Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Potluck Patriots Game

Blog and Tweet Boston and the Boston Brunchers are co-hosting a potluck event this Sunday to watch the Patriots game.

Bring your favorite dish to share (homemade or prepared) with approximately 10 guests.
Wine and souffles have been provided compliments of  90 Plus Cellars and Chef Yves B . 

For more details or to sign up visit the Blog and Tweet Boston facebook page!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Good Friends, Good Food

          Looking to make new friends? Or just try some delicious food? Why not do both, with Boston's new meetup group Good Friends, Good Food!

          The group just formed and hosted their first successful potluck this past month. They have similar events in the works, whether you're a cook yourself or a just a foodie, all you have to do is bring a dish!

Check out their website for information about upcoming events or to join.

The Urban Grape

          Have you heard about the new wine shop in the South End? Urban Grape opened on Columbus Ave about two months ago (the Chestnut Hill location has been open for awhile), and although I had heard great things I hadn't visited until tonight when I attended a chocolate and wine tasting event hosted by eventbrite.


          I sampled five great wines, paired with chocolates from Cocoanuts in the North End. There were some delicious combinations including Moscato d'Asti with a citrus truffle, Brachetto d'Acqui with a liquid caramel, Barbera d'Alba with a pomegranate truffle, Old Vine Zinfandel with a dark cocoa truffle, and my personal favorite, a red dessert wine made from 90% grenache with a chewy sea salt caramel.


         As much as I loved the tasting, I was even more impressed with the selection of wines available. I purchased several rare bottles of wine (which I won't describe in any more detail as they are going to be gifts for people who may read this)!

           Urban Grape will definitely be the new go-to spot in my neighborhood for wine, and I can't wait to check out Cocoanuts and try more of the chocolates!

World Foods Giveaway

As you may know, I've been participating in a competition to prepare some of the tastiest dishes using World Foods sauces! Now its your chance to win your own Thai Curry Sauce!

To enter, simply visit World Food's Facebook page, like it, and on the USA Sweepstakes tab enter your information and password MAFTT
 
The sweepstakes ends at midnight November 30th, so get your entry in now!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Salts

          Salts is a tiny French bistro in Central Square, featuring delicious local seasonal cuisine (and some of the prettiest food pictures I've taken). I tried it several years ago after the Maitre d' at Per Se told me it was her favorite restaurant in Boston and had an amazing experience. I just recently went back and tried the fall tasting menu, which showcased locally sourced meats and vegetables grown in their own organic farm in Canterbury, NH.

          We started with the heirloom squash bisque, with quince, a terrine of fois gras, and chamomile foam. The server brought the fois gras and quince over in a bowl and poured the bisque on top. The terrine was like a layer of silky custard at the bottom of the bowl, and I loved the combination with the squash and tried to get a little in each bite.


          Next was the salad of farm vegetables, edible dirt, and creamy goat cheese. This was possibly the winner in terms of presentation, and I loved the creativity (I’d never think of including dirt, but this worked)!


          Our third course was the scallops, which came with poached lobster, seared pork belly, and baby manila clams. The whole thing was served in a chowder sauce (a light creamy broth), and I loved the take on a classic New England style chowder.


          The next course was a sweet potato agnolotti served with brussels sprout leaves, celery route purée, locally foraged mushrooms, roasted cocoa bean, and shaved parmesan.


          Our final savory course was a hickory smoked beef sous vide served with truffle sauce and four types of salt (two volcanic and two sea salts).



          The first of the two dessert courses, the Yuzu parfait with huckleberries, was light and refreshing, a perfect palate cleanser.


          The final course of the evening was the perfect end to a fantastic meal: a chocolate torte, with peanut butter powder, peanut butter caramel, and caramelized bananas.


          I loved my latest meal at Salts and the food was just as good as I remembered. Next time I go back, I’ll make it a point to try the specialty – a whole roasted duck for two! Salts on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Strip T's

          My company's recent acquisition meant we moved our offices to Watertown, and more importantly, new lunch options! Strip T's is my new favorite that I just discovered last week, and I've already been back twice! It's a tiny place with a lunch menu that includes a mix of salads, sandwiches and entrees. I've tried a couple of things so far, and heard great things about many of the menu items from my coworkers.



          The grilled romaine salad is amazing! Slices of grilled romaine lettuce are topped with a huge portion of shredded, braised oxtail, a poached egg, and slightly spicy chili vinaigrette. The oxtail is melt in your mouth tender, and the poached egg is cooked so that when you break it open the warm yolk mixes with the beef and vinaigrette, creating the perfect dressing.

          The fried chicken is also delicious; crispy and served with a side of honey for dipping. 


          Although I haven't tried the sandwiches yet, I've heard the fried cauliflower and NY's pho real (spicy Thai chicken) are just as good!



          One of my awesome new coworkers was kind enough to email me her review of the Greek salad. In her exact words it was:
    • Fresh and crisp
    • Dressing was tangy with a hint of a sweet finish (I think it’s homemade – you may want to ask)
    • Big chunks of feta, just salty enough (sometimes feta is too salty, but this was not)
    • Love the pickled peppers and red onions topping the salad
    • Sundried tomatoes a good touch
    • Nice serving of fresh bread & butter to balance out the “I’m eating so few calories right now” feeling :P
    • Nom, nom, I would eat it again for sure!

                I've definitely found my regular lunch spot in Watertown! I can't wait to try some of the sandwiches and check them out for dinner!


      Strip-T's on Urbanspoon

      Sunday, November 18, 2012

      Mystery Meet Dinner at the Tip Tap Room

                Earlier this week I attended my first ever Mystery Meet Dinner at the Tip Tap Room. Mystery Meet is a group that gets together once a month for dinner, each month’s dinner is hosted by a different local blogger, and attendees sign up before knowing where they’ll be eating or what will be on the menu (the location is announced 24 hours in advance and the menu is generally Chef’s choice). As a foodie who loves to try new places and all different types of cuisine, I loved the concept! It also didn’t hurt that my friend Jen (aka the Boston Bachelorette) was hosting :)

                I was prepared to try lots of great new things, but I was not expecting Chef Brian Poe to bring out samples of almost every dish on the menu! We started with two plates each of five different appetizers for the table. Everything was delicious, but my favorites were the potato and cheese, and cheese and cracklins. 

      Baked Brie: St. Andre brie, coriander citrus roasted beets, and a warm mushroom vinaigrette

      Cheese and Cracklins: Fried goat cheese balls, duck fat fried proscuitto cracklins, grilled aspargus tips and carrot ginger sauce

      Potato: Seven-bacon tips, beer cheese sauce, fried oysters, and pickled serrano pico

      Rock Shrimp: Katafi and nori fried rock shrimp, cucumber salad, and chile ginger sauce


       Wild Mushrooms: Sauteed with soy and chive vinaigrette, and charred tomato tips
                Next, we each had our own autumn salad, which was amazing and so creative! I loved the roasted pumpkin and tried to get some in every bite! 



                For our main course, we tried almost every type of tip of on the menu including some specials. We tasted steak, lamb, chicken, swordfish, kangaroo, yak, and buffalo. My favorites were the swordfish and yak, and although I decided kangaroo meat wasn’t quite my thing I loved the opportunity to try it and Chef Poe’s interpretation and preparation was outstanding. 

      Kangaroo

       Lamb

       Swordfish

                I was so stuffed I wasn’t sure I’d be able to eat dessert, but the bread pudding was surprisingly light and the perfect end to a great meal!


                I had a great time at my first Mystery Meet dinner; it was so much fun chatting with other local foodies and I loved the surprise restaurant and menu! I would definitely dine at the Tip Tap room again, and attend another Mystery Meet dinner!
      The Tip Tap Room on Urbanspoon

      Saturday, November 17, 2012

      Post 390's VIP Farm to Post Event

                I'd heard about Post 390's farm to post tasting menus recently, but until the VIP event earlier this week I hadn't had the pleasure of trying one. I was missing out! The tasting event had tons of great food similar to the dishes available on the Farm to Post menus, plus drinks, music, raffles, and the opportunity to mingle with other Boston foodies!

