Friday, October 17, 2014

foliage hike

Last Sunday we hiked Balance Rock Trail --> Old Indian Trail to the summit of Wachusett Mountain. There are a quite a few easy to intermediate trails around here, as we made the descent the hikers on the way up were frequent. Getting here early and going in peak foliage season is the way to do it!

Monday, October 13, 2014


Mom and I (the lady in the straw hat!) explored the rugged Nahant shoreline on an Indian summer saturday. The geometric meets jagged shaped rocks create a unique landscape where tides roll in and out of secluded shorelines waiting to be discovered. Beachcombing is our thing, and there's lots of neat treasures to be found here.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Westland Distillery @ Grill 23

Westland single malt whiskey is a thoughtful expression of the Seattle, Washington distillery's Pacific Northwest roots. At the core is a flavor profile of roasted and kilned barley malts, contributing deep and rich notes of chocolate, nuts, caramel and mocha. Belgian brewers yeast further enhances during fermentation producing a fruitiness that rounds out the flavor. Finally, the whiskey is matured in new american oak casks, complimenting with a vanilla and coconut finish. The result is an approachable and mature whiskey that suits our classic dinner (I chose Cotuit Oysters, Steak Frites and Creme Brulee!) at Grill 23.

Be on the lookout for Westland and don't hesitate to give this wonderful whiskey a try if you spot it behind the bar or on craft cocktail menus around town!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tuscan Kitchen | Grand Opening

At the Grand Opening of Tuscan Kitchen and Market, the owner, Joe Faro, makes it a point to individually greet the large number of guests as they mingle before dinner. Faro grew up in a traditional Italian household and made his foray into the business at a young age selling his own homemade pasta. The deeply rooted traditions continue at his second location to open in Burlington, MA (the original resides in Salem, NH). In the kitchen, the bread is made from scratch and baked in a stone hearth, the meats and fish roasted on a wood grill, pizzas are fired in a wood oven and yes, the pastas are still hand rolled. Meanwhile, the market sells delectable Italian goods like pastas, olive oils and unique balsamic vinegars with an adjoining cafe counter offering pastries, gelato and specialty coffee drinks. They are doing a lot in a massive space, in a location adjacent to uniform office parks. The results so far are well-received, and the grand opening party a delicious success.  

Upon arrival we were greeted with glasses of prosecco and parmigiano reggiano, sliced fresh from a giant wheel and drizzled in balsamic. As we made our way into the bar and lounge area, antipasti were passed, martinis were poured, and a gorgeous plated appetizer station beckoned. There was everything from homemade buratta, affettati misti: porchetta and prosciutto, fig jam, local truffle honey, roasted vegetables and artisian stone hearth breads. I sipped a refreshing cocktail called The Tuscan made with Stoli, muddled basil, lime juice and sugar.

After everyone was seated for dinner, we started with a duo of pastas; Canneloni di Vitello - thin sheets of rosemary pasta stuffed with slow braised veal breast, spinach and tuscan bean mista, and Truffled Mascarpone Gnocci with wood roasted mushrooms, fava beans and shaved pecorino tartufo. These pasta creations elicited high praise all around; the Canneloni was my favorite dish of the evening. The secondi course brought our choice of Pan Roasted Cod with an herb leek butter crust and rock shrimp in a sweet pea saffron risotto, or Filetto di Manzo a 10oz aged wood grilled filet with carmelized garlic, tuffled parmesan fingerlings and a brussels sprout and panchetta slaw.

Guests were sent off to the market's Caffe Toscano for farewell coffee, pastry and gelato. I got an espresso and a scoop of vanilla with a scoop of tiramisu, a sweet ending to a wonderful evening!

Tuscan Kitchen
 24 New England Executive Park
Burlington, MA 01803

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Colby Farmstand

Mom and I, just hanging out at the farmstand before our dinner under the stars in the adjacent sunflower field. Colby Farms sells their own produce, beef and pork, along with local honey, cheese, milk, breads, ice cream, pies and more. We bought some of their farm fresh eggs, ears of corn, a loaf of cheddar cheese bread, a loaf of anadama bread and some walnut ceasar dressing. The farm can easily be reached from exit 56 off I95. The North Shore Massachusetts town of Newbury is lucky to have them.

50 Scotland Road
Newbury, MA 01951