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Boston Food Finds Tour of Beacon Hill/Back Bay

16 Oct

On Columbus Day weekend, my husband and I had the pleasure to attend a Boston Food Tour of Back Bay & Beacon Hill courtesy of  Audrey at Boston Food Finds. Never heard of Boston Food Finds? Well Audrey has developed some amazing relationships with Boston area restaurants and specialty food stores to create some amazing food tours. Her tours include Beacon Hill/Back Bay, Greenway, and coming soon, Harvard Sq & Downtown (which includes Quincy Market & the North End). They are great for the tourist as well as a local!

I was excited to try the Beacon Hill/Back Bay tour. When Joe and I moved in together, our first apartment was in Beacon Hill, so the stroll to and from each place brought back some nice memories.

Our first stop was at Lydia Shire’s famed restaurant Scampo, which is located in the beautiful Liberty Hotel. I had heard so many fantastic things about Scampo so I was very eager to start our tour.

We were given a menu of what we would be sampling while we were at Scampo. My mouth was watering the second I looked at the menu! Gnocchi and pizza?!? Two of my most favorite things!

Obviously any restaurant that has it’s own slicing machine is a great place in my book.

But first! We were able to take a tour of the kitchen. It’s fairly small, but very efficient. Many of the chef’s were working on prepping for dinner service. Yum-mie.

While we waited for the food to be served, we got to munch on some tasty homemade bread sticks. These aren’t your run of the mill boring packaged bread sticks that are served at sub par restaurants. These were crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, so-good-I-ate-3-of-them-breasticks.

We were sitting at the chef’s table, so we were able to see everything as it was made. I LOVE sitting at Chef’s tables. It’s so interesting to me to see how the food comes together to become something truly amazing.

And let me tell you, our first course did NOT disappoint. Fresh arugula, fresh tomatoes, with gooey mozzarella paired along side gnocchi served with chestnuts, Parmesan cheese reduction, and a browned butter, garlic and sage sauce.

I pretty much ate this in about 5 seconds. So amazing. And I remembered to sop up all the sauce with a fourth breadstick. Don’t judge me.

Next we tried Scampo’s world famous Lobster pizza. Um, hello? Lobster AND pizza. I might just have to live at Scampo (much to my wallet’s detriment). This pizza was amazing, tender and crispy crust, juicy and big pieces of lobster. My only teensy tiny problem with the pizza was that it was a little on the oily side. But still didn’t detract from the amazingness.

This tour was obviously off to a good start.

Our next stop was at Beacon Hill Chocolates. I have to admit, I’d walked past BHC while I lived in Beacon Hill, but never went inside. For shame. For inside contained….happiness.

BHC was in full Halloween mood. But you won’t find boring candy corn here. Sweet potato pie bars. Halloween inspired candy apples. Truffles. Lots and lots of truffles.

We were able to sample a variety of chocolates. And not just boring chocolate. Milk chocolate with lime and chile oil. Dark chocolate. All of it fantastic. And we got to take home some delicious S’Mores pops and some brownie pops. And I may have bought a couple pounds additional items.

The next stop on our tour was Bacco’s wine and cheese shop. Bacco’s opened this year and it has just been flourishing. This was another place I had walked by and was curious to see what it was all about.

Cheese? Check. Pâté? Check. Craft beers? Check. Awesome wine selection? Check. Delicious and affordable meals from Pigalle restaurant? Check. Meat and Cheese BENTO boxes?!?!! CHECKITY CHECK.

Yep. Awesome.

For this stop we got to sample some amazing Dukkah from Lydia’s Handcrafted Foods, which is an Egyptian nut and spice mix. Grab some bread, dip it in some fabulous olive oil, dip it in the Dukkah, repeat 1000 times, and fall into complete bliss. Next came the most amazing almond macaroons I’ve ever had. Made by an older gentleman, St. Emilion’s macaroons have an intense almond flavor that is out of this world. You cannot just eat one of these. We also tried 2 different varieties of cheese, plus a sweet pino grigio that was pretty amazing.

