When I say 'standouts,' I actually mean everything on the menu; Puritan has everything you need for a great brunch covered. There are lots of ways to tackle this brunch menu. The best advice I can give you is to go with a big group and share everything so you can try as much as possible. We went all out and ordered everything from appetizers to sides and dessert and loved every dish. I believe the menu has changed a bit from its first iteration, but the pastries are definitely still available. Don't leave without trying the homemade donuts!
On Tuesday, August 13, 20 restaurants will gather at the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal in the Seaport to duke it out over who has the best burger in Boston. That's right, the annual Boston Burger Battle is back. The competition, which began on May 13 with over 50 restaurants has now been narrowed down to 20 finalists thanks to online voting. Now that the best of the best have been identified, famous chefs around town will be grilling up their renowned burgers live in hopes of taking home the crown. Tickets are still available on Eventbrite for $75 which include samples of all the burgers along with live music and copious amounts of complimentary Amstel Light. For a full list of finalist scroll below.
Tuesday, August 13; 6:00pm – 10:00 pm at Black Falcon Cruise Terminal
5 Napkin Burger, Beantown Pub, The Blue Ox, BOND, Boston Burger Company, Brew City, Cafeteria Boston, Ceia Kitchen + Bar, El Centro, The Fireplace, Forum, Foundry on Elm, Joe’s American Bar & Grill, Salvatore's, Shake Shack, Smith & Wollensky, Tasty Burger, Tommy Doyle's, TRADE, Wahlburgers
The newest pop-up dinner series to hit Boston, Fork & Tune is a multi-course, communal dining experience that fuses musical inspiration and seasonal ingredients. The idea comes from the creative minds of Jessica Brown & Dana Briley, co-owners & master bakers of Treats on Washington – which is where the events are held every Sunday. Throughout the evening the dinner is prepared in front of guests, and they are encouraged to chat with the chefs throughout the evening.
This summer you can enjoy listening to Songs in the Key of Life by Stevie Wonder while swooning over a menu that reflects the celebratory, light and colorful feel of the album. Each course is carefully created and connected to the songs playing while the dish is being served. Seating is limited and tickets for the dinner are available on Eventbrite for $78. Here’s what to expect over the next few weeks, and keep an eye out for a new album and menu come fall!
Raw Mushroom Salad
duxelle, chinese sausage, spanish citrus
maine crab, cukes & pequillos, sweet herbs,
salt cured egg yolk
Surf & Turf
raw sugar-brushed snapper, lomo, sweet fennel,
asian jus, pastise flip
How Does Your Garden Grow?
garden vegetables & fruits with pretty accompaniments
Lamb Rib Buns with Jardinere
sherry braised lamb ribs, "Bread & Butter" veggies,
spicy orange mustard, avocado
chinese long beans, marcona almonds, mango puree
fluffy chocolate, blackberries, basil
Warm & Flaky
hot from the oven served with our own
"Toasted Cloud" coffee
Ever since opening several months ago, Giulia in Porter Square has been receiving praise for it's homemade pastas and seasonal menu. From carefully crafted cocktails to flavorful snacks, it's not only a yummy place for dinner but a great place to stop for a casual drink. Two of my favorite dishes of the moment:
Lincoln has given Southie residents yet another reason to make it their go-to for just about any occasion - Friday lunch. Or Friday funday, however you want to spin it. Starting in June, Lincoln has been open at 11am and stays open throughout the entire day on Fridays. With plenty of options for salads, pizza, sandwiches, beers and cocktails I can think of no better refuge from this ridiculous heat wave. Highlights from lunch were the burrata and the pizza. Note: don't go to Lincoln and not get pizza.
The patio at Church is one of my favorite places to go during the summer. You can almost always get a table outside and it has a more relaxed neighborhood vibe than some of the restaurants on the main drags of Boylston, Beacon or Lansdowne Streets.
