Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Aragosta Bar + Bistro


For Aida's birthday we went to Aragosta Bar + Bistro located Boston's Harbor Walk in the North End. Right on the waterfront, Aragosta delivers Italian food with a New England twist. We sat at the Chef's Table and had Chef Graham's six course tasting menu. 
As a sous chef with over a decade of professional kitchen experience James is accustomed to the hustle and bustle of working the line at a busy restaurant. Aida, on the other hand, was shocked by the speed at which the chef's moved and the accuracy in which they were, quite literally, pumping out food. Seating at the Chef's Table was an awesome experience, especially for a non-chef like Aida...she definitely has a better understanding and respect for her husbands profession! 

Our waiter was very attentive and immediately brought us bread and bottled water. He also suggested some great wine pairings for our meal. James took his cocktail suggestion and ordered the Cilantro Sting which contains hand-pressed cilantro, serrano chiles, vodka, patron silver, and freshly squeezed lime juice. This is an out-of-the-box cocktail that surprisingly worked. The taste was good and it paired well with the meal! 
Cilantro Sting
First Course: Oysters with horseradish, barolo mustard seed mignonette, and house made cocktail. The oyster was perfectly cleaned. It was a refreshing start to our meal! 
Oyster
 Second Course: Lobster Bisque with a fresh ravioli, crème fraiche, and chives. The bisque was delicious! It was packed with lobster flavor and had a creamy, luxurious texture. It was a real treat when the Executive Chef poured the bisque table side. 
Ravioli for the Lobster Bisque 
Lobster Bisque 
Third Course: Baby Beet and Burrata with beet variations and candied pistachios. This plate of food was absolutely amazing! The beets were superbly cooked, the burrata added a delicious, creamy element, and the pistachios gave it a nice crunch. Texturally it was a perfectly balanced dish.
Baby Beet and Burrata 
Fourth Course: Nantucket Scallops with cannelloni bean "succotash," parsnip purée, and grapefruit. The scallops were the star of this dish...they were right on both on doneness and flavor. This was an excellent dish and one of the highlights of our meal! 

Nantucket Scallops
Fifth Course: Veal Milanese with a Sundried Tomato Risotto. Everything about this dish was spot on. The veal paired with the creamy risotto was outstanding. The fresh fennel salad added some much needed lightness to the dish. A great ending to the savory portion of our meal!
Veal Milanese
Sundried Tomato Risotto
Veal Milanese with Sundried Tomato Risotto 

Sixth Course: Frittelle with banana, salted caramel, and créme anglaise. These donut like fritters were a bit undercooked and were a little heavy. After such a filling five courses we would have preferred something lighter to end the meal. Yet, the flavor was good and who doesn't like warm frittelle right out of the frier? 
Frittelle
Aragosta Bar + Bistro delivered an exceptional dining experience. Every single bite of food was delicious! We recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for some good, upscale food and a great atmosphere.

For more information on Aragosta Bar + Bistro go to http://www.aragostabistro.com

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Lolita (Revisited)


We are huge fans of Lolita in the Back Bay. We have been hearing about their All You Can Eat Taco Mondays for a while now and a few weeks ago we finally had a chance to try them! Like always, Lolita started our meal with some complimentary tortilla chips, house-made salsas/dip, and granita with a shot of the house tequila. A delicious start to the meal! 
Complimentary Tortilla Chips with three House Dips
Complimentary Granita with a shot of house Tequila
In order to get the $7 all you can eat taco special you have to order one of Lolita's signature cocktails.  Aida stuck to a traditional margarita, the Lolita Margarita, with zap open reposed, cane sugar syrup, grapefruit, and combiner liqueur. James branched out and ordered their Ginger Peach Sangria with white wine, mathilde peach liqueur, ginger, and fresh lemon. These drinks were a great accompaniment to our tacos. We are lightweights and one drink each was enough for us...Lolita definitely does not serve watered down drinks. 
Lolita Margarita
Ginger Peach Sangria
If there is something Lolita does well is soup. Every time we go we have to order their Tortilla Soup with roasted chicken broth poured table side with pulled chicken, avocado, tortilla chip strips, green chiles, and queso. This soup is nothing short of amazing, it is the perfect soup for a cold winter night! We also ordered Lolita's Spicy Corn Bisque which is a creamy roasted corn bisque with ancho chile spices, creme, corn nuts, and sliced scallions. This was our first time trying this soup and it is delicious! It was rich, creamy, decadent, and packed full of flavor! 
Tortilla Soup
Spicy Corn Bisque 
Last but not least came the all you can eat tacos. The hard and soft tortillas come accompanied by beef, chicken, sour cream, salsa, lettuce, and shredded cheese. We did not go back for seconds for Lolita gives a generous first serving. The tacos were flavorful and customizable to fit everyone's taste.  Overall, Lolita's $7 All You Can Eat Taco Monday did not disappoint. 
All You Can Eat Taco Fillings 
Hard and Soft Tortillas 
To end our meal our waiter brought us Lolita's complementary Cotton Candy topped with Pop Rocks. There is not much to say about this dessert except that it is a fun play on a childhood favorite! 
Cotton Candy with Pop Rocks 
We always have a good time when we dine at Lolita. It has become one of our go-to spots in the Back Bay. We suggest making a reservation before going...this place is usually packed. We would recommend Lolita to small groups of friends looking for good drinks, great food, excellent service, and a funky atmosphere! 

For more information on Lolita go to http://www.lolitatequilabars.com
To read our previous review on Lolita go to http://www.bostonfoodandlove.com/2012/04/lolita.html

Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar on Urbanspoon Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar on Foodio54

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Alton Brown Live! The Edible Inevitable Tour

A few Saturdays ago we attended Alton Brown Live! The Edible Inevitable Tour at the Hanover Theater in Worcester, MA. Now, you might now from our bio that James is a chef. Alton Brown and his Food Network show Good Eats were the inspiration behind his career choice. 

Photo Credit to David Allen 
We went to the show with absolutely no idea of what it was actually about...we assumed there would be some food related rants, after all it is Alton Brown, and some sort of cooking demo. However, what we were not expecting was a mini food related concert, an awesome ice cream making machine and the most spectacular easy bake over ever made!  

Photo Credit to David Allen 
Alton Brown delivered about two hours of constant entertainment. Brown's ever changing speech "10 Things I'm Pretty Sure I Know About Food" was surprisingly eye opening. Wash your mushrooms America! Chicken's don't have fingers! His rants, mixed in with unexpectedly good singing and guitar playing made for a great evening at the theater. Overall, we really enjoyed the show and would recommend it to anyone! 

Photo Credit to David Allen
Photo Credit to David Allen 

Finally, we would like to thank Alton Brown's team, especially Dan Grody from Tellem Grody PR, for giving us access to high resolution photos from the tour. They really came in handy since photography is prohibited during Brown's performance. 

For more information on Alton Brown's Live Tour go to http://www.altonbrowntour.com/

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

An Evening Celebrating the Food and Culture of Japan


We would like to thank the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), 
Chef Ming Tsai, and the staff at Blue Ginger for having us at An Evening Celebrating the Food and Culture of Japan. 

We had a great time at the event, which featured the first three episodes of "On the Road: Japan" of Chef Tsai's show Simply Ming. In the show he travels to Japan and focuses on how certain foods, such as miso and sake, are produced. 

Chef Ming Tsai 
Selection of sake from a brewery Simply Ming visited in Nara 

The food at the event was the highlight of our evening. Delicious! 

Foie Grass Shumai with a sauterness-shallot broth
Smashed Shrimp Dumpling with a citrus truffle vinaigrette 

New Style Buri Sashimi with Hot Curry Oil
The Buri was sourced from Japan at the heigh of its season.

Miso-Sake "Coq au Vin"
This dish was made using sake and miso sourced from the producers Simply Ming visited.

Sake-Miso Marinated Sablefish (a.ka. Butterfish) with vegetarian soba noodle sushi, wasabi oil and soy-lime syrup

Thai Style Chawan Mushi with lobster and mushrooms 

Toasted Sesame Pear Tea Cake with a miso-caramel and sweet cream 

ありがとう

For more information on MAFF please visit http://www.maff.go.jp/e/

For more information on, Chef Ming Tsai, Simply Ming, and Blue Ginger please visit http://www.ming.com/#&panel1-2

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Laugh Boston

For James' birthday this year we caught a show at the recently opened Laugh Boston. Located in Boston's Seaport district this comedy club offers a lot of laughs and delicious food! 