Up next was Sabatino & Co. I literally felt like I was walking into a perfume store, not a specialty food store (which is why I walked right past it!). Sabatino’s definitely belongs on Newbury St., with decadent olive oils (truffle infused olive oil anyone??), to the most amazing pistachio cream I’ve ever had in my life. I may have single handedly eaten about half of the jar.

Besides the sweets, we got to sample an intense black olive tapenade, a delicious eggplant caponata, and some delicious espresso cream.

The orange and strawberry chutney was one of my favorites. One of the most interesting products they had was truffle infused honey. Alone, I didn’t really care for the taste, but after I heard some of the things it can be used for, I would totally try it. Unfortunately, most of the items at Sabatino’s were out of my price range ($26.00 for an 8oz bottle of lemon infused olive oil????? Ouch) I didn’t buy anything.

Our second to last stop was at Turner Fisheries for their legendary clam chowder. To make their chowder, they use rice flour instead of regular flour because it produced a better consistency to the chowder. They even provided us with a copy of their recipe! Yum!

Their chowder definitely had a silky feel to it which I liked. The potatoes were great, not too soft, not too hard. Was it my favorite? Probably not, as I would have like more chunks of clam, but I will definitely take their advice on the rice flour.

Our last stop of the tour was at Sweet, because obviously we need to end with dessert. I’ve never really bought into the whole cupcake craze that has taken over Boston, as most of the time the cupcakes are overpriced, overly sweet, and overly dry.

With that said, I had a hard time picking a cupcake though. Do I go with a classic chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting? Do I go more Bostonian with a Boston Cream Pie cupcake? Do I go Fall with a Pumpkin Pie cupcake with cream cheese frosting? Decision Decisions.

In the end, I went with the Caramel Apple cupcake, complete with apple compote in the middle, vanilla bean caramel frosting, and a Popsicle stick to finish it off. It was pretty much the perfect ending to an amazing tour. Joe ended up getting the Molasses cupcake with crystallized ginger frosting, but saved it for later.

Thanks so much to Audrey and Boston Food Finds for such an amazing tour! And if you haven’t checked one out yet, you totally should!

Disclaimer: My husband and I were given 2 complimentary tickets for this tour. However, as always, all opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way shape or form.

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Boston Local Food Festival 2011

3 Oct

This past weekend I attended the Boston Local Food Festival in Fort Point, in front of the Children’s Museum. It brought hundreds of vendors and people together that have a love for good, local food.

I wasn’t sure how we were going to be able to navigate through all of the delicious vendors, but we decided that if we saw something that we really liked we would go for it. Luckily, almost everything was under $5 which made stuffing your belly with delicious foods affordable.

A couple of local farms came out and were selling some of their farm fresh fruits and veggies so it was like a farmer’s market!

The first place we headed over to was Sportello, and they were giving out some amazing pork belly sandwiches on homemade focaccia bread. Let’s just say it was a great start to the afternoon.

Next up we headed over to Batch Ice Cream. Even though we had barely finished out pork belly sandwiches, the minute I saw Salted Caramel Ice Cream, I HAD to grab some. I mean, it could be sold out by the time we got back! Can’t let that happen now can we?

Our portion was HUGE! And it was packed with sweet caramel with a touch of salt. Favorite.

Next up we ventured over to Sofra. They had a ton of delicious sounding and looking delectables, but we went with the unusual sounding pastry pictured above. I can’t even begin to pronounce it, but it was a pastry filled with yogurt and spices. It was definitely not in your face sweet which I actually liked. It was certainly the most interesting item we sampled.

By this time I was veering very close to food coma, so we decided to wash the deliciousness down with some Pumpkin Soda. Yep, you heard me. It tasted like carbonated pumpkin pie. Which is alright with me. This soda was from Maine Root, and they were also selling a maple based soda that looked intriguing as well.