                The event took place upstairs, which had two dining areas and a bar. Farms that Post 390 regularly sources from were set up with booths in the two dining areas. Each featured a dish or two, and came with detailed information about the meat and vegetables they produce as well as where to buy. Participating farms and the dishes included:

      Ward's Berry Farm: Pumpkin ravioli and Polenta cake

      Kimball Fruit Farm: Egg Nog Custard, Uchiki Kuri Squash Bisque, Ginger Jalapeno

      Kimball Fruit Farm: Duck Confit and Cider Fritters, Prune plum Sauce, Apple-Pear Butter

      Brambly Farms: Roast Peking style Berkshire Pig, Jicama-Mango Salad, Roasted Peanuts, Nuac-Cham

      Sparrow Arc Farm: Kennebec Potato and Waldoboro Turnip Gratin, Carved Saddle of Venison

      Sparrow Arc Farm: Truffle Soldier Bean Puree, Braised Lamb shank, Chantenay Carrot Crostini 

                There were also a selection of baked and raw oysters from Wianno Oysters, hot buttered lobster rolls and monkfish au poivre from Snappy Lobster Company, and several passed Hors d'ouvres and desserts. In addition to beer and wine, there were four drink specials available. My favorite was the Fig and Pig made with bacon infused bourbon, house-made bitters, and fig puree.


                Post 390 has additional Farm to Post tasting menus lined up for the next few months, featuring some of the farms and suppliers from the event. The three course menu is $48, or $65 with wine pairings. I can't wait to check them out!
      Post 390 on Urbanspoon

      Friday, November 16, 2012

      Recap: Boston Magazine's 3rd Annual Tasting Event

                Fall is a big season for food and wine events, and this week I've had one almost every night! Monday was an amazing start, with Boston Magazine's third annual tasting event at the Mandarin Oriental hotel. I went with two friends and fellow bloggers and we had a great time!

                There were food, drink, and dessert samples from some of the areas best restaurants plus some other great features that really made the event stand out compared to others I've been to! In addition to all of this, proceeds went to support the Greater Boston Food Bank. Highlights from some of the participating restaurants include:

      Artisan Bistro: Crispy Glazed Sweetbread, Duck Confit, Butternut Squash Mousseline

      Ducali: Porchetta Pizza

      Journeyman: Fois Gras Ice Cream with Hazelnuts and Matsutake Mushrooms

      Local 149: Duck Club with Housemade Focaccia

      Alma Nove: Shrimp and Garlic Risotto with Crispy Shallots

      L'Espalier: Okeechobee Shrimp, Slow Cooked with Asian Flavors 


      Chef Y. Bainier: Chocolate Souffle

      Finale: Hot Chocolate Bar

                In addition to all of the amazing food and drink, there was a photo booth filled with lots of fun props to play with!


          There were also tons of great contests and giveaways including the chance to win a car, plus a candy station, where we were able make out own bags of candy to take home. I had a great time at this event, and definitively plan to check out some of the participating restaurants soon!

      Monday, November 12, 2012

      L'Osteria

                Last weekend, I went to the north end with friends and fellow bloggers Jen and Jodi. We decided to try somewhere new and chose L’Osteria based on Melissa’s recommendation. **As a side note please visit Melissa’s blog and read her post about Hurricane Sandy She was in an area hit particularly hard and even without power managed to get this up in support of the relief effort**

                When we first walked in, I noticed the atmosphere – small, like most places in the North End, but cozy and inviting. We were seated at a table right by the window, and as we watched an accordion player out on the street, he paused and came into the restaurant, stopping at tables to play for guests while they enjoyed their dinner.

                Shortly after we sat down, the owner Nina stopped by to introduce herself and checked in several times to make sure everything was going well.

                We started with the antipasto, which included tomato and mozzarella, proscuitto, Parmesan cheese, roasted red peppers and olives. Everything was fresh and tasty, but my favorite was the tomato and mozzarella!


                When it was time to order our entrees, our server told us about several special dishes not on the menu. Among these were veal osso bucco and house made gnocchi. I love osso bucco and their preparation with risotto sounded amazing, but as a rule if a place has lobster ravioli on the menu I HAVE to try it! L'Osteria's was a generous portion stuffed with lots of lobster meat in a tomato cream sauce.

       
                We also enjoyed a side of homemade meatballs and tomato sauce.


                We finished with amaretto cake, which was surprisingly very light. The cake was soaked with liquor and topped with a delicious pastry cream.


                We enjoyed everything we ordered, as well as the laidback atmosphere and friendly service. I would love to go back and check out more of the menu, especially the osso bucco! L'Osteria on Urbanspoon