I was invited to Serenade Chocolatier to sample their new dark and stormy truffle. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the store, it’s located in Brookline Village, next to Baja Betty’s and the Village Smokehouse.
The service couldn’t have been better, Nur was friendly and attentive, just lovely. In the end we pick up solid milk and dark (bottom), 3 dark and stormy truffles (top right), mocha (top left), coffee cream (fan), salted caramels (under fan), cashew cluster (under salted caramel), champagne truffle (right), peanut butter cup (above solid dark) and a walnut. We know that these will be a huge hit! So stop by and pick up a hostess gift, or some special chocolates for Thanksgiving (or any occasion) today! In addition to chocolates, they also serve hand dipped ice cream bars, I’m licking my lips as we speak and can’t wait to go back and try one!
See their full menu here.
5 Harvard Ave, Brookline Village, MA
We were at the Christmas Craft Festival this weekend. The Gingerbread House competition was judged on Friday and they were sold off. All proceeds went to the Housing Families charity.
Empire Restaurant and Lounge’s house.
Mooo Restaurant’s house, don’t you love the glass windows? And the bears on the roof? Love it.
Ginger Betty’s Bakery -Team Up for Peace (Best in Show winner)
Sara from Kickass did an awesome job with the cupcakes, she put custom decorations, with our choice of quotes, on the cupcakes! We had vanilla and chocolate cupcakes with blue frosting, the cupcakes were SO fresh and really quite tasty and the icing was just sweet enough. They were a big hit at the office – so thanks Kickass!
378 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA
Located in The Garage in Harvard Square, Felipe’s will move out in March to the old Bertucci’s space when their lease is up. They will nearly double their size and offer beer and wine at their new location. Felipe’s is owned by Tom Brush, who owns the nearby Flat Patties. Tom’s daughter owns Crema Cafe which is also near by. Felipe Herrera helped establish Anna’s Taqueria before striking out on his own with Brush.
Felipe’s current location is a little tight on space. Service was quick and efficient – we were in and out in no time. How does it compare to Anna’s you ask? I think that they are pretty much neck and neck.
I love that at Felipe’s you can get a handful of corn on your burrito, at Anna’s, they don’t always have corn. The steak at Felipe’s is a bit more tender but the rice here is a little on the dry side. I dig the amount of choices that you have here as far as toppings go, but on a crowded night, I think having too many options can be a bad thing. Have you ever been to Anna’s and know what you want, and yet you get stuck behind someone who can’t decide what they want? It’s painful. They should seriously have one line for regulars and one side for newbies. I digress…Overall, for the price, Felipe’s was a good meal. My dining companion for the night actually preferred Felipe’s to Anna’s. Which is your favorite?
83 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA
Similar to Sweet Green, Bailey and Sage offers signature salads as well as the option to create your own. They are a little short staffed when we arrive, but the service is still pretty speedy.
I order the chef salad, $9.50, Romaine and iceberg lettuces, sliced all-natural turkey breast, smoked ham, Certified Angus rare roast beef, Swiss cheese, tomatoes, chopped onion, cucumber, chopped egg, and roasted red peppers with a choice of dressing.
The salad has all fresh ingredients and I like that you are able to watch them make your salad. The put all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and use what looks like a pizza cutter to chop your salad into bite size pieces. And even though it is a salad, it is very filling, I took the rest home and had it for dinner that night. Bailey and Sage has a cool vibe to it, and the service is quick and friendly, just what I am looking for when I am in a race to run out and get lunch. Good to know that they can make any of their salads into a wrap, they have specialty sandwiches and they also cater.
Bailey & Sage
103 State Street, Boston, MA
I went out to dinner with an old coworker for mine. She stopped by the office to check it out and then we headed into Faneuil Halll for a bite to eat at Hillstone. Hillstone is owned by the same group that owns Houston’s. It was hard to figure out where this place lands as far as food goes, is it a steak house? Probably not as there are far fewer steak options on the menu than I thought. Is it American cuisine? Well, there’s also a lot of asian inspired dishes….and some sushi… No matter. The bar is pretty packed when we arrive, lots of people watching the Sox game after work. They are still working off their “summer” menu – so we order the house made guacamole. Our waiter comes back and tells us that the guacamole is no longer on the menu. My friend rolls her eyes, as she is already disappointed for some reason because they don’t serve fountain soda here anymore. Our waiter is gracious and brings us over a spinach dip on the house.
I order the cheeseburger ($16) Fresh-ground chuck with cheddar, tomato, lettuce and onion on a toasted bun. There’s a little bit of a crunchy asian slaw on the bottom of the burger that you can’t see, but it gives the burger a nice crunch. The meat tastes delicious and there is something to be said about a simple cheeseburger – it just hit the spot. The meal was good over all, the server was great as he knew all the right things to placate my friend. The restaurant wasn’t super crowded, so we were able to stay and chat for as long as we wanted, our waiter didn’t rush us at all.
