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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

IMAG0526Stop 4 for my burger research is Gibbet Hill Grill. (See Trade, LAH, jm Curley) The location is breathtaking. In 2004, an extensive trail was opened to the public that winds through the working farm.

IMAG0528I was taking M out for her birthday dinner – even if it was 3 months later!

IMAG0529Gibbet Hill Grill is located in Groton, MA, about an hour from Boston. It is owned by the Webber siblings and is led by executive chef Tom Fosnot. They try to use as many ingredients from local farmers as possible.

IMAG0530We have reservations on Saturday night around 6:30, there is a wedding going on at the barn and the restaurant is in full swing. It is a good idea to make reservations as there was a long wait for walk-ins.

IMAG0534We are seated upstairs in the loft area. It’s a little quieter up here…for a moment…until the two tables that flank us are sat, one with a screaming baby and the other with a 6 top of intoxicated couples.

IMAG0531I love a good bread basket, and I love corn bread!

IMAG0532Warm asparagus ($10) comes topped with a poached egg and crispy onions on some house cured ham.

IMAG0533The mussels ($11) are steamed with white wine and garlic and are served with tomatoes and oregano. These are delicious, so flavorful you just want to dip your bread in the white wine and garlic sauce.

IMAG0536The 6oz filet ($26) looked a little lost of this big plate…and while we asked for it to be cooked medium rare, it came out more like medium well. Still tasty though.

IMAG0537The steaks come with two sides, we chose carrots and garlic mashed potatoes.

IMAG0538The Gibbet Hill Farm burger ($16) comes with pork belly confit, smoked gouda and red pepper mayo. The pork belly made this burger a little hard to eat because of the height it added. Like the steak, the burger was cooked more than requested and the pork belly had a charred taste to it.

IMAG0547While we were full, we still had dessert. I had the milk and cookies ($8), how cute is this plate?!

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M had the pot de Creme ($8).

Have you been to Gibbet Hill? What is your favorite menu item?

Gibbet Hill Grill

61 Lowell Road

Groton, MA

http://www.gibbethillgrill.com/

Gibbet Hill Grill on Urbanspoon

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IMG_20140529_190029Stop 3 on our burger research adventure for Tastetrekkers landed us at jm Curley. (See stop 1, Trade and stop 2, LAH)

IMG_1665The restaurant is crowded – they don’t take reservations for dinner. We show up after work and have about a 30 minute wait. The noise level is always pretty high here

IMG_1640Conor, our server,  brings us over bacon flavored popcorn.

IMG_1643We stared off the with cornbread ($6) that came in a cast iron skillet. It was far less gritty than I thought it would be – really smooth and delicious and it was topped with honey butter.

IMG_1649The 9oz burger ($15) that is topped with cheddar, grilled onions, pickles and pop’s Russian served with a side of fries. Probably one of the juiciest burgers I’ve had.

IMG_1654Burger special ($16) is the one that is competing in the Battle of the Burger in August. Chef Bauers took a 5 oz bacon laced burger, topped it with a special slaw and smoked gouda and put it on top of a bacon cheddar bun. The bun is out of control delicious – I love all the things going on with this burger, the crunch from the slaw, the smokiness from the gouda and the bacon….so good.

IMG_1661We are stuffed to the gills, but how can you not get the dessert when it’s a corn sriracha ice cream sandwich ($6). The cookies are amazing and the ice cream, while it’s cold, it has a warm finish….which is a little disconcerting…but I like it….like it a lot.

What’s your favorite thing on the jm Curley menu?

jm Curley

21 Temple Place

Boston, MA

http://jmcurleyboston.com

JM Curley on Urbanspoon

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IMG_3031Looking for a way to beat the heat? Stop in to Crush Pizza for some housemade gelato. Unlike those touristy places nearby, Crush makes all of their flavors fresh, using only premium ingredients.

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See my original post on Crush here. The State Street location is owner Tony Naser’s second location – the flagship store is in Nashua, NH.

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Crush serves up authentic Neapolitan pies – my favorite is the Toscano.

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The pizzas are cooked in a 900 degree oven, it only takes 90 seconds for it to be fully cooked!

IMG_3018Check out the amazing ovens!

