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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

Tag Archives: beacon hill

Lend an Ear 5Last Sunday I met up with my friend Melissa at Sloane Merrill Gallery for a dinner prepared by Josh Lewin of Bread and Salt Hospitality. Lewin is the former Executive Chef of Beacon Hill Bistro, and his business partner, Katrina Jazayeri, was named by Zagat’s as one of Boston’s up and coming bartenders (Belly Wine Bar, Cuisine En Locale).

Lend an Ear 6Sloane Merrill is located on Charles Street in Beacon Hill. The multi level gallery was a great backdrop for tonight’s supper.

Lend an Ear 8Guests were greeted with a welcome drink, perfect on such a warm evening. Guests ate at tall cocktail style tables – and roamed the gallery browsing all of the great art.

Lend an Ear 4Lewin served us the famous popcorn that I was fortunate enough to have tried a few nights earlier at the SoonSpoon/Opus Affair movie night. It was seasoned with cheddar, sriracha and curry leaf ash.

Lend an Ear 3Melissa and I both loved the corn and coconut soup with shrimp and saffron. It was served cold and was so light and refreshing.

Lend an Ear 2Deviled eggs were made with corn aioli.

Lend an Ear 9The tandoori spiced squid tamale were delicious – I love a good tamale.

Lend an Ear 7Cornbread with cardamom and black pepper.

Lend an Ear 10Tacos with smoked lamb shank, corn salsa and mango bbq sauce with corn on the cob served with persian lime and sumac butter.

Lend an Ear 1The charred and raw corn salad was served with fennel lime and roasted garlic was one of the highlights of the night for me. It was light and summery, simple and yet flavorful and delicious.

Lend an Ear 11The special dessert for the evening was  a tumeric macaron with corn ganache. These were amazing, Katrina really outdid herself. They were so delicate and light, and bursting with flavor without being too overpowering.

Lend an Ear 12Lewin had a fun surprise for Garry, two special desserts and all the guests sang him happy birthday! He turned 65, but didn’t look it – sharply dressed in his searsucker and lobsters!

Sloane Merrill Gallery 75 Charles Street, Boston, MA


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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.


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

Beacon Hill Chocolates on Urbanspoon

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IMG_2038This past weekend it finally felt like summer!

IMG_2040We took a leisurely walk through the Boston Common on our way over to Beacon Hill to the Soon Spoon/Opus Affair Paint the Hill event. First stop the Sloane Merrill Gallery at 75 Charles Street to meet Conor, co-founder of Soon Spoon, and pick up our maps. 30 local artists were stationed around the Hill while Soon Spoon and Opus Affair were at three locations with pastries and coffee by Kate Holowchik, pastry chef at jm Curley/Bogie’s Place.

IMG_2043First stop 1 & 2 Mount Vernon Square (off River Street) where Kelly Carmody and Dave Poutre were painting. Travis, co-founder of Soon Spoon was also there with lemon poppy seed bars with a balsamic strawberry swirl. Super tasty. We huffed up Mount Vernon Street and worked off some calories from the lemon poppy seed bars…

IMG_2062Second stop was 55 Mount Vernon Street (Nichols House Museum) where Greg Horwitch and Vcevy Strekalovsky (above) were painting and Graham Wright, founder of Opus Affair, was there with our next dessert.

IMG_2068Carrot cake cheesecake with pickled pineapple.

IMG_2078The beginning of Greg’s painting.

IMG_2079Flowers at the Nichols House Museum.

IMG_2099And finally stop #3, 32 South Russell (Peter Faneuil House, back garden off of South Russell Street.) Chef Kate Holowchik was there with her bacon s’mores brownies. Sally Casper was in the courtyard painting.

IMG_2093Kate previously worked at Les Zygomates in the Leather District before taking the newly created pastry chef position at jm Curley. Did I mention that she didn’t use any butter in this recipe, just the bacon fat she rendered from the bacon on top of the brownie….yum!

Check out Soon Spoon’s next pop up dinner! They’re partnering with Kitchensurfing!

What: Indonesian Family Style Dinner

SoonSpoon and Kitchensurfing are teaming up to bring you a 5 course family style Indonesian dinner by Chef Retno Pratiwi with 5 beers paired by Gabe Bellegard Bastos (beer writer for Eater).  Please join us on Saturday, June 14th to explore, share, and enjoy this authentic Indonesian meal. The menu will feature traditional and unique dishes such as Combro (deep fried grated cassava filled with a spicy sambal tempeh) and Krim Mangga Ketan Item (mango coconut cream with sweet black rice). 

When: June 14, 6pm Where: Private Home, Brookline How Much: $55 Tickets:

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IMG_2079We spent the days leading up to the holiday with friends – and boy did we eat! Barbara Lynch opened No. 9 Park in 1998 and it has been named one of the  “Top 25 New Restaurants in America” by Bon Appétit and “Best New Restaurant” by Food & Wine. Scott Jones, a native New Englander, became the chef de cuisine in March of this year. He has risen quickly among the ranks, he started in 2009 and was promoted to rounds cook in under a year and a half and to sous chef just before his two year anniversary. We were fortunate enough to be able to meet chef Scott, which was pretty cool.

No 9 Park Menu

We headed over to No. 9 Park to try out their tasting menu. At $112, you get six courses, with the option of adding the prune stuffed gnocchi, the foie gras and the artisanal cheese courses. We ended up doing the foie gras and the prune stuffed gnocchi, but by the time we got to the option of having the cheese course, we just didn’t have room (as much as we wanted to).

IMG_2063We started off with the peekytoe crab with hears of palm, pumpkin and apple. It was paired with a 2010 Chidaine Montlouis – sur Loire “Les Choisilles”. This dish came beautifully plated with a little ash on the top near the peekytoe crab. The dish was light, a great way to start off the meal. The wine was crisp and had a mineral taste to it that I really enjoyed.

IMG_2064Second course was the Scottish salmon with potato mille-feuille, pistou and cannelini beans paired with a 2009 Livon Ribolla Gialla “Ronc Alto”. I have to admit that generally, I don’t like salmon. I was hesitant to try this dish, but I ended up loving it! The skin was cooked, so you could eat it, and the potato underneath was delicious. Mille feuille is French for “thousand layers” and the term is generally used when talking about pastry. These thin layers of potato were so delicate and paired quite nicely with the fish. The wine they paired with this dish had a rounded earthy flavor. The white grapes from this wine come from Friuli

IMG_2066The housemade bigoli with celeriac, smoked salt cod, and calabrian chili paired with the 2011 COS Grecanico en Amphora “Pithos”. The name of the wine “COS” comes from three friends: Giambattista Cilia, Giusto Occhipinti and Pinuccia Strano. The (Sicilian)wine itself is almost orange in color which comes from putting grapes in clay pots and bury them in the ground – it is the most organic process of making wine. You can almost taste the clay along with some apricot notes.

IMG_2068The prune stuffed gnocchi with foie gras, almonds and vin santo paired with NV Veuve Cliquot Demi Sec Champagne. Our waiter tells us a story about Julia Child and Barbara Lynch, and how Julia told Barbara that she didn’t think this was a good pairing. The prunes are sweet and the gnocchi is light as air. I missed the photo of the seared Hudson Valley foie gras with black walnut, sweet potato and clotted cream paired with the Rare Wine Co. Modeira “Boston Bual”. I think at this point I hit a wall. I was stuffed. The food thus far was delicious, and so rich! What I can tell you is that the foie gras was delicious. I only managed a bite or two, but it just melted in your mouth. Our waiter tells us that back in the day, each port had it’s own variety of Modeira – which started when the grapes were being heated on the decks of ships.

