margaritas

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Summer definitely paid us a visit this past weekend, and I was lucky enough to be home in NJ with my family to enjoy it. Celebrating three moms (my own, my sister, and my sister’s mother-in-law) along with my brother-in-law’s birthday called for a great dinner, margaritas, and cake. Perfect sunny weather was an added bonus that allowed us to enjoy dinner outside.

agave

Over Cinco de Mayo weekend, we made a quick stop at Bin Ends in Braintree and ended up buying their margarita “kit” a bottle of Reposado Tequila, 12 limes, and a bottle of agave. The recipe was included on the bag, and we discovered a new favorite, easy, at home cocktail.

My sister loves margaritas, and the weather was perfect, so I mixed up a batch of these.

2 ounces Tequila

1 ounce lime juice

1/2 ounce agave

1/2 ounce water

ice

Mix up and enjoy! My sister thought the drink was a little too strong, so she added some orange juice to hers.

limes

Dinner was better than any restaurant. I picked up some fresh tomatoes and ended up eating them raw, topped with the sour cream/horseradish cream sauce we made for the filets. Yum.

My nephew, who is just learning to talk, kept grabbing tomatoes and saying “ball”. He’s too cute.

tomatoes

My brother-in-law also grilled up a ton of vegetables including red onions, yellow peppers, zucchini, and eggplant.

grilled vegetables

grilled eggplant

We also had filets and grilled scallops, corn on the cob, and baked potatoes.

summer grilling

It was an outdoor feast!

eating outside

I love nice weather eating because it is so simple. Other than a little steak seasoning and the horseradish cream, all of the food was pretty much plain, allowing the freshness to shine through. As much as I love recipes, I find it kind of refreshing to enjoy bright colors and flavors of nature and high quality ingredients.

How have you celebrated the nicer weather (fleeting as it may be!)?

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Tags: agave, family, grilling, margaritas, scallops, tequila, vegetables

Liberty Wharf has proven to be a popular Boston night spot, despite its location somewhat outside of the buzz of downtown. So far, I have eaten at Legal Harborside and Del Frisco’s, and I have been dying to check out Temazcal ever since I spied their tasty looking margaritas and prime waterfront patio space. When the hubby’s birthday rolled around, we thought Temazcal would be the perfect location for a little celebratory dinner.

What did we think?

Temazcal

Let’s start with our arrival at the hostess stand, shall we? The restaurant was obviously crowded with a few couples waiting in front of us to put their names on the list. Temazcal does not take reservations, so expect a wait, especially after work or on weekends.

We received a less than warm welcome from a staff member slumped against a wall. Her body language and tone said “What do you want?”. Nevertheless, we knew views and margaritas were waiting, so we put our names in for the 90 minute wait.

tequila

We squeezed our way toward the bar, which was beyond crowded. It was at the point of being extremely uncomfortable, not buzzing. While we waited, I checked out Temazcal’s large stash of tequila, hanging above the bar.

Hubby ordered the Primo, Patron Reposado, lime juice, agave, and a Grand Marnier float.

margarita

Cheers! I can’t remember what my drink was called, but it contained jalapeno infused tequila, and while it was spicy, even for me, I loved it.

margarita

We finished our drinks and waited a bit before going for another, both of us feeling hungry and a little tipsy after our strong drinks. I finally decided to go up to the bar to place another order, and after waiting 20 minutes to get a bartender’s attention, just asked to close my tab. Luckily, time passed quickly, and just as we were about to leave, it was our turn to be seated.

Temazcal

We scooted into a very comfy booth, which I was incredibly grateful for. With the crowds and people milling around, I feel like a regular table might get bumped way too often. I enjoy the luxurious extra space of a booth. Menus are on iPads, and while I love technology, I also really hope that all restaurants don’t go down this path. I like paper.

Along with our menus came a trip of salsas and fresh, hot chips. A salsa verde, house salsa, and warm black bean salsa were all gobbled up within minutes. Each was unique and flavorful, but the black bean was smooth, smoky, and inviting. It was an unexpected addition to the complimentary salsas, and it is a great one.

salsa

Temazcal’s menu is chock full of things I wanted to try, so we decided on a few things to share.

Antojitos Mexicanos: crab flautas ‡ chicken tamales ‡ shrimp culiacan ‡ carnitas taco’s ‡ salsa la casita

This platter was filling! I enjoyed bites of tender, zingy carnitas, and sweet shrimp wrapped in smoky bacon. The rest? We ended up bringing it home!

