This scenery reminds me of our recent trip to Vegas.
Loveland is the highest mountain pass in the world that regularly stays open during a snowy winter season.
Tuesday night, guests gathered at Post 390 for a Good Ones event. The group featured a hand-selected group of Bostonians who are founders, executives, journalists, entertainers, students, creatives, mentors and mentees. Guests came decked out in their interpretation of the theme, “Moody Blues”.
Chef Moreira participated in The Good Ones chef battle a few weeks ago. This Sunday see reigning champ Brendan Burke go head to head with Ben Harwood, the Sous Chef at Tico Boston. Moreira tempted guests tonight with his delicious bites.
Moreira is a graduate of Johnson and Whales and he was previously at Hemenway’s Seafood & Grill, Aspire Restaurant at the Hotel Providence, and at Excelsior Restaurant.
Another featured guest was the talented Mark Penta. Penta is a freelance illustrator that draws caricatures of guests at private parties and corporate events. Penta’s works have been used by Google, Celebrity Cruises, Neiman Marcus, Harvard and Barnes & Noble.
When he’s not caricaturing, Mark creates fine art pencil portraits and books. He is the author/illustrator of two traditionally published books, Cape Cod Invasion! (Commonwealth Editions) and Young Jesus Chronicles (Andrews McMeel). His most recent book for kids is called Wicked Weird Story Starters, co-authored with writer T.M. Murphy. It’s a self-published project (available on Amazon.com) that Mark will promote at schools with the goal of inspiring kids to write, draw, and use their imaginations.
Featured guest Shannon O’Brien is the Founder of Whole U. – an agency that supports clients’ personal, professional, and civic development. She is also the Producer and Host of Whole U. TV, interviewing experts on topics of Wellness, Career Satisfaction, and Service.
Good One Tau Zaman checking out Mark’s artwork.
Good Ones Kimberly Giardino (left), Naz Senaldi (middle) and Carolyn Meenan (right).
Thanks to all of the event sponsors for the evening: Motto, Maple Water, Organic Living Superfoods, Mozzarella House, Clif Bar, Super Digital, Team Sayles Music and Lighting, Mark Penta Caricatures, and Lumenmuse.com
For more information about The Good Ones, please visit their website here.
Hungry Mother might be one of my favorite places to eat. Not only is their food delicious, but their service is impeccable. The dining room feels more like you are at a dinner party at a friend’s house rather than a restaurant. I was excited to introduce my friend Melanie to this place – as a fellow foodie, I knew that she would love it here.
It’s hard to choose what to get, everything sounds so delicious. I order the steak that was so tender and juicy. If it is possible, it even felt light. The complete opposite of when you walk out of a restaurant with the steak sitting in the bottom of your stomach and you feel the need for a nap.
233 Cardinal Medeiros Ave, Cambridge, MA
We were in Keystone for my friend Gabe’s wedding to his college sweetheart Jill. The wedding itself was beautiful and it gave us an excuse to go to one of the hottest destinations in CO. Most of the guests stayed over Saturday night so Gabe’s parents hosted a wagon ride and bbq dinner. We met at the resort and we were bussed to the pickup point near the stables. About a hundred of us hopped on 4 carriages.
The horses always pull with the same partner. You should have seen the size of these horses!! They were ENORMOUS! They can comfortably pull three times their body weight, so somewhere in the neighborhood of 15,000lbs.
Entertainment was provided by Randall McKinnon, who has been singing for the last 23 years. Randall had the whole group singing favorites like Sweet Home Alabama, American Pie and House of the Rising Sun.
Check out Randall in action.
A really great night over all – everyone had a fun night!
For more information about wagon rides at Keystone, see their website.
On August 13th, over 1,400 guests came to the Black Falcon Terminal to sample the top 20 burgers chosen by Boston Magazine readers. For Boston Magazine’s 3rd annual burger battle, the Blue Ox was back to defend last year’s win. VIP guests were allowed entry at 6pm with early access to food, drinks and a special lounge, while general admission opened at 7pm. I met my friend Conor from SoonSpoon and we prepared ourselves for a feast!