We sampled some other assorted dishes but sadly I didn’t take any pictures. Probably because I ate them so fast they were that good. We tried a garlic full sour pickle as well as the regular pickle from Real Pickles. We nommed on a grass fed burger from Miles Smith Farm. Juicy doesn’t even describe how amazing they are. I drank some delicious chocolate milk from High Lawn Farm. I was told that their eggnog was going to be sold at Whole Foods. Yes I will be picking one up.

Oh, who is that? Could that be Christian and Derrick from Master Chef??????? Why YES, YES IT IS. Christian obviously cleaned himself up and I REALLY wanted to go up to him and ask him if he was a real a$$hole or if he just played one on TV.

KIDDING!

Mostly.

Anyway, I had such a fantastic time eating and discovering new and local foods. If you missed out on this year’s festival, SHAME ON YOU! Can’t wait until next year!

 

 

 

 

 

Blogger Dinner At Audobon Circle

16 Sep

Last week I had the fantastic opportunity to check out Audubon Circle with a group of amazing bloggers. Audubon Circle is located in the St. Mary’s section of the Brookline/Boston line and I was very excited to try their full menu, as I had only been there one time before with Megan & Kathy and we only sampled the appetizers and beer (they do pitchers! Of GOOD beer!)

For some reason I was not in the mood for any of the beers they had (*Gasp!*) so I went with the acrb tea party – which was tea infused vodka with mint, lemonade & lime. When I get a mixed drink, I always prefer that I DON’T taste the alcohol and this one delivered. I also enjoyed the mint flavor as well.

We decided to go about the menu family style, so we ordered a bunch of appetizers and entrees and shared everything. Like good food bloggers do. I recommended the white bean dip because when I came before, I absolutely devoured this dip. It was smooth and creamy and the accompanying bread was soft and chewy. Yes please.

I’m pretty much never going to say no to a cheese plate, and when this baby landed right in front of me, it was hard to not take it and run. The red pepper jelly that they serve with their cheese plate is A-MAZING. Please, someone give me a vat of that and I am a happy girl. There were 3 cheeses that we tried, one soft, semi soft and hard cheese, which I liked.

I really enjoyed the tomato and burrata salad, served with crispy slices of cucumber, balsamic vinaigrette and some micro greens. Audubon Circle uses fresh, local and in season ingredients as the inspiration for their menu, and the heirloom tomatoes in this salad were full of juiciness and flavor. The creamy burrata was also a nice touch.

Next up was the marinated skirt steak with chimicurri and mango and corn slaw. This was a “meh” in my book. The flavors were nice, but it was a very forgettable dish.

The vegetarian dumplings were also a big hit and had such a pretty presentation. I also enjoyed the sauce that was served alongside the dumplings.

At this point it was time to switch to entrees. the pappardelle bolognese with pecorino romano and garlic toast was my favorite entree of the night. Long flat noodles coated in a delicious bolognese sauce and the garlic toast was covered with LOTS of cheese and was soft and gooey. I forgot to ask if the pasta was made in house, but it certainly tasted like it!

The BBQ shredded chicken with potato salad, house made biscuits and bread and butter pickles was probably my least favorite entree we tried. Not that it wasn’t good, because it was! The biscuits were full of delicious butter flavor, and how can I say no to bread and butter pickles? I can’t. I did not like Audubon Circle’s potato salad. The potatoes were too hard for my liking, I like the potatoes in my salad to be slightly soft, and these were not. The sauce was also not very flavorful.

We also tried the lobster roll, served with chips and slaw. The lobster roll was tasty, but it definitely had more mayo than I personally liked, but the slaw served along side made up for the roll’s shortcomings.

I love me a good ham and cheese sandwich, and Audubon Circle’s version certainly did not disappoint. Made with rosemary ham and muenster cheese, the mustard served on the side made for some nice dipping. I most certainly had seconds of this dish.

Another favorite of mine was the pork schnitzel served with arugula and pickled onion. You can’t really see it in this picture, but the schnitzel was incredibly thin with a perfect brown crust. I was instantly transported back to Germany (well, besides the arugula part). I told the husband about this dish and he was asking me when we were going to visit Audubon Circle.

