Sunday, January 25, 2015

Flemings in Providence

          Flemings was my first introduction to higher end dining in Boston years ago, when I was still in high school and living in NH. I didn't eat steak at the time, so I ordered the chicken and to this day it's one of my favorite dishes (although I do enjoy the steak as well).

           Earlier this week I headed to the Providence location for a girls night out during restaurant week. Although everyone loved the food, the biggest hit of the night was definitely this cocktail (being shown beautifully by Jeannie)!  The Winter Chai Mule was seriously one of the best cocktails I've ever had, it was made with Svedka vanilla vodka, and a delicious spice blend including some vanilla and nutmeg.

          I skipped the restaurant week menu because I absolutely had to get the chicken, and it was just as good as I remembered with a white wine, mushroom, leek, and thyme sauce. I also ordered the creamed spinach, another old favorite, and was so excited to dig in I forgot to get a pic!

          Most of the group got the restaurant week menu, and they all enjoyed the steaks, caesar salads, and desserts. Restaurant week can be hit or miss, sometimes the portions are small and not representative of what you'd get on any other night. That was not the case with Flemings; the portion sizes were huge and a few people even brought food home, definitely a great value!

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Brunch at Papagayo

          You may have seen my post about Karaoke brunch at Papagayo; if you sing your meal is free and for the month of January all brunch entrees are 1/2 price (whether you sing or not).

          Last weekend I went to check it out with group of bloggers, and yes we did sing!

          There was a buffet that looked delicious, as well as several great menu options I would've liked to try. Since I've been trying to eat healthy, I went with the roasted turkey and avocado omelet with egg whites and extra greens. It was delicious and definitely filling!

          I tried a tiny bite of the french toast (yum)! and drooled over the eggs benedict and some of the other Mexican dishes.


          I did splurge on a Bloody Mary (extra spicy),  to prepare me for singing karoake! I had the traditional version with vodka, but I heard Papagayo's version with tequila was also amazing. 

          In addition to the karaoke brunch, Papagayo also has some amazing promotions coming up in February. 

  1. On Superbowl Sunday, all diners will receive their food for free if the patriots win. If they lose, meals will be half price. The only catch is you must purchase a beverage and be there at kick off. Reservations are also mandatory for operational staffing.
  2. They also have  some amazing specials on Valentine's Day for singles and couples. Check out all of the details here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Loco Taqueria and Oyster Bar

          One of Southie's most anticipated restaurants opened last night; the owners of the Lincoln opened up a taco and oyster bar just across the street. The place was completely packed on opening night, and definitely unlike anything else in Southie!

          When I first heard about the concept, I thought it sounded interesting but wondered how the tacos and raw bar would fit together. After looking at the menu, it all made sense. The raw bar included several different types of ceviche dishes (and after talking to the Chef we learned he plans to add even more), and each of the crudo dishes had a bit of a latin flare. The tacos were on the upscale side (although very affordable) and included plenty of seafood and vegetarian options.

          Instead of the traditional chips and salsa, they brought over some sliced cucumbers in a spicy vinaigrette to start. I loved these, and was glad to have a healthy alternative!

          The fiance and I shared a couple of items from the raw bar including sea bass ceviche with amarillo leche de tigre, green mango, and thai basil ice, and the tuna crudo with avocado, lime cream, and tempura flakes. I loved both of these, they were both incredibly creative with great combinations of sweet and savory flavors. I'm really excited to go back and try some of the other types of ceviche.

          The fiance ordered the queso dip with chihuahua queso and crumbled chorizo. Although I was trying to be healthy, I couldn't resist stealing a few bites! The chorizo was sweet and spicy at the same time, and the dip had bits of spicy peppers and roasted garlic.

          I ordered the lobster tacos with griddle onions, warm pickled corn and butter relish for my main course and the fiance ordered the carne asada. Each order came with two tacos, which was the perfect size after all of the apps.

          I was impressed with how excellent both the food and service were on opening night, especially given how busy it was. I can see Loco definitely becoming a new hot spot in the neighborhood!

 Loco Taqueria and Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Top 5 iPhone Apps for Foodies and Bloggers in 2015

          I've always been fairly tech savvy, but blogging has taken it to a whole new level especially when it comes to social media and mobile apps. There are so many out there, I've compiled a list of my favorite restaurant, food, and blogging related apps by category.

City Guide and Review Apps:


HeyLets (currently iPhone only)


HeyLets app is probably the newest on this list, they launched in 2014 and I'm convinced it's going to be the next big thing. HeyLets is a social city guide, powered by locals and built on positivity. I use HeyLets to find new restaurants, salons, spas, fitness classes, parks, and more. You can even create a wish list of places you want to try and follow your favorite local influencers. I love that there are no negative reviews, because it's the same idea behind my blog. I share places I love and generally don't post about a place at all if I don't have something good to say. You can download it from the itunes store and try it here.

Open Table


Open Table is a little different than the other apps in this category because it's used for making restaurant reservations as well as looking up restaurants and reviews. Some of my favorite features include the ability to search for nearby restaurants with reservations based on your GPS location, collect points to redeem toward gift cards, read and post reviews, and make lists of your favorite restaurants.

Urban Spoon (recently sold to Zomato)


Urban Spoon is another of my favorites for reviews, and I've found it to be more credible than some sites and apps because it's so popular with bloggers. I also love Urban Spoon because of their blogger program. If you sign up as a blogger, you can embed a spoon back link into your blog posts with a simple HTML tag. This automatically creates a post on Urban Spoon linking back to your blog. It takes almost no time at all, and I've found it generates a lot of traffic. I also browse the recent blog posts on the site to find out about the newest restaurants. You can view the Boston Blogger Leader Board here.

Social Media Apps: 



Twitter is a great source for finding and sharing content, as well as connecting with other bloggers and social media influencers. Make sure to use hashtags so that people searching for a particular topic will find your posts, and participate in twitter chats to gain more exposure.




I love Instagram for many of the same reasons as twitter, it's a great resource for connecting with other bloggers and influencers, and getting your content out there. It can be a little harder to redirect people to your blog because of the inability to include links in posts, but there are ways around that including: sharing on twitter and facebook where the link will post and directing people the link in your profile. Hashtags are even more popular on instagram and can help generate followers and more likes on your posts. Some of the most popular include #instagood, #picoftheday, #tagforlikes, #follow, and #igers

          What are your favorite apps and tips and tricks for using them successfully? Let me know in the comments section!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Loretta's Last Call

          Always a procrastinator, I started my diet on January 2nd this year (and I'm already down 5.3 lbs, yay)! Loretta's Last Call is a place I've been wanting to try since they opened - they have four different kinds of fried chicken on the menu plus tons of yummy sounding Southern influenced dishes. Since I knew I wouldn't be eating like this again for awhile, the fiance and I met up with some family who were in town and had an early dinner on New Year's day.

          I started with the Hibiscus Kiss, a cocktail with vodka, ginger-hibiscus syrup, elderflower liqueur, ginger ale and lemon peel served in this cute mason jar with a fun straw.

          We all shared an order of frito nachos for the table, which came smothered with cheese sauce and chili. The plate may not look big enough for seven people to share, but it was so indulgent that just a taste was plenty!

           The BBQ chicken wings were also very good, I loved the smoky flavor in the sauce. 

          I ordered the chicken and sausage gumbo for my main course, which was served over rice with some crusty bread for dipping. This was a little spicy and defnitely tasted like authentic southern soul food. I couldn't even make it through half the dish, it was so filling!

          The fiance ordered beef brisket with house made biscuits and slaw, which he enjoyed. I stole a few bites of the biscuit and it was delicious!

          I really enjoyed both the food and atmosphere at Loretta's and definitely plan to come back to try the fried chicken and check out the live music!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Easy Tuna Nicoise Salad

I've mentioned before how much I love the tuna from sushi at home, and I recently used it to make this easy and healthy tuna nicoise recipe. The whole dish is delicious and filling, and each salad is only about 250 calories.

