Thursday, August 22, 2013

Boston Honeymoon:"Mini-Moon" in Bean Town

Honeymoon Champagne chocolate covered strawberries BostonSince we planned on taking an 18 day honeymoon in November/December, we took a day off work after our nuptials to wine and "unwind" a bit.  It was nice to recap the wedding and laugh about all the funny things that happened throughout the night.  I had enough AA miles to get us a room at the new Revere Hotel.  We have had many work events there and I stayed there overnight once for Alice's bachelorette party and enjoyed it very much. The rooms are very trendy and modern and pretty large in size.  The rooftop deck was AMAZING (see pictures below)

Of course, I had a list of places I wanted to eat and things I wanted to do.  We made it to all but one, the Sam Adam's beer tour.

Before we went into town, we stopped by Alice and Sam's to recap for a couple of hours and they put up the pictures they kindly took at our wedding. We laughed hysterically as we saw Alice's progression from sober to shit faced.

Upon arrival at the Revere Hotel, we were treated to a glass of champagne. I thought that was a really nice touch. We checked into our room on the 22nd floor and was delighted to see a bottle of chilled champagne and chocolate covered strawberries waiting for us.  It was a great surprise sent from all my bosses, (which I am sure Jill coordinated it all. Thank you Jill.

After consuming all our bubbly and getting dressed, we headed to Myers + Chang's, where I read about their $1.00 Sunday night oysters special.  To my surprise, it was packed and there was a 45 minute wait at 8:00 PM.  The vibe was very trendy and hip and reminded me of Brooklyn.  The bartenders were knowledgeable and cool with their piercings and tattoos.

I got the Pineapple Express, pineapple infused vodka with fresh Thai Basil. What a delicious pair! I have never an an other herbs besides spearmint in a mojito but the Thai basil was a nice refreshing pair with the full bodied drink.

We ordered 20 oysters and it was served with a familiar fish, cilantro, garlic sauce similar to what Cambodians eat with clams and steak as well.

When the waiter sat us, he informed us that they encourage "family style" and have everyone share. That's not a problem for me as I wish every meal was family style!   Our seating was by the open kitchen and we salivated as different dishes were prepared. I ordered based on what I thought looked delicious.

After chatting with the chef, I was persuaded to try the Braised pork belly buns.  It was soft , fresh and the flavor was delectable. I wished there were more than two!

We moved on to Chicken and Waffles next. Now I know what you are thinking, chicken & waffles in an Asian restaurant? It was the best damn chicken and waffles I've ever had.  The waffles had sesame seeds and the syrup was hot and sweet with a little bit of tang.  I think I may even tasted a hint of fish sauce (or maybe that was residual from the oysters)

We were so exhausted after walking back to our hotel that we both passed out.

The next morning, we woke up and walked into Chinatown for dim sum.  We wanted to try a new place and decided to go to Windsor Dim Sum Cafe.  There are no carts here, everything is fresh and made to order.  Therefore, our dishes came out piping hot.  We got our usual staples, spareribs, pork baos and fried tofu just to name a few.

After brunch, we did the touristy thing and explored Boston Common/Boston Garden and went on the swan boat rides. I vaguely remember doing that back in elementary school.  It was a nice scenic ride.

The Mo and I walked to Downtown crossing and did some shopping before heading pack to the hotel.  They were kind enough to let us do a late checkout so we hung out on the rooftop pool/lounge.  I ordered Miami Vices and the Mo had beer.  It was the perfect weather, not too hot and just the amount of breeze.

We changed again and headed towards the Seaport waterfront district for some more drinking and dinner.  Although Atlantic Beer Garden wasn't busy, we enjoyed our drinks overlooking the waterfront on the roof top deck.

I made reservations for dinner at Del Frisco’s because I knew the Mo would enjoy their delicious steaks.  Our dinner started off with fried to perfection Szechuan calamari and beef Carpaccio. 

We split the 32 oz ribeye with a side of Alaskan crab claw gnocchi.  The meat was marbled and grilled to our liking, medium well.  The steak was topped off with a crab cake that was amazing!

The side pasta was creamy and had large lumps of crab meat.  The waitress knew we were on our honeymoon and brought us 2 glasses of champagne, needless to say, I had a nice buzz going with all the afternoon drinking we had partook in.

