In keeping with the theme of my tequila obsession, I dragged Gaby, a Los Angeles friend who has also transplanted herself in Boston, out to Lolita Cocina to check out the tequila bar I'd heard such wonderful things about. And let me tell you, this place absolutely held up to the high expectations I had!
Before we could even start to catch up, the waitress brought over chips and a trio of salsas plus a complimentary sample of granita with a free splash of tequila -- as Gaby said to our waitress, anything with the words 'free' and 'tequila' in the same sentence is up my alley!
To start, Gaby ordered the Broken Heart, made with gran centenario rosangel, st. germain, patron citronge, white grapes and fresh raspberries, and I ordered an apple cinammon margarita. (both pictured above) Both were presented beautifully, and were just as tasty!
We split the spicy mahi mahi flautas (pictured -- made with roasted corn and avocado salsa) and the adobo bbq chicken tacos. Both our dishes had quite the kick, but not the type of spicy that leaves your mouth burning and finishing your cocktail way faster than you intended to, the type of flavorful spicy that makes you keep eating, and craving, more.
Far too tempted by the many choices on the cocktail menu, we opted for round two of drinks -- the diablo marg with serrano chile, orange, pineapple and strawberry for Gaby, and the ginger mojito for me. Both were delicious.
The best part might have been the apple-flavored cotton candy that came as a complimentary dessert after our meal. You may have read about my cotton candy love back in December, but this stuff is seriously divine, and despite the very large serving, we devoured it all. The perfect 9 PM sugar kick to give me the energy to deal with the long commute home on the B line (if only I were kidding).
We went on a Tuesday night at around 6:30, and though the restaurant and bar weren't full, there were a decent number of couples and groups of friends seated, and a fair number of people at the bar. By the time we left around 9 PM it had gotten much fuller, so I can imagine this place is hopping on a weekend night.
Not outrageously expensive ($50 each, including tip, for two drinks and a very filling dinner) I would absolutely recomend a trip to Lolita for a unique margarita. I may have a new favorite tequila bar!
Added bonus: Lolita is hosting a tequila dinner on April 3rd -- for $65, you get to try four tequilas, each paired with one course in a four course meal. This month the theme is 1800 tequilas, a blue agave tequila grown and bottled in Jalisco, Mexico. Dinner includes a razor clam ceviche, toasted quail, seared duck and a flourless chocolate cake for dessert. I'm drooling just typing it all out.
I know I've professed my love for Mexican food and tequila many times on this blog, but as a California native, I just can't help myself. So you can imagine my excitement upon hearing that The Painted Burro, a gourmet Mexican restaurant and tequila bar, was opening in Davis Square. Owned by the creators of Posto (which I recently visited and absolutely loved), I knew I had to be there opening week.
Nestled a few blocks down Elm Street from the Davis Square T stop, where Gargoyles on the Square used to be, the Painted Burro has been decked out with an absolutely gorgeous interior decor. I love the framed mirrors, the beautiful bar, and, of course, the intricately detailed donkeys on the walls (pictured), hand painted by Somerville native Raul Gonzalez.
I have to stop and give a disclaimer: I may have had unreasonably high expectations for the Painted Burro. Not to say that I didn't have a great experience, but there were a few things I might change, hopefully kinks that get worked out as the restaurant finds its groove.
I was thrilled that on a Thursday night just over a week after opening, this place was busy but not too crazy -- there was a definite buzz in the room, but we didn't have to scream to hear each other, a perfect evening atmosphere. We had a reservation, and didn't need to wait at all to be seated, which I always appreciate.
Our waitress was very helpful in explaining both the cocktail and food menus -- the drink menu can be quite overwhelming, especially knowing that you can choose any of the 100+ tequilas listed for your drink. But trust me, options are a good thing.
I ordered the Bionicos margarita (pictured) -- made with pineapple, mango and grapefruit. I love fruity drinks (yes, I'm a girly drinker) so I was excited, but I have to admit it wasn't my favorite and the flavors I was hoping for just weren't quite there. Swati had the Hibiscus margarita though, and hers was delicious.
We ordered the guacamole to share, which was perfectly creamy and delicious. I also loved the salsa that came to our table almost immediately after we sat down, although the tortilla chips weren't great -- bland and not quite crispy enough. We split a chile relleno and an order of fundido with shishito peppers (pictured), which were both phenomenal. I do wish I'd gotten an order of the zucchini and nopales tacos -- they're on my list for next time!
