Tuesday, December 30, 2014

CHRISTMAS CONFECTIONS AT COUNTRY DESSERTS

You've gotta love an old-fashioned bakery. One of my favorites is Country Desserts in Newton, MA. This small shop has big, delicious cupcakes, which have recently been all decorated for Christmas. For breakfast, they're known for their huge and flavorful muffins. I'd recommend the lemon poppy seed. Country Desserts also has apple and blueberry turnovers on the menu for breakfast. Don't forget lunch! They have different dishes everyday like soups and pizza.  ,

Monday, December 29, 2014

RING IN 2015 AT THESE RESTAURANTS

It's time to say out with the old and in with the new. Many restaurants across New England are celebrating the New Year with some dinner specials. Be sure to call ahead. Some of these places are sure to be booked by now. If you have a favorite restaurant that's not on this list, give them a call because chances are, they're doing something to celebrate, too!

1785 Inn - North Conway, NH - Entrees include lobster, halibut and kobe sirloin
51 Lincoln - Newton, MA - a la carte menu including the chef's signature watermelon steak
51 Wharf Nightclub - Portland, ME - From 8-9pm holds this private event with an open bar that has Red Bull Vodkas
Bangor Downtown Countdown - Bangor, ME - Family friend event with dinner specials, dancing and live entertainment
Bar Louie - Foxboro, MA - $15/person for champagne toast and breakfast buffet plus live entertainment
Bedford Village Inn - Bedford, NH - $75/pp; Large prix fixe menu with apps, dinner and dessert. Entrees include sea scallops, filet mignon and spinach & ricotta ravioli. Strawberry cheesecake, sorbet and crepes for dessert.
Beehive - Boston - "Funkadelic Burlesque New Year's Eve" with dancing and small bites
Blue Ginger - Wellesley, MA - $85/per person $25/more for wine pairings; tea smoked salmon, shrimp & scallops and smoked beef tenderloin are all on the NYE menu 
Bokx 109 - Newton, MA - 6-course menu at $95/pp
Cape Codder - Hyannis, MA - $109 for dinner; dinner at 9:30 with buffet and carving station; midnight champagne toast
Crowne Plaza Hotel at the Crossings NYE Party - Warwick, RI - cocktails, dinner menu and midnight toast 
First Night Portsmouth - Portsmouth, NH - Ice sculpting, dancing, food and fireworks
Fleming's - Providence, RI - prix fixe menu from 4-11pm on NYE
Gaslight - Boston - Special a la carte menu featuring gnocci, filet mignon and halibut. Lemon meringue tart and chocolate cake for dessert.
Harraseeket Inn - Freeport, ME - One of my favorite spots in Maine with delicious food! Both of their restaurants, The Maine Dining Room and The Tavern are open for NYE. The Maine Dining Room is reservation only.
King's - Dedham, MA - Special lane packages all night on NYE; Simulated ball drop on their screens at midnight, party favors for all and champagne (or apple cider) toast at midnight
Last Blast 2014 Old Orchard Beach
Last Blast 2014 - Old Orchard Beach, ME - Toast marshmallows and sip hot cocoa at this family friendly event by the beach . There will also be a bonfire and no OOB event is complete without fireworks!
Legal Harborside - Boston - Watch the fireworks over the harbor; $75/pp; surf & turk, halibuy & veal chop among the food on their main menu
Miller's Ale House - Watertown, MA - NYE specials include twin broiled lobster tails, salmon Oscar, chicken marsala and filet au poivre.
Mohegan Sun's “Party into the New Year" - Uncasville, CT - The party starts at 10pm. Tickets starts at $75 before NYE and are $150 at the door. Price includes OPEN bar, champagne toast and breakfast buffet that starts at 1 a.m. 
New England Culinary Institute - Montpelier, VT - Champagne and caviar reception followed by a 6-course menu
New Year's Eve at Foxwoods - Ledyard, CT - Dueling pianos; dessert buffet; many of their restaurants have special menus
New Year's Regency Gala on Goat Island - Newport, RI - $99/pp; live music and cocktails all night; cocktail hour from 7-8 pm; dinner is served at 8:30 and includes your choice of prime rib, chicken or salmon along with a vegetarian option; dessert buffet; champagne toast at midnight; AMAZING view of the water
Patoral - Boston - $45/pp; Masquerade Party with masks, food, cocktails and a DJ
P.F. Chang's Providence Place - Providence, RI - Dinner for two for $39.95; 4-course pre-fixe menu with choice of two cups of soup, one starter, two full sized entrees, and one dessert.
Top of the Hub - Boston - $275/pp gets you the best view of the city, jazz music, cocktails and dinner. Salmon, swordfish and steak are on the menu.
Tremont 647 - Boston - 5-course dinner for early diners; 6-course meal for late night parties with champagne
Whetstone Station - Battleboro, VT - NYE party in front of their crackling fireplace; live music; more than 60 craft beers on their menu along with beer brewed in house.
Yard House - Boston & Dedham, MA - Ring in 2015 with their midnight beer toast. Free party hats, horns and tiaras for guests.
Zebra's Bistro & Bar - Medfield, MA - 3-course prix fixe menu $85/person; First course: parsnip veloute, house made ricotta agnolotti, Kona Kampachi crudo or Duxbury oysters; Second course: duck breast, chestnut risotto, filet of beef tenderloin or pan seared scallops; Third course: New England cheese plate, chocolate mousse or sticky coffee pudding cake. (I've been here for NYE before and would highly recommend. Wonderful atmosphere. Special drinks. The chef hooks everyone u p with a free tasting to start the meal.)

