dessert

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A brief encounter with spring and a not-so-pleasant encounter with my dentist brought me out and about on Newbury Street earlier in the week.

(Edited to add that I love my dentist. I also love seltzer water and wine and salsa and all sorts of acidic foods and drinks, which have not been super supportive of my teeth enamel. Be careful!)

Newbury Street is a favorite for warm weather wandering, and when my appointment ended at 5:45, it seemed like the right thing to stick around and enjoy the energy.

My husband thought the same thing, and after he miraculously found parking right on the street, we went for a stroll before heading into La Voile for dinner.

(Their website has music, which I absolutely hate. That’s unfortunate.)

La Voile Boston

We sat at the beautiful zinc bar and ordered cocktails to start off a long and leisurely dinner; we were there for a few hours. My cocktail, La Detente, was delicious and the perfect choice on a slightly chilly evening. The smoky Pig’s Nose scotch, Gran Classico Quinquina, and orange warmed me right up and had just the right amount of smokiness and kick. I would definitely order this again.

French Onion Soup

We decided to share French Onion Soup, a beet salad, charcuterie, and mussels for a little taste of a variety of different dishes, and it ended up being the right choice.

First of all, the soup was to.die.for. The broth was so rich and savory, and the gooey cheese and bread were heavenly. It was *almost* as good as my mom’s and made me realize I need more French Onion Soup in my life.  So good.

beet salad

The salad was a needed addition to our diets. We’ve been trying to eat more vegetables, and since we both love beets, this was a great option. Moules frites are always a good choice, especially when a creamy lemon curry option is available, and the frites are perfectly golden, hot, and crisp. I loved dunking frites into the flavorful curry.

moules frites

The charcuterie was one of the best I’ve had, with a truffle pate and a garlicky sausage and pickled onions, all just delicious.

charcuterie

kir royale

While we were finishing up, our server brought us each a complimentary Kir Royale. It turns out they needed us to move to accommodate a larger party, which given that it was Red Sox opening day, we would have been happy to do. It was a nice touch though, to have them offer us something before even asking. I love a Kir Royale!

espresso Settled into new seats and perfectly happy, we decided to stay for espresso and dessert, a chocolate fondant that was gooey and warm, paired with vanilla ice cream. Again, a simple, flawless plate.

chocolate fondant We could have stayed all night, but Monday dates are a rare treat, and we needed to get home to work. We looked longingly at La Voile’s patio as we left, vowing to return on a warmer night for much longer.

La Voile Patio

La Voile was an exceptional dining experience and perfect for a date night. Service and food were both excellent, I loved their wine list and cozy space, and am happy to have another Boston date night favorite on the list.

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Tags: Boston, date night, dessert, Dining out, Restaurants, wine

When it comes to dining out, we’ve gone from being the people who want to try a new restaurant the night it opens to having a handful of old favorites that we tend to migrate to more often than not. There’s a whole lot happening in the Boston restaurant scene though, and hopefully the fall with bring with it some interest in branching out again. I finally made my way to Mario Batali’s Boston outpost of Babbo last week with a bunch of friends, and I really enjoyed it.

I kicked things off with a delicious Summer in the City cocktail made with a raspberry rye. The cocktails and wine list at Babbo were really spot on, with plenty of options.

summer in the city cocktailBabbo Boston

Babbo is the perfect spot to dine out with a group, as many of the dishes are designed for sharing. And share we did! Our table was full of food the entire time, and we didn’t stop until we made it through dessert. My plate had little tastes on it at all times; it’s my favorite way to eat.

peas and prosciutto Babbo Boston

Some of the highlights of the meal included Peas with Mint and Prosciutto, Tuna Sott’olio, Grappa Cured Salmon, Calamari, and Cauliflower Siciliana.

 

fried zucchini blossoms

Fiore Di Zucca brought to the table one of my seasonal favorites, Local Squash Blossoms, Coach Farm Goat Cheese & Lemon Aioli.

zucchini pizza Pizzas were on-point, with fresh, fun ingredients like zucchini, straciatella, and wild boar salami. The one below was topped with a perfectly runny egg. I love egg on a pizza!

pizza with egg

Even though we’d eaten our fair share of dinner, we couldn’t pass up desserts, including the Sweet Corn Coppetta and the Olive Oil Coppetta.

Sweet Corn Coppetta    olive oil coppetta

The olive oil gelato with fresh fruit was my favorite, light but rich and just so yummy.

Babbo surprised me not only by how good it was but also with the great value. I expected it to be a little overhyped, being a celebrity chef owned restaurant and all. What we got was great food, lovely service, and a check that didn’t break the bank.

For another post on a Mario Batali restaurant experience, check out my visit to Tarry Lodge.

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Tags: Boston, dessert, Dining out, Food, Restaurants

Congratulations to the winner, comment #18, Taryn! Thank you to Karen Covey for giving me a copy of her beautiful book to give away. Definitely pick up a copy if you love coastal living and dining!

 

Graham cracker crust, a gooey brownie center, and toasted marshmallows make for a crowd pleaser in the Campfire Brownies recipe from Karen Covey’s The Coastal Table. I picked up this book at an event held by the Urban Grape way back in December, on a day where it was unbearable to walk the few blocks to the wine store from my hair salon in the South End. Karen is an absolute delight and lovely writer, and the book, focused on coastal living and eating in Southeastern Massachusetts, was a little bit of hope in a dreadful winter. I spent a lot of time browsing through the recipes and stories of farms and other sources of food and drink in Massachusetts. When I was asked to participate in a virtual potluck to kick off the summer, I didn’t hesitate for a second, though I did have a hard time deciding what to make. In the end, I made Campfire Brownies, a sweet addition to an afternoon of boating with friends. Sharing food and wine with friends out at sea in a New England summer is my heaven, and The Coastal Table is a little slice of that.

graham cracker crust

The Campfire Brownies start with a buttery graham cracker crust. The smell of the crust baking as I prepared the other ingredients was enough to wake up my husband that Sunday morning. I should get up early to bake more often.

graham cracker crust

Atop the crust went a brownie batter made of chocolate and more butter, along with eggs, flour, sugar, salt, and vanilla.

making brownies

I let the brownies bake until still slightly underdone, then added flat marshmallows, which are simply made for these brownies. About 30 seconds under the broiler was all these needed to turn into campfire-like toasted marshmallows.

campfire brownies

I still don’t know the strength of my new (but very old) oven, so there were some marshmallows that were a little more crisp than others. Our guests didn’t complain!

campfire brownies

The only difficult part of this recipe is cutting through the marshmallows. I waited as long as possible for them to cool, but the marshmallows were still warm and stuck to the knife, making cutting a little difficult. Overall though this recipe was straightforward, even for the worst baker ever, me.

The Coastal Table

The Coastal Table is a visual vacation; you need not be near the sea to feel like you can almost smell the briny air. The book contains gorgeous photos and stories, along with recipes that include cocktails, picnic foods, baked goods, and of course, the beautiful seafood that graces the seas around us.

I know you will love this book as I do, and I am happy to be able to give away a copy! Simply leave a comment letting me know your favorite coastal  or summer meal ingredient. I will choose a winner next Tuesday.

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Tags: brownies, coastal living, cook book, dessert, giveaway, picnic food, picnics, summer recipes, The Coastal Table

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