Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Caffe Nero At Assembly Row


We stopped by the ever-growing Assembly Row area as part of our busy holiday shopping and social season.  One (of many) of the spots that caught our eye was Caffé Nero.  


While we typically prefer an indie coffee shop these are becoming more and more rare, much to our lament.  So, yes it's part of a chain of casual cafés with a distinct Italian flare.  We sipped cappuccino and nibbled on crunchy biscotti in the light and airy space.  


All of the typical millenials and hipster types were on hand, sporting the upscale athletic attire likely purchased at one of the clothing outlets a block or two away.  As a matter of fact, we made a few of those purchases ourselves and found some real bargains on quality designs, by far better than one would get at any sporting goods chain.  There is also a new Trader Joe's with a beer and wine section that was fun to peruse. 

So if you have not been or it's been a while since you've visited, Assembly Row is certainly worth a stop.

Caffé Nero
375 Assembly Row
Somerville, MA  02145
Telephone:  617.209.6570

Socials:
@cafenero
@TheBostonFoodie

 All photos ©The Boston Foodie 2017

Monday, December 11, 2017

Frenchie Boston


We stopped by Frenchie Boston in the South End recently for a festive weekend brunch and were not disappointed.  It's a chic little spot with an authentic French bistro feel (after all, the owner is from Paris) in this fashionable, eclectic spot in the city.


We imbibed in a holiday cocktail as we tasted our way through the menu including a Buckwheat Pancake With Mushrooms that was quite nice.


The Frenchie Toast, laden with apples and sweet syrup was one of our favorites.


A Duck Confit With Egg was an unusual, delicious menu item.


Eggs Benedict were served up on a flaky, fresh croissant.


Crepes Nutella And Grapes was another nice dish for the sweet-lovers.


And what would brunch at a bistro be without a Crème brûlée perfectly flavored with a delicate, elusive vanilla nuance.

All in all a fine way to spend a leisurely weekend in Boston with a distinct Parisian feel.

560 Tremont Street
Boston, MA  02118
Telephone:  857.233.5941

Socials:
@FrenchieBoston
@TheBostonFoodie

We attended this brunch as members of the media.  All opinions expressed are our own.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

José Andrés at Harvard


 
All photos ©The Boston Foodie 2017
 
Fresh off his powerful segment on 60 Minutes (you can watch the video here) and speaking to a packed lecture hall at Harvard last week, philanthropist and award-winning Chef José Andrés shared his personal pics of the plight in Puerto Rico and his passion for cooking.  

We try never to miss his lecture as part of the Fall semester course Science And Cooking in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.  Informative, entertaining and always full of laughter Chef José did not disappoint despite the heart-wrenching photographs of flooded roads and collapsed bridges - just frightening devastation.  It was also very interesting to hear of the bureaucratic red tape that holds up disaster relief.  One would think that, by now, after all the natural disasters over the past two years, the international organizations that typically rush in to help would have their act together, especially the Red Cross.  According to Chef they are all run by committee which, of course, means there is no real leader to take direction from.  Sad.

In any case, it was an eye-opening evening where we also discussed food.  If you missed it you can watch the video at the above link.  As one of the Professors stated, Chef José is one of the greatest teachers he has ever met.  Congratulations!

Socials:

@TheBostonFoodie
@ChefJoseAndres
@Harvard

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

City Winery Opens


As many may know, the opening of City Winery has been delayed several times but we now can finally say that is officially open for business and waiting for you.  We were recently invited to the VIP Opening Party as media guests for this new West End venue and it was quite impressive in scope. 


There is a good-sized bar area which serves up plenty of, you guessed it, wine.  We enjoyed a sampling of a dry Riesling from the Finger Lakes region as we roamed the space.

The largest performance area is a room which will hold about 150 seated guests.  All music shows will be seated and not just standing room only as in many other clubs. 


There is also an area out back, behind the dining area, where, eventually, wine making classes will allow individuals to actually make and bottle their own wine.


 

Further along there is a gallery area where artists can display work as patrons wander through sipping their wine.  Nice touch for local artsy types.


My favorite spot, however, was in the area farthest back, a small, more intimate space with tables and a performance stage that had a real speakeasy/cabaret feel. 

All in all the facility is fairly large, a bit deceiving from the outside and all broken down quite nicely into these different areas.  How the food will rate we really are not sure of yet but it's quite nice having this performance space with smaller venues within the shadow of the TD Garden as an entertainment alternative.  Upcoming acts include the likes of Rufus Wainwright and Donna The Buffalo.

