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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

Boston Wine SchoolMark and I headed out after work on a Thursday night to the Boston Wine School for a wine and cheese class. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve driven by, or even stopped at the liquor store next door, not realizing the school’s location. Located right on Commonwealth Street, parking can get a little tough so leave a few minutes early. There are about a dozen people in the class, we mingle a bit before we sit down to learn about wine and cheese.

IMG_3537The first pairing while we are getting to know our fellow classmates is a ricotta fresca, a young cow’s milk cheese from New York. It’s served on toast a few different ways,

IMG_3546The ricotta is paired with a NV Jaume Serra “cristalino” cava rose brut that is from Penedes in Southern Spain. It’s light and crisp – perfect for summer.

IMG_3538While pairing our wine and cheese, we also have focaccia bread and olives.

Boston Wine School 1The wines of the evening, in order from left to right:

2012 Chateau de la Chesnaie Muscadet (Sevre en Maine, Loire Valley, northwest France) Muscadet is a white grape and the flavor of the wine is dry and strong.

2013 Berger Gruner Veltliner (Gedersdorf, eastern Austria) This wine was a bit zippy with a light body.

2012 Talbott “Kali Hart” Pinot Noir (Monterey, northern California)

2010 Destino “Cruzados” Tempranillo Syrah (La Mancha, south central Spain)

2011 Chateau Roc de Segur (Lanerrouet, Bordeaux, western France)

We tried the wines by themselves, and then with the cheese to see how the flavors changed.

IMG_3547(Starting at 12 o’clock and going clockwise)

Bucheron Chevre a goat’s milk cheese from the Loire Valley, northern France

Three year old gouda a cow’s milk cheese, Gouda, southern Holland

Brie paturages Comtois a cow’s milk cheese from Franche Comte, central France

Manchego a cow and sheep’s milk cheese from La Mancha, south central Spain

(not pictured) Great Hill Blue, a cow’s milk blue from Marion, MA

 

IMG_3550Jonathon Alsop is the founder and executive director of Boston Wine School. I admit, I don’t know anything about wine, just what I like and what I don’t like. Jonathon makes trying wine and learning about wine very approachable. We learned as a group, sharing what flavors we tasted and what we liked and didn’t like. We learned the 7 S’s of wine tasting: see, sniff, swirl, smell, sip, swish, and spit.

IMG_3559The chalkboard gave students a little cheat sheet on wines.

Boston Wine School 2After we tried the wines and cheeses we all sat down to dinner, provided by Bottega Fiorentina in Coolidge Corner in Brookline. We had Pollo Cristina, a chicken and sage dish baked in wine; spinaci all Fiorentina, a baked spinach dish with mushrooms and Timballo a baked pasta with eggplant. Dinner was served with a 2013 Le Piera Pinto Grigio from Veneto in northeast Italy and a 2009 Selvapaina Chianti Rufina from Rufina, Tuscany in central Italy.

Bottega Fiorentina is a small restaurant in Brookline known for thei “fast fine food”.  They have pasta dishes as well as made to order sandwiches. Part market, part restaurant, Bottega Fiorentina has been a neighborhood staple since 1994.

Boston Wine School

1354 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA

www.bostonwineschool.com

Bottega Fiorentina

313 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA

http://www.bottegabrookline.com/

Bottega Fiorentina on Urbanspoon

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Grand Ten Dinner 1On Thursday, July 31st, GrandTen Distilleries paired up with SoonSpoon and Journeyman for “A Better Cocktail Party”. Tickets were $90 to attend the event and it was worth every penny. GrandTen Distilling is owned and operated by Matthew Nuernberger and Spencer McMinn. All of their products are produced in very small batches and distilled in copper. Every step, from choosing the raw ingredients to bottling and labeling, is done by hand.

Grand Ten Dinner 2Guests were greeted with a small welcome drink while they got to know the other guests.

Grand Ten Dinner 3The first pairing was Angelica mixed with Sake and Berentzen.

