Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Behind the Kitchen with Loyal Nine Restaurant

Recently, the Boston Center for Adult Education (BCAE) hosted their second Restaurant and Development (R&D) series where up and coming restaurants are able to test out their menu to a small group of sophisticated diners…. and myself.

Loyal Nine (opening Spring 2015) was the main attraction of the evening. The restaurant’s concept is based off the “Loyal Nine Patriot Protestors” of the Stamp Act, which predated the Revolutionary War, and food selection is consistent with what patrons would have dined on during that period.

First up for my group were the Winter Point Oysters with smoked porter vinegar. Having different types of oysters before (Island Creek, Duxbury), I honestly couldn’t tell the difference tastes of the oysters, but the smoked porter vinegar brought out a good smoky taste without being too over powerful.

Winter Point Oysters
Next up, Scituate Periwinkles with hard cider and dulse sourdough. This was a new one for me, I’ve cracked open lobster claws, shucked oysters from the shell, but the periwinkles took me a few tries to finally master how to actually eat these correctly. The trick was using toothpicks to work out the wiggly suckers from their shells. Once I got the system down, I was good to go and so were the periwinkles dipped in the hard cider sauce and topped with the sourdough bread.

Scituate Periwinkles

Scituate Periwinkles with ever important toothpick!
After mastering the periwinkle dip, it was time to try out the Whole Roasted Romanesco with littleneck clams, bartlett pear, bonito butter and osetra caviar. Looking like cauliflower (yuck), I was a little skeptical about the next dish, however, after one bite I was pleasantly surprised. The romanesco was cooked til a little brown/burnt, which brought the flavors out more and the bonito butter and caviar sealed the deal on the taste.

Whole Roasted Romanesco with Caviar 

Whole Roasted Romanesco with Caviar 
Loyal Nine saved the best for last (in my opinion) when it came to creativity for the last dish of the night with Fried Clam and Pig (yes, piggy) Ear Roll with bitter green relish. Since the pig ear was being fried, I figured that it should taste like any fried food and taste the same, to which it did. I honestly didn’t taste any difference between the fried pig and the fried clams minus a little more seafood taste in the clams. The green relish and toasted butter bun made it seem more of a comfort type food than a unique tasting dish, still creative in theory.

Fried Clam and Pig Ear Roll 

Fried Pig Ear

Loyal Nine should be a successful restaurant once they open in East Cambridge with their unique selection of food (and hopefully better beer/hard cider selection, too bitter for my liking). If you’re ready to try a new place with a distinctive menu selection of seafood that compares to what pre-Revolutionary patrons ate, then Loyal Nine will be on your ‘gotta try’ dining list.

What restaurant is on your 'gotta try' list?  

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Brunching with Kirkland Tap & Trotter

If there is one thing I love the most about Boston, it’s the many choices I have for my favorite meal of the week- brunch. (Okay, so maybe New York City has a couple more options…but at least I know exactly where my destination is…I get lost in the Big Apple).

This past Boston Brunchers event was at Kirkland Tap & Trotter located at, where else, Kirkland Square in Somerville. After a very long and I mean LONG (over an hour from North Quincy, thanks “maintenance work”), Red Line T ride to the Harvard stop In Cambridge, it was about a 15-minute walk to get to Kirkland Tap & Trotter where I, (out of breath and almost sweating from trying to get to the brunch on time), entered into a busy yet welcoming establishment with the open brick walls and wooden tables and a wait staff that was ready to server delicious brunch goodies.

The group started off with giant sticky buns that we shared, although I probably could’ve eaten one all myself.

Giant Sticky Bun!
For my entrée, I decided to go a little differently with Kirkland Tap & Trotter Hot Dog Hash- hot dog hash with a soft poached egg, hollandaise and bacon on the side. As much as I love hot dogs, this dish had a bit too much of a salt flavor (possibly from the hot dog and bacon combined) even with the hollandaise and poached egg, it was too salty for my liking, thus only finishing half the plate.

Yummy but salty Hot Dot Hash
There were many types of different dishes that the other brunchers tried out including: Zucchini & Regganio Frittata, Brioche French Toast and Lacinato Kate& Macoun Apple Salad.

Turkish Hash Plate
With a brunch service running from 10am – 2pm, there’s plenty of time on Sundays to sleep in, get dressed and take a (hopefully) quick train ride to Harvard Square to enjoy a delicious (yet salty tasting) brunch at Kirkland Tap & Trotter.

What's your favorite place to brunch in Somerville? 

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Friday, October 31, 2014

Lunching in Burlington at Del Frisco's

Maybe I’m biased since I live here, but I think Boston has some of the best dining experiences in the country.  Whatever your mood for food, whether it be authentic Italian in the North End, or downright delicious, juicy burgers from R.F O’Sullivans in Somerville, there’s always a place that will satisfy your stomach.

Of course it is always fun to try new places outside the city, which is what I did a few weeks a go with a few other BlogandTweetBos bloggers. Our destination was Del Frisco’s in Burlington, a short trip away by car north of Boston. Although having been to Del Frisco’s earlier in the year in the Seaport District of Boston, which gave diners a very upscale experience by way of prime steaks, classic wines and views of Boston Harbor, Del Frisco’s in Burlington gave diners a more casual experience with their comfortable red covered chairs and the open kitchen with the words “Do Right and Feed Every Man” right above.

Diving into lunch we began with Ahi Tuna Tacos, small taco bites with tuna tartare, avocado and a kick of spicy citrus mayo.

Up next, Philly Cheesesteak Eggrolls, a great tasting mix of sweet & spicy chili sauce and honey mustard.

Last but not least of our appetizer sampler, a trio of mouthwatering flatbreads: Roasted Tomato & Mozzarella, Brussel Sprout and a Mushroom Flatbread.

Brussel Sprout & Bacon Flatbread

Mushroom Flatbread

Now, it was time for our entrée- the Prime Cheeseburger, double patties, lettuce, red onion, tomato, pickles, “sloppy sauce”, a large portion of fries and the cutest little ketchup bottle you’ve ever seen.

Somehow, we had enough room for dessert, a small Coconut Cream Pie and an “Adult” Milkshake- Nocello Walnut Liqueur, Crème de Cacao, Chocolate Liqueur and Vanilla Ice Cream. The shake alone was perfect as an after dinner treat.

The only thing missing at Del Frisco’s in Burlington were the Boston prices. Overall, the food and atmosphere brought a very comforting experience. Next time you’re in the mood for Boston style dining with ‘outside Boston’ pricing, make a trip to Del Frisco’s in Burlington and admire those cute little ketchup bottles.

What's your favorite 'outside Boston' restaurant? 

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Note: Lunch was provided free of charge because you dined as a part of the BlogandTweetBos. All opinions, whether you like them or not, are all my own.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Sip, Eat, Shop, Repeat- Cruising with Boston Brunchers!

With Mother Nature giving us one last hurrah of summer it was the perfect day for a Boston Brunchers event, only this time it was brunch with a twist.

After taking my first UberX ride, I met up with other bloggers at the Cambridge Side Galleria for a cruise along the Charles River thanks to Charles Riverboat Company. Upon boarding, we were greeting with mimosas (naturally), a great setup of some of fall’s latest fashions (each outfit could be found within Cambridge Side Galleria’s many stores), and a very swanky swag bag (filled with lots of goodies and coupons to use that day!).
Getting ready to board our private cruise!

Mimosas and flowers!

Swag Bags!

Swag & Coupons!
Fall Fashion!

Although a bit breezy for my curly hair, the ride the Charles was beautiful, and I even got to chat with a few new bloggers, Lauryn and Rica and catch up with a few other bloggers, Erica and Danielle.

Perfect day on the Charles!

Curly hair and a breezy cruise do not mix!

Fabulous Boston Bloggers!

