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My hope is that when Labor Day passes and boat evenings are fewer (waahhhh) I will make more time to write and cook again and have more to share on the blog. For now, I am behind and still trying to enjoy a slower summer pace, so I bring you a roundup of some recent restaurant favorites!

Easily one of the best meals of the summer, and one I have taken forever to write about is an early summer dinner at SRV Boston. cocktails at SRV Boston

A group of us got together for cocktails, wine, and the tasting menu, and it was perfection. I think that, while there are so many Boston restaurants I want to try, I would choose SRV if I was asked right now my top choice for a night out.

SRV Boston tasting menu   meatballs        

buttered lobster roll

We’ve made visiting Art’s in Hull a priority, since it’s got such great Boston skyline and sea views, and it’s easy to get to by boat as well as by car. My favorite local little beach is also within walking distance, so a day in Hull is basically the best, I have, over the past few years, placed myself firmly in the buttered lobster roll camp, and there’s no turning back.

molinari's pasta

This gnocchi right here is some of the best I have ever had. It’s from Molinari’s, another addition to the Dorchester dining scene, and it is light, fluffy, heavenly, the stuff that my pasta cravings are made of.

nebo zucchini lasagna

We’ve made going to the Boston Calling block parties on Thursday nights part of our rotation, and one night we dined at Nebo, where I finally had the zucchini lasagna. It was so good, and then I tried to recreate it at home, and my own version was not-so-good. I’ve just really lost the cooking mojo.

lobster gnocchi

We celebrated our 10th anniversary on August 18 with a light dinner at Deuxave (an all time favorite) before the Billy Joel concert at Fenway Park and a boat date to Rainsford Island the next day.

Gloria Ferrer

Our afternoon spread included Gloria Ferrer bubbles (of course) and two different types of delicious prepared chicken salad from Willow Tree Farm. We tried both the Sriracha Chicken Salad and the Avocado Chicken Salad, and while we liked both, the sriracha was a clear favorite. It had a nice kick! I liked having these locally made salads available to grab and go for a boat or beach day. There are times we put a lot of thought and effort into the food we bring, and it was nice to have something easy and really good to bring along. Thank you to Willow Tree Farm for the samples! If you haven’t tried their chicken pot pies, you have to! They are awesome for having on hand in the freezer for late nights, the perfect comfort food.

willow tree farm chicken salad

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We rarely participate in Dine Out Boston, but we happened to find ourselves for a dinner date at dbar (another consistent favorite) and I had the three course menu, which included the most incredible chilled corn soup. dbar ALWAYS has amazing soup; I would go there just for that, but their brunch is also one of my favorites in the city.

 

spicy cucumber cocktailI spent a few days in Provincetown with friends, and when I returned, my husband kindly picked me up at the ferry. Since we were both starving, we popped into Rosa Mexicano for chips and guac and this outstanding spicy cucumber tequila cocktail. I have been all about cucumbers this summer (so hydrating!), and this cocktail was definitely one I would order again.

 

If you had to choose a night out in your city, which restaurant would be your top choice right now? Are you team butter or mayo for lobster rolls?

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Tags: Boston, cocktails, Dining out, Food, food blog, food blogger, pasta, Restaurants

The dog days of summer have meant very little cooking in these parts. There’s  been a lot of boat snacking and patio dining at our Dorchester favorites and many nights where some cheese and crackers made the meal. The one saving grace to our wallets and waistlines was our July Just Add Cooking week. As in past blog posts, Just Add Cooking kindly provided me with three meals to blog about. I’ve become a huge fan of the meals and local ingredients and just recently got a friend a gift card for a baby gift.

green gazpacho

It’s been HOT in Boston (and I am loving it), so two of my meal choices were cold meals, Gazpacho and Shrimp Ceviche and a super easy Chicken Caesar Salad.

I love ceviche but had never made it before, so I was a little nervous. As always, with the ingredients and instructions at the ready, Just Add Cooking made it simple. I absolutely loved the ceviche and gazpacho combo. It was well thought out and felt like air conditioning for the whole body. Plus it had a nice kick to it, always a bonus for me!

chicken caesar salad

The Caesar Salad was good, nothing out-of-the-ordinary, but a solid summer dinner that was delicious, made even more so by grilling the chicken. The recipe called for mushrooms, which I found a little odd for a Caesar salad, so I left them out and used them in something else. I like the guidance that Just Add Cooking provides but also the flexibility to make small changes here and there.

Our final meal of the week was the Italian Beef and Vegetable Sauté, which got a ton of flavor from sundried tomatoes. It was definitely more of a fall or winter meal, very comforting and rustic, and something I would definitely make again when it’s a little cooler. 

 

Italian Beef and Vegetable Saute

I am hoping the next few weeks are all out garden and farmers market eating, and then I am looking forward to getting on a cooking schedule that includes a week or two a month of Just Add Cooking. While I am enjoying the many weeks of summer left, I also know that fall will be busy!

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Tags: Boston blogger, cooking, Food, food blog, Just Add Cooking, summer

Summer Fridays. The phrase is one of the sweetest in the English language, I think, and I have been trying to take as many as possible this year. My schedule is such that I work Saturday and Sunday mornings and into the night many evenings, so finishing work by 1:00 on Fridays is often my goal.

Recently I enjoyed a summer Friday in town that included lunch AND dinner at Doretta. It all started with lunch plans with a friend who also has summer Fridays. We both wanted to try a restaurant we hadn’t been to yet and wanted somewhere with a patio. Doretta Taverna & Raw Bar fit both of those requirements and was also close the red line, perfect for us.

NV Domaine Spiropoulos Ode Panos Organic Brut, Mantinia Summer Friday patio lunches call for bubbly, and I was absolutely delighted with the wine list at Doretta.  I don’t have a ton of experience with Greek wine but loved this NV Domaine Spiropoulos Ode Panos Organic Brut. It was nice and dry, a rose gold color with brioche, lemon, and green apple notes, a perfect pairing with the feast we shared.

zucchini chips {Crisp Zucchini Chips with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce}

Zucchini chips are pure heaven, light and crunchy, dunked into cold and refreshing yogurt. Our Village Salad felt very traditional; I could picture myself sitting outdoors in Greece, surrounded by whitewashed walls and blue sky. This is definitely one of the most delicious ways to get vegetables.

village salad

{Village Salad}

 

crunchy eggplant { Crunchy Eggplant with Smoky Yogurt, Tomato-Harissa Compote, and Crushed Pistachios}

The Crunchy Eggplant was on the opposite spectrum of the chips and salad. It was warm and hearty, and we dug into the rustic, smoky tomato with abandon.

When lunch was over, we went our separate ways, and I met other friends for coffee and then cocktails, where we started talking about how much I loved Doretta. They work in the neighborhood and insisted we go back and try the Espresso Martini. How can I say no to that?

espresso martini {One of the best Espresso Martinis in Boston. . . my other favorite is at dbar!}

By that time it was dinner, so of course we ate again.

oysters

{Oysters with Cucumber Mignonette}

We ordered a bunch of items, but I only caught photos of two. I absolutely loved the cucumber mignonette with the briny local oysters, and the shrimp were lovely, with a nice hint of dill and great crunch from the bread crumbs.

crispy shrimp

{Warm Shrimp with Lemon, Dill, and Crunchy Bread Crumbs}

Doretta instantly became a Boston favorite and a place that I could definitely enjoy dinner out while still staying somewhat healthy.

Happy Summer Friday!

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Tags: Boston, Food, food blog, food blogger, martinis, oysters, Restaurants, summer

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