Milton

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One of my favorite things about Boston, and especially the hospitality industry here, is that it is so full of just really good people who care about the communities they live and work in. Last week, I had the privilege of attending a Summer Solstice party at Steel & Rye, one of my favorite restaurants ever. The party featured eight amazing chefs, all there to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester, an organization doing incredible work with kids and families in the community. 

Chefs included Jeremy Sewall, ICOB & Row 34; Daniel Bojorquez, La Brasa; David Punch, Sycamore & Little Big Diner; Joshua Smith, Moody’s Deli & Moody’s Backroom; Pierce Kelley, Bondir; and Chris Parsons, Brendan Joy and Adrian Vasquez, Steel & Rye.

raw bar 

As we arrived, I noticed the ice sculpture full of Island Creek Oysters and had to get a photo of the Boys & Girls Club engraving before it melted! The oysters were so cold and briny and delicious, summer in New England in a single bite.

island creek oysters

gin

   gin cocktail

Inside we were welcomed with a refreshing, summery gin cocktail and a busy, festive atmosphere full of delicious food!

gin cocktail

Steel & Rye’s new pizza oven was definitely getting put to use! They recently introduced pizza to their menu, giving us just another reason to go there.

 

steel and rye Throughout the night, we mingled with old friends and made our way around the space to sample what the chefs were serving up.

steak salad from sy We were all obsessed with this fattoush steak salad that Sycamore was serving.  I also really love Sycamore, so I was not at all surprised that their dish was one of my favorites.

steak salad

 

lobster 

Chef Jeremy Sewall from Island Creek Oyster Bar and Row 34 offered up these lobster cups, which made me think of the lobster tacos at his former spot, Lineage. Those were amazing, and I am really going to miss that place.

tuna tartare Other bites of the evening included an incredible tuna tartare, a beautifully decorated and very generous short rib from La Brasa, a beautifully plated, cool cucumber dish from Bondir, pizza, and a massive charcuterie display from Moody’s.

short rib strawberries and cucumber pizza 

Most importantly, throughout the night we had the opportunity to buy raffle tickets and bid on silent auction items, with proceeds going to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester. We heard from club staff and members and learned about some of the programs that they maintain the community. The Kids Cafe, for example, provides 300 hot, healthy meals per weeknight for kids and families during the school year and 700 per day during the summer. As we know, for many kids summer isn’t fun. It’s a time that meals had in school go away and with the Kids Cafe, the Boys & Girls Club are helping to create better food security for families in Dorchester. The club’s Safe Summer Streets program provides a place for teens to hang out until 11 pm during the summer, giving them not just a safe place, but a sense of community and care during a time of year when violence spikes in the area. In addition to their daily programs, the clubs also send many kids to camp each summer and they partner with many other organizations, including Team MR8, on sports leagues and other initiatives.

We learned at the event that Steel & Rye supports the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester year-round, including having kids come into the restaurant to cook. This just makes me want to eat there more! In a world that seems to be so full of violence and hopelessness these days, this event was such a wonderful reminder of all the good that’s out there and of all of the really talented and compassionate chefs we have in the Boston area. I hear it may be an annual event, and I definitely will be there next year!

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Tags: cocktails, events, Food, Milton, Steel & Rye, summer

Even though we moved to our new neighborhood a little over a year ago, we are still loving exploring it and trying out new-to-us places. Lower Mills Dorchester/Milton is a GREAT place to live, and we love it. You can read about our earlier Lower Mills adventures here.

Right after we got back from Ireland this December, we found ourselves still having a little wanderlust, and so we planned a little road trip to the Wayside Inn in Sudbury. We needed some sort of to-go breakfast, so we decided to check out The Plate, which is in Milton, not too far from us.

biscuit breakfast sandwiches

The Plate serves “handcrafted comfort food” and from my first bite of my biscuit sandwich, it was easy to see why The Plate is always crowded. It’s an adorable little shop that serves breakfast, lunch, pastries, and classic comfort food dinners-to-go.I have become obsessed with above biscuit sandwich, which comes with artisan cured ham, cheddar cheese, and red pepper jelly. Their egg sandwich comes in a close second, with its roasted tomato and spicy aioli. One I haven’t tried is their bacon, banana, and Nutella sandwich. . . but I really think I might need to soon!

pastries at the Plate Milton 

As you gear up for another cold and snowy Boston weekend (unless of course you are reading from somewhere else, hopefully a warm place), keep The Plate in mind for a satisfying, inexpensive breakfast option. I know we will likely be there one of the weekend days!