60 State St , Boston, MA
I was contacted by Cocozia to review their coconut water. They sent me a case in return for a post on Amazon. Here’s a little more about their product, “COCOZIA is fat-free and contains no processed ingredients of any kind. It’s 100% organic and it’s so good for you! COCOZIA contains fresh, pure water from inside a young green coconut. It’s a clear, naturally sweet liquid that has just 70 calories. Make COCOZIA your go-to answer when you want easy-to-drink hydration, coupled with a natural abundance of potassium and magnesium, as well as other electrolytes.“
I had never tried coconut water before, but have heard it’s all the rage. It helps with hangovers, it replenishes your electrolytes after a workout, sounds amazing right? I have to admit that coconut isn’t my favorite flavor, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The case arrives and we chill it for the best taste. Vitacoco comes with a screw top, which I kind of like the idea of you being able to reseal the bottle. Cocozia comes with a foil tear away top and a straw. Brings me back to my juice box days. Speaking of Vitacoco, I bought a box just for comparison. Vitacoco is much sweeter than Cocozia.
I poured it into a glass just to see what I was getting myself into. The water doesn’t have as strong of a coconut flavor as I thought it would. Personally, I don’t think coconut water is for me. I brought the rest of the case to work and had my coworkers weigh in. The coworkers thought that overall it wasn’t bad. They said that it was refreshing and sweet without the taste of unnatural sweeteners. People in my office, for the most part, seemed to like it.
“Epicurex LLC is an importer and distributor of exotic beverages, with three offices worldwide. Our specialty is bringing a taste of Asia to the rest of the world, and we are proud of producing only drinks of the highest quality, freshness, and authenticity. As we grow our product base, we promise to never lose sight of our mission: to provide only the best in all-natural, USDA organic products that taste great and contribute to a healthy lifestyle.“
Check out a recent article from Thrillist that ranks coconut waters.
My office is around the corner from the Brahmin on Stanhope Street. I wanted to give them a shout out because they have really been good to us over the years. We are moving our office and we will certainly miss having them close by. It is so convenient to leave your stuff at the office and walk across the street for a few drinks after work. We have done multiple events at the Brahmin, reserving the front area by the windows for our group. They make sure to take care of repeat customers and are very affordable for parties, so make sure to call them when you are booking your next event.
They have a lovely patio out front if the weather is nice, and it is tucked away a bit, which is also key. Inside, they have a room off to the right in the back that you can rent out that has a really warm ambiance.
Tuesday nights they have Kiss 108′s Rich Dimare singing Sinatra, his voice is so smooth. On Thursday nights they have American Idol finalist Erika Van Pelt singing solo. Other nights they have a killer DJ playing music, so there is always something fun going on here on any given night.
They have a great drink list and we love their apps. Our company favorites include: any of the pizzas, the tater tots, the fried pickles, and the buffalo chicken meatballs. Talk to their event director Jill or their manager Mike for top notch service.
33 Stanhope Street, Boston, MA
We ordered the Costolette di Agnello alla Griglia con Patate al Rosmarino ($39.50) Grilled lamb chop drizzled with tuscan olive oil served with rosemary flavored roasted potatoes. Really lovely presentation and the lamb was delicious.
The Tagliatelle alla Bolognese ($24.50) Tagliatelle pasta with Bolognese sauce had ribbon thin pasta with just the right amount of sauce. I wish that the sauce had a little more depth to it, but overall a good dish.
The Tagliolini al Limone con Granseola ed Asparagi Arrosto ($27.50) Thin tagliolini pasta in a lemon sauce with roasted asparagus tips and lump crab meat. Really nice flavors in this dish and the crab meat really stole the show. The service here was good, our waiter was attentive and knowledgeable. Our food was served promptly and someone was always close by if we needed anything. There was a mix of people dining tonight, some couples, a few tourists – we had the unfortunate luck of sitting right next to another table of 4 who was quite rowdy – a couple was taking the man’s parents out for dinner. Not only were they loud but I could hear the guy chewing and smacking his food all the way over where I was sitting. Good thing that we were almost done by the time they sat down, otherwise, it could have been a very long meal. While the food and service were good, I’m not sure that it would be worth a second trip here, there just wasn’t that “wow” factor.
145 West 53rd Street (between 6th and 7th)
New York, NY
Devra First of the Boston Globe just gave Ribelle a RAVE review, 4 stars in fact. Ribelle joins good company with Menton, as they are the only two restaurants that First has given all 4 stars to. We headed over early on Sunday night and we were pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to get a table.
Because we arrived early enough, we were able to do the 3 for $30 until 6:30pm menu. The restriction is that if one person at the table orders from this menu, everyone at the table has to. But that’s it, if you want three desserts, you can get three desserts for $30. Tempting, but I have to say that I worry about what the other diners will think if I get three corn ice creams.
The chicken wings with polenta and eggplant is served under a dusting of parmesan cheese. The dish was tasty, but I was surprised at how dry the meat was. While it was my least favorite dish of the night, it was still pretty darn tasty.
The carrots with hazelnuts, buckthorn berry jam and mustard seeds was amazing. The presentation along was spectacular. I loved all the flavors and textures in this dish. The buckthron berry jam was well paired with the hazelnuts and the mustard seeds gave the dish that zingy bite. This was the same size portion as if you were ordering off the full menu.
The canestri with spicy pork sausage, broccoli rabe and tomatoes. This is the same size as a half order of pasta. The dish was cooked perfectly al dente, and with so many great flavors, it was hard to tell what was the star of the show.
And of course the corn ice cream for dessert, I had been waiting for this all meal. Corn ice cream with pine nut and apple. The dish will blow your mind. There are hints of sweetness from the corn and the apple and then the spicy kick from the pepper and the crunch from the brittle.
1665 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA