Thursday, August 10, 2017

Honey Paw | Portland

Portland was a surprise stop for lunch on our drive North up the coast; we later checked into The Inn at Ocean's Edge and got engaged on Islesboro Island! We attempted to lunch at Eventide but with a 2 hour wait we ended up next door. As it turns out, Honey Paw is also a part of Big Tree Hospitality Group (same owners). Honey Paw serves local cuisine with an Asian sensibility. Their kitchen borrows traditions, techniques and styles from Southeast Asia, with a focus on hand made noodles. 

This mismatched menu of Far East meets New England fare is served in a bustling space with communal seating. We score two seats at the wraparound window front bar almost immediately. I along with the rest of Portland was desperately craving Eventide's famed brown butter lobster roll, but one taste of the Lobster Wontons ($15) with a striking lobster dashi and earthy confit mushrooms and I forgot all about it. We shared a lovely plate of Halubit Crudo ($13) dotted with calamansi, sour coconut and pineapple before tucking into a sumptuous bowl of Smoked Lamb Khao Soi ($22). Hand made egg noodles in Burmese coconut curry with fermented mustard greens, crispy fried noodle and lime are immensely satisfying.

Honey Paw not only kicked off our engagement weekend in splendid fashion, it kicked of a weekend of incredible meals. Primo in Rockland and Hartstone Inn in Camden are two of many reasons why the Maine coast is a bucket list worthy destination.

78 Middle Street
Portland, ME 04101

The Honey Paw Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Monday, August 7, 2017

The Social Register

I had a chance to visit The Seaport / Southies newest hot spot The Social Register before it opened to the public back in early July. The latest venture from Aristocrat Hospitality (The Brahmin) is situated on the the ground floor of the Aloft Hotel across from The Lawn on D. I really liked the atmosphere - from the the historical themed gallery wall, to the eclectic collection of pillows fronting caramel colored leather booths and can't forget that lacquered penny bar! We sampled some cocktails and enjoyed really tasty passed appetizers. 

Hot + Dirty | Kettle One, olive + pepperoncini juice, blue cheese olives
Lamb Lollipops | honey glazed, walnut crust, port wine demi glaze 
The Perfect Storm | Captain Morgan, muddled blueberries, lemon juice, ginger beer
Buffalo Chicken Flatbread | bacon, tomato, garden pepper, blue cheese
Whipple Watermelon | house vodka muddled with watermelon and simple syrup
Edamame Dumplings | soy-sake glaze, spicy sesame drizzle

401 D Street 
Boston, MA 02210

Thursday, August 3, 2017

good books part 4

My girlfriends were asking me the other month if I've read any good books lately and I happily directed them to part 3. Since then, I've read a lot more. (And a lot less thrillers, how refreshing.) Writing these posts have been gratifying for me, especially now that I have a collection of books to reflect on. Enjoy the recommendations and let me know yours in the comments. 

The Secret Wife | Gill Paul
A captivating romance set in 1914 war torn Russia is woven with a present day timeline in London and upstate NY. The Secret Wife is a meticulously researched and compelling love story that reveals a fascinating time in history. It was remarkable to learn about history in such a way. Clever and beautifully written, one of my absolute favorite books this year. 

The Perfume Collector | Kathleen Tessaro
The Perfume Collector is another one of my favorites this go round. Nuanced and elegantly written, Tessaro seamlessly weaves a tale of two women who have never met - sweet, endearing Grace Munroe and fascinating, enchanting Eva D'Orsay. Their separate timelines feature a mysterious, luxurious, scent filled journey through London, Paris, New York and Monte Carlo from 1927 thru 1955. If the thought of "a book about perfume" doesn't sound enticing (it didn't to me at first) trust me, it's easy to embrace the role perfume plays in this novel - it is so incredibly, beautifully portrayed. 

 Kissing Frogs + Fish in the Sea | Stephanie Blackburn
These two books I actually read last summer and completely forgot to fill you in.
Kissing Frogs and sequel Fish in The Sea are written by a local author Stephanie Blackburn. (Note - she gifted me these books). Her novels follow the life of Elliot Roux and her tight group of girlfriends as they navigate their twenties in Boston. Locals and twenty somethings especially will enjoy the relatability factor. Stephanie's writing evokes the realness of emotions, from heartbreak to humor, successes and failures, from the bonds of friendship to trying family drama. Overall though her books are breezy, fun beach reads. And why not support a local gal?!

