Thursday, January 23, 2014

Wine Expo Winner and a Discount Code

          The winner of two tickets to Sunday's Grand Tasting is Sima! Please email me to claim your prize! If you didn't win, I have a discount code you can use for 10% off your tickets. Order your tickets online and enter the discount code SOCIAL. Cheers!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Smash Burger (Natick)

         Smashburger is America’s fastest growing, fast casual “better burger” restaurant with over 240
restaurants in 30 states and four countries. The company started in 2007 and by offering fresh, premium “smashed to order” burgers, chicken sandwiches, salads, signature side items and hand-spun Haagen-Dazs shakes, Smashburger has modernized the way people think about burgers.

          The first Boston area location opened recently in Natick, and I went in the other day to check them out for lunch. As they're known for, the menu featured some items with a local New England flare including the New Englander burger topped with cranberry sauce, grilled onions and cranberry stilton. There is also a light menu with calorie counts listed, and all selections are under 600 calories. I was tempted to get the original Smash Burger (regular size) since it's on the lighter menu, but the truffle mushroom and swiss burger sounded too good to pass up!

          I was not disappointed! The regular size was a generous portion of angus beef topped with truffle mayo, sauteed portabella mushrooms, and swiss cheese. I don't generally like mayo, but will make an exception for anything with truffle! This had great flavor and I was glad they used just a touch; it's all they needed!

          There are also several types of fries including sweet potato and the Smash fries tossed in olive oil, rosemary, and garlic. I enjoyed the sweet potato fries, but next time I definitely want to check out the Smash fries!

          Smash Burger is a great addition to the Boston area dining scene; it's fast and casual but offers a much greater selection then similar restaurants of its kind. I would definitely go back.

Smashburger on Urbanspoon

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Emmi Fondue

          Need ideas for a Super Bowl Party? Emmi's fondue is a perfect party snack, and in addition to traditional dippers like bread and veggies, it's perfect for dipping stadium foods, like chicken fingers, French fries, pigs in a blanket, soft pretzels and even wings!
          Their new football helmet shaped pot fits perfectly with the theme, and is super easy to use and clean up! It's a party decoration and serving dish all in one
          I love fondue, and recently had the opportunity to try Emmi's original made with authentic Le Gruyère AOC and Emmentaler AOC cheeses from Switzerland. It was delicious and convenient; ready to heat and serve right out of the package and done in just a few minutes. I can't wait to check out some of the other varieties like the gorgonzola (all available online).

           What's your favorite way to eat fondue?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Jugos Juice Bar

          Did you know there's a juice bar at Back Bay Station? Jugos offers a great selection of fresh squeezed juices, smoothies, and healthy snacks. They even have fresh produce for sale outside!

          I stopped in for a wheatgrass shot the other day and was impressed by the selection. I love that you can see the fresh wheatgrass they grow themselves in-store.

           In addition to viewing the menu online, you can also order juices for a cleanse and pick them up in store. It's definitely worth checking out!

Boston Wine Expo Demonstration Stages and a Giveaway

Did you know the Boston Wine Expo includes more than just wine? Learn from your favorite chefs on two demonstration stages at they entertain, share recipes and create samples of their favorite dishes! Demonstration take place in the Grand Tasting and are included with your Grand Tasting or Vintner Reserve Lounge ticket. Seating is available on a first-come, first serve basis.

Here's a glimpse at the participating Chefs:

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Stage One

1:30 PM Chris Coombs Deuxave, dbar, Boston Chops
2:15 PM Barbara Lynch Menton, No. 9 Park, Sportello
3:00 PM Ming Tsai Blue Ginger & Blue Dragon
3:45 PM Michael Schlow Alta Strada, Via Matta, TICO

Stage Two - Boston Globe

Chef Restaurant
1:30 PM Nathan Gould Harbor View Hotel - Martha's Vineyard
2:15 PM Josh Ziskin La Morra
3:00 PM Stephen Oxaal B&G Oysters
3:45 PM Brian Emmett CBS's The American Baking Competition 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Stage One

1:30 PM Brian Poe The Tip Tap Room
2:15 PM Jody Adams Rialto
3:00 PM Daniel Bruce Boston Harbor Hotel
3:45 PM Mark Allen Towne

Stage Two - Boston Globe

1:30 PM Mary Ann Esposito Host of Ciao Italia
2:15 PM Tony Messina Uni Sashimi Bar
3:00 PM Louis DiBiccari Tavern Road
3:45 PM Michael Leviton Lumiere, Area Four, A4 Pizza

And now the best part, a I have a pair of tickets to the Sunday's Grand Tasting to giveaway!

For your chance to win, leave a comment here telling me what you're most looking forward to at the Wine Expo. Winner will be selected at random, one week from today (1/23/14).

Sunday, January 12, 2014


          A few weeks ago the bf and I were in the mood for some good Italian, so we decided to check out Sorrellina in Back Bay. I started with the oysters as an appetizer. They came with a meyer lemon granita that was icy, and very lemony!

Oysters: East coast, meyer lemon granita, English cucumber mignonette
          We shared an appetizer portion of the maccheroncelli for a second course. It was the perfect size, and the waygu meatballs and montepulciano sauce were incredibly rich and flavorful.

