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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

IMG_1330Bostonia Public House took over the space that was formerly Kitty O’Shea’s (2 floors) and has been open since April – packing the house both at lunch time and after work.

IMG_1331The restaurant has a really great vibe, and the decor is fabulous – from the dark wood to the mustard colored seats to the amazing bar. HGTV’s Taniya Nayak designed the space. The team and I took Mark out to celebrate his upcoming wedding.

IMG_1333We started with the pickle pot ($5) that was lip puckering good. Love the presentation.

IMG_1334Most of the team had the burger, which did look delicious. I had the housemade ricotta dumplings ($22) that came with shrimp, peas, carrots and a crispy prosciutto cracker. A great dish, really nice bright flavors – very summery. With lunch entrees ranging between $16 and $29, the prices are a bit steep for lunch, but the food was delicious and Mark was happy.

IMG_1341They offer 38 wines by the glass (check out how cool that is!) and live music in the evenings. They are open late night, 11:30am – 2am daily.

Bostonia Public House
131 State Street, Boston, MA
http://bostoniapublichouse.com

Make a reservation with Open Table

Bostonia Public House on Urbanspoon

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IMG_2218 Roosters is a new barber shop in the South End that has been open a little over two months. I was invited to their official kick off party last week!

IMG_2229Owner Tyson White with the amazing Janet Wu from 7 News.

IMG_2234Roosters is a classic American barbershop that blends modern men’s grooming techniques with classic barbershop elements.

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For product, Roosters carries the Aveda men’s line.

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Roosters Club Cut: Haircut and Wash with a Hot-Towel $38

Signature 7 Step Facial Shave: Straight-Razor Shave with Hot-Towel $38

Gentlemen’s Choice: Club Cut and Signature 7 Step Facial Shave $65

Professional Hero Cut: Club Cut for Military, Police, Fire and EMS $30

Young Man’s Cut: Club Cut for those 12 and under $30

Headshave: Close, professional head shave $38

Neck Trim: FREE

Beard Trim: Detailed edging and grooming $18

Hi-Lighting: Subtle color treatment $45

Camouflage: Natural-looking color blends grey away $35

IMG_2232Local business owner Pete Dziedzic, of Skoah (South End, Back Bay and Chestnut Hill) won a raffle prize!

IMG_2240CBH Communications intern, Kasjah Scarlett (right) and Mikey Janey (left), freelance photographer and intern at Society Original Products.

IMG_2203The talented Jeremy Kean, of Whisk, was providing light bites for the evening.

IMG_2201Smoked tomato toasts.

IMG_2230Mushroom arancini.

IMG_2231The pork cheek steam buns were amazing!

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Peroni beer was at the event, as well as Deep Eddy vodka. Really great party with a fun crowd!

Stop in for a haircut and/or a shave today!

Roosters

518 Tremont Street, Boston, MA

http://www.roostersboston.com/

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IMG_2282SoonSpoon and Kitchensurfing teamed up to host an Indonesian Pop Up dinner on Saturday night. Dishes were prepared by chef Retno Pratiwi and beer pairings were provided by Gabe Bellegard Bastos, beer writer for Eater. Chef Retno’s company is Kaki Lima. She describes where the name came from in the Kitchensurfing website:

Kaki Lima literally means “Five Legs,” a reference to the two feet and three wheels that make up the traditional, and moveable, street food stalls popular in Java. Kaki Lima roam the streets, the vendors calling out their singular specialties for all to hear. If they find a customer, they stop and start cooking. In my opinion, it’s the most fun way to eat. So like the Kaki Lima of my hometown Jakarta, I will come and cook for you!

The weather looked as though it might be a little iffy…but it held out, and we were able to have welcome drinks and light bites out on the roof deck.

IMG_2280Chef had prepared some delicious lemongrass iced tea.

IMG_2278We served shrimp with spicy pineapple as we greeted guests.

IMG_2290The menu called for 5 beers, but SoonSpoon added an additional welcome beer at the last minute. We started off with the Oude Gueuze Tilquin à L’Ancienne.

IMG_2264Kitchensurfing generously gave all the diners a $50 off coupon.

IMG_2255Here are the beers in order for the evening.

IMG_2275Chef Retno Pratiwi and her husband/sous chef Peter Gelling. Retno and Peter met overseas when Peter was writing for a major newspaper, she helped translate for him and helped with logistics. He joked that now that they are back in the states, the roles are reversed. Peter and Retno couldn’t have been nicer! It was a real pleasure having them cook for us!

IMG_2315The first course was Bubur Ayam: savory rice porrige with chicken, crispy soybeans and sweet soy sauce. Retno said that this is a dish you would typically eat for breakfast.

IMG_2317This was a great starter dish – sweet and salty, smooth and crunchy…yum! This was paired with the De la Senne Crushable Saison.

IMG_2288Second course was the Combro: grated cassave filled with spicy sambal tempe and deep fried. These were delicious, and not too spicy at all!

IMG_2291This course was paired with the Andechser Weissbier Hell.

IMG_2335Next course was the Urap: spicy vegetable salad topped with coconut – Retno’s mom’s recipe. This was served with the Anderson Valley Gose.

IMG_2347The next dishes were served together. Above is the Nasi Campur Kuning: aromatic yellow rice.

IMG_2351Sate Lilit Ayam: skewers of minced chicken with lemongrass and coconut.

IMG_2342Kering Tempe: crispy, sweet and spicy tempe. So delicious, and again, not too spicy – the spice was very well balanced.

IMG_2343A cucumber and onion salad.

IMG_2354Telur Balado: fried hard boiled eggs with a fiery hot sambal. All these dishes were paired with the Firestone Walker Double Jack.

IMG_2359For dessert we had Krim Mangga Ketan Item: mango coconut cream with sweet black rice. I think this was my favorite part of the meal. I wasn’t sure if I would like the mango, but it was smooth and sweet, simple and elegant. This was paired with the De Dolle Oerbier.

How do you find out about pop ups around town?

Missed this event? SoonSpoon’s next event is June 22nd. See the Eventbrite page here.

Kitchensurfing: https://www.kitchensurfing.com/boston

SoonSpoon: http://www.soonspoon.com/

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IMG_2193Every year in June, Langham hotels around the world celebrate the anniversary of Europe’s first grand luxury hotel, which opened in 1865. This year, the Langham Boston invited me to join them for “Tiffin at the Langham” afternoon tea, celebrating their 149th anniversary.Tea is served in The Reserve, a lounge in the lobby, that has been newly renovated. It looks like it is a set from Mad Men with the bold patterns, mirrors and gold bar.

They have a lovely selection of tea in the following flavors:

The Langham tea blends
The Langham breakfast, Palm Court exotic, Silk road or English flower
***
Harney & Sons teas
White tea, White peach, Green tea
Japanese sencha
Lung ching, Jasmine dragon pearl, Tropical green, Pomegranate oolong, Black tea, Darjeeling
English breakfast, Earl grey, supreme, Boston, Pu’erh, Lapsang souchong
*
Decaffeinated earl grey, Herbal infusions, Chamomile, Peppermint, Mint verbena

IMG_2194The tea sandwiches included the following:

House smoked salmon mousseline on Boston brown bread
Chicken, tomato and spring onion salad on sour dough bread
Pink grapefruit crab and dill salad in a phyllo tart
English cucumber and pimento, cheese brioche

IMG_2196They served traditional cream scones with Devonshire clotted cream, strawberry jam and lemon curd.

IMG_2199For dessert, a pink almond macaron pop.

IMG_2198Valrhona chocolate dipped strawberry, peppermint buttercream chocolate cupcake, raspberry mousse tartlet.

Disclosure: The Langham provided me with complimentary tea service for me and a guest.

The Reserve at the Langham

250 Franklin Street

Boston, MA

Visit their website here and make a reservation with Open Table here.

Reserve at the Langham, Boston on Urbanspoon

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otagiri_pussywillow_mug_P0000074103S0014T2Most of my early food memories are associated with my dad. When I was growing up, he used to play basketball on Sundays, but on the weeks that he didn’t play, he and I would get up early – while everyone else slept in, and have breakfast together. We would sit on the porch the weather was nice, but most times at our dining room table. We used to have these mugs (which my mom has since given away), I would stir in my dad’s coffeemate into his coffee and he would butter his bagel – butter on top, never inside. I took the comics, he took the rest of the paper. We would sit and enjoy the quiet Sunday morning together.

My dad isn’t what you would call a healthy eater, but if you see him you’d never know, he probably only has about 5% body fat. When I was a kid, he would sit in the kitchen before bed, have a tall glass of milk and a sleeve of oreo cookies. While he doesn’t do that anymore, our family doctor still has to remind him every year that brownies are not a major food group. Even though he has been known to finish off a bag of burgers from Burger King, he works out like crazy – I wish I inherited his love for working out, because I certainly inherited the bad eating habits. My dad used to run at night when he came home from work. Sometimes I used to ride my bike alongside…and every time, he would have to help push me and my pink banana seat bike up our hill because I could never make it. I used to play soccer as a kid, but quickly realized that I was only in it for the oranges at halftime.

As I grew up, going to the market on Sundays was our thing. We would hop into his green Volkswagon Cabriolet and drive to Sudbury Farms. We would stop at the deli counter to get cold cuts for the week and the bakery for a fresh loaf of bread. The bread never made it home though, I would rip out the insides and eat it on the way home.

My dad used to work at night, so my mom would usually make us Kraft mac and cheese, take us out for pizza and if we were lucky, McDonalds. So on the weekends, my dad cooked. Some of his specialties include: homemade pasta, ricotta gnocchi, and enchiladas. You can see how I started my love of carbohydrates.

My grandmother, his mother, was a baker. Every year at Thanksgiving we would make an apple pie together using her recipe. Since then, I have tweaked the recipe (there was never enough crust) and we now have apple pie bake-offs at the holiday time. Of course I think mine are always better (read: extra crust – it’s the best part, and apples that are cut into small pieces) but he insists his are classic (read: thin crust with holes because there wasn’t enough to stretch over the top and huge slices of apples). Since it’s father’s day I guess we can call it a draw…be we all know which pie reigns supreme.

Happy Father’s Day dad – and just for today, you can consider brownies a major food group! xoxo

 

IMG_1325Mark is getting married!! Instead of a typical shower at work, I decided to do something a little different…a little more…Mark. We had about 25 people after work gather together for a craft beer tasting led by…yours truly. What’s odd about this is that I know very little about beer, let alone craft beer. So I took Mark’s Untapped profile to Marty’s and asked them to make some suggestions based on the beers that he rated the highest (so sneaky right?) I jumped on Beer Advocate and Google and managed to piece together a PowerPoint presentation (we were at work after all!) Here’s what I learned: Go To IPA by Stone Brewing Company, located in Escondido, CA is 4.5% APV and is an American IPA. The beer is very hoppy, and tends to be dry and bitter. It is made with the “hop bursting” technique, where all or most of the bitterness comes from late hop additions at the end of the boil instead of the traditional approach where bitterness comes from earlier additions at the start of the boil.

IMG_1326Workers Comp by Two Roads Brewing Company, located in Stratford, CT is 4.8% ABV and is  a Saison Style beer. Saison beers are traditionally crewed in the winter, have a complex style, and have a fruity aroma and flavor. It has a earthy yeast tone with a mild tartness – a lot of spice with  medium bitterness. It is brewed with a variety of grains including barley, wheat, oats and rye.

IMG_1321Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV is made by St. Bernardus Abt 12, located in Belgium and is 10% APV.  It is a quadrupel Belgian style ale which is a bolder flavor compared to the dubbel and tripel sister styles. It is a full bodied beer with a malty palate and is sweet with little bitterness. The flavor is complex and has a bittersweet finish with a hoppy bite. It has been seen as one of the best beers in the world. It was one of the original recipes from the days of license brewing for the Trappist monks of Westvleteren.

IMG_1324Hell of High Watermelon, made by 21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco, CA is 4.9% APV and is a fruit beer. It is brewed with real watermelon and has a crisp, dry flavor. It is a summer, seasonal beer that starts by being brewed as a classic American wheat beer and then undergoes a traditional secondary fermentation using fresh watermelon.

IMG_1346Mark was (mostly) surprised and opened gifts while we celebrated.

IMG_1345Mei Mei Street Kitchen catered the shower! Above is the magical kale salad: local kale, Narragansett Creamery sea salt feta, garlic panko breadcrumbs, tossed in a rice wine vinaigrette. Everyone loved this dish, it was gone in about 3.2 seconds. They also offer the salad on their truck and at their brick and mortar restaurant.

IMG_1347Pierogi dumplings: fried hand-rolled dumplings filled with Schartner Farm russet potatoes, local greens & Cabot cheddar cheese. Served with pickles and soy aioli. While I like their traditional dumplings, I thought these were a great twist – such great flavors!

IMG_1348Hummus with Clear Flour crostini.

IMG_1349Sweet corn fritters: local cornmeal batter, Schartner Farms sweet corn, masa, served with Sriracha aioli. These were such a crowd pleaser! Stay tuned for a post about the wedding!

Mei Mei Street Kitchen

506 Park Drive

Boston, MA

http://meimeiboston.com

Mei Mei Street Kitchen Food Truck on Urbanspoon

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IMG_1488A few months ago, when I attended a Good Ones party (see previous post), I ran into someone from my home town (small world). Pamela invited me to the photo shoot for her company, Petite Mort, at the Codman Estate.  Jennifer Brooke, co founder of The Good Ones, is modeling a beautiful fox piece.

IMG_1491Petite Mort is an amazing company that provides couture fur without the guilt. From the Facebook page, “All our animals are wild and free, have died accidentally, and contribute to the local New England ecosystem as indigenous species. We legally certify this the entire way through our creation process and each bespoke fur piece is individually labelled as one of a kind, hand made in the USA by artisans, and only of the highest caliber winter fur.

IMG_1494Check out the talented Erik Patton doing what he does best.

IMG_1496Had such a fun evening being around such positive, talented people.

IMG_1501Make up was done by the talented Dana Dodson Teahan.

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The website is coming soon, where you will be able to see the professional photos: http://lapetite-mort.com/

In the meantime, check out their Facebook page.

 

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IMG_2104Happy National Jerk Day! The folks over at Krave sent me over some samples to try. I have to admit that I wasn’t a big fan of jerky…I always thought, it’s tough… and leathery, just wasn’t for me. Krave has changed my mind about jerky! Krave is nitrate and hormone free. There are no artificial flavors and it is gluten free. Krave is 97% fat free and the meat is double marinated.

IMG_2111Krave comes in a variety of flavors: black cherry barbecue, chili lime, lemon garlic, grilled sweet teriyaki, basil citrus, garlic chili pepper, pineapple orange and sweet chipotle.

Here are some great pairing choices for the chili lime flavor:

  • Beer
  • Corona, Pilsner, IPA
  • Wine
  • Brunello di Montalcino Super Tuscan, Chardonnay
  • Spirits
  • Tequila!

IMG_2113Pairings for the grilled sweet teriyaki flavor:

  • Beer
  • Filtered & Unfiltered Wheat Ale, Weiss, Witbier, Weizen Bock
  • Wine
  • Merlot, Chinon (France), Pinot Noir, Beaujolais
  • Spirits
  • Bourbon, Scotch (lighter styles)

IMG_2114Pairings for the basil citrus flavor:

  • Beer
  • Marzen, Bock, Pale Lager, Amber Lager, Pilsner, Dunkel/Dark Lager
  • Wine
  • Sauvignon Blanc, Non Reserva Chianti, Moscato, Ice Wines
  • Spirits
  • Citrus Vodka, Gin (lighter style), Reposado Tequila

IMG_2117Pairings for the lemon garlic flavor:

  • Beer
  • IPA
  • Wine
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Spirits
  • Gin

IMG_2118Check out the Krave website for great recipes. The teriyaki had a very strong smell, but the taste was sweet and mild. The chili lime had a little bit of a kick to it that I really liked – probably my favorite of the bunch. I was very surprised at the texture – it wasn’t tough at all, quite the opposite in fact. Let Krave change your mind about jerky!!

