Friday, February 27, 2015

TWO NEW SHAKE SHACKS OPENING IN MASSACHUSETTS

Shake Shack is opening two more restaurants in Massachusetts. This Sunday, March 1, the burger joint will be opening its doors in Dedham at Legacy Place (photo above). I was there Thursday night  when staffers were training. I could see bags of food from outside. What a tease. I hear they have been passing out free food to shoppers at Legacy Place, so look out for that! 

Shake Shack will be opening its third Massachusetts location on Monday, March 2, on Newbury Street in Boston. Shake Shack is known for its burgers, fries and frozen custard concretes. Check out Eat Up New England's archives for a look at their food from their Chestnut Hill opening. , , ,

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

THE FORUM IN BOSTON IS CLOSING

A landmark restaurant on Boylston Street in Boston is closing. Forum has announced it will shut its doors on March 1. You may remember this restaurant made headlines after the Boston Marathon Bombings. It sustained a lot of damage and took months to reopen. Its rent is being tripled and the restaurant can't afford to stay open. Forum posted this letter to its customers on Facebook: 

Dear friends,
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the closing of FORUM Bar & Restaurant on March 1st. Boston Nightlife Ventures would like to offer our sincere gratitude to FORUM’s incredible staff and to each and every one of our patrons, from our regulars to those who came in after the marathon to show their support. We cried together, we smiled together—none of those times will be forgotten.
After the tragic events of the 2013 Boston Marathon forced FORUM to close for four long months of reconstruction, and with insurance claims still backed up by bureaucracy, our road to financial recovery was knowingly long. But our love for what we do encouraged Boston Nightlife Ventures to reinvest in FORUM and reopen triumphantly.
Unfortunately, the current real estate climate on Boylston Street has motivated FORUM’s landlord to raise rent this year by nearly three times our current rate. This rent increase makes it financially impossible for Boston Nightlife Ventures to operate and sustain a business at a location that means so much to us and to our city. Out of enduring respect for the events surrounding our brief but unforgettable history at 755 Boylston Street, Boston Nightlife Ventures has decided to retire the name FORUM.
Though FORUM must close, Boston Nightlife Ventures remains committed to investing in our city’s dining community. We look forward to using our resources and efforts to continue serving Boston at our existing locations—The Tap Trailhouse, Wink & Nod, Griddler’s Burgers and Dogs—and at exciting new concepts coming in 2015 and beyond. As owners and operators of multiple concepts, BNV is fortunately able to offer FORUM’s staff numerous opportunities to remain with our team.
We invite you to join us this week for one last hurrah before we close our doors following dinner service on Saturday, February 28th. For more information, please email us at info@forumboston.com
On behalf of everyone at Boston Nightlife Ventures, thank you to the city of Boston and its incredible residents. It is an honor to continue to serve you.
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Monday, February 23, 2015

IT'S ZEPPOLE TIME!

It's another sign that spring is on the way. Mike's Pastry in Boston's North End is selling Zeppole. This traditional Italian dessert is pumped full of cream and usually topped off with a cherry. Italians enjoy them to celebrate St. Joseph's Day, which falls on March 19 every year. , , ,

DELICIOUS DISH: FRIED RAVIOLI WITH MEAT SAUCE

You're looking at my favorite dish of the moment. This is fried ravioli with meat sauce from The Chateau. The restaurant has eight locations around Massachusetts and this is my go to dish whenever I eat there. The meat sauce is so good and just because I can never get enough meat, I always order two meatballs to go along with this delicious dish. You can order small, large or entree portions. Only get the large or entree portion if you are really hungry because these fried delights will fill you up! ,

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

MAINE RESTAURANT WEEK IS COMING!

Mark your calendars for March 1 because that's the start of restaurant week in Maine. Participating restaurants are offering three-course menus for dinner that range from $25-$55. Some of the restaurants will also be offering lunches starting at $15. For a full list of restaurants that are taking part visit, www.mainerestaurantweek.com. Some of my favorite spots are in Freeport, like Linda Bean's Maine Kitchen, which has a killer lemon meringue pie. I'd also highly recommend the two restaurants at the Harraseeket Inn, The Maine Harvest Dining Room and Broad Arrow Tavern. Maine Restaurant Week is really two weeks, ending on March 14. ,

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

CELEBRATE MARDI GRAS AT CUPCAKE CITY

It's time for Mardi Gras! While everyone is celebrating in New Orleans, you can get a taste of the fun here in snowy New England. Right now, Cupcake City is selling these Mardi Gras inspired cupcakes. I got this one at their store in Newtonville. ,

Saturday, February 14, 2015

MOUTH-WATERING ITALIAN AT CANOVA IN ATTLEBORO, MA

Arancini
Ravioli with sausage
Lasagna a la bolognese
If you've ever been to the Attleboro, Massachusetts area, you've probably heard of Luciano's, Lake Pearl and the Colonel Blackington Inn. Now, Luciano has opened another restaurant, Canova Italian Bar & Grill. Canova is a more casual restaurant, but the food is just as spectacular here as it is at all of his other restaurants.

