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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

Good Ones Bistro 13For one powerful hour, The Good Ones hosted a hand selected group of Bostonians who are crushing it in their respective fields. Guests gathered on Tuesday night at Bistro du Midi in the Back Bay and snacked on light appetizers such as fried calamari, mini croque monsieur sandwiches and fried artichokes. The theme for the evening was Manhattan style: black, leather, blazers and detail.

Good Ones Bistro 1Good Ones Christine Prouty (wearing an original piece by Ty) with featured guest and Womenswear designer Ty Sinnett.

After Ty graduated Bard College in 2010 with a degree in Liberal Arts, she enrolled at the School of Fashion Design in Boston. She now produces seasonal ready-to-wear collections from her Boston-based atelier. Her eponymous collection is steeped in New England tradition, a luxe suite of classic silhouettes that are as refined as they are relaxed.

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(L-R) Janak Joshi, Chief Product Officer of TactusTV.com and Janeen McCormick, Manager Market Applications at Abiomed.

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(L-R) News Anchor at Channel 7 News, Janet Wu with Designer Candice Wu.

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(L-R) Featured guest Ty Sinnett, Good One Christine Prouty, featured guest Hanadi Hamzeh, Abby Capobianco, and Co-founder of The Good Ones, Carolyn Kim.

Hanadi Hamzeh is the owner of the new South Boston clothing boutique, Covet, a unique shop offering high quality consignments and hand selected designer pieces. Since opening last year, Covet has received numerous accolades including the Improper Bostonian’s “Boston’s Best” award for best consignment shop, the Boston Globe’s “Best of the New” and recently being featured on Channel 5’s “Chronicle”.

Good Ones Bistro 5(L-R) Hermann Spicker, VP, Brand Development at Brand Institute and Alex Rosenblum, Founder of Pairwell Foods.

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(L-R) Valerie Morando, Events Specialist at Life is good; Stephanie Miranda Harold; Dave Micalizzi, VP, Client Services at Mobiquity, Inc.; Jason Shuman,Founder, Cat5BoatShoes.com

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(L-R) Jenn Boyce, Janet Wu, Eric Kramer.

Good Ones Bistro 8Good Ones Christine Prouty (in an original piece by Ty) with featured guest and Womenswear designer Ty Sinnett.

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(L-R) Featured guest Debra Folz; Katy Dugan, Associate at Bingham McCutchen; Sheila Erimez, Art Director at Massachusetts Department of Public Health; Co-founder of The Good Ones, Jennifer Brooke.

Debra  has an undergraduate degree in Interior Design from Suffolk University and a Masters degree in Furniture Design from the Rhode Island School of Design. Recent partnerships of note include collaborations with Tommy Hilfiger, Helmut Lang, and Williams New York. Debra’s work has been featured in both national and international publications to include The New York Times, Fast Company, Dwell magazine, InStyle Magazine, New York Magazine, and more. Recent awards and recognition include New England Home magazine’s 5 under 40 award, nominated representative for Massachusetts: Women to Watch exhibition, and inclusion by Boston Globe Top 25 Most Stylish Bostonians.

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(L-R) Designer Candice Wu with Stuart Comerford, Director FX Sales at Royal Bank of Scotland.

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(L-R) Alan Rouleau, Entrepreneur with Jewelry Designer Heloisa Fitzgerald.

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(L-R) Elena Kazlas, Principal with ConsultEcon, Inc. headquartered in Cambridge with Jewelry Designer Heloisa Fitzgerald.

To be invited to future events, submit your personality snapshot online: http://thegoodones.co/membership/

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IMG_7667My next stop on my macaron tour was Bisous ciao. They have locations in the West Village and on the lower east side. With macarons, you should always store them in the fridge and let them sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before you eat them. Sometimes I don’t have that much self control. We picked up six flavors ($17.20).

Pistachio: white chocolate pistachio ganache. With this one, I wished that the pistachio had a stronger flavor.

Gianduja: a classic mix of hazelbut and milk chocolate. The filling was dense, making it feel very decadent.

Almond: almond cream with toasted, chopped almonds. The flavoring was nice but the filling was a bit thick.

Caramel apple: cider, calvados and diced apple in caramel. This not a flavor that I would normally gravitate to, but it was delicious!

Lemon: lemon cream made with lemon juice and lemon zest. I loved the lemon, it was so tart!

What is your favorite macaron flavor?

