Restaurants

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When we asked for New Orleans dining recommendations, Cochon was one of the names that kept popping up, and when Cochon happened to be right down the street from the National WWII Museum (Read my blog post for Sonesta Hotels!), it turned out to be the perfect spot to grab lunch during a brief rain storm.

Cochon was bustling at lunch time, and we were very lucky to get seats right in front of the kitchen, which had a super efficient and effective communication system down pat. The actions of the kitchen team and servers were perfectly orchestrated and fun to watch, and seeing all of the plates go out helped us to decide on our order!

Cochon New Orleans

Cochon New Orleans

Cochon New Orleans

The cocktail menu was fun and creative, and the Fresh to Death was a delicious gin concoction I could have sipped all day. It may have been raining outside, but this drink was sunshine in a glass. It was also the perfect, bright choice for pairing with some heavier fare.

Cochon New Orleans

IMG_7189

We started with a little treat from the kitchen before launching into our ordering spree.

While we waited for our lunch, I tried the hot sauce at our seats. It was perfectly delicious all on its own!

Cochon New Orleans

We knew we needed to get some vegetables into our diet, and roasted winter squash with toasted seeds was the warm and cozy type of veggie dish I was craving. I love when the vegetable sides turn out to be something you could eat all day long!

Cochon New Orleans

The rest of our many courses included favorites like super sticky, messy, delicious ribs with watermelon pickle (sweet, tangy, lick the plate amazing) and fried shrimp and rice boulettes with tartar sauce. Add in biscuits smothered in hot sauce, and you have one incredible meal.

Cochon New Orleans

With so many spots to dine in New Orleans, we certainly only covered a fraction. Even knowing that I would return to Cochon (and to Cafe Amelie and Brennan’s and all of the restaurants at Royal Sonesta New Orleans) a million times over again. We certainly hit the jackpot when it came to NOLA dining!

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Tags: dining, Food, New Orleans, NOLA, Restaurants, Travel

Super Hunger Brunch

I don’t ever need an excuse to go out for brunch; its leisurely pace, yummy breakfast/lunch combo dishes, and of course, cocktails, make it my favorite meal of the week.

Super Hunger Brunch, however, makes going out to brunch in Boston a million times more meaningful. Hunger is an ongoing problem in our city and our Commonwealth, and by simply going to brunch during this special event, you and your friends and family can contribute to something that provides solid solutions to this problem.

On January 27 and 28, 2018, local restaurants (listed out below) will offer special Super Hunger Brunch menus or dishes, donating 100% of proceeds to The Greater Boston Food Bank. This is the 36th annual Super Hunger Brunch, and it promises to be fantastic. You can plan ahead and buy gift certificates here.

Be sure to also make a reservation at your restaurant of choice, as a gift certificate does not equal a reservation.

Where are you brunching for Super Hunger Brunch?