IMG_2070The roasted quail with lentils, sanguinaccio (sausage) and chestnut, paired with 2010 Domaine de la Chapelle de Bois Fleurie “Grand Pre“. If I wasn’t full before, I am now stuffed, and feel like I should take a nap! The quail is tender – perfectly cooked. I think the sausage is a matter of personal preference – not my favorite, but that’s ok. I miss taking a photo of the local baby lamb with black garlic, broccoli and blood orange. I may be a bit tipsy at this point. The lamb is prepared three ways and is paired with a 2008 Mugo Rioja Riserva.

IMG_2074A little pear palette cleanser before dessert.

IMG_2075And as a finale, a dark chocolate bete noire with mint, meyer lemon, and cynar (a liqueur). The bete noire, translated as “the black beast” is a flourless chocolate cake served with a peppermint patty. The strong mint flavors really balance the richness of the chocolate cake. This dish is paired with  a 2007 Castello di Volpaia Santo del Chianti Classico.

IMG_2078And just when you think you can’t have any more, they bring out some delicious gingerbread cookies with toffee.

All in all it was a great night, exceptional food paired with good friends (and a few tasty cocktails). The service was excellent – our waiter was knowledgeable and gave us a great background on all of the wine pairings – each course was explained in detail when it was brought out. We are already looking forward to our next visit!

No. 9 Park

9 Park Street, Boston, MA

No. 9 Park on Urbanspoon

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IMG_3126Chef Todd English’s first foray into desserts, Isabelle’s CurlyCakes is an homage to his daughter, Isabelle. The shop is charming, quintessentail Beacon Hill.

IMG_3128Vanilla Bean – Vanilla cake, vanilla pastry cream filling, vanilla buttercream frosting, white pate de glace drizzle, white chocolate shavings.

IMG_3131Oreo Cookie -Chocolate cupcake, Oreo filling, topped with Oreo frosting and Oreo pieces. Love that the frosting is inside the cupcake, how cute is the presentation?

Isabelle’s CurlyCakes

81 Charles St., Boston, MA 02113


Sun – Wed: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm; Thu – Sat: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm 

Isabelle's Curly Cakes on Urbanspoon

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I really liked Mooo the last time we were there. This time, we were sat at a huge banquette in the front of the house, but in the corner by the hotel entrance. It was a little chilly every time the door opened and we had a prime view of the waiter’s station.


Located in the XV Beacon hotel in Beacon Hill, Mooo is a very modern steakhouse. I love the light fixtures.


We went for a celebration on a weekday. The restaurant and bar were both busy, I would recommend making a reservation.


Our waitress looked like she was a bartender, she arrived in a short dress and over the knee boots, not what we expected, but ok. We started off with the calamari, $16, that came with sweet and hot peppers. Really nice, really crispy with good flavors.


I had the lobster bisque, $14, that had one little piece of lobster inside, and was a little thin for my taste.


One of my favorite parts about this place are the sides. The Mooo mac and cheese ($12) never disappoints, really creamy and delicious. And I love the presentation.


The rolls, so delicious, come brushed with butter in a cast iron dish.


We had the mixed market vegetables ($10) which were tasty.


We all had the steak. I went with the  rib eye ($39) which was far too much for me to eat. We also had the steak frites ($38) and the 14oz sirloin ($43)


I love the presentation of the marrow butter and the herbs.


The steak is perfection. Juicy and pink on the inside, with a nice crust on the outside. One of the better steaks I have had.


For dessert, we share the bananas foster ($14) which is enormous!


We also have the apple pie ($10) which just hit the spot. At the end of the meal, we had eaten so much that you literally should have rolled us out of there. The service could have been better. I feel like sitting tucked away, you could easily be forgotten about. There were times when it seemed like our waitress had just disappeared. We had hoped that at this price point that the service would have been a little more spot on, but perhaps they were having an off night.


15 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108


Mooo on Urbanspoon

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