Restaurants supporting Boston and the One Fund

The amount of  love and support that has surrounded Boston this past week truly melts the heart.

Mayor Menino tweeted today that the One Fund has raised over 20 million dollars in the past 8 days, which is just incredible. All proceeds going to the victims and families of the bombing.

The world has come together  this week in a way that I have never seen in my lifetime. From donations, to donating time, care and just all the displays of pride and hope that has been seen across the city this past week and the world is enough to make you tear up.  I was riding the T just two days after the bombing and there was a group of young men going around from train to train singing Sweet Caroline just to boost the spirits of the strangers around them. Something so small and so simple made such an impact…

Everyone, in their own way  is coming together to help.  A laundry list of restaurants here in Boston this past week donated from 10-25% of the nights proceeds to the One Fund.

The Harpoon Beer Hall here in Boston, from 6-9 pm. each Tuesday for the next two weeks  is donating 100% of their proceeds from beer and pretzel sales to The One Fund.

Yesterday evening the FBI formally handed over control of Boylston street back to the Mayor, and restaurants slowly but surely will begin repair and re-open.  These restaurants in return are going to need OUR help. Between lost revenue from closure, repairs and spoiled foods these restaurants will need the community to come in and dine after the economic blow they have taken.

We have learned this week that support and love can come in so many forms and that there  is hope to come from tragedy. Boston has always been an amazing city, a strong city, filled with an incredible sense of pride. This tragedy has only reinforced that we live in a community unlike any other and that we are blessed. I am so proud to be a Bostonian.

We are Boston Strong


The Sinclair

Friday night I had the BEST octopus I’ve ever had – cooked perfectly on the grill it was smoky and tender. Courtesy of The Sinclair in Cambridge it was served with creamy gigante beans, chorizo and a spicy romesco sauce.


The Sinclair is a venue / restaurant with a funky  and refined atmosphere. The restaurant side was packed to the gills Friday night with couples and friends grabbing drinks at the impressive bar  while in the dining room guests had the pleasure of watching the chefs at work through the open kitchen. The Sinclair is open for Dinner, Lunch and Brunch. Also boasting on their website lengthy beer, wine and cocktail menus as well as a ‘Boozy Brunch’.

The Sinclair is innovative and fresh and absolutely worth a trip during your next venture to Cambridge.

52 Church Street, Cambridge  MA 02138

Harvard T stop -Red line.

Happy Eating

( All photos taken by Olivia Hesslein)

La Voile – Boston Restaurant Week 2013

This past Thursday I brought my dear sister to La Voile on Newbury street to celebrate the last night of Restaurant Week here in Boston.

A classic french bistro feel with warm lighting and long booth seating La Voile is homey and welcoming.

The restaurant was bursting at the seams with patrons even at 11pm and the wait staff, all with thick french accents were attentive and skilled even among the crowds.

Their restaurant week menu was authentic and satisfying, the only difference being from the menu posted online was a poached salmon dish taking place of the beef bourgignon.

To start I had the beat, green bean and goat cheese salad which was warm and sweet and savory, my sister had the fish soup special. Not overly fishy with a simple tomato base and topped with cheese.

For the main course I had ‘Les Moules’ mussels in a rich white wine cream sauce with lemon and shallots with a side of super crispy french fries. This dish oozes french culture  and was just perfect. Served in a giant  cast iron pot with more mussels then you could possibly eat in one sitting.

And the desert was divine. A rich chocolate mousse served with fresh fruit and a raspberry sauce. But what stole the meal for me was the blueberry tarte, sweet and tangy in a buttery crust.

A delicious 3-course dinner on a week night without the price tag.
Restaurant week never fails to deliver!

Happy Eating

Cooking with Chef Alarcon

Chef Pedro Alarcon

Photo: Chef Alarcon at Northeastern University, taken by Olivia Hesslein

There’s no better way to break up a stressful day of classes then by going to a cooking demonstration!

Here at Northeastern we are lucky  to have an on campus kitchen, Exhibition Kitchen – used to host cooking classes, demonstrations and other food related events for students. This past week the university brought in local chef, Pedro Alarcon owner and executive chef of  La Casa de Pedro in Watertown, Mass.

Chef Alarcon is a native of Venezuela and has brought his love for his country and knowledge of local cuisine right here to Boston. Watching Chef Alarcon cook you could see his passion come through, talking about how when “I came to this country I didn’t even know how to fry an egg.” and how far he has come. Chef Alarcon decided to make a classic Venezuelan dish and favorite from his restaurant’s menu: Arroz con Pollo (chicken with rice) with fried plantains.

