A few weeks ago I was invited to the soft opening for Smokey Bones in the North Shore Mall.
We started off with the smoked wings – they have a dry rub and then are slow smoked to keep in the flavor. They’re finished off with a drizzle of sauce – we had the sweet brown sugar. Other sauces include: KC BBQ, Chipotle BBQ, Mustard BBQ, Carolina Mopping sauce, garlic parmesan, buffalo, and spicy garlic buffalo among others. I’m not generally a wing gal, but these were pretty darn delicious. On Monday nights they have an all you can eat wingfest, $10.99 for all you can eat wings, starting at 9pm (see website for details and restrictions).
I went with the create your own combo plate: the Texas style brisket with a side of tater tots and a side of mac and cheese. I wasn’t as impressed with the brisket as I was with the wings, but the portions were generous and the sides were delicious.
For dessert we had the hot bag of donuts. How can you go wrong with that? They came warm, rolled in cinnamon and sugar, with a side of chocolate sauce and raspberry jam. Who needs dinner, I could have eaten just these!!
GIVEAWAY: I am giving away a $25 gift card to Smokey Bones. Leave a comment below letting me know what style BBQ is your favorite: Memphis, Carolina, Texas or Kansas City. Winner will be chosen Friday, 4/3.
Disclaimer: Smokey Bones invited me to be their guest for the evening and provided me with dinner. All opinions are my own.
210 Andover Street, Peabody, MA
The event had endless coffee and tea, tasty treats, homemade cookies, stonefire flatbreads, and wonderful coconut cake (center) with toasted almonds and passion fruit sauce. The event was a modern take on high tea – no raised pinky fingers here.
Tenzin Conechok Samdo, head bartender at Trade, AKA @bostonmixdrink, was mixing up specialty cocktails featuring Motto, a delicious sparkling matcha tea. Tenzin is known for his flavorful cocktails and his out of the box garnishes. Check out Tenzin’s Momo recipe (his best hangover remedy) on Jody’s husband’s (Ken Rivard) blog: The Garum Factory.
Guests included: (L-R) Pamela Paquin, Founder of Petite Mort, ethical fur; Featured guest and Co-Owner of Trade, Eric Papachristos; and Jennifer Brooke, Co-founder of The Good Ones. Papachristos owns Trade with celebrity chef Jody Adams and fellow restauranteur Sean Griffing.
Carolyn Kim, Co-founder of the Good Ones. Carolyn and Jennifer have really created something special – you can see it by the smiles on the faces of the people attending their events – everyone is enjoying themselves. There is always a positive upbeat vibe – and really, nice people attract other nice people. These aren’t your average networking events, there are no business cards or spiels – just people who are genuinely interested in getting to know you.
Want to be invited to the next Good Ones event? Fill out your membership profile here.
I was recently invited to a Backyard Farms “Tomato Talk and Tasting” event. You’ve probably seen Backyard Farms tomatoes in the grocery store, they come those cute boxes with the white picket fences. Tim Cunniff, EVP at Backyard Farms, was on site to talk all things tomato.
First up, the Somerset Pinks. Don’t be fooled by the Somerset’s pink color, their flavor is quite bold. While they are the best tasting beefsteak tomatoes, they are also the hardest to grow. They are delicious on their own, so you don’t want to do a lot with them. I remember as a kid growing up, my mom and I used to eat tomatoes like apples with just a little sprinkle of salt. Funny how food can bring back vivid memories. I wouldn’t do much with these, maybe a light drizzle of balsamic or olive oil and that’s it.
Next up, the cocktail tomato. Sweet and juicy, bursting with flavor. They grow about 7-8 on the vine and would taste great with almost anything. Check out these fun facts that I found on their website:
• Cocktail Tomato clusters start out as groups of 12 to 16 flowers. We prune the flowers to 7 to 8 to ensure even ripening of the fruit and to keep the plant in balance.
• Cocktail Tomatoes ripen on the vine starting from the fruit closest to the plant to the fruit at the tip. This first tomato is called the king fruit and the last tomato to grow and ripen is called the tail fruit.
The second course was the Backyard Farms Cocktail Tomato Soup: Backyard Farms Cocktail Tomato, Onion, Dill, Tarragon, Oregano, Honey. Check out the recipe here. I have to admit that I don’t generally enjoy tomato soup, oh the childhood memories, but this recipe was SO delicious!! Something about the honey and the lemon juice just gave it a sophisticated flavor.
We also had a Somerset Pink Tomato, goat cheese and prosciutto panini: Backyard Farms Somerset Pink Tomato, goat cheese, prosciutto and basil on Francese bread. In addition to the Somerset Pink and Cocktail Tomatoes, Backyard Farms also offers a beefsteak tomato and tomatoes on the vine.
