Two of my favorite things to consume are pizza and wine so I couldn’t resist commenting on and sharing this infographic that I first saw last month on BostonInno but was originally posted by Indian Wine List.
Yesterday The AIDS Action Committee hosted their annual fundraiser and tasting, The Taste of the South End. This casual, fun event which draws heavily from South End residents and local foodies never fails to entertain and provides everyone a chance to interact with some of Boston’s most recognizable chefs. Thank you to everyone who was nice enough to pose, the participating restaurants andto AIDS Action for making this one of my favorite events to attend each year.
Last month Andy Husbands restaurants’, Tremont 647 and Sister Sorel, rolled out another cheap eats option with their MacDaddy Happy Hour, that takes place every Friday from 5:30 – 7:00 PM.
For just a buck on Friday you can enjoy burgers, fries, and fried pies. What a friggin’ bahgain.
Last week I posted What kind of wines do you prefer. Based on the feedback I received, I assume many of you are like me and love wine so I wanted to share this funny ‘wine flowchart’ that my brother shared with me last week.
I suppose the only question left in this flowchart is what kind of wine will you pour yourself? Since it is winter, I’ll probably grab a bigger red to cozy up with this evening.
Taste of the South End (TOSE) will take place next Tuesday evening at The Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts. Curious to see which restaurants are participating in this years Taste? Click here.
All proceeds raised at this casual event go to benefit the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts. Purchase tickets while they remain.
Tickets to the Taste of the South End
General Admission: 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm / VIP Admission: 6:00 pm
The Boston Center for the Arts 539 Tremont Street, South End
Foodies take note!
Sunday, April 27th Victory Programs will host Dinnerfest 2014 at Red Lantern from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. One week from today, their ‘early bird’ special pricing to this great event ends. Get your tickets to Dinnerfest 2014 before Friday, February 28th and save $20.
Dinnerfest 2014 Tix (early bird special ends Friday, Feb. 28th)
ABOUT VICTORY PROGRAMS 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of Victory Programs’ Boston Living Center, New England’s largest community and resource center for people living with HIV/AIDS, and the original beneficiary of Dinnerfest. Now that the BLC merged with Victory Programs, 2,600+ individuals and families throughout Greater Boston who face chronic health conditions such as HIV/AIDS, homelessness, substance use disorders and/or mental illness are served.
Declining participation from both Boston restaurants and diners has forced the organizers of Boston Restaurant Week to do some soul searching to help breathe new life into the ailing biannual foodie event.
This year it has been rebranded as Dine Out Boston the new two week event that will run from March 16-21 and 23-28 is hoping to lure both restaurants and diners back with a tiered pricing structure that offers lunches for $15/$20/$25 and dinners for $28/$33/$38.
FYI – American Express will apparently offer a $5 credit on cardholder statements when they spend $21 or more on an enrolled American Express card at a participating restaurant, during Dine Out Boston. I couldn’t figure out how to enroll my card; neither Dine Out Boston nor American Express had any information. If you figure it out, let me know.
Over the weekend it appeared as if the popular South End, cheap eats restaurant, Delux Cafe, had closed. Dig Boston posted this photo of the restaurant on their Twitter account @DigBoston on Saturday. Soon after @deluxcafe sent a Tweet assuring everyone they will reopen in February. The restaurant had been sold to a long time employee so one would expect Delux will remain same as it ever was; perhaps it is just getting a much deserved (and needed) cleaning.
The news of Delux closing did result in a lot of hand wringing initially as residents bemoaned the closing of yet another longstanding popular, cheap eats restaurant. Fortunately, that isn’t the case but it does provide everyone an opportunity to think through why (despite the popularity of such dining establishments) there are so few remaining in the South End. And what – if anything – will the neighborhood do to help encourage more restaurants like this to open in lieu of $20-$30 counterparts (or even worse more banks and real estate offices).