IMG_3033Back to the gelato. Crush has 18 seasonal, rotating flavors. Above is the Lemon Grisbi (flavored with Italian cookies with the same name).

IMG_3032I mixed it up with a scoop of strawberry and a scoop of dark chocolate!! So amazing! The strawberry tastes so fresh and the dark chocolate is decadent. Add the two together for a winning combination. I was there two days in row getting this gelato.

IMG_3036As I mentioned before, Naser makes these all in house and the flavors range from classic dark chocolate and strawberry to flavors like avocado (it was delicious and creamy) and fresh mango. Pictured above is the stracciatella, similar to chocolate chip, but with ribbons of chocolate.

IMG_3038The Americhino Cherry  (specifically imported from a select region in Italy).

IMG_3039The oreo.

IMG_3043Reese’s (Crush makes their own peanut butter gelato then add the Reese’s).

IMG_3045M&M.

Naser plans on remodeling the front entrance with an accordion style window that will allow customers to walk up and order gelato to go. The small (two scoops) starts at $3.25, medium (three scoops) at $4.25, and the large (four scoops) hails at $5.25.

Crush Pizza

107 State Street, Boston, MA

http://www.crushpizza.com/

Crush Pizza on Urbanspoon

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TradeI was asked by Tastetrekkers to do a guest blog post about my top 5 _______. With summer just around the corner, and Battle of the Burger in August, the likely choice for me was top 5 burgers. There is a certain familiarity with a burger – no matter where you travel, you feel like it’s a safe choice – you know what you’re going to get. People are more likely to try rare game meat like bison or elk if it is in burger form. But I digress. My first stop was to Trade in the Financial District. (See my second stop, Liquid Art House here)IMG_1583They have a great space with amazing floor to ceiling windows. I was there at lunch time and it went from this to bustling in a blink. James Beard award winner Jody Adams co owns Trade with restaurant industry veterans  Sean Griffing and Eric Papachristos. Chef Andrew Hebert came out to talk to me about his burger.

IMG_1598The burger starts with Pineland Farms ground beef and pancetta, top that with Vermont cheddar, lettuce, tomato, house-made pickles and onion all on top of an iggy’s brioche bun ($15). Great burger! The bun stands up to the burger, which is key, there’s nothing worse than having the bun fall apart halfway through your burger. The flavors all meld together well – the saltiness from the pancetta, the sweetness of the onions and the bite of the house-made pickles. The burger patty is flavorful – adding the pancetta to it makes it stand out from the crowd. Have you voted for the Trade burger in the Battle of the burger? Every time you vote you are entered into a drawing to win 2 free tickets to the Battle of the Burger on August 13th.

Trade

540 Atlantic Avenue

Boston, MA

http://trade-boston.com

Trade on Urbanspoon

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IMAG0275Mr Sushi is located on Harvard Street in Coolidge Corner. Even though they are a Japanese restaurant, they have some delicious Korean options. The restaurant is very casual and almost all the menu items are under $20.

IMG_20140509_190854We start with the gyoza ($6) that we have pan fried. The meat and veggie dumplings do not disappoint.

IMAG0268I order the Bi Bim Bab ($11.95), vegetables and beef that has been cooked in sesame oil are added to rice in a hot stone bowl and topped with a fried egg. The best part is when the rice keeps cooking and it gets a little crunchy on the bottom!

IMAG0272We order the spicy tuna maki ($5) and the shrimp tempura maki ($7). Both rolls are fairly straightforward and par for the course.

IMAG0273Bulgogi ($15.95) is one of my favorite Korean dishes – this marinated thinly sliced beef dish falls a little short for me, as I hoped that the meat would have been a bit more flavorful. The service was just ok – while the restaurant wasn’t busy, our server was busy at other tables. The crowd here leans more towards families with small children and regular locals.

Where is your go to sushi spot?

Mr. Sushi

329 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA

http://www.mrsushibrookline.net/

Mr. Sushi on Urbanspoon

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I’ve been to Casa B once before. This time, we sat upstairs and had a totally different experience. Our waiter was amazing – great service, good suggestions, a really nice guy.

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They bring fried plantains to the table to snack on.

