Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Josephine

          This past weekend I tried Josephine, the new French restaurant that just opened in Kenmore. The food, atmosphere, and service were all amazing; this was one of the best experience's I've had in a long time.

         We started with an amuse which included beet yogurt, crab salad with salmon roe, and truffle potato mousse. They were all delicious and beautifully presented, it set the stage for the rest of the meal perfectly.


          Next we shared a couple of appetizers including the pate maison and selection of cheeses. The pates included chicken liver mousse, duck rilletes, and pork rillets, garnished with balsamic drizzle, orange coulis, and cornichons. The cheese plate came with three including comte, camembert, and a blue cheese. I enjoyed both of these, but absolutely loved the pates! I could come back and make a meal of these.




          For a main course, we shared the canette en deux versions: roasted duckling breast and leg confit with parsnip puree and mixed vegetables. We also had to try a side of the pommes Josephine, confit potatoes fried crisp on the outside. The duck was cooked perfectly with crisp skin; incredibly tender with crisp skin. The owner stopped by before our meal came out and recommended an amazing wine pairing. We had trouble deciding, so he even brought over another glass in a different style for us to try! This also came with a palette cleaner, a ginger flavored drink, which our sever suggested we save until after the entree.



           Dessert was the BĂȘte noire – Hazelnut mousse with Feuilletine crunch. I was excited to see when this came out it was also layered with chocolate! Despite being full, we managed to eat every bite.

 
            
          As we were leaving, we were commenting that Boston used to be saturated with French restaurants, and now it's gone in the other direction. Josephine a great addition to the Boston restaurant dining scene, it's great to have a high end French restaurant that's also fresh and modern. I will definitely be back soon.
 

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Lobster Q

          Last weekend for Father's Day, I headed up to Hampstead, NH to try The Lobster Q, a BBQ and seafood restaurant. The entire menu looked amazing, so we decided to share a bunch of dishes starting with an appetizer of the home made onion rings. 


           My dad and I shared a combo platter with a choice of three meats or seafood selections (we chose kielbasa, ribs, and fried clams) and the lazy man's lobster. This is my half of each, after we split them up.


       
          The ribs were incredibly tender and came with a choice of three types of BBQ sauce. The lobster was delicious served with drawn butter, and the sides of mac and cheese, chili, rice, and corn bread could have been meals themselves!




           Although the fiance didn't order quite as big a feast as we did, he enjoyed the clam strip roll which was also a very generous portion.

           Overall we had a great experience at the Lobster Q. The food was delicious, and the portions were huge especially given the affordable prices. It's definitely worth a trip up from Boston!

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Bonefish Grill

          I love seafood, so I was excited to check out Bonefish Grill a national seafood restaurant concept that's recently opened a couple of locations in the Boston area. I tried the Westwood location the first week they were open, and had a great experience.

          The space was beautiful, with patio seating and communal tables in the bar in addition to the main dining room.


          We started with a couple of appetizers including the oysters, wagyu potstickers, and ceviche. The oysters were excellent, the ceviche light and fresh, and the dumplings had a bit of a kick and came garnished with toasted garlic and spicy peppers.





          For my entree I ordered the single lobster tail with a side of crab fried rice. Lobster is one of my favorites, and this was very good but my favorite was the crab fried rice. I would come back and order this as my meal! It was buttery and loaded with tons of delicious crab meat.


          The fiance also enjoyed his jumbo shrimp with lemon butter and garlic sauce.


          We shared the dessert special, a shortcake loaded with fresh mixed berries and topped with whipped cream. It was a perfect way to end a great meal.


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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Flywheel and Revolution Juice: My Perfect Pairing

          I don't often write about fitness here, but you may have noticed my posts lately have been more focused on healthy eating (or at least healthier than I had been). You also may be wondering why I decided to combine a post about spinning and juice bars - because they are popping up all over Boston and while it may seem like one is just as good as another, that's not necessarily the case. These are my favorites.


Why Flywheel is the Best Spinning Studio in Boston

          I held out on buying a membership to Flywheel for a while. I had a ClassPass membership, which is a great deal and there are so many spinning studios that participate you could easily spin every day even with the three class per studio per month limit. I tried nearly every studio in Boston, and started regularly supplementing my ClassPass membership with a class here and there at my top few. But over time I realized that not only was Flywheel the nicest studio with stadium seating, filtered water, healthy snacks and more comfortable seats, but I was consistently burning more calories. On average I burn 600-700 calories in a 45 minute class, which is significantly more than other studios. The reason: Flywheel's torque board.