Whether it's one of the 7 Deadly Sins or 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse, there are plenty of cocktails to choose from. My favorite is Greed made with Hendrick's Gin, St. Germain, diced cucumber, and a pinch of white pepper and salted cucumber to garnish.
New chef, John Rush, took over the kitchen this past fall and he is doing great things with his summer menu. Every component of each dish is well thought out and always made from scratch with seasonal ingredients. The pierogies are a definitely a must-order!
Almost a year and a half since my first visit to Strip T's I finally made it back to Watertown to try out the lunch I'd been hearing so much about. The lunch menu is more sandwich-focused, along with some entree-sized plates, salads and appetizers. I was also happy to find some of the same menu staples from when Tim Maslow and Chef de Cuisine Jared Forman originally took over the kitchen - I have a feeling the Grilled Romaine salad isn't going anywhere.
The Strip T's experience is a delight from beginning to end. Every item on the menu is creative, unexpected and consistent while the quirky decor, old school bathroom, and friendly staff add to its charm. The only problem? I don't live in Watertown.
After trying some of Mei Mei's food at this year's Taste of the Nation event, I sought out their truck ASAP. That day they served a fantastic savory bread pudding and I had been hearing endless praise for their Double Awesome scallion pancake egg sandwich. (I know, right.) The sandwich lived up to its name to say the least, and everything else we tried that day was equally awesome. Behold...
The Mei Mei crew is in the process of opening a brick and mortar location in Audobon circle, and they are using Kickstarter to help raise funds to allocate towards their sustainable restaurant certification. Watch the video below or visit their Kickstarter page for more info.
Best of luck to Mei Mei in their new venture!
$2 Island Creek Oysters at Battery Park Patio every Thursday from 6-9pm starting June 6
Just in time for outdoor happy hour season, Island Creek Oysters will be doing two buck shucks on the patio at Battery Park Bar and Lounge from 6-9pm beginning this Thursday and continuing throughout the summer.
Location: 33 Batterymarch Street, Boston
Grilled Cheese Smackdown - June 11, 2013
Join Formaggio Kitchen and Kitchensurfing for a grilled cheese smackdown featuring four talented local chefs. Each contestant will prepare a soup and grilled cheese combo using ingredients selected from Formaggio Kitchen’s shelves. The winning soup and sandwich combo will be determined by event attendees and a panel of grilled cheese experts including James DiSabatino of Roxy's Grilled Cheese, Tripp, Formaggio Kitchen's domestic cheese buyer and YOURS TRULY! Hope to see everyone there!
Location: Formaggio Kitchen Annex at 67 Smith Place in Cambridge
Tickets can be purchased here for $55
Chefs in Shorts - June 14, 2013
Now in its 16th year (one of my personal favorite food events all year!) Chefs in Shorts brings together a group of the area’s top culinary talent who will fire up the grills and create their favorite dishes during this expansive outdoor, summer-in-the-city barbeque hosted at the Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center. Join some of Boston’s best chefs on June 14 for an evening of grill-offs, desserts, beer & wine and fun all to benefit Future Chefs, a local non-profit school-to-career program focused in culinary arts.
Radius Alumni Dinner - June 13, 2013
After a spectacular 15 year run and countless accolades, Radius is closing its original High St. location. To celebrate the amazing talent that has worked in the kitchen over the years, Michael Schlow will host an Alumni dinner on June 13th with dishes from Gabriel Frasca (Straight Wharf, Ventuno and Provisions in Nantucket), William Kovel (Catalyst in Cambridge), Brendan Joy (SPQR in San Francisco), Paul Connors (Zelo and Bacio in Minneapolis) Mike Pagliarini (Giulia in Cambridge), Chad Burns (Farmstead Table in Newton), Kevin Walsh (Clio), Meghann Ward (Coppa), John Rush (Church) Leo Asaro (Via Matta) and PJ Waters (Radius, Via Matta and Alta Strada).
Location: 8 High Street, Boston
Tickets can be purchased for $150 by calling 617.426.1234 to save a table
Also at Radius: Last Supper, Last Call closing night on June, 29th - Chef Michael Schlow will be serving up a feast of favorite dishes and he doesn't want any alcohol to be left on the shelves after close!