Another forgettable dish in my book was the salmon served with sweet corn succotash and heirloom tomato. Maybe I’m just over salmon but this dish was pretty mediocre considering I don’t remember much of what it tasted like. I remember liking the succotash, so that’s a plus?


Audubon Circle only has one dessert on its menu, and for good reason, it’s fan-freaking-tastic. Chevre cheesecake with an oreo crumb. In case you’ve forgotten, chevre is goat cheese. And it’s amazing. I’ve never had a goat cheese based cheesecake, but I obviously need to get in the loop, because it is super creamy without being heavy. I hate heavy cheesecakes (I’m looking at YOU Cheesecake Factory!) but this was pretty much the perfect ending to a great meal.

It’s easy to forget Audubon Circle. It’s located in the middle of St. Mary’s and Kenmore, next to a bike shop, but believe me when I say, Audubon Circle is worth the visit!

Audubon Circle Restaurant Bar on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer: Dinner at Audubon Circle was provided to me free of charge. I was not asked to review Audubon Circle, so all opinions stated in this review are my own. 

Boston Brunchers at Local 149

12 Sep

I have to admit, I don’t make the trek out to South Boston very often. For some reason I think it is so far away, even though it is a hop skip and a jump away from my work, and a relatively easy bus trip from Copley. But I still have only been to a handful of places in Southie, such as American Provisions, K.O. Catering & Pie, and now, Local 149.

I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Boston Brunchers at Local 149 last weekend. From the moment you walk into Local 149, you know that you are in for a special time. I wouldn’t be lying if I told you this was my favorite Boston Brunchers event EVER, and I’m about to tell you why.

First off, I was really digging the decor of Local 149. From the colored seltzer bottles, to the funky paintings, to the high top tables surrounding the bar, I already loved Local 149.

And then they started putting CRAZY stuff on the table.

Yeah. It’s a freaking COCONUT. With a pretty umbrella. And you know what was IN that pretty coconut with the pretty umbrella?

Rum.

Oh, there may have been some coconut water in there, maybe some other stuff, but yeah, there was rum in it. And it was delicious.

I mean, clearly Megan was enjoying it.

Any restaurant that has a good charcuterie plate is a winner in my book. I wish I could tell you the deliciousness that was on this plate, but I can’t. It’s ok though, because it is continuously rotating, so you may not get the same thing each time you go. All I know, is that it was a wonderful start to the many items we were going to try that afternoon.

I’m going to tell you right now that I am not a Bloody Mary fan. Maybe it’s the horseradish. I don’t know. THIS Bloody Mary, on the other hand, was OUT OF THIS WORLD. Is the point of a Bloody Mary that you don’t taste the alcohol? Because it just tasted like sweet tomato goodness. I also swear I tasted oyster or clam juice, and I’m ok with that. I may have drank all of it.

Oysters aren’t considered aphrodisiacs for nothing. These Cotuit Oysters were briny and super fresh. The squeeze of lemon and additional of raspberry puree added a sweet note that again makes Local 149 different. I have a soft spot for Wellfleet Oysters, but these oysters were damn tasty.

Now it was time to get down to business. You really can’t get much more comfort food than chicken and waffles. But when they are made with rosemary butter and caramel sherry syrup and blueberries, comfort food becomes elegant. The chicken had just the right amount of crunch without being greasy, and the delicious syrup melded perfectly into the soft waffle.

Almost everything at Local 149 is made in house. From the pickles, to the bacon, to the sausage. I believe these beauties were a lamb sausage, and they were spectacular. They were served with a delicious house made chili sauce. I like it. I like it a lot.

It was a good thing they gave us so much food, because they also gave us A LOT to drink. Drink #3 if you are keeping count was a Mimosa made with prosecco, freshly squeezed OJ and Pomegranate juice. This was a lovely spin on a mimosa, and I’m pretty sure I will be adding pomegranate juice to all the mimosas I make from now on. I’m just fancy like that.

