Love Art Udon

This past week I was invited to Love Art Udon for a VIP  tasting event prior to their grand opening later this month. From the people behind Love Art Sushi‘s delicious sushi and poke bowls, Love Art Udon‘s menu is filled with you guessed it – udon noodle bowls! And lots of tasty tempura. All made from scratch in-house with the freshest ingredients.

 

Located in Packard’s Corner on Commonwealth Ave in Boston I was immediately drawn in by the pink Tasty Noodz glowing sign. Anything insta-worthy like this just totally sucks me right in!

 

 

The staff working the counter service style restaurant were so friendly and knowledgeable. They walked us through the entire menu of different broth and noodle choices. I was completely in love with the gorgeous gold bowls the heaping portions of steaming hot soup were served in. I need these for my house!!

 

 

All of their udon is made from scratch in-house and I chose the seasonal special matcha udon in the original broth. The original broth consists of a soy dashi sauce and smoked fish broth with been and onion topped with tempura flakes and scallions.

 

Holy wow those noodles!!! They were the perfect thick texture and the matcha gave them such a nice flavor and I loved the green color.  The portion was large and filling and the broth had a deep flavor that was warm and comforting.

 

Original Broth with Matcha Udon Noodles

 

My friend opted for the miso broth with original udon noodles and also topped hers with beef, onion, tempura flakes and scallions. She gave me a taste and hers was just as warm and comforting as mine and definitely a bowl I will want to order during a future visit! The miso bowl can be made vegan as well if you order without the beef and onions.

 

Udon Noodle Bowl
Miso Broth with Original Udon

 

To go along with our udon bowls we split a bunch of tempura and sides. I loved how light and fluffy the tempura batter was and I was blown away at how much I enjoyed the tempura kale!! It had such a unique and addicting flavor I kept going back for more. It was the clear winner for our favorite side dish!

 

Various Tempura
Pumpkin, Zucchini, Sweet Potato, Shrimp, and Kanikama (crab) Tempura

 

Kale Tempura
Kale Tempura

 

Seaweed Salad
Seaweed salad with sesame, vinegar, chili, and sweet inari tofu skin.

 

Pickled Vegetables
Lightly pickled bean sprouts, shredded carrots, and cucumbers

 

To see the full menu of udon soups, tempura, sides and beverages check out their full menu here. I know the NE Chowdah Udon is a MUST GET when I go in for my next visit!

 

And don’t forget to check out all of the gorgeous wall art from Japanese Artist Hayato Kawaii that stretches the entirety of the bar seating area. Keeping consistent with the Love Art style you will find small “Easter Eggs” about the owners and the company in an eye popping street art/anime style.

 

 

Love Art Udon

1024 Commonwealth Avenue A

Boston, MA 02446

 

 

New England Fishmongers

Did you know that fish have seasons just like fruits and veggies? This is because different fish migrate in and out of the area throughout the year so knowing what fish is currently available is going to give you a fresher, and more cost-effective product!

Check out this full fish and shellfish availability chart that can be found on the mass.gov website! It is super helpful:

  • Dark Blue = Landed and available in Massachusetts
  • Medium Blue = Limited landings and availability in Massachusetts
  • Light Blue = Out of season or extremely limited availability

 

In my opinion, when it comes to fish and shellfish there is no better place to get it from than local New England fishmongers. Today I am excited to share with you about New England Fishmongers, a group of fishermen (fisherwomen??) on the NH/Maine seacoast that work hard to catch and sell top-quality fish to some of Boston’s best restaurants!

Fishing is a passion for Tim Rider and Amanda Parks. During their 15 hour+ excursions off the cost of Maine each fish is reeled in by hand, a way of fishing that only a handful of fishmongers still practice today. Bringing in around 800lbs of fish per day this rod-and-reel way of fishing brings in no bycatch, doesn’t cause harm to the ocean floor, doesn’t contribute to overfishing since the operation is small-scale. Modern fishing technology that includes use of trawls and gillnets does cause these problems.

 

 

New England Fishmongers was started because to avoid having to put their high-quality fish in with the rest of the catch at open auctions, where buyers bought at a low cost yet sold at hight prices. But cutting out the middleman they are able to work directly with the restaurants and provide them with high-quality fish just hours after being caught.