Appetizers include mozzarella caprese, fried mozzarella, calamari, pan-fried eggplant, meatballs and chicken wings. Do your taste buds a favor and order the arancini. They are parmesean crusted dumplings filled with risotto, cheese, pork, veal, ground beef and peas. They are served on top of just enough marinara sauce. I can't begin to tell you how delicious they are.

I enjoyed one of their lunch specials, the lasagna alla bolognese. This hearty dish comes with a generous portion of meat, lots of melted mozzarella and if that wasn't enough, it was topped with a meatball! What a perfect meal. 

Other pasta dishes on the menu include classics like spaghetti alla carbonara, trortolloni alla primavera, fettuccini alla bolognese and fettucci alla alfredo. There are also several chicken dishes including marsala, chicken scampi and chicken parm. Fish entrees include frutti di mare, salmon, shrimp cacciatore and tilapia. Canova also serves several salads, burgers and pizza (after 4 p.m.). Canova does have dessert. You'll see the tempting display case when you walk in, but if you eat like me, you probably won't have any room!

Luciano has done it again! Run to Canova. It's right across from the train station. After just one meal, Canova is already an Eat Up New England favorite!

www.canovaitaliangrill.com ,

Thursday, February 12, 2015

GET A CUPCAKE FOR YOUR VALENTINE AT "SWEET"

Whenever I go to Wegmans in Chestnut Hill, it's impossible for me to not stop into Sweet for a cupcake or two. They have all of the favorites like chocolate, vanilla and carrot cake. They also have some special flavors for the seasons. Right now, Sweet's cupcakes are all decked out for Valentine's Day. I really liked their chocolate cupcake with raspberry frosting. There's also a brownie cupcake with pink heart-shaped frosting. You can also bring your four-legged friend in for a doggie cupcake. They even have gluten free cupcakes! Check out Sweet at one of their 6 Boston-area locations.

www.sweetcupcakes.com ,

WEGMAN'S IS READY FOR VALENTINE'S DAY!

There are lots of temping treats for Valentine's Day right now at Wegman's in Chestnut Hill, MA. Check out those chocolate-covered strawberries with sprinkles. They also have small Conversation Hearts-inspired cakes and a large display of boxed chocolates. Yummmm. ,

Sunday, February 08, 2015

CELEBRATE VALENTINE'S DAY AT THESE NEW ENGLAND RESTAURANTS

Saturday is Valentine's Day. As always, Eat Up New England has a roundup of options just for you. Be sure to call ahead for reservations as some of these restaurants may already be booked!

Beer Works (locations across Massachusetts) - "Heartfelt Dishes" for February include braised beef with cherries, chipotle-chocolate BBQ chicken and chocolate chili empanadas. There are several specialty drinks including a strawberry champagne martini and a "Lovefest" chocolate strawberry stout.
Charcoal Guido's (Waltham, MA) Chocolate kiss martini; scallops wrapped in bacon for a special app; beef tenderloin risotto, spinach & guanciale pappardelle & beef short ribs are special entrees
Einstein Brothers Bagels (across New England) - Heart-shaped bagels available on Feb. 13 and 14, they must be pre-ordered
First & Last Tavern (Hartford, CT) Special 3-course menu for $34.95 that includes a glass of Proseco; entrees include shrimp & lobster fettuccine and eggplant rollatini
Foxwoods (Ledyard, CT) Dining specials at several of the casino's restaurants including Al Dente, David Burke Prime and Paragon. There's also a Valentine's Day Couples Skate which includes champagne. There's also a sushi making class at 1pm. Hip hop star Jay Sean and comedian Paul Reiser will be there at night.
Hyatt Goat Island (Newport, RI) Five33 lounge is offering a chocolate covered cherry martini and royale cupid with Perseco & fresh raspberries. Their Winward Coastal Grille is offering Valentine's dinner on Feb 13 and 14. $89 per couple. Entrees include sole and filet. 
Kennebunk Inn (Kennebunkport, ME) 3-course meal for $49.95; entrees include ravioli, short rib, duck breast and chicken
Kings (Boston) - "Love on the Lanes" celebration from Feb 12-14; special Valentine's Day menu; skip the bowling wait list with a reservation
Lake Champlain Chocolates (Burlington, VT) Tons of special boxes of chocolate for Valentine's Day; special Be Mine Chocolate Frog. If you can't make it to Vermont you can find their chocolates at Whole Foods.
Miller's Ale House (Watertown, MA) Feb 13 & 14; special dishes include twin lobster tails, filet mignon & lobster tail and blacked mahi.
Mohegan Sun (Uncasville, CT) Free champagne with purchase of an entree special at Hash House A Go Go specials include wedge salad, grilled swordfish, NY strip steak and shrimp, and homemade strawberry cheesecake; Todd English's Tuscany will have heart-shaped ravioli; Jasper White's Summer Shack will feature a dinner for two that includes two glasses of Bubbles, raw bar platter, whole fish and bananas foster

