January 26, 2011

Eating in Boston {Naptime on the Road}

Boston

It’s been a long while since I wrote a Travel Series. The only reason is because it’s been a long time since I traveled. I’ve been sticking to my regular Cooperstown, Martha’s Vineyard, Sag Harbor, Charleston and Florida travel rotation for the past two years. Not bad, I know, but my husband and I were in the mood for change recently and decided to spend the weekend up in Boston. My daughter spent the weekend being spoiled by her grandparents while we had a blast eating and relaxing around Beantown.

South End Buttery

The first meal we ate in Boston was a delicious brunch at the South End Buttery. The South End is without a doubt my favorite emerging neighborhood in Boston. If I were to live in Boston that is the neighborhood I would choose. It reminded me a lot of the Upper West Side, my old stomping grounds in NYC. I’d read about the South End Buttery and we couldn’t wait to give it a try. We ate in the subterranean room of the restaurant, enjoying the cozy club-like atmosphere on such a cold day. My Huevos Rancheros were out of this world, while my husband devoured his decadent Eggs Benedict. On our way out we grabbed some cookies, Peanut Butter Reece’s Pieces for me, Chocolate Walnut Chunk for him, before hitting the town for a long walk to the movie theater for a matinee of The King’s Speech. Those cookies are still haunting me. Don’t be surprised if you see that peanut butter cookie recipe here soon!

The Gallows

The next morning we slept in (imagine that!) and kicked off the day with brunch at The Gallows. Another terrific establishment in the South End, The Gallows was named for the old Boston hanging hill that used to exist down the street. I am always a fan of creepy, eerie stories and was particularly taken with the Edward Gorey-like crow illustration that is their logo. Thankfully, the food isn’t creepy or weird at all. In fact, it is downright homey. We had the heart attack on a plate Poutine, a plate stacked with french fries, ham, eggs, cheese curds and gravy. I sipped a Resurrection (champs, pear, ginger brown, sugar) along with it, a sweet champagne cocktail that proved to have the reviving effect I was desperately in need of.

Beacon Hill Chocolate

Following brunch it was off to Beacon Hill. The gentrified neighborhood that my mother would like me to tell you she once lived in with her roommates before she was married. She would also like me to tell you that my parent’s met when they both lived in the Charles River Park apartment buildings. Clearly, my parent’s are tied to Boston like I am to New York. But, back to Beacon Hill and the chocolate. We stopped in to Black Ink, peaked in the windows of JMcLaughlin, thumbed through the kid clothes at Red Wagon and spent nearly an hour at Beacon Hill Chocolates. An hour at a chocolate store?! I have my priorities, you know. I was smitten with the entire shop and made my husband treat me to far more sweets than he ever expected. I was particularly taken with their Caramel Sushi. Chewy, creamy with a sweet chocolate base, it was heaven in one bite.

Caramel Sushi

Caramel Sushi

 

After our chocolate gorge-fest we went home for a nap and to ready our everlasting stomachs for dinner. My husband, himself a Boston resident for several years before he met me, couldn’t wait to take me for Italian at Giacomo’s. An Italian joint in the North End where you have to wait in a line around the block before you can get in. Luckily, despite the parade of people down the block, the wait isn’t all that long. They don’t take reservations and they run their restaurant like a ship. Two people in, two people out. When you sit down the waitress shoots over to point out the menu on the wall and takes your wine order. Appetizers arrive two minutes later, main courses five minutes after that. It sounds like a well-oiled machine, which it is, but it is worth every bite. The food is all made from scratch on premises and you can tell. I had the Butternut Squash Ravioli with Pancetta and am still thinking about it’s silky salty flavor and smooth handmade pasta. I have to get better at making homemade pasta sheets at home!

Mikes

To cap off dinner we walked across the street to Mike’s Pastry, the epic Italian pastry shop that I am glad I don’t live closer to. If I did I would be there every day and would never be able to wear a bathing suit again. Seriously, this place is amazing and the crowds tell me that other people agree. We picked up a whole box of butter cookies, cups of tiramisu and amazing cannolis. I would have photographed everything had the natural light been right at 10:00pm. They weren’t available to photograph at 8:00am the next morning…

The following day we headed home to pick up our cute little love nugget. It was so nice to give her squeezes, cuddles and cookies after our two days without her. Next time we’ll bring her with us and I’ll be able to tell you more what to do in Boston with kids!

  • KenHen3

    awesome review!! great to vicariously live through you!!! keep it up! : )

    • Anonymous

      So glad you like! :)

  • http://www.healthyfoodforliving.com Lauren

    This is a great review… and reminds me that there are some fabulous restaurants in my city that I have to go to!

    • Anonymous

      Lauren, I was so pleased that Boston is chock full of great places to eat. I can’t wait to go back to try more!!

  • Michaela

    I’m a lifelong resident of Charlestown, only a dangerously short walk to Mike’s Pastry and I adored this review. I’ve read so many blogger reviews of my hometown and your’s is by far one of the best I have ever read. You captured Boston beautifully!

    • Anonymous

      You live near Mike’s?! Lucky you! Have a cannoli for me! :)

  • Savorthethyme

    Yay to time away!

  • Marla {family fresh cooking}

    Looks like an amazing trip to Boston. I will refer to this post if I am back that way anytime soon. Love that city – ran the marathon back in ’05 :)

  • http://www.favedietsblog.com/ Matt @ FaveDiets

    This post made me very nostalgic! I lived in Boston for a few years and I still very much miss the city (it’s also my birth city!). Mike’s Pastry makes the best chocolate ricotta cannoli of all time. There’s so many great restaurants in the city that I miss!

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