You can find New England Fishmongers at the following restaurants:

 

You can also check out Amanda Parks this Saturday, September 17th at the Boston Local Food Festival where she will be taking part in The Seafood Throwdown!

 

This cooking competition features head to head competition and a secret mystery fish ingredient!

 

 

Don’t forget to stop by the Boston Local Food Festival on September 17, 2017. This event is FREE to the public and you will have the chance to meet with some of the very best local farmers, vendors, artisans, and restaurants!

To learn more about the festival and the participating vendors check out www.bostonlocalfoodfestival.com!

 

 

 

Boston Restaurants Who Source Locally

I honor of the Boston Local Food Festival taking place Sunday, September 17th on The Greeway I wanted to highlight some of my favorite Boston restaurants that partner with local farms and fisheries and feature their products on their menus.

By featuring local products these restaurants have menus that change seasonally and their ingredients are always fresh. As a diner I love knowing that when I visit one of these restaurants that the menu will be different than the last time I was there!

Henrietta’s Table

With dining room with a cozy farmhouse feel and a menu that continuously focuses on fresh from the farm, Henrietta’s Table has been a staple in Cambridge since 1995. Chef Peter Davis is a is a Boston native with a passion for local and regional cuisine who uses products grown using sustainable agriculture methods and native ingredients when creating dishes for Henriett’s brunch, lunch, dinner and even cocktail menu.

The menu changes seasonally and I am a huge fan of their seasonal buying guide on their website. And if you are lucky enough to dine on their patio you will be sitting amongst their courtyard garden where many of the restaurants fresh herbs are grown.

 

Craigie On Main

Another Cambridge gem with a strong focus on using the best of the best local, seasonal, and organic ingredients is Craigie On Main. James Beard Award–winning Chef Tony Maws menu is French-inspired “refined rusticity” and if you are really looking to get the best of the best of seasonal ingredients check out his 5 course tasting menu which changes DAILY.

 

 

Island Creek Oyster Bar

I am an oyster fanatic and there is no better place in Boston to slurp them down than Island Creek Oyster Bar. All of their oysters come from their oyster farm located in Duxbury, MA. What started as a small team of farmers selling oysters to local restaurants has grown to a wholesale team, 10 oyster farms, a non-profit foundation, and 5 Boston-area restaurants.

 

 

 

Post 390

Located in Boston’s Back Bay Post 390 Executive Chef Nick Deutmeyer works extremely closely with the region’s top farmers and showcases their products on fresh and seasonal menus. My favorite dining experience at Post 390 is the Farm to Post dinner series which features a 3 course seasonally selected menu that can be enjoyed with or without wine parings. Each series features a different farmer or fishery the menu changes weekly.

 

Don’t forget to stop by the Boston Local Food Festival on September 17, 2017. This event is FREE to the public and you will have the chance to meet with some of the very best local farmers, vendors, artisans, and restaurants!

To learn more about the festival and the participating vendors check out www.bostonlocalfoodfestival.com!

Dumpling Palace in Boston’s Back Bay

Last week my friend and I ventured over to the Dumpling Palace in Back Bay. Although Dumpling Palace has been open since May, this past week was their official opening party and they went ALL out.

Dumpling Palace is the sister restaurant of Dumpling Cafe in Chinatown and if you are a lover or soup dumplings (or any dumplings really) than either of these restaurants are for you.

If you don’t know what a soup dumpling is, get your hands on some ASAP. These steamed buns are filled with pork and hot soup. They are comforting and so fun to eat, just be careful not to stuff the whole thing in your mouth and burn yourself. The trick is to bite off the top to let the steam out and let them cool slightly before digging in.

Look at this beauty ❤

 

IMG_8579
Soup Dumpling

 

Curious how they make these dumplings? Learn how at over at bon appetit.

Beside soup dumplings, Dumpling Palace had an array of many other options to try as well. I have never seen so many tasty dumplings all in one place. It was pure heaven.

