Archive for the ‘bistro’ category

“I’m ba-ack!”

August 20, 2011

Wow, I’ve been MIA the last few weeks. Not that many people noticed, but I feel weird not having blogged for so long. So here I am, bright and early on a Saturday, ready to share my experiences from the last few weeks.

A few weekends ago I met up with some college roommates in Ocean City, Maryland, and we had a blast relaxing at the beach, going out for dinner and drinks and catching up. Here’s a picture of us at Liquid Assets, a bistro and package store with an awesome menu.

We started off the evening with martinis, shared a decadent cheese plate and enjoyed our delicious main courses. I got garlic chicken with roasted tomatoes, onions, fingerling potatoes, Benton’s bacon, spinach and herbs. One of my friends ordered the open faced slow braised Carolina pork BBQ with chipotle coleslaw and thick cut fries, and the other two got seared scallops risotto with roasted garlic and shallots, peas, mushrooms, fresh herbs and grana padano.

My garlic roasted chicken

The pork BBQ

The seared scallops risotto

The weekend following our Ocean City Extravaganza was a busy one as well. Jim and I hosted some friends, went to a Red Sox game and attended a two-day marriage prep class. The Red Sox game was a blast — thanks to our friend, Candace, we managed to get second-row seats!

Our view of the park

Unfortunately, the Red Sox did not win this game (and what’s worse is they lost to the Yankees), but we still had a great time. We enjoyed watching Dustin Pedroia do his little hop move before fielding the ball, making fun of Candace for her “crush” on Josh Reddick (I put crush in quotes because the rest of us sort of invented it) and going out after the game.

The marriage prep class was quite an experience. Due to a friend’s recommendation, we attended the one at the Espousal Retreat House in Waltham (completing a “Pre-Cana” marriage course is a requirement for a Catholic wedding, which we’re having). We showed up on Saturday to discover that 75 other couples in the greater Boston area were doing the same thing. Apparently, this was a record number. We spent the next couple of days together, listening to married couples share their marriage experiences and insights, receiving advice from a priest who’s worked with hundreds of married couples and discussing different aspects of marriage with out significant other.

The Espousal Retreat House in Waltham

In fact, they had each us one us complete forms devoted to specific topics, and then discuss our answers privately with our fiance (or fiancee). Topics ranged from finances to goals to religion. It was helpful to discuss those taboo topics you always try to avoid but really should confront. My fiance and I learned a few things about one another, but were pretty happy must of the subjects we’d already addressed (and were familiar with the other person’s perspective on).

The big theme of the weekend was: COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR SPOUSE. Even if you have an issue with another person (say, a friend of the family), you should always be willing to discuss your concerns with your husband or wife. Because you are a team and that person is there to help you out. They will feel validated knowing you trust them with your thoughts, and you’ll end up with a constant source of support and encouragement.

Last weekend my fiance and I headed to Syracuse, NY to take care of more wedding planning. We met with our priest for the first time, picked out the church readings and decided on the layout of the reception space. Also, my fiance designed wedding programs using his fine-tuned Excel skills. I was so proud of him. I had spent hours trying to figure out how to format Microsoft Word properly for a program. And then he goes ahead and whips up an awesome, perfectly formatted program on Excel in no time! I really think he should market his wedding program making skills!

Not only have I been so busy the last few weekends, but it seems like nearly every weeknight I’ve had some event to celebrate. For example, it was my sister’s 29th birthday on Wednesday (we had an awesome tapas meal at Solea in Waltham), my friend Bridget’s going away dinner on Tuesday, and my 3-year anniversary on August 10.

I love this card my fiance gave me for our anniversary

Finally, I feel like I can relax. I was so tired from all the recent happenings last night, that I went to bed at 8:30 (yup, on a Friday night). But now it’s 7 a.m. on a Saturday, I’ve already had my coffee and Stella D’oro almond toasts, and I’m feeling good! I’m really looking forward to this weekend — my only plan is to attend the Futures at Fenway doubleheader. Actually, I have one other plan as well: to celebrate my fiance’s acceptance into his graduate school program of choice! He’ll be attending Northeastern for political science starting in three weeks– yeah!!!

Scholars Bistro in Boston has good food and service

May 2, 2011

At least that was my experience on Saturday evening with a bunch of friends. Scholars American Bistro and Cocktail Lounge just recently opened at 25 School St. in Boston near the Park Street T stop. Their wine is a little pricey (you can’t get a glass for less than $7), but I suppose that’s often the case in downtown Boston.

