Chef Richard and Chef Katie

Archive for December, 2012|Monthly archive page

A few of our favorite things…

In At Work, Catering, Restaurant on December 6, 2012 at 6:30 pm

On the tails of Boston Magazine’s release of this year’s picks for the 50 best restaurants, we thought it would be fun to compile a list of our own local top picks, and not just on the restaurant front. We’ve taken it a step further to include our 50 best picks for all things food related in the Greater Boston Area, why we like them and what we get when we’re there. These are in no particular order, by the way.

JM Curley – We come for the amazing burgers and unique twists on junk food and comfort food classics, but we stay for the unique cocktails in a warm, friendly atmosphere that always treats us like family.

The 21 Temple Gin and Tonic at JM Curley

The 21 Temple Gin and Tonic at JM Curley

East by Northeast – The perfect spot for an intimate dinner, it’s inventive, fun and completely delicious. Easily the best deal in town, an 8-course tasting menu is a steal at $38/person. A superb weekend brunch is also not to be missed.

Russo’s – Where would we be without Russo’s? Featuring hard to find fruits and vegetables, cheeses, flowers and spices, it’s our go-to spot for produce and prices that simply can’t be beat. We especially love the prepared Muhammara and the fact that we can never leave without piling our cart high. Tip; try shopping on a weekday to avoid the dreaded weekend crowd.

Craigie on Main – A great spot for a blow-out dinner, we especially love sneaking in to the bar area (which accepts reservations) and ordering the best burger in town. But get there early, they only sell a limited number of burgers each night.

Armenian Row, Mt. Auburn Street in Watertown – A great stretch of four unique Armenian markets, we always stock up on pita, sumac and pomegranate molasses among other things.

Sofra – A great spot for an in-between meal, order a Mezze plate and dip your heart out with hearty, middle eastern fare from an ever-changing menu. Seating is limited, so try going at an odd time or accept the fact that you might be dining in your car.

Marty’s – A great selection of wine, beer and liquor, we’ve been going to Marty’s for years. Ok, not that long, we aren’t that old. Mustard lover? Marty’s sells quite possibly the largest container of Dijon mustard we’ve ever seen at an absurdly low price.

Cabot’s – The ice cream shop Richard grew up with, it’s cash only at this Newtonville establishment. You can’t go wrong with any of their ice cream flavors, split one of their enormous sundaes for an extra special treat.

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Classic Hot Fudge Sundae at Cabot’s

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Holiday Shopping Guide for Food Lovers

In At Home, Restaurant on December 2, 2012 at 6:55 pm

It seems that another holiday season is upon us! Last week we put up our Christmas Tree and this Saturday we’ll be celebrating the first night of Hanukkah by hosting dinner, complete with all of the Jewish classics. In our house, we celebrate both holidays and for that reason, December means a month-long celebration and lots of gift buying for our loved ones. Some people are easy to shop for and others, well, they’re a bit tougher. If you find yourself shopping for someone who loves food and you’re not sure what to get them, here’s some of our suggestions, for all different types of food lovers that may be in your life:

For the Cookbook Collector:

This is for your average, run of the mill cookbook reader. You know the type who heads right to the Cooking section of a bookstore and who reads cookbooks before they go to bed. Also for the home cook who might want to pick up some new tricks, here are some books that we found ourselves turning to frequently this year:

Plenty by Yotum Ottolenghi

The Art of Mexican Cooking by Diana Kennedy

Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotum Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

A Girl and Her Pig: Recipes and Stories by April Bloomfield

Ancient Grains for Modern Meals by Maria Speck                                                  

How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman

Vietnamese Home Cooking by Charles Phan

For the Cookbook Collector Who Want The Whole Story:

Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson

My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud’Homme

Life, on the Line: A Chef’s Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death and Redefining the Way We Eat by Grant Achatz

For the Kitchen Equipment/Gadget Collector:

Soda Stream: We laughed at these first before we ate our words because we use it all the time to make homemade sodas for cocktails or just for enjoying straight up. You can get a good one for around $100.

Juicer: We bought a juicer this year and we find that we use it nearly every morning to make fresh fruit and vegetable juices. We bought a Breville and can’t imagine mornings without it!

Whirely Pop: A favorite new addition to our kitchen, the Whirley Pop pops popcorn in about 5 minutes on your stove top. With a fun handle crank, it pops a perfect batch nearly every time. Popcorn kernels and fun salts round out the gift.

Molecular Gastronomy Kit: Fun for the food scientist in your life, you’ll be reaping the benefits of fancy foams, caviar beads and spheres before you know it!

For the Food Lover Who Wants to Show Everyone How Much They Love Food:

Cookies Love Milk Tees: They’re just so cute!

Fromage a Trois Tee: Because who doesn’t love a good food sexual innuendo

 Hot Dog iPhone Case: For the hot dog enthusiast in your life

Macaron Note Cards: Nothing says Thank you like a fun and festive food card

Vintage Apron: Harness that vixen housewife/Mad Men in you with a vintage apron

For the Food Lover Who Needs A Break from the Kitchen (Or Who Doesn’t Like to Cook)

A Gift Certificate to any restaurant!  Because who wouldn’t want a nice meal out? Here’s some of our current favorites:

Russell House Tavern, Harvard Square

JM Curley, Ladder District

Saloon, Davis Square

No. 9 Park, Beacon Hill

East by Northeast, Inman Square

Got a fun food gift that you gave or received? Or maybe there’s a food related gift on your own list – leave it here!

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