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Is it spring or summer? I don’t care what they are calling it, it has been warm and sunny, and I love it! Last week, I received a wonderful spring surprise from my favorite wine and spirits PR rep, the same lovely who invited me to the Austrian wine tasting awhile back. (If you haven’t checked out my Austrian wine tasting post, I would love if you did. I don’t consider myself a great photographer, but I love these photos!)

A bottle of Szigeti Grüner Veltliner Brut arrived at my door, just in time for the rain to stop! I even had a little photo shoot out on the deck.

Szigeti Sparkling Wine

Szigeti Austrian Sparkling Wine

Szigeti Austrian Sparkling Wine

Szigeti makes an incredible sparkling wine with tiny, festive bubbles and a crisp, slightly tart, citrus flavor. It truly is the perfect wine for long evenings, picnics, and dinners on the patio, which is what we ended up having.

The warm weather brings a few eating options that are different from winter. Gone are the hot soups and stews, the root veggie curries, and the heavy meals. Instead, we welcome salads, cold soups, quick stir fries, and sushi. On this particular evening, the night before a perfect day off, we opted to order sushi from Teriyaki House, our go-to South Boston sushi spot. It’s quick, it’s tasty, and it’s incredibly cheap!

Sushi

The best part about Teriyaki House is that they offer a huge range of Chinese and Japanese options that are yummy and taste healthier than the standard Chinese takeout fare. Their hot and sour soup is a cold cure, multiple times over, and their veggie curry dish with noodles lasts for four or five meals.

For this dinner, we opted for a spicy and crunchy roll, a spicy tuna roll, a garden salad with ginger dressing, and a hot and sour soup. We get the hot and sour soup even in the heart of summer; it is that good.

The sharp bubbles of the Szigeti Brut met the fatty, spicy tuna and did wonders for the sushi! The flavors really danced around together in my mouth providing a satisfying lightness and richness.

I was so lucky to have another opportunity to drink a delicious Szigeti wine and to share it with my husband on a perfect spring evening. Such a wine brings a celebration to an ordinary weeknight! :) And seriously, after such a long winter, we have reason to celebrate, don’t we?

Have you had nice weather where you live? What spring foods/wines are you loving?

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Tags: Austrian wine, Food, sparkling wine, spring, sushi, wine

Happy Easter!

Boston is truly at its best when the weather turns from dreary winter into those first few sunny, warm days where its not just bearable to be outdoors, but glorious! This weekend the city has been full of tourists and locals alike, all just taking in the scenery, and we were a part of it.

We started out with lunch in Charlestown, one of my favorite places to run because of its lovely architecture and killer hills. After a little wander, we opted for Max & Dylan’s. Our meal started out great with a Sam Adams Noble Pils for each of us and a hot, tangy, gooey buffalo chicken dip.

 

Sam Adams Noble Pils

buffalo chicken dip

For my entree, I ordered a grilled pear salad. Unfortunately, the timing with the kitchen was not great, and they brought our entrees out halfway through our appetizer course. They wedged everything on the tiny table, but when I tried to move my hand to get my fork, the salad, which was hanging about 3 inches off the table, flipped over into my lap and then on to the ground, the plate breaking into a few pieces :(

They offered to make me another, but at that point I just wanted to leave. I had a few bites of the hubs’ tuna burger which was very good. I would definitely go back to Max & Dylans because everything I did eat was delicious. Hopefully they can time the food a little better so we don’t get everything at once!

After lunch, we walked across the bridge into the North End, Boston’s Little Italy, and a great place to be on a warm day. We walked through North Square past two of my favorite restaurants, Mamma Maria and Carmen.

North Square

I stopped into Salumeria Italiana to look around, and it felt like stepping out of the US and into a market in Italy. There was fresh bread in the window. 

Bread at Salumeria Italiana

Pasta and sauce filled some of the shelves.

Pasta

Sweet Baci candies, biscuits, and chocolates filled another.

Italian sweets

Everything in the store was tempting, but I had a mission in mind. Cannolis.

Forget Mike’s or Modern. If you want the best cannoli in Boston, not to mention some of the best pizza, visit Bova’s. It’s just my opinion, but Bova’s makes the best pastries and feels like the small neighborhood bakery that it is rather than a tourist stop. Everything I have ever gotten here has been incredible, and the service is always with a warm smile.

Bova Boston

Bova’s was packed with people picking up breads, pies, and desserts for Easter. I love how you can really feel the holiday spirit in neighborhoods like the North End. It was completely bustling with activity.

Easter cookies and pies

I thought these bread loaves were just beautiful.

