Last Saturday I watched Unique Sweets on The Cooking Channel (locally that is Ch-239). This episode was dedicated to all things chocolate and included a local pie shop with stores in Somerville and East Cambridge called Petsi Pies.
Living in the South End, I’ve become spoiled by all the great bakeries in my nearby so I went to check out Petsi Pies to see if it lived up to the hype. In the name of ‘research’, I purchased some of their most popular chocolate goodies.
The Whoopie Pie Cupcake includes a decadent chocolate ganache frosting and whipped cream filling that reminds me more of gourmet hostess cupcake than a whoopie pie, but don’t take that as a complaint. Upon biting into this treat I promptly had to pour myself a large cup of milk. I can see how these could be incredibly addicting. This is a must try for cupcake lovers.
The Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie was too enticing not to try and turned out to be my favorite item purchased. The Bourbon is subtly infused into the soft chocolate filling and not overpowering at all. My favorite thing about this pie is the mixture of the filling and crushed pecans generously sprinkled on the top. I think this probably would go best with a large dollop of fresh whipped cream and should replace traditional pecan pies.
The Mississippi Mud Pie is for the person who believes there is no such thing as too much chocolate. The dark, thin pie crust tastes like a crushed chocolate cookies. And that pie crust is necessary to hold all the gooey, chocolate brownie-like batter that is piled on top of it. However, just to make certain a chocolate-induced food coma will ensue Petsi Pies then tops the filling with chunks of chocolate brownie and drizzles it with chocolate ganache.
All told, I have to say that Pesti Pies did live up to the hype and is worth visiting. If you like this type of ‘reasearch’ let me know, and I’ll continue this important work; ignoring my ever expanding waistline. Is there a bakery or pastry shop you love in the Boston area you think I should check it out? Let me know.
The Taste of Chocolate Festival starts tomorrow, Friday, January 23rd and runs through Sunday, January 25th in Harvard Square.
Some of Harvard Square’s finest restaurants and cafes participate in this three day chocolate extravaganza so if you love chocolate, you may want to hop the red line and head to Cambridge this weekend.
Restaurants will feature chocolate appetizers, entrees, deserts, cocktails, cordials and nightcaps while participating Harvard Square retailers will have scrumptious chocolate specials and deals. For more details visit here.
Last week the Ink Block announced that a new Capital One 360 Bank and Cafe would be opening soon to which I tweeted in response: The fact that Capital One has concluded (ahead of much of their competition) that banks are not exactly loved by everyone so they’ve started including coffee shops is a smart marketing move on their part but it is hard for me to cheer for another bank to open – even if that section of the neighborhood is underserved.
So I’d like to champion the news that a coffee shop, CUPPACOFFEE, (without the added baggage of a bank) will be opening in the Troy at 55 Traveler Street possibly as early as mid March. CUPPACOFFEE is an Australian coffee house which means they will also sell Aussie foods like meat pies, lamingtons, anzac cookies and other treats.
I stumbled upon this pairings guide and while I would always encourage individuals to pair whatever they like, I recognize that guides like this can be helpful for those who may not know where to start.
For those who live locally, I would strongly suggest visiting Formaggio and let them know what wine you are purchasing. They make excellent suggestions.
Although 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).
While 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).
In 2014 the Boston restaurant industry seemed to finally hit its stride with more openings than I can recall in recent years. An improving economy and some interesting local legislative initiatives – notably the addition of 75 new liquor licenses – all helped to contribute to this. While some restaurants closed their doors in 2014 it seems like there was twice that number opening. Here are five trends that I believe you can expect to see in Boston in 2015. Let me know your thoughts and feel free to share your own predictions.
Celebrity Chefs: More big name, nationally recognized chefs will open restaurants in Boston. Mario Batali’s Babbo Pizzeria which is expected to open in the Seaport is just one example. Expect announcements from local chefs of note to announce new restaurants (hint: think Ink) in the first half of 2015.
Seaport, South End & Southie: Developments in the Seaport will keep the neighborhood in the news with more high profile restaurant openings. However, Southie and the South End will continue to see more restaurant openings as well.
Shared Plates: Dining trends continue to point to small / shared plate options. I will admit this trend confounds me but recent and soon-to-be openings continue to show an appetite on the part of chefs to build these menus.
Bigger: Restaurants in Boston will get bigger and build even larger bars that are prominently featured in an open dining space that encourages a more social dining experience.
Late Night Dining: More restaurants in Boston’s downtown neighborhoods will experiment with staying open and serving food later as millennials look for more options after Midnight and the city becomes more accustomed to the Late Night T service.
Once again EaterBoston has pulled together a solid list of local restaurants that are open and serving dinner on Christmas Eve. While this is not a complete list, it does give you some great options.
Have a happy and safe Christmas no matter where you may find yourself and for those of you who don’t observe this holiday, may your week pass quickly so you too can enjoy some time away from work with friends and family.
Restaurants open on Christmas Eve via Eater Boston