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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

super burger brosOn June 17th, diners headed out to Commonwealth in Cambridge for Super Burger Bros.: Level 3. For those of you that are unfamiliar with this pop up series, Chef Samuel Monsour, formerly of jm Curley and current brains behind “The future of junk food” pop up series and Richard Chudy, creator of Boston Burger Blog and co owner of the Skinny Beet, have teamed up to host these events that will lead up to the release of their new cookbook. A lot of fun people were at Commonwealth, including Rachel Blumenthal, Editor of Eater Boston and my fellow blogger Hungry Tommy.

IMG_2527The “Juicy Lucy” ($10) came with queso American, spicy ketchup, picked watermelon, and radishes on an S+S English muffin. The pickled watermelon really made this burger for me! We ordered the onion strings to go along with the burgers, there were thin, crispy, salty and delicious.

IMG_2523The “Mason Dixon Mashup” came with Johnny Cake Oysters, mignonette ketchup, pops slaw, and crispy leeks on a sesame seed bun. This burger was a little messy, but the oysters made it worth every bite. They offered a third burger that I didn’t order, Hungry Tommy puts me to shame as he always orders one of each burger!! It was a chicken fried pork belly club with red remoulade, smoked heirloom tomatoes, grilled romaine, and vidalia jam on white bread. I saw a few of these come out, and MAN were they ENORMOUS!

imag0733And of course I had to have dessert, just a simple scoop of strawberry in a waffle cup. YUM!

Missed this event, check out their event tomorrow, 7/31 at KO Pies: https://www.facebook.com/events/472219329548433/

Commonwealth

11 Broad Canal Way

Cambridge MA

http://commonwealthcambridge.com/

Commonwealth on Urbanspoon

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IMG_4534I headed over to the North End after work to meet two of my favorite old interns who both now live in the neighborhood. They suggested that we head over to Bacco, a two story restaurant on the corner of Salem Street. The sun was shining and the windows were all open – we grabbed a prime people watching seat.

IMAG0239I ordered the potato gnocchi al Forno which was served with slow braised bolognese ragu and fresh mozzarella ($20.95). The sauce was a bit light for my taste but they didn’t skimp on the meat for the dish. While the sauce wasn’t a traditional bolognese (no carrots or cream)- it was still good. The service was spotty at moments, but the evening was more about catching up with my girlfriends.

Bacco

107 Salem Street, Boston, MA (North End)

www.bacconorthend.com

Bacco on Urbanspoon

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Good Ones 3It’s Tuesday evening in the Seaport District, what are you doing? Me?? I am at a modern Greek rooftop gathering with some of Boston’s finest. You can’t beat the views, or the company. The party I’m at is being hosted by The Good Ones – a unique group that hand picks some of the most interesting people to gather together at events like these.

Good Ones 5Meet Good One Kimberly Giardino and co-founder of The Good Ones, Carolyn Kim (aka goddess of the night).

Good Ones 4Everyone was very festive with their interpretation of tonight’s theme, modern Greek. Those that did not show up in togas came in shades of white and gold.

Good Ones 1The beautiful, talented jewelry designer Heloisa Helena Fitzgerald drinking Zoos tea, a sponsor at the event.

Good Ones 8The stunning Candice Wu, designer extraordinaire. She designed the beautiful gowns that the models were wearing this evening.

Good Ones 6Mark Andrus’ costume put everyone else to shame.

Good Ones 9James Michael Sama, founder of the New Chivalry Movement was looking quite charming with his Dolce and Gabbana shades, white jacket and dapper pocket square.

Good Ones 13I love this, from his website: My mission for this website is to spread the “New Chivalry Movement” – a set of ideas that prompts the development of self-worth in people of all ages. The recognition of the love and respect that is deserved in a relationship, as well as the strength to walk away if they are not present. I am striving to illustrate the image of what a healthy relationship looks like, as well as what each member of the “team” can do in order to create it.

Good Ones 10Karla B. Alcantara enjoying craft cocktails by the celebrity bartender.

Good Ones 11Good One Tau Zaman was looking good in all white.

Good Ones 17Co-founder of Maple Water, Kate Weiler and Comedian Tom Severo. Tom’s costume was definitely the most creative of the evening.

Good Ones 16Rodrigo Martinez, Chief Strategist at IDEO was rocking his toga.

