Showing posts with label seafood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label seafood. Show all posts

Monday, September 18, 2017

Seafood and Drinks at The Hourly Oyster House (Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA)

Grafton Group, which has a good hold on Harvard Square with restaurants like Russell House Tavern and Grafton Street, opened another spot last year.
The Hourly
The Hourly is a seafood-focused restaurant. It was named after the horse-drawn carriages that used to transport people from Cambridge to Boston on the hour back in the day - in 1826. The cozy patio features a painting that shows one of the "hourly'.

I recently attended a blogger tasting at The Hourly and tried some of their most popular offerings.

We started with some raw East Coast oysters served with fennel mignonette. Among the oysters we tried were from Cuttyhunk - an island off of Martha's Vineyard, Island Creek oysters from Duxbury, Mookie Blues from Maine, and Warren's Cove from Plymouth, MA.
The Hourly
The oysters were paired with some Tuck Bekstoffer Hogwash Rose of Grenache from Napa. This was just one of the fun wines that they offer at The Hourly.
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Next we had some New England clam chowder paired with Barrel House Z's Sunny and 79' Pilsner (MA)
The Hourly
We had a small cup of the chowder to taste, but of course, the regular order is a full bowl. The Hourly also makes their own saltine crackers for the chowder, which was filled with chunks of clams. The beer is quite a unique one. It is a ginned pilsner made using juniper berries and it was aged in used tequila barrel. They paired this with the chowder because tequila works well with seafood.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Seafood and Absinthe Go Swimmingly Good at Waypoint (Harvard Square, Cambridge)

Waypoint is the seafood-focused restaurant from Chef Michael Scelfo from Alden & Harlow. Tucked between Central Square and Harvard Square, it has become one of my favorite restaurants to go to for seafood.

One time, I went for the chef's counter tasting menu using a Gilt City voucher (seriously, Boston's Gilt City has some great restaurant deals listed from time to time).

For the tasting menu, we started with some oysters with pickled fennel mignonette, and fish pepper cocktail sauce
Waypoint
this was paired with Ca Di Rajo's Le Moss Pet Nat
Waypoint
We loved the wine. Le Moss is an unfiltered sparkling Glera Pet-nat (Petillant Naturel). Unlike champagne, these wines are bottled before fully completing its first fermentation.

The second course was the steak tartare, 3 minute egg, smoked trout roe, toast
Waypoint
This was one of the better steak tartare in the city, in my opinion. The flavor and texture of the meat was spot on, and the slightly runny egg yolk added a nice touch.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Chef Fest at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai (Big Island, Hawaii): Preview Dinner at LA's Redbird

by guest blogger Bryan Tsunoda (discovering LA)


From Oct 4 - Oct 7, the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai will play host to Chef Fest, a culinary experience featuring high profile dinners paired with wine, food and wine tastings, interactive cooking classes and special cocktail experiences with top mixologists. Attendees will also have the opportunity to get cooking tips from top chefs Neal Fraser, Andy Ricker, Jonathan Waxman and others.

I recently attended an advanced tasting of this year’s Chef Fest at Redbird in LA. Executive Chef Neal Fraser (Redbird) and Executive Chef Thomas Bellec (Four Seasons Resort Hualalai) were on hand to prepare a five-course meal paired with wine that evening.

We were greeted with island cocktails made with Ko Hana Agricole Rum (made by Manulele Distillers in Oahu). During that time, I had an opportunity to speak with both Fraser and Bellec. 
I found them both to be down to earth and personable. Bellec was previously the executive chef at the Beverly Wilshire and is classically French trained. We had a good conversation about food sourcing and I learned that 75% of the ingredients used at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai are obtained from local farms.

We started with the Oysters Brûlée. Bellec made the preparation entertaining as he used a large butane torch to scorch the fresh oysters. 
They were topped with yuzu curd and finger lime caviar. The taste was unique as it was slightly tart with a mild smoke flavor.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Pangea Nutrition, the Mediterranean Diet Meal Kit Delivery

I recently tried a new meal kit service called Pangea Nutrition. Pangea Nutrition is started by two Boston-based doctors. Dr. Christos Mantzoros (Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, as well as Director of the Human Nutrition Unit of the Division of Endocrinology Diabetes and Metabolism at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center) and Dr. Jason Paruthi, who completed his residency at Harvard Medical School as well as entrepeneurship courses at MIT Sloan School of Management. They combined their medical and nutrition knowledge with the entrepreneurial streak in Pangea Nutrition.
Pangea Nutrition
Pangea Nutrition abides by the Mediterranean diet to make it easier for people to adopt this healthier lifestyle.

