Category Archives: Cocktails

Boston Magazine: A Chef’s Guide to Eating Well in the South End

A Chef’s Guide to Eating Well in the South End, Christopher HughesRead Boston Magazine’s article penned by Christopher Hughes, A Chef’s Guide to Eating Well in the South End. Hughes, the magazine’s online food editor, asked Ken Oringer (Clio, Uni & Toro) and Top Chef season 10 winner Kristen Kish to share their favorite South End spots.

The article really illustrates how lucky South End residents are, showcasing a wide variety of options.  If you are curious where Oringer and Kish go for cocktails and / or cuisine check out the article. My only surprise – even though I agreed with many of their choices – was how many other options we have in this tiny neighborhood that went unmentioned.

How can anyone overlook such neighborhood gems like Formaggio with their superior selection of cheeses and meats or Brix with their unique selection of small vintage wineries?  Restaurants and bakeries like South End Pita, Orinoco, Elephant Walk and Render Coffee add color and options that most neighborhoods would kill to have but the South End has such a rich collection it is easy to forget all the markets, restaurants, bakeries and cafes crammed into this tiny n’hood.

Opus Affair social at Stoddards tonight

Opus AffairTonight, Opus Affair will ring in the New Year at Stoddard’s in Downtown Crossing, where three years ago they started their now famous Punch Bowl Fund. This month’s Punch Bowl is featuring: Bridge Rep of Boston, Girls Rock Camp, and Opera on Tap.

Make sure to RSVP

(Note:  there is no cost to RSVP – it is just to help keep count!)

Who is Opus Affair?  They are a community of artists and friends who love the arts and gather together for cocktails to chat about the arts scene and make new friends.  If you’ve never been to an Opus Affair social come and check them out.

Drinking preference of Americans by state


Click on image to enlarge


Vinepair has created a map to show the the drinking preferences of Americans by state.  The states are classified into four different colors to show their preference in wine, beer, spirit or other alcohol.

What do you make of your state’s preference? While I do like beer, I have to admit I’m far more likely to have either a glass of wine or dry martini.

Wine review: The Prisoner

wine review, napa valley wineryThis past week I purchased a bottle of The Prisoner at the Whole Foods in my neighborhood.  The wine is named after the winery “The Prisoner Wine Co.” and was ranked #89 on the 100 of 2014, but it was the brooding rendering on the label that intrigued me enough to make the purchase.

The wine is a blend that mostly comprises Zinfandel but also includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Charbono, and Grenache. Upon pouring a glass of the wine the aroma made my mouth water.  Hints of cherry and licorice are followed by others that are hard to place but not hard to enjoy.

Although this would be an easy wine for me to have on its own, I paired it with a d’affinois cheese with truffles (similar to a very creamy brie).  If you enjoy  reds and creamy brie cheese you may want to consider opening this when nobody else is around so you needn’t share. The Whole Foods South End has The Prisoner on sale for $39.99.  Online prices for the 2013 bottle ranging from $39.99 – $50.00.

Wine review

The Prisoner wine and d’affinois cheese with truffles and crackers

Attention wine lovahs

Amisfield Pinot Gris 2012, New ZealandLast week, local blogger, Richard Auffrey, wrote a post  on his blog, The Passionate Foodie, that wine lovers in MA need to know about called, Rant: A Plea To Wine Lovers In Massachusetts.

In his post, (which I encourage you to read – use the link above), he explains some of the details of our state’s new Direct Shipment Law.  However, what I wanted to focus on was his plea that wine lovers contact their favorite U.S. wineries and tell them you want to be able to get their wines shipped to you. These wineries need to know that a demand for their wines exists and it will be financially advantageous to apply for a Direct Wine Shipper license.

Write a letter or email to your favorite wineries or contact them through your preferred social media outlet and most importantly – get the word out to your friends to do the same.

Spot (the gays in Sao Paulo)

Dining Sao PauloAlthough on our most recent visit we didn’t have a chance to go to Spot, I thought I should write about this restaurant and bar since it is a favorite.  You will find more than a few handsome men at this gay friendly restaurant conveniently located just a block off of Paulista Avenue near MASP.

The first time I visited Spot was probably ten years ago.  We arrived at 11PM on a Friday night and asked for a table for four.  The handsome host smiled and said the wait was 2 hours, but encouraged us to order drinks from the bar and enjoy the outdoor patio while we waited.  We didn’t take him seriously until he came to seat us for dinner at 1 AM (at which point there was only a 30 minute wait).

Dining in Sao PauloWhile the food is good it is the people watching that makes this a great place to either nab a cocktail or have dinner with friends.  Main dishes at Spot run from $30 – $50 Reis (with the current US exchange rate of 2.5 that equates to $15-$20).

Hotel Unique and SKYE Bar in Sao Paulo

Unique Hotel Sao PauloI always enjoy spending a few days in Sao Paulo, Brazil, but if you don’t know where to go it can seem like a massive concrete jungle that is tough to navigate. Fortunately that isn’t a problem for me since I’ve been several times and have good friends who are Paulistas.

Cocktails in Sao Paulo taste sweeter from atop the SKYE bar.

On our recent visit to Sao Paulo we met friends for cocktails at the SKYE Bar atop Sao Paulo’s Unique Hotel.  Located near Ibirapuera Park, the roofdeck bar offers some pretty spectacular views of the city’s skyline (see above).

Hotel Unique Sao PauloWhen you drive up to Unique Hotel you realize the name is accurate – regardless of what you make of the architecture – which I loved by the way.  Our taxi driver referred to it as “melancia” (watermelon), which made me laugh.  The bar is sleek and designed to impress from the minute you enter through the marble hallway and walk through the dining room.  Red lights reflect off the lap pool that runs the length of the deck beside comfortable furniture that is available on a first come first serve basis. Hotel UniqueIf for some reason, the weather is not cooperating but you would like to visit the hotel, they have an impressive second option in the hotel lobby on the ground level worth checking out. You can grab a seat at their large bar or sit down in their library which has plush red seats and can be seen in the image below to the right.

Sao Paulo Regardless of the weather, this is a great place I would recommend for cocktails.