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As I mentioned in my Oyster Club post last week, our trip to Mystic to check out Inn at Mystic was largely influenced by friends’ recommendations. The Engine Room was another must-visit, according to many people, so we made a point of visiting for Sunday brunch. Mystic is a beautiful town, and it turns out it is great for eating and drinking too!

Engine Room Mystic

The Engine Room is a big, open, light-filled space, simply gorgeous. It’s in a former marine engine repair room and features lots of wood and windows and even a DJ at brunch. So much fun.

Also fun? The Bloody Mary bar order form. I usually go for an Irish coffee or mimosa at brunch, but I loved this form and all of the options. I like my Bloody Mary extra spicy with lots of pickled veggies. I wish I had also gotten the bacon.

Bloody Mary brunch

bloody mary bar

My drink was delicious and garlicky, a nice way to start the day. Roasted garlic and the pickle made this drink like a meal!

eggs benedict

Brunch was all about the brisket! He ordered the Benedict served on brisket and cornbread while I went for the brisket sandwich with crunchy slaw and a yummy potato salad. It was not easy to finish because of the amount of food, but that brisket was so tender and delicious. This was a stick-to-your-ribs sort of brunch, and we left feeling ready to take on the day.


The Engine Room is a great spot, and I imagine all of the other meals and cocktails they serve are as good as brunch. I only wish they were closer!

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Tags: brunch, Connecticut, CT, mystic, Travel

East Cambridge has a new spot for cocktails and al fresco dining, just in time for patio season. Loyal Nine opened recently on Cambridge Street, and for someone like me who works in the area, it is a very welcome addition to the neighborhood.

First off, I loved the space. It’s bright and open and urban and a little bit gritty, in a good way. An expansive dining area makes way to a cafe and then out to a large patio, which was a total, delightful surprise.

Loyal Nine Cambridge

Loyal Nine’s concept is pretty cool too, reflecting our area’s colonial heritage in the menu. Local seafood is well-represented, and plates are made for sharing, which is the best way to discover a new restaurant.


We kicked off our meal with oysters with a tangy smoked porter vinegar. The oysters tasted of the sea, and the vinegar added that perfect zing.







oysters at Loyal Nine


Loyal Nine’s cocktail list is imaginative and had us wanting to try everything on it. The Bread & Breakfast, for a Manhattan lover who needs a coffee fix, had a perfect hint of coffee flavor to it. It was potent but smooth and delicious.


Bread and Breakfast


We feasted on a good portion of the menu and enjoyed every single bite.







savory supperArostook Savory Supper – Potatoes, Onions, and Salt Pork with a Soft Egg – This little crock of comfort was full of flavor and warmth. The runny egg brought it all together.


Grilled Pork Ribs with Chestnuts and Molasses – We heard from a few sources that the ribs were a must-try, and I was glad we went for them. They were perfectly cooked, meaty, tender, fall-off-the-bone, and smoky sweet.

Scituate Lobster braised with mead

Scituate Lobster Braised with Hickory Nuts and Mead – Sigh. Perfectly cooked lobster was presented in a rich, honey-scented sauce, served with grilled bread for soaking up every last bit of deliciousness.

sea salt and vinegar chips with finnian haddie mousse

Salt & Vinegar Chips with Finnian Haddie Mousse – If there are chips on a menu, I have to try them. These were light and crispy with the perfect touch of salt, served with a light, fluffy smoked fish type mousse. Divine.

grilled clam and pickled ramps


A giant grilled clam chilled with pickled ramps provided tender clam meat with a nice contrast of vinegar-y ramps.



beet salad

Harvard Beets with Charred Cabbage, Cultured Cream, and Barley – This  was a nice light course with great bite from the beets and barley.   I love beet salads and this one was definitely a winner.


chocolate sourdough brewis By the time we got to the dessert menu  we were full but tempted by the interesting options. We went for the Chocolate Sourdough Brewis, a delectable bread pudding like dessert with chocolate and caramel sauces and different brittles. This was my dream dessert, not too sweet, chewy, chocolate-y and divine. I paired it with a perfect espresso. After smelling the fresh coffee throughout dinner, I had to have some. It meant I was bouncing off the walls until midnight, but it was well worth it for the smooth, rich flavor. i will dream of this espresso.

espresso Loyal Nine


Loyal Nine is doing lots of great things over in East Cambridge, and I can’t wait to go back. Our one negative was that we thought plates were a little small for the price, but the quality, creativity, and expertise is all there, making us want to return to eat the rest of the menu.

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Tags: cambridge, cocktails, Dining out, east cambridge, Food, Restaurants

Travel, Wine, and Dine has definitely been focusing more on the travel and wine lately, with a departure from the recipes and cooking that used to be a bigger part of my blog and my life. Life happens, people change, and there are times when being in the kitchen is a little less appealing that being out and about, working really hard on growing my career, and seeing as much of the world as possible.

twice baked sweet potato mash

I do still cook, in between nights out and takeout and those nights where cereal is the only thing that is possible. I’ve been trying to make lots of entree salads as well as shrimp, veggies, some sort of sauce, and pasta.

This twice baked sweet potato dish was inspired by one of the many articles that I have been reading, trying to find quick, healthy recipes for weeknight meals. While it’s getting warmer out, nights are still chilly, so this sweet potato mash is perfect either on its own or with main dish. Greek yogurt adds in protein, and the sweet potato and kale are chock full of nutrients.

How to make it:

I simply baked two large sweet potatoes until they were soft, scooped out the filling and mixed it with the following:

2 cups chopped kale and 1 cup chopped yellow onion, sautéed in oil until soft

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

dash garlic powder, sea salt, and pepper, all to taste

I pureed the ingredients together until soft and silky, then topped with a generous sprinkling of crumbled feta. I put back in the oven at 400 for about 10 minutes and this easy Meatless Monday meal was ready to serve.

I’m excited for gardening and farmers markets and all of the beautiful seasonal produce they will bring!

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Tags: easy recipes, Food, recipe, Vegetarian

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