Bisous Ciao Macarons

101 Stanton Street (bet. Ludlow and Orchard), New York, NY

https://www.bisousciao.com

Bisous Ciao on Urbanspoon

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IMAG0371This is another one of those posts that just got away from me. We were in Kennebunkport a few months ago and had a wonderful dinner at Ocean at the Cape Arundel Inn. See my previous posts on Hidden Pond and Earth. Ocean is the sister restaurant of Earth at Hidden Pond, The Tides Beach Club, One Dock at the Kennebunkport Inn, David’s KPT, Abbodante Trattoria and Bar, and The Dory.

IMAG0373The views here are breathtaking, even in the off season. Ocean was named on of the Top 100 Scenic Restaurants in America by Open Table reviewers. We start with a drink at the table. The Aviation ($14) is made with gin and is quite the stiff drink!

IMAG0374We start with the onion creme brulee special ($10) which was really lovely. I’ve never had a savory creme brulee before – it was truly a treat.

IMAG0375The lobster ($33) was served with gnocchi, white asparagus and fava beans. Chef Pierre Gignac did a wonderful job with this dish – light and seasonal. The dumplings were perfect and the seasonal ingredients helped showcase the sweetness of the lobster.

IMAG0376We had the steak ($34) that was cooked perfectly and had lots of rich flavors. And even though it was a steak dinner, it still managed to feel light.

Service was top notch, our waitress was on top of our every need. Ocean is a great place for a romantic date night, we highly recommend you stopping in.

Ocean at the Cape Arundel Inn

208 Ocean Avenue, Kennebunkport, ME

http://www.capearundelinn.com/dining/

Ocean on Urbanspoon

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Most people head out to Smorgasburg for ramen burgers – which is evident by the line 30 people deep wrapping around the perimeter when we arrive. The weather was cool and the sky was getting darker by the minute, so we opted to skip the line and see what other delicious finds were out there. We didn’t want to get caught outside if it rained – we were ill prepared with no umbrellas or jackets…
imag1666So we grabbed some mac and cheese from the Milk Truck. The line was long but it moved quickly. The mac and cheese had aged cheddar, gruyere & asiago cheeses blended into a creamy bechamel sauce and was topped with fresh mozzarella and house made bread crumbs. Of course we added bacon to the mac and cheese and a vanilla milk shake on the side (made with Tahitian and Madagascar vanilla)!

Milk Truck Grilled Cheese on Urbanspoon

IMG_20141018_162753We decided to split up since the line was pretty long at the Milk Truck (divide and conquer the lunch lines!) – so our other tasty bite for lunch were these soft tacos and tasty side salad made with corn and edamame.

imag1668And for dessert, an ice cream sandwich from my favorite place, The Good Batch. I follow them on Instagram and I was hoping to grab a “crispy” (rice crispy “cookie” with vanilla ice cream) but the last one sold out two people ahead of us. :(

imag1670So we got an almond toffee (gluten free) which is an almond toffee macaroon with toasted almonds, burnt sugar caramel, toffee candy, and vanilla ice cream. The cookie was soft, which was a nice surprise, and the sandwich was gone before you could blink an eye. Thank goodness we don’t live closer!

The Good Batch on Urbanspoon

What is your favorite find at Smorgasburg?

Smorgasburg

East River State Park, 90 Kent Ave., Brooklyn, NY

http://www.smorgasburg.com/

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Davids Tea 12Last week I was invited to preview the new holiday collection at Davids Tea. They have a location right in Downtown Crossing where you can not only pick up some tea, but grab a cup to go. I personally recommend the eggnog latte and plan to go back one morning and try the matcha latte (I didn’t want to be up all night so I went with the eggnog latter instead).

Davids Tea 14I’m a novice when it comes to tea, so it was great to be able to go in and have the great people there tell me everything I need to know!

Davids Tea 1Along the back wall they have tons of tea – did you know that there is such a thing as kosher tea? DAVIDsTEA also has fair trade and organic tea! They have caffeinated teas and decaffeinated (something for everyone) – the teas are naturally decaffeinated, they don’t decaffeinate their teas that already have caffeine. You can buy the tea loose from the cans by weight or in tins like the ones below.

Davids Tea 13They have pre-filled tins of their most popular flavors for $14.50

Davids Tea 11How great are these seasonal cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcakes? Also on the table are the new candles that come in delicious scents like Blueberry Jam, Forever Nuts and Santa’s Secret ($19.50). On the far right are the tea filled mittens: the red is Santa’s Secret, the blue is egg nog and the green (not pictured) is sleigh ride tea filled ($9.50).

Davids Tea 2In addition to tea, the store carries a great selection of travel mugs, tea sets, accessories and delicious treats. Above are the chocolate covered pretzels ($14.50) and the pop perfections ($14.50)

Davids Tea 3They have fun little gift sets, perfect for the tea lover in your life. (Top left) The 12 teas of Christmas ($29.50); (top right) The 8 days of Tea ($19.50); (bottom) The Christmas Morning Collection ($19.50),The Green Collection ($19.50) The Nutcracker Collection ($19.50), The Black Tea Collection ($19.50)

Davids Tea 10I had the opportunity to check out a bunch of great teas! What is great about DAVIDsTEA is that if you can’t get into the store, all the things you need to know are on their website. You can find out how much tea to use per cup, water temperature and steeping time (along with allergen information). The eggnog is a green rooibos tea with white chocolate chips, with meringue powder.

Davids Tea 9Sleigh Ride (back for a limited time) has the flavors of apple, hibiscus blossoms, pineapple, papaya, beetroot, cinnamon, raisins, coconut, roasted almonds , and popped rice.

Davids Tea 8Cocomint Cream (a new flavor) has apple, coconut, sweet blackberry leaves, peppermint, spearmint, and natural coconut flavoring.

Davids Tea 7Bubbie’s Baklava (I just love the name!!) is oolong tea, with roasted chicory root, pineapple, papaya, cinnamon, walnuts, apple, ginger, roasted almonds, cardamom, rose pepper, pistachios, and rose blossom.

Davids Tea 6I had a chance to sample the chocolate macaroon flavor: it’s black tea, with toasted coconut, coconut, pecans, cacao nibs, and rock cane sugar.

Davids Tea 5The organic vanilla chai is a black tea, flavored with cinnamon, licorice root, ginger, vanilla. With natural vanilla and cream flavoring.

Davids Tea 4How cute is this? Santa’s Secret is a black tea, with peppermint and cute candy cane sprinkles.

DAVIDsTEA

Downtown Crossing – 298 Washington Street, Boston, MA

http://www.davidstea.com

DavidsTea on Urbanspoon

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The Good Ones 33Guests gathered Sunday afternoon for a Good Ones Power Hour at South Boston Yoga. Everyone was decked out in their 80’s workout attire for an hour long yoga session followed by an hour of conversation and healthy treats. (Left) Carolyn Kim, Co-founder of The Good Ones; (top right) original artwork by Jennifer Brooke, Co-founder of The Good Ones; (bottom right)  Alexandra Hynes, Partner and Co-founder at 44 Communications (left) and Jennifer Brooke (right).

The Good Ones 31David Vendetti led the yoga class to the best beats of the 80’s: The Bangles, a-ha and Madonna to name a few. David brings a great energy to the class – he is an amazing teacher.

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Jordan Pollard, Senior Consultant at Magenic.

The Good Ones 38(Left) Katy Dugan, Associate at Bingham McCutchen; (right) Molly Siegel, Owner of Athlete by Design.

The Good Ones 35(L-R) Carolyn Kim, Josh Levy, Brian Sullivan and Lauren Moreau, Manager of Talent Acquisition at Forrester Research.

The Good Ones 36(Top left) Gabrielle Bouquet; (top right) Janet Wu, Reporter for Channel 7 News; (bottom) Hillary Bucklin, Co-founder of Awake Boston.

The Good Ones 20Sheila Erimez, Art Director at Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

The Good Ones 25The talented Hannah Christianson rocked out with live covers of 80’s hits.

The Good Ones 34Everyone loves their Motto! (Left)Melissa Choi; (top right) Kristina Tsipouras, founder of Zoos Tea and Soulshine; (bottom right) Lavanyai Dieu.

The Good Ones 4Soulshine was displaying some of their merchandise at the event.

The Good Ones 39(Left) Christina Kotseas, personal assistant; (right) Melissa Choi and Chris Gagnon, Owner of Cross Cycle Fitness.

The Good Ones 32(Left) Carolyn Kim, Co-founder of  The Good Ones with Jeff Venuti, New England Field Marketing Manager at Hint Water; (top right) Rebecca Ferrel, owner of The Ripe Stuff (left) with Abby Hueber (right) ;  (bottom right) Kate Weiler, Co-founder of DRINKmaple (left) with Jeff Venuti (right).

For an invitation to the next event, submit your personality snapshot online: http://thegoodones.co/membership/

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IMG_7660While we were in NY at Smorgasburg, we stumbled upon Vendome Macaron. Their super bright and bold desserts caught our eye. Vendome can recreate any color you would like for your special order ($10). We tried the French vanilla bean, strawberry, nutella, pumpkin pie, Italian pistachio and lemon meringue pie. The first bite into the crispy, crunchy shell proved that the macarons were light as air.

Did you know that macarons are naturally gluten free? They’re made with almond flour and Vendome uses Kosher coloring that is plant based.