Maccheroncelli: American Wagyu beef meatballs, Montepulciano sauce and Parmigiano
           I ordered the lamb chops for my main course; these were delicious and cooked perfectly. The carrot and potato purees made it the perfect winter dish, but were light enough that the dish wasn't too heavy.

Lamb Chops: grilled Colorado, rosemary-carrot pureé, fingerling potatoes, marsala
          We shared three desserts, and they were all amazing! I expected the zeppole to be my favorite, but surprisingly it ended up being the semifreddo.

Cioccolato: warm molten chocolate cake, madagascar bourbon vanilla bean gelato

Semifreddo: chocolate hazelnut, frangelico cream, candied hazelnut

Zeppole: Italian doughnut, spiced caramel rum crema
          Overall it was a great meal, and I would definitely go back.

Sorellina on Urbanspoon 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Goldbely and Callie's Southern Biscuits

          I have some awesome friends, and one particularly awesome friend sent me an e-gift card for my birthday so I could try out Goldbely. Goldbely is a site dedicated to finding the best dishes in the country, and making them accessible by delivering them to you where ever you are. The site features everything from candy bars, to steaks, to pizzas, to tamales. You can search by region, by taste (sweet, savory, etc) or just browse the most popular items.

          I had such a hard time deciding, it took me a full two and a half weeks to pick something. I finally settled on Callie's Charleston Biscuits because it seemed like something unique to the South that I wouldn't find around Boston. I ordered them on Christmas, and they arrived this past weekend.

          They came packaged with plenty of ice packs (which were still frozen) and included both baking instructions and information on Callie's. Callie's features seven different kinds of biscuits, although the country ham that I ordered seem to be most popular. Callie's biscuits are available in retailers all of the country and have been featured on the Food Network, the Today Show, Martha Stuart, and more.

          Of course I couldn't wait to try the biscuits, and heated up a half dozen right away. They were buttery and flaky, and came with slices of ham and mustard in the middle like little sandwiches. I ate them for dinner, but they would be great for breakfast or as a snack.

          I love the concept of Goldbely and would definitely order from them again. If you want to check them out they're offering $10 off your first order!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Beer and Cheddar Fondue

          One of my Christmas gifts from the bf this year was a fondue set. I was so excited, since fondue is one of my favorite meals! We decided to try it out tonight with a slightly modified cheese recipe.


Two cloves of garlic diced
1 1/2 cups beer or dark ale (I used Guiness)
8 ounces sharp cheddar shredded
8 ounces mild cheddar shredded
8 ounces swiss shredded
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons corn starch

  1. Cook garlic and beer in fondue pot over medium heat.  
  2. Once it starts to boil, add cheese a little at a time stirring constantly
  3. Stir in mustard and corn starch
  4. Reduce to low and serve once cheese is completely melted
We used cubes of french bread, diced apples, and bits of apple gouda sausage as dippers, but this would be good with just about any bread or fresh vegetable.  I loved the flavor of the beer and mustard with the cheese, it was a perfect pairing and I would definitely use this recipe again!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Tony and Ann's

          Tony and Ann's is a bit of a local legend. The original pizza shop was a tiny stand in North Chelmsford that opened in 1953, and it was even featured on the Simpsons. My Dad grew up with it, and when we were kids he would often drive down from NH to pick it up for dinner on Saturday nights. It's a very unique pizza, and I've heard people say you either love it or hate it. The sauce is sweet, the blend of cheese is unique, and the crust is on the thin side but soft. This was my family's favorite pizza place for years, and for a long time I didn't even like other pizza. They used to close in the winter, and each year just before before closing we'd stock up on frozen pizzas to hold us over until spring.

          In 2002 the original Tony and Ann's closed; it was a few years after Tony passed away and Ann was just getting too old to run it on her own. It was a sad day when I found out, I think I might have cried. Then in 2010 Tony and Ann's grandchildren reopened in Dracut, MA. There were lines out the door for a long time after they did, and my dad was definitely one of them! Since 2010 we've celebrated just about every occasion with tony and Ann's, and my dad gives me frozen pizzas every year for Christmas and my birthday. My favorite is the bacon pizza, which is a perfect contrast to the sweet sauce.

          Tony and Ann's is currently closed for the season but reopens 1/9/14! You should definitely check them out!

Greek Lamb Burgers

          One of my resolutions for 2014 is to cook more (and to cook more from scratch) so I started the new year with one of my favorite recipes: Greek Lamb Burgers. The dish is super easy to make and has amazing authentic Greek and Middle Eastern flavor.


1 lb ground lamb
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 tablespoon dill
Salt and pepper to taste

Greek Yogurt Dressing:
 One single serving lowfat Greek yogurt (I use Chobani or Total)
Juice of one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Cucumber slices
Crumbled Feta cheese


1. Combine lamb and seasonings in a large bowl and form into two large patties
2. Heat a frying pan with cooking spray or olive oil over medium high heat
3. Cook burgers 6-8 minutes, turning frequently
4. Top with yogurt dressing, cucumber slices, and feta cheese
5. Toss remaining cucumber with feta, olive oil, salt and pepper as a side dish