Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cousins Do Beantown Part 2

We did way too much to capture it all in one post, as long weekends tend to go. Picking up right where we left off, on Saturday morning, Carly, Cassie and I awoke with a craving for iced coffee and Bloody Marys. It was Boston Common Coffee Co to the rescue for craving number one and from there we caroused the North End, shopping at local neighborhood boutiques. Among our Salem Street travels Neptune Oyster merely provided a photo op background. (But if you are passing through and able to score a table or a seat at the bar, I'd recommend it!) We had other plans that included meeting up with Leah and checking in at The Liberty Hotel. I have spent some time at the historic Charles Street jail turned 5-star luxury hotel since its opening in September 2007, but never actually spent the night. Celebrations such as a bachelorette party are deemed worthy for booking a hotel less than a mile from where you live, especially when this hotel happens to be an architectural wonder where classic history meets contemporary travel. What I'm saying is, even if you don't book a room, this hotel is a great spot to visit for locals and tourists alike. Entering into a commanding granite building, up a small escalator you are greeted by a stunning 90 foot octagonal atrium that features a vibrant scene with rich hues of purple and maroon complimented by soft creams and bold whites. The lobby with a breathtaking catwalk rotunda and adjoining bars Clink and Alibi showcase modern decor of sophisticated couches and banquettes, regal leather chairs, mahogany tables and granite counter tops amongst preserved wrought iron jail cell facades. Magnificent Christmas trees hang upside down from the ceiling capturing the spirit of the holidays. We were offered complimentary glasses of champagne (yes, please) at the reception upon check in before making our way to room 1512. The 15th floor view of The Charles River and surrounding city scape (from the hallway) was incredible! Craving number two, as previously mentioned, was satisfied and then some at Clink's extensive make-your-own bloody mary bar. A round two-tiered table next to an expansive light filled window offered every kind of hot sauce and garnish imaginable. Celery, olives, horseradish all obvious choices, but followed up with jalapeno cheese and mini shrimp cocktail now that is what I'm talking about!An impressive selection of salt and pepper to boot. The Liberty Bar which distinguishes itself from Clink, located in the lobby and not an actual restaurant is where we enjoyed our drinks and the company of Mitch the bartender. The Liberty Bar offers a small appetizer/bar bites menu. We munched on Skinny Fries with harissa aioli and Crispy Chicken Skewers with black pepper and lime.Back in 1512.....I relaxed in the plush down comforter and pillows with the tranquility station on the TV, followed by an invigorating shower with earthy scented bath products. That night we Red Line-d it over to Central Square for dinnner at Cuchi Cuchi. (They do not take reservations on Friday or Saturday nights). My readers, my friends, you know me well enough by now to know, I'm never the first to leave a party. I pride myself on being able to hang, to keep the good times rolling long after last call, and I rarely encounter a hangover a Bloody Mary or greasy french fries can't cure. It pained my heart that I wasn't able to get it together long enough to stop vomiting in the bathroom at Cuchi Cuchi. (Sorry for the painful mental image! But understand why I have no photos of this dinner I'd so been looking forward to sharing with my cousins and blogging about.) Unable to imbibe in their signature hand muddled fresh fruit and herb infused cocktails, at this point I couldn't even keep down soda water and bread.I longed to sip a Thai Basil Cocktail pictured above from at a past outing. The flashy Victorian decor, antique statues draped in beads and a bar baked by stained glass windows creates a captivating interior that all missed the camera. Glitzy and glittered to the nines are everything from the bathroom essentials to the flapper dressed waitresses. Decadent, vintage, wildly fun and funky, I knew it was a fabulous spot to celebrate Carly's last days as a single woman. As we were seated the girls ordered cocktails round two and soon began the feast on exotic international small plates. Passing up this meal and night was a sad moment of my life indeed. After some innocent fun out on the town at The Middle East and Beacon Hill Pub,
the girls returned home.
Another bottle of champagne was popped and late night room service in the form of $17 Vermont cheddar cheese burgers with sweet potato fries were ordered. I held down half a burger and was incredibly thankful for that.Lets see if I can wrap up day three in this post.......Brunch at Harvard Gardens across the street was just splendid. Eclectic American cuisine in a friendly atmosphere with breakfast cocktails hit the spot. Please note he fact that I can once again drink. And all is right in the world. In my hand would be a Peach Bellini.
The food was excellent. For Carly a Breakfast Sandwich ($9) of egg, tomato, fontina and canadian bacon with hollandaise sauce on a croissant. For Cassie a Side of Seasonal Fresh Fruit ($4) & Marble Rye Toast ($2) And pour moi Nutella and Banana Thick Cut Brioche French Toast ($11).If you caught my Best of Boston Eats in 2010 post, you know I loved this dish! I had not been to Harvard Gardens in ages so it was nice to pay them a visit and re-discover a quality Beacon Hill brunch spot.
Harvard Gardens on Urbanspoon