Ingredients (for two salads):   
  • Two eggs
  • Two 6 ounces tuna steaks
  • Salad greens (with any of your favorite veggies and toppings)
  • Three tablespoons of lemon juice
  • One teaspoon of soy sauce
  • Salt, pepper, and sesame seeds

1. Boil eggs for 10 minutes, let cool and slice into quarters
2. Mix two tablespoons of lemon juice with one teaspoon of soy sauce and dip the tuna steaks in the mixture on all sides
3.  Coat the tuna with sesame seeds, fresh cracked pepper, and salt
4. Sear for 1 minute on each side
5. Toss salad greens with remaining lemon juice, salt and pepper
6. Slice tuna and serve with egg on top of the salad


          This is perfect for a quick weeknight meal after work, since you can do everything in the 10 minutes while the egg cooks. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Best of 2014

          In 2012 I rated my top ten restaurants in and around Boston and meant to update this annually. However, in 2013 I realized I'd tried many amazing new places but still loved my old favorites, and simply couldn't choose. Instead I decided to rate the top ten NEW (to me) restaurants of 2013. Continuing the tradition in 2014, here are my ten favorite new restaurants for the year in no (alphabetical) order:

Alden and Harlow: One of the newest additions to Harvard Square, Alden and Harlow has an eclectic menu of delicious tapas style dishes and craft cocktails. The corn pancakes, pasta with chicken skin and liver butter, squash hummus, and pork belly are all amazing. Read the full post here.

Bar Boulud: Chef Daniel Boulud's first venture in Boston is the closest thing this city has seen to a Michelin starred restaurant. The charcuterie bar with build your own boards and an amazing selection of pates, cured meats, and cheeses is a must try, as well as the raw bar and burger. Read the full post here. 

Barcelona: The second Boston area location of this Spanish tapas restaurant opened in the south end in December 2014. The fideos with chorizo, foie gras, and poached egg is simply divine, and the sugar cookies with caramel are one of my favorite desserts in Boston. Read the full post here.

Cafe Art Science: Part laboratory, part high end restaurant - Cafe Art Science is as much about the experience as it is the food (although the food is outstanding). Vapor cocktails that hover above the bar are just one of the many reasons this place fits in perfectly with the Kendall Square neighborhood right next to MIT. The tuna crudo and poached egg with chicken skin and foie gras vinaigrette are two of my favorites from the opening menu. Read the full post here.

Douzo: Douzo has become a regular spot for sushi, both in the restaurant and for delivery. They have a great mix of traditional and more creative dishes, and the quality is always top notch. My favorites are the seared salmon over crab salad and chef's choice mixed sushi and sashimi platter. Read the full post here.

Oleana: This place has been on my list for years, but for some reason I never made it in until recently (and then I went back a few more times)! The vegetarian tasting menu is an amazing value at $40, and enough for two people to share. The spinach falafel wraps and chickpea terrine are two dishes that make me consider becoming vegetarian. Read the full post here.

Row 34: This place has become my favorite seafood in Boston. They have an amazing crudo and raw bar selection, a delicious smoked seafood board, a hot buttered lobster roll, and one of the best desserts in Boston: a homemade candy bar. Read the full post here.

Sarma: This Turkish inspired restaurant in Somerville is from the same owners as Oleana, but a bit more casual. I absolutely love the squash fritters, seven layer hummus dip, and hot dates with goat cheese. Although there is a mix of meats and vegetables, this is another place that makes me consider being vegetarian (if I could eat here everyday). Read the full post here.

Study: This is the newest concept from the owners of Journeyman, and the menu is meant to be a little more casual and flexible. They offer several tasting menus, a la carte, and vegetarian options. There are plenty of interesting options like beef tongue, goat, and rabbit all done perfectly, and they have a great selection of natural and organic wine including several orange wines. Read the full post here.

Wink and Nod: This speakeasy in the south end rotates chefs and concepts every few months. I tried it when the guys from Whisk were in the kitchen, and had an amazing meal. Some of my favorites were the venison tartare, duck and foie gras meatballs, and black pasta. This place is also worth coming to just for a drink at the bar to enjoy the atmosphere. Read the full post here.