Good Ones 14Radio personality Kennedy Elsey had the ultimate accessory to her Grecian outfit, Mia, a 9 week old rescue puppy that is available for adoption through Great Dog Rescue.

Good Ones 18Janet Wu looked gorgeous in a gown designed by a friend.

Good Ones 19Female models, Elena Kollarova, Drea Elizabeth and Chelsey Angers in Candice Wu Couture. Jimmy Guzman (L) and Rodrigo Martinez (R).

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Good Ones 2Entertainment and killer old school jams were provided by Julian of Team Sayles.

Good Ones 11Tom Olcott, co-founder of Motto Tea, serving up some of his delicious sparkling Matcha tea.

Good Ones 12Co-founder of the Good Ones, Jennifer Brooke with Mia – enjoying some Motto.

Good Ones 4Tenzin Conechok Samdo, head bartender at Trade, mixed up delicious cocktails using Zoos Greek Tea and Crop organic cucumber vodka.

Good Ones 5How amazing does that look? It screams summer.

Good Ones 6Tenzin prepping for the evening.

Good Ones 13Kristina Tsipouras, founder of Zoos Greek tea was fresh off of her win at the Improper Bostonian’s Best of Boston event.

Good Ones 3Can’t think of two things that go together better than Zoos tea and Crop vodka.

Good Ones 16Mark Penta was on hand capturing the event.

Good Ones 12Krave Jerky set up a really nice tasting station where guests could snack on a variety of their jerky flavors. See my previous post about Krave Jerky here.

Good Ones 1Tonight there was a battle.  A chef battle. Jonathan Michael Moreira of Post 390 and Brendan Smith of Uni went head to head with reigning champ Brendan Andrew Burke of the newly opened Bastille Kitchen.

Good Ones 7Here are the list of ingredients that the chefs were tasked to work with: Burrata, Smoked Scamorza, Stracciatella , Striper, Monk Fish, Haddock, Japanese eggplant, Fennel bulbs, Fresh dill, Salsify, Peaches, Koppertcress Micro Red Shiso, Zucchini, Strawberries, Cauliflower, Tarragon, Long English Cucumbers, Mint , White Grapes, Onions, Garlic, Lemon, Caper, Olive Oil

Good Ones 8Each chef prepared two dishes with their chosen ingredients.

Good Ones 9Guests at the party were given coins to vote for their favorite dish.

Good Ones 10Chef Moreira of Post 390 describing his 2 dishes.

Good Ones 14Plating for Team Uni.

Good Ones 15And the winner of the evening was reigning champion, Chef Brendan Burke! His dishes were complex and flavorful, well deserved!

Bummed you missed this event? There are two upcoming events, 7/29 and 7/30. Contact Carolyn for an invite: carolyn@thegoodonesboston.com

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shojoI was at a meeting by South Station and needed a bite to eat. I had been hearing good things about Shojo in Chinatown and decided to give it a spin. Shojo’s food is a modern take on Japanese food with tapas style dishes meant for sharing.

shojoWe sat at a hightop by the window. I love the mural on the back wall painted by Alec Strickland. The restaurant has a casual, relaxed atmosphere.

shojoShojo has a nice selection of vegetarian options if that is your speed. We started with the mushroom spring rolls with Chinese red vinaigrette ($6). The food came out very quickly after we ordered – it was impressive.

shojoThe duck taco ($10) Duck Confit, House Moo Shu Shell, Mint Chutney and Purple Kimchi Slaw. The dish was flavorful – the presentation was not what we were expecting, but it was delicious.

shojoThe chicken and waffle ($13) Szechuan Peppercorn Maple Syrup, Hong Kong Egg Style Waffle, 5 Spice Butter and Fried Chicken Drumstick. The waffle was beautiful, the syrup had a nice hint of sweetness and the chicken was crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Love the presentation of this dish!

shojoThe kimchi fried rice ($9) was tasty and came with a fried egg on top. While it wasn’t super spicy, there was definitely a slow burn that made your lips tingle a bit.

Shojo

9A Tyler Street, Boston, MA

http://shojoboston.com

Shojo on Urbanspoon

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Lend an Ear 5Last Sunday I met up with my friend Melissa at Sloane Merrill Gallery for a dinner prepared by Josh Lewin of Bread and Salt Hospitality. Lewin is the former Executive Chef of Beacon Hill Bistro, and his business partner, Katrina Jazayeri, was named by Zagat’s as one of Boston’s up and coming bartenders (Belly Wine Bar, Cuisine En Locale).