The next course was on of my (many) favorite. Breakfast pizza. But not just ANY breakfast pizza. A breakfast pizza with quail eggs, baby arugula, cherrywood bacon, and spicy creame fraiche. The added bonus of the different seeds on the edge of the pizza gave it that extra bit of crunch. I had 2 pieces. And I was very close to having 2 more. Put an egg on a pizza and I will be your friend for LIFE. True story.

The next sweet course was one of the most creative plates of the afternoon. Brioche french toast. Soaked in espresso martini. Oh, but it’s crunchy when you bite into it. Yeah, that’s the cinnamon Life cereal that it’s encrusted in.

WHAT?!?!

Yeah, that’s right. I’m pretty sure I’m going to try to recreate this amazingness at home. Crunchy on the outside, moist and soft on the inside. The white chocolate cigarette and whipped cream didn’t hurt. Oh yeah, and the THREE different kinds of bacon that were available to try. Marry me Local 149?

It was about at this time when the bellies of the Boston Brunchers were starting to protest. But we still had 2 more dishes to try. And 2 more drinks. Oh, what is a girl to do. This beauty right here is a peach and mint sangria, and was my favorite drink of the day. It was refreshing, and I loved being able to taste the mint. It was a nice break in between waiting for the food.

Our second to last course was the Lobster MacMuffin with Canadian bacon and cheddar cheese, on a homemade English Muffin. Um, McDonalds? You should be taking copious notes here, because this was a most amazing dish. I’m mesmerized on how TALL the eggs are. HOW DO THEY DO THAT?!?!!?! The eggs were fluffy and moist, with bits of lobster scattered throughout. I decided to skip the potatoes that were served with it.

Our last course was Yorkshire Pudding, with a housemade chicken sausage, homemade gravy and poached eggs. Probably my favorite savory dish of the day (with the breakfast pizza coming close behind). The Yorkshire Pudding was perfect, and slathering on the gravy and eggs and sausage was so amazing, I had 3 bites, even though my stomach was protesting muchly.

Obviously a sweet ending was needed, so we received a small portion of their Five Dollar Milkshake, a chocolate malted milkshake that was so smooth and so chocolatey, I almost asked for seconds. Almost.

I was completely and utterly BLOWN AWAY by the amazingness of Local 149. The service was phenomenal, and you could tell they were excited about the food they were making and serving. There aren’t many places I would go out of my way to go to, but I would most certainly go out of my way to come back to Local 149. You will NOT be disappointed.

Local 149 on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer: Brunch at Local 149 was provided to us at no charge. As always, all opinions are my own and in no way were influenced by the restaurant.

Wagamama @ the Pru

13 Jul

A few weeks ago, I was invited by Rachel over at Boston Food Blogs to sample some new menu items that Wagamama was unveiling. Now, if you read this blog at all, you know that I’ve shared my experience about Wagamama, but who am I to turn down free food and a chance to mingle with some wonderful food bloggers?

This was my first time visiting the Prudential center location and I have to say, they did a good job! They have a few tables outside in the arcade which makes for some good people watching and they have bench style tables throughout plus a nice view of the open kitchen.

We started out with the chicken dumplings. I love me some chicken dumplings, and this was a great start to the meal. Lightly fried with good flavors.

Next came some chili calamari. I really liked Wagamama’s version of fried calamari and that they used long strands of calamari instead of rings. The batter was light and airy, not heavy and greasy like other fried calamari. It was served with a sweet chili, garlic and cilantro sauce that was just the right amount of spicy.

What else do I say about edamame other than I can eat an entire truck load of these in one sitting. I heart edamame.

We also got to sample some delicious drinks. I’m not really a cocktail gal (beer girl all the way) but I really enjoyed this mango sekkai which was made with freshly muddled mango, basil and lime and blended with rum. It was sweet and definitely did not taste like alcohol, which is a dangerous thing.

Glazed ribs. Fall off the bone tender. I love ordering these and I was not shy about getting seconds.

The Suribachi chicken wings were finger licking good and they packed some nice heat. Yum yum.

Before I was even half way through my first drink I was presented with this ringo martini, which is sour apple and honey boubon liqueurs with fresh squeezed apple and lime. A little too strong for my liking, but still good.

