Saturday, April 21, 2018

Taste Of The Back Bay

Looks like the weather may cooperate for a nice 360 degree view of Boston from the Prudential Skywalk this Wednesday as we stroll Taste Of The Back Bay 2018.  If not, Boston is still beautiful in the fog!  Fine Dining will be represented as well as great drinks and live music set to the background of the Boston skyline at dusk, always a spectacular view.

Tickets can be purchased through the website and will this year benefit The Women's Lunch Place.  We'll see you there!

Friday, April 20, 2018

The Medford Renaissance

I moved to Medford many years ago after discovering what a hidden gem it really is.  Quiet neighborhoods and literally a five minute drive to downtown Boston, served exceedingly well by public transportation (no less than seven bus routes through Medford Square will whisk you to the Red or Orange line in minutes and soon the Green line, too) and affordable rents.  When the opportunity came to buy it was a no-brainer even if the Square was a bit of a dead zone, commercially speaking.

Now that has changed.  The "townie" image has all but completely dissipated and the area steeped in colonial history is making a comeback.  Once the home of rum distilleries and the heart of colonial shipbuilding, a stop that Paul Revere made on his famous ride, where, I might add, many historians agree he sampled some of that Medford Rum (the first use of merchandise branding in the USA) and was, shall we say, feeling no pain when he finally arrived in Lexington.  When people make lame jokes about "Meffa" now the residents don't even know what they are talking about.  Diversity has arrived.

The stately, original Medford High School was converted to luxury condominiums years ago and today sits like a castle on Forest Street with huge, well-kept Victorians all around.  It is not your modern definition of "luxury" which includes everything from swamp views to a backyard commuter rail guaranteed to wake you up.  Here we have fourteen foot ceilings, eight foot windows, lofts and a swimming pool that's indoors and year round, perfect for blizzard parties.  And fine dining you can walk to.

Yet it is this, the Chevalier Theatre, that is drawing thousands of people to Medford each week and causing a major surge in popularity.  Back in the day John F. Kennedy spoke here and Frank Sinatra sang for thousands of bobbysocked fans in the venue attached to the High School.  It was an Art Deco gem for decades but after the sale of the High School it sat empty and covered in dust.  Then federal money became available for a preservation and the interior was restored to it's former glory.

The place plugged along, home to community theater productions, dance recitals and those non-denominational Sunday fellowship meetings.  Then, a few months back, the same management company that runs The Wilbur in Boston stepped in and took over the box office and show bookings.  Joe Biden packed them in for a speech and book tour event.  Frankie Valli last week.  Wanda Sykes tonight.  Gladys Knight up next.  The lines to get in are down the street and around the block.

And when you are bringing thousands of new people into town every week they all have to eat, or have a cocktail, somewhere, right?  Those lucky enough to have secured a lease a few years back are in restaurant heaven right now, a tenfold increase in business.  "It's phenomenal," says a source at Salvatore's on High Street, just a block away and adjacent to a large public parking lot.

You want sushi?  You have your choice.  Mexican?  No problem.  Italian?  Family style or sophisticated high end, it's there.  With more on the way.  Fresh, on-site roasted coffee beans at the café?  Pakistani cuisine? The winner of top donuts in Boston?  ALL within one hundred feet of each other.

I have often heard it said that when restaurants begin to move into a neighborhood is the time to buy.  I have often said myself that I would never live in a place where I cannot walk to an ice cream shop within five minutes.  It seems like Medford has arrived.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Lucky Strike Social Is Open

Lucky Strike Social at Assembly Row is now open with two floors of fun-filled entertainment, dining and cocktails.

We sort of beat the crowd to check the place out at a VIP Preview last week and although I am not always a fan of these entertainment emporiums that offer bowling, video, etc., games I have to admit that it was a very fun few hours well-spent.

I was pretty content at the shooting gallery where I discovered I am somewhat of a marksman.  Guests are fully encouraged to check their politics at the door shall we say.  I could definitely see myself heading back here with the boys from work on a Friday night after a long week.  There is enough going on here to have something for everyone.

Lucky Strike Social
325 Revolution Drive
Somerville, MA  02145
Telephone:  857.997.8000


We were invited to this event as media guests without promise of any editorial consideration.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Cooking For A Cause 2018

Head on over to the Royal Sonesta in Cambridge this Friday, April 20 to taste dishes and sip drinks from a whole bunch of the area's best chefs and mixologists and all for a good cause.  It's Cooking For A Cause to benefit the East End House.  It's also a great way to kick off the Spring social season with a sweeping view of the Boston skyline as your backdrop.  We will see you there!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Roosters On Charles Opens

Men's grooming emporium Roosters opened up a brand new spot on Charles Street and Beacon Hill turned out to welcome them in full force.  The space has an old school ambiance and fits right in with the neighborhood feel.