Italian Easter Bread

But I came for the cannoli. I had a mini cannoli with chocolate chips. In just a few bites, it was the perfect treat to eat while walking back to Charlestown.

Bova cannolis

We checked out a few more of their delightful goodies, and we were on our way.

Iced Easter bread

On the way home, we stopped at a few of the Polish markets in our neighborhood to pick up meat for me to bring to NJ. These stores were also full of activity. The smells inside reminded me of my childhood when we would fill a basket with food and bring it to my uncle’s Eastern Orthodox church to have it blessed. I love how smells can trigger such fun memories!

If you celebrate Easter, what are you doing for the holiday? If you don’t, have you done anything fun this weekend?

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Tags: beer, Boston, Food, Lunch, North End, spring

Glorious weekend! Saturday was a feast for the senses, and stepping outside has never felt so good! I started the day off by blogging about spring, then read a bunch of other blogs and did some other bloggy work.

Then the husband and I went to Castle Island in South Boston. Castle Island is a beautiful place to walk, run, or picnic and provides a nice paved loop that juts out into the bay. I love going there not only for the views and the lovely ocean air, but also for the zillion dogs out walking and running! So cute. There is also a refreshment stand, Sully’s, that sells all sorts of delicious treats. If you live in Boston and have never been, I would definitely suggest going.

After our 2.5 mile walk, I went for a run and did a hill workout. I felt great! This weather makes me feel so much looser and more free, and I think more of my energy is directed to running rather than my aches and pains.

I was ravenous when I returned home, and French toast was all I wanted. I made a simple egg and milk blend with freshly ground cinnamon and nutmeg for dipping the bread. Then we cooked it up and topped it with a mix of organic maple syrup and agave nectar.

 

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We had our French toast with Trader Joe’s Organic Cranberry Green Tea. Since reading The 02 Diet (post to come this week), I have been trying to integrate more green tea into my diet. For some reason regular green tea makes me nauseous – to the point where I almost had to leave work one day. But this cranberry green tea blend tastes great and makes me feel fine.

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After eating, we spent some time just lounging around the house with the windows open. My cats loved it.

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This is Scout’s favorite time of year. She actually looks at the windows in the middle of winter and squeaks at me to open them.

Since the hubby didn’t have to work, we decided to go on a little date to celebrate the nice day with some food and wine. Since we have been talking about Morton’s a lot this week after my events post, he chose Mortons’ Seaport location for our dinner. We had previously only been to the Back Bay location and thought it would be fun to go somewhere near the waterfront.

We were able to get a reservation and were seated right at 7:00. Water glasses filled, and a giant loaf of bread served, we were then shown a presentation of the menu which involved a staff member going through the starters, sides, cuts of meat, fish, and any of the desserts that needed to be pre-ordered. Its fun to see how much attention is paid to the quality of the food.

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We started with oysters on the half shell, of course. I don’t think we ever go to a restaurant that has oysters and NOT order them. These came with an entire little cup full of just horseradish, plus a separate cup of cocktail sauce. I was in spicy heaven!

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I really wanted to have a couple of appetizers for my meal, as I often do. I ordered the tuna tartare which was stacked with avocado and served with a little side of cucumbers and tomatoes. I had a nice soy flavor to it, and the avocado and super fresh tuna went perfectly together. This was a pretty spectacular and healthy dish.

 

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On the not—so-healthy side, the hubs and I split a wedge salad topped with homemade, out of this world blue cheese, tomatoes, hardboiled eggs, and crispy bacon. Quite obviously not the healthiest option on the menu, but it was oh so good. Morton’s does sides and salads incredibly well.

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We each had a glass of wine with dinner. I stuck with the spring-like theme of the day and had a glass of Lunetta Prosecco. Light and bubbly, it was like honeydew melon in a glass. So refreshing. The husband’s wine, however, was amazing. He ordered the featured Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon, Krug 1881. It was blissful. A big, dark red Cab, it had a slightly woodsy nose to it and tasted of dark fruits. It almost coated the sides of the glass. If you can get your hands on a glass, definitely do!

After all of that, we were too full for dessert, and I was tired from so much fresh air! We headed home and watched some Mad Men before konking out at around 11.

I love how alive I feel right now! I normally find Sundays to be a little depressing, but today has been another great day of walking dogs at the MSPCA, walking around Castle Island, and I am off to a Yoga Nidra workshop.

I’ll be back later! Make sure to enter my giveaway if you haven’t already!

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Tags: Boston, breakfast, Dining out, Food, giveaway, running, spring, tea, wine

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