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Tags: breakfast, comfort food, Food, home, Lower Mills, Lunch, Milton, Restaurants

Since we moved to the Lower Mills/Milton area, we have really enjoyed discovering all of the wonderful businesses and people that surround us, and we are constantly amazed at how much is going on down here. On Friday, we had the pleasure of being guests of Fruit Center Marketplace in Milton for one of their monthly wine dinners. We had visited Fruit Center Marketplace several times before for groceries, but we had no idea that there was a large upstairs area for events like the wine dinner.

The wines being poured for this particular wine dinner were perfect for Oscar weekend because they were all from Francis Ford Coppola’s winery. Years ago, we spent a magical morning at Coppola’s Rubicon Estate, but we didn’t know much about his Sonoma County winery. This wine dinner was a perfect way to learn and to taste some new wines.

The evening was led by Tim Paulus from Fruit Center Marketplace. Tim did an amazing job with the food and wine pairings, and throughout the evening shared with us how he made all of the courses.

Tim PaulusUpon arrival, guests were greeted with Sofia Blanc de Blancs 2012, the bubbly in the cute pink cans. I think this idea is genius; the little cans are perfect for parties or getting ready for a girls’ night out. However, I will fully disclose that this was the one wine I did not taste, because I have had it before and felt it had a little harshness to it.

While we waited for the pairings to begin, we got to know the other couples at our table, and we had an absolute blast talking with them. What better to break the ice than talking about wine and all of our travels to Napa and Sonoma?

When the food started coming, the room was filled with praise for chef’s creations and the wines chosen to pair.

We started with Pizza with Brussels Sprouts, Crispy Pancetta and Apple  served with Arugula Salad, paired with Rosso y Rosso Pinot Grigio and Pavilion Chardonnay. The pizza crust was a simple naan bread from the store. This simple dish was all about great ingredients, and the apple on the pizza and lemony salad both popped with the wines and their own bright acidity.

 

Brussels sprouts pizzaThe next course brought summer into the room on a biting cold evening.

Sofia Rosé

We were served Marinated Roast Vegetable Stacks with San Marzano Gravy and Fresh Mozzarella, paired with Sofia Rosé and Votre Sante Pinot Noir. I could eat these vegetable stacks every single day, and I plan on giving it a go once it’s a little warmer out. The gravy, which we wanted to lick from the plates, was a simple sauce made with San Marzano tomatoes, butter, and an onion, blended and then chilled. The Sofia Rosé was a beautiful wine pairing, dry with nice fruit and spice notes, the perfect boat wine. The Pinot was also a great pairing, less expected, but was certainly light enough to go with this course. Everything about it said California to me, and I buried my nose in the glass to take it all in. I miss California.

roasted vegetable stackMid-way through the meal, we were treated to Coppola Claret with an Herbed Cabernet Granita. The granita was refreshing and delicious, sweet and savory, and the perfect palate cleanser. Tim said he uses a melon baller to scoop granita into Champagne flutes in the summer, then tops it with bubbly. The Coppola Claret is a simply gorgeous wine, with dark fruit and cocoa notes, elegant, smooth, and perfect for cold weather sipping.

Cabernet GranitaOur main course was a Short Rib Style’ Braised Roast Beef with Garlic Mashed Potato Paired with Eleanor Red Blend and Director’s Cut Zinfandel. The tender beef melted in my mouth, and the potatoes were creamy and garlicky and heavenly. I am a Zinfandel lover, and this wine was out of this world full of jam and cocoa notes. The Eleanor was another wine that just shouted Napa and Sonoma from the glass. It’s hard to explain, but also amazing how a smell can bring you back to a place. The wine had all sorts of layers, lots of cherry and blackberry notes, as well as a hint of black tea. Delicious.

‘Short Rib Style’ Braised Roast Beef with Garlic Mashed Potato Our final course was Dark Chocolate Torte with Sea Salt Caramels served  with Stewed Berries and Lemon Whipped Cream Paired with Coppola Port, which is only available at the winery. The dessert, including the caramels was made in house, and it was so decadent! The lemon whipped cream really added something special to the rich chocolate. The Port was off the charts.

Dark Chocolate Torte with Sea Salt Caramels We haven’t enjoyed an evening out like this in a long time. Our table mates were so much fun, and by the time we left my face was hurting from smiling. These wine dinners are a fabulous deal; this one was $50 and included the food and wine and also a $10 gift card to Fruit Center Marketplace! They sell out quickly, and it’s easy to see why. They are really well-planned, and it’s easy to see a lot of love goes into the food and wine.

I look forward to attending these wine dinners on a regular basis, if I can get in! Many thanks to Fruit Center Marketplace for inviting us and creating such a fun evening.

Dinner was complimentary, but I was not required to review it, and all opinions are my own.

 

 

 

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Tags: cooking, Coppola wine, Dining out, dinner, events, food and wine, food and wine pairing, Milton, Sonoma County, wine, wine dinner, wine tasting, winery

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