It is hardly a secret that Eastern Standard (Kitchen & Drinks) in Kenmore Square is my happy place. The restaurant is absolutely perfect for any and every and all occasions, and I absolutely love it there.
Garrett, silver fox.
In fall of 2010, when I learned that Garrett Harker and Jackson Cannon, the brilliance behind ESKD, were opening a seafood haven on the same block as ESKD, I thought things in Kenmore Square could never possibly get better. Alas, I should know that anyone behind something as magical as a Blueberry Thrill will always have more delights up their sleeve. Island Creek Oyster Bar (ICOB) was not the only space in the east of the square, and I learned last summer that the vacant space that had been a bar/ lounge months prior, was to be the next execution of the glorious Commonwealth Avenue vision.
The Hawthorne is the lounge to Eastern Standard’s restaurant, if you will, and it is far more than that. “Bar 500A” (as the Twitter handle speakeasily asserts) offers craft cocktails, fine wines, and small bites that match perfectly with the venues sleek and simultaneously homey atmosphere. Opening night was packed with swanky Bostonians who had similarly been waiting with bated breath for the doors to open.
The Aviation, one of my favorite cocktails that ES prepares exquisitely, can be made “ancient or modern” and both ways are DIVINE. The coming weeks will allow the bar to settle itself and really shine as the premier hang out (and GREAT party venue) on Commonwealth Avenue. I look forward to many evenings of decadence at one of my new favorite spots!
the main bar room
I’m not a huge fan of burgers. But I know a damn good one when I eat one.
My friend was interning in New York over the summer and her office would send her out to pick up burgers for lunch. Finally, Katie tried it and understood why it was worth the car they sent for her, and she took me to the hell’s kitchen location of 5 Napkin Burger for dinner.
I decided to try this burger of 5 napkins, assuming that surely the namesake of the restaurant would be at least remotely satisfying. It was so much more than that. It oozed. It dripped. I felt the sensation of the taste of this burger throughout my entire body and as I chewed each bite was more rich and delectable than the first. This is the best burger I’ve ever had.
I don’t even like half the ingredients, but together they do something WILD. There’s one in the Prudential Center, and Katie and I frequent it more than the average post-freshman-fifteen college student should. Some things, like anything with a rosemary aioli, are just worth it.
I love lamb. Inspired by Lambfest ’11, when cooking for my roommates this week, I decided lamb was indubitably going to be on the menu. I come from a family of great cooks, so I have always loved good food and cooking. Home-cooked meals have always been a relative normality in my apartments, and why not, when cooking can often be just as easy as trekking down the block to Raising Cane’s? (Which by the way, when done properly, can be pretty darn delicious in its own right, my first impressions about that place were way off.)
For the lamb, I couldn’t open the tin of the rub that I picked up at Lambfest, so I just concocted my own with some of my favorite herbs and spices. I cook with a lot of rosemary so I added some (read: a lot) of rosemary. (ALWAYS. ALWAYS ROSEMARY. ROSEMARY CHICKEN. ROSEMARY POTATOES. ROSEMARY CHOCOLATE CAKE. ROSEMARY’S THE BEST BEST BEST!) Though I detest the licorice taste of fennel, fennel seed is my ABSOLUTE favorite, and I love it in sausage and on some meats. With the richness and heartiness of the lamb, fennel seed is perfection. I finished the chops off with some garlic, soy sauce, olive oil, salt, pepper, (the usual), and popped them into the broiler until they were done!
I have always loved radiatore pasta, and whoever claims that all pasta tastes the same: never eat pasta again. You are not worthy. Radiatore pasta tastes better than all others; wagon wheels come in a close second. The supermarket on BU’s campus does not carry enough radiatore variety, and I had to settle on some weirdo veggie brand of radiatore pasta that apparently gives you like 19 full servings of vegetables? It just tasted like pasta. Doused in pesto and parmesan, obviously. My roommates last year all loved parmesan cheese almost as much as I do, and it was a running joke that we were “parmesan people” because we would go through 5 containers of the store-bought cheese every 2 weeks. (I actually don’t think that’s such an exaggeration.)
