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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

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I had never been to Assembly Row until just recently. Leah, Kim and I decided to meet up for lunch at Southern Kin Cookhouse, a new restaurant featuring, you guessed it, good southern cuisine. We were there when they opened, so you can just see how far behind I am with posting this summer! Everyone was new, so service was attentive, to say the least. I think I took one sip of my water before someone was there to refill it.

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So you can’t have southern food without trying their biscuits. The buttermilk biscuits come with honey butter and seasonal jam ($7). Let me let you in on a little secret: they have a biscuit lady…kind of like a Christmas elf, she comes in early in the morning to make the biscuits (and the pie)…. I’m currently trying to figure out how I can meet said biscuit lady.

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Normally I’d steer clear of deviled eggs…but Souther Kin Cookhouse’s version are cayenne and truffle stuffed, topped with trout pearls, pickled shallot and Benton’s country ham ($9). The creole mustard gives it that extra kick (not like it needed it!). The presentation alone says, these aren’t your Aunt Sally’s deviled eggs.

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The fried okra is lightly battered in cornmeal and dusted with a little pink peppercorn ($8), served with a black pepper parmesan buttermilk dressing.

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I love the presentation of the small plates here, the mismatched dishes are so in right now. The pimento cheese fritters ($7) are house made pimento cheese with smoked tomato jalapeño marmalade and green onion sauce. Simple food, executed extremely well.

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It was a toss up between the chicken sandwich (I’ll be back for you!) and the Dixon burger. I went with the burger because…well….pork belly. So the burger is topped with bbq glazed pork belly, pepper jack cheese, lettuce and a fried egg. Perfection. The potato wedges were perfect (cause you know that most places get them to the table and they’re soggy in the middle).

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Leah had the chicken n’ waffles ($21), southern fried chicken over cheddar chive waffle, with fresno pepper-maple syrup (it has a kick) and Louisiana honey hot pepper sauce. I gained 10 lbs just looking at this photo again!

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While I was stuffed, I felt obligated, for research purposes of course, to try their pie. I mean, they have a pie lady, and I’d probably be offending her if I didn’t at least TRY a slice. And it was a pretty hard choice, they have so many delicious flavors. You can get a slice for $7 or the whole pie for $36. Add a scoop of Bart’s homemade ice cream (they’re from Greenfield, MA) for $3, and yes, it’s worth it. Ice cream comes in: malted vanilla, maple cream, sea salt caramel swirl and mud pie. Pie flavors are: buttermilk, mud pie, peach crumble pie, key lime pie, coconut cream pie and brown butter bourbon pecan pie. We tried the brown butter bourbon pecan pie (say that 3 times fast) that was topped with chocolate ganache sauce and had it a la mode with the malted vanilla ice cream. I almost stabbed Leah and Kim with my fork because it was so delicious…

When we were there in June the patio hadn’t opened as of yet, but they were supposed to open it up shortly thereafter. I assume that it’s open now!

Southern Kin Cookhouse

Assembly Row – 500 Assembly Row, Somerville, MA

www.southernkincookhouse.com

Southern Kin Cookhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Summer is coming to an end, Labor day is just around the corner and you’re getting the kids ready to go back to school. But after Labor day is the best time to be on the Cape (well, I think it is!) because all the tourists are gone, you can drive through town without the ferry backup, and you can actually get into your favorite restaurants. Another great way to hold on to those summer days? Head over to the Cape Codder, where they have just recently opened up a 30,000 square foot indoor water park. How does that extend summer? On days where the weather is nice, they open the retractable roof, and it’s just like being outside.

I recently had a chance to check the park out with my family. The park has 4 tube slides: 2 in the wave pool area (50 feet and 80 feet) and two high speed water slides in main room that are 160 feet each! The main area (above) has a “stormy river”, their interpretation of a lazy river, with sections of both calm and choppy water and plenty of places for you to get sprayed by water jets.

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The wave pool is 10,00 square feet and has waves that are up to 2 feet! There is a 24 person hot tub and two saunas in this room as well.

 

For those of you with smaller children, they have a kiddie area – complete with  a small pirate ship and small kiddie sized slides.

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They have a snack bar  in the pool area or you can head over to the Hearth n’ Kettle for a bite. The large menu offers something for everyone – and a great thing for us was that they serve breakfast all day! Pictured above, left to right: bacon cheese burger ($11.97), breakfast sandwich ($8.19), kid’s mac and cheese and chicken fingers ($7.99).

