Happy Halloween! Do you have any fun plans for the holiday? I am excited to offload the giant bag of candy I bought last week. I am kind of obsessed with it, Bottle Caps, Sweet Tarts, and Laffy Taffy. I like chocolate every now and then, but I love sour candy! We’ll probably have some pumpkin beer with cinnamon sugar while watching some scary TV (Have you seen American Horror Story yet? Spooky!) and running up and down three flights of stairs to give out candy. It’ll be a Halloween workout for sure!
Whatever you do, have fun, be safe, and keep pets indoors!
If there’s one thing I really love, it’s a restaurant that changes up its menu according to seasonal availability of ingredients. Not only does it help us do our best to eat locally and in-season, but it also makes it fun to return to the same restaurant time and time again over the course of a year. There’s nothing worse than staring at a stale menu. When I was invited to attend Turner Fisheries’ blogger dinner to try out some of their new menu items, along with some of their favorites, I was very excited to see what they would have in store for us.
We all met in the bar at Turner Fisheries to meet with some of the members of the Westin Copley team while sipping on drinks and learning about the commitment to sustainability that Turners has. Their ongoing efforts to source sustainable seafood are impressive, especially given recent scandals in the seafood world. When it was time to sit down for dinner, each table had a group of bloggers, in addition to a representative from the Westin or their PR agency, 451 Marketing. Michelle, Rachel, and I got supremely lucky in sitting with Westin Director of Food and Beverage, Monika, who was an incredibly fun, interesting, and inspiring dining companion.
To go with our seafood feast, we all chose Bridlewood Estate Viognier. I love Viognier for its full body and slightly oily mouth feel and stone fruit flavors. It was a delicious pairing with every part of the meal. The food started coming, and it didn’t stop for a very long time. By the end, I definitely had a huge appreciation for the creative, inspired, and delicious work of Chef Armand Toutaint, who graciously came out to meet all of us.
grilled island creek oysters, maitaki mushroom, riesling cream – Unforgettable. I need to eat these again and again. Hot, grilled oysters with a rich, warm, and earthy sauce combined the summery flavor of oysters that I love with a comforting warmth and texture perfect for fall and winter.
lobster taco soft corn tortilla, ancho aioli, corn fennel pico – Another of my favorites, chunks of perfectly cooked lobster meat enveloped in warm tortillas with nice bite from corn and a little bit of smokiness from the aioli, these were an appetizer but would also be great as an entrée. I am always really impressed when lobster is cooked to perfection; so often it ends up rubbery and disappointing in restaurants!
crispy calamarI , peppadew peppers, capers, roasted garlic aioli – We all loved the cornmeal crunch on this calamari, which again, was cooked to perfection. There was not a hint of the greasiness that can sometimes accompany calamari, just lots of flavor and welcome texture.
poached golden beet , frisee, micro beet greens, goat cheese, basil oil, sherry vinaigrette – A wonderful example of a fall and winter salad done really well, this beet salad was beautiful to look at and even more appealing to eat. The flavors worked wonderfully together, and it was a nice, light addition to the table.
tuna two ways: ginger-curry marinated yellow fin tuna,cumin seed crusted tuna, wasabi aioli – This was my choice for an appetizer, and it was definitely a good call. The tuna was so fresh, tender, and flavorful, and it was accompanied by fried asparagus. Why have I never had fried asparagus before?!
seafood risotto, maine lobster, bay scallop, caribbean shrimp, reggiano parmesan – This was my entrée, and I won’t lie. By the time this came, I was slowing down big time, full of outstanding appetizers. I ate a few bites, loving every bit of the creamy but toothsome risotto and the really substantial amount of seafood that was, again, cooked to perfection. I had it packed up to take home, and enjoyed it for lunch for two days. It was definitely a sizeable portion!
And then there was dessert. I could barely muster a bite of these beautiful treats, just tasting the butternut gelato and a bite of Turner’s take on the classic Boston Cream Pie.
warm bourbon glazed pecan pie
gold dusted opera cake
boston cream pie
crème anglaisee, fresh seasonal berries
The meal was a mix of great food, great wine, and great conversation, all much-needed on an unnaturally cold and dreary Boston evening. Turners kindly hosted us for dinner, but I will definitely be returning soon. I have to have my husband try those oysters!
Westin Wedding to Remember
You may remember my visit to The Westin back in the spring to check out their beautiful new rooms. During that visit, I got to chat with Alice who is on the PR team for the hotel and restaurant. She told me about an amazing initiative that The Westin is hosting for 11-11-11. Their A Military Wedding to Remember contest is giving one lucky couple a beautiful Westin wedding while also helping two other couples make their honeymoon dreams come true. How sweet is that? I can’t wait to hear more about the wedding.