Lend an Ear 6Sloane Merrill is located on Charles Street in Beacon Hill. The multi level gallery was a great backdrop for tonight’s supper.

Lend an Ear 8Guests were greeted with a welcome drink, perfect on such a warm evening. Guests ate at tall cocktail style tables – and roamed the gallery browsing all of the great art.

Lend an Ear 4Lewin served us the famous popcorn that I was fortunate enough to have tried a few nights earlier at the SoonSpoon/Opus Affair movie night. It was seasoned with cheddar, sriracha and curry leaf ash.

Lend an Ear 3Melissa and I both loved the corn and coconut soup with shrimp and saffron. It was served cold and was so light and refreshing.

Lend an Ear 2Deviled eggs were made with corn aioli.

Lend an Ear 9The tandoori spiced squid tamale were delicious – I love a good tamale.

Lend an Ear 7Cornbread with cardamom and black pepper.

Lend an Ear 10Tacos with smoked lamb shank, corn salsa and mango bbq sauce with corn on the cob served with persian lime and sumac butter.

Lend an Ear 1The charred and raw corn salad was served with fennel lime and roasted garlic was one of the highlights of the night for me. It was light and summery, simple and yet flavorful and delicious.

Lend an Ear 11The special dessert for the evening was  a tumeric macaron with corn ganache. These were amazing, Katrina really outdid herself. They were so delicate and light, and bursting with flavor without being too overpowering.

Lend an Ear 12Lewin had a fun surprise for Garry, two special desserts and all the guests sang him happy birthday! He turned 65, but didn’t look it – sharply dressed in his searsucker and lobsters!

Sloane Merrill Gallery 75 Charles Street, Boston, MA http://sloanemerrillgallery.com/

SoonSpoon http://www.soonspoon.com/

Follow Josh Lewin on Twitter

Follow Katrina Jazayeri on Twitter

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IMAG0252If you were just walking around the North End, you would likely pass right by this dark alley.

IMAG0251At the end of the alley is Bricco  Panetteria, a small bread bakery (and a separate pasta shop).

IMAG0250Bricco Panetteria is owned by Frank DePasquale and all of the breads that are served in his restaurants (Trattoria Il Panino, Mare Oyster Bar, Umbria Prime, Bricco Ristorante and Enoteca and Quattro Ristorante Grill Pizzeria) are available for sale at the Panetteria.

IMAG0249This is a no frills bakery – the focus is on the product, not the decor. The one room set up allows customers to see how the bread they are buying is made (talk about open kitchen!).

IMAG0247The breads are works of art. Bring your cash though, they don’t accept cards.

IMAG0246The breads offered include: olive or proscuitto and parmesan ciabatta, baguettes, raisin bread, and baguettes among others.

IMAG0255_1Here’s a close up of the onion ciabatta, it was delicious – and it went fast. There’s nothing better than freshly baked bread.

Bricco Panetteria

241 Hanover Street, Boston, MA

http://www.bricco.com/panetteria/

Open daily 8am – 11pm

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IMG_4289Mark had some Level Up cash at Tossed, so we ventured over there for lunch.

IMG_4288While they are known for their salads, they also have wraps, paninis, soups and artisanal sandwiches.

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They  have a bunch of salads to choose from on the menu, but I choose to make my own. I think this is where I always get myself into trouble, as I always love the pricey add ons. This salad has iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, hard boiled egg and avocado. While sweetgreen is my “salad bar” restaurant of choice, Tossed is still a good second option.

Tossed

1 Post Office Square, Boston, MA

http://www.tossed.com

Tossed on Urbanspoon

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Good Ones Via Matta 1Some of Boston’s finest came out to Via Matta last week to mix, mingle and nosh.

Good Ones Via Matta 3Hint Water was a sponsor of the event. Hint is purified water with a splash of flavor, no diet sweeteners, no sugar, and no preservatives.

Good Ones Via Matta 4Motto was also at the event, a sparkling matcha tea made with premium matcha, apple cider vinegar, honey and organic agave, and brightened with some fresh lemon juice!

