Sunday, December 22, 2013

Bokx 109

The classy and sophisticated Newton steakhouse, Bokx 109, has once again provided me with an exceptional meal. Last fall I enjoyed dinner here at the chefs counter with a large convivial group, while this time around it was a relaxing, slow paced date for two. 
Shortly after settling into a spacious and comfy tufted leather booth, our server selects a bottle of Optima Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley and starts us with some items off the extensive snakx portion of the menu: sesame tuna nachos with sriracha sour cream, pear and mascarpone sacchetti with orange and balsamic and local oysters with cucumber and Hendricks gin mingionette. 
Each bite was creative and inspired. Sriracha sour cream is a fun pairing with the fresh tuna. The sacchetti are plump, slightly sweet, tangy and creamy, easily one of the best bites of the evening. And of all the oysters I've slurped, I can't recall one ever being paired with gin, it was fantastic.  

Chef outdoes himself with a warm calamari salad, and I'm thankful our waiter steered us in this direction. Tender, buttery rings and tentacles mingle with wheat berries, arugula, and cherry tomatoes in a bright citrus nage.
Hearty steak entrees are named for the box the cuts are delivered in. The Deacon 3 - 109 (Prime Rib) comes three ways with shortrib, ribeye heart and spinellis. The 103 (Ribeye) Cowboy is one serious cut of meat, and provides leftover for two days. The steaks are perfectly cooked, with the exception of the short rib that end up being somewhat dry. Sides are delicious and include thick cut and heavily battered tempura onion rings, an ultimate Baked Potato and wild mushrooms dusted in fresh herbs and sea salt.

Dessert presented us with a variety of treats, a pretty fruit plate with a refreshing lemon sabayon and a rich chocolate menage au trois with white chocolate mousse, peanut butter mousse and dark chocolate ganache.  

And for a grand finale, a tower of fluffy pink cotton candy!

Bokx 109 @ Hotel Indigo
399 Grove Street
 Newton, MA 02462

 this meal was complimentary, all opinions are my own

Thursday, December 12, 2013


I hosted in Charlestown. My mom cooked a duck. Leah made apple butternut squash with creme fraiche and crispy bacon soup for lunch. We sipped rose and fancy pinot noir and feasted on maple chipoltle mashed sweet potatoes, roasted brussels sprouts, grapes and walnuts in balsamic, creamy potato gratin, butternut squash, gouda, and parmesan cheese stuffing, canned cranberry sauce and pumpkin bourbon peacan pie.

This is late, but I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving all the same. Work is busy and holidays parties, Christmas shopping, ski weekends and trip planning are in full swing.

More dinners soon.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

yellow chartreuse

Yellow Chartreuse is a complex and somewhat mysterious french liqueur that has been made exclusively by Carthusian Monks for centuries with over 130 types of mountain flora including herbs, roots, plants and leaves macerated into a base of wine alcohol and aged in oak barrels. It was named after their monastery, Grande Chartreuse located in the French Alps. The aroma is bright and sticky sweet, while the flavor is enticing with citrus, honey and herbal notes, accented with hints of everything from violet and wildflowers to anise, cardamom, thyme and coriander. The addition of saffron after the distillation process gives the liqueur its pretty pale yellow color. 

It is the latest addition to my at home bar, earning a permanent spot right up there with another one of France's finest, St. Germain and my longtime loves from Italy, Aperol and Campari.
It will come as no surprise then, that my intrigue sparked after noticing it as an ingredient on craft cocktail menus around town. Russel House Tavern does an impeccable version of the Champs Elysee ($10) which combines the yellow chartreuse with cognac, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup and angostura bitters. 

Monday, November 18, 2013


The food and wine at Menton, Chef Barbara Lynch's prix fix fine dining restaurant in Fort Point Channel,  is one of the most expensive meals in the city, and it is exquisite. I went during their "unofficial" restaurant week (back in August) which made this splurge worthy destination affordable. (Though still expensive!) Chef de Cuisine and Top Chef Season 10 winner Kristen Kish puts out first rate dishes with a stunning presentation and flavor profiles beyond expectation.

corn madeleines topped with caviar | caramelized onion and goat cheese macarons
glass of bubbly |  croissants with a touch of honey
onsen egg | squash, zucchini, radish
dèlice de bourgogne cappellacci | radish and apricot broth
chocolate parfait | coffee, banana, popcorn
miniature macarons | basil, corn, earl grey, and berry
petit fours | caramels, cookie dough truffles, mini cakes with dollops of jam

354 Congress Street
Boston, MA 02210
Menton Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Forum Bar & Restaurant was one of the business on Boylston Street most affected by the tragic Boston Marathon bombings back in April. After months of hard work and painstaking renovations, they reopened in August with a polished and classy interior, a new chef, and a terrific new food and drink menu. Recently, they hosted a media dinner where the new menu offerings were showcased in their intimate upstairs dining room.
I started the evening with a classic Sazerac, it warmed me right up on what was the first chilly evening in late October. Friends order some of their signature fall cocktails, sips of the Cranberry Cobbler and the Pumpkin Sangria are comforting and thankfully, not overly sweet. The bar bites menu offers a variety of flavorful dishes; my favorites are the cauliflower and white bean hummus with grilled sourdough bread and the bacon wrapped shrimp with soy ginger dipping sauce. Next comes the indulgent streak 'n cheese spring rolls and crispy crab fritters served with an Old Bay tartar sauce. From the appetizers menu, a huge bowl of sauteed mussels grace us, they are outshined in this instance by the more exciting predecessors.
Mini portions of the braised wild boar papardelle are enjoyed around the table, concluded as a very worthy contender for an entree choice. The 8oz bone marrow encrusted filet ($36) with a red wine demi glace would be worth the splurge, the tender meat is enhanced by the rich, buttery, slightly sweet marrow with a delicatley crisped breadcrumb crust.

There are desserts, too! A flourless milk chocolate torte with preserved cherries, spiced chocolate crumble and toasted marshmallow, a rather forgettable oreo semmifredo, triple chocolate mousse martini, some southern style fried peach pies with salted caramel sauce and finally, a lovely banana crepe cake with peanut butter mousse, mango butterscotch and pb&j ice cream.

It is wonderful to see these guys up and running. Welcome back, Forum

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