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I decided to try their raspberry lime rickey that was both sweet and tart!

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The only thing that I had last time that we repeated was the cheese plate – it’s too good to pass up. The dulce de leche is so delicious you (I) find yourself scraping at the wooden board for every last bite.

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A goat cheese with an ash rind.

IMG_2012And a cow’s milk cheese with guava preserve. The cheese plate came with grilled iggy’s bread brushed with olive oil.

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The albondingas ($10) are organic beef meatballsin guava + tomato sauce. A little sweet and a little savory – a really nice combination.

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The sandwich de pollo ($10) was grilled free range chicken thighs, sautéed onions, crispy shallots + grandma’s ketchup. This dish was a little  messy to eat (I still can’t figure out how I was trying to be lady like and cut it and then it ended up all over my shirt…thank goodness I had a jacket!) but it was probably my favorite. The chicken was well seasoned and the sauteed onions were a nice contrast to the crispy shallots.

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The choripan ($16) is chorizo and guava wrapped in puff pastry. We joked with our waiter that it’s kind of like a gourmet pig in a blanket. I love the sweetness of the guava paired with the smoky and salty chorizo and the buttery puffy pastry tied it all together nicely.

IMG_2016Of course we HAD to have the ice cream sandwiches ($12) – they won’t be on the menu for much longer. This time, I paced myself through my meal so that I would have enough room for dessert. The cookie on the rum raisin sandwich was delicious.

IMG_2017Of course I loved everything about the pistachio ice cream sandwich – the cookie was salty and delicious.

IMG_2019The chocolate hazelnut was SO rich!

What’s your go to tapas restaurant?

Casa B

253 Washington Street, Somerville, MA

www.casabrestaurant.com

 
Casa B on Urbanspoon

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IMG_1575I had the chance to pop into Liquid Art House and have a few bites at the bar with my friends. The bar is a great place to have a casual meal – all of the bartenders are great! We start off with a little amuse bouche from the chef. A server comes around with today’s bread choices – I have the gruyere roll and let me tell you, it was AMAZING! I could have eaten four of them, but that wouldn’t be very ladylike would it?

IMG_1577The cheese dumplings melted in your mouth – we ordered the large portion for $24. The dumplings came topped with brussel sprouts, aged gouda, asian pear and grain mustard. As we were eating, chef Rachel Klein came over to chat – she couldn’t be more lovely! Klein has hand picked an all star team: Kylee Anderson, Johan Ramirez, Ensan Wong and Gisele Miller.

IMG_1579I had been waiting (read: dying) to try the green circle chickens, and lulu – the rotisserie, did not disappoint. The skin was so flavorful and the chicken was so tender – an amazing dish and totally worth the wait!

IMG_1580For dessert we had the ricotta cheesecake ($12) aerated manzano banana pudding, caramelized rice puff, passion fruit, banana crisp, buckwheat ice cream.

Have you had the green circle chicken yet?

Liquid Art House

100 Arlington St, Boston, MA

www.liquidarthouse.com

Make a reservation with Open Table.

Liquid Art House on Urbanspoon

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The day has arrived! Mark and Bekka are getting married! Bekka had been checking the weather every day for a week leading up to the day and all it kept saying was rain. We all kept our fingers crossed and hoped for good weather – rain on a wedding day is supposed to be good luck right?

IMG_4664They couldn’t have asked for a better day, and there were in a few sprinkles during the day for good luck.

IMG_4668The ceremony took place outside on the lawn outside the Towers in Narragansett.

IMG_4665The Towers were built between 1881 and 1886. It has survived fires and multiple hurricanes, and remained intact when other buildings near by have crumbled.

IMG_4672You would have to know Mark and Bekka, but this was the perfect place for their wedding reception.

IMG_4674The bride is a talented artist. She and her father found a downed tree in the woods, they cut it into wooden discs that became the centerpieces at the wedding – Bekka did all of the artwork. Check out their signature cocktail!

IMG_4673Mark – ever the beer connoisseur, had some great choices at the bar.

IMG_4685And of course,  knowing Mark, I knew the food was going to be amazing! Well, that, and he told me so…

IMG_4684Both gamers, the cake was quite fitting, and they cut it with a sword before feeding it to one another!