Now it was onto the main courses! First, lemongrass shrimp soba. The soba was stir fried with minced cilantro, garlic, chiles, and fresh beansprouts. The shrimps were huge! And very good.

We were told that the Chicken katsu curry is their best selling item WORLDWIDE and there’s a reason for that: it’s AMAZING. Thick curry gravy is poured over perfectly pan fried chicken cutlets. Slap on some sticky rice and you are done. Next time I come to Wagamama I know what I’m ordering.

I really liked their marinated yasai noodle salad. Chock full of yummy eggplant, mushroom and sliced zucchini, this is definitely not your run of the mill salad. The addition of crispy noodles to the top was a nice touch.

This was probably my other favorite dish, the beef cha han. The beef is marinated in shichimi (what is that? I don’t know, but it’s delicious). The stir fried rice was flavorful and filled with veggies. Approved.

I’m always a little disappointed with Wagamama’s soups, and this was no exception. The salmon was overcooked and too flaky and didn’t have any flavor at all. The broth was nice, and the noodles were passable, but it was a very forgetful dish.

You didn’t think we would leave without dessert, did you??! The coconut reika was my favorite of the 3 desserts I decided to share with Kathy, Megan & Daisy. Three scoops of coconut ice cream with a smooth mango sauce and toasted coconut, I felt like I should be on a deserted island laying in a hammock swaying in the breeze. Light and fresh.

Creme brulee cheesecake. HELLO!?!? Um, love it. Although I think they could have gotten away with torching the top a bit more. Smooth and creamy.

Chocolate cake. I mean, what is there really to say? How do you go wrong with a chocolate cake? YOU DON’T. If you do somehow make a bad chocolate cake, you should probably be thrown in prison. Fudgy and dense.

Thanks so much to Rachel and Director of Marketing Nancy Barrett for letting us sample some amazing new dishes at Wagamama. It definitely came me a new appreciation of Wagamama!

Wagamama on Urbanspoon

Mystery Meet: Pig Roast @ Citizen Public House

20 May

I’m sorry I have not been posting often. I was too busy getting into GRADUATE SCHOOL. I’m still a little stunned on this one to be honest. It’s hard to believe I will be taking classes again in less than 4 months. After being out of college for more than 2 years that a little nerve wracking. But I’m so completely excited that I will be pursuing something that I truly love and enjoy.

Speaking of stuff that I truly love and enjoy, we have pig.

Ladies and gentlemen that is a beautiful suckling pig and I had the pleasure of nomming on at Mystery Meet which was hosted at Citizen Public House & Oyster bar. I had heard of their pig roast before this Mystery Meet was even announce and I wanted to do it. Then I figured out that the next Mystery Meet was at Citizen and I was on that like pig brains on a tortilla chip (more on that later).

I didn’t take too many pictures as the lighting was less than ideal, but seriously, you NEED to come here and plan a pig roast. I mean, obviously you have the deliciousness of the pork itself, but the SIDES are CRAZY.

Roasted asparagus.

Roasted herbed red bliss potatoes.

Macaroni and cheese.

Blue Cheese Bread Pudding.

I’m usually not a fan of blue cheese, but this one was mild and just CRAZY.

We also started out with some shrimp, oysters, and littlenecks. I was sad there weren’t more since I am an oyster whore.

So, let’s get onto the pig, shall we? Sadly I didn’t get any pictures of the pig sliced up since the lighting was bad, but just picture it in your mind. Pork loin stuffed with sausage. Tiny pork ribs. Pork belly. Pork Cracklins. Pork Ears (crunchy). Pork Pork Pork Pork. All washed down with a delicious (and cheap!) Pretty Things Beer.

A small sampling of what my plate looked like. I still ate my (delicious) greens!

Now, back to my pig brain reference from above. I tried it. It was scary. It was unlike anything I had ever tried before. It still kind of wigs me out but hey, at least I can say that I’ve had pig brains, right? RIGHT?!!