Antojitos

Flautas de Pollo:

crispy corn tortilla ‡ roast chicken ‡ poblano ‡ queso fresco ‡ salsa verde ‡ crema fresca

Would you believe we also brought some of these home?The outer layer of these flautas was flaky, crunchy, and light, wrapped around shredded chicken, topped with a salty cheese. Dunked in some fresh salsa, these had a nice contrast of flavors and were not at all greasy, as I sort of expected them to be.

taquitos

Tacos de Camaron:

roasted prawns ‡ pickled cabbage ‡ watercress ‡ lime ‡ chipotle crema ‡ cascabel

I was most excited about the shrimp tacos, and with crunchy pickled cabbage, perfectly cooked shrimp, and a the creamy chipotle accent, they did not disappoint. The tortillas were a little thick and chewy for my tastes, so I just left them aside.

shrimp tacos

We really enjoyed our food, and there are a lot more items I need to try at Temazcal including their guacamole with lobster and both their black bean and tortilla soups. That said, I will probably avoid the place for the rest of the summer. The throngs of people weren’t just uncomfortable, the clientele is just kind of awful in general. I feel like the majority of the people thought they were in South Beach instead of South Boston. Hopefully the hysteria will die down, and Temazcal will be more comfortable for after work drinks and dining.

Until then, we decided all future summer dates will take place on our boat. Maybe docked at Liberty Wharf. Winking smile

What’s your favorite Mexican dish?

Temazcal Tequila Cantina on Urbanspoon

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Tags: Boston, Food, margaritas, restaurant

Boston’s Liberty Wharf is one of the best ideas anyone has had in a long time. At least in the restaurant biz, and at least in Boston. I can’t believe that this beautiful, sleek new complex just popped up along our beautiful waterfront, suddenly giving multiple options for indoor and outdoor ocean-front dining (Del Frisco’s, Temazcal, Jerry Remy’s, Legal Harborside). It is simply brilliant.

Last night, even though I was still feeling under the weather, I met my husband down on Liberty Wharf for what we hoped would be Cinco de Mayo dinner at Temazcal. Ha ha ha. Along with everyone else in the South Boston/Seaport area, I smushed into the hallway near the hostess stand, only to learn that a table for two was at least a 90 minute wait. Those margaritas looked good, but I hadn’t had an appetite all day and suddenly did. 90 minutes would not do.

Since we wanted to try Legal Harborside anyway, we made our way down there and were welcomed and seated right away.

Legal Harborside

Legal Harborside is light and airy, with picnic-style tables along the floor-to-ceiling windows. Since it was Cinco de Mayo, I decided to have a Top Shelf Margarita.

margarita

Legal Harborside has a menu that is quite different from your regular Legal’s, and I really liked that. While I do like going to Legal’s I feel like I know what to expect and always get the same thing. The Legal Harborside menu offered an extensive oyster menu as well as lots of non-seafood items. We decided to start with some buffalo shrimp, which were absolutely, positively finger and plate licking good.

buffalo shrimp

Served atop a zesty sauce with blue cheese crumbles and avocado, the shrimp were lightly fried and coated in buffalo sauce. We literally scraped every last bit of sauce off of the plate. SO good.

fig and gorgonzola

We also chose one of Legal Harborside’s many bruschetta toppings, whipped gorgonzola and fig jam. Again, it was hard to decide; they also have truffled egg salad, artichoke puree, and several others. I may go back and make a meal out of oysters and bruschetta.

My cold/flu cravings over the past week have been for all sorts of unhealthy food, things we don’t keep in the house, like fries, popcorn, and pizza. Since I was faced with a menu full of treats, I went for the whole belly fried clams appetizer for my entrée. The portion ended up being huge, and I only ate about half, but boy was it good! Perfectly golden fried, briny clam bellies scream New England summer to me. A fresh tartar sauce and lemon wedge rounded it out.

fried clams

The husband also went fried, opting for the open face fish sandwich on rye bread with caper tartar sauce and cole slaw. He loved the flaky fish with all of the great flavors and textures that came with this creative sandwich.

fish sandwich

The dining room was crowded and a bit noisy; the only downfall I can see to Liberty Wharf is its proximity to the World Trade Center. The entire place was filled with attendees from a conference, and while great for business, I wonder if this will be detrimental to regular Bostonians wanting to get tables in the complex. I hope not, because I give Legal Harborside two thumbs way up! It is an awesome place for casual dining and great food. Our server was friendly and made sure we had everything we needed. Everyone was happy.

And the views. Well, you might just get lucky and see a double rainbow. My photos didn’t come out great, but there were two rainbows side-by-side, something I am fairly used to seeing in Ireland but have never seen here.

Boston Harbor

 

Did you do anything fun or eat/drink anything good for Cinco de Mayo? I am definitely returning to Temazcal soon; it looks fantastic!

Legal Harborside - Floor 1 on Urbanspoon

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Tags: Boston, Dining out, Food, Legal Harborside, margaritas, Restaurants, seafood

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