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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

IMG_9757Last weekend, about a dozen bloggers trekked out in the snow to attend a lamb event at Tremont 647. One bite of those morning buns and it was like….what snow? My favorite thing at brunch at Tremont 647 are the home made pop tarts…check out their pajama brunch on the weekends, it’s not to be missed.

IMG_9763Master butcher Doug Piper flew in from Australia to demonstrate butchering techniques. The ease in which he cut the lamb was impressive – it was like a hot knife through butter. Owner of Tremont 647, Andy Husbands, talked about knives – how everyone thinks you need expensive knives – Shun being a popular choice, but really, all you need is a super sharp knife.

IMG_9766Sharp knife indeed, Doug wore a protective glove on one hand while he showed the different cuts of meat. Generally speaking, I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of lamb. But Australian lamb is 100% free range and pasture raised – who knew that these vegetarian lambs could taste so delicious! The meat is lean, tender and has tons of nutrients.

IMG_9778The amuse was Aussie Lamb Pastrami: Rye toast, mustard and Brussels Sprouts krout. A really delicious dish – a spin on comfort food.

IMG_9780We had a choice of entree: I picked Andy’s Huevos Rancheros: Braised Aussie lamb de Birria style, fried eggs, beans, rice, three salsas and tortilla. I couldn’t get enough of this dish – so many bold flavors, it was delicious.

IMG_9782One of the other choices was the croissant breakfast sammy: House made maple Aussie lamb sausage, American cheese, fried egg, roasted garlic herb pistou and hash browns.

Here’s a great recipe from Chef Andy Husbands for Lamb t-bones with mint pistou:

Ingredients:

  • 8 – 1″ thick Australian lamb t-bones

Marinade:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 sprig rosemary leaves, chopped
  • kosher salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

Mint pistou:

  • 1 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • kosher salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

Method:

Place the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, parsley, garlic and rosemary in a food processor and puree until smooth. Stir in salt and pepper to taste. The marinade should be a little salty and peppery.

Rub the lamb with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours. Remove the meat from the refrigerator 30 minutes before you want to grill.

Turn your grill to high and cook chops to desired doneness.

For the mint pistou:

Place all ingerdients in a food processor or blender. Turn the motor on and slowly drizzle oil until you have a smooth, pourable paste. Transfer for a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve:

Top chops with mint pistou and serve.

 

For more information on Australian lamb: www.australian-lamb.com and check out the hashtag #springaussielamb

Disclaimer: I was invited to be a guest at the Aussie Lamb demo. They provided me with a complimentary meal, all opinions are my own.

Tremont 647

647 Tremont Street, South End

http://tremont647.com/

Tremont 647 on Urbanspoon

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IMG_9726A few weeks ago I was invited to head over to Fogo de Chao to check out Bar Fogo. Better known for their all you can eat service, my brother and I like to go there to get our meat on! Check out my previous review here.

IMG_9729The interior is spacious and perfect for large parties. They have a great open wine room near the back.

Fogo 1The salad buffet is impressive with a variety of meats, cheeses and vegetables.

IMG_9735Happy hour in the bar features smaller, lighter plates – quite the opposite of what is going on in the main dining room.

IMG_9734My drink guy, Mark, came along to sample the signature drinks. Pictured above is the Fogo Caipirinha: Silver Cachaça, fresh limes and cane sugar. A little on the sweet side, Mark enjoyed the citrus drink but wished that they offered some spicy options on their bar menu.

IMG_9736One of our favorite dishes was the warm hearts of palm and spinach dip – a spin on the classic, we loved the creamy texture and the bold flavor. The steamed spinach and hearts of palm  was served with crispy toast on the side.

IMG_9741The Picanha sirloin sliders came served on four cheese bread sliders and were topped with chimichurri aioli.

IMG_9743Not on the bar menu, but brought over as a special treat, the shrimp skewers were delicious.

