Friday, March 30, 2012


Inside Lolita
I have been to Lolita a number of times without actually blogging it because it was only for a few drinks, or I literally would go with the intention of blogging it, only to find out there was a two hour wait.  When Lolita first opened in the former Papa Razzi location, it was the talk of the town and, like Temazcal, could require a long wait for a table with little reservation allowances.  I heard some good things so I was eager to see what it was all about.  The first time I went it was actually on a Tuesday night, early ~ 6:00pm, and I finally went downstairs to be welcomed by the deep red interior with its dramatic chandeliers and iron accents.  It definitely excited me for what I was to find.

After a drink at the bar, my friends M and S joined me and we were quickly seated at our table.  Shortly thereafter our server brought over an icy grapefruit granita.  They normally pour tequila over the top, but with a pregnant person at our table, we politely declined.  Having had this before, they cannot be accused of having a light hand!

Icy Granita
While we were looking over the menu and catching up our server brought over chips and a variety of salsas: a tomatillo, a more traditional red, a cheesy salsa, and a spicier salsa in a bottle - plenty of options to satisfy any palate.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Woodman's and a Windy Day at Crane Beach

Being from the North Shore originally, and since my mom still is up there, Nick and I like to get out of the city on occasion and see the sights.  One of those is Crane Beach in Ipswich.  I spent many a summer getting very tan on those beaches and enjoying time on some friends' boats (I was a lucky girl!).  Since it had been such a mild winter, Nick and I thought it would fun to take Holly up to the beach for the day and enjoy the off-leash area and play fetch (her favorite obsession).  We picked a nice sunny day, but it ended up being SUPER windy out.  That weekend the news was reporting 50 mph wind gusts, but decided to push on.  Having learned my lesson from previous visits, I forced my mom and Nick to head into the wind first - a more trying trip out but a pleasant return trip.  What was great was that because of the wind, there were only a few others on the beach that day, so we had plenty of beach to ourselves.

Windy Day!
Wind is Not Stopping Holly
Family Photo :)
While Crane Beach does cost money to access ($8 in the winter off season) the money goes to the the Trustees of the Reservations, which works hard at preserving the Crane Estate area, which is beautiful, so it lessens the blow - that, and a car and trunk full of people to offset the cost!

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Hawthorne - Saturday Night Drinks

When looking for upscale bars or lounges in Boston, it's tough to find one that is comfortable but also sleek and modern.  However, this all changed with the Hotel Commonwealth's new lounge The Hawthorne, which has garnered a great reputation in the few short months since it opened.  On a recent Saturday night, Nick and I decided to enjoy the lovely weather and walked on down to Kenmore Square. We arrived at The Hawthorne right before 6:00pm and were welcomed by a hostess who quickly walked us over to a seating area with two modified wing-back chairs and a small side table in between, mimicking a small conversation area you would find in your own living room.

Phil Collins
Shortly after sitting down, our server introduced himself and told us a bit about their specialty craft cocktail menu that changes daily, but if you have a favorite the bartenders are more than willing to mix them up for you.  After inquiring about a few drinks, we placed our order of a Phil Collins (Vodka, Cucumber, Lime and Chartreuse) for me and a Bull Fighter (a Bärenjäger based drink) for Nick.  Both drinks were delicious - surprising and totally different, earning their reputation for craft cocktails.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Night Fishing in the Maldives

Between the beautiful beaches and the incredible diving, sometimes it was hard to to find the motivation to do any of the other fun activities that the Banyan Tree had to offer.  However, when Nick saw Night Fishing as one of the offerings he got really excited, and since it started in the early evening, I was not losing out on any sun time!

Shortly after arriving at the end of the dock, we were loaded onto one the smaller diving boats and headed out to sea with some great views of our little island.

Our Island
Ready for our fishing adventure!
The evening that happened to work best for us ended up being perfect for the Night Fishing excursion.  The weather was clear and the few clouds in the sky only enhanced the sunset - needless to say I took plenty of photos.  It was just too amazing!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day Weekend!

As anyone from Boston knows, St. Patrick's Day is kind of a big deal in our little town.  Last year for me it was an even bigger year because I got engaged!!!  Hard to believe that was almost a year ago now!

This year, once again, Nick and I will be heading over to Southie to enjoy the craziness that is the St. Patrick's Day Parade.  Luckily for us, our good friend M is kind enough to host an impressive number of people at her house that is right next to the parade route.