 

IMG_8612

 

Now let’s get up close and personal…

 

IMG_8602
Scallion Pancake

 

IMG_8608
Steamed Pork & Leek Dumpling

 

IMG_8609
Steamed Pork & Leek Dumpling

 

IMG_8610
Steamed Pork & Leek Dumpling

 

IMG_8611
Pan Fried Wonton

 

IMG_8629
Soup Dumplings

 

IMG_8630
Crab Rangoons

 

IMG_8631
Noodles with Beef and Scallions

 

IMG_8632
Steamed Shrimp Dumplings

 

Everyone enjoyed the delicious food and it was so much fun to chat with the all of the other guests!

 

IMG_8633

 

I definitely will be heading back to Dumpling Palace but if you want to enjoy tasting dumplings in the comfort of your own home they deliver as well.

 

IMG_8634

 

DUMPLING PALACE
179 Massachusetts Ave
Boston, MA 02115

617.266.8888

Coppersmith – South Boston’s newest neighbor!

If you have recently drove past 40 West 3rd Street in South Boston you might have noticed some construction going on, but that is nothing new. The landscape of South Boston has been rapidly changing with the growth of the Seaport and Fort Point Channel as well as its proximity to downtown Boston. It seems like every day new condos and businesses are popping up and Southie as we know it is becoming more vibrant by the day!

40 West 3rd Street is the former Dahlquist Manufacturing Company (a copper forgery) and soon to be home to Coppersmith, a definitive neighborhood restaurant that is going to completely change the Southie dining scene. Serving global, hand-crafted, social fare this relaxed, yet vintage industrial setting is more than just a restaurant. It is a community hub. A foodie playground. A 3rd space business with a strong focus on social impact and a mission “To make a difference, inspire smiles, and encourage fun.”

 

Coppersmith
Coppersmith located at 40 West 3rd St. in South Boston, MA

 

Last week I was lucky enough to get invited into the space during the construction phase to get a glimpse of what is to come for our beloved neighborhood and to chat with Travis Talbot, international restaurant developer with the Red Door Hospitality firm, about the vision for Coppersmith and what we can expect once the doors open this June.

I was blown away at the size of the space and grateful to hear their plans to be more than just another restaurant within South Boston. With many Community Impact Partners, plans to work with countless charitable foundations, and the opportunity to provide jobs for many local residents they vow to make a positive impact and be an anchor in the South Boston community.

 

THE SPACE:

Coppersmith is unique in that is has many different dining experiences all under one roof. With four functioning kitchens, two being located within permanent food trucks, there will be something to satisfy any palette.

The first thing I noticed upon entering was the pair of 12 ft. glass and aluminum garage doors and the high 22 ft. ceilings that let in plenty of natural light. The main dining room is 1,600 sq ft with 88 communal-style seats and reclaimed wood tables.

The two permanently hard-wired food trucks will be located within the main dining room as well. These trucks will not only offer a rotating menu of globally inspired street food, but will also function as dueling competition kitchens, restaurant pop-ups and house various special events throughout the year. These events will be open to the public with proceeds going towards various charitable organizations.

 

unnamed 3
Coppersmith main dining room

 

THE BAR:

The bar is a whopping 1,100 sq ft. with 59 seats in total. 36 seats are located indoors along a 60 ft. L-shaped mahogany bar with copper detailing. The remaining 23 seats are located on the outdoor covered patio along a floating concrete slab bar. I am loving the fact that a guest can be seated outside and order a drink from the bartender through the window. I know where I want to be sitting this entire summer!

Along the indoor bar will be outlets for guests to charge their electronics – an amenity that I find many restaurants and bars are lacking! Coppersmith has thought of everything to enhance their guests experience.

 

Unamed1
Coppersmith indoor bar

 

THE OUTDOOR SPACE:

Coppersmith will have two outdoor dining options.

The street level patio is 1,000 sq ft. with 60 communal-style seats and covered by a steel-framed corrugated aluminum roof. This patio faces Bolton Street and Fort Point Channel.

Their roof deck is 1,200 sq ft. with 80 communal-style seats along with bar height seating and refurbished 37 ft. vintage Airstream trailer that will function as a raw bar. Occasionally it will also feature specialty seasonal cocktails. You will soon find an herb garden up on the roof as well.