Boston and many of the surrounding towns have no shortage of fantastic Italian pastry shops with extremely loyal customers who all swear by their favorite. While the most famous Italian pastry shop in the area is Mikes on Hanover Street, I’ve always been partial to the Modern Pastry at 257 Hanover Street.
Last week I made a visit to the Modern and noticed that their neighbor Piccolo Venezia had closed and the Modern is expanding into the space, hooray. Modern Pastry has operated out of the same, tiny location for more than 80 years so I can hardly wait to see how their expansion will help accommodate them and their many loyal patrons of which I am a proud member.
My recent purchase of 18 mini cannolis filled with ricotta and two lobster tails
The South End restaurant and bar space perhaps best known as the former home of Icarus, but most recently occupied by Noche made news earlier this year when the owners, Boston Nightlife Ventures (BNV), said they would reopen as a cocktail speakeasy restaurant in early 2014 named Blind Tiger. I wrote about it and included some artist renderings in my post Blind Tiger.
Earlier this month BNV announced they were changing the name to Wink and Nod after initial tests indicated Blind Tiger sounded too much like an Asian restaurant. Euz Azevedo told foodie blog, Eater Boston, Wink and Nod will feature “a serious craft cocktail program with a dinner menu that can be paired well with the inspired drinks and are encouraged to be shared.”
While I’m happy to welcome a new restaurant and bar, BNV has a dubious record of managing restaurants. Maybe this will be the restaurant that proves me wrong. I’ll be more than a little curious to see who they partner with to develop their menu and see how it is managed after the opening. I was a regular at Noche’s bar on Wednesday nights and miss the space.
Having just returned from spending two weeks in Brazil, I thought I’d share some thoughts about dining in Rio de Janeiro. The biggest difference I’ve noticed since my last visit is that prices have risen dramatically. Kilogram restaurants (places where you pay by the weight of food on your plate) continue to be the most affordable. Of all the kilogram restaurants my favorite remains, Frontera on Visconde de Piraja in Ipanema (approximately 2 blocks from the gay beach in Rio).
For a nicer option check out a French creperie in Copacabana called Le Ble Noir on Rua Xavier da Silveira. The over sized crepes are delicious and is worth trying.
Confeitaria Colombo in Rio is in some ways what Cafe du Monde is to New Orleans. In recent years they have opened a second location at the Fort in Copacabana Beach called “Cafe do Forte” near Posto 6 (where Copacabana ends and just before Ipanema). Making reservations and requesting an outdoor table for brunch or dinner will afford you fantastic views of Copacabana Beach and Sugar Loaf.
A popular option in Ipanema is Zaza Bistro on Rua Joana Angélica. I first ate here about 4 years ago and when I asked friends in Rio for dining suggestions for this trip, Zaza was repeatedly mentioned.
There also remain a handful of restaurants two blocks from the gay beach in Ipanema on Farme de Amoeda; starting with Si Senor, Cafeina, Rota 66 (Route 66), and To Nem Ai. Cafeina makes for a good breakfast option but for the most part the food at these places is best not discussed. To Nem Ai is the most popular for grabbing a drink after the beach, to people watch or start your evening.
For additional tips about dining in Brazil contact me directly and I’ll be happy to provide additional insight.
So Eater Boston reported that The BiNA Family Hospitality’s latest newsletter (the owners of: jm Curley’s, Bogie’s Place, Bin 26 Enoteca and Lala Rokh) has recently added a logo for a new space called Merrill & Co. This leads one to believe that the South End rumor I reported earlier this month is more than just neighborhood gossip. According to the newsletter this new restaurant in a yet to be named location (cough, cough 1 Appleton Street) will open in the Spring of 2014.
Eater Boston Article: Rumor Mongering
BiNA Family Hospitality: Newsletter with new Merrill & Co. logo
Persistent rumors suggest that Sibling Rivalry’s plum location in the South End will soon be a Spanish tapas and wine bar.
Word on the street is the owners behind the popular Spanish tapas restaurant, Barcelona Brookline, will go into the space formerly occupied by Sibling Rivalry at 525 Tremont Street in the South End.