City Winery
80 Beverly At One Canal Street
Boston, MA  02114
Telephone:617.933.8047

Socials:
@citywinerybos
@thebostonfoodie

Friday, November 24, 2017

Darlene Love Kicks Off The Holidays In Downtown Crossing At Macy's Tree Lighting


I have so many happy memories of taking trips into Boston with my family as a young child to see the beautiful holiday window displays at Jordan Marsh and Filene's.  The temperatures may have been frigid but everyone dressed up when you went shopping in Boston.  It was a different time.  Uncrowded.  Innocent.  Glamorous.


From now to the end of the year we'll have so many invites to holiday events, restaurant dinners and parties that we could not possibly attend them all.  We have to carefully pick and choose.  Yet, when Macy's and Downtown BID invited us to a VIP spot at the annual Christmas Tree Lighting event we found it hard to resist for nostalgic reasons.  There will be LOTS of Christmas tree lightings and holiday strolls in and around the City and we wish we could go to all of them but this held an extra special attraction.


It was a balmy night by New England standards as we joined a group of the Macy's press team fresh from yesterday's parade in NYC, the media gaggle of camerapersons and photographers and several thousand others.  The Boston Children's Chorus sang as the sun set and the stars began to appear over the soaring buildings.  Not a bad way to kick off the Christmas season.



We were ushered right up to the very front of the stage.  Our Emcee was Romeo, the Kiss 108 DJ.  


Youtube sensation Sam Tsui was there opening up the musical acts before the switch was flipped and the tree was lit.


Bea Miller was a big hit with the crowd, singing a few holiday tunes with a surprisingly powerful voice.


Mike Gillislee of the New England Patriots made an appearance for the Make A Wish Foundation.  Not every child is up to these events.  My heart melted.


The thrill of the evening for me, however, was Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame winner and legendary singer Darlene Love.  I think I sold the entire Macy's team on seeing one of my favorite documentaries:  "Twenty Feet From Stardom."  Hers is one of the most moving stories of survival in the music business that you will ever witness.  Just see it.  It's powerful.



Ms. Love belted out a few songs and, yes, she did sing "Christmas, Baby Please Come Home" a song on constant replay in my home from now until December 25th.  It's just not the holidays without this joyous voice.


Then all joined together on the stage with Mayor Walsh and (my High School classmate) B. P. D. Commissioner Bill Evans for the tree lighting.



It was more like New Year's Eve when the lights went on and the streamers and confetti poured over the crowd.

What a wonderful night.  Thanks to the Boston BID for the invite.  It may not be as elegant or formal as the little boy in me remembers but downtown Boston with all of the great shopping, dining and events will never lose it's allure.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Eat Like A Rock Star


What's a great gift during the holiday season for someone who has everything?  A new cookbook, of course!  And this one is tailor-made for the aspiring musician or one who just enjoys rock stars and good cooking.

With over one hundred recipes selections include Martha Reeves Turkey Necks And Lima Beans for some real soul food, Joey Fatone's Arancini and Michelle Phillip's Organic Lemon Chicken.  There are also gorgeous photos of all the stars and their creations.  

During the next month we'll be featuring more new and popular cookbooks to give you some ideas.  Bon appetit!!



Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Create Your Vibe Event At Cambridgeside


 
 
Don't call it Cambridgeside Galleria any more.  They just dropped $30 million to redo the entire mall and rebrand it as Cambridgeside.  To help celebrate the light and airy new look we were invited to the Create Your Vibe event last week featuring food, fashion and fun something we've been preaching for years.


Chef Will Gilson of Puritan & Co. was there serving up a delicious polenta cake.


We were very glad to see Chef Brian Poe with his crew of Bukowski Tavern after he made national news surviving the harrowing experience of Hurricane Irma.  Caught in St. Maarten while on vacation the wind force literally crushed his hotel and obliterated the countryside.


I guess he's recovered enough to serve up this Wild Boar Meatball which was richer than beef and absolutely delicious.  We'd never had boar but it can regularly be found on the menu at his Beacon Hill restaurant Tip Tap Room


 

Café Art Science was also on hand to demonstrate how to whiff your booze, a very fun experiment.


 
 
Café Art Science Bar Director Tenzin Samdo demonstrates the vaporizer.
 





