Friday, December 26, 2014

itadaki

Honestly. When is the last time I wrote about a restaurant in Boston? Where have I been eating lately?!? 

On one of the first bone chillingly cold evenings of the year we ducked into Itadaki on Newbury Street, a Japanese Izakaya specializing in small plates, sushi and most notably, ramen noodles. The deeply flavorful Itadaki Ramen ($14) broth is simmered for 24 hours (chose from soy or miso base), loaded with fresh noodles, sweet corn kernels, and topped with the chef's signature chashu a delicate pork belly, as well as a soft boiled egg, nori (dried seaweed), a dusting of negi (scallions) and moyashi (bean sprouts). This ramen was soul warming and pure comfort. 

An order of Japanese Spring Rolls ($8) were a deep fried crispy bite where minced pork mingles with cabbage, bamboo shoots and carrots. The Itadaki Spicy Tuna Roll ($9) goes above and beyond as it is topped with the chefs special spicy mayo - choose if you want it suicidal, hot, medium or mild. We went with hot and WOW. Hot it was in a very good way. The Tempura Udon ($14) are a winter special in a rich Bonito broth served with naruto (fish cake), scallions, carrots, radish, tempura bits and two shrimp tempura on the side. Itadaki offers an extensive selection of sake, Japanese whiskey and unique Japanese beers. I drank a Shirayuki ($6) sake from Hyogo, hot. Finally, the Japanese Pudding ($6) proves to be a delightful ending to this comfy, cozy, well executed and reasonably priced meal. 

269 Newbury St
Boston, MA 02116
Itadaki Boston on Urbanspoon

*this meal was complimentary - all opinions are my own*

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

In town | Tulum


It was really hard to pull ourselves away from the beach; but I felt like a visit to Tulum wouldn't have been complete without seeing the town; a vibrant strip with an abundance of tourist shops, super friendly folks and local eats. So on our last full day we ventured to spend a morning shopping, brunching, and making sure to get those dreamy paletas at Flor di Michoacan

Friday, December 19, 2014

Mateo's | Tulum




I still have a few more posts in the Tulum series before we move into the new year!

I wouldn't feel right if I didn't give a shout out to Mateo's Mexican Grill. We loved this place; full of good energy with a welcoming staff. Venture here to listen to live music, watch the football game at the bar, or relax on the sunset lounge - a deck that's three stories up and overlooks the jungle. DON'T FORGET YOUR BUG SPRAY. Most restaurants do a great job of smoking the bugs out, but up on that jungle roof they were viscous the moment the sun set! Mateo's serves some of the best fish tacos and offers an impressive selection of local craft beers (we loved Akumal), mezcals and tequilas. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Dining out | Tulum

As I've mentioned, the food in Tulum is something special. The locals (as well the American and European transplants) who run these intimate little restaurants and bars by candlelight and wood fired ovens do an amazing job; not only with the cuisine, but with the ambiance and decor. The below is a fairly comprehensive guide of where to have dinner in the jungle!

At Pura Corazon they serve traditional mexican dishes. Compared to everywhere else we dined, the recipes felt deeply rooted as opposed to trendy or chic. We ate: Yucatan Lime Soup w/ chicken and tortilla | 2 for 1 margaritas | Shrimp Stuffed Poblano Pepper | "Manchamanteles" - chicken in a pineapple mole sauce over sweet potato mash

 {Cenzontle} jardin secreto
Cenzontle was modern, fresh, and delicious. We ate: Piquillo peppers stuffed w/ goat cheese and jocoque on avocado mousse and arugula pesto w/ chia sprouts | Catch of the day fillet in lime, ginger, paprika, olive oil and chipoltle | Tuna al pastor mounted on black rice topped by a grilled pineapple, red onion, roasted peppers and coriander pico de gallo w/ avocado mousse.

I don't know why Casa Jaguar gets such mediocre reviews on trip advisor. I had it on my "could skip it" list but the atmosphere coaxed us in. Both of us had excellent fish entrees, preceded by tasty vietkong rollitos and followed up with crispy fried bananas and coconut ice cream. It was one of our favorite, albeit drunken meals. (A hell of a happy hour on the beach prior). I borrowed one of their facebook photos so you could see just how beautiful the space is in the daylight. It is even more enchanting and alluring at night.


{gitano} Mezcal Bar + Kitchen
We came here one night for mezcal cocktails at the bar and another night for dinner on a whim when we couldn't get into Hartwood. I'm so glad it worked out this way. Their tapas were fantastic. 



Mezcal Drinks: Jungle Fever - mezcal, chili, lime, cilantro Stardust - mezcal, dark rum, pineapple, papaya, house coconut cream | Tapas Plates: zucchini pasta pomodoro | roasted eggplant w/ sweet sunflower sauce + queso oaxaca| grilled chorizo + sweet potatoes | gitano ceviche - fish, lemongrass, cucumber, jalapeno, mango, red onion | 


{Posada Margherita


Posada Margherita is an Italian restaurant and hotel on the beach side specializing in handmade pasta dishes. This place happened to be two doors down from us, so on a night where we were particularly beat it proved a solid and satisfying choice. I wouldn't necessarily put it at the top if your list, though. The pasta was pretty good (and I was really glad I added the fresh caught lobster to mine) but what truly captivated me was the rustic chic beachfront atmosphere with its endless amount of potted succulents and weathered antique decor. (And how great is that Bano sign? It cracked us up.) I think dining here would come down to how many nights you are in town (Four or five - I'd go with any of the above / Hartwood / Casa Banana first. Seven or eight and you want to switch it up with some Italian? Sure, why not.

[Please note, all these establishments are cash only! They will accept Pesos or USD.]