Hearth 'n Kettle, Hyannis Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Day passes are available on a limited basis for $40 per person ($30 per child under 48″). Admission to the park is included if you are staying at the hotel. So now that I’ve told you about the water park, you’re thinking, ok, but where is the Cape Codder? It’s conveniently located right off the highway (Route 6) in Hyannis. If you decide to stay overnight, there are tons of things to do after you’ve spent the day at the water park: take the ferry over to Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket, bike along the bike path, spend the morning on a whale watch or browse local artists in the shops in downtown Hyannis. Speaking of local artists, the Cape Codder likes to support local artisans – check out the chandelier in the lobby, made by McDermott Glass Studio, located in Sandwich. It’s made up of 400 hand blown glass pieces, including fish, shells and that large whelk shell hanging on the bottom.


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The hotel has 266 rooms, including some great family suites (shown above). There are plenty of activities for the kids, including bonfires and s’mores, movie night, live animal shows and daily arts and crafts.

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The family suites are great if you’re traveling with grandparents or kids – they sleep 6, two in the master bedroom, two on a sleeper sofa, and two on a Murphy bed that folds up in the daytime to be a kitchen table. The suites offer two large bathrooms and a kitchenette.

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Looking for something a little more luxurious? Try the 2 or 3 bedroom residences that are part of the Cape Codder Residence Club.

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To circle back with the year round theme, I’ll leave you with an image of the hotel’s year round outdoor pool – yup, you heard that right – it’s a salt water heated pool! Swoon!

Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest to visit the Cape Codder water park. Admission for my family to the park as well as lunch were provided complimentary. All opinions are my own.

Cape Codder Resort and Spa

1225 Iyannough Road, Hyannis, MA

www.capecodderresort.com

 

 

 

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The Godfrey Hotel opened in Boston earlier this year in February. I was fortunate enough to get a first look – and now that George Howell Coffee is finally open, I’ll certainly be back. The coffee shop opened in June, and is open from 6:30am – 8pm. They have baked goods from one of my favorite bakeries, Praline, in Belmont. In addition to the cafe, they offer a full retail section where you can purchase an extensive range of coffee beans.

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The historic hotel is located right in the heart of downtown crossing, steps away from shopping and popular tourist attractions – you couldn’t ask for a better location!

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The boutique hotel has about 240 rooms that have amenities like Frette linens, 55″ TVs and Bose bluetooth speakers.

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They have meeting spaces available as well – with fast wifi and all the tech amenities you need to make your meetings run smoothly.

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The rooms feel enormous due to their high ceilings. Floor to ceiling windows allow for tons of natural light to flood in. One cool feature is they have smart phone room entry – you can unlock your door with your phone or with a bracelet that you are provided with (should you want to stop at the front desk). The TV’s are like your virtual concierge, allowing you to do anything from looking up tourist attractions, to giving you restaurant suggestions, or to stream your HBO or Netflix movies from your phone directly onto the TV.

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The bathrooms feel spacious  as well, with glass enclosed showers and well lit mirrors. If you’re visiting Boston, or even if you are just taking a staycation, I highly suggest checking out the Godfrey Hotel.

Disclaimer: I was invited to a media preview/tour of the hotel. All opinions are my own.

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Summer is in full swing and what better way to enjoy it than a bbq with friends and family! We fired up our new gas grill and cooked up some Applegate hot dogs. This was perfect timing as I had been craving hot dogs!! Applegate sent me a party in a bag – complete with a frisbee to play with while the dogs were cooking on the grill. Did you know that Applegate’s hot dogs are made from 100% grass fed beef? They only have 4 ingredients in them: 100% grass fed beef, water, salt and spices.

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Applegate sent us Sir Kensington’s mustard and ketchup and we brought our favorite pickles and corn salsa to the table! Trader Joe’s makes the best corn salsa, I put it on almost everything – hamburgers, tacos, burritos, and even in my guacamole! And pickles, I only eat Fox Point Pickling Company’s garlic dills these days – and try the carrots, they’re delicious!

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Since Applegate’s cows are on grass, they are encouraging their fans to get out on the grass too – take the frisbee for a toss it in the park or like us, have a backyard bbq!

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The hot dogs were a huge success. They tasted delicious and everyone was asking for seconds!

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How do you like to top your hot dogs?

Disclaimer: I was sent a complimentary “Get Out On Grass” kit from Applegate. All opinions are my own.

