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Drop everything, and book a ticket to New Orleans, right now!

If only that was possible, I would do it in a heartbeat. We’ve just returned from a visit to Royal Sonesta New Orleans for my Sonesta Hotels blogging and social media work, and we want to go back ASAP.

As part of our stay, we were treated to a tour of the hotel’s fine dining establishment, Restaurant R’Evolution, followed by a delicious dinner at the restaurant’s bar, always our first option when dining out.

New Orleans fine dining

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Restaurant R’evolution celebrates five years this year, and its creative approach to Cajun and Creole cuisine has made it a New Orleans favorite, in a city that is absolutely teeming with great restaurants. Our behind-the-scenes tour was an incredible glimpse into some of the restaurant’s amazing spaces, including this custom-built wine cellar. Walls of wine went on-and-on, holding 10,000 bottles, 10,000 reasons for Wine Enthusiast  to name the restaurant as one of their top 100 wine restaurants.

Restaurant R’evolution

The entirety of Restaurant R’Evolution is truly special, but they offer some extra special dining areas, including the chef’s table, where all of the seats face the action.

Restaurant R’evolution

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Several private dining areas are available, and we’ve heard they attract some pretty A-list guests. We certainly felt like VIPs the entire time we were at Restaurant R’Evolution, and by taking in everything around us, noticed that every guest was treated that way.

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When it came to our own dining, we were brought to comfy seats at the romantic, dimly lit bar, which was once a carriage way; the floor tiles still match those of the sidewalk outside.

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I loved how special this bar felt, upscale yet super comfortable and relaxed at the same time. Excellent bar staff made us craft cocktails (I love my wine, but when in New Orleans, we were all about trying cocktails.)

We also absolutely had to try the restaurant’s famous “Death by Gumbo” which is made up of Roasted Quail, Andouille, Oysters, Filé Rice and presented beautifully with the broth poured over.

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This was absolutely to-die-for. So rich and flavorful. Note that we shared an order, and they kindly split it for us.

We also shared Beer Battered Crab Beignets and an order of fries, because good fries are my favorite food. These did not disappoint! The beignets were heavenly bites of seafood presented with remoulades.

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We could have easily relaxed at that bar for the whole night, but we had big plans at The Jazz Playhouse right next door. More to come on that, but if you get to New Orleans, I recommend doing exactly what we did and making a night of it at Royal Sonesta New Orleans.

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We were hosted by Royal Sonesta New Orleans, however, I was not required to write about the experience for my own blog. All opinions are my own.

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Tags: cocktails, fine dining, Food, food blog, New Orleans, Restaurants, travel blog, wine

As much as I like having access to all Boston has to offer, I more than love escaping to wide open spaces outside the city, whether it be to the ocean or places a bit further inland. One favorite quaint New England spot is Longfellow’s Wayside Inn in Sudbury, an easy drive from Boston, and perfect for a festive lunch or dinner during the holiday season.

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We recently celebrated my in-laws’ anniversary at the Wayside Inn, and it was an absolutely perfect day for strolling the grounds of the historic inn, then warming up inside with a delicious traditional New England meal and cocktails.

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The Martha Mary chapel is a must-visit while at Wayside, as is the path behind the inn, where a beautiful pond and forest await.

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Inside, you will definitely feel like you stepped back in time! The Wayside Inn has a fascinating history which has many famous players involved, It is definitely haunted!

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I had done a long run the morning of our chilly visit to Sudbury, and I was craving all of the warm comfort food in the world! A cold Meeting House Punch, made with beer, rum, lemon, and brown sugar was the perfect way to start the afternoon, and I enjoyed bites of lobster pie, paired perfectly with mashed potatoes and squash, along with classic New England clam chowder.

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Seriously, bring your appetite when you visit!

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I never tire of really good bacon-wrapped scallops, and these were excellent, with crispy bacon and sweet, tender scallops, just as they should be.

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I was the only one craving dessert after all that, but I guess an 11 mile run will do that to a girl. Pecan Chocolate Chip Bourbon Pie was gooey and warm and exquisite, with dollops of fresh cream setting off all of that chocolate-y richness.

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The service at the Wayside Inn is outstanding, and the place is just so cozy and festive. We lingered over a long late lunch and left feeling stuffed and super relaxed.

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Tags: Food, food blog, historic, holidays, hotels, inns, Massachusetts, New England

I swear the weeks are flying by faster as each month passes, and I don’t know where the time has gone since my last blog post. My travel schedule has been pretty hectic, and my husband has also been traveling a ton for work. As a result, lots of other things have gotten put on the back burner. I miss my Boston blogging community!

One thing we have made an effort to do is to venture out of Dorchester for dining out, which can be difficult, especially when it’s dark and cold and Dorchester has so many great restaurants. Boston has such a great dining scene these days that it can be overwhelming, so we have been keeping a list of places to visit.

Where in Boston have I been lately?

Haley Henry

A catch-up date with an old friend at haley.henry wine bar was the perfect way to while away several hours on a blustery November night. The space is so cozy, and while our food was a bit hit-or-miss, I was a huge fan of the wine tots and pickled vegetables. The wine, however, is really where it’s at here. We went with staff recommendations for all of our wines, and they steered us in delicious directions.

While I don’t normally love Gamay, I have been thinking nonstop about one we tried from Isabelle & Bruno Perraud. It was the perfect suggestion, and it would be an incredible Thanksgiving wine.

Haley Henry

haley.henry is definitely a place I could see myself spending wintry afternoons, especially as a respite from holiday shopping.

Haley Henry

With all of our travel, fitting in date nights to reconnect have been more important than ever, and finding good places close to the airport has been helpful. I had been dying to visit Reel House in East Boston, and after a recent airport reunion, we fell in love with the beautiful space, great service, and delicious seafood.

Reel House

Tiki drinks and twinkling white lights and nautical decor won us over. Seafood charcuterie was a fresh and creative treat, perfect for sharing. The service was super warm and friendly and made us want to stay forever. This will definitely be a new favorite post-business-travel spot.

Reel House

anoush’ella in Boston’s South End is a place I now crave regularly. I kind of knew I would when I started to read the menus online, but it was truly love at first sight and first bite.

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I love the casual atmosphere of the space and the quick arrival of the food, which doesn’t take away from a relaxing experience. I sipped a delicious whiskey and grapefruit cocktail while devouring delights from their labne and m’anoush menus. I absolutely love yogurt in savory dishes, and this labne is super thick and tangy with perfect toppings.

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A sweet m’anoush to end the meal was stuffed with marshmallows and Nutella and was gooey and warm and perfectly delicious. I saw many people coming into anoush’ella for takeaway orders; if I lived in the neighborhood I would be tempted to go in several times a week!

anoush’ella

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Tags: Boston, Dining out, Food, food blog

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