A big thanks to Wine Dine With Us for hosting this month’s Mystery Meet. Can wait for next month!

Stay tuned readers, I have an AWESOME giveaway coming up just in time for my BIRTHDAY! Stay tuned!

Pride & Passion 2011

5 May

Last week I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Greater Boston Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) Pride & Passion 2011 at One Marina Park Drive near the Waterfront thanks to Elizabeth over at Free Food Boston.

We were in for a total treat. A live and silent auction (which I would have loved to participate in if I had the money. I mean, one of the live auction items was a SAFARI IN SOUTH AFRICA. How cool is that?!?!?), a performance from Tufts University The Beezlebubs (they were adorable and super talented), and not to mention, some fabulous food from some amazing chefs, such as Jodie Adams, Ana Sortun, and Susan Feniger, among others.

But first, a little about PFLAG. PFLAG’s mission statement is:

Greater Boston PFLAG works to create environments of understanding so that all people can live with dignity and respect through:

  • Support: to cope with an adverse society
  • Education: to enlighten the public
  • Advocacy: to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights  

Greater Boston PFLAG provides opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity, and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity.

I was incredibly honored to be able to be a part and support this wonderful cause. And now, onto the food!!!

First up, from Street and Border Grill was a sea bass ceviche with red cabbage, guacamole and a plantain shell. I don’t know if it was fried or what, but it was amazing. Great mix of flavors, and the plantain had a nice crunch to it.

Next up was Lamb Shawarama with tahini yogurt from Sofra & Oleana. First off, get a load of that GIANT cast iron skillet. I loved this so much I went twice. The lamb was moist, and the tahini yogurt was out of this world. I think I need to visit Oleana SOON.

Stella made cod fritters with some kind of tartar sauce I think? I’m a BIG fan of cod fritters, and these were good. A little dry, but still tasty.

Another favorite were the mini veggie burgers from Upstairs on the Square. I’m a HUGE fan of Upstairs, and these burgers were great. Black beans, edamame, corn, and other yummy veggies, plus a smooth guacamole type sauce finished it off great. Plus, they were mini. Which makes them even better.

Grill 23 had Braised Beef Taquitos also with guacamole on them (seemed to be the theme of the night). The beef was tender and nicely flavored. Definitely a winner.

The Bristol Lounge had a chickpea salad with goat cheese (or it might have been gruyere?? I CAN’T REMEMBER) fondue. The chickpeas had a nice crunch to them, and the cheese was melted perfectly. Yummy.

Rialto made a char crudo on a dukkah cracker with radish, fennel pollen and tangerine oil. I have no idea what most of that means, but I do know that it was delicious. I love Jodie Adams, and I love Rialto, and their take on creative dishes.

The martini’s were provided by Grey Goose Vodka. I’m usually not a martini fan, but this Citron Raspberry Whip martini was so sweet I thought there was no alcohol in it. But then I was told it was ALL alcohol and then I immediately put it down. eheh.

Legal seafoods had a shrimp concoction on some chard. The crunch of the chard was nice and the shrimp was creamy, but I guess I just don’t like the flavor of chard.

Did I mention the event was held on the 13th floor?? The view was pretty amazing.

Let’s not forget DESSERT! Cupcakes were provided by the South End Buttery and they were AWESOME! Elizabeth and I plus her two friends tore into those babies. We tried the carrot cake, red velvet, chocolate ganache, strawberry cupcake, and maybe another one. I can’t remember. But they were all moist and delicious.

My favorite touch was all of the tables that were on the side where the live auction was being held. A rainbow of matching chairs, candles, table covers, even the icing on the cupcakes matched!! It look AMAZING and I loved the cupcake touch.

This was such a fantastic event, with amazing food, amazing location, amazing auction items, amazing cause. I was very happy to be able to attend this great event and encourage you to support PFLAG!

P.S. Remember that Cream Cheese Coffee Cake I made for Bloggers Bake for Hope? YOU CAN NOW BID ON IT!! So what are you waiting for?!?? BID BID BID!!!!

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