Overall, I think the Painted Burro has a good thing going for it. I'm more prone to suggest dinner and drinks here rather than just drinks, but there was a sizable crowd hanging at the bar, and I'm curious what this place is like later in the evening. I will definitely be back!
Been to the Painted Burro? What was your experience like? What other tequila bars do you love in Boston? Comment!
Free the Kids is a non-profit dedicated to helping orphaned children in Haiti. The organization hosts a children's village, where more than 600 children are housed on a 40 acre "campus" and thousands more kids are provided with meals, education, clothing, and medical care.
To help raise money for this incredible organization, Boston's Le Cordon Bleu is hosting a food and wine pairing event on Saturday, March 24 at 7 PM, with all proceeds benefiting Free the Kids. I'm a big fan of benefits (especially if they involve food), and though this one is a bit pricey, it's an incredible cause with a delicious sounding menu to match, and I think it will be well worth the ticket!
Three food and wine pairing stations will offer guests choices of hors d'oeuvres such as goat cheese crostini and chicken skewers in peanut satay dipping sauce. Choose from a salmon, BBQ pork tenderloin, or flank steak entree and desserts include panna cotta or chocolate and pear bread pudding.
A raffle and silent auction will also take place and prizes include a pair of Celtics tickets, a signed Bobby Baker print, four Sunday passes to PAX East, a private yoga lesson, a wide variety of gift cards, plus more.
Your ticket to the event includes one raffle ticket, but the option to purchase more and put them directly into drawings for specific items is available. Larger items will be a part of the silent auction.
Tickets are $80, but Le Cordon Bleu has graciously offered my readers a last minute, 60% discount -- if you enter the promo code bostonite on the EventBrite page, tickets are only $31 per person -- a steal!
Check out this video with more information about Free the Kids:
It's no secret -- the world is obsessed with AMC's Mad Men. Especially since all 4 seasons have been available on Netflix streaming during its hiatus, millions of adoring fans are anxiously awaiting the two hour premiere of season five, scheduled for this Sunday, March 25, at 9 PM.
If you aren't throwing your own themed party, I'd suggest you head to Beacon Hill, where Scollay Square restaurant is hosting an elaborate viewing party, complete with costumed wait staff, 60's cocktails, a costume contest, and, of course, three giant flat-screen TVs to watch the premiere.
Choose from cocktails such as Old Fashion, Brandy Alexander, and Tom Collins, and indulge in Mad Men inspired passed hors d'oeuvres: Pete's pan fried onion dip with homemade potato chips; FDDT kebobs made with full Don Draper treatment-rib eye, potato and portabella kebobs; Sterling's bacon and bleu cheese wedge salad, and Beth's "Grin and Barrett" gazpacho. Seriously, who can resist that list?
To top it off, the top three costumes will recieve $100, $50 and $25 gift certificates, respectively, to any member of the Legendary Restaurant Group. I'd say it's the perfect excuse to go peruse Banana Republic's new collection. Am I right?
Your $30 ticket includes two cocktail tickets and unlimited hors d'oeuvres, plus tax and gratity for the evening. A full dinner menu, inspired by the Mad Men era, will be available to guests.
Can't make it out this Sunday? Don't be too upset. Scollay Square will be showing episodes and offering it's 1960's themed menu every Sunday going forward, so be sure to check that out at some point during the season.
Ladies and gentleman, I have a new favorite Brookline bar: Washington Square Tavern.
Though this adorable bar is in the popular Washington Square area, it's unmarked, making it strangely hidden for being directly on the corner right of the Washington and Beacon intersection.
I can't speak for their food, since I only went for drinks, but when I go to a place where their beer, wine and cocktail menu is bigger than their food menu, I'm always impressed.
I started with the cucumber and mint martini, which was perfect. Strong, but not overpowering, with a great flavor. Next, I opted for the pomegranate margarita, which was good, but definitely not my favorite. Regardless, there were plenty of other cocktails -- the pear twist, ginger snap, and grapefruitini -- that I can't wait to go back and try.
But my favorite thing about WST was the decor -- the bar is sizable but cozy, with dim lighting and an adorable bookshelf on the far wall. Even on a Sunday night, most tables were taken, and every seat at the bar was filled. A perfect date spot, or a great, low key bar to grab drinks with friends before heading out to a more crowded spot. Go check it out!