 

patio 2
Coppersmith roof deck

 

THE CAFE:

From 6am – 4pm every day Coppersmith will feature a grab ‘n’ go cafe. With 1,200 sq ft. in space and 38 communal-style seats along with a drink rail and stools that face Bolton Street and the Seaport District, guest will be able to literally grab fresh coffee, tea, sandwiches, salads and juices and get on with their day or stay an socialize or break out the laptop and get some work done.

The cafe space of the restaurant is considered a 3rd space business. A 3rd space is a social surrounding separate from ones 1st space (home) and 2nd space (workplace). With advances in technology and more people working remotely less people are tied down to their desks in an office and are looking for functional spaces that encourage productivity. The cafe at Coppersmith will have an inviting, communal feel and will provide amenities such as outlets to charge electronics and complimentary Wi-Fi offering the highest speed and largest bandwidth in the city.

I work from home and you can guarantee I will be setting up shop regularly in the cafe at Coppersmith.

This space will also be used for private group events.

 

THE CHEF:

Executive Chef Chris Henry, previously of the South End Buttery as well as Barbara Lynch Gruppo‘s 9 at Home and Drink, is leading the kitchen and he plans to raise the bar extremely high. His vision of food that is approachable, friendly and as fun as the restaurant concept itself while still using his fine dining techniques and philosophies is sure to not disappoint.

 

chris_henry_small (1)
Executive Chef Chris Henry

 

THE FOOD AND DRINKS:

Coppersmith will be working with local purveyors to highlight seasonal ingredients, or what they call the “localvore” philosophy. There will be strong focus on flavor with global, hand-crafted, social fare

Bar snacks and small plates will range from $6-16. Think house-made beef jerky, confit chicken wings and crispy pork belly.

Salads, sandwiches and entrees ranging from $12-30 with options such as organic half chicken, hand crafted Agnolotti and soft shell crab BLT sandwiches.

‘Butcher Block’ menu items are served family style and can be anything from a Moroccan lamb dinner to a lobster boil. Prices will vary depending on the party size.

All of the options from either food truck will be all under $10! There is even a kids menu.

The bar will have a large list of bottled micro-brews, eclectic and classic wines, diverse tap handles, and cocktails featuring seasonal ingredients.

 

unnamed2
Coppersmith

 

As I said to Travis during my visit, “This is exactly what South Boston needs!” I have been a local Southie resident for the past 8 years and have been itching for something new and different to come into the neighborhood – I know you have too!! Somewhere that feels like home, with a sense of community, and that is always doing something new and fresh. Coppersmith is that place.

I am looking forward to visiting again as soon as the doors open this June! In the meantime, I want to give a big THANK YOU to Travis TalbotRed Door Hospitality, General Manager Paul Bruno, Chef Chris Henry and everyone else on the Coppersmith team for giving me a sneak peek into what is sure to be the most exciting addition to the South Boston neighborhood.

To find more information about Coppersmith follow them on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

 

Ownership and Operations:
John Childs, Franklin Ferguson, Travis ‘Tbone’ Talbot

Executive Chef:
Chris Henry (Formerly with 9 at Home, and Drink of The Barbara Lynch Gruppo)

General Manager:
Paul Bruno (Formerly of The Glynn Hospitality Group)

For More Information Contact:
Travis Talbot
Red Door Hospitality
Travis@reddoorhospitality.com

 

Coppersmith
40 West 3rd Street
South Boston, MA 02127

 

 

 

Backyard Farms and Nebo Fall-Fresco Luncheon

This past Friday I was invited by Backyard Farms to a special luncheon at NEBO featuring dishes from NEBO‘s new fall menu and featuring Backyard Farms brand new Somerset Pink Tomato.

Backyard Farms is a 42 acre farm located in Madison, ME committed to growing fresh, ripened-on-the-vine tomatoes all year round. They are the largest grower of year-round tomatoes in New England. All tomatoes are picked and shipped within one day to local markets in the Northeast. You can find their flavor packed tomatoes as local Whole Foods and Hannafords and see them at many of Boston’s local food festivals and events throughout the year. Now you can get fresh, local tomatoes YEAR ROUND instead of product that is imported from Mexico. Talk about tasty!! Backyard Farms was also the recipient of Whole Foods 2014 North Atlantic Produce Supplier of the Year.

