Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Going to Town at Towne Boston

By: Jessica Cickay 

Lydia Shire and Jasper White are kind of like the Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn of the Boston restaurant scene – no matter the space, no matter the cuisine or no matter the clientele, they just make it work. Upon entering their year-old Towne Stove and Spirits nestled next to Hynes Convention Center in the Back Bay, it was pretty obvious that Shire and White could keep this valiant venture working for many more to come. The warm, relaxing d├ęcor washed everyone and everything aglow, while despite the menu’s inherent pricey-ness, it was obvious that Towne already touted a healthy round of regulars– a true testament to the high-end, but low-maintenance restaurant’s staying power. I was visiting on an evening dubbed “A Taste of Italy,” and although I was surrounded by Ferrari’s (literally) and had to walk a red carpet to enter (also literally), all I could focus on was what I was about to devour: Shire’s signature Roman-inspired customizable four-course menu.
All's Well That Ends Well.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Teqa: A Hip, Young Midtown Mexican Eatery Worth Checking Out

By: Anne M. Raso

We were lucky enough to check out the "modern Mexican" Teqa  in Midtown Manhattan recently (also known as Murray Hill, a formerly bland neighborhood now on the rise in terms of hipness and young residents). It has a modern atmosphere, with fun light fixtures and open front floor-to-ceiling windows that give the diner the option of eating al fresco or coming inside. We noticed that the crowd was generally in their 20s and 30s--the type of folk who run home from work to change into something more casual before heading out to dinner. There also seemed to be a big bar scene in the back (there were as many people just having drink as sitting down to a meal).
Voodoo Chile

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sugary Sweetness at the 2011 New England Dessert Festival!

By: Jessica Cickay

Bottom line, dessert makes everything better. Upon arriving at the 2011 New England Dessert Showcase at the Sheraton Hotel in the Back Bay, it had been “one of those” weeks. One of those weeks when waiting for the T meant waiting for an eternity. One of those weeks when you get on the elevator to go up six floors, and it immediately shoots down to the basement. One of those weeks that when you show up to said Dessert Showcase, you realize that your camera is deader than dead. But do you remember my bottom line from above? It really is true: dessert makes the T come at lightning speed, the elevator elevate you instantly and mobile technology (ah gotta love camera phones) all the more impressive – aka dessert makes everything better.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Whew - Whatta Week! Highlights from Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2012

By: Anne M. Raso

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week is always exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. The failing economy did affect things slightly as many designers chose to have their shows off the Fashion Week site in Lincoln Center. Our favorites included the low-key and simple glamour of Rolando Santana and the bold prints of Stephen Burrows--who held their shows at Exit Art and the Audi Forum, respectively. The most flamboyant show (always) seems to be Betsey Johnson, and the favorite flamboyant and practical at the same time designer always seems to be Guishem! Straight ahead rock and roll wear with rock music to accompany it was given out in spades by Charlotte Ronson. By the way, we have to say her gift bag was one of the best from the shows--attendees got a few Hydroxatone skin products, a fun "female products" case courtesy of Kotex, Color Club mail lacquer and a couple of Charlotte's own line of lip glosses.
Backstage at Stephen Burrows

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Omaha Steaks Revisited: Time To Go Public With Their "Private Reserve"!

By: Anne M. Raso

In the six or seven months, I have become a almost daily consumer of Omaha steaks and even blogged about them here a few months ago. In NYC, it's actually cheaper to order Omaha Steaks than to purchase them at local supermarkets (where the better cuts of steak are $17 to $20 a pound) and Omaha's quality is much better. The amount of fat on their steaks is visibly lower than anything you will see in a supermarket refrigerator case. The Omaha folks also have non-steak items including tender, fast cooking chicken breasts which totally need to be in any health-conscious person's freezer. I will say that the superstar of Omaha Steaks, not surprisingly is their beef tenderloin, aka filet mignon, which is so tender, you almost do not need a knife to cut it--and you get the filets in perfect portions of four, five or six ounces, so you won't overindulge. Everything is frozen and delivered in a large white styrofoam container (which some customers keep and use for storage or even a bait and tackle box later on) and you can keep all Omaha meat in your freezer for up to a year. The packages are vacuum sealed, so there is no chance of freezer burn, and you can defrost any piece in a half hour by thawing it in cold water (still in its plastic packaging).

Monday, September 12, 2011

Isle of Delight at The Strand NYC

By: Finance Foodie

When I lived in NYC, I would often go to birthday parties at The Strand Hotel, but was surprised to recently hear that the hotel also had a restaurant on the first floor (these things often get overlooked at 4am in the morning and after copious amounts of motivational beverages!). Therefore, on my last trip back to the City for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, I thought, "What a completely fitting time to check out this Fashion District hotspot for dinner!"

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Getting Wet and Wild with Poconos' Whitewater Challengers

"Chuck the deuce up..."

This past Labor Day, I resolved to take it easy. After almost a month of "Pre-Term"grad school life in Philly (Pre-Term=staying out late, drinking like a fish, and generally not going to class), I knew I need some time to decompress and sober up. However, just one day of relaxation left me as bored as a fatso at a salad bar, so I decided spice things up a bit and go whitewater rafting on the Lehigh River in Poconos, PA (aka the must visit outdoors adventure destination two hours outside of Philly). It had been a few months since my last rafting trip, so I was totally itching to get back into the waters and shoot some waves. Plus, I was going with 30 plus of my super fun fellow grad school classmates, and I thought this would be a great way to bond with them without sacrificing the health of my liver.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Healthy Alternatives to Fight the Freshman 15!

"I love college..."

Now that Labor Day has officially come and gone, it's time to put away the Hawaiian Tropic and pull out the Jan Sport buried deep in the closet. Yup -- it's back to school time, which means long days of learning filled with even longer nights of meeting and greeting (this is especially true in my grad program, where everything seems to be done over pizza and beer!).

Monday, September 5, 2011

Junoon: Elegant Indian in the Flatiron District

By: Anne M. Raso

Junoon is in the trendy Flatiron District and dare we say it? -- It's been our most elegant experience in the world of Indian cuisine in Manhattan to date. All the managers are also sommeliers, so you can get perfect spirit accompaniments to every course. Every bit of attention is paid to detail in this fine eatery--that looks as if you let P. Diddy redecorate the Taj Mahal--and the staff is extremely knowledgeable about everything served and will tweak food to your liking. People come her for birthdays, anniversaries, with dates they are trying to impress...or just because they enjoy the finest delicacies of South Asia. While it might look modern, Junoon chefs pretty much keep to traditional recipes for Indian dishes but does them with the occasional non-traditional spice thrown in for good measure...and of course, all meat is prime and all vegetable are as straight off a local farm as possible.

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