           Unlike other spinning studios, Flywheel's bikes include a digital display of your speed, torque (resistance), current power, and total points earned throughout class. Knowing how fast I should be going and exactly how much I should turn my resistance up ensures that I'm working as hard as I should be, when at other studios I'm just guessing. There's also a leader board based on the top ten male and female riders with the most points. This definitely pushes you to work harder if you're competitive, and since I'm relatively new my goal is usually just to make it onto the board! If you accumulate enough points in a month you win prizes and early booking privileges, which are also a nice perk. If you haven't already tried Flywheel, I highly recommend checking them out. You will notice a difference!

Why Revolution is My Favorite Juice Bar in Boston

           I love treating myself to a green juice or a smoothie after a great workout, and like spinning studios juice bars seem to  be popping up all over Boston. However, they aren't all the same. I recently discovered my new favorite when I stopped into Revolution Juice this weekend. 



             What impressed me most about Revolution was the selection and extensive list of ingredients. They had a menu of green juices, fruit juices, root juices, smoothies, dateorades (drinks made with dates), and coffees and teas. There were lots of interesting ingredients like mint, basil, and dandelion. They also have vegan soups, acai bowls, and plan to offer baby food in the future! Although I'm not a mom, I have to admit that is pretty cool! So far I've tried the Easy Green juice with spinach, kale, cucumber, apple, pineapple, and lemon, which was delicious, and I can't wait to go back for more!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Machu Picchu

           Machu Picchu is a tiny authentic Peruvian restaurant in Somerville's Union Square. I went a long time ago and loved it, but for some reason never made it back until recently.

           
           I went in for lunch with a friend last week, and we shared a couple of dishes so that we could try more. We started with the tamal, a homemade tamale stuffed with pork and wrapped in a banana leaf. It was garnished with red onions and two types of hot sauce. The pork was delicious; extremely tender and flavorful.
 

           For our main course we shared a half chicken with tacu tacu (beans and rice) and fried yuca. The chicken was slow cooked in a blend of Peruvian spices, had a nice crisp skin, and and incredibly juicy. The tacu tacu also had great flavor; I was surprised by how much I enjoyed a simple side of beans and rice.


 
 
           Overall the meal was excellent, and extremely affordable. We took quite a bit of chicken home, so at a total of around $25 this worked out to be three full meals. I would definitely come back.

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Gaslight

          Gaslight was my first introduction to French bistro food years ago, and to this today is my favorite place in Boston (or anywhere) for a croque monsieur. I went in for dinner recently with some friends after way too long, and it was just as good as always!

          We started with some apps including the steak tartare and fontina fondue in a cast iron skillet. My favorite was the steak tartare which came with an over easy egg and fresh herbs.



           Of course I ordered the croque monsieur, since there is none in Boston that even compares. Gaslight's version comes with ham and bechemal sauce on the inside and tons of melted gruyere on top. It's served with tons of fries and a small salad, which makes it feel slightly healthier!


          For dessert we shared the chocolate beignets with creme angalis. These were like mini chocolate cakes with a warm gooey center, and the creme anglais dipping sauce was a perfect contrast.


           My meal at Gaslight was exactly what I'd hope for in a French bistro - simple, with fresh ingredients done right.

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29 Sudbury

          29 Sudbury is a short drive from Boston, and definitely worth the trip outside the city. I tried the brunch recently and was completely blown away by the experience! If you go, you HAVE to try the Bloody Mary Bar. The first step is to order your base which includes a choice of vodka, juice (spicy or not) and rim. You can also add shrimp or crab which is not included in the bar. The drink comes out in a GIANT mason jar, which you bring up and garnish yourself from a selection of toppings.

The Starting point:


The Toppings:



The End Result: 


          I garnished my bloody mary with bacon, olives, blue cheese filled olives, salami and cheese, prosciutto wrapped asparagus,  limes, and hot sauce. We may have gone back for seconds!

          The entrees were equally impressive, and though I was a bit jealous of the eggs benedict on housemade biscuits and massive breakfast sandwich, I really enjoyed my caesar salad topped with lump crab. 




          I've also been to a private party at 29 Sudbury, and the food and space were just as impressive. It's a great place for a nice dinner, or to host an event.
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