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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

IMAG0481I met my friend Julia after her golf lesson at Fairsted Kitchen. My friends had been raving about it, and I knew it was time to get in and try it for myself.

IMAG0480They have a great little bar where they mix up inventive cocktails. The dining room is cozy and the ambiance makes you feel a little nostalgic. We are lucky enough to be served by Steve Bowman, one of the co-owners. The way that Steve talks about food is wonderful – his descriptions are so vivid, you can tell how passionate Steve is about the food by the way he talks about it. The service was impeccable.

IMAG0476We decide to start with some cocktails – all of the drinks on the list have great names. This is the Giuseppe’s Lady ($12) made with Terroir Gin, Cynar, Pomegranate, and Lime. I love gin drinks, and this one was perfect – sweet, but not sickingly sweet like some can be, it was clean and crisp and I love the glass.

IMAG0469All the dishes come out on miscellaneous china plates – so charming! The menu is divided into snacks and bites, small plates and large plates. Above is the spaetzle, a small plate.

IMAG0470Next we have the potato gnocchi with peas, fava, fiddleheads and maitake ($13). I love this dish, and don’t even mind the veggies (usually I just eat around them) but the fiddleheads are just so delicious.

IMAG0472Next up is the seared sea scallop with charred leek,  butternut and cashew ($13). The scallops are enormous and perfectly cooked, one of the best dishes of the evening.

IMAG0477The cauliflower with eggplant, raisin, caper and red pepper ($17) was good, but by the time we got to it, we were pretty full.

IMAG0479The strawberry rhubarb pie for dessert was delicious, light and sweet, a perfect way to end a meal.

Fairsted Kitchen

1704 Beacon Street

Brookline, MA

www.fairstedkitchen.com

Fairsted Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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IMAG0482After a late meeting, we headed over to Commonwealth for a bite to eat. Commonwealth is owned and operated by Chef Nookie Postal, former executive chef at Fenway Park.

IMAG0483We start off with a cheese plate – they have two of my favorites: Ascutney Mountain ($7) and  Landaff ($7). The jam is housemade and delicious – and they sell it in the attached market, so you can continue to enjoy the condiment at home.

IMAG0486The Parker House rolls are delicious, light as air and almost melt in your mouth.

IMAG0488Pat’s clam chowder ($11) comes with littleneck clams and housemade crackers. I’m loving the presentation of the dish and the chowder is really flavorful. The chowder has just the right amount of creaminess and the bacon adds that bold flavor to the dish that you will crave for days.

IMAG0489I order the mac n cheese ($9) as my “meal” even though it is really a side. The portion is generous and it is really quite filling, we take half of it home.

IMAG0491The skirt steak ($25) was delicious, even if the plating left something to be desired.

IMAG0490The duck fat fries ($9) were huge wedges of perfectly cooked potatoes.

IMAG0492And how can you pass up dessert? Even though I was stuffed, I made room for the strawberry ice cream with a warm white chocolate blondie ($8). Two very classic flavors that made my night.

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We also had the pistachio ice cream on top of french toast bread pudding ($8) which was equally delicious.

Commonwealth

11 Broad Canal Way

Cambridge, MA

http://commonwealthcambridge.com

Validated parking at the Kendall Square Garage
$1 for 3 hours: Monday – Friday after 4pm
Weekends all day

Commonwealth on Urbanspoon

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The final stop, number 8, on our burger research tour for Taste Trekkers lands us at the Bristol Lounge at the Four Seasons. (See Trade, LAH, jm Curley, Gibbet Hill Grill, Back Bay Social Club, The Gallows, Craigie on Main)

IMG_1997We had been here a few years ago, see previous post, and had the Bristol burger ($23). I remember it being one of the better burgers I’ve had, so we went to refresh my memory. An interesting crowd on a Tuesday night: A young couple celebrating with champagne….and their screaming baby, two women having dinner – one of them wearing a side ponytail and a scrunchie, and a couple in their late 40’s, early 50’s celebrating their anniversary, the woman clearly thought she was using her “inside” voice, but was in reality shouting…needless the say, the people watching was quite a show. Back to the burger – still good, but it didn’t make my top 5 for the Taste Trekers guest blog post. Bristol Burger – House Made Pickles, Aged Vermont Cheddar, Brioche Bun, Truffle-parm Fries. The fries were a bit soggy, but edible.

IMG_2000Short Rib Cannelloni ($34)  Leeks, Morels, Creamy Pomodoro. The pasta was good, but the $34 price tag seemed a bit steep for what it was. The presentation of the dish was lovely.

IMAG0602Apple tarte tatin ($12) Crème Fraiche Ice Cream, Rosemary Laced Tuile.

What’s your favorite dish at the Bistol Lounge?

Bristol Lounge at the Four Season

200 Boylston Street

Boston, MA

http://www.fourseasons.com/boston/dining/restaurant/the_bristol_lounge/

Bristol Lounge on Urbanspoon

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IMAG0575Day 7 of our burger research lands us at Craigie on Main for brunch. (See Trade, LAH, jm Curley, Gibbet Hill Grill, Back Bay Social Club, The Gallows)

IMAG0574Craigie on Main has been on my list of “to try” restaurants for quite some time, so I am glad that I am finally getting there – killing two birds with one stone.

IMAG0573We head over for Sunday brunch, when the burger is on the menu. We showed up at the tail end of brunch – make sure to make a reservation, as it was super busy when we first arrived. Parking can be tough in this area – make sure to leave enough time to circle the block a few times if you’re driving.

IMAG0569We had to balance out eating burgers with something else, so we ordered the House made semolina spaghetti ($18) with boudin noir ragout, scallions and a farm fresh egg. I love anything with an egg on it – it gives the dish a lovely creamy texture and I love the salty flavor. A delicious dish.

COMLocal grass fed burger ($17 + $3 fried egg) with Shelburne Farm cheddar, mace ketchup, house-made bun, crispy potato fries (add fried egg 3, add house-smoked bacon 3) Of course we added the egg! This burger was my favorite of all the ones we tried. The burger was flavorful and it may sound funny, but it felt light. Some burgers just sit in the bottom of your stomach like a rock, after we finished this one (too quickly I might add) we were ready for round two (but don’t worry, we didn’t).

IMAG0570Thanks to our friends at SoonSpoon who tweeted at us while we were at brunch and recommended we get the donut ($5). How can you not love a place that has a donut as a “side”?

What’s your favorite menu item at Craigie?

Craigie on Main

853 Main Street

Cambridge, MA

www.craigieonmain.com

Craigie On Main on Urbanspoon

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IMAG0593Stop 6 of our burger research for Tastetrekkers lands us at The Gallows. (See Trade, LAH, jm Curley, Gibbet Hill Grill, Back Bay Social Club)

IMAG0588Every time we go to The Gallows, it’s packed. Last time we stopped in for a drink we could barely maneuver around the bar area. For some reason this Monday evening it was pretty quiet.

IMG_1968 We start with the pulled pork corn muffin ($7) served with jalapeno jelly, avocado and picked red onion. I love all of the southern flavors here – a really nice appetizer to kick off the meal.

IMG_1971The scotch egg ($7) that is wrapped with crispy pork sausage – one word – AMAZING! You just have to try it…there are no words…

IMG_1975Short rib taco ($13) with napa cabbage, nuoc cham, sesami aioli, sriracha and herbs.

IMG_1978Carpet burger ($18) fried oysters, remoulade, iceberg lettuce, picked and American cheese. A little messy, but still delicious. I liked the fried oyster on top, it made the burger stand out from the crowd.

IMG_1989Our waiter comes back and tells us the strawberry glazed donuts are a must try. I loved the glaze of the donut, very flavorful. The actual donut was a little dense for my liking but that didn’t stop us from eating it ;)

IMG_1992The fluffernutter extravaganza ($8) caramelized bananas, peanuts, torched fluff? What’s not to love about this dessert?

What’s your go to dish at The Gallows?

The Gallows

1395 Washington Street

Boston, MA

www.thegallowsboston.com

The Gallows on Urbanspoon

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imag0806I was recently invited to an event to highlight Cambridge and to kick off the summer 2014 season. The event was held at the Sonesta hotel and attracted local bloggers, publicists and social media managers.

imag0802I went with a co-worker, who writes the popular blog Melanie in the Middle and A Beautiful Bite and we ran into fellow blogger Bianaca Garcia, who writes Confessions of a Chocoholic. The three of us will be teaching a class in September at the Boston Center for Adult Education on the basics of food blogging.

imag0801We nibbled on food while we got a sneak preview of a short video, “Cambridge in 60 Seconds.”

Check out the video!

img_20140626_191157Fun gift bags!

hotel marlowe

Cambridge holds a special place in my heart. We got married there a few years ago  at the Hotel Marlowe. I thought it would be fitting to share some photos of the suite we stayed in.

hotel marlowe

The view from our suite.

hotel marlowe

The master bedroom could be closed off from the living space by pocket doors.

hotel marlowe

The room was spacious, plenty of room to have a bunch of people get ready for a wedding!

hotel marlowe

I am a big fan of the Kimpton hotels. Not only are they our hotel of choice for my company, but for me personally as well. Each Kimpton hotel has their own distinct personality. The Marlowe has a bold color palette, zebra robes, they’re pet friendly and they have a wonderful spiral staircase – perfect for pictures!

hotel marlowe

If you are a Kimpton InTouch member, Kimpton’s loyalty program, you receive complimentary wi-fi and $10 to raid the mini bar in your room!

hotel marlowe

If you left your pet at home, or don’t have a pet at all, the hotel will let you borrow a pet for your stay! Best part about it is that you don’t event have to take care of it – they do it for you! So meet my pet fish for the weekend, Amerigo!

hotel marlowe

The bathroom was also a generous size (and could be accessed by the master bedroom or the living room) – with both a tub and a stand up shower.

hotel marlowe

They property has additional amenities like a complimentary wine hour hosted in the lobby and free use of bikes and kayaks.

Interested in learning more about Cambridge?

Instagram:          @CambridgeUSA
Twitter:                @CambridgeUSA
FB:                          Cambridge Office for Tourism
Hashtag:              #PictureCambridge
Telephone:        617.441.2884
Web Site:            http://www.CambridgeUSA.org

 

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BBSCStop 5 for the burger research for Tastetrekkers takes us to Back Bay Social Club. (See Trade, LAH, jm Curley, Gibbet Hill Grill). At this point, after 4 days of burgers, I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to make it…that’s a lot of red meat – I’m feeling like a juice cleanse is in my future.

It’s misting outside, otherwise it would have been a great day to sit outside on the patio.

The Back Bay Social burger is made entirely with dry aged beef: prime rib, short rib, skirt and flank. Next they take a 25lb bag of white onions and reduce it for 4 hours until it’s about 7 cups – we are talking serious caramelization. Then they add on Vermont cheddar cheese – simple but delicious.  This burger is one of my guilty pleasures.

Back Bay Social Club

867 Boylston Street

Boston, MA

http://www.backbaysocialclub.com

Back Bay Social Club on Urbanspoon

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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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