Grand Ten Dinner 4The Angelica paired with uni har gow with white onion and pickled ginger.

Grand Ten Dinner 5The space is small but it’s charming. There is great light and the service is top notch. The chefs took turns coming out and speaking with the guests, describing the dishes in more detail while Lonnie from GTD talked about the drink pairings. Pictured above Chef Diana (co-owner of Journeyman).

Grand Ten Dinner 6Now THAT’S what I call shaking up a cocktail! Sam Treadway, the bar manager and co-owner of Backbar.

Grand Ten Dinner 7Wireworks Gin was the next pairing – served two ways, the first in a cucumber cup. Above Catherine Owens (GM at Journeyman).

Grand Ten Dinner 8The gin was mixed with Aveze and cucumber bohemian.

Grand Ten Dinner 10This was paired with salmon roe, avocado, dill, grapefruit and olive oil snow playfully presented as a push pop.

Grand Ten Dinner 11The drink was also served sans cucumber cup.

Grand Ten Dinner 12Prepping for the next course, the corn soup.

Grand Ten Dinner 13I have never seen a quieter kitchen, and they consider this the loudest kitchen they have been in. Watching the chefs is amazing, not only are the extremely focused, the intensity and precision that goes into ever dish is impressive. Above, Chef Kelvin.

Grand Ten Dinner 14A closer look at the blow torched hen.

Grand Ten Dinner 15The corn soup with calaminth and black garlic – really quite delicious.

Grand Ten Dinner 16More prep on the hen.

Grand Ten Dinner 17The corn soup was paired with the Medford Rum.

Grand Ten Dinner 18A complex drink for this pairing, it was a saffron foamed Dirt and Diesel. So tasty, I could get used to coming home to a drink like this, too bad it was so labor intensive! The bartender was crushing the ice by hand!

Grand Ten Dinner 19Prepping for the next pairing with Craneberry, a cranberry liquer.

Grand Ten Dinner 20Guinea Hen and Coxcomb crepinette with cranberry mole and corn.

Grand Ten Dinner 21A closer look at the hen.

Grand Ten Dinner 22The craneberry and mile champagne cocktail – I do love me a champagne cocktail!

Grand Ten Dinner 23So pretty!

Grand Ten Dinner 24Lonnie (right) has been with GrandTen Distilling for 2 years. Spencer (right) was making a rare evening appearance, congrats Spencer on the birth of your son!

Grand Ten Dinner 25The South Boston Irish Whiskey was mixed up as old fashioned in small mason jars!

Grand Ten Dinner 26The Old Fashioned paired with porcelet, brioche, spice sphere, ginger and citrus gel.

Grand Ten Dinner 27A closer look at the dish.

Grand Ten Dinner 28Prep for the final course.

Grand Ten Dinner 29Prepping for the rabbit course.

Grand Ten Dinner 30Chef preparing the final course.

Grand Ten Dinner 31The sixth pairing was Fire Puncher Black (vodka) made into a Southern Point.

Grand Ten Dinner 32Rabbit offal, mincemeat, brown butter shortbread.

Grand Ten Dinner 33For the final pairing an Amandine sorbet float.

Grand Ten Dinner 34The finished product.

Grand Ten Dinner 35The final pairing was a blueberry noodle with black and white sesame and caramelized banana. So beautiful. It was almost like a blueberry fruit roll up with blueberries and sesame mochi.

On regular evenings, Journeyman offers a chefs tasting menu for $85. Menu items change daily depending on what is available. Try and grab a seat at the bar area, where you can get an up close show of your food being prepared.

Journeyman

9 Sanborn Court, Somerville, MA

http://www.journeymanrestaurant.com/

Journeyman on Urbanspoon

Make a reservation with SoonSpoon at www.soonspoon.com

Grand Ten Distilling http://www.grandten.com/

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IMG_The Good Ones Power Hour 5The Good Ones put on another power hour on Wednesday, fresh off the heels of a successful event the night before. See my recap of Tuesday’s event here. (From L to R) Giovanna Pasquariello, Evanilde Castro Duarte, Heloisa Fitzgerald wearing an original design from her collection (oh yes, that amazing necklace is convertible!!), Good One Kimberly Giardino with co-founders of the Good Ones, Carolyn and Jennifer.

The Good Ones Power Hour 34Brandon Bach might be one of the nicest guys you’ll meet. Oh, and he also makes small batch, hand infused tequila!

The Good Ones Power Hour 2You just have to taste this stuff for yourself – it’s delicious! I’m hoping to sit down one of these days and chat with Brandon to hear his story! In the meantime, check out his website here.

IMG_The Good Ones Power Hour  19Guests JR Roy and Kelvin Ng enjoyed sampling the tequila. From the website: Infusion Diabolique Mixto is a silver tequila imported from Mexico and infused with Hawaiian pineapple, whole persian limes, peppermint, and cardamom. 100% of the sugar is extracted from the pineapple during the infusion process, imparting a delicious sweetness complemented by a citrusy, peppery finish. This is a very smooth and complex infusion that still very much highlights the tequila we infuse.

The Good Ones Power Hour 21Did you know that they also make a bourbon? Infusion Diabolique Kentucky is a four year-old bourbon from Kentucky, infused with whole Black Mission figs, vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks and our blend of herbs and spices. 100% of the sugar in the infusion is extracted from the fruit during the infusion process imparting a soft sweetness to contrast with the slightly spicy finish. This is a very smooth and complex infusion that is still clearly Kentucky bourbon.

 

The Good Ones Power Hour 13Deep Eddy vodka was on site mixing up delicious cocktails – Marc Ellison was manning the bar!

The Good Ones Power Hour 4Deep Eddy is handmade in Austin, Texas by co-founders Clayton Christopher and Chad Auler. The premium vodka is distilled 10 times for a smooth flavor.

The Good Ones Power Hour 14The sweet tea vodka is pretty delicious on it’s own!

IMG_The Good Ones Power Hour 16Featured guest Chris Yim, Founder of Liberty Teller and Good One‘ Tau Zaman.

The Good Ones Power Hour 6

Chris Yim is a Founder of Liberty Teller, a company raising awareness around digital currency education and access. Liberty Teller placed the first bitcoin ATM in the US in Boston in February and has been featured in numerous publications including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Reuters and Boston Globe. Liberty Teller currently has 4 machines deployed throughout Boston/Cambridge. The machines educate and facilitate the purchasing of bitcoin from the complete beginner to bitcoin enthusiast.

Chris is passionate about digital currencies and their ability to lower costs for both consumers and merchants, lower the cost for international remittances, and allow people to transfer money instantly and cheaply. If you can track him down he will send you a few dollars in bitcoin to try out digital currencies and its promise for yourself.

Before founding Liberty Teller, Chris worked as a venture capitalist at the corporate venture arm of Siemens AG focusing on mid-late stage investments. Prior to Siemens, he worked as an investment banker at Centerview Partners. He graduated from MIT with a degree in Chemical-Biological Engineering.

When he is not daydreaming about digital currencies, he can be found wrestling with his two dogs, scuba diving, riding roller coasters or traveling around the world.

Good Ones Power Hour 1Krave Jerky was at the event, sampling a number of different flavors and varieties. See my dedicated post on them here.

The Good Ones Power Hour 20Guests enjoyed the interactive tasting bar, trying out all the options available.

IMG_The Good Ones Power Hour 8Check out this AMAZING speaker by Bang Olufsen – the beo play A9 has amazing sound quality and it can be completely customized – you pick the color of the speaker and the color of the legs for something that will fit perfectly in your home. (Retail price $2,768)

The Good Ones Power Hour 11The light fixtures here are beautiful – stop in and check out two floors of amazing pieces.

The Good Ones Power Hour 10Hint water was also at the event, sampling their hint water and hint fizz.

IMG_The Good Ones Power Hour 15Featured guest, Sam, Founder of UsTrendy with Carolyn, co-founder of The Good Ones.

Sam Sisakhti is the Founder and CEO of UsTrendy. UsTrendy is one of the world’s largest Independent Fashion Ecommerce Sites home to over 20,000 designers from 100 countries. UsTrendy is ranked as the Top 500 Retailers Online in Internet Retailer Guide Second Edition along with one of their 5 fastest growing E-Tailers. UsTrendy is also a Red Herring Top 100 Private Companies in America.

Sam is Boston Magazine’s 2011 Most Promising Innovator Under 30 along with Mass High Tech’s Next Generation of Entrepreneur. Sam has been featured in publications such as the Boston Globe, Inc. Magazine, CBS morning News, ABC, The US News, Women’s Wear Daily, and Forbes.

IMG_The Good Ones Power Hour 18Mr. Opus himself, Graham Wright. Graham (Opus Affair) hosts a number of events throughout the year and you can request a membership here.

Graham Wright came to Boston to study chemistry at MIT, but soon found himself building a professional life in the arts—first as on opera singer, then as the founder and host of Opus Affair, a community of nearly 5,000 members interested in arts entrepreneurship and hospitality. He’s performed as a soloist at Symphony Hall and sung on stage with the Rolling Stones, while frequently serving as a member of various advisory boards, including for the MFA, Handel and Haydn Society, Huntington Theatre Company, Urbanity Dance Company, Celebrity Series of Boston, and Boston Opera Collaborative. Recently recognized by BostInno as an inaugural 50 on Fire winner and the Boston Dance Alliance as the first Top Hat award winner, Graham is currently engaged in expanding Odyssey Opera, Boston’s newest and most adventurous professional opera company. You may hear him on WBUR as a frequent on-air contributor to Radio Boston or as a Choral Scholar at Boston University’s Marsh Chapel.

The Good Ones Power Hour 12Featured guest Jennifer Glickman (right) with Brian Batchelder (left), VP of Recruiting at Weber Shandwick.

Jennifer Glickman’s Design Studio is a Boston based interior design firm that prides itself in creating spaces that are both unique while meeting the functional needs of each client. Her portfolio ranges from Todd English’s Curlycakes, Restaurant Dante renovations for Dante Demagistris, Paul O’Connell’s Chez Henri and residences throughout New England.

After studying art history and architecture at The University of Virginia, Jennifer went on to earn her Masters Degree in Interior Design at Boston’s Suffolk University New England School of Art and Design. She lead two Interior Design departments in Boston architecture firms before launching her own firm in 2010. Since then, her scope of projects has included high end residences from Boston to Nantucket to New York as well as restaurants throughout Boston.

Jennifer’s work can also be seen in local Boston media and HGTV. She also contributes design articles, as seen in Benjamin Moore, and guest lectures at local design schools.

IMG_The Good Ones Power Hour 17Tom Severo looking quite dashing in his top hat, chatting up Heloisa’s mom, Evanilde Castro Duarte, who was in from Brazil.

The Good Ones Power Hour 9Co-founder of the Good Ones, Carolyn, with one of the fun props of the evening. Fun things around the room give guests things to chat about and gets the conversations started.

The Good Ones Power Hour 3Miam Miam French macarons in bold colors and come in delicious flavors like cherry, salted caramel, white chocolate raspberry and pistachio.

IMG_The Good Ones Power Hour 22Heloisa Fitzgerald, owner and designer at Heloisa Fitzgerald Jewelry, Tom Severo and Heloisa’s mother.

The Good Ones Power Hour 25Even though the setting was the same as last night’s event, the party felt very different – different people bring a different dynamic to the event. Featured guest Jonathan Sheffi is cofounder of Curoverse, an early-stage startup building a platform for storing and processing genomic and biomedical big data. Based on the Arvados open source project, Curoverse will be the basis for precision medicine applications addressing everything from neonatal screening to cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Before cofounding Curoverse, Jonathan spent several years in the biotech industry, including roles with Novartis Diagnostics, Amgen, and Accenture’s Health and Life Sciences Strategy practice. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MEng focused in computational molecular biology from MIT, and undergraduate degrees in mathematics & computer science, also from MIT. In 2007, he graduated from National Bartenders School.
Jonathan sings bass in Redline, Boston’s premier all-male a cappella group. He also CrossFits several times a week, and enjoys both meditation and competitive puzzle solving. He competed on winning Mystery Hunt teams in 2002, 2006, 2008, and 2010.

The Good Ones Power Hour 26Good One and actress/model Kimberly Giardino with founder of the New Chivalry Movement, the always well dressed James Michael Sama.

The Good Ones Power Hour 27Quite the pair, featured guest Neely Steinberg and James Michael Sama – two of the most fun (and best dressed) dating and relationship experts!

Neely Steinberg, Ed.M. (Counseling), is a nationally recognized dating coach and founder of her multi-service dating coaching company The Love TREP. Her goal is to teach smart, savvy, professional women how to be the CEO, founder, and enTREPreneur of their dating lives, so that they are actively building and shaping their love stories. No more waiting around or praying for some elusive Prince Charming to come and rescue you, says Neely!

Neely has been featured on/in Fox-25, Cosmopolitan, the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, Men’s Fitness, and the Huffington Post, to name just a few. Her book “Skin In the Game: Unleashing Your Inner Entrepreneur to Find Love” (available on Amazon in paperback, ebook, and workbook formats) has been getting rave reviews from single women and fellow dating coaches. She has also enjoyed giving dating seminars for Match.com. Sign up on her website for her email newsletter.

When she’s not coaching clients one-on-one or re-writing their online dating profiles, Neely can be found wandering Newbury Street looking for the perfect outfit or battling it out on the squash and tennis courts. She lives in Boston with her wonderful husband Dave.

The Good Ones Power Hour 29Featured guest Yuna Asiryan, personal clothier, makes amazing suits and shirts for men. You can see her works in person on the servers at Liquid Art House. Her attention to detail is impeccable. Yuna is pictured here with Jamie Marcus who is wearing one of the shirts Yuna designed.
Growing up, my parents cultivated my imagination and inspired my passion for style and fashion. As an adult, this passion blossomed into a love for creating clothes that accent and enhance the beauty of the individual.
By using a team of master tailors and the world’s best materials, Y/A can help any gentlemen look better than he ever imagined. We believe building the perfect suit goes beyond cloth, thread, and measurements. The way someone walks, their passions, and who they are as a person truly brings a suit to life.
By understanding our customer (getting to know you) we can make a man’s clothes look like an extension of himself. This is the approach Y/A brings beyond pins and stitches.

The Good Ones Power Hour 23Dave DiCicco, Design and Sales Manager at Marc Hall Design; Heloisa Fitzerald; owner and designer at Heloisa Fitzgerald Jewelry; Jennifer Brooke, Co-Founder of the Good Ones and Alanna Paiva.

The Good Ones Power Hour 24Giovanna Pasquariello of Neena’s Lighting Raj Dhanda, owner of Neena’s lighting, who was looking sharp in his preppy baby blue pants with embroidered bicycles on them.

The Good Ones Power Hour 30Featured guest, personal clothier Yuna Asyrian; Designer at Marc Hall design and artist, Sarah DiNardo; Sales and Design Manager at Marc Hall Design, Dave DiCicco.

The Good Ones Power Hour 31Popular fashion blogger, Allie Lochiatto of Allie Wears.

The Good Ones Power Hour 33

Natalya Cappellini of Capp & Co. and Steven Moshe Baron.

A special thanks to Carolyn and Jennifer of the Good Ones for another amazing night! You don’t want to miss these events. To get an invite to the August events, send an email to Carolyn at Carolyn@thegoodonesboston.com

Neena’s Lighting 380 Boylston Street, Boston, MA www.neenaslighting.com

 

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From the Good Ones: Time is scarce and relationships are invaluable. For one powerful hour – we are hosting a hand-selected group of Bostonians who are founders, executives, journalists, entertainers, students, creatives, mentors and mentees. Each person shares an interest in learning and contributing to their community’s success.
The Good Ones Neenas 1Guests gathered on Tuesday night at Neena’s Lighting on Boylston Street in “whites and watches”. Zoos Greek Tea was an event sponsor, fresh off their Improper Bostonian win.

The Good Ones Neenas 2Organic Living Superfoods was at the event as well. They make organic, raw, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, living superfoods.   Superfoods by definition are those which are dense in nutrients and cancer fighting antioxidants – all while being relatively low in calories.

The Good Ones Neenas 3Motto tea, a sparkling matcha tea, first of its kind was at the event. I’m always pumped to see Motto at events, I can’t get enough of this stuff! I’m generally not a tea drinker, but Motto has a really great flavor.

The Good Ones Neenas 4Deep Eddy was providing some delicious cocktails with their grapefruit, sweet tea and cranberry flavored vodka.

The Good Ones Neenas 5A new sponsor at the event was Miam Miam Macronerie. They provided beautiful French macarons for the evening.

The Good Ones Neenas 6Infusion Diabolique was also an event sponsor, sampling out their small batch, hand infused tequila.

The Good Ones Neenas 8Peter Boyd from Narragansett Beer was at the event, passing out ice cold beers.

The Good Ones Neenas 18Light snacks were provided for the evening by Katerina Iliades of Greek International Food Market.

The Good Ones Neenas 20The men of the evening were decked out in high style. Just check out some of the footwear at this party!

The Good Ones Neenas 7Featured guest Laura Parrott works as both a learning and development specialist as well as barre and yoga teacher in the Boston area.  She put her graduate degree in Roman Archaeology to good use by spending eight years working in recruiting at McKinsey & Company, and the past four in learning and development at Google.

About eight years ago Laura discovered that she has a secret inner Jane Fonda when she pursued a barre teacher training program at Exhale spa.  Since then she’s been teaching barre and yoga classes and leading barre teacher trainings and workshops in and around Boston, and proudly showcasing her ever-growing collection of eye-catching leggings.  She’s the creator of the fitness fashion blog Sweat the Runway (www.sweattherunway.com), a lover of all things British, and an avid reader of terrible teen fiction.

The Good Ones Neenas 11(Left) Chris Carpenter, Community and Content Supervisor at Mullen (and contributing writer at Esquire, Maxim and The Metro) and (right) Peter Boyd of Narragansett Beer.

The Good Ones Neenas 13Kristofer Mondlane, consultant at Favecast.

The Good Ones Neenas 14This white dress definitely gets the “best dressed” vote of the evening!

The Good Ones Neenas 15Co-founder of The Good Ones, Jennifer Brooke wearing a gold armband by Heloisa Fitzgerad Jewelry.

The Good Ones Neenas 16(Left) Eran Lobel, CEO of Element Productions in the Back Bay, (middle) Chet Harding, co-founder of Improv Asylum, (right) Chris Carpenter, Content and Community Supervisor at Mullen (and hilarious comedian). Chet was also a featured guest at tonight’s event. “Chet Harding is a co-founder and original mainstage cast member of Improv Asylum — appearing in hundreds of live shows as well as their Emmy nominated TV show. He is also a founder of the newly launched upscale comedy club, Laugh Boston, in the Seaport District. In addition to acting, directing, writing and producing, Chet heads up Improv Asylum’s corporate training division, which has recently expanded internationally — focusing on innovation, teamwork and communication. Clients include Google, Fidelity, Nokia, Harvard Business school and more, training everyone from hipster software developers to business leaders from Qatar and Kuwait.”

The Good Ones Neenas 17(Right) Founder of the New Chivalry Movement, James Michael Sama and his brother (left) Blake Anthony Sama, product development engineer at Bridgemedica and personal trainer at Body by Blake.

The Good Ones Neenas 19Chris on left feeding Barbie olives and posing on the right with props from Neena’s.

Another successful event put on by The Good Ones. Neena’s provided a great backdrop for meeting interesting people and having great conversations. People weren’t ready to go home after the event was over, so guests headed over to Liquid Art House for a little after party.

Stay tuned for Wednesday night’s power hour! Coming tomorrow on the blog.

The Good Ones www.thegoodones.co Email Carolyn for an invite to the next Good Ones event Carolyn@thegoodonesboston.com

Neena’s Lighting 380 Boylston Street, Boston, MA https://www.neenaslighting.com

 

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IMG_4648On a recent trip to Kennebunkport, Maine, we stayed at Hidden Pond.

IMG_1384Saturday was grey and it was drizzling, but we didn’t let that stop us from exploring the town.

IMG_1385This was outside one of the restaurants!

IMG_1387We stopped into The Clam Shack just before it got slammed with the lunch rush. They serve everything here to go, and you can sit on the benches outside or, if you dare, on the bridge – but watch out for those birds! We grabbed a seat in the seafood market next door.

IMG_1390The lobster roll is buttered and put on the flat top to get it golden and toasty. The meat of a 1 lb lobster is put on top of the bun with your choice of butter or may….or both.

IMG_1391What’s great about this lobster is the meat – the sheer amount of it and that it’s in large pieces – no shredded miscellaneous meat here. And the flavor – the lobsters are cooked in sea water – the lobster meat tastes fresh, clean, sweet and delicious! We ate ours so quickly that we were tempted to go back for seconds!

Where is your favorite clam shack?

The Clam Shack

2 Western Ave, Kennebunkport, ME

http://theclamshack.net

Clam Shack on Urbanspoon

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Follow the Honey 1Cuisine en Locale teamed up with Harvard Square’s Follow the Honey and SoonSpoon to take guests on a culinary journey through 10 apiaries. Sarah Paterson bee bearding in the parking lot across the street to kick off the night.

Follow the Honey 2They kicked off the first course in the parking lot while guests enjoyed the bee bearding show. Profiteroles with honey herb goat cheese and lemon balm filled (Clumsydog Apiary, Cambridge, Beekeeper Mel Gadd)

Follow the Honey 3A bee sanctuary.

Follow the Honey 4The room that the event was being held in was spacious, guests had assigned seating in tables or 8 or 10.

Follow the Honey 5Aren’t the place settings just lovely?

Follow the Honey 6Alex’s ugly sauce was on the table – love his hot sauce!

Follow the Honey 7The night featured a cash bar with some lovely honey inspired cocktails.

Follow the Honey 8Honey braised lamb belly taco with mint crema, arugula and grated Eat Local propolis (Autumn Morning Farm, Barre, Beekeeper George O’Neil)

Follow the Honey 9Peekabucha drink, Bar Hill Honey Vodka, with Cucumber Calaminth, Moroccan Mint, Honey Simple, and Kombucha!

Follow the Honey 10Poulet en Pot – braised chicken with honey, vegetables, and verbena. (Best Bees, Boston, Beekeeper Dr. Noah Wilson-Rich) This was a really nice dish. I couldn’t quite put my finger on the flavor that this soup reminded me of, but I loved this soup. I was lucky enough to sit next to Noah at dinner and we had a really great conversation. I’m hoping to plan a time where I can head over and take a look at his bees up close and in person!

Follow the Honey 11Lobster with Bee Pollen – vanilla butter and calaminth over fresh peas and corn. (Eat Local Honey, Jamaica Plain, Beekeeper Mike Graney) Such a wonderful dish – the lobster was delicious, a lot of bright clean flavors.

Follow the Honey 12Green salad with Honey Cimb – roast beef and African Blue basil (Eat Local Honey, Somerville, Beekeeper Mike Graney)

Follow the Honey 13In between courses, different beekeepers got up and spoke, along with poet Toni Bee. The speeches started to slow down the time between courses, but they recovered before the end of the night and the event ended on time. One memorable part of the evening was the “yellow is the new black” contest. Guests were asked to dress up in their most inventive outfits to win prizes.

Follow the Honey 14Arepa de Pernil – honeyed pork shoulder, bacon, prescott cheese and fresh herb chimichurri (Carlisle honey, Tyngsboro, Beekeeper Rick Reault)

Follow the Honey 15Mead poached scallops with wood sorrel and cyser reduction. (Green river Ambrosia, Greenfield, brewer Garth Shaneyfelt Brewed with Warm Colors Apiary Honey, Deerfield, Beekeepers Dan and Bonita Conlan). There was a palate cleanser in the middle of the scallops and the ribs, which didn’t photograph well. It was  a cucumber blueberry sorbet with Tulsi basil.

Follow the Honey 16 Moroccan style lamb ribs with honey sauce and calaminth (Benevolent Bee, Jamaica Plain, Beekeepers Stephanie Elson and Emile Bruneau) The meat all but melted off the bone and in your mouth, a really lovely dish.

Follow the Honey 17Raspberries with vanilla honey whipped marscapone, lemon balm and Mary’s honey oat cake (Baer’s Bees, Cambridge, Beekeeper Andy Baer). Those cookies were OUT OF THIS WORLD!

Thanks to Cuisine en Locale for being such great hosts! The evening was amazing and I walked away stuffed (but in a great way).

Cuisine en Locale

156 Highland Ave., Somerville, MA

http://cuisineenlocale.com/

Cuisine En Locale on Urbanspoon

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IMG_0921Did you know that the Taza chocolate factory is located right in Somerville? You can take a tour for $5!

IMG_0923Tours are educational and last 45 minutes. Groups are kept small, capping at around 18.

IMG_0920

Taza Chocolate Mexicano Rustic, round dark stone ground chocolate discs with a distinctively gritty texture, some sweet, some savory, some spicy. I love the salt and pepper and the cinnamon flavors.

IMG_0916There are samples all around the store!

IMG_0917Chocolate discs retail at $5.

IMG_0914In addition to their extensive selection of bars and discs, they also have chocolate covered treats like chocolate covered nibs and chocolate covered cashews.

IMG_0902We start the tour learning about where the cacao comes from. Cacao trees are found in Central and South America. The seeds of the fruit are used to make chocolate. The pods grow on the trees and they can be all different colors: red, orange or yellow. There are anywhere from 20-60 seeds in each pod. The seeds are moved to a box where they are left to ferment.

IMG_0904Taza has Direct Trade sourcing relationships with growers in the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, and Belize.  What is Direct Trade? It means they have direct relationships with cacao producers and visit them at least once a year; they pay at least 500 dollars per ton above the NY ICE price for cacao beans; and they source only the highest quality beans.

IMG_0906They used to do this machine’s work by hand…something about a hairdryer….back to the machine – they bought it second hand and they  had to cut in into pieces to bring it back to the US. The machine separates the beans and the shells.

IMG_0907They roast their beans slowly with this enormous roaster.

IMG_0911Founder Alex Whitmore apprenticed for a molinero in Oaxaca to learn how to hand carve these granite stone mills.

IMG_0912It is here where the chocolate takes a liquid form and then is piped into the signature circular molds (or bars). Then it is off to packaging. The round discs are still wrapped by hand!

IMG_0913They don’t waste – you can buy this as mulch for your gardens…good news is that when it rains…it smells like chocolate!

Check out the website for tour information or to buy chocolate online: http://www.tazachocolate.com/

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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).

Good Ones 20

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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