Saturday

Alta Strada
92 Central St, Wellesley
781-237-6100
$35
Menu

Bambara
25 Edwin H Land Blvd, Cambridge
617-868-4444
$25
Menu

Blunch
59 E Springfield St, Boston
617-247-8100
$25
Menu

Brownstone
111 Dartmouth Street, Boston
617-867-4142
$25
Menu

Clerys
113 Dartmouth Street, Boston
617-262-9874
$25
Menu

Dillon’s
955 Boylston Street, Boston
617-421-1818
$25
Menu

Deep Ellum
477 Cambridge St, Allston
617-787-2337
**

Flour Bakery & Cafe
All Locations
All Locations
*
Menu

Foundry on Elm
255 Elm St, Somerville
617-628-9999
$25

Granary Tavern
170 Milk Street, Boston
617-449-7110
$25
Menu

Michael’s Harborside
1 Tournament Wharf, Newburyport
978-462-7785
$25
Menu

The Sinclair
52 Church St, Cambridge
617-547-5200
$25
Menu

The Living Room
101 Atlantic Ave, Boston
617-723-5101
$25

Sunday

80 Thoreau
80 Thoreau St, Concord
978-318-0008
$50

Bambara
25 Edwin H Land Blvd, Cambridge
617-868-4444
$25
Menu

Cambridge Brewing Co.
1 Kendall Square, Cambridge
617-494-1994
$25
Menu

Catalyst
300 Technology Square, Cambridge
617-576-3000
$50
Menu

Ceia
38 State St, Newburyport
978-358-8112
$25
Menu

Clerys
113 Dartmouth Street, Boston
617-262-9874
$25
Menu

Cultivar
1 Court St, Boston
617-979-8203
$35
Menu

Deep Ellum
477 Cambridge St, Allston
617-787-2337
**

Dillon’s
955 Boylston Street, Boston
617-421-1818
$25
Menu

Flour Bakery & Cafe
All Locations
All Locations
*
Menu

La Morra
48 Boylston St, Brookline Village
617-739-0007
$35

Les Sablons
2 Bennett St, Cambridge
617-268-6800
$35

North 26 Restaurant & Bar
26 North St, Boston
617-557-3640
$25
Menu

Oak & Rowan
321 A St, Boston
857-284-7742
$35
Menu

River Bar
661 Assembly Row, Somerville
617-616-5561
$35

Summer Shack
149 Alewife Brook Pkwy, Cambridge
617-520-9500
$25

The Living Room
101 Atlantic Ave, Boston
617-723-5101
$25

Tosca
14 North Street, Hingham
781-740-0080
$35

Townsman
120 Kingston St, Boston
617-993-0750
$25

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Tags: Boston, brunch, events

Winter blues doesn’t even begin to describe how I have been feeling lately. Brutal stretches of cold, plus short days and a flu/cold that lasted most of December made me stir crazy, literally pacing my house all night long and wanting to get away.

Normally we try to save getaways for later in the winter, when we just can’t take it, but this year, the second weekend of January seemed the perfect time for a change of scenery and a visit to Wentworth by the Sea just outside of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

We knew we wanted to spend all of our time cozying up at the hotel, but first I needed a buttered lobster roll, and Row 34 Portsmouth was the obvious choice. One perfect warm lobster roll later, we we made the short drive to Wentworth to check in to our room and to check out from everyday life.

Row 34 lobster roll

Wentworth by the Sea is absolutely grand, standing proudly atop a hill by the sea since 1874. It feels like an elegant step back in time, where life was a bit slower. We embraced that feeling on our visit!

Wentworth by the SeaWentworth by the Sea

We were so excited to check out our room, which was a perfectly cozy, super sunny corner room with water views.

Wentworth by the Sea

My insomnia has worsened lately, and two queen beds made the most sense so that at least one of us would get some sleep. These beds were so comfy that I actually ended up sleeping!

Wentworth by the Sea

Wentworth by the Sea

Our views and the cold outside made it so that we barely wanted to leave our room the entire time. A hot bath and watching the tide come in and out made for the perfect way to spend the late afternoon.

Wentworth by the Sea

I am obsessed with sunsets and evening light, and I basically stared out the window until the last drop of sun dipped into the sea.

Wentworth by the SeaWentworth by the Sea

Then it was dinnertime! The resort was full for the long weekend, so we had to make reservations, something we don’t always do. It felt fun to get dressed up and have a set time for dinner. We usually eat at the bar, but this time we had a big table and booth just for the two of us.

We started by splitting the salad special, a delectable mix of butternut squash, kale, beets, and goat cheese. I loved that everything on the menu was very seasonal; lots of root veggies and hearty flavors!

Salt Restaurant

Since we tend to split everything, we went with two very different entrees, the beef tenderloin special and the incredibly rich and decadent short rib ravioli.

Salt Restaurant

The tenderloin was perfectly cooked and delicious, but the incredible sides stole the show. I love parsnips and Brussels sprouts!

Salt Restaurant

The short rib ravioli came with a carrot Bolognese, which was yummy and a super creative use of seasonal vegetables. The short rib filling in the pasta was divine.

Salt Restaurant

We saved a bit of room for dessert and shared our server’s recommendation, the Hot Chocolate Mousse Cake, which had a layer of Mexican hot chocolate flourless cake, along with flan ice cream. Delish! The food at Wentworth, including the breakfast buffet in the package we opted for, completely blew us away with its quality and creativity. Service was hit-or-miss – our servers at dinner and breakfast were fabulous, but the restaurant host stand and lounge definitely left us scratching our heads. The lack of interest in those areas was not fitting of such a grand luxury property.

coastal New England

I indulged in a great massage on our last day, and my massage therapist was fantastic. However, the spa experience itself was a bit underwhelming. The relaxation/tea room was up against the main door of the spa, and it felt like Grand Central Station as I was sitting and trying to read a magazine. Other patrons were loud and had their phones out, texting away, beeps and music coming out of their devices, which I thought was SUPER rude. I am an iPhone addict, but even I was able to leave it in my locker for two hours. I think I’ve come to really appreciate some of the discount massage outlets like Elements and Hand and Stone, for a great massage at a fraction of the cost.

Portsmouth is a great town to explore year-round, so if you’re visiting Wentworth by the Sea, you’ll have plenty to do if you decide to peel yourself away from its coziness.

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Tags: New England, Travel, travel blog

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