Different from other meal kit services, Pangea Nutrition actually utilizes Amazon Fresh for their deliveries, while the recipe cards come separately in the mail. This means you can get Pangea Nutrition if there's Amazon Fresh service in your area.
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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Exploring Senegalese Cuisine at Teranga (Boston, MA)

Tucked in Boston's South End is an OG Senegalese restaurant called Teranga. Teranga means hospitality in wolof, a Senegalese language. The restaurant first opened in 2009 and closed down temporarily but reopened in December. I've only had Senegalese food once before and didn't remember much, since it was a long time ago, so I welcomed the chance to give it another try at Teranga.

We started with some Fataya. These are similar to samosas, or pastels, basically a fried dough pie filled with minced meat and vegetables. The ones at Teranga are served with a sriracha aioli.
Teranga
The fatayas are common street food in Senegal, and it is thanks to a big Lebanese presence and influence!

Next, we had some nems. Yes, these are Vietnamese fried spring rolls. What am I doing eating Vietnamese food in a Senegalese restaurant?
Teranga
As it turns out, there's a big Vietnamese influence in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, due to all the expat laborers there! Nems (sometimes also called rouleau de printemps - literally, "spring rolls") are very common there. Who knew!

Next, we had some attieke, which is a couscous made of cassava root. This was prepared simply with onion, mint, tomato, and served with lime. Simple yet perfect!
Teranga

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Daily Guide to $1 Oysters in Boston

Do you love oysters but can't afford to eat a dozen at the usual $2.50-$3.50 price per pop? Fret not, because there are plenty of places and times to eat oysters for just $1 in Boston! Here is a guide to where to get $ oysters in Boston. I'll try to keep this list as updated as possible, but please check with the restaurant before going :)

Of course, do let me know if you know one that is missing from this list!
Sterling's

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Barking Crab (Boston, MA)

Barking Crab is a tourist spot but it's also an institution in Boston's Fort Point. It's a casual seafood spot - in a tent with a view of the water and the city of Boston. With that New England clam shack-like setting and the faux grass in a heated tent, Barking Crab is a meeting place that feels like summer all year long.

Barking Crab
Just like a seafood shack would, drinks are served in plastic cups. Moscow mules, mojitos, and other refreshing drinks are available - they tend on the sweet and strong side.
Barking Crab

Obviously, I had to try the crab at Barking Crab. They offer three types and I chose the one I haven't had before: Bairdi crab ($31)
Barking Crab

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Island Creek Oyster Bar (Boston, MA)

When out of town family or friends visit me in Boston, they (naturally) ask for seafood, so I end up at Island Creek Oyster Bar quite a few times. Really, the trio of restaurants/bars at Hotel Commonwealth is a trifecta of amazing spots dangerously easy for a food/drink crawl. Starting with dinner (and drinks) at Island Creek Oyster, you can move next door for cocktails at The Hawthorne, and then keep going for late night eats and more cocktails at Eastern Standard.

But back to Island Creek Oyster Bar first, a mecca of fine seafood in the Fenway Kenmore area. It's started by the people behind the Island Creek Oyster farm down in Duxbury, MA, so you know they're getting their Duxbury oysters super fresh directly from the farm.

ICO Bar
They have a nice variety of the freshest oysters. A lot of them come from Duxbury, and naturally while the other varietals rotate, they always have Island Creek oysters.
Island Creek Oyster
A great place to sample some varietals you haven't tried before.
ICO Bar
Bread with honey butter

Their most popular appetizer is perhaps the oyster slider ($4 each)
ICO Bar
A crispy fried oyster is served between brioche bun with lime chile aioli.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

La Tostaderia: A Cut Above

by guest blogger @iam_robot

There’s more that meets the eyes to this tiny booth inside Grand Central Market than its namesake tostada – imagine everything you like in a seafood and amplify that sea flavor with fresh salsa verde, chipotle cream sauce, or crème fraiche. I saw the menu and I was dancing with joy! Situated strategically near the entrance and across from Belcampo Meat, Fernando Villagomes (of carnitas fame Las Morelianas) and Chef Sandra Felix (formerly Campanile) are serving up modern ceviche, tacos, and tostadas utilizing traditional recipe and fresh seafood from Baja and the Pacific Coast.

Expect to see thick slices of halibut, wild Mexican shrimp or grilled octopus swimming in a sea of yuzu juice, verde, or habanero sauce. Progressive yet refined and traditional in flavors. Other than the bright neon mermaid sign, there’s nothing in this stall that’d suggest this is a ritzy joint. Instead, the vibe here feels like your favorite cafeteria with its black and blue ceramic tiles, chalkboard menus, and 12 counter chairs. Bring a friend and grab a Michelada from Las Morelianas, I think you could have a memorable Mexican feast for under $30. Here are a few of my favorite things from the menu:

Sarandeado Shrimp Tacos: sautéed shrimp, seasonal veggies, salsa verde and chipotle cream sauce

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Generous serving of sautéed shrimp contrasts nicely against the bright salsa verde and sweet caramelized onion. The chipotle cream sauce adds tang and cooling underneath. Definitely one of the more delicious tacos I’ve tried in LA.