IMG_9747The grilled beef tenderloin skewers were served with chimichurri salsa – this dish gives you a glimpse of what to expect in the main dining room.

IMG_9751The crispy parmesan polenta fries were served topped with grated parmesan and served with malagueta aioli. These were crispy and light – best served super hot!

IMG_9752Finally, the charcuterie board: assorted cheese, prosciutto, salami, figs and crostini. A really nice board with a fine selection of meats and cheeses.

The bar area was warm and cozy and the service was right on point, a great option if you are looking for some light bites and Brazilian inspired cocktails.

Happy hour is served in the bar Monday through Friday from 4:30pm-6:30pm.

Disclaimer: I was invited to participate in a media event at Fogo de Chao, they provided me with a complimentary meal. All opinions are my own.

Fogo de Chao

200 Dartmouth Street, Boston, MA

http://www.fogodechao.com/

Fogo de Chão on Urbanspoon

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image (21)On New Year’s Eve, we were looking for a place that would seat 11 of us – and make everyone happy – kids of different ages, adults with different palates etc. So we decided on Gianni’s, which can be hit or miss sometimes. The restaurant is located across the street from the Radisson hotel – so that’s a bonus – convenience. The restaurant is large, so it is able to accommodate large parties. We start off with the Insalata Caprese con mozzarella di buffala ($10.45), ripe tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese with oregano & extra virgin olive oil from the hills of Italy. The tomatoes were a bit under ripe, but the dish was good over all.

IMAG2136For my main meal I had the rigatoni ai quattro formaggio ($20.35) Parmesan, Pecorino, Provolone and mozzarella cheese…a cheese lovers dreams with a touch of fresh tomato sauce. I really enjoyed this dish, the sauce was light and yet still flavorful…which may have something to do with the mountain of shredded cheese on top (delish!!).

image (16)We also ordered the calamari fritti ($12.65), crisp fried calamari served with fresh spicy tomato sauce. The batter was light, which we really liked.

image (17)Cannoli ($8.25) Homemade Italian pastry filled with a candied fruits & fresh ricotta. Ok, so $8 for a cannoli this size was a little bit obscene. It was literally two bites worth. Good, but not $8 good.

image (15)Tiramisu ($8.25) Homemade, with lady fingers, fresh whipped cream and Italian mascarpone cream cheese. This dessert was good, but I think the chocolate sauce was a bit too much for this dessert, I would have preferred it plain.

The service was good, I think all in all we had about 3 servers/food runners working our table. As the night went on, they became a bit scare, but overall a good meal that accommodated everyone’s tastes.

Gianni’s

Palm Beach 51, Noord, Aruba

http://www.giannisgroup.com/#!giannis/ctyl

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imag1986Mexicado is located at the Hyatt resort, just a few doors down from where we are staying at the Radisson. This Mexican restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating and an extensive tequila list.

imag1985Mexicado is located one level below the lobby next to the Hyatt’s other restaurant, Ruinas del Mar.

imag1987The decor is simple and understated. The bar highlights some of the tequilas that the restaurant has to offer and there’s a great long high top table for large parties.

imag1993We ordered the guacamole, made table side. It was good, but I would have liked the flavors to have been a little bolder.

imag1998The chicken tortilla soup ($9) with shredded chicken, corn tortilla, avocado, onion, tomatoes, chipotle, chili, oregano, cilantro ($9) was delicious – not spicy at all.

imag1989The empanadas de carnitas ($12), corn pastries filled, marinated beef, salsa roja, sour cream ($12) were delicious, I wish that the portions were a bit bigger for this appetizer.

imag1994Mushroom quesadillas ($13), button mushroom, Mexican cheeses, onions, peppers ($13) were delicious. Simple ingredients and great flavors.

imag1995Tacos carnitas ($9), slow braised pork, cilantro, onion, guacamole, flour tortilla were tasty.

Overall the meal was good – a little on the pricey side ($6 for a side of rice?!?!), but good. Service was good at the beginning but trailed off at the end. Great place for families and groups.

Mexicado

Located inside the Hyatt Hotel

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It has been some time since I had seen my friend Ziggy, so we decided to hop in the car and drive down to RI to see him and his wife at the Farmers Market he sells at on the weekends. The Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers Market can be found at the Hope Artiste Village at 1005 Main Street in Pawtucket on Saturdays from 9am-1pm. While we were visiting we walked around to buy some other delicious goodies:

IMG_9388The Humble Pie Company in Providence is run by Daniel Sheehan, and has been open since 2013. We sampled the mini apple pies, which were delicious – the crust was flaky and light, the filling was top notch, and I loved the oat crunch on top.

IMG_9385We also tried the linzer torte – a really nice blend of spices and I loved the jam!

IMG_9394North Bakery just won top honors for their chocolate chip cookies ($1.75) which have a nice sprinkling of sea salt over top.

North Bakery on Urbanspoon

IMG_9398My friend Ziggy is the man behind Fox Point Pickles. He makes them in two flavors, garlic dill and spicy dill. The spicy dill pickles pack a punch, but it’s a delayed on, you don’t get it right when you bite into the pickle. The spicy dill would be great in a bloody mary!

IMG_5218The Rocket food truck was outside serving up gourmet street food.

IMG_5222I was really digging the mom’s baked mac and cheese ($4) made with Vermont sharp cheddar cheese, butter and Rhody fresh whole milk. The perfect amount of cheese sauce with a smooth, buttery flavor.

Rocket Fine Street Food on Urbanspoon

IMG_5219Pat’s Pastured has a food truck where we had Pat’s Burger ($13) a 100% grass fed beef burger served with cheddar cheese, carmelized onions, Arcadian Fields greens, and garlic aioli (add the egg for $1 – trust us!). Just as we got up to the front of the line, they ran out of buns, so we grabbed our burger on two hotdog rolls. Still super delicious!

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Good Ones 8Last Tuesday a group of #Goodones gathered together at a private home in Fort Point for one of a kind, intimate cooking experience.

Good Ones 9Andy Levitt, founder of The Purple Carrot, was one of the guests at the event. Andy and his wife Tammy started the company in 2014, with the intent of helping people find an easier way to make healthy meals at home. If you know me at all, you know I’m not a very healthy eater – carbs, desserts, hit me up! Veggies? What are those? But The Purple Carrot makes things so simple that even I can get on board with healthy eating! So here’s how it works: Every week there are 4 dinner options, you pick your two favorite and they do the rest. You get two great meals and a snack delivered to your door for just $59. Check out their recipe archive, I’m dying to try the cookie dough hummus, the bowties with mushrooms, and the veggie dumpling stew.

Good Ones 4The evening started out with a lovely cucumber salad. Gordon’s Fine Wine and Liquor was the beverage sponsor of the night, generously providing 90+ Cellars high end wines to guests.

Good Ones 1The talented Charlotte Kim, CMO of CheerNetworks, cooked up a wonderful traditional Korean dish with a twist. Jap Chae, or Chap Chae, is generally made on special occasions with beef and sweet potato glass noodles stir fried with sesame oil with carrots, onions, spinach and mushrooms. Charlotte’s version was vegetarian and instead of the sweet potato noodles, she opted for some rice noodles. It was super delicious, you didn’t even miss the meat!

Good Ones 2Christina Wang was a featured guest at the event. She is the Vice President of Strategy and Finance for the Marcus Samuelsson Group in New York City. She was piping out the chocolate avocado dessert. The avocado added a nice creamy texture to the dessert and that little sprinkle of sea salt on top really brought the dessert up a notch!

Good Ones 3Mr. Stacy’s Pita Chips, Mark Andrus, was in the house whipping up a great twist on the cinnamon sugar chip! The chips were dipped in chocolate, sprinkled with almonds and topped but warm butter caramel. 3 words: to.die.for.