Edible art instillations? I can't think of a better way to spend a Sunday. And that's precisely what's taking place on this upcoming Sunday, June 2nd when 6 Boston Chefs team up with 6 local artists for an event of wildly creative proportions.
Presented by Chef Louis DiBiccari (of Tavern Road) and the Boston Center for adult education, Create 2 aims to unite and celebrate the worlds of culinary and visual arts, with proceeds from the event to benefit the Fort Point Artist Community. 6 chefs, including Michael Scelfo (Alden & Harlow), Jason Cheek and Jade Taylor (Supper Y'all), Brian Young (Citizen Public House), Alex Crabb (Asta), Steven "Panda" Oxaal (B&G Oysters) and Karen Akunowicz (Myers & Chang), will be challenged to create a composition based on the subject matter of six local artists featuring Mike Hammecker, Kevin Stanton, Nick Z, Matt Demers, !ND!V!DUALS Collective and Brian Gordon. The result? Artwork worth eating, worth drooling over.
Sunday, June 2nd, 2013; 2pm - 5pm at Boston Center for Adult Education. For additional information & to purchase tickets click here.
Barcelona Wine Bar has been up and running in the old American Craft space in Washington Square, Brookline for about five months now. The Spanish restaurant has a well-received tapas selection, vast wine list, and an entire menu devoted to sherry. With around forty tapas to choose from, deciding what to order (especially in a small group) is no easy task. From two visits, here are the dishes that I consistently enjoyed the most, hopefully this makes things a little easier on your next Washington Square date night!
The whipped sheep's cheese is like a more smoothly textured creamy ricotta. Both the cheese and the slice of bread served with it are addicting.
Barcelona Wine Bar does a really nice job with this classic Spanish dish. The aioli and the zesty red sauce are well portioned strike a nice balance in flavor and texture.
This was my favorite dish at Barcelona. The tender and perfectly cooked steak would have been great on it's own, but the truffle vinaigrette adds just the right amount of earthiness and acidity.
1700 Beacon Street
Brookline, MA 02446
It's no secret that anything wrapped in prosciutto will automatically be a crowd pleaser at any dinner party or event. This recipe takes that into consideration and also takes advantage of this season's gorgeous asparagus. For lack of an available grill, I roasted the asparagus for ten minutes at 400 degrees--but grilling would have been my first choice. The best thing about this recipe is that it will take you no longer than 20 minutes to prepare and serve - enjoy!
Roasted Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with Provolone
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
- 1/2 lb prosciutto, thinly sliced
- 1/4 lb sliced provolone
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Wrap each piece of asparagus with one slice of provolone then one slice of prosciutto as evenly as possible
- Roast for 10-15 minutes depending on size of the asparagus
Swimsuit season is just around the corner, but with so many food events on the horizon getting in shape may be tougher than originally anticipated. Everything in moderation, right? See what's in store for Boston this month.
Saturday, May 4: Food Truck Throwdown Another New York versus Boston rivalry is put to the test this Saturday as food trucks from both cities compete in a series of competitions to see who will be named reigning champ. Stop by the Greenway from 11am - 9pm for live music, celebrity judges and plenty of food.
Saturday, May 4: The Great Cupcake Crawl
Visit the finest cupcake bakeries Boston has to offer on this 2.5 hour walking tour where you'll have the chance to taste the city's best. The crawl doesn't explicitly tell you where you'll end up, but their clues offer up some helpful hints. If you're known to have a sweet tooth, this is the food event for you.
Thursday, May 9: Lobster Roller
For only $15 you can help support Future Chefs and see who makes the best Lobster Roll. The New York & Boston chefs behind Kitchen Surfing will show off their killer lobster roll recipes to see if Boston really is home to the best Lobster Roll. Event starts at 6pm.