Irish Car Bomb Cupcake
Since she is hosting, when she requested the Irish Car Bomb cupcakes from last year, I was more than happy to oblige!  If you are looking for the perfect food to bring to a St. Patrick's Day party this weekend, this is definitely it.  However, if you do not have that much time, I also highly recommend the Guinness Float - all you need is vanilla ice cream and some delicious Guinness, which is all over this city this weekend!

Guinness Float
What are you doing for St. Patrick's Day this year?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Valentine's Day at Grill 23

Like most couples, Valentine's Day is one of those nights that Nick and I like to go out to a nice dinner (it may have something to do with the lack of a dinner table at home!) but I hate dealing with the crowds and the prix fixed menus.  Last year we went to Mamma Maria and it was amazing.  Not thinking we could beat it, at the end of December (right before the wedding, because we would not have enough time after the honeymoon) we decided to make reservations at Grill 23 knowing there would be not "special menu" and that they definitely could deal with a busy night.  All that and Grill 23 is known to have amazing steak.

Easy Red to Enjoy

Delicious Breads

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Diving and Animal Life in the Maldives

Back in High School my family frequently went on vacation to Club Med, and prior to leaving one of the trips my dad "made" me get certified in diving.  He got his certification sometime in the 70's and thought it was something I would enjoy.  I had no desire, but figured I had nothing to lose.  In hindsight it is seriously one of the best things I have been "forced" to do.  Once certified (basic Open Water Diver) it is basically good for life as long as you have a refresher dive when some time has passed between dives.  One of the big draws of the Maldives was sea life they had to see.  Since the area flies so far under the radar, it has stayed relatively untouched by outside influences.  Please pardon the disposable camera images....

Trying to Smile :)
Nick, having had to sit out before on a previous vacation, did not want to miss out this time around and signed up for a PADI certification class with Boston Scuba in East Boston.  The key for us East Coasters is to do all the book and pool work here, but do the ocean certification dives while on vacation via a referral, which is very simple to do.  Then you never have to go diving in the freezing cold Atlantic!  Trust me - it's way easier and nicer!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Firebrand Saints

In the last year plus there has been an explosion of restaurants in the Kendall Square area of Cambridge, from Area Four to Catalyst to the Friendly Toast, and the list keeps growing.  A recent addition is Firebrand Saints.  Located on the first floor of One Broadway Street, if you did not see the glowing blue lights, you might otherwise walk right by this funky industrial establishment.  When my friend G, who lives in Somerville, and I get together for dinner I always use it as an excuse to cross the river.  Firebrand Saints had been on my radar for a while, so I was happy when G liked the suggestion.

We met up on the earlier side of a random Tuesday night, so the restaurant was rather empty, allowing us to get a nice table right by the window.  Unfortunately you cannot really see out because of the shading on the window, which was a bit annoying!  Before deciding on what to eat, we looked over the rather extensive craft cocktail list.  We finally decided on the Oil Slick, which has blackstrap rum, cinnamon and loads of fresh lime.  The Oil Slick had a bit of bite, but the lime juice toned down the rum a bit to make it a more refreshing drink.  The cinnamon added a nice accent to the drink, giving more depth to each sip.

Oil Slick

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mistral - Reliably Delicious Fine Dining

During the Holidays, Nick and I were more than spoiled with all the wedding events and our dinner at Clio.  However, we were in for another dining treat compliments of Nick's mom at Mistral, one of Boston's go-to fine dining establishments, which also happens to be one of Nick's family's favorites.  I had not been to Mistral in ages - probably about 8 years - so I was excited to go back and try it again!

Our reservations were on a Tuesday, so after work I headed over and was a bit early (the Green Line was on time!) so I grabbed a seat at the bar and looked at the cocktail list - this was a celebration week after all, right?!?  I decided on a girly vodka and grapefruit martini that more than got me ready for the dinner ahead.

Girly Martini

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Scenes from Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru

After a long trip to the Indian Ocean, we finally had arrived to the island we would be spending the next 11 days at.  To find our hotel, we enlisted the help of a travel agent recommended to us by our Greek Travel Agent.  With over 120 resorts in the Maldives, we definitely needed some help.  After a couple back and forths, our travel agent sent us the link to Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru and we immediately knew this was THE place.

Our Personal Palapa
For Nick and I, the island seemed like a mirage after the hours logged on our flights.  We were warmly welcomed by the hotel reception where they welcomed up with a chilled lemon scented towel and a refreshing mint lemonade.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...