Some restaurants came to serve non burger items, like Bronwyn, that had a chilled peach “Solyanka,” an Eastern European fruit and pickle soup.
No. 8 Kitchen and spirits served up a compressed watermelon salad.
Petit Robert made delicious French macarons.
Pangea Shellfish was back for the second night in a row, sampling some of their fresh seafood.
Defending champions from the Blue Ox prepared their “sin burger” with applewood smoked bacon, Swiss cheese, truffle aioli, lettuce, and tomato.
The Precinct burger was made with dry aged beef seasoned with cracked black pepper and fleur de sel, Vermont cheddar cheese, Nueske’s bacon and served on a fresh brioche bun
The Boston Burger Company brought their “hot mess” made from certified angus beef, American cheese, homemade 1000 island, bacon, red onion, pickles, jalapeno’s and shredded lettuce.
Foundry on Elm cooking up mini sliders.
At these types of events you really have to pace yourselves, as consuming this much meat (or if you’re me, this is your second night in a row doing this) in a short period of time will make you feel like you’re a walking heart attack waiting to happen.
Smokey Bones provided a unique smoked burger topped with house made caramelized onion bacon jam, creamy havarti cheese, pickled shaved sweet onions, sea salt and cracked pepper, tomato, and bib lettuce on a house baked butter grilled roll.
Davio’s burger, was simple yet delicious:cheddar cheese, onion rings, pickles and steak sauce.
Lincoln Tavern and Restaurant brought kobe sliders: American Wagyu, muenster cheese, bacon aioli and a sunny-side up quail egg on a Rob Roy’s bun. This was probably one of my favorites of the night – how cute are those quail eggs? Everything really melded together nicely for this burger.
The MET bar came with their farm burger: Secret blend beef burger with Vermont Tarentaise cheese, candied maple pork belly and onions with tempura avocado, fried egg, sriracha mayo served on a housemade onion brioche bun. There were a lot of things going on with this burger, but it all worked. I loved the fried egg and avocado combination.
Kings brought their Texas burger: a delicious brisket, sirloin and chuck burger grilled to perfection and topped with house-smoked pulled pork, pepper jack cheese, bacon, pickles, homemade coleslaw and smokey BBQ sauce, served on a soft potato roll.
Joe’s American Bar and Grill came to the event with their burger named, “The Cure”, a ground steak burger, aged cheddar, Joe’s famous baby back ribs, tobacco onions, sunny-side-up egg, chipotle onion jam, arugula on a brioche bun. The jam is what really made this burger!
Union brought their Harissa lamb burger with Narragansett ‘Salty Sea’ feta, tzatziki, pickled red onions and frisee on a buttery brioche roll.
5 Napkin Burger brought their pimento burger: Pimento cheese burger with bacon, griddled onions and pickled jalapenos.
A&B Salem brought their Double Scotty burger, two 5 oz. patties served with sliced Red Delicious apples, smoked gouda cheese, Niman Ranch applewood smoked bacon and arugula on a toasted potato roll. The combination of sweet, smoke and salt on this burger was really quite good.
Saloon went a different route with their fatty pollo: a chicken burger with avocado relish, chermoula aioli, and candied bacon served on a brioche roll.
Wahlburgers brought their own camera crew and were filming for their show at the event.
Wahlburgers was originally going to do their OFD (originally from Dorchester) but decided to do a surf and turf burger instead: black angus beef topped with lobster salad, lemon chive mayo, cheddar cheese and bacon. I liked the idea of this burger, but there was something a little off for me with this one.
Tasty Burger came with a full sized American classic: the bacon cheeseburger, all Natural certified humane beef patty, melted cheese, crispy certified humane bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickles,onion,ketchup and mustard on a fresh baked bun.
The guys from Dillon’s were at it for a second night in a row with their grilled corn!
Chef Brendan Pelley from Zebra’s bistro was there with his challah slider: a Kinnealey proprietary blend burger topped with aged Vermont cheddar, crispy house-smoked bacon, miso aioli, and pickled red onions served on a fresh challah bun. Hoping to make out to Zebra’s one of these days – I’ve been hearing good things!