NEBO, one of Backyard Farms Chef Partners, is located on Atlantic Ave in Downtown Boston and owned by sisters Carla and Christine Pallotta. Former hairdressers and spa owners these sisters decided to leave the beauty business behind in 2005 and opened the original NEBO in Boston’s North End. The name of the restaurant even comes from that original location (NEBO = North End Boston)! Here you will find authentic Italian cuisine in a comfortable atmosphere reminiscent of their mothers kitchen they grew up in. In the spring of 2013 NEBO moved into the sisters dream location at Atlantic Wharf featuring a stunning open kitchen, floor to ceiling windows, and of course hand-rolled pastas made in house.

I was SO excited for this luncheon. I had eaten at NEBO once before and it was fantastic and I am a huge tomato fan so this was a match made in heaven.

When I arrived I glanced over the menu and boy did it look good 🙂

 

 

First we got to hear about Backyard Farms and meet some of their team members. I loved hearing about their new Somerset Pink tomato which is full-flavored beefsteak tomato that took many years to perfect and requires very specific growing conditions. It has a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity due to its higher sugar content and is just as tasty eaten as is as well as incorporated into a recipe.

Next we got to meet sister Chefs Carla and Christine Pallotta and learned all about their childhood growing up in the North End and what brought them to leave the hair salon business behind and open up the super successful NEBO with no prior restaurant training. I loved the stories they told about the dishes their mother would cook them each and every night, some you can even find on their menu to this day!

Then came the first course – Backyard Farms Someset Pink Tomato with Burrata, Saba and EVOO.

 

Backyard Farms Someset Pink Tomato with Burrata, Saba and EVOO

 

How beautiful are these tomatoes?

 

Backyard Farms Someset Pink Tomato with Burrata, Saba and EVOO

 

The saba had hints of cinnamon and ginger and really took this dish to the next level.

 

Backyard Farms Someset Pink Tomato with Burrata, Saba and EVOO

 

I loved how in between each course Chefs Carla and Christine came out and explained each dish and told us all about the local North End vendors they get they fresh products from. We had the opportunity to ask the chefs questions and hear more of their personal stories. It made for a really intimate dining experience!

While we listened we got to snack on a beautiful charcuterie board featuring prosciutto, mortadella, finocchiona salami, coppa, speck and served with Backyard Farms Vine Ripe Tomato Jam and bruschetta aglio e olio.

 

Prosciutto, Mortadella, Finocchiona Salami, Coppa, Speck with Backyard Farms Vine Ripe Tomato Jam and Bruschetta Aglio E Olio

 

First of all, tomato jam is UNREAL! It had a flavor I wasn’t expecting and much similar to a jam you would make from a grape or berry.

 

Backyard Farms Vine Ripe Tomato Jam

 

The bruschetta was a potato based bread that has been in the chefs family over 100 years. It is starchier than most bruschettas because of the potato and held up really nicely topped with all of the charcuterie ingredients.

 

Bruschetta Aglio E Olio

 

Prosciutto, Mortadella, Finocchiona Salami, Coppa, Speck with Backyard Farms Vine Ripe Tomato Jam and Bruschetta Aglio E Olio

 

I was already getting stuffed but could not wait to try the spaghettini with Backyard Farms Cocktail Tomatoes, capers, olives and EVOO. Nothing beats hand-made pasta and the cocktail tomatoes added such a pop of flavor. I am usually not a fan of olives, especially in warm dishes, but these olives were outta this world. They were meatier than any I have ever tried and had a nice deep almost spicy flavor to them that paired really well with the acid from the tomatoes and capers.

 

Spaghettini with Backyard Farms Cocktail Tomatoes, Capers, Olives and EVOO

 

Spaghettini with Backyard Farms Cocktail Tomatoes, Capers, Olives and EVOO

 

Next came this beautiful dish of baby clams, finicchiona salami, ceci and Backyard Farms Cocktail Tomatoes. The clams are imported from Italy and the crusty bread topped with aioli was the perfect vehicle to sop up all of the flavorful broth and top with the tomatoes.

 

Baby Clams, Finicchiona Salami, Ceci and Backyard Farms Cocktail Tomatoes

Last but very not least was this beauty of a pizza. Backyard Farms Beefsteak Tomato, prosciutto cotto, ricotta, mozzarella, arugula and parmigiano.

 

Backyard Farms Beefsteak Tomato, Prosciutto Cotto, Ricotta, Mozzarella, Arugula and Pamigiano

 

Put ricotta on any pizza and I’m all over it. So freakin good!

 

Backyard Farms Beefsteak Tomato, Prosciutto Cotto, Ricotta, Mozzarella, Arugula and Pamigiano

 

Each luncheon guest got a gift bag. I was so excited to open it up and see I got my very own Backyard Farms Somerset Pinks and Cocktail Tomatoes along with an adorable cutting board and tomato knife. Get ready for some recipes featuring these beauties in the next week!

 

 

I want to thank Backyard Farms and NEBO for inviting me to this tasty and informative luncheon. I had so much fun learning all about the Somerset Pink tomato, meeting the team as well as Chefs Carla and Christine and getting to try these amazing dishes!

Now I’m ready for the Whole Foods to open on the Ink Block so I can get these tomatoes any time 🙂

Backyard Farms
River Rd.
Madison, ME 04950

207.696.5300

NEBO
520 Atlantic Ave.
Boston, MA 04950

617.723.6326

Henrietta’s Table

This post is looooong overdue, and unfortunately it is not the only one. Summer fun in Newport then immediately getting started with Beachbody coaching and the 21 Day Fix in September kept me from keeping up with my posts.

Totally worth it.

Back in August my friends and I decided to take advantage Dine Out Boston (formerly Restaurant Week). I love Dine Out Boston because twice a year in March and August participating restaurants put together a pre-fix coursed lunch and/or dinner menu for these fantastic prices:

Lunch:  $15/$20/$25

Dinner:  $28/$33/$38

I think it is a great opportunity to try a new restaurant or visit an old favorite. Some restaurants even price in wine pairings to take your dining experience to the next level!

After hearing rave reviews from friends and coworkers about Henrietta’s Table I jumped at the chance to make a reservation here with my girlfriends. Located within The Charles Hotel in Cambridge, MA this farm-to-table restaurant has been wowing guests for 15 years.

To start I chose the New England Salt Cod Cake with arugula, lemon herb vinaigrette and tartar sauce. It was nice and light and I loved the tang from the tartar sauce.

New England Salt Cod Cake
New England Salt Cod Cake

I was really excited about my choice of the Ozark Mountain Grilled Smoked Pork Chop with apple sauce and appleJack demi. I struggle to cook pork at home because sometimes it comes out perfectly and other times it is overcooked. I now have a meat thermometer in the house so hopefully that will solve my cooking issues.

Henrietta’s Table’s pork chop was PERFECT!

 

 

Ozark Mountain Grilled Smoked Pork Chop
Ozark Mountain Grilled Smoked Pork Chop

The mashed potatoes made from locally grown potatoes were out of this world. Seriously, I have never had mashed potatoes as yummy as these. They were unbelievably creamy!!

Mashed Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes

While I was stuffed to the brim I had to try the fresh, warm, Blueberry Almond Crostata served with vanilla bean ice cream. I usually steer towards chocolate for dessert but I am so glad I chose this. The crust was so flaky and the vanilla bean ice cream was the perfect match to the tart blueberries.

 

Fresh Blueberry Almond Crostata
Fresh Blueberry Almond Crostata with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

I loved everything about Henrietta’s Table – the food and atmosphere were both comforting and cozy. I will be going back in the near future to check out the ever changing, seasonal menus!

Check out Henrietta’s Yard Sale on Sunday – Thursday offering two pre-fixed coursed menu options: 2 courses and 1 side for $32 OR 3 courses plus 1 side for $37. AWESOME!!

 

Henrietta’s Table
One Bennett St.
Cambridge, MA 02138

617.661.5005