adieu, East by Northeast in Inman Square (Cambridge, MA)

I tried East by Northeast in Inman Square not too long ago, but it seems I already have to say goodbye. The restaurant will close on March 8 (they invite you to come in and have drinks and they will send out food until they run out, according to Eater).

East by Northeast says they serve contemporary Chinese cuisine, but their menu is actually more diverse than that. This small restaurant has often been named one of the best restaurants in Boston.
I had a pretty good meal there, starting with the Braised lamb bun, sesame peppercorn sauce, broccoli rabe, pickled golden beets ($5 each)

IMG_3321
This is a nice change from the typical pork belly buns. I actually prefer the texture of the lamb better and the sauce was quite flavorful. Th pickles added a nice texture contrast and cleanses your palate for the next bite. Overall a great bun.

Ramen (smoked pork confit, miso pork broth, soft poached egg, xo sauce, toasted nori, $16)
Ramen
I was debating whether or not I should order a $16 ramen but I figured I have to try all the ramen in Boston at some point.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Florida's Eco Burger Chain BurgerFi Now Open in West Roxbury (MA)

There's been a trend for new chain restaurants to be more sustainable and eco-friendly, and BurgerFi out of Florida is one of them. To start with, all their burgers use all natural Angus beef. Not only that, they use tables made of recycled wood, and chairs made of recycled Coke bottles. Their fans supposedly use 66% less electricity than normal.

Their most popular burger is the Breakfast All Day.

BurgerFi
The patty is sandwiched between hash brown and a sunny side up egg, then topped with bacon. On the bottom there's caramelized onion.
BurgerFi
BurgerFi
Other than burgers, they're also known for serving frozen custards - concretes in particular, the frozen custard so thick it's supposed to stay in the cup if you turn it upside down, hence the name "conrete". No, I didn't try flipping it upside down ...

In the one I tried, the vanilla frozen custard is layered with red velvet cake. Other flavors include key lime pie and one with peanut butter, chocolate, and brownie all in one.

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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