Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mooo & Chart House

I spare no expense when it comes to birthday dinners. Usually Adam is pretty easy to please. The last two years he requested steak. I usually suggest the restaurant and he happily obliges.

Last year we dinned at Mooo.... a Modern Steakhouse located in the XV Beacon Hotel. Mooo is chic and sophisticated; with high vaulted ceilings, an elegant bar and dining room bathed in soft white and cream colors and low lighting emitting from large trendy chandeliers.
While it was a year ago, I remember the meal at Mooo like it was yesterday. (Well most of it anyways....) After a lovely hostess seated us and we ordered drinks - an Amstel Light ($5) for him and a Dirty Martini ($11) for her, we were presented with some of the most exquisite rolls I have ever tasted.
I would probably go back just for these - four glistening butterballs served piping hot in the iron skillet in which they were just baked. Each bite was warm and buttery and soft, with a sprinkle of coarse sea salt to take them over the top.
My low light setting on the old Sony Cybershot proved for some grainy photographs. I remember that being a seriously good (and large) dirty martini. We ordered the Kobe Beef Dumplings ($19) and no Adam did not choose the most expensive appetizer on the menu. These were excellent, but worth a whopping nineteen dollars!? Tough call. (Picture borrowed from Yelp.)
Mooo steaks are served a la carte with roasted garlic and bone marrow butter. It was the 12 oz Filet Mignon ($39) and a small side of Whipped Yukon Gold Potatoes ($5) for him, the Steak Frites ($29) for her. I was delighted by the act of smothering the marrow butter straight from the bone onto my perfectly cooked tender and juicy steak. Also, those Truffled Parmesan Fries were insanely good.
Not a trace of vegetables in sight because, apparently, we decided to forgo the a la carte greens this evening!
After reliving the experience and remembering how good our meal was, I now need a good excuse to re-visit Mooo.

This year, we dined at the Chart House for his 33rd birthday dinner. The restaurant often generated conversation on our walks around Long Wharf, stemming intrigue on both our parts.
Just what is this place all about, we wondered? First off all - I had no idea (until I just now hit up the website) that the Chart House is a chain! They have locations in Hilton Head and Las Vegas. I knew there was something fishy about the logo on the awning. I just knew it. The yellow fish seemed a tad out of place when compared to the historic buildings exterior, as well the interior with beautiful architecture including exposed wood beam ceilings and red brick walls lined with 17th century artwork and decor. Dinner began with some rolls. There was nothing special about them - certainly not now that I am comparing them to the rolls served at Mooo. That's no fair! Ok, Mooo or no Mooo, the Chart House rolls really were not all that good. I started with a glass of the Glass Mountain Chardonnary ($6). For our appetizer Adam chose the Steamed Mussels ($11.99) with shallots, garlic and sherry wine. I wanted to drink the sherry wine, but instead dipped my plump mussels two and three times through the flavorful broth.
Three slices of crusty bread served alongside were an excellent touch.
Adam got the Prime Rib - Chart House Cut ($24.99) for his main course. It was cooked perfectly to his liking (medium-rare - a little more on the rare side) and was rubbed with aromatic herbs and spices and slow roasted with au jus. It came with mashed potatoes. He loved it. I got the Macadamia Crusted Mahi Mahi ($29.99) drizzled in warm peanut sauce with a hint of Frangelico served with mango coulis and coconut ginger rice.The presentation didn't have that initial wow factor, however, the Mahi Mahi was well prepared, where tender flakes of the white fish with a mild sweetness graced my palate, enhanced by the tropical nuttiness of the macadamias and the smooth creamy peanut sauce. 
I'm not particularly convinced I got $30 worth on that plate, though. For the price it just felt, meh.

I was really inspired by the atmosphere of the historic "John Hancock Counting House" built around 1763. A little bit of a history lesson (paraphrased from a pamphlet I picked up.) As the city evolved the Long Wharf warehouses fell into neglect. In the 1960's the Boston Redevelopment Authority acquired the wharf with the aim of revitalization, encouraging private rehabilitation of the 4 story Gardiner building. Ongoing conservation has resulted in an innovative center for commerce and residence all preserving the look and feel of the wharf's early years. The Boston Chart House opened in July 1973, and prides itself on continuing to maintain this ideal. I'm pleased to say I've discovered what the mysterious (chain) restaurant on the wharf is all about.
So we've got a modern steakhouse on Beacon Hill and a historic steak/seafood restaurant on the waterfront. I wonder where next year will take us.....
Mooo on Urbanspoon Chart House on Urbanspoon

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Balcony Theater

When a director invites you to a private viewing of his latest feature length movie, you don't turn him down. Especially when this screening takes place at The Balcony Theater where they are known to serve the finest of concessions including....
We did indeed eat and drink all of the above over the course of the day. It began with a spicy bloody mary and a bag of popcorn.

Balcony Theater beginning to make a little more sense?! My friends Marc and Lisa set up some comfy lounge chairs, tables, and an old TV on their second story porch. 
Another shot because I added fresh dill relish.

And now for our feature presentation: Slip & Fall. Directed by our host, Marc Colucci Slip & Fall is a comedy about what happens when a law student breaks the law to pay for law school.
Danny Cuemdumpstier (Sam Cohen) is dealing with an unfortunate turn of events in his life. He has no money left to pay his last semesters tuition and the miserable dean of his law school (Andrew Divoff) (side note - you know him as Mikhail aka "Eye Patch Man" from Lost) is unwilling to sign a tuition wavier form necessary for graduation. Danny's boss - the school janitor (William Forsythe) a mastermind behind get-rich-quick scams convinces Danny the only way to solve his looming problems is to stage none other than a "Slip and Fall". Danny wrestles his conscience and comes to the conclusion that there might be no other options if he wants to graduate. The antics which ensue as a result, introducing some bizarre characters, are both hilariously acted and brilliantly directed. Having watched and enjoyed other films directed by Colucci it was a pleasure to view his latest feature length comedy - which included real time Q&A and fun pasta.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sea To You Sushi

100th post!!
Pretty cool, right? A quick moment to express my appreciation for my followers and commenters. Thank you for your insights, your humor, your good nature and in general thanks for reading. You guys are the best. Now prepare to feast your eyes on the most incredible Sushi platter ever to grace the blog world.
This sushi platter worth $120 was actually purchased with a Groupon that my sister's boyfriend bought sometime ago. I believe the platter ended up costing $60 in total. That is a steal. Sea To You Sushi & Asian Foods is located at 5 Kendal Street in Brookline. They are a take-out only establishment.
We drank a bottle of Nigori Genshu Sake with our sushi. I have a relatively new obsession with cold unfiltered sake. If you are a sake lover I highly recommend you try some.
We were extremely pleased with the variety of sushi they provided. There was an impressive selection of maki rolls, an assortment of nigiri sushi, sashimi and salads. We had salmon, tuna, unagi, shrimp and scallops as well as seaweed salad and octopus salad. Not sure if you can tell from my 800 snapshots, the sushi was incredibly fresh.I would definitely recommend Sea To You Sushi catering service for a special event. For the platters they prefer two days advanced notice. You can pick up at their Brookline location, or they offer a delivery service at an extra charge. They also offer professional Sushi Chefs for hire! Throw a sushi party and their chef(s) will make sushi fresh for your guests. How fun!!
My favorite roll was the spicy tuna (far right corner.) Actually, I am pretty sure that was everyone's favorite, we love spicy tuna for sure.
After we stuffed our faces, it was time for cake and beer.

Happy Birthday, Leah!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

June Walks

As you may or may not have gathered, my main form of exercise is taking walks around the city. Here are some images from my city walks in the month of June. 
The roses are in bloom in Christopher Columbus Park.

Adam and I visited the seals at the New England Aquarium.

How cute is this guy?
We got ice cream at Emack and Bolio's. The one on Central Wharf off Atlantic Avenue is cash only.
I got Grasshopper Pie - Creme de Menthe with Chocolate Chips and Oreos, one of my favorite combinations. Adam got Strawberry with rainbow sprinkles. I think they have excellent quality ice cream here. And get a load of those insane waffle cones. Next time...
Old North Church in the distance through the Paul Revere Mall.
Sunrise over The Public Garden / Boston Common
Purple flowers with which I am obsessed.
You know, hanging out in my favorite tree.
The Clock Tower always looks nice.

It has certainly been a lovely month for walking about the city!!