Before the show we had a drink at Laugh Boston's bar. We recently discovered Angry Orchard Hard Cider and were thrilled they had it on tap! 
Angry Orchard
Laugh Boston Bar 
That night we watched comedian Jeff Dye, unfortunately for him he was competing with the Red Sox's World Series game. Even though the place was half empty he made the best of it and had the audience laughing right off the bat. 
Comedian Jeff Dye on stage at Laugh Boston 
Laugh Boston serves a small menu composed of snacks and light meals. First we ordered their Pretzel Bites which are local, organic, and vegan served with a cheese sauce or spicy mustard. These pretzel bites had a good flavor, especially when dipped in the cheese sauce but lets face it what doesn't taste better when smothered in cheese? Our only complaint with these would be the texture, they were a bit chewy and hollow inside. 
Pretzel Bites with Cheese Sauce
Next we ordered, Laugh Boston's Prosciutto Flatbread with provolone and fig purée. The flatbread was by far the best thing we ate that night. The sweetness of the fig purée did not overpower the dish. The flatbread was crispy and the ingredients were evenly distributed...delicious! 
Prosciutto Flatbread 

Lastly we had Laugh Boston's Chicken Panini with prosciutto, provolone, roasted red peppers, and basil. The best thing about this panini was the melt of the cheese. The provolone was well melted and acted as a bider for the other components. The roasted red peppers added an unexpected burst of flavor. A very good panini! 

Chicken Panini 

Overall we really enjoyed our experience at Laugh Boston! The food prices are very reasonable and a ticket to a comedy show will cost you $25. Laugh Boston is attached to the Westin Hotel, have the venue validate your parking ticket for a discounted rate on the hotel parking lot. We would recommend Laugh Boston to anyone looking to have a couple of laughs while eating some tasty food!  

For more information on Laugh Boston please visit http://laughboston.com















Sunday, November 3, 2013

Fogo De Chão (Boston)

A couple of weekends ago we decided to celebrate being alive, young, and healthy by going to Fogo De Chão. This authentic Brazilian steakhouse, also known as a rodizio, delivers a parade of delicious food meal after meal. Fogo De Chão's gaucho chefs brilliantly grill 16 cuts of meat, which are then served table side. Flip your coaster to green and watch as the meat comes to you, flip it to red and take a break. 

Before the parade of meat, comes Fogo De Chão's salad bar. This is not your ordinary salad bar, it is packed with fresh mozzarella, parmigiano reggiano, asparagus, smoked salmon, prosciutto, sun dried tomatoes, and a bowl of crispy bacon among other delicious selections. We must admit it was difficult not to fill up on just the salad bar but we knew there was more to come...

Salad Bar at Fogo De Chão
Asparagus, Spanish olives, bacon, parmigiano regiano, shrimp salad, fresh mozzarella, and prosciutto  from the Salad Bar. 
After the salad bar come the stars of the Fogo De Chão show...skewers full of beef, chicken, lamb, and pork served table side. 


All 16 cuts of meat are cooked to perfection, the guest can choose the temperature of the meat. The Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon was absolutely delicious...one of our favorites of the night! The pork ribs were tender and well seasoned...melt in your mouth good! 

Filet Mignon, Pork Rib, Sausage, and Chicken plate at Fogo De Chão served table side. 
The meat is accompanied by three side dishes; Pão de Queijo or warm cheese bread, Crispy Hot Polenta, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Caramelized Bananas. The Pão de Queijo was amazing...we had our basket refilled about three times! The Caramelized Bananas added a nice hint of sweetness to a very savory meal! Delicioso! 
Pão de Queijo 
Caramelized Bananas, Crispy Hot Polenta, and Garlic Mashed Potatoes. 
Last but not least, to accompany our meal we ordered the traditional Brazilian drink Caipirinha. This refreshing, mojito like drink is made with sugar cain brandy, lime, and sugar. This drink paired perfectly with the delicious flavors of the meal! 

Caipirinha 
Fogo De Chão is a welcomed addition to the Boston food scene. This restaurant is perfect for large groups or to impress a date. Dinner will set you back about $48.50 per person but trust us...it is worth it! You can eat as much or as little as you want...when we thought we were done, our server actually encouraged us to take a break, grab a clean plate, and eat some more!  Fogo De Chão delivers a fun, indulgent, delicious eating experience that every meat lover out there would love!

For more information on Fogo De Chão please visit http://www.fogodechao.com/home/

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