Earlier this month I finally made it to East Boston to check out the famous Rino's Place. I've heard about the classic Italian dishes and insane portion sizes many times from friends, chefs, and of course, Guy Fieri. The old school spot is so small and so crowded, people used to spend the two hour plus waits outside, regardless of temperature. Now, thank god, they own a new place across the street called Primo e Dopo, which is perfect for a drink and an appetizer before Rino's or a coffee after dinner. It does get dangerous though, two hour waits equal up to a lot of glasses of wine.
You have to expect to devote your entire night to the East Boston experience, we got there around 9 on a Friday night and didn't eat until around 11. Afterwards I doubt you'll want to do anything but go home and lie down, the food coma is inevitable.
Here's what we tried...
Rino's was every bit worth the trip, the wait and the round trip cab fare. It was not only some of the best classic Italian food I've had in Boston, but in my entire life. All the pasta is homemade and the sauces and technique are every bit authentic. You will over eat, it's impossible not to. Even with the lack of self control you may experience in the face of homemade pasta, you will still have leftovers for a week.
258 Saratoga St.
East Boston, MA 02128
Two months after the mid-february opening of Blue Dragon, I finally made it down to Fort Point to check out Ming Tsai's new spot. Officially dubbed an Asian Gastropub, the menu offers a mix of modern asian small plates, dim sum and noodle dishes that run the gamut from Bahn Mi sandwiches to Panko fish and chips. Blue Dragon is much more affordable and casual than its Wellesley-based counterpart, Blue Ginger, most small plates priced between $7 and $12.
Here are some favorites from the dinner menu...
Keep in mind Blue Dragon doesn't take reservations. It was packed to the brim when I went on a Thursday after work, so be prepared to wait for a table. They are also open for lunch, which might be less crowded than the after work rush. Blue Dragon is also closed on Sundays.
324 A Street
Boston, MA 02210
When I first heard about the details of Mooo's new brunch menu, I got slightly overwhelmed with excitement. I've had dinner there once before and it was a truly memorable experience with standout dishes - one of which was the dumplings that also appear on the brunch menu. The other, beef wellington. Starting mid March, Mooo now serves brunch every Sunday from 8am to 2pm. Their sister restaurant, Mistral, has been famous for its brunch for years and judging by Mooo's elaborate menu, live music and free valet offering, it seems to me they are looking to make a similar mark in the Boston brunch scene.
Here are some highlights from Mooo's brunch...
1. Bloody mary flight.
2. Cinnamon sugar brioche.
3. Tator tots.
4. The kobe dumplings.
5. This french toast.
See what I mean?
Happy Marathon Monday!
Ever since I tried the homemade hot Italian pork sausage from the butcher at Whole Foods, I've been incorporating it into a number of different recipes. Anything you cook it with soaks up the spice and essentially eliminates the need for additional seasoning. Of all the experimenting I've done, nothing was easier and a better match for the hot sausage than a simple pasta dish with pappardelle egg noodles and broccoli -- which just so happens to be in season now. In 15 minutes you have a dinner for four and the only additional ingredient you'll need is some garlic, olive oil and grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese to finish it off.
Start by boiling the water for the pasta. In a separate pan, heat a little extra virgin olive oil, whole garlic cloves and cook the chopped sausage. 2-3 links is more than enough.
Once the sausage cooks for a few minutes, add chopped broccoli stems. Once the stems are at a desired softness / crunch, add the chopped heads. The stems take longer to cook than the heads so separate them in advance for best results.
Once the pasta is al dente, add it to the pan and cook for another minute or two. The broccoli heads and pappardelle egg noodles only need to cook for a few minutes - so try to time everything up just right.
Serve with plenty of cheese.
Kendall Square's Area Four is hitting the streets this Monday with a brand new custom designed food truck. The truck will have a similar sustainable american menu but with a more tightly focused offering. Their featured new menu item, piadini, basically a mobile version of Area Four's famed pizza (flatbread wrap type thing) will be available in four or five rotating varieties for breakfast and lunch.