Corvina Fish Tacos: corn tortilla, avocado purée, pork cracklings, salsa verde, and pickled red onions.
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Another winner! Fish is skillfully fried to golden brown perfection while the zing of the salsa verde meshed delightfully with inherent sweetness of the avocado puree and red onions. I appreciate the addition of pork cracklings here, it adds saltiness and crunchiness to the party.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Coni'Seafood: Inglewood's Mexican Seafood Gem (Los Angeles, CA)

This post may be a bit late, but for those of you who still don't know ... some may remember Mariscos Chente and their awesome pescado zarandeado and other Sinaloan seafood dishes, and the chef from Chente and his family has now opened Coni'Seafood in Inglewood, serving the same great items.

The thing to absolutely get is of course, the pescado zarandeado. This whole grilled snook is the state dish of Nayarit and Sinaloa, and here is served with caramelized onions and tortillas. Make yourself a great taco with this great fish meat and the onions.

Coni Seafood
It's quite big so bring a few friends so you can try the other dishes, as well.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Lobster at Belle Isle Seafood (Winthrop, MA)

Belle Isle Seafood in Winthrop has been featured on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations, and it's not that far from the Boston Logan Airport. I decided to check it out after picking up my cousin from the airport. The restaurant was bigger than I expected, with a view of the boats and water. We placed our order and waited for the food. That lobster buzzer they gave us is so cuute!

Belle Isle
Of course, we ordered the lobster roll. They serve it Maine style with mayo and lettuce here.
Belle Isle Seafood

Monday, April 20, 2015

Lobster Roll and More at Neptune Oyster (Boston, MA)

Neptune Oyster is a small seafood restaurant in the North End, and one of the most popular in town. If you don't get there early enough, waits can go up to over an hour! Luckily, we came pretty early and got seated before too long.

Since the place is called Neptune Oyster, we obviously had to start with some oysters. They have one of the bigger selections in town. This time, we tried 4 different oysters from the area: Katama Bay (Edgartown, MA), Thatch Island (Barnstable, MA), Browne's Point (Damariscotta, ME), and Summerside (Bedeque Bay, PEI)

Neptune Oyster

Everything was extremely fresh - I think I liked the Summerside the best from this batch.

Neptune is famous for their lobster roll: Maine Lobster roll, hot with butter ($27)
Neptune Oyster

It's one of the most expensive in the city, but also one of the best. It's served on a buttery brioche bun, and the lobster is soaked in hot butter. It's so rich, the bread gets drenched and the roll becomes messy, but you won't care as you devour it.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Let's Talk About Sustainable Seafood

Last year I attended a Sustainable Seafood panel in LA presented by The Los Angeles Food Policy Council & Sustainable Seafood LA, and I learned a lot about seafood consumption in the US and the world.

Here are some facts about seafood you may not know:
  1. America is the 2nd largest consumer of seafood in the world (the first is China).
  2. We take half a billion pounds of seafood out of ocean each day.
  3. 90% of US seafood is imported.
  4. Shrimp is the #1 consumed seafood in US. Most of these are imported from Thailand. The 2nd most consumed is tuna. Pacific blue fin tuna, as you may already know, is depleted. But you can still eat skipjack tuna (which makes up 60% of canned tuna these days), albacore, and yellowfin.
  5. 50% of the world's seafood is from aquaculture (mostly from China).
  6. 70% of the fish in US is consumed in restaurants. That means chefs play a very important part in seafood sustainability!
  7. 2% of all research and development dollars go to USDA. Only 0.4% of that goes to aquaculture research.
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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, September 24, 2014

Darren's in Manhattan Beach, CA

Chef/owner Darren Weiss from Darren's Restaurant in Manhattan Beach may be one of the very few hearing-impaired chefs out there, but he never let that stop him. His restaurant is an institution in Manhattan Beach, making a mark since 2007 and has recently reopened after a renovation.

The new menu is divided into snacks, salads, small plates, large plates, and sides. Under snacks you'll find finger foods and breads like these Emmenthal cheese rolls with fleur de sel Tellicherry black, pepper whipped butter ($4)

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Either because Chef Weiss started his career at restaurants in Hawaii or because Darren's is in Manhattan Beach, but there are plenty of seafood dishes on the menu.
Small plates: Crab cake (jumbo lump crab, daikon sprouts, soy dry mustard sauce, sriracha, sweet soy sauce, $22)
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To say this crab cake has a generous amount of lump crab meat is an understatement. This crab cake was pretty much all crab meat and I loved it.

