Boston restaurants

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It was a great year for the Boston area food and beverage scene. There are countless new restaurants we are hoping to try, and resolutions like checking out the Boston Wine School to come. We need more time in our non-work lives; it would be easy to spend a week staycation in Boston alone, just discovering and rediscovering all this amazing city has to offer.

Just like in my Best of 2014 Food and Travel post, I had plenty to choose from in my Best of Greater Boston 2014 post. Of course, we didn’t go everywhere or experience everything, but here are a few favorites. Share your favorite food, wine, and cocktail moments from 2014 in the comments!

Dinner on the Farm – Boston Brooklyn Mash – We were fortunate to attend this Verrill Farm dinner as guests of Dinner on the Farm, and it was one of the best days of the year. The food and beer were amazing, and I loved being out on a farm for the afternoon. Now that I have fallen in love with Carolyn Johnson’s cooking, maybe I’ll get to 80 Thoreau soon.

amazing squash Verrill Farm
Brooklyn Brewery Beer Steve Ray/David Surrette

 

The Food Project – We discovered them during a dinner at Alden & Harlow, where The Food Project was by far the best part of the night. I later got to learn more with an afternoon volunteering on the farm, and I can’t wait to help out more in the Spring. The Food Project brings so much to the table. Definitely check them out.

the food project farm dorchester

Hamersley’s Bistro  – Boston said goodbye to this beloved restaurant in 2014, but not before we had an incredible anniversary dinner there. Luckily we can all learn to make Hamersley’s roast chicken at home.

Hamersley's roast chicken

 

Merrill & Co – We ate just about everything at Merrill & Co. and loved the creative variety of cocktails on the menu. This is one of those places you want to visit again and again so you can try everything and because it feels so comfy.

ceviche at merrill and co

Steel and Rye – The obsession from 2013 continued into 2014. Every single bite, sip, staff interaction, brunch, dinner, and drinks outing was perfect. And there were many. Brunch at Steel and Rye is the best way to spend a wintry Sunday.

brunch at Steel & Rye

 

Milton Fruit Center Marketplace Wine Dinners – We are still talking about this Coppola wine dinner at the Fruit Center Marketplace, one of my favorite finds in our new neighborhood. The food was something out of a top rated restaurant, the wine pairings were perfect, and we had so much fun. The value was crazy good too.

We’re unsure about the future of Fruit Center Marketplace, but we hope they will stick around and pull out more wine dinners in 2015.

roasted vegetable stack

 

Sycamore – Have you been to Sycamore in Newton? The food, the cocktails, and the food and wine expertise are all some of the best in the Boston area. You’ll find a sense of humor. zero pretentiousness, and the most perfect Old Cuban at Sycamore, one of the many reasons we spent  several great evenings in 2014 here.

Old Cuban Cocktails

 

 

Navy Yard Bistro – This little waterside gem is tied with Les Zygomates for my favorite spot for a cozy, quiet date night. Awesome location, friendly staff, friendly staff, great wine list, and delicious food make this spot one that we keep going back to.

Navy Yard Bistro

 

Local wine – Wine country is closer than you think. Massachusetts has some REALLY GOOD wine from some unique and interesting wineries. In 2014 we discovered Black Birch Vineyards and their incredible Cab Franc and Traminette, along with gorgeous scenery in one of my favorite parts of Massachusetts. We also got to the Westport Rivers Sunset Music Series where we found Farmer’s Fizz, one of my favorite sparkling wines of the year. And as we have in years past, we loved visits to Travessia, along with wine club shipments. If you haven’t made the trip to Travessia, get there in 2015.

There you have it, a few of my absolute favorites in 2014. The Boston area is an exciting place to live right now; other than having to deal with winter I can’t imagine wanting to be anywhere else!

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As always, recent weeks have been filled with tasty bits and bites, nights out in Boston, and more special, nights out in our back yard. We’re pretty sure if we get a fire pit we can continue those well into October or even November, depending on how Mother Nature decides to treat us this year.