Spinach is one of my favorite veggies, and it’s so easy to prepare! I hate how you buy a whole package thinking it’s this monstrous amount of green and then when it’s sautéed there’s enough for maybe 1.5 portions. Spinach is all water so it shrivels quick and magically disappears in the pan, but I love sautéed spinach in a pan with some olive oil, soy sauce, garlic, salt, and a tiny squirt of lemon for some zest.
The meal was the perfect satisfaction for my extended lamb cravings, and the indulgence was a simple, practical meal on a Sunday night. #DELISH
I am not a “foodie.” I really like eating good food. Lamb is one of my favorite foods. If lamb, tuna tar tare, or truffle oil are anywhere on a menu, I indubitably will be ordering those menu items. When I heard about the American Lamb Pro-Am LAMB FEST in Boston for the reasonable rate of $25, I knew I couldn’t miss it. My friend Mister Wang is a foodie, and on Sunday we ventured to Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge to stuff our faces with LAMB.
American Lamb, BostonChefs.com, and Boston restaurants (Russell House Tavern, Pigalle, Bambara, & KO Prime) teamed up with bloggers (Doves and Figs, Just Add Cheese, Cave Cibum, & Two Recipes) to provide four lamb dishes to taste (once, twice, thrice…) and vote on. There were also delicious drinks to accompany the dishes, and Kevin and I sat and discussed texture, taste, presentation, while unleashing our inner Padma.
Russell House Tavern’s Chef Michael P. Scelfo & Doves and Figs‘ Robin Cohen served up an Autumn American Lamb Roast Stuffed with Lamb Apple Sausage and a sweet jam that was perfectly sweet and savory, and ended up winning the competition.
My vote went to Pigalle’s Chef Marc Orfaly and the bloggers of Just Add Cheese. Their Moroccan Style Lamb Chapati was #beyond. I don’t even like Moroccan food and it was just the right amount of curry that didn’t overwhelm the dish, and TWO TEXTURES OF LAMB!? I helped myself to three portions. Sorry I’m not sorry. It was absolutely splendid and cucumbers will subsequently never be the same for me.
Runner up for me was Bambara and Cave Cibum‘s Pumpkin Rice-Stuffed Lamb Roast. It won visually and tastefully in my book (but nothing was like that darn Moroccan dish). The colors were the purdiest, and the dish itself was equal parts seasonally appropriate and delicious.
Phoning it in in last place for me was KO Prime‘s Roast Lamb tacos that weren’t anything particularly special when compared with the other dishes. I only had one helping of the tacos, while the other dishes got at least a second try for my vote.
American Lamb also provided a rub that I intend to douse lamb in this week, and my phone and computer are now bedecked with their delightful I Heart Lamb stickers. While I personally think the Moroccan Lamb was the greatest lamb dish ever to be prepared, the jam and Lamb Roast deserved to win just as much, as all the dishes were genuinely incredible, and I’ll usually enjoy lamb prepared in any possible form. Congrats to the scrumptious winners, and I’m off to finish digesting this unfortunate, but well worth it, food coma. #stuffed
Posted in Beantown, Restaurant
Tagged American Lamb, Bambara, Boston, competition, food, KO Prime, lamb, LambFest, Pigalle, Russell House Tavern
In early August I dined at the only-opened-for-lunch new midtown Todd English restaurant, Ca Va. It has since opened fully, though it has yet to be reviewed by NYMag. (The New York Times, however, did compose an extraordinarily accurate review.)
The restaurant was a LITTLE squeaky clean/ chain restaurant- feeling, but the food was pretty good. MAJOR COMPLAINT: THEIR FUNKY MODERN PLATES! A fork could NOT stay propped on the sides of the dinnerware. Very inconvenient to attempt eating with a sauce-drenched fork. This was not “ca va.” The chicken was REAL GOOD. Yumminess below!