Darren's has a small but interesting beers on draft, featuring breweries like Ninkasi (OR), Ommegang, St. Feuillien, and more.
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Monday, September 22, 2014

Brazilian Stews at Muqueca (Cambridge, MA)

Boston may not have as much diversity as Los Angeles, but when it comes to Brazilian food, Boston has more. Just three blocks away from my new place is Muqueca, a Brazilian restaurants specializing in the namesake seafood stew. Muqueca is a Brazilian style seafood stew from Espirito Santo or Bahia, cooked in clay pots.

The ones at Muqueca are typically the Espirito Santo style, made with cilantro, tomato, onion and served with rice and pirao. But they will also do the Bahian style which uses coconut milk.

We tried both styles in the Moqueca Completa (fish, shrimp, mussel. $25.95)

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The only other time I've had moqueca was at a similarly named restaurant in Oxnard, California: Moqueca. I still like the Oxnard one better, though that one contained lobster and was more expensive. These are still quite good, and I'm still happy to find a good rendition of this rare dish. They're pretty generous with the seafood and they're cooked properly with the fish soaking up the stew broth.

What I ended up loving at this place was actually the Dobradinha (tripe stew with white beans, bacon, sausage, $13.95)
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Monday, July 14, 2014

Ostra (Boston)

One of Boston's top restaurant groups is the Columbus Hospitality Group, which runs a number of high end restaurants in town helmed by Executive Chef Jamie Mammano. Their latest is Ostra, a seafood-oriented Mediterranean restaurant in Back Bay.

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Considering the restaurant's name, I obviously had to order some oysters. The fun part about moving to Boston is trying all the East Coast oysters we rarely get in LA. I've tried and loved Cotuit in LA, but this was my first time having Duxbury oysters.
Oysters
There was a special appetizer of hamachi beautifully wrapped in avocado
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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Chaya Downtown Introduces Kaisen Seafood Menu

Following its popularity at the San Francisco location, Chaya Downtown recently launched a Kaisen (seafood) menu.

We had a tasting of the Kaisen menu (and more), starting with the Uni and oyster shooter (Pacific oyster with sakura shio ponzu, ikura, momiji, seaweed). To the right is an amuse bouche of crispy uni tofu (made with uni puree), topped with soft scrambled egg and Santa Barbara uni. Yep, the uni is also mixed inside the tofu, not just on top!

Sea Urchin
What a perfect plate of starters for an uni lover like me.

The Kaisen platter is $62 for a small or $120 for a large one. Served in a beautiful box filled with ice, the platter is certainly eye catching. Want to impress a client or a date? Get one of these!
Kaisen
The platter includes Shigoku and Kusshi oysters, sushi rolls, and a bunch of ceviche and other raw seafood dishes.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Revisiting M.B. Post With New Cocktail Menu

M.B. Post recently launched new cocktails and I took the opportunity to revisit the place, not just for drinks but some dinner also! It's been a while since I've been there and the place was better than I remembered.

beetOn their cocktail menu they include the original cocktail that inspired theirs. The new cocktails ($12.50 each) include drinks like Longshanks (Penicillin with Compass Box "Oak Cross", beet, honey, lemon, thyme). This was one of my favorites, I love the subtle beet flavor. While it might sound strange, it's a great and well balanced drink.

Given the season, there's also King Philip's Bounty (Mojito with Starr, blood orange, mint, lime, tarragon)
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Strong but deceptively sweet and refreshing.

I was glad I ordered the bacon cheddar biscuits. I had forgotten just how good these were, but I was reminded right away! So buttery and flaky, and that delicious fluffy maple butter on the side... these are a must order! We got to dinner pretty late after a long class (scuba lesson), so we gobbled these right up.

Bacon cheddar biscuits

MB Post's menu always features a handful of specials. That night, they had a Saffron risotto with blue crab, shrimp, sword squid, English peas, squid ink rice crackers ($19)
Risotto 
The flavors of the seafood are sweet and delicate, wonderful with the saffron. The crispy crackers provided a nice contrast to the creamy risotto.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Lunch at Wilson Creek Winery (and their Pig Mascot!), Temecula, CA

I'll just admit it straight up. I'm biased. I loved visiting Wilson Creek Winery in Temecula because ... they have Molly Merlot, their pig mascot!

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Isn't she adorable with her tutu, though? I don't care as much about taking photos with celebrities or chefs, but I made sure I got one with Molly.

Wilson Creek Winery is one of the larger ones in Temecula Valley.
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It's beautiful and well equipped for weddings, with a stage already built for special occasions and perhaps live music concerts.
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