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Last Wednesday evening I attended a media dinner at Bond at The Langham Hotel in Boston. I’ve been to The Langham many times for their chocolate bar in addition to attending a Boston Brunchers brunch there and a media preview of brunch and the chocolate bar, but I had never even stepped inside Bond.

Wow.

My photos are all awful (I will learn to take a good photo someday!), but Bond is gorgeous.  High ceilings, chandeliers, leather chairs, a stunning bar, and jazz music on Wednesdays all add to the swanky feel of the lounge.

Bond at The Langham

A creative cocktail list features cocktails all named within a financial theme; it makes sense since the building was once the Federal Reserve Bank.

Derby Debt

Since it was almost Derby Day, I had the Derby Debt, Bond’s version of the mint julep. It was delicious. . . and strong! Then the food started coming. I loved almost everything, and though I left before dessert (To get a ride home, I will always skip dessert if it means avoiding the MBTA!), I left stuffed.

Vietnamese Fresh Rolls

{Vietnamese Fresh Rolls – Shrimp, Chicken, and Spicy Peanut Sauce}

Delicate and flavorful, these were a healthy, fresh way to start.

Stracchino Cheese and Heirloom Tomatoes

{Stracchino Cheese and Heirloom Tomatoes – Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic}

Surprise! These tomatoes were stuffed with a creamy cheese. I am definitely stealing this idea for summer.

Crispy Point Judith Calamari

{Crispy Point Judith Calamari – Sweet Chili, Black Sesame, and Cilantro}

This was definitely a favorite. The fried, but not greasy, calamari was spicy and sweet. It was a great twist on a New England classic.

Grilled Baby Corn

{Grilled Baby Corn with Esplette – Cotija Cheese, Aioli, Lime}

This was my least favorite dish of the night. It probably would have been delicious with real-sized corn; I just didn’t love the flavor of the baby corn.

Sweet Soy and Ginger Chicken Wings

{Sweet Soy and Ginger Chicken Wings}

These were sticky, sweet, and amazing. They reminded me a little of my mom’s BBQ chicken, but the presentation definitely fit the upscale lounge feel. The bone “handle” on each was perfectly clean which meant no sticky fingers as we ate the tender chicken.

Lobster and Chorizo Quesadilla

{Lobster and Chorizo Quesadilla – Queso Blanco and Sweet Corn}

You really can’t go wrong with smoky chorizo and perfectly cooked sweet lobster. Again, an upscale twist on a favorite type of food. I liked that the rolled up quesadillas were easy to eat and less messy than the regular version.

Flat Bread Pizza

{Flat Bread Pizza – Great Hill Blue, Grilled Stone Fruit, Pancetta, and Arugula}

I was almost too full to try this pizza, but it was one of the things we were looking forward to. I love blue cheese, fruit, and arugula, and adding them to a pizza with pancetta, well it was incredible. Salty, sweet, and gooey; I love that Bond’s menu really seems to be about flavorful contrasts and twists on comfort fare that fit really well into the atmosphere.

Dom Perignon Lounge

Before I left, I took a quick trip up to the Dom Perignon lounge, which sits above the dining rooms, looking out over everyone. Dom Perignon in a private lounge? Now you’re talking!

Dom Perignon Lounge Bond, The Langham Boston

Bond’s service was top notch, and my dining companions, Megan, Daisy, Lindsey, and Will, were fabulous. It was a great way to unwind after a very long Wednesday. As  I mentioned, they do have live music every Wednesday, making it feel a little like a weekend mid-week. Who doesn’t love that?

 

 

I enjoyed a complimentary dinner as a media guest of Bond. However, I was not required to write a post, and all opinions are my own.

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Tags: blogger events, Bond, Boston, cocktails, dining, events, Food, hotels, Restaurants, The Langham

Weekend getaways are always a treat, and with our trip to the Eastern Townships of Quebec, we found a new, close by spot for short (or long) trips just a drive from Boston.

Don’t get me wrong. I do love the opportunity to fly to Ireland or across the country to Sonoma, but those long haul trips often end up being exhausting at the end, the antithesis of vacation.

Our quick drive to the Eastern Townships of Quebec brought us to Chateau Bromont, a luxury hotel in the heart of the countryside, flanked by a rolling golf course, ski mountains, and forests. We didn’t spend much time in our spacious, lovely room, because as usual, we wanted to explore, eat, and drink some wine!

Chateau Bromont

Chateau Bromont

The Chateau Bromont features an indoor and outdoor pool and hot tub, in addition to a bistro and a high end restaurant.

Chateau Bromont

The outside of the building featured amazing views and lush gardens, complete with bubbling streams. The environment was completely serene, secluded, and perfect for a little getaway.

Chateau Bromont

 

Les Quatre Canards

I always have food and wine on the brain, so I was excited to eat at the Chateau Bromont’s restaurant, Les Quatre Canards.