Happy St. Patrick's Day weekend everyone!
Even though I moved to Brighton more than 6 months ago, I haven't spent much time checking out the nightlife scene here -- especially in the Allston area. Aside from Common Ground and Sunset Cantina, I really haven't spent much time at any 02134 area bars.
I also have to admit, I'm a bit biased when it comes to Allston. And not just because I'm a husky and not a terrier, but because every time I step off the B line or the 66, I'm overwhelmed by the smokers, the dirty sidewalks and the explosion of plaid everywhere I look.
Both Deep Ellum and Lone Star are tiny inside -- with no more than 8 tables along the wall plus the bar, there is very little space to walk, move, or even turn your head. Despite the lack of space, our food was fabulous.
We split the vegetarian queso (pictured, above) and an order of nachos (pictured, right) both of which were incredible, and we each ordered an individual taco -- I had the tofu, Swati had the avocado, and Lex got the chicken tostada. All 3 were delish.
Our margaritas, however, left something to be desired. We opted for the original 20 ounces, served in giant beer mugs over ice. They were bland, and just didn't quite hit the spot. I ended up adding salt to mine, but wasn't quite motivated to finish the whole thing.
Though our original plan after dinner was to head to Common Ground for 90's night (one of my favorite bar nights of all time), the line was long and it was already close to midnight, so we opted for White Horse Tavern instead. Though the bar was huge and not quite full, our drinks were strong and relatively cheap, which at 1 AM on a Friday night definitely hit the spot.
I joke about hating Allston and its dirty vibe, but I will be the first to admit I had a great time on Friday night. Not my usual crowd, but we had a good time out regardless, and it doesn't hurt that my cab ride home was only $10 instead of the usual $25.
Love Allston? Hate it? Want to rail on me for judging its dirty vibe? What are your favorite Allston spots? Comment!
If you couldn't already tell from reading this blog, I'm a cocktail girl. As much as I try to love beer, I just can't help that I'm drawn towards mixed drinks instead.
So when I found out that Towne Stove & Spirits added a slew of new drinks to their cocktail menu, I couldn't wait to try them all. I enlisted a willing friend and we made our way to Boylston Street on a recent Wednesday night.
The restaurant has three distinct areas -- the front bar and lounge area, the back dining room (which also has a bar), and the upstairs section -- which are appropriately named the Street Lounge, Downtowne, and Uptowne. We sat in the front lounge area, which has a great layout and a beautiful bar but is very dimly lit (hence the bad drink photos, sorry!)
Towne Culinary Director Lydia Shire and Executive Chef Mario Capone have also introduced a new bar menu, which includes crab & spinach dip, duck quesadillas, sweet potato fries, and fried zucchini sticks, among other options. We opted for the sweet potato fries with our first round of drinks -- a Cucumber Rose and a Towne Lemonade (both pictured). The Cucumber Rose, made with cucumber vodka, rosemary simple syrup, and prosecco float, then given a sugar rim, was phenomenal. Perfectly cucumber-y with a slight hint of rosemary and just enough carbonation to give it an edge. I loved it. The Towne Lemonade was also delicious, made with blueberry vodka, lemonade, pomegranate juice and real blueberries. Less original but very well made, plus I'm a huge fan of real fruit in my cocktails.
Next we tried the Roman Candle -- a fruitier drink made with prosecco, Chambord liqueur, and pineapple juice, topped off with a raspberry -- and the Ginger Flower -- also prosecco-based, made with ginger, cognac, elderflower liquer, and a dash of lemon juice. Though I liked both of these champagne-like drinks, the Cucumber Rose was my favorite by far.
Beware: drinks are pricey, almost $14 each. The bar menu, however, is relatively reasonable, with prices in the $8 - $15 range. Regardless, I'd definitely recommend Towne as a fun spot to meet a friend on a weekday for a drink. They've also got a bar scene on the weekends -- I've been on Friday and Saturday nights, and it's a fun vibe with a solid mix of older folks and young professionals. My drinks weren't as well made on weekend nights, but with a very busy bar, I guess that's probably to be expected.
I also love that Towne is a very different scene from most of the bars on Boylston -- as much as I love Pour House, Whiskey's, and Lir, it's always nice to mix it up!
About the authorRachel Kossman is a California girl and New England transplant who graduated from Northeastern University in 2011. She has a penchant for discovering new restaurants and bars, devouring Mexican food, More »
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