It's National Applejack Month, y'all.
Mark Gaier, (left) and Clark Fraiser.If you've ever been to Summer Winter Restaurant in Burlington, MA, and caught glimpses of chef-owners Mark Gaier and Clark Fraiser flitting between tables, you'll understand why we're so pumped about their appearances on this season of Top Chef Masters
thing: I'm kind of a secret, Grade-A hermit. Not a hermit in a traditional sense
of course, but more of a lounging afficianado. I do booze around and let my
proverbial hair down way more than my paycheck allows, yes, but it's this thing
where, if you were to hold up my favorite pair of sweats and a free press dinner
side-by-side, for one embarassing and shameful minute I will actually consider
Good ol' fashioned food fans celebrated Area Four's very first birthday last Thursday, and the whole thing felt like the ultimate laid-back block party in the 'hood. If, of course, your block was populated with nationally acclaimed chefs. I wish I lived on that block, because this was some of the best cookout food I've ever heaped onto a sturdy paper plate.
We here at The Phoenix gave up trying
to resist the mid-day food coma that comes in the form of chef Tiffani Faison's
drool-worthy BBQ joint, Sweet Cheeks, months ago. That juicy, sizzling smoker scent that
sneaks into our Fenway headquarters, mere feet away, has played a mighty large part in
this, it's true.
Bissonnette and Oringer © Boston Herald
Hooo, boy. If
you haven't heard already, The New York Times reported that the guys behind everyone's favorite tapas spot, Toro, are diving
headfirst into the New York dining scene, with
a spot in Chelsea
opening this fall, after seven years on Washington St. What does that mean for us Boston food-hounds who finally have a few
local gems we're loathe to share with big, bad, NYC?
Luke O'Neil is that dude you can most definitely trust to call bullshit
on just about anything: SXSW, St. Patrick's Day, anything. When it comes
to craft cocktails and bars in general, this is always what you
want--yes, a modicum of interest and general knowledge about what you're
drinking is a plus, but at the end of the day, it's all booze, so don't
be an asshole about it. Since he's got this strangely genius palate paired with an acid wit, we will absolutely follow him into the murky underworld of mixology, every time.
disclosure, my idea of a quick cocktail is either a) cracking open a bottle of
beer, which is not a cocktail, or b) taking a shot, which is also not a
cocktail. Give me a little more time, maybe put on some relaxing, lounge-y
music, leave the room, and I can definitely whip something up for you. Maybe.
it's fair to say I would have been out of my depth behind the bar at Monday
night's American Idol/Iron Chef Cocktail Competition at The Hawthorne. And--because I know some of you
read that last sentence and thought, American Idol?-- no, the bartenders did
not need to sing while they slammed together artful combinations of spirits in
shakers, and the goateed Kevin Brauch, thankfully, was not there.
I was raised to believe a
good handshake meant you could trust the person whose hand you happened to
shaking. Chef Tony Maws of Craigie on Main has
a great handshake. Which, if we're still going off of that whole trust-o-meter,
is a good thing if you're thinking of hitting up the Road Less Traveled dinner
If you've been keeping track of Chef Wheeler del Torro, you know the guy
is a machine. Last month, we saw Fillet of Soul, then his Dining in the
Dark dinners. Well, now it's a new month, and del Torro is ringing it
in with Barrio, an ode to Afro-Cuban street food, popping up March 8.
And yes, expect some vegan surprises.
I've fancied myself a more than capable coffee connoisseur
since learning how to make my very own cappuccino on a countertop espresso
machine in my kitchen. After months of trial and error, I'd satisfactorily
determined how long to pull the espresso shot and steam the milk for my
I thought I was in a league of my own. Yeah, I was wrong.
A barista competition might
not evoke images of training sessions lasting into the night, or enough blood,
sweat and tears to fill a few espresso demitasse cups, but for the last two
months, this has been Daria Whalen and Wolfie Barn's reality.
No more creeping outside No. 9 Park like a Charles Dickens character,
watching the happy diners inside nosh on ethereal culinary combinations,
or ordering the smallest salad on the menu at Petit Robert just so you
can pretend you're in a Parisian bistro. (Not that we've, you know, done
This reporter may have shirked a few responsibilities to keep an unmoving eye on the Twitter feed of Guchi's Midnight Ramen all the live long day. Like a hawk. Curiously, .0005 seconds after tickets were released, this was the result. Hopefuls are now crying foul across the Twitterverse.
Damn, ramen be (magically? impossibly?) sellin' like hot cakes. Or like hot ramen.