We started with an amuse bouche of phyllo dough with cheese and vegetables in a delicate sauce.

amuse bouche

I, of course, had a glass (or 2) of sparkling wine.

bubbly

We skipped appetizers because I had dessert on the brain already. Instead we skipped into entrees. I got the trout which was wrapped around crabmeat with a side of seasonal vegetables and a cauliflower truffle mash.

trout

My husband had perfectly cooked beef (I even tried it!) with seasonal veggies and peppercorns. It was divine.

beef

And then came dessert. A chocolate bomb, flaky layers of chocolate wafer, mousse, and a chocolate ganache, for him.

chocolate bomb

And for me, one of the reasons I came to Quebec, Tarte au Sucre, this one an upside down version. A maple sugar tart with ice cream, in a jar, is one of the most perfect things in the world. Maple sugar is not too sweet, not at all. There is no fake sugar flavor or overly sweet goo here, just a subtle hint of sweetness with creamy vanilla ice cream and a crunchy crumb crust.

tarte au sucre

It was one of the best desserts I have ever eaten. My pre-Quebec bucket list included local sparkling wine and tarte au sucre, two goals I met. It also included seeing a real live moose, which did not happen. And that gives me more reason to return.

All joking aside, Chateau Bromont provided the perfect place to relax, wine, and dine in a comfortable, luxe environment. Next time I will be booking a spa treatment and bringing a bathing suit to take advantage of the pools. And maybe doing some skiing, if the husband has anything to do with it.

 

Where is your favorite weekend getaway? It could be close or far, just a place you love to kick back, relax, eat, drink, and be merry?

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Tags: dining, Eastern Townships, Food, hotels, Quebec, Travel, wine

I have been on a roll lately as far as blogging topics go, many thanks to my travels to Ireland and the Czech Republic. I am thankful for this considering the fact that, in December, I really wasn’t sure if I could even write another post! I just got stuck in rut, and I am happy to be out for the moment!

As a result of all of that busy-ness, I have completely neglected writing about some GREAT meals that I have had out in Boston recently.

 

Gaslight You may remember a recent post, Gaslight Enchants, where I sang the praises of the South End brasserie that combines comfort and great service with really fresh and delicious food. After that post we were planning on returning to Gaslight, and I was pleasantly surprised and grateful when the restaurant sent a gift certificate in response to my review, making it that much easier to go back. Since my husband started a new job last week, we decided to celebrate on Friday night, and on a bitter cold Boston night, Gaslight seemed like a perfect spot. What we weren’t anticipating was the fact that everyone else in Boston also decided to eat at Gaslight! I must say that after years of a bad economy, I am heartened to see restaurants completely full with people waiting. BUT we didn’t have to wait! Somehow they found us a table for two, and within minutes we were sipping on drinks, me a Madame Lillet, made with Lillet Rouge, St. Germain, and a champagne float, and the hubs a Fin du Monde beer. The oysters on this night were absolutely perfect, as they tend to be this time of year. I ordered the Poelee Espagnol, the same dish that the hubs had last time because I really wanted to steal it from him that evening. The hubs had the special rib eye which came with a delicious red wine caramelized onion and a fried on the outside mashed potato ball, which I am sure had a more sophisticated name that I can not remember. I do remember the crunchy, soft, butteriness of this side and how once again I wanted to steal his food, in addition to eating my own :) I know I mentioned it in my last Gaslight post, but they have parking, a little touch that can not be overlooked when going out in the middle of winter!

 

Craigie on Main It was probably pretty clear in this post that I really love Craigie on Main. If it wasn’t clear enough there, then maybe my Best of 2009 post will sell you on Craigie. All I know is that if you live in or are visiting Boston, you should try to go here. We celebrated the first in a string of 30th birthdays at Craigie on Main last week, and it was exceptional as always. I won’t do a full recap of everyone’s meals, but I will tell you about what I had. Raija, the birthday girl (and guest blogger) ordered an appetizer of grilled Spanish octopus that was grilled, sort of meaty, perfection. I was told by a few Twitter friends to try this, and I am glad that she ordered it so that I could. :) I went for the vegetarian tasting menu and had the same mushroom ragout topped with a delicious, runny farm egg as my last visit. In addition, I had the Early Winter Root Vegetable Gratin. I wish I had gotten a photo of this because the layers were so pretty, and the dish itself was pure comfort and deliciousness! My dessert was the Peanut Butter Parfait made with homemade Hob Nob cookies. Hob Nobs are English (I think) but abound in Irish desserts and are a crunchy, oaty cookie. Even though I am not much of a dessert person, I pretty much died over this one.

The Ledge The Ledge, in the spirit of keeping things local, is a relatively new Dorchester restaurant and bar and apparently is a huge hotspot. A 35 minute wait for dinner in Dorchester? Well worth it here! They have a really long, contemporary bar with a great wine list and even a house brew of their own. On the chilly Friday night that we had dinner here, I had just run 15 miles the night before and was in major hangry mode. I wanted something not so healthy, so I chose the fried haddock sandwich with sweet potato fries. A restaurant with good sweet potato fries can win my heart over, and these did. My fish was flaky and lightly battered, topped with coleslaw and served on a big toasty bun. The hubs had steak tips with two sides, mac and cheese and maple glazed butternut squash. Yummmmmmm. Everything was amazing, but the maple butternut squash was something that I would eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They have a fun looking cocktail menu, very friendly service, a young neighborhood vibe, and great food. And did I mention that the prices are sort of ridiculously low? I was happy to see that this new establishment was full of people, and happy people who looked like they would be coming back for more. I know we will be!

Pssssst Did you enter to win my raffle yet? The prizes, a $100 gift card to Williams Sonoma or a (me) & goji custom mix, the beneficiary of the ticket prices? The ALLY Foundation. Each ticket is $10, and they can be “purchased” by making a donation here:

http://firstgiving.com/meghanmalloyteamally

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Tags: Best of Boston, Boston, cocktails, dining, Dorchester, Food, foodies, oysters, Restaurants, wine

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