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
Despite the fact that I’m currently in Brazil, friendly tips from readers continue to help me keep you posted about life in the South End. Just as I was the first to share with you news about BoMA’s closing earlier this year, I’m happy to be the first to let you know the Elephant Walk South End quietly opened their doors for business this past Sunday evening. News of their opening came to me from two readers, Dave & Owings, who happened to be walking by the restaurant Sunday evening.
While the restaurant has not noted the opening on their website or facebook, and they are not taking reservations on Opentable.com yet, look for these updates in the days that follow. I will be in Brazil through the holidays so at this point I have no further details to offer, but if you do check out Elephant Walk let me know your thoughts about the décor, menu and food.
Congratulations to the owners of Elephant Walk. I want to welcome them to the neighborhood and wish them much success.
Elephant Walk – 1415 Washington Street – (617) 247-1500