Oh, and there were models and a DJ on hand to fashion the latest styles and set the festive mood.  Honestly, the place looks brand new and we look forward to spending more time here during the busy holiday shopping season.

Socials:

@TheBostonFoodie
@Cambridgeside

We were invited to attend this event as members of the media.



Saturday, November 11, 2017

Popcornopolis


Heading into the holiday season we'll be featuring some food and food-related products which are standouts in the many, many samples we receive.  As we have said before it is rare that we really like a product sent to us to sample and possibly review.  Most of these never get covered or written about.  A LOT get trashed or given away to others that might appreciate them.

Popcornopolis, however, recently sent us some of their Zebra Striped Popcorn.  We tried it and loved it and so did all of the friends we shared it with.  We tested a few flavors but our favorite was the White Chocolate Macadamia.  It is truly the best popcorn snack we have ever tasted and we have given LOTS of them a test run.  The flavor was excellent and the creamy texture of the chocolate was terrific.

They use organic popcorn.  It is certified gluten-free, made with non GMO ingredients and popped in coconut oil with absolutely no artificial ingredients.  Just superb.  Highly recommended.  Enjoy!

The product can be ordered through their website and will make the perfect gift for the foodie on your list.

Socials:

@TheBostonFoodie
@popcornopolis

Full disclosure:  Samples were provided by popcornopolis with no remuneration or promise of any editorial consideration.



Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Caramel Patisserie


Word to all the French pastry lovers out there that Caramel Patisserie in Davis Square is now open.  It seems they are still ramping up but do have some of the best croissants we've had since, well, being in Paris.  All of the pastries are brought in daily from their original bakery in Salem where the kitchens are located.


A good number of macaron, ten varieties in fact, were on display.  We loved the Pistachio and Earl Grey and (promise) that we will work through all of the flavors.  Well, all except for the Rose because we don't eat flowers and just don't get why people do.   

There are other caramel and flan type of delights, too.  We did not, however, see any rendition of a Canelé or Petite Madeleine, two classic French pastries one would expect to see at a Patisserie. 

As noted, it's still a work in progress.  They do open at 8:00 a.m. on weekdays and 9:00 a.m on weekends and closing times seem yet to be ironed out, as well.  The good news is that you can't beat a genuine, fresh croissant.

Caramel Patisserie
235 Elm Street
Somerville, MA  02144

Socials:

@caramelpatisserie
@thebostonfoodie

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival 2017


The clouds and mist gave way to brilliant sunlight as we approached Marble House for the 2017 Newport Mansions Food & Wine Festival.  It's definitely our favorite celebration of the year.



After being welcomed in we briefly stepped into the sumptuously ornate first floor dining room, one of many in the mansion, then rushed out to see who was there before the event was opened to the public and attendees streamed in.


Each guest is greeted with a glass and a quick pour before entering the massive tent where vintners and vendors await.


We simply could not walk by the station our friends at Dole & Bailey were hosting.  They grilled up steaks and shrimp all day to the sellout crowd proving to be, without question, the most popular vendor at the festival.

The famous Chinese Pagoda was hosted for VIP guests by Chateau d'Eclans.  After a few stops at some wine and restaurant booths, we entered the party.


The day long party was hosted by none other than Paul Chevalier, Managing Director at Chateau d'Eclans.  We sipped Whispering Angel and Rock Angel, their newest rosé, both great, as we chatted with others.  Wine Enthusiast gave the Rock Angel a great review, noting the "depth of flavor from the zest and red berry fruits."


The Pagoda was beautifully laid out with comfortable settees and couches and decorated in the signature pale rose wine color.



After mingling for a bit we basically had the very best seats in the house, a table on the porch of the Pagoda overlooking the entire event including the cooking demo stage and the ocean views.




Trudy Cox, CEO of the Newport Mansions Preservation Society even stopped by to say hello. 


The weather and stunning backdrop make this event a spectacular affair every year.  The perfect weather, variety of participants, really friendly crowd from all over the country (we even snagged an invite to the Kentucky Derby 2018 from new friends we met from Louisville) and all of the great food made this the very best festival we've attended.  They just seem to get better and ramp up the quality of the experience every year.

We tasted plates from some great restaurants both local and neighboring locales, including Boston, along with some great new wine discoveries.  More on that later.

All in all a wonderful weekend yet again of like-minded food and wine lovers!

We attended this event as members of the media with no remuneration or any promise of editorial consideration.