Good Ones 5Carolyn Kim, Co-founder of The Good Ones (left) with fellow Good One Christine Prouty (right).

Good Ones 7(L-R) Jennifer Brooke, Co-founder of The Good Ones; Jacki Morisi, Private Events and PR Manager at Trade; Featured Guest Juan Pedrosa of Stone & Skillet; and Carolyn Kim, Co-Founder of The Good Ones.

You may know Juan from his stint as the chef at The Glenville Stops and Trade before that. He is a accomplishments landed him on this year’s Zagat’s 30 under 30 list. Pedrosa currently oversees operations at Stone & Skillet, an artisanal English muffin company. I was at Volante Farms this weekend for their Local Food Fest and was able to sample some of their muffins, trust me – go out to Volante Farms or Whole Foods and pick some up for yourself!

And Jacki is killing it at Trade – her hard work also landed her a spot on Zagat’s 30 Under 30 list!

Love what you see? Want to attend an event? Fill out the personality snapshot for an invite to future events: http://thegoodones.co/membership/

At this event, the Good Ones were collecting donations for Horizons for Homeless Children, a local non profit that impacts the lives of over 2,000 homeless children in Massachusetts each week. If you are interested in making a donation, please see their gift list here.

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Rectangle 1 + reserve-logo-gold-1So it’s Monday and Valentine’s day is less than a week away. Did you forget to make a reservation? Try using Reserve, a digital concierge app created by the co-founder of Uber (Garrett Camp).

I have had great experiences using Reserve, check out my posts from Liquid Art House and Row 34.

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So what makes Reserve different than other online reservation companies? What I love most is that they handle the entire dining experience, from making your reservation to making sure that the bill is paid at the end of your meal. How does it work? You pick your restaurant and your time frame – Reserve gets back to you with an available time.

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You show up to the restaurant and have a great meal. Forgot your wallet at home? No problem! The reserve app has your credit card and preferred tip amount already stored, so you don’t even have to bring your wallet in the first place! How great is that! Besides, you have more important things to worry about on Valentine’s day anyway…

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Here are a list of restaurants they currently have in their roster: Alden & Harlow, Belly Wine Bar, Bergamot, Blue Dragon, Bogie’s Place, Bondir, Casa B, Craigie on Main, East by Northeast, Eastern Standard, Grill 23, Harvest, Hungry Mother, Island Creek Oyster Bar, La Brasa, L’Espalier, Liquid Art House, Nebo, Ole, Oleana, o ya, Puritan & Company, Row 34, Sam’s, Shojo, Steel & Rye, Study, Taberna de Haro, Tavern Road, The Blue Room, The Hawthorne, The Merchant, Trade, Troquet, Tupelo, Via Matta, and West Bridge.

What is so great about Reserve is that they are also live in New York, LA and San Francisco!

Download the app bit.ly/reserveappstore and use my special rate code (rate code: dgrubs) to get $25 off your first dining experience!

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imag2039The Screaming Eagle is one part South Beach and one part night club. This French fusion restaurant is draped with gauzy white curtains and even offers a whole section where you can eat your dinner on a canopy bed. While that sounds lovely, we opt for the traditional table.

imag2040We start with the special appetizer for the night, the truffle pasta with prosciutto and a 60 degree egg ($22.50). A really nice dish, flavorful and the egg was a really nice addition.

imag2043We ordered the USDA Skirt steak, grilled and provençal marinated served with crispy polenta, ratatouille and truffle sauce ($34.50). A really nice dish, the meat was tender and flavorful and it was a great, light dish.

imag2042I had the Thai caramelized shrimp with mixed vegetables and spicy noodles ($35.50). A nice surprise to a mainly French inspired menu. I loved the flavors of this dish.

imag2047For dessert, the trilogy of chocolate mousse: layers of dark, white and milk chocolate mousse served with chocolate ice cream ($9.50). Great presentation – and the mousse was a really nice way to finish off the meal. We left full without being stuffed.

imag2048And as an added treat, with the coffee came a cute little dish of mini macaroons, cookies and madeleines.