It was a great night to escape the madness and I am glad we spent the night in Boston.  We ate well, relaxed and most importantly, spent time together.  

Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House on Urbanspoon

Wedding Recap at Cobblestones - Merrimack Valley Restaurant Week

It’s Restaurant Week in Boston and my friends and I thought we would “recap” our wedding over wine and dinner.  We decided to head over to Cobblestones In Lowell since they were also offering a Prix Fixe menu, a couple of bucks less than Boston’s prices.  

The Mo and I have ate there many moons ago but all I remember getting was the Mac and Cheese that they are known for.  The local restaurant is a favorite amount celebrities that visit Lowell for concert tours and also for when movie stars film projects in Lowell. I vaguely remember it being a big deal with Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey had dinner there when they used to be married, a long long time ago.

Upon arriving at the restaurant, we also bumped into some other friends that also attended our wedding and had plans to dine at the Lowell hot spot.  We invited them to join us for dinner.  We ordered drinks at the bar and moved into the dining room. We wanted to sit outside but the patio couldn't accommodate our party of eight.

The restaurant wasn't too crowded so we didn't feel too bad that we had moments of outbursts, laughter, and possible some "unlady" like phrases, haha!

I had already peaked at the 3 course special menu and already knew what I wanted.  My friend Nat has great taste as I do, and she ordered the same exact thing, raw bar sampler, Petit Filet Mignon/crabcakes and creme brulee. The picture below is from my wedding reception.

Restaurant Week Dinner Menu

August 18th to September 1st, 2013

3 Course Dinners For $33.13
Price does not include beverages, tax or gratuity

  • Raw Bar Sampler (freshly shucked local oysters{2}, chilled jumbo shrimp cocktail{2})
  • Five Onion Gratinee
  • Award Winning NE Clam Chowder
  • Artisan Mixed Greens Salad

  • Petite Filet Mignon and Maryland Crab Cake (mashed potatoes and bearnaise)
  • Steak Frites (grilled romaine gratin, rosemary sea salt fries)
  • Grilled Salmon (whole grain dijon, warmed french beans and gold potatoes)
  • Chicken Marsala (served with mushrooms over fresh pappardelle noodles)

  • Fresh Fruit Sorbet
  • Maple Caramel Blonde Brownie
  • Classic Creme Brulee

 I started off with the raw bar samplers because I love cocktail shrimp and Oysters! It was such a tease with 2 pieces of each (but I had known that), I secretly wanted more but I knew I had to save my appetite.

The Mo, got the "famous" buffalo chicken fingers.  I have to admit, the batter on the chuicken fingers were delicious but the sauce was just OK.

The crab cake was absolutely amazing! One of the best crab cakes I've ever had. It was all lump crab meat and the flavors and seasonings were a wonderful blend.  The filet was cooked to perfection and was juicy. I loved dipping it in the Bearnaise sauce.  The side of mashed potatoes was creamy and had the perfect amount of garlic, just right and not over bearing.

Since the Mo doesn't really do dessert, he opted out of the prix fixe menu and ordered the prime rib off the menu.  I had a couple of bites and that was tasty as well!

I was already buzzed and stuffed when the creme brulee came out so I do not have any pictures of it. It did have a nice crisp sugar crust and a rich creamy egg custard beneath the crust.

Overall, the food was delicious and the prices were fair. We will definitely be back!

Cobblestones on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Travel Theme Honeymoon Bridal Shower

I couldn't have asked for a better group of bridesmaids! They all complement and balance out so well. Some of them wear the creative hats, some wear the party hats and some wear the organizational hats. They threw me the BEST bridal shower ever! (and I'm not just saying that because I am biased).

The shower had a travel theme since the Mo and I love to travel, (duh)! The thoughtful details they tied into the shower was incredible and the final presentation left me speechless.  I am so thankful and lucky to have those girls in my life along with the rest of the girls that came to celebrate (or celebrated with me in spirit)

We had about 50 guests total, some came from out of state and some were local. The guest list comprised mostly of family and close friends as well as some new friends. Special thanks to Nicole Sakr for capturing the special day with her special talents!

Christine came the night before and helped rolled the napkins and woke up early to set up the tables and chairs and decorations and get the party prepped and organized.

My cousin Pam and her husband did an amazing job on the shower invitation.  It was designed to look like a boarding pass on "Srey Airways", didn't you know that I had my own airlines?

Zacha spent sleepless nights stalking my Facebook albums to get pictures of the Mo and I to display throughout the tent.

She made fun travel theme signs that read "Arrivals & Departures" for the gate and signs for the individual tables.

My sister was inspired by a facebook wall post that one of my friends left on my wall and went out and gathered supplies to make these cute heart paper pendants constructed from maps.

My friends were kind enough to help out with food and brought some of my favorite dishes.  The International buffet included dishes from around the world but mainly stuck within Southeast Asia since my mom made a lot of the dishes.

Zacha made wonton shells out of wonton wraps and filled them with shrimp, onions and cream cheese.

Nat made my favorite seafood paella and I just returned her paella pan a couple of days ago, (I know, I'm a bad friend)

For someone that doesn't cook often, Lisa Khinn made the effort to accept my request of making delicious coconut shrimp.

I love seafood stuffing and Sophea's seafood stuffed mushrooms made my tummy happy.

Melissa made an awesome low fat pesto, grape and chicken pizza.

My future sister in law sure does know how to make a mean Mac & Cheese 

 My mother made fresh spring rolls and served the "nuoc mam" dipping sauce in individual containers for a less messy meal.

The weekend before the shower, my mother and sister made hundreds of Cambodian beef and chicken sticks.  I am very grateful because I know how tedious it is to cut and thread each piece of meat onto that stick.

It couldn't be my bridal shower without my ABSOLUTE favorite food in the world, my mom's famous eggrolls

 Sushi is among my favorite food so it made it on the menu for the bridal shower.

I love Greek food and my friend's mom makes the best dolmades and Greek pastries.  I was honored and extremely grateful that Rula brought them to the shower! They were delicious!

All the food was so tasty that even Odie wanted some!

My family believes in having more than enough food at each party and sending people home with food.  Takeout containers with my blog logo was provided so people can pack food to enjoy later.  The eggrolls were gone in a flash! (ahem, Amsi!) JK

Zacha incorporated the "Srey Airways" logo into the napkin rings and used Travel themed brads from Oriental Trading to garnish the ribbons that did not have the logo.

Of course chopsticks were available if some of the guests preferred to use that instead of silverware.

The girls got a beautiful 3D wedding dress cake from Sugar Coated Bakery in Dracut.

Zacha made individual banana creme pie trifles served in cute little cups.

There were cupcakes that were topped with edible "Srey Airways" logo..

If anyone knows me, they know how I party.. and that usually means.. there is plenty of booze involved. To keep it a bit classy, there was a mimosa bar where guests was able to make their own concoction using different kinds of champagne, juices, schnapps and garnishes.  They even got to pick out their own glasses, champagne flutes for the light weights and goblets for the lushes.

 The charms were travel themes and included passports, airplanes, cameras and globes.

For the non drinkers, my cousin Pam brought Halo Farm's Iced tea all the way from New Jersey.  It is my favorite childhood drink from "summering" at their New Jersey home.

A bridal shower is not a bridal shower without games.  Sorya did a wonderful job creating a custom bingo card with pictures of the Mo and I and our vacation hot spots.

Zacha came up with a great idea of having the guests help contribute to a scrapbook filled with advice, pictures and memories.

There was a "scratch ticket" game where the guests each received a scratch ticket upon arrival and the winning ticket holder received a prize.

One of the games we played was the "Passport Game" where Sorya would read clues about a country that the Mo and I have or intend to visit and the contestants had to guess the country by placing a "stamp" on the appropriate page in the passport.  One of the clues was "the country where the Mo and Kim fell of a motorbike, Exhibit A" with "exhibit A" being a photo of my face following the accident, it was hilarious!

Since it was a "Honeymoon" shower, most of the gifts were purchased via our honeymoon website via honeyfund.  The bridesmaids wrapped the vouchers so that I would still have something to open at the party.

One of the non-honey fund gifts received was a extremely creative coupon book made by Sophea.  The book included vouchers to be redeemed on our 18 girls bachelorette party trip to Miami for dinners, desserts, activities and manicure/pedicure.  It totally blew me away.

I had so much fun that day and I am truly grateful and thankful to my bridesmaids and the guests who came.

More pictures to enjoy!