“Walk down memory lane” weekend – part 1

20 May

For my 32nd birthday this year, my brother gave me an unbelievably thoughtful gift; a weekend trip to Three Rivers, Massachusetts where we spent our childhood. We decided to first spend Saturday in Boston and then head to Three Rivers early Sunday morning. It was an incredible weekend! Below are a few pictures from our day in Boston.

We were well “fueled” by the time we hit the Mass Pike. Coffee aside, my brother shared a secret “recipe” with me…for the McGangBang. Yes, you read that correctly; a spicy chicken sandwich between a double cheeseburger. I truly regret not taking him up on his offer to try it.

road trip to ma

After parking we immediately made our way to Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market. It was past lunchtime and we were both hungry (despite the previously mentioned McGangBang indulgence). We walked through a few shops and eventually made our way to the Walrus and the Carpenter Oyster Bar. Because you really can never have too much lobster, we both had a delicious lobster roll and lobster bisque! There obviously was no getting a picture of our lunch; we were too busy eating. (I only had one rule for the day: “I only eat seafood today.”)

quincy market

We picked up the Freedom Trail at Quincy Market and followed it to Paul Revere House, Old North Church, and Cobb’s Hill Burial Ground. Having spent 10 years of our childhood in Massachusetts, this was not our first time to Boston, or touring the Freedom Trail. Oddly enough, we remembered the one thing a child probably would remember: the pew “boxes” in the church…and probably only because we used to play in them!

paul revere

From Cobb’s Hill we crossed the Charleston Bridge over the Charles River and made our way to the USS Constitution. We toured the deck and navy yard with less than hour until it closed for the evening before making our way back to Quincy Market and Salty Dog Seafood Grille & Bar for a beer.

uss constitutionDay one? Check!

I’ll post the sentimental stuff tomorrow!


I’m with the Chef – part 2

14 May

As I mentioned in my last post, the highlight of this past weekend really was what spurred the weekend – the Chef’s invitation to create and host a 5-course dinner at Brewery Ommegang. It was IN-CRED-I-BLE. But don’t just take my word for it…

ommegang dinner menu

(Yeah, I was drooling at just the menu too so you can only imagine how incredible the actual meal was!)

ommegang dinner 2

First course: shiitake spring roll with spicy Szechuan peanut sauce; second: five spice pork roulette and guanciale jam; third: smoked tuna tartar and crispy daikon cake with xo sauce; fourth: seared venison tataki with soba noodles; fifth (although not pictured!): key lime pie with chantilly creme.

And lots and lots of beer, of course…

ommegang dinner beer

I’m with the Chef – part 1

13 May

I took this past Friday off from work and headed to Cooperstown, New York with the Chef and his family for a long weekend. The Chef had been invited as their featured chef for the Brewery Ommegang Beer Dinner, and well, it would have been rude not to tag along!

While the 5-course dinner with beer pairing was clearly the main attraction of the weekend, we snuck in a few other excursions throughout the weekend too.

Beer Tasting at Brewery Ommegang

beer tastin

Baseball Hall of Fame (I’m sorry, but snoozefest!)

baseball hall of fame

Visit to Fly Creek Cider Mill

fly creek cider mill

Brewery Tour

brewery tour

Check back tomorrow for pictures from the actual dinner. But I warn you: do not come hungry!

Get in the car, y’all!

9 May

As a Manhattanite of almost 10 years now, I rarely find myself in a car…unless it’s a cab of course. My next three weekends are full of fun road trip travel though; first I’m off to Cooperstown, New York with the Chef; then to Boston and Three Rivers, Massachusetts with my brother; and finally to Buffalo with my brother again for Memorial Day weekend. Pack the Dramamine and coffee, and get ready to get your car karaoke on!

Six Year Work Anniversary!

7 May

I came into the office this morning to lovely flowers and later celebrated with my team at Inside Park at St. Bart’s.  Happy 6th to my agency!



My first Fasika

5 May

I had randomly mentioned to the Chef a few days ago that I wanted to go out for Ethiopian this week. Well apparently when the lady asks…

Last night we attended Habesha Nights Fasika Celebration, an event hosted by Bunna Café, at ACME Studio in Williamsburg. Fasika, or Ethiopian Easter, is a climatic fasting period during the 56 days of Lent in which no meat or animal products of any kind are consumed. As the menu below confesses, we were celebrating the breaking of this fast. Not only was the food phenomenal and honey wine plentiful, but there was also live music and dancing as well as an authentic Traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony.

Evening’s Menu:

  • Injera: Ethiopian sourdough flatbread made with teff and barley
  • Misir Wot: Red lentils cooked with a spicy Berbere sauce, made of crushed red peppers and a mixture of garlic, ginger, cardamom, onion, and oil
  • Yater Kik Alicha: Yellow split peas cooked with red onion, ginger, garlic, herbs, and a touch of turmeric
  • Keysir: Simmered beets, potatoes, carrots, and onion
  • Gomen: Steamed kale, potatoes, and carrots, lightly salted
  • Shiro: Ground chickpeas cooked with minced onions, garlic, and ginger
  • Timatim Selata: Raw cut tomatoes, red onion, and peppers mixed with lime and olive oil
  • Yesuf Fitfit: Sunflower milk, tomato, and peppers mixed with crumbled injera
  • Kedija Selata: Kale, tomato, peppers, and avocado in an olive oil dressing
  • Daata: Spicy, cilantro-based sauce to add a kick to your meal
  • Ethiopian Baklava: light, crispy filo dough with pistachio and served on a bed of honey
  • Open bar: Ethiopian beers, Tej (honey wine), Shai Correnti signature cocktail (cold Ethiopian toddy consisting of Ethiopian spiced tea, lime juice, turbinado syrup, and whiskey served on the rocks)


The event was set up almost to imitate a large dinner party. Because Ethiopian dining is communal, we shared a large plate with another couple at our table. Despite the Chef’s teasing, we did not participate in the tradition of “Gursha.” Gursha is the making of a mix of dishes rolled in a strip of injera which you hand feed to your partner. The event encouraged it…but I did not (damn my preconceived American notions!)

Throughout dinner Tadele Daba and his music troupe provided entertainment including music from a  Kirar (Ethiopian guitar) and Kebero (drum). I may or may not have a video of the Chef breaking it down “Ethiopian gangham style” for anyone interested in bribing me for the footage…

Toward the end of the night it was finally time for the Coffee Ceremony. More than a caffeine fix, the Coffee Ceremony is an integral part of the social and cultural life in Ethiopia and the invitation to attend is considered a mark of friendship. Raw coffee beans are roasted, ground, and brewed in front of guests and create a robust, fragrant beverage. (Mmmm, coffee….)

coffee ceremony

“Dos de Mayo”

2 May

Because a monthly staff meeting is always better with a theme.

And a nacho bar.

Okay, and cocktails.