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We were fresh home from the hospital and the last thing I wanted to do was cook. I couldn’t stomach another Lean Cuisine meal, as I had eaten those for the last 2 months straight. That’s where The Foodery came into our dinner plans. The Foodery isn’t a meal prep kit like Blue Apron, all the food comes fully cooked – all you need to do is heat and serve. They give you two options, microwave or conventional oven – so anyone can heat these up – even my parents (who still don’t have a microwave!).

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So how does The Foodery work? Each week there is a different menu, with 6 choices. You pick your meal and then pick if you want 2 or 4 servings. Place your order by 10am on Thursday and have it delivered on Sunday between 5pm and 8pm in the Greater Boston area. There’s no commitment, just a $50 minimum. When I think about it, I spent more than that on takeout weekly – and the food wasn’t nearly as healthy. The Foodery sources certain produce from organic and local sources to avoid exposure to pesticides and genetically modified foods. All proteins are raised without antibiotics or hormones and sourced locally when possible.

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So what did I choose? Things that I would never cook myself – first up, apple glazed pork ribs with apple sauce and a three bean salad. Heated this up at 400 degrees for 10 or so minutes in the toasted oven and bam – this is what our dinner looked like. If my husband didn’t know me better, I would have tried to pass this off like I made it myself! So how did it taste? Delicious! First, the ribs (antibiotic and hormone free) – the meat was so tender, it literally fell off the bone. The apple glaze on the ribs was subtle – which I really liked because you could really taste the flavor of the meat. The apple sauce was SO good – very adult, not sugary sweet like I remember having as a kid, it had a warm spice to it. My husband loved the three bean salad, made with garbanzo beans, green beans and kidney beans.

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For our second meal we tried the chicken tikka masala (4 portion). This wasn’t the traditional tikka masala that I was used to – it had brown rice, yogurt, garlic, ginger, pepper, paprika, fenugreek, peas, carrots, cilantro and cauliflower among other ingredients.

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Pop this in the oven for 3 minutes or so and dinner is ready. Now it had brown rice in it, but I love my chicken tikka masala with white rice, so I added some of my own. I am loving the Jasmine rice from Trader Joes, just microwave for 3 minutes and it tastes like you cooked it in a rice maker! There were a lot of things going on in this dish. I loved the addition of the cauliflower, but the spice mix in this tikka masala didn’t feel like the one I am familiar with.

I encourage you to try out The Foodery – they offer quick, tasty dinners that you can feel good about eating.

Disclaimer: The Foodery provided me with complimentary meals for this review. All opinions are my own.

Use my special code to get 20% off your first order: Dgrubswell2016

For more information, check out The Foodery’s website: http://fooderyboston.com

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Friday afternoons were meant for long lunches in the  Seaport, taking in the beautiful weather and the views of the water. Del Frisco’s has a great outdoor patio and I was invited to stop in and sample some of Chef Jason Carron’s new signature appetizers and entrees.

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While the Double Eagle Steak House specializes in steak, some of my favorite bites of the day were the non steak items – take for example the tuna tartare.

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If I were anywhere else, I might have been embarrassed ordering bacon as an appetizer, but here, it’s totally acceptable! The thick cut bacon au poivre is lightly dressed with a bourbon molasses glaze and will make you wish you ordered two servings!

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The crab cake has tons of meat and is served on a cajun lobster sauce – a perfect option if you’re looking for something a little lighter at lunch time.

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The prime steak salad ($21) comes with mixed greens, bacon, tomatoes, blue cheese, avocado, parmesan cheese, deviled eggs and is topped off with a horseradish dressing.

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The restaurant doesn’t do anything to their meat, they just use the freshest meat available and season with salt and pepper, letting the flavor of the meat stand out on its own. They offer a variety of cuts of steak: filet, bone in filet, prime ribeye, prime strip, bone in prime ribeye, and prime porterhouse. For those of you looking for other options, they do have choices like lamb chops, chicken and and prime braised short ribs.

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The wagyu tomahawk chop tops their menu off at a whopping $89, but hey, you only live once right?

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Generally I steer clear of desserts at steakhouses, especially those that are large in size, because they are generally not worth it. After eating your weight in meat, do you really have room for dessert? At Del Frisco’s, the answer is yes. I’d make room for these desserts…

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My favorite, and the restaurant’s most popular, was the butter cake. The cake has a nice crunch to the outside and is served a la mode – I may just skip the steak and come in for the dessert!

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I’m generally not a bread pudding fan, but this banana bread pudding was pretty tasty. It was more bread than pudding, which I like , and it just melted in your mouth.

