Sunday, February 26, 2017

2017 Boston Wine Expo Recap

          I've attended the Boston Wine Expo for several years now, and it's always been my favorite local food and wine event. This year, however, has been the best year yet because I was able to experience the Vintner's Reserve Lounge for the first time! The Vintner's Reserve Lounge offers a range of boutique, limited edition and small batch wines in addition to tastes from some of Boston’s most popular restaurants.

           I started out in the Grand Tasting, where I enjoyed several wines from the Southern Italian winery Sorrentino and chatted with their Master Sommelier Gabriele Massa.

          Of course I had to stop by one of my regular expo favorites, Treana to try their wines and take a selfie on their boat!

          After about an hour in the main expo, I headed over to the Vintner's Reserve Lounge, which was in a small, private room in the seaport hotel. I spotted one of my favorite California chardonnay makers (Mer Soleil) and was excited to try some of the other Wagner Family wines. I loved the Caymus Special Selection Cabernet, which was one of the most popular bottles at the table.

          Another favorite was the selection of champagne from Charles Heidsieck; I loved all of them but especially the Rose Reserve and Brut Reserve.

           I also stopped by a table sampling 10, 20, 30, and 40 year old ports. It was really interesting to taste them each side by side and notice the differences and increasing complexity with age. 

           In addition to having the best wines at the Boston Wine Expo, the Vintner's Reserve had by far the best food. I enjoyed bites of steak from the Palm and Del Friscos, and plenty of fresh seafood that was perfect with the Champagne. 

           The Vintner's Reserve Lounge definitely made this year's experience at the Boston Wine Expo my best yet! I enjoyed the more intimate, less crowded setting and the chance to try some of the best food and wine the expo has to offer!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Bistro Mondays at Select Oyster Bar

          I tried Select Oyster Bar when they first opened and had a great experience, so I was excited to check out the new Bistro Monday this week - it is one of the best dining deals in Boston right now! You choose three courses for $35 with the option to add one dozen $1 oysters. Here's a sample menu from this week:

          The fiance and I started with a dozen Island Creek oysters, and of course a glass of sparkling! These came with all of the traditional accompaniments plus their house made mignonette which was delicious.

          For my first course, I ordered the salmon tartare with mustard dressing, crispy capers, and radishes. The salmon was incredibly fresh and literally melted in your mouth. 

           The fiance enjoyed his smoked bluefish toast, and this one definitely won for most beautiful presentation!

           For our second course, we both ordered the frisee salad with smoked bacon and a sunny side up egg. I always say that bacon or an egg make everything taste better, and salad is no exception! This was rich and full of flavor, definitely not your typical salad!

           For my main course I had the mussels in white wine broth and the fiance had the peekytoe crab pappardelle, which were both excellent and the perfect ending to an amazing meal!

           This was one of the best meals out I've had in awhile and such a great value! The food was excellent and portion sizes very generous. I would definitely come back specifically for this menu!

Select Oyster Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Daddy's Bonetown Burgers

           Daddy's Bonetown Burgers is a food truck that comes to my office once a week in Watertown, and has made it into my regular rotation of lunch spots. They have fresh made burgers, a great menu (with rotating specials) and gluten free options!

            This burger is my favorite with BBQ, cheddar, and fried onion strings. I get it on a gluten free bun and it needs no other modifications, even the onions are fried in corn meal. The burgers are are always juicy and cooked to a perfect medium.

          The Bonetown truck is in Watertown every Tuesday, and you can catch them throughout Boston most of the week. If you spot them around town - I highly recommend checking them out!

Daddy's Bonetown Burgers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Vodka Bar

          Vodka Bar is the bar at the Intercontinental Hotel in Boston with an indoor bar and seating area, as well as a beautiful patio overlooking Boston harbor. They host fun events including one I attended over the summer hosted by Veuve Clicquot!

           The entire patio was decked out in Veuve gear, and there was a special menu with food and champagne pairings. I enjoyed a couple of glasses of their sparkling rose, and had fun posing with the props like this giant bottle!

