Sunday, March 31, 2013

Chef's for the Cure

          The Massachusetts Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure presents “Chefs for the Cure”, an innovative and inspiring tasting-style event which features the opportunity to sample gourmet cuisine from some of the finest local chefs.

WHERE:        The Residences at W Boston
                        100 Stuart Street
                        Boston, MA 02116

WHEN:          Thursday, April 11, 2013
                        VIP Demonstration – 6:00pm
                        Tasting & Silent Auction – 7:00pm 

Featured this year will be: 

Ø  Jose Duarte, Taranta: grass fed all natural beef tenderloin
Ø  Joanne Chang, Myers+Chang: thai ginger chick salad with vermicelli noodles
Ø  Keenan Langlois, Sterling’s: Swedish meatballs with black pepper gravy and lingonberry jam
Ø  Michael Zentner, Gaslight Brasserie au Coin: steak tartare
Ø  Brian Reyelt, Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar: chilled Duxbury oyster with cucumber gin mingonette
Ø  Ben Lacy, Tastings Wine Bar and Bistro: pork liver mousse with champagne vanilla aspic, milk cream, tarragon
Ø  Justin Winters, Cinquecento: roasted porchetta with pepper mostarda and olive oil crostini
Ø  Mitchell Maxwell, Maxwell’s 148: wild mushroom truffle risotto cake
Ø  Peppino (Shingara Singh), Da Vinci’s: wild mushroom ravioli with white truffle sage sauce
Ø  Nicole Coady, Fixx Chocolates: assorted gourmet chocolates
Ø  Richard Garcia, 606 Congress: Cape Cod clam ceviche with lime and cilantro
Ø  Alberto Cabre, Casa B: Columbian shrimp cocktail on plantain chip
Ø  Erin Erler, Cakes by Erin: assorted gourmet cupcakes
Ø  Larry Kessel, CTCA: hand-dipped ricotta gnocchi with duet of spring peas, crispy pancetta, black pepper relish
Ø  Michelle DeSalvo, Johnson & Wales: meat & cheese bar; French macaroons
Ø  Domingo-Martin Barreras, mixologist at Market: pink ribbon cocktail

          The evening will also include a silent auction, live raffle giveaways and a VIP hour featuring a live cooking demonstration. General admission tickets are available for $125 and provide admission to the grand tasting and include valet parking. VIP tickets, which also include a private reception, cooking demonstration and tasting with chef Jose Duarte, are available for $175.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Thursday, March 28, 2013

"Craft" Mac and Cheese Night at Church

          Gourmet Mac and Cheese with a side of Craft Beer? Yes please!

          Last week  Church of Boston brought back its popular series "Craft" Mac and Cheese. Every Monday night, Chef John Rush will feature a macaroni and cheese dish prepared with artisanal cheeses, meats and vegetables, and pair it with a craft beer selection from Beverage Director Adam Grushey.

          Last week's special was a Shortrib Mac- broccoli rabe and emmentaler cheese paired with 22oz Ballast Point “Sculpin” IP. Sounds amazing! I'll be there this Monday, and can't wait to see what Chef Rush has in store. Be sure to check back and read all about it!

Sunday, March 24, 2013


          Oga's in Natick is a bit of  a hidden gem, located in a strip mall just past the Natick Collection. I hadn't been since moving to Boston, but it used to my regular lunch spot after a morning of shopping in Natick. I tried it recently one afternoon when I was in the area, and it was just as good as I rememberred!

          Oga's menu includes a mix of sushi and other Japanse entrees. I always go for the sushi, and though I've tried and enjoyed some of the special rolls

          I started with the salmon avocado salad, which includes layers of smoked salmon and avocado stuffed with crabmeat, all mixed with spicy mayo and roe. This was a generous portion, and both the salmon and avocado were extremely fresh and flavorful.

          Next was the chefs special 10 piece sushi dinner. This selection changes nightly, and includes some more high end and unusual fish. Some of my favorites included the Seared O'Toro, Blue Fin Tuna, Golden Eye Salmon, Marinated Salmon, and House Eel.

          The Chef's special also included Miso Soup and a House Salad, which was a nice touch.