A classic shop featuring Master Barbers for quality shaves, cuts and a temporary " Camo Color" to reduce the grays (I can personally attest to this) and take ten years off your look, this location is open 7 days a week.

Roosters Men's Grooming Center
121 Charles Street
Boston, MA
Telephone:  857.239.9560


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Friendly Toast

One of our favorite places to take out-of-town visitors for breakfast or brunch on weekends is The Friendly Toast.  So, when we were recently invited to stop by the Back Bay location recently and test drive the new summer menu items, we were more than happy to.

Peachy Keen Sangria:  Sweet Herbal Tea, Peach Liqueur, Mangoes, Strawberry, Rosé

What says summer (if it ever gets here) more than a sangria?  This one was particularly refreshing with lots of fruit flavor.

Coconut/Lime Cheesecake French Toast
Another one of the new menu items is this decadent Cheesecake French Toast.  Not overly sweet but rich enough to satisfy.  There are also lots of new savory flavors to try and also the incredible fresh bread baked onsite daily and sold still warm to keep the breakfast interest going all week. 

With the funky décor, fun atmosphere, multiple locations and reasonable prices it's the perfect spot for a getaway at any time, not just weekends.


We were invited to sample bites of new menu items as members of the media with no remuneration or promise of any editorial consideration.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Magnolia Bakery Opens

Magnolia Bakery, of New York City and Sex And The City fame, has opened in Boston.  We can tell you first hand that the cupcakes are quite fine and the Boston Cream Pie Banana Pudding lives up to every bit of the hype.  The first few days of operation brought long lines and two hour waits.  No one seemed to mind!  Now that things have quieted down check it out sometime.

Magnolia Bakery
200 Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Boston, MA
Telephone:  617.904.1100


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Brunch At Sumiao Hunan Kitchen

We spent a few wonderful hours last weekend brunching at Sumiao Hunan Kitchen in Cambridge to benefit the Joslin Asian-American Diabetes Initiative. 

Dubbed "A Pinch Of Ginger" the event was a precursor to the much larger "A Taste Of Ginger", the elegant soiree held each year at the M.F.A.  This year the event takes place on April 9.

Of course, the place was packed, we absolutely loved the dumplings and the crowd was fun.  The food represents a more traditional Hunan style than many places in the Boston area.

As a person with a strong history of diabetes on both sides of my family I am always happy to support a cause that educates the public on this debilitating and incurable disease.  Asian-Americans are twice as likely to be affected by diabetes.

The foods served for this occasion were a special menu, such as brown rice (versus white) and lots of veggies - all low on the glycemic index but I am sure that other menus will follow and the brunch will be a big success. 

The event raised over $4,000 for the cause.  Congratulations to all!

Sumiao Hunan Kitchen
270 Third Street
Cambridge, MA
Telephone:  617.945.0907


TBF was honored to be invited as a guest and to promote this worthwhile event and cause.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Sumiao Kitchen Brunch A "Pinch Of Ginger"

Sumiao Hunan Kitchen in Cambridge will be hosting a special brunch this Sunday they are calling "A Pinch Of Ginger".  It is a precursor to one of our favorite food events "A Taste Of Ginger", held annually at the MFA and which we have attended many times.  As readers know, diabetes is of special interest due to a strong family history here.   You may not know, however, that Asian-Americans are far more likely to suffer from it.  We'll be at the brunch to help kick off the gala, one of the first big events of the spring social season.  Come and support the initiative while enjoying what looks like a very creative menu.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Icelandic Cocktails At Beat Brasserie

Teitur Ridderman Schiöth is one of Iceland’s premier bartenders.  He's developed his craft in such far flung places as Thailand and Germany but we were lucky enough to meet him when he flew into town for the Taste Of Iceland 2018 sponsored by Iceland Naturally.  If you missed him taking over the bar at Beat Brasserie in Harvard Square this past weekend, or any of the other cool cultural events, at least we have some of the cocktail recipes he shared with us for you to enjoy at home and featuring ingredients popular in Iceland.

We loved this one because it reminded us of those opaque waters at the Blue Lagoon Spa, one of the many sites we enjoyed on our trips to Iceland.

Into the Glacier
40ml Brennivín
30ml fresh lemon
25ml caraway syrup
10ml violet liquor
2 dashes rhubarb bitter
Spray eucalyptus essential oil
Double strain into a coupe
Garnish Tiger lily or lemon zest and thyme
Optional: Clear Ice block ice

Slightly sweet and very different, this was our favorite sip.

Honey Ryder

40ml Reyka Vodka
10ml fino sherry
30ml fresh orange Juice
20ml lemon
20ml honey syrup
Double strain into a coupe
Spray lemon zest over
Garnish with primrose

We attended this event as members of the media.  Special thanks to Reyka Vodka, Iceland Naturally and Icelandic Provisions for sponsoring with no promise of any editorial consideration. 

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Taste Of Iceland 2018

One of our favorite annual events, Taste Of Iceland, returns to Boston this week.  I am a big fan of Iceland.  The natural beauty of the country compares to no other.  Taste Of Iceland celebrates the culture with food, drinks, music, film and design.  We'll be enjoying most of these events throughout the upcoming week.  For a full schedule of all the fun of Iceland and how to follow the festivities click here.  See you there!


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Mohegan Sun Wine And Food Fest 2018

To say that we had the most fun with the ladies of Stella Rosa Wines would be an understatement.  This was just one of the many fun wines we experienced (they call them semi-sweet, semi-sparkling) at the recent Mohegan Sun Food And Wine Fest.  Our top taste was the Stella Rosa Black.

There were loads of cooking demonstrations, too, one of them featuring our friend Michele Ragussis who invited her sister to come up on stage and assist.  Michele always gives up the most lively demo even when she has the tough task as first at bat.

Chef and former restaurateur Rocco DiSpirito drew one of the largest crowds, whipping up a meal of Shrimp And Risotto from one of his cookbooks.

Our accommodations were in the newer Earth Tower at Mohegan.  The rooms are just slightly smaller than where we usually stay in the Sky Tower but we liked the sleek, modern design of the rooms.  It seemed to be the place of choice for the younger crowd, as well.

All in all, a great weekend getaway and one that we have thoroughly enjoyed over the years.  With the Boston Wine Expo on hiatus this year it was a nice few days spent discussing, and tasting, wine and enjoying some great food.


We were invited to attend this event as guests of Mohegan Sun without any promise of editorial consideration.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Local Eats: Tenoch Mexican

Where should we eat?  I get asked this question a LOT.  Rarely, however, do I get asked:  where do you eat most often?  And the answer is:  Tenoch Mexican in Medford Square.  I eat there at least once a week and my favorite is the Chicken Torta.  It's delicious, probably the best I've had.  I'm also a fan of the Fish Tacos.

I believe in supporting local restaurants on a regular basis and in telling everybody about them.  Tenoch is just around the corner from me, as are a lot of great local restaurants in this once dining wasteland.  They range from fancy to casual places like this that just serve consistently great food.  Typically there is a line out the door with lots of students from Tufts.  Over the next few months we'll be featuring more of these great local finds and hope to spread the word as quality food, including fine dining, moving to the suburbs seems to be a trend for 2018.  

Happy local eating everyone!  Bienvenido!

Tenoch Mexican
24 Riverside Avenue
Medford, MA  02155
Telephone:  781.391.2221


Monday, January 15, 2018

Brunch Happy Hour At Earls Prudential

It was a long holiday weekend and what better way to enjoy it than with a leisurely, relaxing brunch?  So, we headed over to Earls at Prudential Center for their Happy Hour Brunch and were not disappointed, starting with $5.00 Mimosas!

The Golden Waffles And Cream were a big hit with everyone at our table.  Made with a terrific cheesecake mousse they were not at all overly sweet as waffles can sometimes be.  A top fave.

Eggs Benedict:  Two Poached Eggs, Classic Hollandaise, Virginia Ham. Toasted Baguette served with Crispy Potatoes.  I didn't sample this plate myself but was told it was good albeit light on the lemon in the sauce.

Chorizo And Mushroom Hash:  Avocado, Crispy Fried Potatoes, Topped With Poached Eggs And Hollandaise.

Steak And Eggs:  Two Fried Eggs, Avocado, Bacon Jam, On Warm, Griddled Baguette with Crispy Potatoes.  This was my choice.  They had me at bacon jam.  I just love a savory jam and this one was great.  The steak was cooked to order, the eggs just runny enough and the potatoes nicely crisped and herbed.  Yes, I'd order this again.

Avocado Super Brunch:  Poached Eggs, Smashed Avocado, Olive Oil And Tomatoes, Radis, Spicy Siracha, Toasted Hemp Seeds On A Toasted Baguette With Field Greens.  So, this is the one for the avocado toast lovers who like a little spice.

Of course the Instagram pics were flying at this blogger event!  The space is big and airy with a busy, younger crowd but not overly loud.  Entrees average about $14.00 and, as noted, drinks are very reasonable with $5.00 Mimosas and a fine Bloody Mary at $8.75.  No trendy make-your-own Bloody Mary station which I am not a fan of anyway.  Overall a nice brunch in a cool spot.

Earls Kitchen + Bar Prudential Center
800 Boylston Street
Boston, MA  02199
Telephone:  857.957.0949


This was a media/blogger event hosted by Earls.