Shake Shack came to the competition with their MeisterShack, a 100% all-natural Angus beef cheeseburger topped with crispy ShackMeister Ale-marinated shallots and ShackSauce.
Grill 23‘s chef Jay Murray was there serving mini milk shakes with kettle chips and horseradish pub cheese, charcuterie, toasts and condiments.
Pauli’s‘ brought their “Big Boy Burger” with 100% ground beef burger layered with onion rings, American cheese, bacon & BBQ sauce and served on a fresh baked roll.
Not pictured is Ceia’s kobe burger: Kobe Beef with Manchego, Serrano, heirloom tomato, housemade paprika aioli and Chef Soucy’s Farmer’s Reserve Ketchup, and
Salvatore’s Bruschetta Burger: 100% Angus beef topped with chopped tomato, basil, garlic, red onion and evoo, fresh mozzarella, arugula and vin cotto, served on a grilled garlic-butter brioche bun
The live entertainment for the night was killer – Sweet Tooth and the Sugar Babies rocked out all night long.
Congratulations to all the chefs! Here were the winners of the night:
Champion (for the second year in a row): The Blue Ox: The Sin Burger by Chef Matt O’Neil
1st Runner Up: Joe’s American Bar & Grill: The Cure by Chef David Forbes
2nd Runner Up: Lincoln Tavern & Restaurant: Kobe Sliders by Chef Nicholas Dixon
Boston Magazine’s Battle of the Burger
Disclaimer: I was given two complimentary tickets to this event, all opinions are my own.
I’m not a biker or a hiker, or an outdoorsy person for that matter, so the best way I know how to see the landscape is to go on a horseback ride. I have plenty of experience riding English style, however, most places that tourists go offer Western. The hotel offers 1 hour or 2 hour rides, and note that they leave from different locations, so check with guest services as to which site you need to go to. We chose the 2 hour ride for $74pp. We were fortunate enough to only have one other person in our group. Make sure that if you are planning on going for a ride to 1)turn off your cell phone – you don’t want to startle your horse, 2) wear long pants – trust me on this one, 3) wear sneakers or some other closed toe shoe option and 4) bring a light jacket, it could get cool.
If you’re feeling adventurous, call up Keystone and book your ride! You can get more information on their website.
Guests gathered on Tuesday night at Black Falcon Terminal for Boston Magazine’s first annual, The Cue. Readers of Boston Magazine voted to pick the top 10 mixed drinks in the city. Those top 10 mixologists came to The Cue to mix their drinks live and guests of the event were asked to pick their favorite.
Alex and Ani set up shop in the private lounge, showcasing their bangle bar.
The first thing you saw when you walked in the door was Stay Sweet Macs, a coconut macaroon company that is just about a year old. They are sold only through their website at this time, check them out here. They have amazing flavors (orange zest, pink salted dark chocolate, toffee almond, jackfruit, and strawberry white chocolate) and who doesn’t love a macaroon covered in chocolate!
First Trade Union Bank was sponsoring a ice cream bar featuring ice cream from Rancatore’s. Rancatore’s is located in Belmont and Lexington. You may be more familiar with Toscanini’s, owned by Gus Rancatore. Gus and Joe Rancatore are brothers.
Pangea Shellfish company was there shucking oysters for VIP’s.
Celebrity Cruises was their mixing up dry ice cocktails.
The event was sponsored by Absolut, so all drinks this evening showcased their many different flavors of vodka.
How fun are their outfits? Abby Lane brought their A game, with their “pineapple express” cocktail.
1 oz Absolut Vodka
.75 oz 888 Pineapple Jalapeño spirit
.5 oz Hum Botanical spirit
.5 oz Orgeat
8-10 oven roasted pineapple chunks
Roast sliced pineapple chunks in an oven on 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Muddle roasted pineapple in a Boston Shaker. Fill with ice. Add all remaining ingredients. Shake vigorously and strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass.
It’s always fun to see the guys from Dillon’s. They were serving up Mexican street corn with honey lime butter and strawberry basil.
Richer Pour wine was also in the VIP lounge, pouring glasses of wine on tap.
Tremont 647 was serving up the best ribs you’ll ever have.
Regal Beagle featured pulled pork and jalapeno cornbread sliders: pulled pork, watermelon bbq sauce, jalapeno cheddar cornbread.
Fairsted Kitchen was smokin’ up some lamb ribs, dusted with cumin and fish sauce.
Sweet Cheeks was go big or go home – they brought a whole smoked pig!
Champions was mixing up their signature cocktail the “Boston Strong”.
1.5 oz Absolut Vodka
.5 oz blueberry syrup
.5 oz ginger simple syrup
.75 oz lemon juice
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp ginger powder
1 tbsp lemon zest
Prep martini glass- coat half of glass rim with lemon juice and dip in mix of sugar, ginger powder, and lemon zest. To make rim sugar: mix equal parts sugar, ginger powder, and lemon zest.
In an ice filled cocktail shaker add Absolut Vodka, ginger simple syrup, and lemon juice. Shake vigorously. Strain into rimmed, chilled martini glass. Finish by adding blueberry syrup into the martini glass along the side so that it sinks to the bottom. Ahead of time, coat peaches in brown sugar and grill until tender.
Earls Kitchen and Bar featured Slow Braised BBQ Back Ribs with sweet + spicy bbq sauce, warm potato salad and coleslaw.
Empire was mixing up a “Bom Dia”
1.5 oz Absolut Citron
.5 oz St. Germain
.5 oz lime juice
muddled guava and grilled peach
dash guava simple syrup
In a shaker, muddle guava and peach with a dash of guava simple syrup add ice and all ingredients except prosecco. Shake and pour into a highball glass and top with prosecco. Garnish with fresh sugar cane.
The Living Room was mixing up “The Cucumber Haze” which earned them the title of first runner up at the event.
1.5 oz Absolut Vodka
.5 oz blueberry-thyme simple syrup
1.5 oz fresh lemon juice
2 slices of cucumber
sprig of thyme
Muddle two slices of Cucumber. Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Serve over ice in Collins glass. Top with Soda water. Garnish with sprig of thyme two blueberries and lemon twist.
Bronwyn had a delicious Hungarian smoked brisket with paprika and honey glaze
Larry J’s brought pulled pork (Texas and North Carolina) that was from slow smoked pork butts (12.5 hours!!)
Brian Moy of Shojo (right).
Shojo had a dish inspired by a Hawaiian luau. Coconut water glazed suckling pig; Hawaiian salad of pineapple, ham, tomato, carrot, broccoli, shrimp; tahitian POI: banana, mango, coco creame, taro pudding and coconut sticky rice.
BT’s Smokehouse did a brisket rueben: smoked beef brisket, sexy slaw, pickled rye sauce, on honey brown bread.
Leah Famularo of Burton’s Grill was mixing up an “Absolut Sizzle”
1.5 oz Absolut Vodka
.5 oz Cointreau
.75 oz cayenne simple syrup
2 oz fresh squeezed grapefruit Juice
chunk of lime
cayenne simple syrup
1 cup superfine sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
In shaker pour Absolut and Cointreau over ice, finish with cayenne simple syrup and fresh squeezed grapefruit juice. Shake vigorously and strain over fresh ice in snifter glass. Squeeze one fresh lime chunk into glass.
Robert’s Maine was at the event as well sampling some of their delicious bites.
Michael’s Deli served up a BBQ meatloaf knish: housemade BBQ meatloaf wrapped in knish dough and baked.
Glenn LeMaitre of Bricco mixed up his Bricco Espresso Martini and came out on top as champion at the event.
2 oz Absolut Vanilia
1 oz Kahlua
.25 oz Amaretto
.25 oz Baileys
.25 oz Frangelico
Double shot of espresso
Place all ingredients into martini shaker and shaken vigorously. Stain into a martini glass rimmed with cocoa and sugar. Garnish with three espresso beans.
A closer look at those winning cocktails!
East Coast Grill and Raw Bar served up baby back ribs – house smoked with a blackberry peach bourbon sauce.
Look at those ribs!
Kings was serving up some delicious mac and cheese!
Bond was serving up their signature cocktail “Bankrupt” that earned them the title of 2nd runner up for the evening.
3 oz Absolut Vodka
3 oz strawberry rhubarb puree
.5 cup sugar
For the puree juice equal portions rhubarb and strawberry in a juicer. Then, bring juice to boil and immediately remove from heat stirring in fine sugar to sweeten and thicken (for 1 cup juice add ½ cup sugar). Combine vodka and puree in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass.
A closer look at those delicious cocktails!
Bokx 109 was mixing up their “Absolutely American” cocktail:
1 oz Absolut Mandarin
1 oz sweet and sour mix
.5 oz grenadine
1 oz Blue Curacao
Add 1 oz Absolut Mandarin, 1.5 oz sweet and sour to shaker over ice. Stir with bar stirrer. Pour in Collins glass, add .5 oz of grenadine allow to settle to bottom. Add ice to fill, float with Blue Curacao. Garnish with cherry. Drink should layer red, “white,” blue.
A great event over all, already looking forward to next year’s event.
Boston Magazine’s The Cue
Thursday night my friend and I attended our first “Farm to Post” dinner at Post 390. Chef Eric Brennan and Chris Himmel, of Himmel Hospitality (Grill 23, Post 390 and Harvest) invited guests for a summer dinner featuring the fresh produce from Kimball Fruit Farm. Kimball Fruit Farm is a third generation family run farm owned and operated by Carol and Marie Hills out in Pepperell.
During the reception in the dining room before the dinner, guests mingled and enjoyed gazpacho shooters ane french breakfast radish tea sandwiches with goat butter and smoked sea salt. Not pictured was the summer squash flatbread with chevre and heirloom tomatoes and the signature drink, “The Postmaster” that had vodka, blueberry, elderflower and moscato.
Guests were treated to a YouTube video/slideshow that Chris put together, showcasing the farm. Watch the video here. The first course was a peekytoe crab and peach salad with nuac cham pickled vegetables. The peaches were sliced impossibly thing and the purple green beans added some great color to the dish. The sweetness of the peaches, the tartness from the pickled vegetables and the saltiness of the crab was a winning combination for me. The wine pairing: Gruner Veltliner, Lremstal, Austria – Nigl, Freiheit 2013.
Second Course: Cod, Lobster and Finnan Haddie Griddle Cake with mexican street corn salsa. Wine pairing: Chardonnay, Langhe, Italy – Elio Grasso, Educato 2012. The cod was salted and roasted and the haddie was smoked and salted in house. The dish had very minimal bread crumbs and it was pan roasted with a sherry aioli. The corn for the dish was picked earlier in the day and it was so sweet and delicious. This was definitely a dish that makes you think of summer!
Third Course: Grilled Bacon Brined Heritage Pork with poached nectarine, mascarpone – great hill bleu melt and a raspberry gastrique. Wine pairing: Merlot/Cabernet Franc, Washington – Owen Roe, Yakmia Valley Red 2011. They slow cold smoke the pork and then grill each piece to order – the meat stays tender from the brine. The nectarines were poached with star anise and OJ and there was a habanero honey drizzle on top. Chef mentioned that he didn’t like to do blue cheese straight, this his decision to cut it with the mascarpone cheese.
The final course, dessert, was a Taza chocolate pave with plum jam, farm berries and cinnamon cream. Wine pairing: 10 year Tawny Port, Portugal – Kopke. The pave was dense, making it a perfect pairing with the fresh berries. A really lovely way to end the meal.
Disclaimer: Post 390 provided me a complimentary dinner, all opinions are my own.
406 Stuart Street, Boston, MA
Kimball Fruit Farm
Open 7 days, 9 am to 7 pm, June through Thanksgiving
184 Hollis Street (Rt. 122), Pepperell, MA (on Hollis, NH border)
Monday night I attended a tequila dinner at Waban Kitchen, owned and operated by Chef Jeff Fournier. Fournier previously worked at the Linwood Grill, Locke Ober, Excelsior, The Metropolitan Club, and Sophia’s. In 1996 he opened up his first restaurant, 51 Lincoln which has won numerous awards over the years.
Waban Kitchen is located right next to my favorite shoe repair guy that I have been going to for years – little did I know that this gem was just a few doors down. Waban Kitchen in conveniently located just steps away from the Waban stop on the green line.
Not only is Fournier a talented chef, but he is also an artist. Many of his pieces are displayed at Waban Kitchen. He has a website that has not been formally launched yet, but there are a few pieces up for sale: www.jeffreyfournier.com I asked him when he sleeps, and he just laughs.
All the tequilas tonight are made with 100% blue agave – other tequilas, “mixto”, are when 51% of the sugar comes from agave and the rest is made with sugar from another source. Silver tequila is aged up to 59 days as opposed to anejo that has been aged up to a year in small oak barrels or extra anejo that has been aged 3 years + in oak barrels. Tim Murphy is on hand to school us on the tequila choices.
The margarita is paired with a three citrus shrimp and squid ceviche with cilantro, chili, tomato, cucumber and plantain chips. Ceviche is a dish made up of raw seafood that is cured in citrus juices. This dish was made with lemon, lime and orange juice. It was really tasty – bright and acidic with clean and fresh flavors.
The mezcal is paired with traditional chicharrones, a hearts of palm salad with carrot, red cabbage, jicama, toasted coriander and Mexicana crema. Chicharrones are traditionally made by marinating the pork belly skin on and then frying it. The resulting texture is usually quite tough. Fournier’s version is quite the opposite. They braised the pork belly and fried it with a saison mix. The salad was tart and acidic, really nicely balancing the saltiness and the crisp texture of the pork belly. The Mexicana Crema, similar to sour cream, added a nice creamy texture to the dish.
This was paired with the chicken sancocho, potatoes, tomato, cumin, fried yuca and cilantro. Sancocho is a broth based dish that Fournier also likes to cook for family meals in the kitchen.There was a very generous portion of chicken in the dish which balanced out the salty tomato based soup.
The resposado has been pared with the vaca frita, refried pinto beans, rice and salsa verde. The beans have been prepared by Stephen Hoddinott, Chef de Cuisine at Waban Kitchen. He and Chef Fournier have been working together for years now – they are a great pair and work really well together. Vaca Frita is traditionally a fried skirt steak or other tough piece of meat. This dish was tenderized top round marinated with raw garlic, tomato and dredged in oil and then a mixture of corn starch and semolina. At this point, I was stuffed to the gills. I wanted to power through this, but had to take half of it home!
And finally, for dessert, a tres leches cake with grilled pineapple and smoked pepita salt. This was paired with a herradura tequila anejo. A really wonderful dessert traditionally made by whipping egg whites and folding in the yolks and flour. The condensed milk and cream are poured over the cake while it is still warm to retain the moisture in the cake. It was the perfect dessert – light, creamy, a little sweet mixed with a little salt and smoke (from the grilled pineapple).
The service was excellent, the servers paid attention to detail and were very personable. The meal had a good flow to it and everything went smoothly.
Disclaimer: My dinner was provided compliments of Waban Kitchen, all opinions are my own.
1649 Beacon Street, Waban, MA
Totto Ramen is a small shop on Brighton Ave., sandwiched between a hair salon and Tavern on the Square. There’s no place to wait inside, so we wait on the street – looking at signs that say no takeout, no delivery and cash only. Standing out on the street brings back memories of when Tavern on the Square used to be the Kells…
We order on extra spicy ramen ($11) with a side of extra noodles (no brainer) and added in some corn. Super filling, we almost didn’t finish it all. We also had the Paitan Ramen ($9.75) with chicken in chicken broth. The service was good and we would definitely go back again!
169 Brighton Ave., Allston, MA