Erica and I 

Lauryn and Erica

Once back on land, it was time for some good eats at P.F. Changs. In case you didn’t know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and P.F. Changs is running a promo to during the month to help kick cancer the curb. They’ve painted the iconic horse statues outside of their restaurant pink & have asked you to take a picture with them. If you post the photo to social media with the tag #PaintPFChangsPink – they will donate $1 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. 

Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps
Vegetable Spring Rolls
Handmade Dumplings

Hand Folded Crab Wontons

After a delicious lunch at P.F Changs, it was time for some cardio and couponing. A few of the highlighted stores we shopped at included: Roster- an affordable (compared to buying inside Fenway Park or T.D Garden) sports apparel and accessory that cater to both men and women; Francessa’s - women’s fashion, clothing and accessory boutique; and lastly, Plammie, a new women’s boutique that specializes in Brazilian style/fit fitness apparel, (be mindful that their clothing is fit for “Brazilian physique” meaning my size 2/4 frame barely fit in a size large).

Before our day came to a finally, there was one more special goodie to claim- free cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory! Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough was in my bag and in my stomach as soon as I got home!
*drool*...Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake...*drool*
I really did shopped til I dropped and you can bet anything that I’ll be back at the Cambridge Side Galleria and Eat, Sip, Shop, Repeat all over again!

Where are your favorite places to Eat, Sip, Shop, Repeat?

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Note: This event was provided free of charge because I dined as a part of the Boston Brunchers. All opinions, whether you like them or not, are all my own.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

On the High Seas to Hingham Shipyard

One of the many great things about Boston is that you can be in a completely different world at any given time. One moment you’re in the North End eating a Maria’s Cannoli (because the Queen Beans go to Maria’s and not the other guys), the next minute, you’re having Dim Sum in Chinatown.

Boston is also great when it comes to visiting other areas of interest; for instance, taking the Cape Flyer train on the weekends to the Cape, hopping on a bus to Manchester/Essex to enjoy the beautiful beach views, or in this case- taking a ferry boat from Boston to Hingham Shipyard.

I hopped on the ferry in Rowes Wharf by the New England Aquarium which cost $17 round trip. It was a perfect day for a boat ride, only a few clouds in the sky floated along with us for the ride.

We arrived in Hingham Shipyard about 45 minutes later and I was ready to see what the Shipyard had to offer.

Originally built in the 1940’s as a World War II Shipyard to build and launch warships, Hingham Shipyard has transformed to an upscale shopping and dining on the South Shore, however, there still remnants of the old shipyard scattered around the premise.

There were a few stores to check out as I walked around the area including Petco Unleashed, Andrea Savoy Boutique Shop, and I knew that Talbot’s headquarters was local, but I didn’t know they were located right in Hingham. I bring this us because right in Hingham Shipyard is a Talbot’s Outlet! 
If shopping isn't your idea of fun, how about a round of mini golf? 

Hingham Shipyard even has a small movie theater 
After a bit of shopping, it was time to pick a place for lunch. Easier said than done since Hingham Shipyard has many choices in dining options including, Unions Fish, Zendo Asian Bistro, Stonehearth Pizza and a pair of restaurants owned by some local family named Wahlberg? If you’re a fan of reality TV, action movies, or still a lover of all things 90’s (New Kids on the Block fan for life!), then you would know I’m talking about none other than Donnie, Mark, Chef Paul, mama Alma and all the entire Wahlberg clan. The original Wahlburgers, an eat-in or takeout restaurant serves burgers, shakes and tater tots and Alma Nove is an upscale Mediterranean style cuisine with a glowingly lit fire pit outside on
the lounge creates the mood of romance by the harbor.

I decided to go to Hingham Beer Works, where I sat by the water and enjoyed an iced cold beer and a southwestern bronzed chicken sandwich topped with Cajun seasoning, avocado and bacon.

I finished up lunch just in time before the next ferry arrived and right before the rain came in. Once back on the water, I was able to reflect on the day spent at Hingham Shipyard and looking forward to my next trip.

Have you been on a ferryboat for an adventure?

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