When I reached out to the ownership, I received neither a confirmation or denial, but a promise that more information would be shared soon. It is hard to say what may happen, but when I hear more, I’ll be sure to pass it along.
In late October I heard rumors that jm Curley in DTX was considering opening a new location in the space formerly occupied by 28 degrees in the South End. However, when I contacted Suzanne Dagenais – GM for jm Curley & Bogie’s Place – she responded that the ownership remained open to new ventures but there would not be “any more jm Curley’s in the South End or elsewhere.”
Fast forward to mid-November and word on the street is that the owners of jm Curley have inked a deal that will have them moving into the space formerly occupied by 28 degrees. If this turns out to be true it will be great to have them in the neighborhood. Not familiar with jm Curley’s? Check out their website, jmcurleyboston.com.
UPDATE – NOV 15: I was contacted again by Suzanne Dagenais. She confirmed the owners are looking at this space, but have not finalized negotiations (this runs counter to what I was told about the deal being inked).
According to Suzanne, should a deal go through, the space would be for a separate concept not yet determined. It is hard for me to believe that owners would agree to move into such an expensive space and not have a full business plan if only so they can get financing. What I’ve concluded from Suzanne’s email is it is unlikely jm Curley’s will open, but the owners are probably looking at a higher end option to make the space economically viable.
Could the soon to be departing jm Curly chef Sam Monsour be involved with the jm Curley’s owners in this new space? Time will tell I suppose. More about Chef Sam Monsour’s departure can be found in EaterBoston’s article.
Last week I was invited to attend a digital media dinner hosted by the Beat Hotel in Harvard Square. The subterranean restaurant, bar and music venue resembles the owner’s other venue, The Beehive in the South End, but it manages to exude its own character. The Beat Hotel earned my immediate gratitude when I learned the owners have brought back a few popular menu items that they had served up at Pho Republique but more about that later.
Beat Hotel Soursop Fresca
Capable of seating 360 and offering two bars in addition to live performances 7-days a week, makes the Beat Hotel not only a unique destination but also a very welcome addition to Harvard Square. I have to admit I really enjoyed everything about my first visit. I loved the look and feel of the space that was inspired by the Beat Movement from the 1950s and think that this place will thrive in its new home. As I mentioned previously, the owners have given a nod to a popular restaurant they closed in 2010, by adding Pho Republique’s smokey chipotle BBQ spare ribs ($14) and crispy tuna springroll ($11) to their menu.
I practically lived off of Pho Republique’s crispy tuna springroll so I was excited to see this return and the opportunity to eat this regularly is enough incentive to get me to head over to Harvard Square. For the record, both taste exactly as I recall and remain as addicting as ever. There are approximately 20 items from The Beat Hotel’s large menu that one may choose for appetizers and shared items with most reasonably priced $10-$12.
The dinner menu includes approximately 20 items. One menu item featured is the Beat Hotel’s Earth Bowl. These range from $20-$26 depending on the protein you include and the portions are very hearty including a natural selection of grilled and roasted vegetables, rice pilaf and tasty sauces to accompany your protein. I opted to try this and was pleasantly surprised by the variety of textures, flavors and portion; only order if you really are hungry!
My table guests were nice enough to let me photograph their dinners. The first photo shown above is Sergio’s massive organic chicken piccata that was served on a bed of gnocchi and spinach for $23. Unfortunately, the image next to it is hard to see, but it turned out to be my favorite meal, 40-Something Life’s swordfish tacos for $24. The photo in the lower left corner was my salmon earth bowl and in the lower right is the Halibut for $34. I failed to try the halibut, because I had stuffed myself into a pleasant food coma, but it smelled and looked delicious.
I’d encourage people to check out this venue for dinner, drinks or just a fun night out to catch some great live music. The website includes a current calendar of upcoming acts.
Beat Hotel 13 Brattle Street / Harvard Square
617-499-0001 / email@example.com