Here is a link to Food Gawker, a website I personally use to find recipes. I like it because other foodies from all over can post their much-loved recipes here to share.   There are a myriad of different Arroz con Pollo recipes to suit your fancy!

Alarcon described this dish as one that is a classic favorite for large families and one that is relatively inexpensive to make. Which was a perfect dish for the crowd of college students he was cooking for – that they could easily replicate on their own.

While watching Chef Alarcon, I was live tweeting the event. – linking to photos and the event homepage through Northeastern’s website. The only thing that could have made live-tweeting this better is if Twitter was able to come up with a way to tweet smells- because the food smelled heavenly… Live-tweeting an event is a beneficial form of ‘reporting’ because you are broadcasting details in real time. From cooking events  such as this to something like the Presidential Inauguration, readers and tweeters alike appreciate the immediacy of learning about something while it is still in the midst of unfolding.

Restaurants opening in 2013

This week I found many  new and exciting things happening on the Boston culinary scene just by digging around on Twitter.

I have made a list on my personal Twitter account of other food bloggers, local chefs, restaurants and others like Open Table Boston that I like to follow.

After professing my love for Zagat in my earlier post, here is a link to an article I LOVE that I found through their Twitter : ‘2013 preview-  10 Boston Restaurants and events we can’t wait for’

A list of all the up- and-coming events in Boston including restaurants that are preparing to open and different food festivals. Here are a few to point out from Zagat’s list:

-Chef Ming Tsai who is as well, a restaurateur and a television host of ‘SIMPLY MING’  is set to open a new restaurant in the city in early 2013. Ming already has a restaurant in Wellesley, Mass. called Blue Ginger.  He is now set to open, Blue Dragon Boston- an Asia gastropub in the Four Point Channel neighborhood of the city.

-Local chef, Christopher Coombs and his partner Brian Piccini’s newest undertaking is Boston Chops, an urban steak bistro set to open in the South End in mid-January. Coombs has also worked at dbar in Dorchester and Deuxave in the city. Boston Chops is said to be more relaxed, serving delicious steaks along with an endless pile of fries. Coombs was named on Zagat’s ‘30 under 30‘ list as one of Boston’s best up and coming chefs- having become dbar’s executive chef at just the ripe age of 23.

– Rivaling Chef Coombs is local chef Tim Maslow, who is also opening a new restaurant, Ribelle in Brookline, Mass. Maslow is the current chef at Strip T’s in Watertown,Mass. Ribelle is set to serve-up  modern-American fare.

I can’t wait to get out and give these a try once they’re open for business!

Four ‘foodie-approved’ websites

Eat Here Now!

I would like to share some websites I frequent when I’m looking for the latest in culinary news. From restaurant reviews, articles on the next big trend to profiles on chefs and more.

1) The New York Times: Dining and Wine – The New York Times is known for its gutsy restaurant reviews. Personally, I enjoy reading the Diners Journal section. An overview of great restaurants and what they’re serving that makes them so great. They are restaurants in the New York city area, but restaurants that can make it in the big apple can survive anywhere. Whats happening here gives the restaurant world a scope of whats popular and whats not.

2) The Boston Globe: Food and Dining – It is everything food and everything Boston-  trending right in your neighborhood. If you’re looking to find a new restaurant to venture to the coming weekend, reading the front page of this section will certainly steer your taste buds in the right direction.

3) Open Table: A personal favorite of mine. Open Table is a great site where you can make reservations online from your smart phone or online. Open Table has a reputation for  appealing to high quality restaurants -All the reviews are written by other Open Table members and foodies alike so you can trust that the reviews your reading are accurate and thoughtful. You can search for restaurants in any city as well as Open Table writers compile features like ‘ Best restaurants in Boston for Valentine’s Day’  and other ways to make your dining experience more worthwhile.

4) Zagat Boston Blog : Zagat is well-known in the culinary world and ‘anyone who is anyone’ on the restaurant scene wants to be placed on their yearly ‘Best of’ lists. This blog compiles local restaurant reviews, food trends, funny articles on chef and must-try places. Absolutely a hidden gem of local culinary know-how.

Photo: CC Chuy’s restaurant By JD Hancock and republished under a Creative Commons License. Some Rights Reserved.