Stop in to Del Frisco’s and enjoy a light lunch or a gut busting dinner, but like I said, make sure to save room for dessert! Right now they are offering a business lunch special for $25, that includes a choice of starter (cup of soup, Del’s salad or Caesar salad) and a choice of an entree (filet medallions, salmon or chicken picatta). Oh, and if you’re drinking, make sure to try their signature drink the VIP, clementine vodka infused with Hawaiian pineapple!

Valet parking is available – they do not validate for the garage.

Disclaimer: I was invited to Del Frisco’s for a tasting event. My meal was provided complimentary. All opinions are my own.

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House

250 Northern Ave., Boston, MA

https://delfriscos.com/

Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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I was lucky enough to be invited to Harvest for the Harvest x Food & Beer dinner in June. The event featured guest chef Daniel Burns and brewer Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, co-founders of the Michelin-starred restaurant Luksus and Tørst in Brooklyn. They were at Harvest to celebrate the release of their first cookbook, Food & Beer. These guest chef dinners, used to showcase their new cookbooks, are ongoing, so follow Harvest on social media to learn more about future events.

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Guests enjoyed a unique beer pairing menu curated exclusively by both Jeppe, featuring selections from his own brewery, Evil Twin Brewing, as well as local beers chosen by Himmel Hospitality Group’s Beverage Manager Jason Percival.

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First course was a snack of radish, sorrel and pain de mie that was paired with Evil Twin NOMADer Weisse. Not something that I would have necessarily ordered on my own, but a delicious way to start of the meal, I loved the crisp bite of the radishes.

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Second course was a licorice cured trout with pickled beet root, rye crumble and dandelion that was paired with Blackberry Farm Abbey Blonde. Again, out of my usual wheelhouse, but I devoured this dish – there was a really nice combination of flavors and textures going on here.

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Beef tartare was up next with pickled green almonds, arugula flowers, broccoli rabe flowers, garlic scares and pickled ramps. It was paired with Enlightenment Ales Titania Nordic Saison.

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The black sea bass was served with shiso and fennel and was paired with Evil Twin Citra Sunshine Slacker.

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For dessert, rhubarb with pine, bay leaf, and reship vinegar that was paired with Evil Twin Wet Dream Brown Ale.

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Thanks to Executive Chef Tyler Kennett of Harvest for opening up his kitchen and to (former) Executive Pastry Chef Brian Mercury. Mercury can be found at the new restaurant Oak and Rowan later this summer in Fort Point.

Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest to the dinner at Harvest. My meal was provided complimentary. All opinions are my own.

Harvest

44 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA

http://harvestcambridge.com

Harvest Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Ciao Pizza and Pasta is a little shop located just across the street from the Chelsea courthouse. The newly renovated eat in area features about 10 seats at the bar – but most people come in for takeout. The restaurant features coal fired pizza made in 90 seconds and pasta made from scratch.

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We had a chance to sample a not yet on the menu appetizer, the shrimp bruschetta. The bread is the pizza dough and it is light as a feather – I love the flavors of this dish- bold flavor but not heavy at all.

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Of course I tried the bolognese made with housemade campanelle pasta ($14). The chorizo bolognese is not a traditional one, but it puts this bolognese near the top of the list for all time favorite bolognese dishes. It’s lighter than its creamier counterparts and topped with Parmigianno reggiano and bacon.

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The porcini fettucini was an unexpected favorite – served with mushrooms, black truffle butter and Parmigiano reggiano. This is the kind of dish that you would expect at a high end restaurant, and at $12, it’s a steal!

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The herbed gnocchetti ($18) was light as air, served with red wine braised short ribs, root vegetables and Parmesan cheese. A great choice on a cold rainy day – comfort food at its best.

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And as if I couldn’t fit another bite in, we decided we just had to try a pizza, so we picked the sopressata ($12) that was topped with garlic confit (!!), cherry peppers and pecorino cheese. The crust is amazing and the toppings are generous. The pizzas are personal sized, so don’t feel bad eating one all by yourself (I will not confirm or deny that this may or may not have happened when we went back for takeout).

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Another item not to miss on their menu, the housemade potato chips! Light and salty, with a little bit of a kick from paprika.

Thanks Richard from the Passionate Foodie for the awesome suggestion!

Ciao Pizza and Pasta

59 Williams Street, Chelsea, MA

http://www.ciaopizzaandpasta.com

Ciao Pizza and Pasta Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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I love Italian food. I was excited when Leah and I had the opportunity to check out La Motta in the South End. The restaurant comes to you from the same folks that run Aquitaine, Cinquecento, Gaslight and Metropolis.