Overall, the service was good. It started out strong at the beginning but trailed off at the end as our server got a few larger sized parties. We were finished with our dessert by the time the cup of coffee arrived.

Screaming Eagle

Eagle Beach
J.E. Irausquin Blvd. 228
t: +297 587 8021

http://www.screaming-eagle.net/

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imag2002Last year we went to Old Man and the Sea, and decided that when we came back we would try the Flying Fishbone that was located next door. The restaurant is a good distance away from the high rise hotels, a $32 taxi ride each way from Palm Beach.

imag2004I love the decor here!

imag2007The restaurant has amazing sunset views, make sure to get here early for a great seat. The tables are on the sand, so kick off your shoes and get comfortable. There are even some tables so close to the water that you’re dipping your toes into the water while you’re dining!

imag2013We start off with the creamy corn soup with shrimp ($10). I find it surprising that for a Caribbean island, there are a lot of cream sauces on menus and creamy soups…seems a bit heavy for 80 degree weather. That being said, I loved the soup.

imag2015The shrimp tempura appetizer is served with a spicy tomato onion salsa and crispy noodles ($18). This certainly could have been a main meal – really lovely dish with a lot of textures and flavors. After the appetizers came, we waited quite a long time for our main courses. Something happened with the oven in the kitchen so everyone’s orders were taking longer that expected.

imag2017Grilled shrimp: skewered black tiger shrimp with herb risotto, mixed vegetables and lemon garlic butter sauce ($31.50). A really nice simple dish, good flavors and a lovely presentation.

imag20181/2 lobster tail with shrimp: served with sun-dried tomato risotto, mixed vegetables and lemon-garlic butter ($39.50). I loved the risotto that came with this dish – and the seafood was cooked perfectly. Probably one of our favorite meals of the vacation.

imag2024Because the entrees took such a long time, the restaurant didn’t charge us for dessert. Chocolate brownie and mousse: chocolate brownie and chocolate mousse with chocolate sauce, caramel sauce and pistachio ice cream. I loved the ice cream, it helped cut through the richness of the dessert!

imag2022Apple pie: lukewarm apple pie, vanilla sauce, whipped cream and vanilla ice cream. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but seeing the word lukewarm on the menu doesn’t really entice me into dessert. That being said, the apple pie was delicious.

imag2025Overall a great meal – highly recommend it, especially if you are looking for something a little less touristy.

The Flying Fishbone

Savaneta
Savaneta # 344
t: +297 584 2506

http://www.flyingfishbone.com

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Good Ones Balvenie 1Last Sunday, the Good Ones got together for a Balvenie Power Hour at Post 390. The event was focused on bringing a mix of young, bright minds together with a few more seasoned professionals. This event had a charitable component to it, The Good Ones were collecting donations for Horizons for Homeless Children in Roxbury.

Good Ones Balvenie 2Co-founders of The Good Ones, Carolyn (left) and Jennifer (right) sipping on a scotch flight and enjoying caramelized cakes from Post 390, made by sous chef Jonathan Michael Moreira. Jonathan also created a delicious flourless chocolate cake and a green tea ice cream bites.

Good Ones Balvenie 3The dress code for the event was merino wool and vests. Co-founder of The Good Ones, Carolyn (left) and Iya Khalil (right) killed it.

Good Ones Balvenie 4Meet Iva Nikolau, the newest member of the Good Ones team – a recent graduate of Williams College, her psychology degree and previous event management experience makes her a great fit as the new social engineer apprentice.

Good Ones Balvenie 5Featured guest Kenny Gordon, Vice President of Gordon’s Fine Wines and Liquors, was on hand to talk about whisky with guests. Co-founder of The Good Ones, Jennifer Brooke, right, was rocking a one of a kind Petite Mort fur necklace.

For an invitation to future events, fill out the personality snapshot: http://thegoodones.co/membership/

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