Dining out

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Spending days aimlessly wandering around Galway is one of my favorite things to do. There’s enough to see and do and especially eat and drink, that the possibilities are endless, and even after so many trips to Ireland, I have a ton of ground to cover.

One not-to-miss restaurant is the beautiful, award-winning Kai Cafe + Restaurant, a bright, airy, cozy spot with a constantly changing menu of creative and inspired dishes. On this last trip to Ireland, we went for lunch on a chilly but bright day, no plans on the horizon, just able to spend time hanging out together. Take me back.

Kai Cafe Kai had quite the buzzing lunch time crowd, which just added to the atmosphere. With all of the Christmas decorations in Galway and the dry weather, people were in cheerful moods, and I love that people there tend to actually take a lunch break to relax and recharge.

Kai menu

The space that Kai is in was once a greenhouse, and the ceiling offers lots of sky views. It was hard to not look up to take in the pretty blue sky.

The menu is always changing and is kept up on a blackboard above the window to the kitchen, where the movement never stopped.

Kai Galway

While we pondered the menu options, we each had a glass of wine, because wine at lunch is a requirement while on vacation! I love cold, crisp white wine even in the winter and had a 2012  Picpoule de Pinet from the Languedoc while my lunch date had a big Malbec.

wine with lunch

To warm up, we each decided on one of the soups on the menu. I went for the Pumpkin, Chickpea, and Harissa Stew, which was topped with a delicious yogurt and tons of fresh herbs, really adding to the flavor. I need to add more fresh herbs to finish meals!

The stew was hearty and well spiced, and the bread that came along with it was heavenly.

pumpkin harissa stew 

turnip stew

  His Turnip, Carrot, Ginger Soup was equally as comforting and delicious, and the bread even better than mine! Luckily we always share. Just like the space that Kai is in, the food just pops, offering surprising little bursts of flavor and color and freshness, and welcoming you with warmth and love.

IMG_0197 We ended up being too full for dessert, but Kai is well worth a visit for dessert and coffee alone. Look at all of these sweets! I couldn’t stop staring at them and took about 20 different photos!

IMG_0198 

Kai GalwayKai is one of those places you could easily spend a whole afternoon over coffee and wine and delicious food.  I absolutely love it and hope that if you are planning a visit to Galway you add it to your list!

Kai Galway

Read more of my travel blog posts, including lots of Ireland posts, here.

http://traveleatlove.com/travel/

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Tags: Dining out, Food, Galway, Ireland, Restaurants, Travel, travel blog posts, travel blogger, travel planning

My “A Day in Dorchester” post is long overdue for an update! Years have passed, and we’ve moved to a new neighborhood, not to mention, Dorchester has grown as a dining and drinking destination in major ways over the past years. It’s at the point where we don’t leave Dorchester all that often as we have everything we need right here!

Lately, we have been going on a Friday night date that starts with a pint of Guinness at the delightfully Irish old school Eire Pub. Last week, we followed that with dinner at the newly opened Landmark Public House across the street.

Landmark Public House took over the space occupied by Gerard’s, a local favorite and a great spot for breakfast.

Landmark Public House

One of the first things we noticed inside were all of the odes to the neighborhood and to Boston on the walls and menu. Dorchester has such a neighborhood feel, especially in areas like Adams Village, and I am so glad they honored that when creating this space. It was filled with families, dates, people out after work. In uncertain times in the world, I am grateful for this little place we call home.

 

Landmark Public House

{Photo via Landmark Public House}

Landmark Public House

While we waited for our table, I ordered a delicious Gerard’s Old Fashioned, and we took in the cozy space and cheerful vibe of the restaurant. We quickly decided it would be a place we would want to spend more time, especially this winter when getting out will save our sanity.

Gerard's Old Fashioned

Not long after we ordered drinks, we were taken to our table by one of the very friendly staff members.

Landmark Public House

We had a hard time deciding on what to order as we were interested in just about everything, but once our decisions were made and shared with our lovely server, we were brought homemade chips and onion dip to snack on while we waited.

They certainly know the way to my heart! I am not one to go for a bread basket, but put chips and dip and a cocktail in front of me, and I don’t even need dinner. The pairing of the snack and Old Fashioned was like the perfect little cocktail party.

 homemade chips and dip

Because I am *trying* to be good (and because in the weeks after the Chicago Marathon I ate junk and drank way too much beer) I started with the Kale Salad with  roasted beets, quinoa, goat cheese, and citrus vinaigrette. Sometimes I find raw kale really tough, but the citrus dressing definitely softened it in this salad and added tons of flavor. It was a hefty portion, and with the goat cheese and quinoa could have been a meal in itself for me.

kale quinoa salad

And since I am not quite that healthy, I had to go for the Short Rib Grilled Cheese, the perfect fall or winter comfort food, and a sandwich I have been dreaming about since. Tender short rib and buttery sourdough. . . and pickles and fries. . . it really doesn’t get much better. I will dream about this sandwich on long runs going forward.

short rib grilled cheese   

We felt so comfy and relaxed that we lingered over another cocktail before heading home again. I am so excited to have yet another great Dorchester restaurant and that it seems to be very crowded from the get-go. Landmark Public House, welcome to the neighborhood!

 

 

For additional posts on Dorchester spots:

Dorchester Brewing Co. – A new favorite

Lower Mills Tavern

Boston Harbor Distillery

Chill on Park

Cafe Polonia

Lower Mills and Ashmont

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Tags: Boston, Dining out, Dorchester, food blog, food blogger

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

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