They have some unusual items on their menu, which I appreciated. Those dishes include rabbit fritters, braised beef tongue sliders, lasagna cupcakes, apple cider pork belly, and prosciutto pizza. I didn’t have the biggest appetite, so I just went with the mussels appetizer.

My mussels

From my experience, it’s kinda hard to screw mussels up. But the smoked salt, tarragon, and roasted tomato sauce made the meal tastier than your average mussels plate. Plus, they provide plenty of bread to dip in the sauce. My fiance had Tuscan flatbread pizza, which included sun-dried tomato, pesto, goat cheese, and red sauce.

My fiance's Tuscan flatbread pizza

He was quite a fan. Another friend of ours, who adores hummus, ordered the Za’atar flatbread pizza. That one’s made up of pine nuts, goats cheese, hummus, and labneh (Middle Eastern yogurt cheese). For an appetizer, another friend ordered some raw oysters. She let me have one, which is always a ton of fun.

Me slurping down the oyster

While staff didn’t seem 100 percent sure of the menu (that’s understandable as the restaurant just opened), they were nonetheless attentive. At one point, there were three waitresses serving us drinks and asking how things were going. When we first arrived (around 6 p.m.), we were practically the only diners in the whole place. But around 8 p.m. or so, things started picking up.

I think this would be a neat place to go for an after-dinner drink or two. Upstairs there’s a billiards room, comfy chairs, and dim lighting. It’s the perfect environment for enjoying one of their many creative cocktails. Beer fans will be glad to know they have 15-plus brews on tap. I will surely return to this awesome restaurant/bistro/lounge!

This chopstick company could use a copy editor

May 1, 2011

While out at the new Scholars Bistro in Boston last night, we noticed this funny language:

South End birthday outing

June 11, 2010

Last night my boyfriend took me out to the South End for my 29th birthday. Here are some pictures:

It was sprinkling at first.

Nice brick sidewalks

Vespas are my dream vehicle.

View of downtown

Boyfriend in front of outdoor cafe seating

Cool stairs

We each had a drink at the Union Bar and Grille on Washington Street. I had an “it’s about time,” which consists of gin, a thyme infusion, citrus, and champagne. It was amazing! He had a “union smash,” which had bourbon, mint, citrus and ginger beer. He liked his, too!

For dinner we went to the Gaslight Brasserie, a French restaurant on Harrison Avenue. The meal started off with a perfect baguette (very crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside) with creamy butter.

For an appetizer we had fried artichokes “a la greque” (don’t ask me what was in the sauce but it kind of tasted like a high-end tarter sauce). So yummy! For dinner I had choucroute (my favorite French dish!), and he had the roasted salmon filet with garlic braised escarole and a vinaigrette of lemon confit.

Both of our meals were delicious. His was significantly smaller than mine so he got a side of mushrooms. In case you are wondering, my choucroute included baked apples, potatoes, sauerkraut, two types of sausages, and two types of pork. It was in an amazing white wine sauce.

We had two carafes of ’07 Reserve St. Martin (Languedoc region of France) Cabernet Sauvignon, For dessert I had a slice of apple and caramel cake with cider maple sauce, and he had a molten chocolate cake with “creme chantilly” (whipped cream). Both were “incroyable” (incredible).

Then he had a cappuccino and I had an espresso. Wow, we ate like kings (or a king and queen in this case). What a wonderful birthday dinner!

And my bf game me two awesome gifts: a copy of my favorite movie “Le Fabuleux Destin D’Amelie Poulain” that actually works in the U.S. (I got my other version in France and it doesn’t work with U.S. DVD players), and a bag of chocolate Madeleines (they’re my favorite breakfast food…perfect for dunking in coffee!).

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Relatively cheap yummy French food

February 17, 2010

Coq au vin

Craving some foie gras, cassoulet, or lamb chops with ratatouille, but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg? Then check out Bouchee, a French bistro on Newbury Street in Boston.

Not only is the food relatively affordable, but it’s delish!

Went there with my boyfriend a couple of weeks ago. We shared a smoked salmon plate for our appetizer, and for our entrees he had steak frites and I had coq au vin. For dessert we shared crepes mascarpone, or crepes containing berries, Grand Marnier and mascarpone cheese.

We washed it all down with a bottle of white wine from the Sancerre region of France. Here are some more pics of our food:

Steak frites

Crepes mascarpone

Crepes mascarpone

UPDATE: Bouchee is now closed :-(.


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