dining

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In case you missed it, I blogged about our stay at Sonesta ES Suites Burlington, Vermont here.

Our weekend in Burlington was a cold one, but it sure was cozy, and one of the restaurants we found (and visited three times!) really helped to make it special.

On a very chilly morning, we needed a place to get out of the cold and stumbled upon Leunig’s Bistro, which not only occupies a corner of the Church Street Marketplace with its adorable cafe and bistro, but also has a pastry kiosk right across the pedestrian street.

Leunig’s Bistro, Burlington, Vermont

I was instantly smitten with both, and while we needed heat most, I knew we would be back to visit Leunig’s Petit Bijou at some point during our stay.

Leunig’s Bistro, Burlington, Vermont Leunig’s Bistro, Burlington, Vermont

A rich and delicious hot chocolate at Leunig’s bar was the perfect respite from winter, and the lovely staff made us feel at home and unrushed as we enjoyed our chocolate and read the paper. The pace and the warmth of the space was so nice; it definitely felt far from the hustle and bustle of our Boston lives.

Leunig’s Bistro, Burlington, Vermont Leunig’s Bistro, Burlington, Vermont

Isn’t it just beautiful? It’s rare that we spend an hour just sitting and enjoying a hot drink early in the day, and this was the perfect start to our Burlington wandering.

Leunig’s Bistro, Burlington, Vermont

We loved it so much, in fact, that when it came time to find a place for dinner, we made our way back to Leunig’s to see if there was any possibility of getting a table without a reservation. While the restaurant was full, we were in luck that they keep some tables for walk-ins, and the hostess happily let us know that there was room for us.

We got settled into a cozy table and looked at the extensive menus, unsure how we would decide. We wanted mussels and fries and all the salads and truffle fries and onion soup. . . and all of the entrees.

While we decided, I also noticed that they had a nice menu of non-alcoholic drinks like the refreshing pineapple sage sour that I went with for my “cocktail”.

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In the end, after devouring a basket of fresh rolls and Vermont butter, we went with the petit portions of steak frites (with truffle fries, of course) and Beef Bourguignon. I rarely finish anything, so I love when smaller portions are offered, and the size of these was perfect.

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This was amazing comfort food at its absolute finest. Perfect fries, a delectably medium rare steak, creamy horseradish. . .

And my Beef Bourguignon was a melt-in-your-mouth feast. It must have cooked all day. The rich and incredibly tender meat was complemented by onions and crisp green beans and the creamiest garlic mashed potatoes. I need to make this at home when I am able to drink wine again. I know it’s a time-consuming dish, but it is so worth it!

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After dinner we took a nice walk around Burlington before heading back to Leunig’s Petit Bijou for hot chocolates with French vanilla whipped cream, paired with one of their homemade chocolate croissants, which we decided to save for a cozy breakfast the next day.

We fell in love with Leunig’s and found it the perfect date day and date night spot. If you are visiting Burlington, Vermont, I would highly recommend this spot for any time of day.

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Tags: Burlington, dining, Food, Travel, travel blog, Vermont

Have you found any new favorite restaurants lately? In true winter fashion, we’ve been mostly sticking close to home and enjoying lots of homemade meals with some Dorchester dining mixed in for delicious measure.

What have we been eating lately?

Molinari's Dorchester

Dessert first, I say! We have come to absolutely love Molinari’s in Adams Village in Dorchester. It’s cute and cozy, the staff is super friendly, and the food is absolutely fantastic. This past weekend we met friends there and ended with the most scrumptious cannolis after a perfectly cooked salmon over salad and a to-die-for pizza topped with fried garlic, roasted garlic, garlic cream sauce, and meatballs. Hello heaven.

salmon saladMolinari's Dorchester

One of our Dorchester favorites is Shanti, and while we usually love it as takeaway eaten at home, we recently went for their lunch buffet, which is fantastic and a great deal at $9.95/person. I polished off a big plate with a little bit of everything. Their food never disappoints.

shanti dorchester

Warm weather recently had us craving a beach day, and after some sun and surf in Hull, we stopped at Tosca in Hingham, which is one of my all-time favorite date night spots.

Feeling up for something light, we split their incredible beet salad and fluffy, dreamy truffle tots with homemade steak sauce. It is a combo I highly recommend! We love sitting at the bar, which is cozy and romantic, and has no TVs! I hate that so many restaurants have TVs everywhere; if I wanted to watch TV, I would stay home! Tosca has a pretty great wine list too; on our last visit they were featuring a wine from Mauritson in the Dry Creek Valley, which we love.

Tosca HinghamTosca Hingham

Breakfast has suddenly become one of my favorite meals, and walking to Sweet Life Bakery and Cafe in Lower Mills has become a nice weather tradition.

It’s often the Irish breakfast for him (and I always steal a few bites) and banana pancakes for me. The song always has me craving them!

Irish breakfastSweet Life Dorchester

If we’re having breakfast/brunch at home, pancakes are often on the menu, but one of the most sinful-tasting brunch entrees we’ve had recently was a brioche French toast, made with Trader Joe’s brioche (SO good), eggs, milk, cinnamon, and raspberries. It’s super easy to make; I just eyeballed everything, soaked the bread for a couple of hours and stuffed it all into a baking pan, cooking it until it was firm and custard-y.

brioche french toast

I know we have so many new Boston restaurants to explore, and I hope that as spring arrives we will get a chance to do just that. In the meantime, we are pretty lucky to have so many yummy options so close to home.

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Tags: Boston, dining, Dorchester, Food, food blog

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

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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

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