Check out their website: https://www.kravejerky.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kravejerky
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KraveJerky (@kravejerky)
Instagram: http://instagram.com/kravejerky (@kravejerky)
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kravejerky

IMG_3391I love boxes of  chocolates. Sounds cliche, but I’m not talking about Russell Stover here,  I’m talking high quality chocolate from Beacon Hill Chocolates.

IMG_3392I received these as a gift – they are equally good looking as they were delicious. You can taste the quality ingredients used to make these chocolates – these would make a great gift for any occasion.

IMG_3393Paradis: Milk chocolate gianduja topped with crunchy hazelnut pieces. This piece was my favorite in the box. I love the mix of smooth chocolate with crunchy pieces.

IMG_3397A soft caramel dipped in chocolate. The caramel was buttery and smooth.

IMG_3398Piccolo: Classic milk gianduja wrapped inside a festive cone with a sprinkle of sugar.

IMG_3399This was solid milk chocolate with almonds I believe.

IMG_3400Prunelle: hazelnut buttercream, topped with a hazelnut and dipped in milk chocolate.

IMG_3404Chocolate brownie was probably my least favorite of the box.

IMG_3405Another salted caramel.

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IMG_3407Honeycomb: French dark chocolate ganache infused with delicate honey inside a dark chocolate shell with honeycomb design. Honey sweetened chocolate seems to be all the rage these days.

What is your favorite type of chocolate?

Beacon Hill Chocolates

91 Charles Street, Boston, MA

www.beaconhillchocolates.com

Beacon Hill Chocolates on Urbanspoon

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IMG_2141Week 2 of The Good Ones Power Hour, where women come to network and make lasting friendships. See last week’s event here.

IMG_2142We headed over to the WeWork South Station, located at 745 Atlantic Ave. Check out the cool wall art in the lobby.

IMG_2154As I had mentioned in my previous post, all WeWork spaces have common threads, but each has their own distinct personalities. The conference rooms here are inspired by nature – love these glass doors!

IMG_2155All the offices have glass walls to make the space feel open and bright. I love this little meeting nook.

IMG_2158The sign at the reception desk.

IMG_2159The elevator bank makes a statement!

IMG_2146How amazing is this conference room table? Swings!! I’m pretty sure I would never get any work done here!

IMG_2160This weeks theme was nautical inspired outfits! Ariana Zadek Morris from Monster.com and Jennifer Brooke, co-founder of The Good Ones.

IMG_2152Ak Maral (Designer and Entrepreneur – Akmaral Design); Kimberly Giardino (Actress/Model with The Good Ones); Melissa Choi (Entrepreneur and Educator at Harvard).

IMG_2143Motto sparkling matcha tea was at the event, man is this stuff good!

IMG_2145Jeff Venuti, field marketing manager for Hint Water was there with samples of their new flavors.

IMG_2164Delicious cocktails courtesy of Deep Eddy vodka.

IMG_2149Organic Bath Co. was at the event with their Stress Less lavender sugar scrub and their naked body scrub. The 11oz scrubs retail for $27 and for every purchase made, Organic Bath Co. will donate to 1% for the Planet and other charitable organizations.

IMG_2173And Cocomama Foods was sampling their new line, Crunched Out. It comes in two tasty flavors, vanilla cinnamon and fudgy chocolate. The clusters are made from 7 ancient grains and the best part is, it’s gluten free!

IMG_2179Have a closer look at those amazing clusters!

Want to attend the next Good Ones networking event? It’s Tuesday, June 17th from 6pm-7:30pm. Email Carolyn for an invite to the party: Carolyn@TheGoodOnesBoston.com.

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