Munson's Chocolates (locations across Connecticut) Special boxed chocolates, chocolate lollipops, chocolate hearts and my personal favorite, their 2-pack of chocolate-covered Valentine's Day Oreos 
Not Your Average Joe's (Watertown, MA) - 20 wines at $20/bottle; Valentine's celebration from February 13-15; special menu includes Heartbeet Salad, Chicken Mozambique, Miso Salmon, New York Strip and Chocolate Mousse Torte for dessert
One Bellevue (Newport, RI) 3-course menu on Feb 13 & 14; $69PP; entrees include baked stuffed lobster with spaghetti squash, fillet mignon, cavatelli carbonara and winter vegetable risotto
Romantic Willimantic Chocolate Festival (Willimantic, CT) Get your fill of chocolate day and night. Soiree at night includes all kinds of chocolatey treats from businesses include chocolate stouts and martinis.
Rosa Mexicano (Boston) - Dia de San Valentin from Feb 13-Feb15; 4-course menu and a la carte Valentine's specials including chipotle seared bone-in rib eye, grilled shrimp & scallops and deep-fried ice cream for dessert 
Seasons 52 (Chestnut Hill & Burlington, MA) Healthy and hearty menu options. We went hear last year for Valentine's Day and really liked how they passed out free red roses to the women at their Chestnut Hill location.
Top of the Hub (Boston) Get the best view of Boston and enjoy a 4-course meal and live jazz music; $125 PP; reservations are required
Zebra's (Medfield, MA) 3-course menu for $85pp; entrees include scallops, risotto and NY strip

RESTAURANT WEEK IS COMING TO PORTSMOUTH, NH

Portsmouth Restaurant Week is right around the corner. This year, it will be held from April 9-18. Maybe all of the snow will be melted by then! Portsmouth, New Hampshire has so many wonderful restaurants and this will be the perfect time to try them out. Three course lunches will be $16.95 and three course dinners will be $29.95. Some of my favorites in Portsmouth include Agave for Mexican food and Radici for Italian in a romantic setting. When you go, you can tag all of your food pics using #RWPortsmouthNH. For more info, check out www.restaurantweekportsmouth.com.

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Thursday, February 05, 2015

COLD BEER AND PERFECT APPS AT BEER WORKS IN FRAMINGHAM

After shoveling snow in all of these snow storms, I've been dying for an nice cold beer. I finally got one at Framingham Beer Works. This hot spot is one of the newer Boston Beer Works locations and is always very busy. They brew their own beer in house and you can even take a six pack home! I started my meal off with one of their seasonal brews, "Lovefest," a chocolate strawberry stout. It's very good! You can find it along with several other Valentine's Day inspired drinks and dishes on their February menu. They have an extensive beer menu, along with several cocktails.

Beer Works menu is jam packed with all of your favorite bar foods. Their nachos are soooo good, a vegetarian delight smothered in cheese, olives, tomatoes and jalapenos. (They'll top them with chili or chicken for you, too.) They have a ton of apps including onion rings, scallops, fried pickle spears, wings and cheeseburger sliders. They also have a "Bluebeery Shark" app of grilled Mako shark drizzled with a blueberry sauce.

For dinner, I ordered the Charlestown Burger, a thick burger topped with cheddar and applewood bacon. Very filling and very good! You can choose from a bunch of different French fries like sour cream & chive, cheese, chili and gravy. I went for the steak fries, which were each half of a potato! Other dinner options include chicken sandwiches, shrimp 'n ham mac 'n cheese, salmon, salads, steak tips and rips. Many of their entrees are also available vegetarian. 

If you save room for dessert, I'd recommend their blueberry cheesecake. They also have a "Big Dig" Brownie Sundae, apple blueberry crumble and several ice creams.

Framingham Beer Works is always pretty crowded at night, especially on weekends. Lunch is much quieter and a good chance to sample their delicious menu and beers.

Framingham Beer Works Menu , , ,