Sunday, August 28, 2016

Boston Magazine's The Cue

          For several years in a row now, Boston Magazine has hosted a two night summer food festival including two fun events: Battle of the Burger and The Cue. I attended The Cue, which took place the first night in the seaport.

          The event hosted by Joe Gatto, included a 12-mixologist cocktail shakedown complemented by some of the best BBQ in town. I started with some Oysters from Neptune Oyster in the VIP lounge, and enjoyed this gorgeous view.


           Next I went on to sample tons of BBQ and cocktails! My favorite cocktails were from  Granary Tavern and The Palm.

Granary Tavern's beautiful presentation

The Palm's twist on a Moscow Mule made with vodka and pineapple
          Sweet Cheek's booth definitely won for best presentation, and the pork belly was amazing!


          I was excited to see one of my local favorite's The Lincoln, and I loved their burnt end taco on a fresh made corn tortilla. 


          The most creative booth (not pictured) was Koy, which had a fun beer pong style game where you won gift cards for every ball that made it into a cup. The fiance and I both won a couple, and  plan to try them for dinner soon!

          Not only was The Cue a great chance to try some of Boston's best BBQ and cocktails, but the proceeds went to support Share Our Strength. Definitely check it out next year!


Granary Tavern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato  
Palm Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 
Sweet Cheeks Q Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Forage

          Forage is a restaurant that opened in Cambridge this year, in the space formerly occupied by Craigie Street Bistro. They focus on local seasonal ingredients, and have a great wine list with an interesting selection of small production and biodynamic wines. They were offering a three course meal with wine pairings on Gilt City, so the fiance and I took advantage of the deal and went in for dinner to check them out.

           The first course was an arugula salad with fennel and blueberries; it was dressed simply and perfectly showcased the bright fresh blueberries.


          Next was a pan seared bluefish with broccoli and potato hash, shrimp butter, and chilis. The fish had an excellent sear, and the flavors of the broccoli and potato hash gave the dish a rustic, earthy feel.



          Blueberries were featured again in the dessert course; the fiance had an olive oil cake with fresh blueberries and goat cheese ice cream while I had a blueberry infused frozen meringue. Both were delicious and again highlighted the blueberries, but very differently than the salads.

 

 

          We both enjoyed the meal at Forage and appreciated the approach of focusing the meal around a few key local, seasonal ingredients. I hope to return soon to experience the regular dinner menu. 

Forage Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Best of Martha's Vineyard Farm to Post Dinner at Post 390

          I recently had the opportunity to attend a special Farm to Post dinner at Post 390 in Back Bay. 
Their Farm to Post menus are prepared with the freshest, seasonal ingredients sourced from a featured farm or fishery every week. It's a great opportunity to learn about their purveyors and enjoy a specially prepared meal using the best of locally-sourced ingredients.         

          I attended a dinner featuring the Best of Martha's Vineyard, inspired by Chef Nick Deutmeyer's time spent on the island visiting local farms sourcing a variety of great products to design this menu. Featured purveyors included The Farm Institute, Grey Barn Farm, MV Mycological, Spearpoint Oysters and Island Bee Company.

           We started with a reception in the private bar and lounge area upstairs which included a raw bar with Spearpoint oysters, fried whole belly clams, spicy lamb sausage kebobs, and Belted Galloway beef and grilled lobster skewers.

          Next we headed into the dining room where we sat down to a multi-course meal and heard all about the featured farms and purveyors. Our first course showcased these simply sauteed shiitake mushrooms served with zucchini noodles, grilled native corn, roasted red pepper, poached egg, and chives. All of the flavors worked really well together and brought out the earthiness of the mushrooms.


         Next was the Cape caught striped bass with sweet pickled fennel, garlic smashed roasted potatoes, and bacon vinaigrette. The fish was prepared perfectly, it was light and flaky and I loved the hint of sweetness from the fennel.


           The main course was most impressive: a whole crown rib roast with whey fed heritage pork, oyster bread stuffing and sour cherry compote. Everything from the presentation to the food itself was spectacular, and despite being completely stuffed at this point I managed to eat every bite of my bone in chop.  




          Dessert was a cheese tasting from Grey Barn Farm and included the Prufrock (a washed rind cheese), the Eidolon (a classic French style cheese), and the Bluebird (a briny blue cheese). The cheeses were served with strawberry onion jam, candied pistachios and cornmeal crackers. Everyone at our table raved about these, and it was great to have the farmer and producer at our table to be able to describe everything in detail and give us more background on the farm.



          Check out Post 390's website to see their upcoming events, and if you have the chance to try one of their Farm to Post dinners, I highly recommend it!

Post 390 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, August 11, 2016

A Preview of Il Molo

          Il Molo is an Italian seafood restaurant that just opened in the North End, and I had the opportunity to attend the opening party a few weeks ago. The space is on Commercial street right near the water, and absolutely beautiful!



          There were some delicious craft cocktails to enjoy, and plenty of my favorite - sparkling rose.


          I sampled several apps and small bites including shrimp cocktail, raw oysters, baked oysters rockefeller and more.




          All of the dishes I tried were excellent and incredibly fresh. I can't wait to go back for the full experience!

*Photos by CBH Communications

Il Molo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, August 1, 2016

Novara

          I recently tried Novara in Milton with a group of friends after one of them who lives nearby highly recommended it. It's an Italian restaurant from the same owners as Abby Park in Milton, with an extensive menu of pastas, pizzas, and entrees. They also offer a gluten free menu, and all of the pastas and pizzas are available gluten free. 

          We started with a couple of orders of beef carpaccio bruschetta for the table, which came with truffle oil and balsamic glaze. It was delicious; the beef was lightly seared around the edges and the combination of balsamic and truffle was a nice contrast of sweet and savory.


          For my main course, I went with the parmesan cod. The fish was light and flaky, and came with broccoli rabe, white beans, a light creamy parmesan sauce, and crispy pancetta on top. It was delicious and just the touch of cream and pancetta made this dish feel decadent, but light at the same time.
         

          Several of my friends ordered the special for that evening: seared scallops and risotto, which they all raved about.


          The gnocchi with rock shrimp, peas, and pesto cream also look amazing and got rave reviews!


          We went on a Wednesday night, and stopped by the complimentary wine tasting before our meal. I enjoyed the white so much that I ordered a second glass with dinner. In addition to wine tastings on Wednesdays, the also offer complimentary beer tastings on Thursdays and $1 oysters Monday - Friday from 3-6PM at the bar. I hope to check out some of these specials soon!

Novara Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Estragon

          Estragon in the South End is a great spot for tapas, I've been going for years and I'm not sure why I've never written about them before! 

          In my most recent visit I tried a mix of old favorites: the tortilla, garlic shrimp, and braised beef cheeks along with two dishes I'd never tried: piquillo peppers stuffed with braised goat and grilled Spanish octopus.

          
          The classics were just as good as always; the beef cheeks incredibly tender and the tortilla a very generous portion and perfect balance of egg and potato. I also enjoyed the new dishes, especially goat stuffed piquillos. The meat was incredibly tender and topped with a balsamic glaze that brought out the sweetness in the peppers.

          Estragon also has a great wine list with plenty of bottles at price points that pair well with the food. It's a place I know I can always go for a reliably good meal.          

Estragon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Pasta Beach

          I recently tried Pasta Beach for the first time when I happened to walk by it; it's right on the water near the Boston Harbor hotel. The menu consists mainly of pastas and pizzas, all of which are available gluten free!

          I tried the pasta carbonara which was prepared traditionally with egg, parmesan, fresh cracked pepper and tons of crisp pancetta. It was delicious and the serving was huge! I ended up taking half to go and it made for an excellent lunch the next day.


          The fiance ordered a pizza with sausage and mozzarella, which he also enjoyed.


          The service at the bar was excellent, and at around $60 the meal was very affordable. If you haven't tried Pasta Beach, I definitely recommend checking it out!

Pasta Beach Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato