Thursday, January 22, 2015

Beer & Pub Menu at Tony C's in Burlington

Move over Tavern in the Square, there's a new watering hole in Burlington.  Tony C's Sports Bar & Grill just opened its door this past Saturday, just in time for the AFC Championship game.  If you've been hibernating all Winter, yes, the Pat's won and they're going to the SUPERBOWL!... "Deflate-Gate" what? Let's save the drama for another blogger.

My coworkers and I headed to 3rd Ave to scope out the new bar/restaurant.  To my surprise, there was plenty of parking( unlike the time period when Wegman's just opened and it was a zoo).

Monday, January 19, 2015

New Asian Bistro in Lowell: Mandarin Asian Bistro

I had a meeting that ran a bit later than scheduled and I was not in the mood to cook dinner tonight. The Mo and I got into the car and played a game of "Where do you want to go? .. You pick,"  replied with "No, you can pick, I'm up for anything." After this went on for a few rounds, the Mo finally decided on driving through downtown Lowell to see if there was anything new or anything that looked enticing.

Sure enough, we spotted the sign for Mandarin Asian Bistro located where the old Centro restaurant used to be on Market street.  We found street parking and made our way to the restaurant.  There was a sign on the window that offered a 10% Grand Opening discount.  We were surprised that there was also another sign on the door for a free appetizer for orders over $25.00 on Mondays only.

The restaurant was divided into two sides, a dining area with a sushi bar and a bar on the opposite side.  There was only one other table of diners when we arrived.  After all, they had just opened for business 4 days ago so I didn't expect the word to catch on yet.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Tiffany's Baby Shower

I had the pleasure to help our friends, Sabay and Leakhena organize and plan their baby shower. They were unsure they wanted to revel the sex of their baby so I suggested doing a Tiffany's Theme baby shower.  There was so much going on and we only had a few weeks to plan the shower.  They are blessed to have such great friends that were will to contribute their time (and money) to the shower. We had a private FB group of about 10 people that helped coordinate the event.

Beignets and Belgian waffles for brunch at Cafe Twelve

We were having drinks at Burton's in Nashua and stroke up conversation with an older couple sitting next to us at the bar.  After we told them we were from "LA" (Lowell Area), they told us about a small cafe they frequent nearby in Chelmsford, where they look forward to the "fried dough with dipping sauces." I was intrigued but this mysterious place and Googled it.  The couple was referring to the bakery formerly known as Sugar Bake Shoppe and the fried goodness they were describing was the French beignets which was the shop's Saturday Special.

Cafe Twelve (Formerly Sugar Bake Shoppe) Beignets with Chocolate Dipping Sauce

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Dollar Oysters and Bloody Mary Bar at Moonstone's New Year's Brunch

Most people kick off their New Year with a resolution to lose weight.  We, on the other hand, continued our booze- filled festivities that has become a tradition since Thanksgiving.  Since we had a long 4 day weekend, why not start the resolution on a fresh Monday and get in as many drinks in before then?

Moonstones sent out an email notification about their New Year's Eve and Day specials.  The Constant Contact blast featured a new Happy Hour Menu, bloody mary bar and dollar oysters.  I was sold at "Buck a Shuck."  

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sushi and Chinese at Yujo in Dracut

Estogo ditched its location in the former Burger King in DTL last March and found new digs along the Merrimack River at the former Lin Garden in Dracut.  The Mo and I used to go for the dim sum brunch on occasion before China Star put them out of business (my own thought) 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Holiday Party At Tuscan Kitchen in Burlington

Every year I scope out nearby venues for our annual corporate holiday party.  With so many new restaurants opening in Burlington, it was a tough choice.  Previously we've had our parties at Ristorante Fiore in the North End, the former Beacon Grille (now Strega Prime) and Seasons 52 just last year.

We had a trial run at Tuscan Kitchen  at a small business dinner and everyone thought the food was exceptional.  I decided to go ahead and book our party with Wendy Feener, the events coordinator who was helpful in choosing our banquet menu.  We booked the Sicilia room which boasted a fireplace, LCD Screen and an a separate entrance to the outdoor patio (for the warmer months.)

Sicilia Room at Tuscan Kitchen Burlington
image via Tuscanbrands
For cocktail hour, we made the other guests jealous when the servers brought out our raw bar with oysters on the half shell and colossal shrimp cocktail. We also had our own bar where the booze was flowing freely.  That's one of the best things about our parties, it's always an OPEN BAR!  I overheard someone say, "I wish I was at that party!"

Saturday, December 13, 2014

New Thai and Lao Cuisine at Lanxang Star - Dracut

Taopica Balls Appetizer
Recently celebrating their Grand Opening on December 7th, Lanxang Star has taken the place of Thai Parima on Lakeview Ave in Dracut, MA.  Similar to other Southeast Asian restaurants in the Lowell area, the extensive menu captures the essence of Thai and Laos cuisine.  Although each Southeast Asian country has it's own staple dishes, it's kind of hard to pin point the exact origin. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Business Dinner at Strega Waterfront Boston

I went here for a business dinner with a group of 10.  We started off with drinks at the bar.  All the bartenders and cocktail waitresses are beautiful and friendly.  Their uniform consisted of heels and black mini skirts.  Throughout the bar area, there were complimentary passed Hors d'oeuvres that included shrimp cocktail, scallops and bruschetta.  All were very good.

We were promptly seated for our reservation.  There were a few other parties going on at the restaurant and space is tight.  The coat check was located in an odd area in a makeshift rack by the bathrooms. It was a bit difficult maneuvering through the patrons of the party that spilled out from their private room into the main dining area.

Service was great!  We knew our server from another steakhouse as well as Fiore in the north end.  He was wonderful and eager to please.  The wine kept flowing and he made sure not one wine glass was every empty.  I loved it!

The fried seafood and balsamic appetizer was great.  I didn't see any scallops but the calamari and baby shrimp was plentiful.  The burrata  (fresh buffalo mozzarella) was creamy and delicious.  Everyone was a fan of the Rosetta's famous meatballs.  Each meatball was HUGE and could be cut up into 5-6 pieces to share.  It was tender and moist.  The rollantini di nico was also very good.  I was disappointed that we only got one order for a table of 10 but the morsel I had was great!

Veal "Salmtimbocca" $32.00

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Weekday Dim Sum Brunch at Hei La Moon Boston

We had an early flight back from vacation into Logan airport and wanted to find an affordable place for breakfast on a Tuesday morning.  There was street metered parking in Chinatown and we walked across the street Hei La Moon for dim sum.  

The restaurant was very clean and the servers were not pushy at all (no pun intended).  Food was average.  Since it was still so early (9:30 AM) they didn't have some of my favorite dim sum specialties like calamari, crab claw balls or clams in black bean sauce.  
Steam pork wrapped in bean curd, steamed pork spareribs and chicken feet