Friday, July 22, 2011

Chihuly Exhibit and Citizens Public House - makes for a great Sunday Funday

I have been seeing signs for the Chihuly exhibit at the MFA around Boston (in and around town?!) for awhile now, and in the beginning it felt like we had PLENTY of time to go see it.  I mean, August was so far away!  However, I recently realized that the exhibit end date was creeping up on us.  Being a member of the MFA I get into the museum for free (lucky me!), and I recently was sent some free tickets by the museum for friends (lucky Nick!).  With our free ticket in hand on a gorgeous Sunday we headed out to catch the green line and finally see the exhibit.  What's great about it is that you can head straight down to the Chihuly pieces - no special ticket needed other than general admission.

Once we wound our way down to the exhibition hall, we were immediately greeted by a gigantic piece that is really awe-inspiring.  Chihuly had once tried floating some of his pieces in the water, and some local kids were picking them up and stacking them in their old wooden boat.  He loved the way it looked.

Boat Piece
As you can tell, there are numerous pieces created to fill this boat.  All are different colors, textures and shapes.  My immediate thought was how on earth did they manage move all of the pieces here and install it without breaking anything!  And to think, in August they are going to have to pack it up again!

Once you pass the boat you go down a hall with singular pieces - vases, with glass plants in them.  My favorite was this sunflower.  The clear glass and the detail given to this one aspect of the piece was beautiful.

One of the more impressive rooms was what I like to call the "Alice in Wonderland" room - it is an entire glass garden.

Glass Garden

In the glass garden

End of the glass garden
Once again, the overall effect was amazing, however, each piece could really stand on its own.  Every angle as you walked along the garden was beautiful and ended with the tall red, orange and yellow tower that really commands attention.  Even still, the "agave plants" and the "large glass balls" are not lost.

The next space was actually a glass ceiling, where all above you were hundreds of glass pieces of different colors and shapes that played with the lights coming through from above the installation.

The ceiling

Star Fish in the ceiling
The ceiling had so much going on, you really could spend quite a bit of time in there looking at it all.  Each bit had its own surprise.  There was identifiable shapes like the star fish, but also some cherubs scatter throughout - making it a bit of a treasure hunt.  I really did want to lie down and stare for awhile, but I think the other people in the room would have been a bit annoyed with me.

The next room had a number of huge chandeliers of different colors and forms.  Nick said this brown one was his favorite, even though it reminded him of organs - go figure!

My favorite installation also turned out to be one of the newest - I think partly because it would have fit perfectly with my wedding theme with the purple and the white birch!  However, this is probably a tad outside my wedding budget!  The lighting and the colors were just really beautiful and simplistic compared to the rest of the exhibit, but it was still just as impressive.

Birch Forest
The museum actually even installed some pieces in the outdoor gardens along the cafe in the new wing - they actually can withstand the elements!

In the Garden
We actually lucked out going to the museum when we did because there was an exhibit where an entire room had only 10 paintings.  Along one wall was Claude Monet’s iconic Rouen Cathedral series and along the other were the Lichtenstein pop art paintings that were inspired by the Monet versions.  It was the first time these have been in the room together ever, and you could clearly see the influence!


Turns out you really were not supposed to take pictures (I got spoken to taking the top one), which is why the Monet photograph is from far away - I was actually in the hallway!

Having gotten into the museum on the cheap, we did not feel badly at all for leaving after just seeing the exhibits!  So off we went in search of lunch.  We wandered over to the Fenway area, taking in the pretty views.
View of Back Bay from The Fens
When we got to a certain point we realized that Citizens Public House and Oyster Bar was right up the street, so off we went!  We were lucky because the Red Sox game was in its second or third inning by the time we arrived so the place had just emptied out.  It being hot at that point we decided to grab a booth inside and relaxed. 

Nick being a bloody Mary fan was excited to see a few special ones on the menu, including the meat one that literally had bits of bacon sprinkled on top and a Slim Jim garnish!

Beefy Bloody!
Since at this time is was early afternoon, we were both more in the mood for lunch, so I ordered the domestic lamb burger with a chipotle aioli.  The burger was a nice change-up from your more traditional beef burgers, and since I love lamb this totally worked.  The grilled onion was really well done and made a good addition to the burger.  The aioli provided a nice flavor to each bite.  The bread was hearty but nice and thin so it did not overpower the burger in any way.  I think it was a tad bit over done in my opinion, but with lamb it is tough to judge. 

Lamb Burger
The side of fries were out of this world - some of the best I have had recently.  They were thicker steak fries that were brown and crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.  I had to fight not to keep eating them!

Nick went with the fresh tuna burger with a soy-mustard glaze and pickled ginger (his favorite!) on a brioche bun with a grilled onion and coleslaw on the side.  This dish was cooked well with a great combination of flavors that made it into each bite.

Tuna Burger
Basically, we both had to have our "high-class" burgers after being so cultural and going to the MFA!  Both of these upscale burgers worked really well.  Having heard so many good things about Citizens Public House I was excited to try it out and have such a great meal - now I have to try dinner!  Maybe if I can recruit a group of 10 we can go for the full pig roast!  Any Takers?

All in all, a pretty fantastic Sunday!

Citizen Public House and Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon

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