Monday, May 31, 2010

North 26

I've walked by North 26 located in the Millennium Bostonian Hotel countless times. In fact, Adam and I were walking by Sunday morning with a different brunch destination in mind when we spotted an open table on the patio and decided, why not? The host greeted us warmly and offered the table he noticed us eyeing. 
I started with the Perfect Bloody Mary ($8) made with Crop Organic Tomato Vodka. The name does it justice, this bloody mary not only looked perfect, with all the appropriate garnishes and a neatly seasoned celery salt rim, it tasted excellent, too!
Someone behind the bar was definitely paying attention to detail.
Adam ordered the Fresh Squeezed Grapefruit Juice ($4)

It was h-o-t out. I am loving the heat though. We both ordered our favorites, no doubt off the "favorites" section of the menu. Our dishes were delivered in no time, along with ice waters, mini ketchup bottles and jars of jam.
After digging in, Adam exclaimed this was one of the best breakfasts he's ever tasted. He's not the type to use that statement lightly.
He ordered the Red Flannel Hash ($14) consisting of House-cured corned beef hash with two poached eggs and hollandaise.
I've had many versions of Eggs Benedict over the years. I'm not overly picky - I like my poached eggs anywhere from slightly runny to very runny. 
North 26's traditional version named the Bostonian Benedict ($13) was flawless. 
It's tough to even put into words how amazing their signature English Muffins are. They are reminiscent of cornbread, and they've been grilled until golden brown and crispy on the top with a moist buttery inside, which is perfect for soaking up every last drop of the runny egg yolk and creamy hollandaise.
Slices of thick Berkshire ham were smokey and flavorful. The home fried potatoes were crunchy and seasoned just right.
I was impressed with our excellent breakfast drinks and dishes, as well the attentiveness of our waitstaff.

North 26 on Urbanspoon

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Lia Sophia Party

Thursday night was my first Lia Sophia party experience.
The Lia Sophia jewelry representative Hayley is an old friend from college. Tricia hosted the party at her new condo in Salem. She made a ton of delicious apps for us to munch on including Spinach Artichoke Dip and chicken quesadillas. We drank refreshing red and white sangria alongside. 
There was also plenty of chips, salsa, and fresh veggies
And meatballs in a basket pictured below made by the lady above.
My plates
After good eats it was time for glamorous jewels. Check out the spread Hayley's had going on in the living room.
Hayley's enthusiasm for the jewelry and the Lia Sophia company as a whole makes her a joy to listen to. She has a genuine love for the business and the pieces she sells.
She has a vast knowledge about any and everything Lia Sophia. In case you wanted to know, Lia and Sophia are the names of the daughters who's mothers own the company. I love when fun facts like that are shared.
I don't own any Lia Sophia jewelry as I learned about the company only recently. However, as of next Thursday I will own a pair of dangly silver earrings. I wanted to purchase so much more!
We were offered a great deal: Buy three pieces, get the most expensive piece for 1/2 price. It was enticing, but my will power won out in the end. (In the back of my mind was that large credit card bill....it is what it is this month.) As a hostess you get incredible deals and a free piece of jewelry, so Tricia made out well.
If you have any interest in hosting a party, definitely contact Hayley through her website. She is passionate about the jewelry she sells and a great gal to welcome into your home for a night of sipping wine with girlfriends and trying on fun necklaces, bracelets, rings, all of the above galore.
Have you ever been to a Lia Sophia party? What did you think? Did you buy any jewelry?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

MKT - Financial District

Market is the bar located at 21 Broad Street; not to be confused with Market the restaurant at the W Hotel located at 100 Stuart Street. While I've heard great things regarding the latter, it remains on my "to-eat" list for now. The former, commonly abbreviated as MKT was where I spent this past Wednesday evening.
I have actually been to MKT once before, that being said, I only saw one floor out of three and didn't get a chance to experience the roof deck or try the food. The decor here was not at all what I expected, it was surprisingly fresh and unique. The exposed wooden beams and wood floors give it a rustic feel while studded red velour chairs emit a regal vibe. The main circular bar is clean and composed with black lacquer counters and modern beige bar stools. Glowing red chandeliers add a funky touch.

On the sweltering 88 degree evening that was Wednesday here in Boston a Moscow Mule ($10) was ordered upon arrival to the MKT roof deck. It wasn't at all impressive. In fact, it paled in comparison to the real thing.
Described as served in a copper mug - this was not the case. Seriously, why even write that on the menu?! Huffing and puffing up four flights of stairs lead us to Sausage Fest 2010. I was looking like mmm the 5th girl to grace the roof decks presence this evening.
The female bartender was prompt, however disgruntled. She couldn't manage a smile and poured our drinks with an annoyed sense of urgency. Apparently she was the only one serving the roof deck of about 50 patrons, which included taking food orders. That has to make for a rough night. :(
We met our friends Ashley and Ethan and meandered to a spot in the corner against the wraparound counter bordered by a criss-cross fence, surrounded by the tall buildings of the Financial District.
Market's roof deck doesn't have the most breathtaking views, but, at least its got a small window of cityscape and a night sky backdrop in one direction. I definitely enjoyed the aspect of being in the midst of the skyscrapers, as opposed to viewing them from afar! This is not one of the most polished roof decks you'll ever sip a drink on, but it's comfortable enough.

For my second round I decided to switch to beer. At $10 a pop, I felt I wasn't getting my monies worth for a mixed drink. Initially the bartender overcharged me (ten dollars for a beer - really?) but I quickly pointed out to her there was no way my Kona Longboard on tap cost as much as my previous mixed drink. She concurred realizing it was only $5 and provided me the correct change. The four of us grabbed a table on the other side of the deck and munched on Nachos ($9) and BBQ Chicken Pizza ($10) as the sun went down.
The BBQ Chicken Pizza was mediocre bar grub. It wasn't great. The nachos were tasty, unfortunately (or fortunately for Adam) there was no guacamole to be found on them as advertised. The fresh scallions and grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top were a nice touch.
As the wind picked up we headed downstairs to the first floor where we learned it was Reggae Wednesday!
The band played classic cover songs with reggae inspired beats. While I wasn't super impressed by the roof deck vibe as a whole, the indoor ambiance at Market is pretty cool. For beating the Wednesday night heat with good company and good tunes, I'll take it. I'd wouldn't necessarily recommend it for the food, though.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Kare's Garden Lettuce

The title of this post was the subject of an email my Mom sent to me last Friday afternoon. The body text read as follows: Lettuce is ready to harvest. I have 3 kinds you get to choose 1. Will it be Red Leaf, Romaine, or Butter Crunch?
"Lettuce is ready to harvest" - have you ever heard a more beautiful sentence? I so wish I could grow my own lettuce. I chose Butter Crunch. She also ended up giving me some Red Leaf.
Fresh. Local. Organic. It doesn't get any better than this.
My Mom is a stellar gardener. Always has been.
Tonight I made a Butter Crunch Salad with Citrus Dijon Dressing.
I somehow finagled my own dressing. Here's how:
-1/4 cup olive oil
-2 tsp Dijon mustard
-1 tsp white wine vinegar
-1/2 tsp honey
-1/2 tsp of lemon juice
-juice of 1/2 an orange
-coarse sea salt
-fresh ground pepper
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk. I don't make my own dressing often (ever?) But tonight, I thought I owed it to the lettuce.
The salad for two combined about half the head of butter crunch lettuce, washed thoroughly, patted dry and torn by hand.
Along with a couple handfuls of sliced almonds
1/2 a red onion sliced
1/2 an orange torn into chunks.
1/2 of a ripe avocado (my salad only)
handful of goat cheese crumbles (my salad only)
handful of feta cheese crumbles (Adam's salad only)
Adam doesn't like goat cheese (how?) or avocado (something I will never understand.) So I tossed the lettuce, almonds, onion, and dressing first. I plated the salad and topped with the respective cheese crumbles, my avocado, and the delicate orange chunks.
I drank alongside some Tamas Estate Pinot Grigio. The vibrant aromas and flavors of green apple and citrus are refreshing and pair well with salads, especially one with a citrus dressing!
Love wine bottles with fun labels.
Love easy dinners.
The lettuce's namesake pretty much nails it. Its buttery broad leaves and crisp tender ribs make me proud to say this is some of the best lettuce I will ever eat. My Mother has outdone herself once again.