Monday, April 21, 2014

Tapeo Restaurant and Tapas Bar

Last week Aida and one of her good friends went to dinner at Tapeo Restaurant and Tapas Bar. Tapeo has been serving Spanish tapas for 15 years on Newbury Street. This restaurant has a cozy atmosphere perfect for small gatherings. We went on a Saturday night and the place was packed, we strongly suggest you make a reservation before heading over. 

Before talking about the food, which was good, we would like to address Tapeo's service. Our waiter was very scattered. Just to give you an idea it took about 15 minutes before she even acknowledged we were there, 20 minutes to get our glasses refilled with soda and water, and another 15 minutes before she came up to pick up our payment. We were disappointed with the service, especially considering that she would check on the table two feet away from us every seven minutes or so, yet never bothered to ask us how we were doing. 

Now on to the food, we stuck with Tapeo's tapas menu. First up were the Tostadas de Alcachofas, which are artichoke, mushroom, and goat cheese crostini. Aida's friend did not enjoy the amount of artichokes, frankly there were just to many which made it sloppy to eat. These tostadas were very flavorful. The goat cheese added a nice creaminess to the dish and its flavor did not overpower the artichokes.

Tostadas de Alcachofas 

Second we had the Patatas Bravas, which are potatoes with Piquant Tomato and Aioli Sauces. This potato dish was delicious! The mildly spicy aioli really took it to the next level. The potatoes were cooked well and the portion was perfect for sharing! 

Patatas Bravas

Next came Tapeo's Chicken Empanada. Aida is from Puerto Rico and her friend grew up in Chile, therefore between the two they have had plenty of empanadas. Compared to others this empanada was not nothing out of the ordinary. The filling was flavorful and the empanada shell was well cooked. We wished we had been told that there only came one medium sized empanada per order for these savory pastries are hard to share.  

Chicken Empanada 

Our fourth tapa was Tapeo's Pão de Queijo, which is a crusty Brazilian cheese bread. This bread was addictive! It was packed full of cheese flavor. We could have easily had five more orders of these! Delicious! 

Pão de Queijo

Last but not least, we had Tapeo's Gambas con Gabardina, which are saffron battered shrimp with a spicy green mojo. The thick batter overpowered the shrimp's flavor. However, the mildly spicy mojo verde was absolutely delicious! It was the best part of this dish and it helped enhance the otherwise lost shrimp flavor. 

Gambas con Gabardina

Overall, we had a good time at Tapeo Restaurant and Tapas Bar. Their excellent location is hard to beat. The food was good and the atmosphere was fun. However, the service needs improving. It was good place for a girls night out! Next time we are definitely trying their Sangria...it looked delicious! 

For more information on Tapeo Restaurant and Tapas bar visit http://www.tapeo.com/default.aspx

Tapéo on Urbanspoon      Tapeo Restaurant and Tapas Bar on Foodio54

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

Aragosta Bar + Bistro on Urbanspoon

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