- Niman Ranch prosciutto with handmade mozzarella and arugula
- Muffuletta with hot capicola, mortadella, salami, pepperoni, ham, Swiss cheese, sharp provolone and house-made olive spread
- House-smoked Cape Cod bluefish with pickled onions and parsley
- Roasted mushroom, fontina and gremolata
- Braised grass-fed beef short rib and horseradish aioli
- Butternut squash, caramelized onions and ricotta
Here's where you can find them:
Breakfast: Dewey Square Park Plaza
Lunch: Dewey Square Park Plaza
Breakfast: Dewey Square Park Plaza
Lunch: Rowe’s Wharf
Breakfast: Dewey Square Park Plaza
Lunch: Rowe’s Wharf
Breakfast: Dewey Square Park Plaza
Lunch: Rowe’s Wharf
Breakfast: Dewey Square Park Plaza
Lunch: Chinatown Park
SoWa Open Market, South Boston
In September the first ever food tourism conference will be coming to Providence, Rhode Island - but they need your help. Taste Trekkers, organized by Seth Resler (the same guy who brought both Boston and San Francisco the wonderful world of Mystery Meet) has launched a Kickstarter to raise funds for the event. With just a few days left, they still have a bit of a ways to go.
Watch this video to learn more about the weekend event and visit their Kickstarter here if interested in donating.
Chef Chris Coombs (dBar, Deuxave) is having a very eventful 2013! His third restaurant opened in the South End last week and he was named one of Forbes 30 under 30 in the food category. The new concept, Boston Chops, is an 'Urban Steak Bistro' serving modern versions of steakhouse classics including a variety of offal dishes, raw bar appetizers and homemade sauces.
The former Banq and Ginger Park space on Washington St. hasn't had much success in the past, but Coombs seems to have a knack for turning former flops into instant successes - Deuxave also opened in what was thought to be a jinxed location. On two different trips to Boston Chops, the place has been packed to the brim on both a weekend night and weeknight last week, so it seems to be off to a very successful start.
Here is some of what you can expect from the menu...
1375 Washington St.
Boston, MA 02118
There's plenty of them out there. Here's a celebration of some of our favorites in Boston. The sweet, the savory, the overly-indulgent heart stopping, jaw dropping, stomach ache inducing delights that almost make it worth the extra calories.
It may send you straight into cardiac arrest, but it's amazing in taste, texture and stature. The Big Party from Boston Burger Company includes a beef patty, wrapped in bacon, deep fried in beer batter, and topped with mayonaise, ketchup, and a little bit of spicy.
No Boston-based cheese-lovers life is complete without frequent visits to Barbara Lynch's Butcher Shop for some cheese sampling. The rotating specials always offer plenty to be desired. I say skip dinner and go for a varied selection paired with the Steak Tartare and a side of Pickled Vegetables.
Area Four may be a great place to post up and eat pizza, but it's also home to one of my favorite brunch dishes. The Hot Mess, is exactly that! An iron skillet stuffed with potatoes, cheddar, veggies, house sausage, bacon, pepper relish, and two fried eggs.
O Ya is a mecca of mouthwatering food and these Eggs & Legs taste even better than they look.
Ending things on a sweet note with the Tollhouse Cookie Dough Sundae from Will Gilson's Puritan & Company , this blob of tollhouse cookie dough comes dipped in chocolate, served over vanilla ice-cream and topped with a spoonful of maraschino caviar. If there's one place to be sure you save room for dessert, it's this one.
What may be even more exciting than the new music venue that just opened in Harvard Square, The Sinclair, is the new restaurant that opened along with it. Between the gastropub-style Michael Schlow menu, fantastic cocktail program by Dave Werthman of West Side Lounge and a kitchen that's open til 1am, The Sinclair restaurant is so much more than just a pre or post concert meeting spot, it's a dining destination in itself.
