Saturday, February 21, 2009

henrietta's table in harvard square

Gosh, I've just about completely neglected my regular blog and realize that I've been doing nothing but going out to eat lately. Sheesh. Might explain the tight pants, although I was hoping that it was because of the long johns I've been wearing. :-/

Anyway ... I digress. I had dinner with a friend at Henrietta's Table last night at the Charles Hotel in Harvard Square. I have to say that it was truly a nice experience. I used to be anti-restaurant-in-a-hotel because I know they can be pricy and a little too frou-frou sometimes. They do have some pricy entrees, I'll admit, but it wasn't over the top. It has a really cozy atmosphere and a local-based menu.

We both ordered appetizer dishes, plus shared two side items. She had the Maine Rock crab cake with grilled asparagus and house-made tartar sauce and said it was delicious. I had the House Smoked Pastrami Salmon which was served on field greens with chive oil, crispy potato wafers and lemon Vermont creme fraiche and it was just awesome. We split the mashed potatoes and butternut squash sides which were simply yummy themselves (and enough to feed like four people). I had two glasses of 7 Deadly Zins wine, one of my stepdad's favorites (note to self: try to get a bottle for home soon). The best part (and the part I've been craving all day!) was dessert: a coconut cream cake. OMG. To die for!!

Their logo is a pig and so they give you a small plate of gingerbread pig cookies at the end of your meal. Of course, we were so stuffed by then that we didn't eat any, but it's still a really cute gesture. Will definitely take Tony there some day, even if it's just for the coconut cake!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

easy sugar cookies

It was Sunday night. I was craving something sweet. Let's see, what's in the cupboard: flour and sugar. Do I have any eggs? Yes, got two eggs left. Hmmm ... maybe I can make myself some cookies? Let me Google (<-- I think that's a new legit verb) a sugar cookie recipe. A-ha! Here's one ... let's try it.

And voila!

They were super easy and so good. SO good. :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

shabu ya + grafton street in harvard square

We normally don't make plans to go out on Valentine's night because a) they tend to jack up prices at restaurants; b) there's usually just a prix fixe menu; and c) it gets crowded wherever you go. But since we were already out and about in the area and getting hungry, I suggested that we have dinner at this place called Shabu Ya. My boss and I had gone there the day before for lunch and I thought the shabu-shabu experience was something that Tony would enjoy. Plus the sushi I had was quite delicious, too.

Top: Elissa's shabu pot; bottom: my sushi rolls

We walked in around 5:30 pm and it wasn't that crowded yet. Tony got the beef sirloin shabu which came with a variety of vegetables, and he chose the Thai tom yum broth. He said it was kind of too spicy, so he'll probably just go with the regular broth next time. You can get the whole pot of the one broth, or split it two ways. We split it two ways and asked to keep one half with just plain water so that I could try the beef, too. They give you a really yummy ponzu sauce to dip the cooked meat in, but I tasted it and it seemed more like a finadene to me. It's amazing how quickly the meat cooks up since it's sliced so thinly (like one minute - seriously!).

I ordered the chirashi sushi dish instead of the same rolls I had the day before. It was good, but next time I think I'll go back to the rolls, or split the shabu dish using the plain water option.

The nice thing is that they have a liquor license and they offer beer, wine and sake. The decor is quite colorful and retro - quite different from the Malaysian restaurant that used to be there. I found this You Tube video that someone made of it back in December:

Afterwards, we walked over to Grafton Street for dessert. We decided to sit at the bar and luckily found two seats as another couple left. I had a glass of Malbec and Tony had a Muscat, and we laughed when we sized the glasses up to one another. We wanted to split the raspberry cheesecake and asked the bartender to ask the kitchen to put the raspberry sauce on the side after explaining how I am allergic to them. When it arrived, we realized that they actually baked the raspberry in the cheesecake so I ordered their chocolate cake as a substitute. Both desserts were really good and we were both quite embarrassed by the fact that we managed to clean our own plates. :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

3 days, 3 restaurants

My, my, my ... we certainly have not had a lack of social outings over the past three days. Last Saturday night, we met up with some friends (at a rather late hour I might add, for our age anyway - lol) at Brasserie Jo in the Back Bay. One of our friends ordered the crab cake appetizer which she said was yummy, but there were only two on the plate! I had the munchies so I ordered some of their fries. I've been there before with our friend Jill a few years ago during Restaurant Week, and they have a really yummy steak frites dish.

It's a nice restaurant and it's part of the Colonade Hotel. It has kind of a frou-frou feel to it (as most French restaurants do, right?) but at the same time, it has a nice little bar area which is fine if you want to get a few drinks and nibble on some appetizers. Or boiled eggs offered for free.
Then on Sunday, we met up with Marina and her mom, Antonia, in Boston for lunch. We managed to find a parking spot near Newbury Street and ended up at Atlantic Fish. Tony had been there once before with a friend and said that the food was amazing. And I think the three of us agreed with him after our meals were served - simply delicious! Antonia had a grilled salmon fillet with roasted potatoes. The salmon was so tender and moist. Marina had a cup of clam chowder and their fried oysters. Tony had a fish sandwich and I had the lobster ravioli.

I have to say that it was the best lobster ravioli I've ever had. Seriously. There were big chunks of lobster on top of the ravioli as well, and I sopped up every bit of the sauce with bread. Kind of embarrassing actually! Would definitely love to take my parents here when they're in town again. I can see why they say it's the best seafood restaurant in Boston!

And then I had lunch with a friend yesterday in Harvard Square at a restaurant called Om. Another restaurant that I've been to during Restaurant Week and folks - let's just say - don't go here for lunch if you're ever in a hurry. We both got the Kobe burgers which seemed to take f-o-r-e-v-e-r to cook or put together even though we were the only ones in the whole restaurant. We basically only had a couple of minutes to take 3 or 4 bites before we had to ask the waiter to pack everything up to go so that we wouldn't be extremely late for a meeting. Embarrassing yet annoying on so many levels, know what I mean? Yowzers.

It really was too bad that we couldn't sit and enjoy our burgers because the place is beautifully decorated and it has a nice atmosphere. The burgers were really yummy but again, I was bummed that I couldn't finish it! Oh man, such a great idea putting an egg on a burger.

I stopped by Tony's office after the meeting and got to see his new office for the first time. I gave him the rest of the burger for his lunch today, and he thoroughly enjoyed it. Lucky.

After three days of delicious dish after dish, having plain pasta with a little bit of butter for dinner tonight didn't seem so great, but it probably was a little lighter on the calorie intake so that's a good thing. :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

buffalo chicken dip

My coworker, Elissa, found this recipe online the other day for buffalo chicken dip (and you all laugh at me for taking so many pictures!). She had tried it while tailgating at a Patriots game last season and she wanted to make it for their get together this past weekend. I decided to try it out because we were going down to Joe and Marina's and thought they might like it too. It turned out great though the blue cheese was a tad overpowering, so I probably would use less next time.

Of course, check out our spread ... a bit a on the shee-shee side with the wine, cheese, and crackers, but good. :)

So I was a little bit lazy and decided not to melt the cream cheese the way the recipe called for. I probably should've because the cubed bits of cream cheese left large chunks in the dip, but it really didn't matter because you could mash them down with a spoon in the end. We had some leftover so we took it home and Tony put it on top of a baked potato for dinner. Yum!

P.S. I bought some of the President spreadable brie and I am in love!!


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