Good Ones Via Matta 2New on the scene tonight was Organic Living Superfoods, a line of plant based organic superfoods that can naturally aid in preventing disease.

Good Ones Via Matta 6The Art of Shaving is a best selling men’s brand sold in high end department stores. What started in the kitchen of the founder’s New York apartment has turned into a worldwide organization.

Good Ones Via Matta 7Via Matta is a Michael Schlow, Christoper Myers restaurant (the talent behind the now closed Radius). Known for it’s Italian cuisine and house made pasta, this was a great space for a Good Ones event. Pictured above is the restaurant’s bar area.

Good Ones Via Matta 8Light bites were provided.

Good Ones Via Matta 9Look at how beautiful the colors are here.

Good Ones Via Matta 11Via Matta offers appetizers on their regular menu such as Tuna Crudo with black olive crumble, celery, limoncello gelee; Spicy Calamari with garlic, milled tomatoes, black olives, capers; Grilled Octopus with cucumber, olive oil poached potatoes, harrisa aioli, smoked peanuts and Homemade Ricotta with sage, olive oil, chili flakes, crostini.

Good Ones Via Matta 13Entrees on their menu include: Butternut Squash Agnolotti with braised chicken, hazelnut pesto, grated lemo; Tagliatelle with alla Bolognese; and my favorite, the simple yet delicious Spaghetti with aglio e olio con pomodoro.

Good Ones Via Matta 10Tonight’s event featured a very special guest. Mia, a nine week old mixed breed puppy available for adoption. For more information on how to adopt Mia, please contact Great Dog Rescue.

Good Ones Via Matta 12A 9 week old puppy is the ultimate accessory!

Good Ones Via Matta 18Co-founder of the Good Ones, Jennifer Brooke and Founder of the New Chivalry Movement, James Michael Sama.

Good Ones Via Matta 20Mia fell asleep in James’ arms!

Good Ones Via Matta 5The talented, beautiful, Social Experience Producer at the Good Ones, Kimberly Giardino.

Good Ones Via Matta 19Some of tonight’s guests included Culinary Food Personality, Saba Wahid, Partner at True Capital, Matthew Goldstein, and Mass Port Authority’s Manager of Strategic Partners, Michelle Lampa.

Good Ones Via Matta 24The theme tonight was “Whites and Watches”. It’s always fun to see how people interpret the theme.

Good Ones Via Matta 23Tau Zaman, Good Ones; Janet Wu, Anchor on Channel 7; Mia; Pamela Paquin, Founder of Petite Mort; Carolyn Kim, Co-Founder of The Good Ones.

Via Matta

79 Park Plaza, Boston, MA

http://www.viamattarestaurant.com

Via Matta on Urbanspoon

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LAH and ChristofleLast week, I was invited to a Christofle dinner at Liquid Art House. Not familiar with Christofle? They are a high end, luxury silver company specializing in flatware, home decor and even jewelry.

LAH9Guests included Chris Haynes of CBH Communications (pictured above with Chef Rachel Klein), octogenarian Doris Yaffe, architect Dartagnan Brown, “This Old House” designer Christine Tuttle, James Beard Foundation columnist Saba Wahid,  event producer AJ Williams and Herald columnist Erica Corsano.

LAH20Guests sipped on champagne for an hour before sitting down to a four course dinner prepared by Rachel Klein.

LAH2Napkins are best set on the dinner plate or to the left of the flatware, not under the flatware.

LAH1The table was set in a casual but elegant way, simply dressed with low flowers to keep conversations going across the table.

LAH5The distance between the end of your thumb and the first knuckle is an inch, on everyone. Flatware should be placed an inch in from the end of the table.

LAH4I was surprised to hear that Christofle has a store in Boston. Their door is a bit hidden from the main street, but you can find them at 296 Boylston Street.

LAH13This amazing arrangement was provided by Mark Hall Design, the best part…it’s completely edible!

LAH11Tonight’s flatware was from the Jardin d’eden collection. The 110 piece setting, including 12 of each Dinner Fork, Dinner Knife, Table Spoon, Coffee Spoon, Dessert Fork , Dessert Spoon, Dessert Knife, Fish Fork, and Fish Knife, and one of each of Serving Spoon and Serving Fork retails for over $40,000.