          In addition to the fresh, high quality sushi,  Oga's has a pretty extensive Sake menu. I started with a sweeter orange flavored sake, then switched to a more traditional variety based on the servers recommendation. Both were very good, although I preferred the orange (in general I like my sake sweet).

          If you haven't been to Oga. It's definitely worth checking out, and by far my favorite sushi outside of Boston!

Oga's Japanese Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Food Tourism Conference Coming to Providence

Mystery Meet is launching the nation's first Food Tourism Conference in Providence this fall. It's an event for anyone who plans their vacations around food, and as someone who does this regularly I'm so excited for the conference!

During the conference, guests will be able to:
  • Sample foods from different places
  • Learn the culinary history of different regions
  • Gain practical tips for planning your own food-based vacation
  • Listen to keynote speaker Matt Jennings of Farmstead (twice shortlisted for James Beards' Best Chef Northeast)
There's only one catch! Mystery Meet needs funding to make this conference happen. Even $1 will help. Visit their website to learn about their  Kickstarter campaign and how to contribute, or just watch this video!

Mystery Meet is a culinary group that brings together adventurous foodies by hosting dinners at restaurants undisclosed to the participants until 24 hours in advance. I participated in my first this fall, and had a great time!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Taste of the South End

          Last week I attended the Taste of the South End with Jen, an annual event whose proceeds support the Aids Action Committee. In addition to food and wine, the event included a silent auction, and some great costumes!

          We started out in the VIP lounge, where we picked up some plates and glasses. We were both impressed by the clever design, and surprised that no one else had thought of it (or at least not that we'd seen)!

          The VIP Lounge was small, but included a couple of additional restaurants, special cocktails, and extra seating. 

          After sampling everything in the VIP Lounge, we headed out into the main room to check out the rest of the lineup. There were tons of big name chefs represented including Barbara Lynch, Top Chef winner Kristen Kish, Gordon Hammersley Ken Oringer, Jamie Bisonette, and Brian Poe. Although a few places ran out food early, I really enjoyed the dishes I did try! Some of my favorites were:

 Coppa: Whole wheat pasta with chicken sausage

 The Beehive: Shrimp and Grits

 The Big Easy: Red Blend

 Masa: Habenero Margarita

 Stephi's: Braised Shortribs

 Stir: Tuna Nicoise

Hammersley's: Smoked Salmon

          This was the first time I attended the Taste of South End, but it definitely won't be the last! Overall it was a great mix of high end restaurants with creative dishes, and the proceeds go to support a great cause!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

City Gusto

          Have you heard about City Gusto, Boston's newest restaurant review site? City Gusto is a great way to review restaurants and create best of lists by neighborhood and cuisine. It's easy to use and has some great features for bloggers, including the ability to link directly to your blog. Active users also have the opportunity to receive invites to fun events like this upcoming Craft Beer and Taco Party!

          Over the next week, I'll be a featured blogger ranking and reviewing Boston's best Italian restaurants on City Gusto! Be sure to follow me and see my picks!

Brunch at Ball Square Cafe

          This month Blog and Tweet Boston teamed up with our friends at Boston Brunchers for a fun combined event at Ball Square Cafe in Somerville. I'd never been, but had heard great things about the food and the long lines!


          Yes, it was long but the get-your-own coffee station and mini cups of hot chocolate handed out by owner Mike Moccia while you wait make it go by quickly!

          When we sat down, I was impressed (and a tiny bit overwhelmed) by all of the choices on the menu and the specials board.

           There were several different varieties of french toast, waffles, pancakes, and eggs benedict. While we decided, Mike and his super friendly staff brought over some plates for us to share: Belgian Waffles and French Toast, both piled high with fresh fruit and whipped cream. The french toast was my favorite; the caramelized bananas were a great touch.

          Having the chance to try some of the sweeter options on the menu made my decision a little easier, and I settled on the corned beef hash with over easy eggs and a grilled corn muffin. You simply can't go wrong with hash and a runny egg, and I enjoyed the added flavor of the red peppers.

          The corn muffin was too good not to share, and after passing it around the table several of us agreed it was our favorite thing we tried!

          Thanks to Ball Square Cafe for hosting, and to the owner Mike and his staff for being so friendly and accommodating! It's nice to find a place in the city with a small town diner feel and some creative twists on classic brunch dishes.

Ball Square Cafe & Breakfast on Urbanspoon