If you're hoping to party into the wee hours of the morning in Boston, check out New Year's Eve Central.

Monday, December 22, 2014

APPLE PIE CHEESE

There are now a million flavors of beer and the flavoring trend is making its way into the cheese world. Grafton Village Cheese in Brattleboro, Vermont is one of my favorite cheese shops in New England. When I was visiting over the weekend, one of the cheeses they were sampling was this apple pie cheese. It certainly does taste like apple! If you're looking for a unique last minute Christmas gift, why not surprise the foodie in your life with some apple pie cheese?! , ,

Friday, December 19, 2014

THE CAKE BOSS IS COMING TO MOHEGAN SUN!

The Cake Boss star Buddy Valastro is opening his first bakery in New England. Carlo's Bakery will open in the Casino of the Earth at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut in late February. Buddy once made the casino a cake to celebrate their 15th anniversary. Carlo's Bakery has several locations across the country including the Cake Boss Cafe in New York City. Besides cakes, you'll find all sorts of sweet treats including cookies, pies and cannolis. There's also plenty of Cake Boss merch at his shops. ,

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

DELICIOUS DISH: ITALIAN MEAT & CHEESE CALZONE

My favorite deli in all of Massachusetts is the North End Deli in Plainville. Everything on the menu is perfect and this Italian meat and cheese calzone is my favorite. It's stuffed with salami, peppers and mozzarella. The bread is so soft and full of flavor. You can eat it cold or hot with sauce on the side, but for some reason I prefer it cold.  They make one huge calzone and you they'll cut off as much as you'd like. If you're lucky, they'll be giving out samples during your visit. The North End Deli has a bunch of other types of calzones including sausage & cheese and spinach & cheese, but go for the Italian meat calzone. , ,

Thursday, December 11, 2014

CELEBRATING THE SEASON WITH "OUR SPECIAL ALE"

Every Christmas season, I look forward to drinking some of Anchor Brewing's "Our Special Ale." The San Fransisco brewery releases this beer in November each year and it's sold through mid-January. Each year, the recipe is different along with the Christmas tree on the front of the bottle. The same artist has been drawing the trees for Anchor Brewing since 1975. It's tough to describe the taste, so I'd say it's kind of like Christmas in a bottle. You can find this special craft beer right now at Paddy's Pub in Newton, Massachusetts.

Monday, December 08, 2014

BREAKFAST AT FIRST & LAST BAKERY CAFE

Spinach quiche with fruit
One of my favorite restaurants is the First & Last Tavern in Hartford, Connecticut. Across the street, you'll find their sister restaurant, First & Last Bakery Cafe. I've been here many times for lunch. They offer so may delicious sandwiches, but this weekend we stopped by for breakfast for the first time. We were wowed!

The Bakery is was packed with people on Saturday morning. We were lucky to find a table! I ordered the "morning scrambler," which is a scramble of eggs, cheese and sausage. It's served with roasted potatoes and a small muffin. It was so good and so filling! I also grabbed two cups of their peppermint stick coffee, which they are serving for the Christmas season. Delicious!

Other breakfast options include an omelet of the day, French toast and corned beef hash. Sides include bacon, fruit, hash and sausage patties. They also have a bunch of breakfast sandwiches including fried egg & cheese and bacon, egg and cheese. First & Last Bakery Cafe also has a huge display of pastries like croissants, muffins, sticky buns and cookies.

We've been looking for a new breakfast place since Mortensen's closed last Christmas and now we've found one!

www.firstandlastbakery.com
Open for breakfast and lunch  , ,