Friday, December 31, 2010

525,600 Minutes

How do you measure a year?

[A look back]
New Years Eve 2008
Roaring 20's Party @ Alibi in The Liberty Hotel | Beacon Hill
Ball Drop + Flapper Girls! The 1920's got nothing on us.
New Years Day 2009
Brunch @ Masa | South End

Chef Phil’s Bloody Mary ($7.50)
Stoli Vodka, Pickled Jalapeno

Santa Fe Style Eggs Benedict ($9.50)

Southwestern Biscuits, Avocado, Green Chile Hollandaise and Southwest Home Fries

New Years Eve 2009

Four Course prix fix dinner @ Rocca | South End

Jersalem Artichoke & Pear Soup

Foie Gras Crustini & Fried Sage

Handmade Butternut Squash Pasta
Maple Glazed Pork Shoulder, Apples, Sage & Shaved Parmesan

Pan Roasted Duck Breast
Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Pancetta, Chestnuts, Salsify Puree & Cranberries

HAPPY NYE 2010!! To be continued! What are your plans? See you in 2011!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Delicious Journey

In honor of year end I recapped my favorite Boston eats. I ate a number of amazing meals outside my city this year and it is only fair that they be showcased in all their deliciousness. I love to travel be it near, far or home to Cape Cod and great food most definitely makes the journey. 

Breakfast Faves: Fueling up on hearty fare and huge portions for the adventures that lie ahead in your travels is key. From the thick slices of Banana Bread French Toast in Colorado, to Huervos Rancheros piled high with guac, sour cream and salsa in Vermont, there was no shortage of good breakfast eats on the road. Boulder, Colorado: Two Step | The Buff Restaurant Rochester, Vermont: Rancheros Vermonter | Rochester Country Restaurant
Walt Disney World, Florida: Tonga Toast | Kona Cafe, Polynesian Resort
Dennis, Cape Cod, MA: 2 eggs over medium, homefries, white toast, apple sausage | The Red Cottage
Lunch Faves: Mid-day meals on the go impressed in the form of hearty sandwiches with fresh ingredients and hot dogs overflowing with bold toppings. Portsmouth, NH: black bean hummus, avocado, cucumber and sprouts sandwich | Ceres Street Bakery
Rochester, Vermont: Apple Cheddar Sandwich | Sandy's Books & Bakery
Sanibel Island, Florida: Chigaco Dog "The Capone" | Schnapper's HotsA Chargrilled dog with mustard, sweet relish, chopped sweet onions, cucumber slices, tomato slices, sport peppers, and celery salt proved one of the best hot dogs of my life.

Best Tacos: Guys I just really love Tacos!

Winner: Garlicky Griddled Shrimp Soft Tacos | Centro | Boulder, Colorado
Centro Latin Kitchen and Refreshment Palace piled 'em high with pickled red onions, green peppers, fresh shredded and grated cheese, radishes, jalapenos and lemon aioli. Then they served them with dueling rows of achiote rice, black bean refritos and house made sour cream.

Runner Up: Catch of the Day Mahi Mahi Tacos | Agave | Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Agave Mexican Bistro gives you not two but three soft shells with tomato, cabbage, cheese and pico de gallo. On the side a homemade habanero mayonnaise sauce and a seriously hot chipoltle sauce. The traditional heaping portions of Mexican rice and refried beans coated in melted cheese completed the meal.

Second Runner UpFried Fish Tacos | Finz | Salem, MA

Best SaladTraveling 1, 775 miles west to Boulder, Colorado I ate an amazing combination of handpicked leafy greens, sweet dried cherries, tart granny smith apples, crumbled haystack chevre cheese and macadamia nuts drizzled in a sherry vinaigrette. Handpicked lettuce is sure to win me over! And - just North of the city in Salem, Massachusetts I was captivated by golden crispy squares of warm, lightly fried Brie cheese with crisp gala apple slices and crunchy walnuts over a bed of mixed greens. 

WinnerMiners Lettuce Salad | Jax Fish House | Boulder, Colorado
Runner Up: Fried Brie Salad | Rockafellas | Salem, MA
Best Appetizer Featuring Seafood: Mainly Oysters Rockefeller, but some shrimp and scallops too. These fresh briny shellfish topped with warm buttery sauces, crispy bacon and sharp cheeses satisfy in the heat of a Cape Cod summer or in the middle of a Colorado winter.
Winner: Seafood Sampler | The Yarmouth House | West Yarmouth, Cape Cod, MA
Bacon Wrapped Scallop, Grilled Garlic Shrimp over polenta and Oysters Rockefeller.
Runner Up: Oysters Rockefeller | Jax Fishouse | Boulder, Colorado
These featured bacon, pine nuts, spinach, pernod, asiago, and breadcrumbs.

Best Sushi/Maki Rolls:
I do realize I completely neglected this category in my Boston Eats, but the honest truth is I didn't eat enough great sushi in the city this year. I had some worthy experiences but on the other hand I had some less than thrilling. Mediocre sushi does not an award category make. (To visit in 2011 list includes: OYA and Oishii. I'm saving my pennies!) In my hometown of Yarmouth Port, behold the greatness of Inaho, sweeping this category by default.
Double Dragon Roll | Tuna & Avocado Maki with Spicy Mayo, Tempura Flakes, Fish Roe
Unagi | Eel
Tuna Sampler | Toro, Albacore & Ceviche
Orange Dragon | Salmon & Avocado Maki w/ Spicy Mayo, Tempura Flakes, Fish Roe

Memorable Entrees: Two great dishes - Halibut and Filet Mignon, both on weekend road trips to my favorite state!

Norwich, Vermont: Fennel Pollen Crusted Halibut | Carpenter & Main Delicate flaky fish yielding a barely there crust with a dusting of fennel pollen, served with sauteed spinach, fennel, carrots & a roasted tomato saffron broth; this entrée was flavorful, soothing and aromatic. Rochester, Vermont: Petit Filet | The Huntington HouseThe perfectly cooked fillet was complemented by a large earthy portabello mushroom top and melty blue cheese crumbles, along with zucchini and mashed potatoes!

Dessert Faves
: A category I should dedicate an entire post to for Boston one of these days. While on vacation I tended to favor dessert in liquid form. (Odd, right? ;)) But as luck would have it, I found some legit dessert dishes to drool over outside city limits. Captiva Island, Florida: Homemade Award Winning Key Lime Pie | Key Lime BistroA restaurant named Key Lime Bistro better have the best damn key lime pie I've ever tasted. Yes, they do! Norwich, Vermont: Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Oven Roasted Nectarines and Brown Sugar Cookie | Carpenter & MainYarmouth Port, MA: Flourless Chocolate Cake | InahoSilver Plume, Colorado: Naughty Bar | Sopp & Truscott Bakery

Here's to a 2011 full of New England road trips and hopefully more vacationing that requires airplane travel. Thanks for sharing in my journey of great eats!