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I love the decor here: the warm lighting, the tin ceilings, the high back banquets, the tall windows, the exposed brick all contribute to the ambiance. They are working on an outdoor patio in the back, can’t wait for it to open!

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My favorite thing about this menu is that there are a ton of small plates – they may have even been (*just a tad*) bit better than my main meal. I love to try a little of everything when I go out to eat, so small plates are right up my alley. We started with the Brussels sprouts ($12) that are skillet roasted and are tossed with truffle pecorino and toasted sesame. Yes please! This dish is really speaking my language – just enough pecorino on it to make it feel decadent (and less healthy 😉 ).

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A complimentary pickled vegetable plate came over to the table which was delicious! I think the cauliflower was my favorite.

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Try the meatballs! You can order 1 for $3 or 4 for $11. We had the spicy pork, veal and oregano and the classic beef, veal, pork and Parmesan. All meatballs are served with polenta and rage Siciliano. The meatballs were delicious, flavorful and just the right consistency.

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The burrata ($13) is served over an eggplant caponata, and topped with smoked sea salt. While it comes with olive oil crostini, I preferred it with the softer bread that came to the table with the pickled vegetables. The burrata was so smooth and creamy – dreamy! And frankly, I could have eaten the caponata straight for my next 10 meals, it was that good.

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For our first main dish we shared the Anatra gnocchi ($26), served with crispy duck, tallegio crema and marsala. I found this to be an interesting combination – the cheesy sauce, almost heavy, with the rich crispy duck – good thing that the portion wasn’t huge. While the combination was interesting, I did like the flavors of both parts – the crispy duck was excellent.

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And if you know me at all, you know that I can’t go anywhere new without trying the bolognese ($25). This came with a wild boar sugo and was topped with Parmesan cheese. The sauce was light and a little creamy and the pasta was cooked perfectly al dente.

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For dessert we tried the panna cotta ($8) vanilla custard with Amarena cherries and landed pistachios. I liked the individual flavors of this dish and the presentation was beautiful.

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And of course we had to try the hazelnut skillet cookie ($8) that came out bubbling hot served topped with fluff and caramel sauce.

Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest of La Motta. My meal was provided complimentary. All opinions are my own.

La Motta

1357 Washington Street, Boston, MA

http://www.lamottaboston.com/

La Motta's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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There are a lot of new restaurants moving into Fenway. If you’re looking for some place to go before the game that might ot as crowded as those right next to the park, try the newly opened Waxy’s in Brookline, right at St. Mary’s T stop. This modern Irish bar has a great outdoor patio, perfect for when the weather heats up!

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What makes this bar different than others? The food. Waxy’s tries to use local ingredients and vendors as much as they can! Their craft cocktails change with the seasons, keeping in mind what is fresh.

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They have tons of inside seating, complete with semi private rooms.

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While we were served charcuterie at the opening party, they have plenty of other things on the menu: from drunken mussels to scotch eggs to pulled pork to flatbreads to fish and chips.

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The wings were a big hit – house specialty wings tossed with a sea salt and caramel glaze. Personally, I am looking forward to going back an trying some of the flatbreads. The “avoca” with cremini, shitake, portabello and yellow oyster mushrooms, goat cheese, kale and honey drizzle sounds amazing as well as the “emyvale” which is pulled pork, fennel seeds, braised fennel and mascarpone cheese. At $9 a flatbread, these are a great deal!

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We had a chance to hang out with Bar Director James O’Brien, who talked to us about the bar and the cocktail menu.

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Did you know that Waxy’s is smartphone friendly, the bar is equipped with 18 electrical outlets and USB ports!

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There were 3 signature cocktails for the evening, above is the “shake, rattle and rum” wich is Three Olives Elvis vodka, Real McCoy 5 year rum, pineapple, ginger and Angostura bitters.

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The “note to self” is Hennessy Black, Carpano Antica, Pussers 15, Averna, and Peychaud’s bitters.

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Looking for a more fruity cocktail, try the  fruitations cranberry, made with Absolut Elyx, fruitations pure cranberry, lime and organic soda. Not a cocktail kind of person, don’t worry, theyhave 40 beers on tap that will rotate throughout the year.

Disclaimer: I was invited to the opening party of Waxy’s. My food and beverages were provided complimentary. All opinions are my own.

Waxy’s Modern Irish Bar and Kitchen

1032 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA

www.waxys.com/locations/brookline/

Waxy's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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