After a number of visits to the Sinclair I've tried almost all of the small plates. That is definitely your best bet when meeting up for a quick snack and a drink with friends. Here are some of my favorites (plus one dessert for good measure):
Not pictured: the Kale Salad with golden raisins, sunflower seeds and crispy parsnips that never seems to last long enough for its photo op.
The Sinclair is great for a number of occasions. The downstairs bar area has communal tables that are perfect for drinks and a snack, and the upstairs dining room provides a better setting for dinner. Did I mention they also have brunch? What's not to love about this place?
Something about cold weather makes me crave Asian food, and apparently I'm not the only one. Beginning this weekend, local Chefs Marc Orfaly of Pigalle and Tiffani Faison of Sweet Cheeks Q will be taking over the private Townhouse room at Met Back Bay with Asian inspired menus celebrating the Year of the Snake. That means dim sum, ramen, pork buns, wok noodles, Sapporo, sake and everything in between.
Orfaly will be cooking this Friday Feb. 22nd and Saturday Feb. 23rd and Faison will be cooking the following weekend, Friday March 1st and Saturday March 2nd. There will be two seatings each night at 6 and 9pm. Tickets are $50 per person which includes 3 courses - buy tickets here.
Even though our fun blizzard weekend has officially ended, there is no better time than Monday to start thinking about mid-week wintery cocktails. I know you probably ate and drank all weekend, but after two days of commuting back and forth in this post-Nemo slush, you're going to want a drink. It's science. Since I am no cocktail expert myself I consulted with Jon of Beantown Drinks for some cold weather cocktail suggestions from a trusted local source. This is what he came up with, and what you should be drinking this week:
1. Spiced Apple Bourbon Fizz
- 2 oz Spiced Apple Bourbon Whiskey*
- 1/2 oz Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
- 4 oz Fresh apple cider
- Top with Seltzer (or any sparkling water)
- Garnish: Apple slice, fresh thyme sprig, cinnamon stick and fresh cranberries
Fill mason jar or pint glass up with ice. In a separate glass, add bourbon, ginger liqueur and apple cider together with no ice. Give the mixture a quick stir and then pour over the ice in your glass. Top with seltzer water and add garnish.
*This drink is really good with a straight bourbon whiskey, but is even better with an infused spiced-apple bourbon -- recipe for homemade infusion here.
2. Hot Whiskey (aka Hot Toddy)
Combine all ingredients in a warmed mug and stir to combine. Garnish. Full post here.
3. Milk Punch
Combine milk, half-and-half, and sugar in a pint glass; stir to dissolve sugar. Add bourbon, 1 cup cracked ice; cover with a shaker and shake for 20 seconds. Strain into a highball glass full of ice and sprinkle nutmeg over top. Full post here.
Find Jon on twitter @BeantownDrinks
I hope everyone had enough time to stock up on food for the weekend. Given the mad house that was Whole Foods yesterday I will assume a lot of cooking will be taking place between now and Sunday. If you don't have your recipes planned out yet, here is some winter cooking inspiration from some of my favorite bloggers.
1. Italian Sausage, Potato, And Kale Soup by Megan of Delicious Dishings
2. Coffee Braised Short Ribs by Dan of The Food in My Beard
3. Mushroom, Leek and Chicken Sausage Savory Bread Pudding by Simply Life
4. Aztec Hot Chocolate by A Beautiful Mess
5. Smoked Gouda and Pumpkin Mac and Cheese by Bianca of Confessions of a Chocoholic
About the authors
Michelle Zippelli is a Boston based hedonist who is committed to finding the best food that Boston has to offer. She has lived in Boston for 6 years and works in online marketing. Michelle loves meatballs, live music, exotic cheeses, Mexican food, spur of the moment dance parties, and all things pickled.
Jacki Morisi is a self-proclaimed bon vivant extraordinaire. A Boston native whose waking hours are exclusively focused on travel, music, food, and fare ... emphasis on food and fare. She's a firm believer that just because you're living on a young professional's budget doesn't mean you have to sacrifice taste, and carries this mantra into each and every dining endeavor.