As has been the case for a while, Boston has more new restaurants than I can even keep track of, and when we check one off the list, it’s always exciting. A rainy night out at Merrill & Co., where we pretty much ordered everything, was an incredible introduction to this fun space. Staff was warm and friendly, cocktails were amazing, and dishes like fluke ceviche and the  best mussels I have ever had have had me craving a repeat visit soon.

ceviche at merrill and co

Our day trip to beautiful Westport included beach walks, kayaking, and beer tasting in addition to the concert at Westport Rivers. We’re always game for a flight of beers at Buzzards Bay Brewing, especially at one of their picnic tables in the blazing sun.

buzzards bay brewing company

Our Westport trip also included a leisurely lunch at The Bayside Restaurant, a small seaside spot literally across the street from the beach and a beautiful coastal walking trail.

Bayside Restaurant Westport

I could very easily see us taking a week vacation and spending it in Westport, enjoying the beaches, farms, wine, and day trips to places like Newport. The Bayside was perfect for seafood and local beers before we hit the beach. I love how quite the area is; I think it is a hidden gem! Ahhh coastal living. . .

Westport Beach

Time in our back yard with family is what I will remember overall from this summer, and the addition of Nutella to regular S’mores was simple but one of the best decisions made. I love how gooey the Nutella and marshmallow get together once heated up!

Nutella S'mores

Steel and Rye continues to be an obsession and a place we sometimes end when out for a walk. A Sunday night at the bar with a cocktail and little appetizer like this beautiful grilled bread topped with favas and tomatoes is the perfect pre-or-post-dinner snack.

grilled bread at Steel and Rye

I’m not usually a Chobani yogurt fan (Fage is my favorite!), but when I saw this banana maple, it reminded me of Banoffee Pie and I had to get it. This is a truly yummy yogurt, and the addition of oats definitely helped keep me full.

chobani banana maple

Our garden and CSA have been producing lots of zucchini and carrots, and pancakes are one of my favorite ways to use up a big batch of veggies. You can find my zucchini pancakes recipe here. Topped with sriracha yogurt, these are a perfect summer dinner. Corn pancakes (with bacon!) are also a favorite.

zucchini pancakes

I think that sums up some of my favorite recent bites. Up this week? Some lookbacks at our Sonoma favorites as we prep for another trip, as well as a summer wine and a quick review of a local clam shack!

What have been your favorite bites lately?

(Happy 8th anniversary to my amazing husband! I would do our wedding all over again, except I would have skipped the shoes and had our boat waiting for us at Spectacle Island so we could keep the party going there!)

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hydrangeas

Mondays are the perfect time for reflecting on all the good things in life, don’t you think? Life can be stressful and fast-moving, and I feel pretty lucky to be able to share a few happy favorites, like the hydrangeas my mom got for ME after my flight home for Mother’s Day was cancelled.

Lately I am also loving the Boston skyline. The below was taken on a photo shoot for work. I really, really love my job, and taking film crews up on the roof of the hotel is pretty awesome.

Boston skylineThe Boston skyline from Sam’s at Louis? Also amazing. Boston steals my heart when it is nice out. I can not get enough of this city!

Boston skyline

I have blogged about it in the past, but brunch is one of my favorite things ever. Brunch at Steel & Rye is just as good as it gets. Mint Juleps, Bacon Coconut Donuts, and Smoked Salmon Potato Pancakes? Yes, please!

 

brunch at Steel & RyeWith the arrival of great weather comes simple grilled meals. Salmon and asparagus with some garlic powder and a glass of Chardonnay is the best dinner ever.

grilled salmon and vegetables

I love everything about boat season, especially my Sperry Topsiders. These are the most comfy shoes ever. I love what they symbolize – nice weather, change in seasons – but I mostly love the way they feel on my feet. They’re cute too.

Sperry TopsidersNew Boston restaurants are also a favorite. We enjoyed a beet salad and lots of other good things at Merchant in Boston. It was all so good, especially the oysters and beet salad and farro pasta. I can’t wait to try the rest of the menu.

Merchant Boston Finally, I am loving planning our next San Francisco and Sonoma County trip. We try to get to Sonoma once a year because it is just a part of my soul. We will probably spend some time in Napa and Sausalito as well, and I can not wait!

What are your recent favorites?

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Tags: Boston, Boston restaurants, Boston skyline, brunch, Dining out, grilling, hydrangeas, Restaurants, Sperry, Steel & Rye

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