           Vodka bar hots fun events like this throughout the summer, and also makes a great spot for after work drinks or a private event where they'll also bring in food from one of the hotel's restaurants Miel or Sushi Teq.

 Vodka Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Tapas at Masa

          I recently stopped in the bar at Masa for drinks, tapas, and tacos. We couldn't decide so we ordered the tapas sampler to share which came with one of every tapa on the menu. At $15 this was a great deal, and I enjoyed being able to try everything! My favorites were the corn with butter suace and cotija, the bacon wrapped date, and the fried pork belly.

          I also had to try the pork belly tacos, which were very good but I was most impressed by the made from scratch corn tortillas!

          The fiance ordered the carne asada tacos which came with the same tortillas.

          I enjoyed the bar menu at Masa, and have also heard great things about their brunch. I hope to be back in to check it out soon!

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

Friday, February 3, 2017


          I first tried Ostra their opening week, and have since been back several times. I've sampled a good portion of the menu, and absolutely love the paella, and the huge selection of oysters and raw bar! 
          On my most recent visit, the fiance and I sat in the lounge and ordered several dishes to share. We started with a selection of the evening's oysters, and as usual we were impressed by the freshness and beautiful presentation.

          Next was the Hamachi crudo with citrus, aji aioli, cilantro, jalapeƱo oil, and Mexican chiltepin pepper. I enjoyed the contrast of citrus and spicy peppers, which added depth and flavor but were light enough that they didn't overwhelm the fish.

          My favorite dish that evening was the grilled Spanish octopus with lemon, olive oil, crispy salt capers, and raw sweet vidalias. The octopus was charred perfectly on the outside and tender on the inside without being chewy. 

          I ordered the pan seared Maine sea scallops with whipped chestnuts, roasted salsify, black trumpets, and satsuma mandarin gastrique as my main course. The scallops were also done perfectly, and the accompaniments gave this dish a great earthy feel. 

           We also shared a side of shishito peppers with sea salt, which were delicious and surprisingly fresh.

          Ostra has been one of my favorite spots for seafood in Boston since they opened, and I really enjoy both the lounge for apps as well as the full experience in the dining room!

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

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Capital Grille Burlington

           The Capital Grille was one of the restaurants that introduced me to fine dining years ago, and is still one of my favorite steakhouses. I'd heard they opened a location in Burlington, but hadn't tried it until recently when the fiance and I stopped in for a quick dinner at the bar. 

          He ordered the french onion soup and wedge salad, and enjoyed them both. The presentation on each was amazing, and they even added more bread and cheese on top of his soup when he wasn't able to finish and wanted to take the rest to go!

          I may have stolen a piece of that crispy bacon off of his salad...

          I ordered my favorite, the filet and lobster which comes with two twin filets topped with a lobster tail and a butter beurre blanc. As always, everything was perfect and I took home one of my filets for lunch the next day!

           This was my first time eating at Capital Grille since having to go gluten free, and I was excited to see my favorite side - the delmonico potatoes were on the gluten free menu (sans the breadcrumb topping). They were rich, cheesy, and just as good as I remembered!

           The food was delicious, and we were equally impressed by the stellar service. This will definitely be a regular stop when I'm in the Burlington area!

The Capital Grille Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Puritan and Co

          I first tried Puritan and Co shortly after they opened a few years ago and was very impressed. I've been back a few times recently and both experiences were just as good, if not better! I was excited to see one of my favorite orange wines on the menu - Massa Vecchia. I haven't seen in stores for a few years now, so naturally the fiance and I ordered a bottle both times.
          At our most recent visit we started with two appetizers to share, the hamachi Crudo with spicy peppers and grapefruit and the swordfish pastrami with whole grain mustard and pickled veggies. Both were delicious, but I absolutely loved the swordfish pastrami. Each bite melted in your mouth, and the whole grain mustard went with it perfectly.

          I ordered the pan-seared monkfish with black rice, winter citrus, endive, and tarragon as my main course. The fish was tender and flaky, and full of rich flavor.

          Puritan and Co has become on of my favorites this year, for their food and wine list. They are also extremely accommodating of food allergies - even baking gluten free bread to order!

Puritan & Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato