I’m not a biker or a hiker, or an outdoorsy person for that matter, so the best way I know how to see the landscape is to go on a horseback ride. I have plenty of experience riding English style, however, most places that tourists go offer Western. The hotel offers 1 hour or 2 hour rides, and note that they leave from different locations, so check with guest services as to which site you need to go to. We chose the 2 hour ride for $74pp. We were fortunate enough to only have one other person in our group. Make sure that if you are planning on going for a ride to 1)turn off your cell phone – you don’t want to startle your horse, 2) wear long pants – trust me on this one, 3) wear sneakers or some other closed toe shoe option and 4) bring a light jacket, it could get cool.
If you’re feeling adventurous, call up Keystone and book your ride! You can get more information on their website.
Guests gathered on Tuesday night at Black Falcon Terminal for Boston Magazine’s first annual, The Cue. Readers of Boston Magazine voted to pick the top 10 mixed drinks in the city. Those top 10 mixologists came to The Cue to mix their drinks live and guests of the event were asked to pick their favorite.
Alex and Ani set up shop in the private lounge, showcasing their bangle bar.
The first thing you saw when you walked in the door was Stay Sweet Macs, a coconut macaroon company that is just about a year old. They are sold only through their website at this time, check them out here. They have amazing flavors (orange zest, pink salted dark chocolate, toffee almond, jackfruit, and strawberry white chocolate) and who doesn’t love a macaroon covered in chocolate!
First Trade Union Bank was sponsoring a ice cream bar featuring ice cream from Rancatore’s. Rancatore’s is located in Belmont and Lexington. You may be more familiar with Toscanini’s, owned by Gus Rancatore. Gus and Joe Rancatore are brothers.
Pangea Shellfish company was there shucking oysters for VIP’s.
Celebrity Cruises was their mixing up dry ice cocktails.
The event was sponsored by Absolut, so all drinks this evening showcased their many different flavors of vodka.
How fun are their outfits? Abby Lane brought their A game, with their “pineapple express” cocktail.
1 oz Absolut Vodka
.75 oz 888 Pineapple Jalapeño spirit
.5 oz Hum Botanical spirit
.5 oz Orgeat
8-10 oven roasted pineapple chunks
Roast sliced pineapple chunks in an oven on 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Muddle roasted pineapple in a Boston Shaker. Fill with ice. Add all remaining ingredients. Shake vigorously and strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass.
It’s always fun to see the guys from Dillon’s. They were serving up Mexican street corn with honey lime butter and strawberry basil.
Richer Pour wine was also in the VIP lounge, pouring glasses of wine on tap.
Tremont 647 was serving up the best ribs you’ll ever have.
Regal Beagle featured pulled pork and jalapeno cornbread sliders: pulled pork, watermelon bbq sauce, jalapeno cheddar cornbread.
Fairsted Kitchen was smokin’ up some lamb ribs, dusted with cumin and fish sauce.
Sweet Cheeks was go big or go home – they brought a whole smoked pig!
Champions was mixing up their signature cocktail the “Boston Strong”.
1.5 oz Absolut Vodka
.5 oz blueberry syrup
.5 oz ginger simple syrup
.75 oz lemon juice
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp ginger powder
1 tbsp lemon zest
Prep martini glass- coat half of glass rim with lemon juice and dip in mix of sugar, ginger powder, and lemon zest. To make rim sugar: mix equal parts sugar, ginger powder, and lemon zest.
In an ice filled cocktail shaker add Absolut Vodka, ginger simple syrup, and lemon juice. Shake vigorously. Strain into rimmed, chilled martini glass. Finish by adding blueberry syrup into the martini glass along the side so that it sinks to the bottom. Ahead of time, coat peaches in brown sugar and grill until tender.
Earls Kitchen and Bar featured Slow Braised BBQ Back Ribs with sweet + spicy bbq sauce, warm potato salad and coleslaw.
Empire was mixing up a “Bom Dia”
1.5 oz Absolut Citron
.5 oz St. Germain
.5 oz lime juice
muddled guava and grilled peach
dash guava simple syrup
In a shaker, muddle guava and peach with a dash of guava simple syrup add ice and all ingredients except prosecco. Shake and pour into a highball glass and top with prosecco. Garnish with fresh sugar cane.
The Living Room was mixing up “The Cucumber Haze” which earned them the title of first runner up at the event.
1.5 oz Absolut Vodka
.5 oz blueberry-thyme simple syrup
1.5 oz fresh lemon juice
2 slices of cucumber
sprig of thyme
Muddle two slices of Cucumber. Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Serve over ice in Collins glass. Top with Soda water. Garnish with sprig of thyme two blueberries and lemon twist.
Bronwyn had a delicious Hungarian smoked brisket with paprika and honey glaze
Larry J’s brought pulled pork (Texas and North Carolina) that was from slow smoked pork butts (12.5 hours!!)
Brian Moy of Shojo (right).
Shojo had a dish inspired by a Hawaiian luau. Coconut water glazed suckling pig; Hawaiian salad of pineapple, ham, tomato, carrot, broccoli, shrimp; tahitian POI: banana, mango, coco creame, taro pudding and coconut sticky rice.
BT’s Smokehouse did a brisket rueben: smoked beef brisket, sexy slaw, pickled rye sauce, on honey brown bread.
Leah Famularo of Burton’s Grill was mixing up an “Absolut Sizzle”
1.5 oz Absolut Vodka
.5 oz Cointreau
.75 oz cayenne simple syrup
2 oz fresh squeezed grapefruit Juice
chunk of lime
cayenne simple syrup
1 cup superfine sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
In shaker pour Absolut and Cointreau over ice, finish with cayenne simple syrup and fresh squeezed grapefruit juice. Shake vigorously and strain over fresh ice in snifter glass. Squeeze one fresh lime chunk into glass.
Robert’s Maine was at the event as well sampling some of their delicious bites.
Michael’s Deli served up a BBQ meatloaf knish: housemade BBQ meatloaf wrapped in knish dough and baked.
Glenn LeMaitre of Bricco mixed up his Bricco Espresso Martini and came out on top as champion at the event.
2 oz Absolut Vanilia
1 oz Kahlua
.25 oz Amaretto
.25 oz Baileys
.25 oz Frangelico
Double shot of espresso
Place all ingredients into martini shaker and shaken vigorously. Stain into a martini glass rimmed with cocoa and sugar. Garnish with three espresso beans.
A closer look at those winning cocktails!
East Coast Grill and Raw Bar served up baby back ribs – house smoked with a blackberry peach bourbon sauce.
Look at those ribs!
Kings was serving up some delicious mac and cheese!
Bond was serving up their signature cocktail “Bankrupt” that earned them the title of 2nd runner up for the evening.
3 oz Absolut Vodka
3 oz strawberry rhubarb puree
.5 cup sugar
For the puree juice equal portions rhubarb and strawberry in a juicer. Then, bring juice to boil and immediately remove from heat stirring in fine sugar to sweeten and thicken (for 1 cup juice add ½ cup sugar). Combine vodka and puree in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass.
A closer look at those delicious cocktails!
Bokx 109 was mixing up their “Absolutely American” cocktail:
1 oz Absolut Mandarin
1 oz sweet and sour mix
.5 oz grenadine
1 oz Blue Curacao
Add 1 oz Absolut Mandarin, 1.5 oz sweet and sour to shaker over ice. Stir with bar stirrer. Pour in Collins glass, add .5 oz of grenadine allow to settle to bottom. Add ice to fill, float with Blue Curacao. Garnish with cherry. Drink should layer red, “white,” blue.
A great event over all, already looking forward to next year’s event.
Boston Magazine’s The Cue
Thursday night my friend and I attended our first “Farm to Post” dinner at Post 390. Chef Eric Brennan and Chris Himmel, of Himmel Hospitality (Grill 23, Post 390 and Harvest) invited guests for a summer dinner featuring the fresh produce from Kimball Fruit Farm. Kimball Fruit Farm is a third generation family run farm owned and operated by Carol and Marie Hills out in Pepperell.
During the reception in the dining room before the dinner, guests mingled and enjoyed gazpacho shooters ane french breakfast radish tea sandwiches with goat butter and smoked sea salt. Not pictured was the summer squash flatbread with chevre and heirloom tomatoes and the signature drink, “The Postmaster” that had vodka, blueberry, elderflower and moscato.
Guests were treated to a YouTube video/slideshow that Chris put together, showcasing the farm. Watch the video here. The first course was a peekytoe crab and peach salad with nuac cham pickled vegetables. The peaches were sliced impossibly thing and the purple green beans added some great color to the dish. The sweetness of the peaches, the tartness from the pickled vegetables and the saltiness of the crab was a winning combination for me. The wine pairing: Gruner Veltliner, Lremstal, Austria – Nigl, Freiheit 2013.
Second Course: Cod, Lobster and Finnan Haddie Griddle Cake with mexican street corn salsa. Wine pairing: Chardonnay, Langhe, Italy – Elio Grasso, Educato 2012. The cod was salted and roasted and the haddie was smoked and salted in house. The dish had very minimal bread crumbs and it was pan roasted with a sherry aioli. The corn for the dish was picked earlier in the day and it was so sweet and delicious. This was definitely a dish that makes you think of summer!
Third Course: Grilled Bacon Brined Heritage Pork with poached nectarine, mascarpone – great hill bleu melt and a raspberry gastrique. Wine pairing: Merlot/Cabernet Franc, Washington – Owen Roe, Yakmia Valley Red 2011. They slow cold smoke the pork and then grill each piece to order – the meat stays tender from the brine. The nectarines were poached with star anise and OJ and there was a habanero honey drizzle on top. Chef mentioned that he didn’t like to do blue cheese straight, this his decision to cut it with the mascarpone cheese.
The final course, dessert, was a Taza chocolate pave with plum jam, farm berries and cinnamon cream. Wine pairing: 10 year Tawny Port, Portugal – Kopke. The pave was dense, making it a perfect pairing with the fresh berries. A really lovely way to end the meal.
Disclaimer: Post 390 provided me a complimentary dinner, all opinions are my own.
406 Stuart Street, Boston, MA
Kimball Fruit Farm
Open 7 days, 9 am to 7 pm, June through Thanksgiving
184 Hollis Street (Rt. 122), Pepperell, MA (on Hollis, NH border)
Monday night I attended a tequila dinner at Waban Kitchen, owned and operated by Chef Jeff Fournier. Fournier previously worked at the Linwood Grill, Locke Ober, Excelsior, The Metropolitan Club, and Sophia’s. In 1996 he opened up his first restaurant, 51 Lincoln which has won numerous awards over the years.
Waban Kitchen is located right next to my favorite shoe repair guy that I have been going to for years – little did I know that this gem was just a few doors down. Waban Kitchen in conveniently located just steps away from the Waban stop on the green line.
Not only is Fournier a talented chef, but he is also an artist. Many of his pieces are displayed at Waban Kitchen. He has a website that has not been formally launched yet, but there are a few pieces up for sale: www.jeffreyfournier.com I asked him when he sleeps, and he just laughs.
All the tequilas tonight are made with 100% blue agave – other tequilas, “mixto”, are when 51% of the sugar comes from agave and the rest is made with sugar from another source. Silver tequila is aged up to 59 days as opposed to anejo that has been aged up to a year in small oak barrels or extra anejo that has been aged 3 years + in oak barrels. Tim Murphy is on hand to school us on the tequila choices.
The margarita is paired with a three citrus shrimp and squid ceviche with cilantro, chili, tomato, cucumber and plantain chips. Ceviche is a dish made up of raw seafood that is cured in citrus juices. This dish was made with lemon, lime and orange juice. It was really tasty – bright and acidic with clean and fresh flavors.
The mezcal is paired with traditional chicharrones, a hearts of palm salad with carrot, red cabbage, jicama, toasted coriander and Mexicana crema. Chicharrones are traditionally made by marinating the pork belly skin on and then frying it. The resulting texture is usually quite tough. Fournier’s version is quite the opposite. They braised the pork belly and fried it with a saison mix. The salad was tart and acidic, really nicely balancing the saltiness and the crisp texture of the pork belly. The Mexicana Crema, similar to sour cream, added a nice creamy texture to the dish.
This was paired with the chicken sancocho, potatoes, tomato, cumin, fried yuca and cilantro. Sancocho is a broth based dish that Fournier also likes to cook for family meals in the kitchen.There was a very generous portion of chicken in the dish which balanced out the salty tomato based soup.
The resposado has been pared with the vaca frita, refried pinto beans, rice and salsa verde. The beans have been prepared by Stephen Hoddinott, Chef de Cuisine at Waban Kitchen. He and Chef Fournier have been working together for years now – they are a great pair and work really well together. Vaca Frita is traditionally a fried skirt steak or other tough piece of meat. This dish was tenderized top round marinated with raw garlic, tomato and dredged in oil and then a mixture of corn starch and semolina. At this point, I was stuffed to the gills. I wanted to power through this, but had to take half of it home!
And finally, for dessert, a tres leches cake with grilled pineapple and smoked pepita salt. This was paired with a herradura tequila anejo. A really wonderful dessert traditionally made by whipping egg whites and folding in the yolks and flour. The condensed milk and cream are poured over the cake while it is still warm to retain the moisture in the cake. It was the perfect dessert – light, creamy, a little sweet mixed with a little salt and smoke (from the grilled pineapple).
The service was excellent, the servers paid attention to detail and were very personable. The meal had a good flow to it and everything went smoothly.
Disclaimer: My dinner was provided compliments of Waban Kitchen, all opinions are my own.
1649 Beacon Street, Waban, MA
Totto Ramen is a small shop on Brighton Ave., sandwiched between a hair salon and Tavern on the Square. There’s no place to wait inside, so we wait on the street – looking at signs that say no takeout, no delivery and cash only. Standing out on the street brings back memories of when Tavern on the Square used to be the Kells…
We order on extra spicy ramen ($11) with a side of extra noodles (no brainer) and added in some corn. Super filling, we almost didn’t finish it all. We also had the Paitan Ramen ($9.75) with chicken in chicken broth. The service was good and we would definitely go back again!
169 Brighton Ave., Allston, MA
We were invited to a wedding of an old friend and headed out to Keystone, CO over the July 4th weekend. If you’ll remember, we were expecting a hurricane. Our jetBlue flight was delayed leaving, and with the altered flight plan to avoid the storm, it was a long night. Once we arrived at the airport it was an almost 2 hour drive to the hotel. We ended up getting in around 4am EST (if you think these photos are blurry, you should have seen what my eyes looked like). Having worked all day, it made for a long night. Keystone Resort covers a large stretch of highway and there are small village areas along the road. We stayed in River Run as it was closest to all of the wedding festivities. The guests of the wedding stayed in all different areas which was surprising. We stayed in Red Hawk, just steps from the gondola that would take us up to the site of the ceremony and reception. They have underground parking and laundry on every floor. We chose the 1 bedroom style condo – they also have a studio option with a Murphy bed.
Each morning we headed over to the main hotel in Lakeside village for breakfast. There is ample complimentary parking across the highway for people who don’t want to pay for the valet with an underground walkway to get to the hotel. The views at the hotel are amazing. There is a deli where you can grab a quick egg sandwich for breakfast or a sit down restaurant where you can have a leisurely meal by the lake.
155 River Course Dr., Keystone, CO
Clarissa from Raaka chocolate stopped by Cocoanuts mid July for a sampling event. Mark and I stopped by before heading out to our Wine and Cheese class. Raaka was founded by Ryan Cheney and Nate Hodge who are based out of Brooklyn, NY.
Their chocolate is certified organic, certified fair trade, soy free, nut free, vegan, and almost all of the bars are gluten-free. We tried flavors like porter coconut milk and vanilla, all equally delicious with amazing flavor profiles.
28 Parmenter Street, Boston, MA (North End)
See Raaka’s website here: http://www.raakachocolate.com/
Meredith and I headed over to the Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Summer Book Tour event at Miele Showroom in Wellesley, MA back in June. Jeni Britton Bauer has been making ice cream for over 2 decades. Based out of Columbus, OH, Britton Bauer makes ice cream with grass-grazed milk, local produce, American bean-to-bar chocolate and select ingredients from around the world, including exquisite Fair-Trade-Certified African vanilla and Dutch cocoa. Her second cookbook, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts, came out in May – 2 years after her wildly popular, New York Times Best Selling first cookbook, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts made its debut.
Jeni is just so lovely. She talked about her career while she sauteed peaches and berries in butter and white wine. The dessert was served with manchego ice cream. Certainly a savory ice cream, it took a few bites to get accustomed to the flavor, but it was really quite nice (not sure I would sit on the couch and eat a whole pint of it, like I would say, with vanilla, but it paired really well with the dessert).
Jeni’s comes in delicious flavors like goat cheese with red cherries, queen city cayenne, roasted strawberry buttermilk, cherries kickapoo, pistachio & honey, saison with sunflower seeds and golden flax, wiskey and pecans, wildberry lavender and yazoo sue with rosemary bar nuts.
You can only get those great playing card style recipe cards if you go to a Jeni’s event. Jeni spent time after the event chatting with audience members and signing copies of her cookbook. A really lovely evening!
Check out Jeni’s website here.
Miele Showroom 555 Washington St, Wellesley, MA. See their website here.
Tags: ice cream
What’s your favorite kind of ice cream?
22 Luscombe Road, Woods Hole, MA
Organic Living Superfoods started in 2012 by Bruce Namenson (former partner/owner of the Prana Café) and Craig Singer, a former criminal attorney. I met Craig at a Good Ones party and we decided to meet up at Liquid Art House so that he could tell me a bit more about his products. I forewarned him that I generally don’t like putting anything healthy into my body…so I wasn’t sure I was going to like this stuff. That being said, I went in with an open mind. Craig said to me, “just try it, you’ll like it”. While I can’t say that I will ever crave healthy food snacks, these snacks were quite good for what they are (and that’s a glowing recommendation for this gal).
So Craig eases me into the snacks by starting off with the chocolate covered coconut. Manageable. Familiar. The coconut chunks are dehydrated and then covered in dark chocolate, it tastes kind of like a Mounds bar.
From the website:
“Just Like Apple Pie Without the Crust” Apples benefit your health by carrying a rich amount of pectin which acts as an antioxidant against damage caused by cholesterol in the blood. A flavanoid found only in apples called phloridzin may protect post-menopausal women from osteoporosis & may increase bone density, Apples may also protect the brain from free radicals that may lead to Alzheimer’s disease, they can help lower cholesterol & prevent colon cancer, & are high in fiber. We lightly season our apples with pure cinnamon, a warming spice that has anti-microbial properties & can help prevent blood sugar spikes. Trust us- these apples are addictingly delicious.
From the website:
Macadamia nuts are a high energy food and are considered to be the “world’s most delicious nut”. They are rich in the important B-complex vitamins which are vital for metabolic functions. They also contain small amounts of vitamin A and vitamin E, and are excellent sources of minerals . Macadamias are high in healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, and they help manage cholesterol levels by increasing the production of protective high density lipoproteins (HDL) while suppressing the unhealthy low density lipoproteins (LDL). This makes them helpful with reducing the risks of heart diseases, stroke, and anti-inflammatory diseases. The nuts themselves also contain no cholesterol either. Macadamia nuts are good source of phytonutrients or phytochemicals which help slow down the aging process, promote the growth of new cells and tissues, and help reduce the possibilities of certain types of cancer like breast, cervical, gastrointestinal, lung, stomach and prostate cancer. Furthermore, macadamia nuts help promote healthy bone and teeth formation, regulate the body’s fluid balance, boost the immune system, enhance the nervous system, promotes healthy skin, and can even provide relief for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Coconut helps to improve heart and brain health with it’s short chain and medium chain fatty acids (which have no negative effect on cholesterol ratios unlike long-chain fatty acids which make up nearly 98% of all fatty acids consumed). Coconut is also good at reducing sweet cravings due to this fiber and its healthy fats. In addition, coconut helps to improve digestion (and reduce inflammation and other symptoms of digestive issues) by supporting the proper absorption of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
Organic raw dried rambutan taste like extra sweet raisins – or raisins and honey. The texture isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Check out what these fruits look like before they are dehydrated!
Rambutan has the flavor alchemy of a pear and a grape but not as sweet and is indigenous to Malaysia. The fruit has been used in traditional medicine in Southeast Asia for hundreds of years. Rambutan is high in vitamin C, helping to absorb minerals and protecting the body from free radicals. One of the main components of Rambutan is gallic acid which behaves like a free radical scavenger that protects the body from oxidative damage and particularly helpful in fighting cancer. The fruit contains moderate amounts of copper (necessary for the creation of red and white blood cells), manganese (essential to produce active enzymes), phosphorous, iron and calcium.
From the website:
Although thought to have originated in South America, pineapples were first discovered by Europeans in 1493 on the Caribbean island now known as Guadalupe. It’s low in calories, yet a great source of several unique health promoting vitamins, minerals, and other compounds essential for optimum health. They’re also an excellent source of vitamin C (which boosts immunity and neutralizes harmful free radicals) and contain bromelain which is an enzyme that digests food by breaking down protein. Bromelain has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-clotting, anti-cancer, and digestive benefits. In addition, pineapples contain many antioxidants which provide immune support, protection against inflammation and oxidative stress, and have even been show to help protect against macular degeneration.
From the website:
Our mango slices are dehydrated at low-temperatures to maintain all vitamins and minerals, but not dehydrated to the extent that they’re completely dried. By leaving them a little bit hydrated, the slices stay soft and plenty chewy. Mangoes are high in antioxidants which protect against cancer (especially colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers) and oxidative stress on the body. Mangoes help lower cholesterol with it’s high levels of dietary fiber, pectin and vitamin C, they help clear the skin, they promote good eye health (good source of vitamin A), they alkalize the entire body, and they boost the immune system (good source of vitamin C). Mangoes also contain 25 different types of carotenoids which are powerful antioxidants that fight inflammation, enhance the immune system, and help prevent some forms of cancer and heart disease. They even contain enzymes that break down protein, and they also help with digestion and elimination too.
From the website:
Strawberries are certifiably a superfood with some of the highest antioxidant values of any fruit. Given their unique combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, they excel in three major categories: cardiovascular support and prevention of cardiovascular diseases, improved regulation of blood sugar with decreased risk of type-2 diabetes, and prevention of certain types of cancers including breast, cervical, colon, and esophageal. Strawberries are low in calories and fats while being a rich source of health-promoting vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and fiber – all of which are essential for optimal health. With its high levels of vitamin C, strawberries help boost the immune system, counter inflammation, and defend against harmful free radicals and oxidative stress. Strawberries are also rich in B-complex vitamins which help the body metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and protein. Strawberries contain phenols,which gives the strawberry its rich red color and its great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They also contain good amounts of minerals like manganese (helps maintain healthy eyes), potassium (helps with controlling heart rate and blood pressure), iron and copper (required for producing red blood cells), and iodine (important for thyroid function).
Craig has never eaten at Liquid Art House, so I make some suggestions! We sat in the cocktail area on the couches and started with the Lithuanian Farmer’s Cheese Dumplings ($16) with brussels sprout, aged gouda, asian pear, grain mustard. The dumplings are light as air, the asian pear gives a nice sweetness to the dish that compliments the creamy saltiness of the sauce.
And we have the Flammkuchen ($15) a flat bread with bacon, wild mushroom, onion, rocket. Really nice flavors melding together here and the dish is quite light. Craig also gets the burger that I had been raving about. See my previous review here.
So if you’re looking to mix up your snack routine, check out Organic Living Superfoods. They are sold at stores around town but you can get a better deal if you order them online!
Organic Living Superfoods
Liquid Art House
100 Arlington Street, Boston, MA