After brunch we freshened up, packed our belongings and were ready to hit the town by 11:30 or so. Hotel check out is at noon, which makes for a leisurely morning. One last shot in the Lobby. We set off down Charles Street, and meandered through the Public Gardens.I realized my cousins, Florida girls born and raised, have never experienced a frozen pond nor had they been ice skating. They've only ever visited us in the summer on Cape Cod. (Next trip, we'll rent ice skates!) After we spent the afternoon shopping the entire length of Newbury Street, we were famished. Now that's a Bloody Mary ($6.50) and reasonably priced to boot, enjoyed at The Pour House located at 909 Boylston Street. The good old Pour House, a local standby with graffiti walls and a lively crowd (rowdy college kids watching football on a Sunday, check) is a spot I've visited many times before whether for breakfast, lunch, dinner or cheap beers, they never disappoint. Their Bloody Marys are some of the best in town and for less expensive quality bar food, I knew we'd be in good hands. For our last meal together, a serious plate of Nachos Pollo ($8.75) were inhaled. 
Pour House on Urbanspoon

I would absolutely recommend any of the above spots (round one included) for impressing out of town guests! Our cousin bonding weekend truly showcases a variety of what Boston has to offer from lunching at a modern boutique hotel, to spending the night in luxury at another one of Boston's finest. We were able to experience local neighborhood dive bars as well as the classic Irish Pub scene. You can never go wrong with an Italian dinner in the North End and the fact that we made it out to Cambridge for a taste of international small plates in a flashy extravagant Roaring 20's spot was definitely a highlight. No matter what type of food and fun you may seek as a traveler to this great city, Boston (and Cambridge) have so much to offer! Being able to spend these days with cousins is time I will always cherish. We'll be back at it in February for Carly's Wedding in West Palm Beach! I.can't.wait!

14 comments:

Elizabeth said...

I am in awe of your fortitude. I can't believe that amidst all of this activity, you were violently ill, and then were back in action just like that. What a trooper. I actually ate at Cuchi Cuchi once and enjoyed it a lot. I'd be happy to accompany when you decide to go back!

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

I spy my apartment building in one of these photos! :-) I love that you were hanging in my hood...but sad that the night didn't end so well for you. Great rally the next day though!

Melissa said...

So much yummy foods and drinks in 1 weekend! I'm impressed! I've never been to Cuchi Cuchi but am looking at the menu now - deep fried veggies? I'm in!

mr. pineapple man said...

awww so cute!! those french freis with dip looks so delicious!

Lizzy said...

What a weekend!!! My favorite pic is the action photo at the end!

I'm sorry you got sick but good for you that you were able to puke and rally the next day haha

Meghan@travelwinedine said...

Ugggh hangovers are the worst! I can not deal with them at all. Looks like a completely action packed weekend!

Elina (Healthy and Sane) said...

Wow, you did cover a lot in one weekend. Sounds like so much fun (minus the vomiting, lol). Now I'm craving a bloody mary!!

Tricia said...

glad time with the cousins was so amazing (despite the being ill part). you are a trooper kfent!

btw, that breakfast sandwich looked amazing. i think dave would be a huge fan of that!

MelissaNibbles said...

So much fun! I really want to stay at that hotel.

The Small Boston Kitchen said...

How fun!! It looked like you guys had a great time! And that cheeseburger looks mighty tasty.....

Emily said...

Eesh.. we've all had those toilet-hugging nights. Glad you've recovered and were able to enjoy most of the weekend!

Alicia said...

Its hysterical that after all that high-class dining you end up at the pour house. They do make a great bloody mary. Did I ever mention that the Pour House is where I met Rafe? haha

Corinne said...

omg! you too hung to stomach a bloody!? AND dinner later at cuchi cuchi!? who ARE you? hehe jk. that sounds awful! i'm sorrrry. looks like you ladies had an amazing time though! of all the food pics lately i crown the photo of the breakfast sandwich at harvard gardens the gold medal winner. i want that in my goodness life stat.

Hogger and Co. said...

Too cute; great post! We'd stayed at the Liberty several times prior to moving to Boston and loved it there, too.

http://www.hoggerandco.com/photohogger/2011/6/13/boston-liberty-hotel.html