Check out “The King candy bar” from Liddabit Sweets. Never heard of Liddabit? They are a small company based out of Brooklyn, and the HAND MAKE everything! The company is founded by two friends, Liz Gutman and Jen King who recently finished writing a cookbook.
From their website, they tell you what goes into making a King Bar:
- Butter is browned, and used to make the cookie dough base. The dough is rolled out, cut to size, baked off in sheet pans, and set aside to cool.
- Peanut butter nougat is made by cooking sugar syrup to a certain temperature, pouring it over whipping egg whites, and folding in smooth peanut butter at just the right time. The warm nougat is spread over the cooled cookie base.
- Fresh bananas are puréed and mixed with white chocolate and cream to form a ganache. The ganache is spread over the cooled nougat, and the whole slab has to set up.
- Milk chocolate is tempered. The slab is turned out of the sheet pan and chocolate is spread over the cookie base. Once the chocolate sets, the slab is cut by hand into 1” x 4” bars.
- More milk chocolate is tempered. The bars are dipped by hand and allowed to set up; any holes or “bald spots” are fixed up afterwards with a small metal spatula and some more tempered chocolate.
- The bars are hand-packaged in cello wrapping and heat-sealed. Boxes are hand-stamped with the “best before” date and folded, and the bars are nestled inside. Finally, the label is wrapped around the box (you guessed it – by hand).
The King bar is soft peanut butter nougat is sandwiched between a brown sugar-brown butter cookie and a layer of fresh banana ganache, and dipped in milk chocolate. After eating one of these candy bars, you can never go back to a Milky Way or a Snickers…the banana flavor in the bar is pretty subtle which I liked…these candy bars are out of this world. Check out their website for other flavors like: PB&J, S’mores, beer and pretzel caramels, fig ricotta caramels and tally ho’s.
Apotheker’s is a small family run company founded by Russell and Shari Apotheker. Their dark chocolate is sweetened by honey from third generation beekeepers. They come in great flavors like Cashew Sea Salt, Cherry Almond, and Spicy Triple Pepper. They will be doing a pop up at Olives and Grace this weekend. The event is 12pm-3pm on Saturday (3/29), and they will be debuting their newest product!!
Sweet Lydia’s is a Lowell, MA based company specializing in s’mores. Other flavors include: white chocolate, raspberry, caramel and peppermint bark. See their website for additional flavors and to view their hand made candy bars.
A friend of mine and I took a calligraphy class in the leather district and decided to grab a bite just around the corner at Sorriso. In January, Sorriso, and it’s sister restaurant, Les Zygomates, were bought by Anthony Botta. Botta teamed up with his brother in law, Mark Tosi, and they are planning on giving both restaurants an interior facelift.
We were there about 2 weeks after the sale. It was late at night, and we were given a quiet table in the back – perfect for catching up! Even though there is a facelift in the works, I do think there is something charming about this place.
I had the braised beef short rib ravioli ($21) with white truffle oil and shaved Parmesan. The pasta was light as was the sauce. Short ribs can sometimes overwhelm a dish with their strong flavor, but this dish was excellent – filling but not heavy. Service was good, although being all the way in the back, we felt that sometimes we were easily out of sight, out of mind. I will be curious to go back and see what changes they have in store for the menu.
107 South Street, Boston
The next Good Ones party was at Stella in the South End. Theme: “Elegant Aquarium” – wear your most tropical, underwater inspired colors. Come casual or fancy – just have fun, bring your own sense of style, and prepare to brighten the room with your presence.
The party was located in the back room at the restaurant – a very different vibe at this party. The scene: lighhearted fun, a guy in a scuba outfit (tank and all!), a mermaid, dudes dressed in their finest Nantucket reds, a balloon extraordinaire outfitting guests, free flowing drinks and lots of laughter.
Music and lighting by Team Sayles, meet Julian!
The talented Mark Penta – back at his caricatures!
Taza chocolate was a sponsor of the event – love their chocolate!
The charity component: Ticket sales go directly towards the costs of event operation and to raising awareness for Vitamin Angels 501(c)(3). For 20 years, Vitamin Angels has been helping at-risk populations in need (specifically pregnant women, new mothers, and children under five), gain access to lifesaving and life changing vitamins and minerals.
Balloons Extraordinaire at work!
Bacon popcorn by Corn and Co.
Rice flour, sweet potato, turnip, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, rye flour, apples, pancetta, eggs and chestnuts
Newton Native, and Paris-Trained Chef Ensan Wong of Liquid Art House (opening soon) worked with the ingredient selection of Executive Chef Karen Akunowicz of Myers and Chang (oooh! Did you catch her on Beat Bobby Flay?!?!):
Lamb, shiitake mushrooms, black vinegar, sunchoke, rice flour, quail eggs, harissa, opal basil, cumin, almonds and mint
Ensan and Kylee’s dumpling.
Simple but elegant plating.
Kayla Harrity from NESN’s Wicked Bites.
Another great party – The Good Ones never disappoint! Can’t wait to see what they come up with next!
1525 Washington Street, Boston, MA
As soon as we are seated, before we even get a menu, we are greeted with a wedge of Parmesan cheese and a plate of fried zucchini. Rather than it feel like a special amuse bouche, it feels like a drop and run. Either way, our zucchini is cold. There was also a garlic bread basket that was a bit soggy.
We are also given a piece of bruschetta and one mussel along with a plate of thinly sliced meat (which I thought was just plated in an odd way). Our “captain” comes over and recites a long list of specials.
For dessert, the cheesecake ($14). It was light and just melted in your mouth, definitely one of the top desserts I had while in Vegas. Note that when you get the bill, there is a space to tip the captain and a space to tip the team. The service didn’t miss a step, there was always someone around clearing your plate or fold your napkin. We could have done without the complimentary appetizers (they almost took away from how good I thought the meal was) – but the food itself (the main course and dessert) was delicious, we would certainly go back.
3500 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las Vegas, NV
I’m meeting some old coworkers/friends at Mare for dinner. The weather on Thursday was beautiful, so it was a nice walk from my office. This place will be even better once the summer gets here and they open all the windows!
The Dine Out Boston menu:
3 Oysters–chef choice and 3 Cherrystone Clams
Saute Mussels, Italian style, olive oil, garlic, white wine, spicy
Bufala Mozzarella Caprese, heirloom tomatoes, basil, pesto, balsamic reduction
Homemade Gnocchi and Clams, fresh cherry tomatoes
Rock Crab Spaghetti, shrimp, clams, scallops, cherry tomato sauce
Truffle and Spinach Spaghettoni
Butterfly Branzino, homemade potatoes and seasonings, spinach
Stuffed Calamari, lobster, clams, scallop, shrimp, lemon sauce served with broccoli rabe
7 Spice Chicken, cooked under the brick, creamy parmigiano polenta, broccoli rabe
Tiramisu, lady fingers, coffee amaretti, mascarpone
Flourless Chocolate Cake, chocolate ganache, hazelnut gelato, chantilly
Ricotta Pie, sweet ricotta in pastry
One of my friend’s gets a selection of oysters (she didn’t do the dine out Boston menu): 2 Howland’s Landing ($2.60 each), a Wellfleet ($2.40), a Cape Maysalt ($2.90) and a Little Pleasant ($2.40). The oysters come with 4 sauces, including a limoncello sauce and a tartar sauce among others.
For dessert, I ended the meal with the ricotta pie, probably one of the better ricotta pies I have had. Sweet but not too sweet with a dash of powdered sugar on top – I wish I could have finished it, it was that good, but I was quite full from the rest of my meal. The service was good, our waitress was attentive. The tables were a bit too close for comfort here, but we were lucky enough to score a table at the end, so it wasn’t so bad. The restaurant was quite full when we left – a popular choice among locals and tourists alike.
135 Richmond Street, Boston, MA
So a co-worker revealed a hidden talent – he’s a canner. Lucky me, he decided to bring me in the last jar of carrots within days of us meeting!
It took me a while to get the lid open, but well worth the wait. Zared makes these at home, along with all sorts of wonderful goodies. I’m hoping I stay in his good graces to continue to get such tasty treats! The carrots are crisp, with this kick to them at the end – really flavorful. Oh, did I mention that they’re award winning!
And just recently I was able to score some horseradish mustard. Have to admit, not really a mustard loving kind of gal, but will try most anything once. Not your typical mustard and this stuff has a big kick to it. Whew! Can’t wait to try out the kimchee he’s always talking about.
A close up of some of the favors. There’s nothing that this guy can’t pickle! Everything he makes is delicious – he challenges me to try new flavors. Check out his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FoxPointPicklingCo
Zared was also just recently featured in an article in The Bay magazine, check it out here. And here’s a snippet:
Another incubee, Zared Goldfarb, seconds this. His company, Fox Point Pickling Co., hopes to become “Rhode Island’s pickle” by creating hand-crafted, hand-packed pickled vegetables using local RI produce. “Hope & Main is allowing me to follow my dream by providing crucial resources along with education and guidance to help me as an entrepreneur. This is essential for my success given I have limited experience starting my own business,” he says. “In the short time that I have been involved with the program, I have already been able to learn from professional chefs, restaurateurs and other like-minded people who I normally wouldn’t have access to.”
It’s Dine Out Boston week – so many great restaurants to choose from, so little time. Check out this great article by Eater that lists the best bets, broken down by meal and by price. New to Dine Out Boston? It’s the revamped restaurant week. Lunches are $15, $20 and $25 and dinners are $28, $33 and $38 for a prix fixe menu.
After careful research, I chose Tremont 647 for one of my Dine Out Boston meals. They have plenty of things on the menu that just sounded delicious. I have been here before, but that was for brunch. Andy Husbands, the owner and chef at Tremont 647 was recently recognized at the New England Food Show that took place over the weekend.
Asparagus & Leek Soup
lamb bacon, smoked paprika
5 Spice Pork Rilllette
sambal, scallion pancakes
Molly’s Quinoa Fritter
House Smoked Salmon Lettuce Wraps
herb crème fraiche, sweet red onion relish
Agave Glazed Grilled Asparagus
zaatar, pistachio, preserved myer lemons
grilled and marinated spring vegetable salad, grilled foccacia
mornay sauce, topped with ritz crackers
Korean Beef Dumplings
soy sake sauce
Skuna Bay Pan Seared Salmon
cilantro israeli couscous, carrot ginger purée
Andy’s Famous 180 Ribs
st. louis ribs, coleslaw, cornbread
Buttermilk Fried Chicken
bacony collards, rosemary biscuit, 3-chili gravy
Red Wine Marinated Short Rib
sweet potato grits, braised kale
Spit Roasted Pork Loin
serrano mashed potato, mushroom jus
Pan Roasted Sea Scallops
roasted baby vegetables, spring pea & parmesan puree
chipolte fries, almond mole, grilled asparagus
Dark Chocolate Cremeux
pretzel crunch, red currants
Rhubarb Cobbler Cheesecake
vanilla ginger honey
Banana Cream Pie
caramel and chocolate drizzle, bacon almond chocolate bark
caramel whip, prickly pear jam
I order the buttermilk fried chicken with bacony collards, rosemary biscuit, 3-chili gravy. The chicken was tender, it fell off the bone. And the biscuit, holy hell was it tasty – the flavor was subtle and the biscuit just melted in your mouth. The greens, which I would normally pass right over (I try and put as few vegetables in my body as humanly possible) were to my surprise, very tasty. They were little bit sweet from the onions. A really great dish.
The best part: dessert. Dark Chocolate Cremeux with pretzel crunch, and red currants. The pretzel crunch, I could have eaten for days, I wish there were more of it on the dish. The dessert was VERY rich, you have to have bites of everything to cut the heaviness of the cremeux. I love the presentation of this dessert.
On paper, this is not a dessert I would have chosen. Rhubarb Cobbler Cheesecake with vanilla ginger honey. These two desserts were like night and day. The cheesecake was impossibly light without giving up a creamy texture. The crust had a hint of sweetness and was probably my favorite part. An excellent dessert by Heather Paige, the resident pastry chef!
647 Tremont Street, Boston, MA
On Friday, the weather had let up, so I took a walk up to Piperi in Government Center. I had driven/walked by this place many times before, but never really had the chance to stop by. My real job keeps me pretty busy and most days, I’m lucky to get out of the office and jump across the street for lunch, let alone take a walk somewhere a little farther. But I’m glad that I had the opportunity to stop in last week, as the food was worth the wait!
Here’s what they have to say on their website: “Piperi Mediterranean Grill offers flavorful, nutritious, Mediterranean-inspired food available quickly, in an energizing atmosphere. We buy the freshest possible ingredients, cook in small batches, make our recipes from scratch and bake our unique gözi bread right on the premises—all to create food that’s bursting with flavor and nutrition. We know that great service makes a good meal even better. That’s why we’re committed to making every aspect of the experience at Piperi easy and enjoyable—so you leave feeling better than when you came in. Our team shares that commitment. We also take our role in the local and global community seriously, and are committed to making socially responsible purchasing decisions. Whenever possible, our produce is sourced from local suppliers and growers who employ sustainable practices.”
Like most places, Piperi (pronounced Pip-AIR-ee, which is Greek for peppercorn, one of the many spices they use) has a busy lunch hour. Even though the line is wrapped around the restaurant, it moves quickly.
There’s a different feeling in the air here. When I get up to order, the man behind the counter asks me how I am. He’s genuine – you can’t fake that. Then when I ask him how he is, he says with a warm smile, “great, glad that I get to serve you today”. He says it in a sincere way (not in the creepy way that you get at some places – you know what I’m talking about, when the creepy dude in an greasy tank top says it while flashing his gold tooth and winking at you). Right off the bat, Piperi, gold star on service! There is a sense of calm behind the counter (even during the rush), everyone knows what their job is on the line, and things run smoothly – it’s not stressful or rushed.
Wanting to try a bit of everything on the menu, I order the chicken gozi wrap. Gozi is their signature bread, used for all their sandwiches. It’s a modern interpretation of Gözleme, a traditional hand-rolled pastry from Turkey. This wrap has Moroccan carrots, tomato relish, feta, and a spicy tomato sauce. For $7, there are a ton of bold flavors in this wrap, and it tastes/feels like a much healthier option for lunch.
You can also create your own meal: Choose a wrap, a mezze plate or a salad. Pick your main ingredient: falafel ($6.50), chicken ($7), steak ($8) or vegetable ($7.50). Add up to 4 of their signature toppings or sauces: hummus, white bean tabouleh, Moroccan carrots, Feta cheese, cheddar, marinated olives, red cabbage slaw, tomato relish, yogurt cucumber sauce, tahini sauce or spicy tomato sauce. You can get extra falafel ($1.50), chicken ($2), vegetable ($2.50) or steak ($3).
I choose the mezze plate with chicken. I have to admit when I get burritos or chicken dishes at lunch, I usually expect the chicken to be dry and over cooked. Not here. The chicken was so juicy, tender and flavorful, I surprised myself by finishing it all. The carrots are also top notch, I love the flavor.
As we proceed to check out, I introduce myself to Tim, who I recognize from his photo on the website. I really respect a co-owner who is at the restaurant every day, working behind the counter along side everyone else. He hurt his ankle earlier in the morning, but is still here, crutches and all! We move off to the side, and he greets me with a warm smile and a handshake and thanks me for stopping in. We would both like to chat more, but I don’t want to take up his time during the rush. He tells me to stop in any time – he’d love to chat. I plan on taking him up on that!
Stop in the Piperi for lunch or dinner. They have generous portions and excellent service – you won’t be disappointed. Already been to Piperi? What’s your favorite menu item?
*Disclaimer, my meal was paid for by the BC Enactus club, but all opinions are my own.
1 Beacon Street, Boston, MA
We started with the sausage & mashed ($9), grilled andouille, gumbo greens & mashed potatoes. The sausage was flavorful – as would be expected, grilling is definitely in their wheelhouse. The potato salad was also exceptionally delicious, I may have enjoyed it more than the actual sausage, They were creamy and nicely seasoned. The gumbo greens were a bit to salty for my liking, but complimented the dish nicely.
Spicy Sweet Potato & Grilled Chicken Hash ($9) two poached eggs (that we had over easy instead) & pipitas, grilled toast. This was a good dish, while the chicken was a tad over cooked, but the flavors were really nice. The dish was spicy, but not too spicy and the eggs were perfectly cooked.
Challah French Toast ($9) bourbon & brown sugar glazed banana or whipped strawberry cream cheese stuffed. The dish comes with three enormous slices of toast, cut into 6 pieces. I can’t imagine that people finish this dish. The bourbon and brown sugar glaze is sweet, but not overly so, and so good that we pass up the maple syrup that was brought along with the dish. The dish was tasty, but I wish the bread could have soaked a little longer in the batter before being thrown on the grill.
See my Favecast video here: http://www.favecast.com/2CdEHqY16O
*Disclaimer, I received a discount on the meal, but all opinions are my own.
2 West Street, Boston, MA
From their website, “Area Four (and A4 outposts) takes its name from neighborhood of our flagship restaurant and cafe; Cambridge’s Area IV. With a rich history as an important transportation hub, Area IV was a major industrial center in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and is now a global epicenter of biotech and information firms due to its proximity to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).”
Our waiter was cool and laid back, but didn’t ignore us. We started off with the garlic knots ($12), and made them “supreme”. Pecorino and gremolata, the cast iron skillet is covered in signature red sauce and covered in cheese. Don’t plan on kissing anyone after eating these, they’re packed with garlic (but oh so good).
Craving pizza, we had the large margherita with sausage and a fried egg ($28.50). So good! Maybe even the best pizza we have had in a long time. Check out my buddy in my Favecast video: http://favecast.com/49ADfHknt5
I had the mac and cheese with bacon ($14). It was just the right amount of cheese and came topped with a croissant crumb topping. We were full at the end of our meal, but they had some good looking soft serve sundaes for dessert! Can’t wait to go back and try some of the other items on the menu.
500 Technology Square, Cambridge, MA