LAH14Justin Trabert, Miami based Pavillion Manager at Christofle walked us through the art of hosting a dinner party. Topics covered ranged from how to set the perfect to table to which utensil to use with each course.

LAH15The pretzel rolls made by Liquid Art House master bread maker Maurizio Odermatt were delicious.

LAH16The first course was chilled coconut soup with cilantro oil, carrots, raisins, and buckwheat granola. Servers poured the soup tableside.

LAH16Second course: Faroe Island Salmon with baby potatoes, quail eggs, dill oil, pickles, salmon roe, and sour cream.

LAH17Third course: Young greens with a sherry vinaigrette, herbs and shallot.

LAH18Dessert course: Thai young coconut semifreddo with tres leches, lemon verbena ice cream, chartreuse, coconut lime snow and anise hyssop.

LAH10Fluxus is the newest exhibit on display at Liquid Art House, now until September 16th.

LAH3Fluxus is a group show featuring works by Lithuanian artist Vytas Sakalas, Boston-based artists Giovanni DeCunto, Resa Blatman and Rhode Island-based artist Dana Woulfe.

LAH6

LAH7

LAH8Liquid Art House

100 Arlington Street, Boston, MA

http://www.liquidarthouse.com/

Liquid Art House on Urbanspoon

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SoonSpoon1After work on Friday night, guests came out to WorkBar in Central Square for movie night. Workbar is a shared, coworking space home to start ups, entrepreneurs, and independent professionals.

SoonSpoon2Even though we are here after regular business hours, we can tell that the folks at Workbar like to have fun! Just check out their chalkboard.

SoonSpoon13SoonSpoon, a last minute reservation company, teamed up with Opus Affair for tonight’s event. (L-R) Graham Wright, Founder, Opus Affair; Conor Clary and Travis Lowry, Co-Founders, SoonSpoon.

SoonSpoon3 Grillo’s pickles started in 2008 with a family recipe. In 2009, Travis Grillo was selling pickled out of  a wooden cart in Boston Common. Today, Grillo’s has grown by leaps and bounds and can be found in Whole Foods, Wegman’s and other major retailers (as well as SOWA and other farmers markets).

SoonSpoon4Grillo’s Pickles also has a brick and mortar location at 1075 Cambridge Street in Cambridge.

SS20PhaDe Food labs is a collaboration between Jose Ordovas (L) and Chris Borges (R), PhD students by day – chefs by night.

SoonSpoon5PHaDe food labs provided savory chicken nachos that were a big hit! They were charred baharat spiced chicken with house pickled Siena Farms squash and radish, manchego and Spaniard made sauce romesco. Follow PhaDe on Twitter here.

SoonSpoon11Check Chris out in action!

SoonSpoon12…and close up.

SoonSpoon6The extremely talented Josh Lewin, formerly of Beacon Hill Bistro, was at the event with his gourmet popcorn. Lewin is now focusing on his new venture, Bread and Salt Hospitality, with his business partner Katrina Jazayeri.

SoonSpoon15Lewin made popcorn in delicious flavors like clothbound cheddar, sriracha and curry leaf ash. Follow Lewin on Twitter here and Bread and Salt here.

SoonSpoon7I was most looking forward to Kate Holowchik’s home made sodas! Kate is the pastry chef at jm Curley,  see previous post here. Follow Kate on Twitter here.

SoonSpoon8(L-R) Homemade cola with cherry shrub (fancy cherry coke), Watermelon basil spritzer, and orange carrot ginger crush. I had the cola on Kate’s recommendation, and is was delicious!

SoonSpoon18NESN’s  Kayla Harrity of Wicked Bites was in the house interviewing all the chefs.

SoonSpoon16Harpoon Brewery provided the beers for the evening.

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SoonSpoon17Taza Chocolate was at the event, sampling chocolate and each guest got one full size bar to snack on.

SoonSpoon9Flavors included Toffee Almond & Sea Salt, Cacao Nib Crunch, Sea Salt & Almond, Raspberry Nib Crunch and Coconut.

SoonSpoon14Devin Thomas (top right), of the popular Twitter handle Only in BOS, was in the house. Follow him on Twitter for all the latest news.

SoonSpoon19After an hour or so of eating and chatting, guests sat down to watch George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead.

Workbar 45 Prospect Street, Cambridge, MA

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