Backyard Farms is located up in Maine. They have a 42 acre greenhouse that allows them to grow tomatoes all year long. At other farms, it’s like a factory – one day everyone will go out and prune, another day everyone will go out and pick, etc. At Backyard Farms, each personal gardener is responsible for 10 rows of plants – these personal gardeners have a sense pride in their work – these are your plants. While we were listening to Tim talk, you could really hear that he loves his job and Backyard Farms seems like a great place to work. Recently, they switched over to a completely non smoking workplace and the company paid for three months of the patch for employees. In January they offered a subsidized weight watchers program and 40% of employees who signed up have reached their goal weight! In addition, they offer great benefits, including a 401K, insurance and paid time off – not something you see every day with gardeners.
Check out their website for fun facts and delicious recipes: http://www.backyardfarms.com
I bet you didn’t know that Abe Lincoln had so many friends! Last week, 50 members of the #GoodOnes gathered at the Avery Bar at the Ritz Carton to celebrate honest Abe’s 206th belated birthday. Members dressed up in their finest black and white attire – top hats were optional!
Photos starting left and moving clockwise: Thomas Severo, aka Tommy Hollywood, Attorney and Comedian; Joshua Hall, Region Manager New York / New England at Covidien; Lance M. Morrison, Business Analyst & Executive Asst to Bill Ball, VP Strategic Initiatives & Risk Management of US Division Ops.
Photos left to right: Ryan Wittig, Senior Major Account Executive – Ricoh Americas Corporation – Healthcare Division; Sidi Gomes, Director of Architecture & Design at CIC, CEO & Founder of ParallelCities
Members sipped on fine cocktails sponsored by The Balvenie, from whisky flights to Manhattans, everyone was in good spirits.
Photo left to right: David Binder, Film Producer; Monica Singh, Assistant General Counsel at Sanofi; Julia Burr, Head of National Accounts, Independent/Regional Broker Dealer at RBC Global Asset Management.
Fun fact: did you know that March 4th was the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s 2nd Inaugural Address?
Every Good Ones event is different – whether it’s different people, different themes, or different venues. One thing they all have in common? At each event, they select a cause that is doing great work and help raise awareness for their brand. This week’s cause was Horizons for Homeless Children. Members were asked to bring one of two wooden puzzles to the event.
Photo left to right: Stephanie Horn, Horn Jewelers: Owner/Partner, G.I.A Certified Diamond Specialist; Carolyn Kim, Co-founder of the Good Ones in Victorian dress for the event (hair and makeup done by Phillipo Style Hair Studio); Anna Volkova, DOLCE&GABBANA.
The Avery Bar offers the “Avery 10″, 10 variations to the classic martini – dry, dirty and sweet to name a few. Light bites at the bar include a cheese board, charcuterie, a meatball hoagie and flatbreads.
Candice Wu, Designer, Candice Wu Couture.
Photo left to right: Vaia Kolios, Theo Asaridis, Despina Garalis, and featured guest George Papachristos. George is a lawyer with areas of expertise ranging from all areas of criminal defense to family law. George works within the community with non-profit law programs such as Senior Partners for Justice, the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Norfolk Bar Association and The Senior Partners for Justice.
Featured Guest Nick Taylor, Scotch expert at Gordon’s Fine Wines & Liquors. Nick spent last October visiting ~40 distilleries, enjoying tastings, meeting with owners, and delving deep into the intricacies of some of the world’s best whisky-making. Gordon’s Fine Wines & Liquors was an event sponsor for the evening.
For an invitation to future parties, submit your personality snapshot here.
The restaurant is small, it only has about 30 seats – but they also do takeout! Bonus is that you can BYOB and they don’t charge you a corking fee. Order at the counter from the menu on the wall and grab a seat – a food runner will bring your dishes out when they are ready. The service was quick and the staff at the counter were quite friendly
Dumpling Daughter is open daily from 11:30-8pm. Stop in this Friday (3/13) for custom french pastries from Cafe Madeleine in the South End.
37 Center St. Weston, MA
Earlier this week I was invited to attend an event to taste a new kind of dessert, frozen yogurt pearls. They are made with organic frozen nonfat yogurt and wrapped in fruit casings – inspired by the way nature packages fruit, like a grape. The event was held at Cafe ArtScience in Cambridge. Mixologist Todd Maul was on site mixing up a signature cocktail, The Pearl Jam. Here’s the recipe:
1oz Hayman’s Gin
1oz Hayman’s Navy Gin
2oz Guava/Cranberry Juice
3/4oz Lime Juice
1/2oz Gran Classico
Method: Spin the guava puree at 10000 rpm in a centrifuge for 15 min to separate the liquid from the solids. Mix and serve.
The frozen yogurt pearls come in 4 delicious flavors: strawberry outside with vanilla inside, peach outside with vanilla inside, strawberry outside with chocolate inside and coconut outside with chocolate inside.