Anything is Possible | Elizabeth Strout
This was a quick read - it actually proved a perfect 4th of July Lake read - sunbathing, boating, kids and family running all around, it was easy to put down and pick up since it felt more like a series of short stories. Strout has a prose unlike anyone else I've read; she poetically depicts a cast of small town, mostly poor characters coping with love, loss and life. Although the full cast of characters proved mostly forgettable, I still found the book engaging.

Strout received extensive praise for the prequel "My Name is Lucy Barton" and I'm definitely going to read that at some point. Lucy's character is (controversial to what I stated above) a poignant role in this book, one you won't soon forget. 

Small Great Things | Jodi Picoult
A must read from Jodi Picoult. She's one of my favorites but I put off reading this as I wasn't sure I'd enjoy it. Once I finally dug in I was hooked. The book begins in a hospital with Ruth, a black nurse who has worked in L+D for over 20 years, and white supremacist parents who make it known Ruth is not to touch their newborn baby. Something terrible happens and Ruth is charged with a crime. The story unfolds from 3 points of view: Ruth's, the white supremacists father's and Ruth's white lawyer, Kennedy. Well researched, eye opening, challenging, frustrating and gratifying, this has been deemed the most important novel Picoult has ever written. 

Sex Object | Jessica Valenti
Jessica Valenti is a highly publicized and controversial feminist. I had no idea about her and no one recommended this book to me, I randomly stumbled upon it. I don't typically enjoy memoirs, maybe why you don't see any I've read on here! This one was different, it struck a chord in me. Deeply moving, darkly funny and bracing, I found Jessica to be incredibly brave and likable. I genuinely appreciate this memoir and her.

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Quarry | Hingham



 Introducing my new favorite restaurant! If The Quarry was located in Newton I'd become a regular. We had such a nice dinner experience on our drive home from the Cape one warm July evening. 

The Quarry shines in every aspect of the dining experience. A cozy, casual, atmospheric bar fronts a classy, polished, visually stunning dining room with vaulted ceilings and wall-to-wall windows that look out over the quarry itself. The setting is complimented by equally polished and attentive service. Then there's the scenic, serene, al fresco terrace. I wont call it Waterfront dining - but quarry front - how unique! Most importantly - the food is terrific. 

We each chose a beer from the well rounded selection - a Bad Martha's 508 IPA and the chefs very own draught Pineapple Tikiweizen which he brewed down the street at Barrel House Z. After our perfectly chilled beers arrive, a server sweeps over with a warm basket of bread and tableside olive oil service. He meticulously prepares the oil for dipping by grating fresh garlic and sprinkling in red pepper flakes and dried herbs. 

The small plates section of the menu is stellar with numerous dishes and nearly all sound enticing. The Crispy Pork Belly Bun ($4) was one of the best baos I've had. Simply done with hoisin sauce, cucumber and cilantro, it was an ethereal bite of tender, slightly crisp pork belly. I was equally charmed by a generous serving of Fresh Burrata Caprese ($15) with juicy tomatoes and a luscious duo of balsamic glaze and pesto. Lastly, we couldn't pass up the Roasted Figs ($7) - three candy sweet nuggets stuffed with bleu cheese and proscuitto to add that key punch of sharp, creamy and salty flavors. I'm glad we went with three small plates to start the meal, the portions felt like just enough without overdoing it. 
Entrees also delight at The Quarry. A Pan Roasted Swordfish ($29) comes over a flavorful succotash of house smoked bacon, roasted corn, lobster, chipoltle and roasted potatoes. The Local Lobster Brodetto ($28) offers a 1/2 lobster over generous potions of toothsome scallops, shrimp, calamari, clams and mussels bathing in a savory saffron tomato broth. I'm pretty confident you can't go wrong on this menu. 

We debated over dessert - of course we were full after all this food, but what's a new restaurant experience without it?! We settled on Lavazza Espresso ($4) and the chef sent over our choice of digestif - Limoncello for him, Amaro for her (also the chef's favorite. If you haven't gotten into Amaro yet, I highly recommend.) For the divine grand finale a Cider Doughnut Sundae ($8) tops a warm, sugary doughnut with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream chocolate and salted caramel sauce.

The Quarry
415 Whiting Street
Hingham, MA 02043

Quarry Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

*This meal was complimentary - thanks so much to The Quarry for hosting us*