Time surely does fly, doesn't it? Can you believe 2013 is almost over?
I feel like I've been neglecting Boston for awhile, between all my Japan posts, Sonoma posts, and then the recent nod to New York. It almost appears as if I'm never at home . . . which is so not true.
In fact, I've actually eaten at a lot of really cool places this past month. I've also had some fun here and there cooking. I've pretty much stayed anchored in Boston this whole month.
So what were some of my more memorable or interesting meals?
Puritan & Co recently celebrated its first birthday. This restaurant is such a part of the Boston dining scene now, it's hard to imagine that it did not exist a year ago. Kudos to Chef Will Gilson and his team for their amazing success. I visited in early November (after almost half a year!) and had great fun trying some fall-inspired dishes, such as the lovely colorful beets pictured above as well as some of my favorites, such as Chef Gilson's swordfish pastrami.
I used to eat at Cafe Sushi in Cambridge all the time. They had this great $1 sushi deal on Sundays, and since it was only a 3-4 minute walk from our home, we went all the time. They got rid of that deal in June of 2011 and we moved out of the neighborhood in August 2011, so I stopped going there.
Just recently I returned and I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. The specials board had a nice variety of interesting fish to try (many from Japan!). They also offered more interesting nigiri pieces with additional elements such as yuzu kosho, basil oil, smoked salt, or shiso. Yes, the prices have gone up since the $1 sushi days, but I think the quality and creativity has improved as well. My friends and I went twice in one week, and we all unanimously agreed that we liked it better than our recent visit to Oishii, which used to be one of our favorites.
When Bryan's away on business, my friends and I take the opportunity to visit restaurants that Bryan wouldn't normally want to visit (such as Indian or Korean cuisine - notice the dearth of those types of restaurants on this blog? There's a reason). Ironically, we ended up eating at a Korean restaurant (Koreana in Central Square, Cambridge) while Bryan was eating authentic Korean food in Korea. The food was solid at Koreana, and (as always) I loved the banchan.
Why can't other cuisine adopt this wonderful practice of giving free little bites at the beginning of the meal?
I met several other food bloggers at a fantastic media dinner at Foundry on Elm where we tried out the new fall menu. Full post to follow!
Bryan's workplace is only 4 miles away from Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe. I always try to get him to bring back noodles for me on his way home from work. Sadly, I have yet to see any noodles come home.
However, a few weekends ago Bryan had to go to work to pick up something, so we ended up visiting Gene's for dinner. The place was packed at 5PM. I swear, that place is never empty.
Though I was super disappointed that my favorite dish, the cold noodles, were sold out, we did get to try a new menu item - the lamb hand pulled noodles, which were very good. Of course, we ordered the spicy hand pulled noodles as well as the lamb stew, classic favorites of mine.
My birthday is halfway through the month of November. Bryan had gone on a long business trip to Asia but made sure to come back in time for my birthday. We had a phenomenal dinner at Uni Sashimi Bar thanks to Chef Tony Messina, who came on as executive chef just a little over a year ago.
We were blown away by Tony's mastery of flavors as well as artistry on a plate.
One of my friends has a birthday just a week after mine, so we did a joint celebration at Menton, where we finally got to try Kristen Kish's new menu (as well as meet her briefly). Our friends had tried her food just a month earlier and loved it, and thus wanted to take us there. It was a lovely meal - definitely look out for a post in the not-so-distant future.
For my birthday, I decided it would be fun to have a character inspired meal full of some of my favorite Japanese characters. You can see a Domokun cake, Domokun Taiwanese meat sauce, Totoro soba noodles, and a Totoro carrot with a Domokun kohlrabi.
Finally, on all those nights I wasn't eating out (I never eat out alone, which means I cook at home a lot when Bryan's away on business), I made lots and lots of veggie soup. I had received so much root vegetables in my farm share from Siena Farms, it was the easiest (and super tasty!) way to use them up.
The best part? The vegetable soup (with barley and bacon!) tasted fantastic and only took 10 minutes to cook in the pressure cooker (did I tell you I'm in love with my pressure cooker?).
Perfect on a cold, autumn night.
To finish off this Boston-focused post, here are two more lists that I made for Foodie.com.
Disclaimer: I received compensation for creating these lists. The contents of the lists are completely my own opinion.
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