The frozen yogurt pearls are available exclusively at Whole Foods in the northeast. They are perfectly portion controlled and come in packages of two. Even cooler, the packages are made from 100% renewable sugarcane.
About the size of a golf ball, these pearls taste best to me when you let them sit out for a minute once you take them out of the freezer. Because they are wrapped in these fruit “skins” they don’t melt nearly as fast as regular frozen yogurt treats.
For more information, follow them on Twitter @wikipearl and #exquisitelydelicious
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post
Come in, they’re open….and as an added bonus, The Breakfast Club has a parking lot!!
Earlier this week I attended an event that was rescheduled from earlier in the month (who’s tired of all this snow!!). The theme for this event was Valentine’s Day! I was in good company, Bianca from Confessions of a Chocoholic, Leah from Leah’s Life: Pearls and Oysters, Melanie from A Beautiful Bite, Molly from Pop.Bop. Shop, Erik from Thrillist, Devin from Only in Boston, Rachel from Foodista on Pointe, Dan from The Food in My Beard. The Breakfast Club is now serving breakfast for dinner (by reservation only) on the first Monday of every month.
For the second course we moved onto “The Color of Love”, red velvet pancakes with cream cheese icing. Now how cute are these pancakes? I could have eaten a dozen of these – they were THAT good, really light and fluffy. I loved the icing, it was just the right amount of sweetness – not overly so and it didn’t fight with the pancakes.
For the third course we moved to something savory – “Opposites Attract” 2 poached eggs on a grilled Stone and Skillet English muffin, 1 topped with smoked salmon and Hollandaise sauce and the other topped with shaved sirloin and their spicy home made Hollandaise sauce. At this point I was feeling pretty full and while I wanted to finish the whole dish, I couldn’t. The steak was probably my favorite, I love that spicy Hollandaise sauce…it would be delicious on a variety of dishes, not just this one.
For the final course, we had the “Mini ‘Box of Chocolates’ Milkshake”, chocolate, cherry, caramel, peanuts, and marshmallow swirl all in one shake. Holy food coma! This was a home run! The shake tasted heavy on the peanuts but that wasn’t a problem for this girl. A really nice way to end the meal.
The Breakfast Club’s regular hours are Monday-Friday 6am-2pm, Saturday and Sunday 7am-3pm. I have heard that the lines on the weekend can be out the door! It’s hard to find a good diner. Owner George Athanasopoulos is the ultimate host. He started his career working at The Diner in Watertown Square, one of my other favorite go to spots. It was his uncle’s diner and it is now owned by his cousin. George bought The Breakfast Club in 2002 and has filled this 70 seat diner with some great 80’s memorabilia. I’m already ready to go back: on my list to try – the milkshakes in flavors like Banana Nutella or Reese’s or one of the specials like the S’mores French Toast, Gingerbread Waffles, or the Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes. Are you drooling yet?
Check out the next couple of events below. Here’s how to get tickets: http://bit.ly/1AUtV1Y
Monday, March 2, 2015
St. Patrick’s Day
The Breakfast Club borrows from traditional Irish and St. Patrick’s Day fare, but with a quirky spin, offering up breakfast bites like a colorful Lucky Charms Parfait, decadent Bailey’s French Toast, and a riff on the classic Corned Beef & Cabbage incorporating it into the diner’s scratch-made Corned Beef Hash. Wash it all down with an “Irish Coffee” Milkshake – sláinte!
Monday, April 6, 2015
Skip the Easter Egg Hunt this year because The Breakfast Club is hoarding them all! Start your meal off with some throwback Deviled Eggs and then ponder the age-old question: Chicken or the Egg? while chowing down on an egg-white omelette filled with grilled chicken. For your Easter sweet tooth, Carrot Cake Pancakes and a Marshmallow Peep Milkshake should do the trick.
Monday, May 4, 2015
The trees and flowers are in finally in bloom and it’s time to rejoice because winter is over. Join The Breakfast Club for homage to springtime featuring a colorful Spring Hash, tropical banana/coconut/pineapple Hummingbird Pancakes, a Fresh Herb Omelette and a garden-inspired Vanilla-Lavender Milkshake. Better pack it all in now before swimsuit season arrives!
Disclaimer: I was invited to this event as a guest of The Breakfast Club. My meal was complimentary, all opinions are my own.
The Breakfast Club
270 Western Ave, Allston, MA
Last 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.
Master 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.
Sharp 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.
We 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.
Here’s a great recipe from Chef Andy Husbands for Lamb t-bones with mint pistou:
- 8 – 1″ thick Australian lamb t-bones
- 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
- 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
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.
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.
647 Tremont Street, South End
A 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.
My 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.
One 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.
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
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.
For 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!!).
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.
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.
Palm Beach 51, Noord, Aruba