So who are the ladies behind these macarons? Adriana Troli, Executive Pastry Chef; Betzabeth Toledo, Chef de Cuisine; and Taryn Garcia, President and Pastry Chef. Adriana, a protégé of Christian Le Squer’s 3 Star Michelin Restaurant, Ledoyan in Paris, France. Adriana comes from Caracas, Venezuela and has a Bachelors in Law from The Catholic University in Caracas. She began her career as a Private Chef to famed artist, Carlos Cruz-Diez in Paris, France. Betza, apprenticed to empresario and Celebrity television Chef, Sumito Estevez.  Under Chef Estevez, Betza learned the newest cooking and pastry methods from Venezuela’s top chef.  Taryn began her career as a food stylist working on Food Network’s “Barefoot Contessa”, and Martha Stewart’s “Everyday Food”. After studying at France’s premier culinary school, “Ecole Supérieure de Cuisine Française: Gregoire Ferrandi”. Chef Taryn went on to train with Chef Arnaud Larher, recipient of France’s most coveted artisan award  (MOF) Meilleur Ouvrier de France.

Vendome Macaron

http://www.vendomemacaronnyc.com/

You can find Vendome macarons at Smorgasburg on Saturdays and Sundays, at Saks Fifth Avenue at the Cafe SnACKS Fifth Floor and at Bacchus at 409-411 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn.

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IMG_5075While we were waiting for our table at Momofuku Noodle Bar, we decided to take a walk over to the Milk Bar a few blocks away. Dessert before dinner? You bet. So we try the cereal milk shake which was tasty, not quite as sweet as I thought it would taste – more like cornflakes, less like sugary milk.

IMG_5105And how could you  pass up the birthday cake truffles (3 for $4.35)? Can’t make it to NY? You can make them at home. Follow this recipe from their website.

Momofuku Milk Bar

251 E. 13th Street, New York, NY

http://milkbarstore.com/

Momofuku Milk Bar on Urbanspoon

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imag1201Some posts get away from me. This post on the Farm House Tap and Grill would be one of them. We went to Vermont in the summer for a long weekend vacation and this post never made it to getting published with all the rest. We went on a great sailboat ride on Lake Champlain – a 2 hour ride was $40 per person and we could bring our own food and booze.

imag1193 Some of us (I won’t name names) were still hungry after the boat ride, so we headed over to the  Farm House – a restaurant just up the street. A gentleman on the boat ride said that he went there a few nights earlier and had one of the best meals (read: onion rings) of his life.

imag1195Crispy Onion Rings ($7.95) served with horseradish aioli. They were good – thick and cripy, but were they life changing? Not for us.

imag1197House Mac ‘N Cheese ($15.95) came with local cheeses, caramelized onions, and herb bread crumbs. A really rich and creamy dish – I couldn’t finish it in one sitting.

imag1199Vermont Heritage Grazers Pork Burger ($16.95) served with Cabot cheddar, a sunny side up farm egg, and coleslaw. A big hit at the table, because really, who doesn’t love a burger with a fried egg on top!?!

imag1198Farmhouse Meatloaf ($23.95) LaPlatte Farm beef & VT Heritage Grazers pork, whipped potatoes, roasted local veggies, mushroom gravy was a big hit. The dish really reminded us of fall. The meatloaf was flavorful and the local veggies made you feel ok about consuming that much meat.

imag1196The 20-Hour Beef Shoulder ($26.95) braised dry aged LaPlatte Farm beef shoulder, arugula, Nitty Gritty polenta, shaved fennel, salsa verde.

Service was a little on the scattered side – the restaurant was packed even though it was later in the evening (we had to wait an hour to be seated).

The Farmhouse Tap and Grill

160 Bank Street, Burlington, VT

http://www.farmhousetg.com

Farmhouse Tap and Grill on Urbanspoon

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imag1695I haven’t been to this area since I was in college, heading out to Great Scott for “Ladies 80’s Night”. My friend told me that we should check out Shaghai Gate because the food was excellent and so were the prices.  Parking was a bit difficult at the meters on the street, so take public transportation if you can. We ordered the sauteed rice cake with chicken, pork and shrimp ($9.50). I’ve never had rice cake noodles in this shape before, but really liked the texture of them. The meat was a little sparse in this dish but I loved the sauce.

imag1694My friend went with the good old standby, General Gao’s chicken ($10.95). The dish was light with just a little bit of sweetness to it. At the end of the meal we felt full and had plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day. Service was a bit spotty at moments, so perhaps next time we try take out.

Shanghai Gate

204 Harvard Ave., Brighton, MA

http://shanghaigateboston.com/

Shanghai Gate on Urbanspoon

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