IMG_4683We started off with the carrot and mache salad topped with a lemon balsamic vinaigrette.

IMG_4687We had the artichoke chicken piccata in a lemon white wine sauce with a Francaise crust.

IMG_4688And the pan seared George’s bank scrod with a decadent lobster sauce.

IMG_4691Dessert was green tea, salted caramel and lemon macarons from Silver Spoon bakery and the two cake choices were lemon and salted caramel.

IMG_4701And the favors were made by Ziggy from Fox Point Pickling! Mustard, reslish, sriracha and jam!

What’s the best wedding favor you’ve received?

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postmates

Do you ever wish you could get take out from your favorite restaurant, but don’t want to get off your couch to go get it? Oh wait, they don’t deliver? Bummer!

Introducing Postmates! It’s a new delivery service in Boston, launching TODAY! With the app, users can request a driver or a bike messenger to pick up items at a restaurant (or a store) and it will be delivered in less than an hour. Postmates will serve Back Bay, Downtown, North End, South End, Cambridge and South Boston. What is unique about the app is that you will be able to track the progress of your delivery in real time. Delivery fees start at $5 but can be higher depending on distance.

Oh wait, it’s not just for take out – don’t have time to run out and get a charger from the Apple store? In the middle of a recipe and need one last ingredient from Whole Foods? Did your hand mixer die midway through your bake-a-thon? Postmates can help you out with all of those things!

I am offering my readers a special deal for $25 in delivery credit. It’s good towards the delivery fee only (not purchase price of goods) on future orders, and can roll over if not all used at once. Download the Postmates app for iOS or Android and enter the promo code (DGRUBS25) in the app.

Clio9ASunday night Opus Affair teamed up with SoonSpoon to put on a pop up featuring modern French food, progressive wines and classical cello music. Clio Sous Chef Stephen Marcaurelle (left) headed up the kitchen with his sous chef for the evening, Ryan Day (right), formerly of Sycamore. Brittany Casos (center), Assistant General Manager and Beverage Director of Coppa, was there to take us through the progressive wines chosen by Clio wine director Jonathan Fenelon.

Clio1AThe tables were simply set with butcher paper, letting the food be the star of the table.

Clio2AThe wine pairings for the evening.

Clio3AThe team arrived early to prep for the event – many of the ingredients were bought earlier in the day from the farmers market.

Clio4AI was able to get a great preview of the night’s meal – check out that pork!

Clio5APotatoes for the main course.

Clio6ARyan prepping for the oysters.

Clio7ABlueberry Tyme Lemonade was served out on the roof deck as guests were arriving.

Clio8ADeviled Eggs with shaved asparagus, preserved meyer lemon and smoked trout roe were passed as guests mingled outside.

ClioACellist Shirley Hunt performed Bach’s cello suites 1, 2 and 3 in between courses.

Clio10A1st course. Jonah Crab dumplings black vinegar, bitter almond and opal basil paired with NV Grolleau Gris, Haut Bourg Grandlieu, Loire

Clio11AI was impressed with the level of detail put into each dish.

Clio12A2nd course. Island Creek Oysters baby leeks, urfa pepper and sea urchin with truffle glacage paired with a 2012 Field blend, Cantina Furlani ‘Bianco Aplino’

Clio13A3rd course. Burgundy Snails hazelnuts, green garlic and puff pastry paired with a 2011 Rose of Spatburgunder, Riedlin, Spatlese, Baden, Germany

Clio14A4th course. Kurobuta Pork spring peas and rhubarb with onion-mint jus paired with a 2010 Grenache/Sciaccarellu/Niellecciu, Domaine Maestracci ‘E Prove Rouge’, Calvi, Corsica  or a 2011 Xinomavro, Thiolomopoulos, ‘Uranos’, Nuassa, Greece

Clio15A5th course. Pain Perdu milk jam, toasted oats and strawberries with assorted sorrels paired with a 2010 Chenin Blanc, Pithon-Paille ‘Belargus des Treilles,’ Coteaux du Layon, Loire Valley, France

Missed this event? SoonSpoon is taking the next two weeks off from pop ups, but check out tickets for Opus Affair’s “Big Party” on July 13th.

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