Category Archives: Restaurants

What I’m Loving Lately #3

It’s time for another post where I round up what I’ve been into lately, be it recipes, TV shows, books, restaurants, etc. If you missed the last two editions, you can check them out here (12/5/16) and here (6/13/17…clearly I had a significant lapse in inspiration for a bit).

Caprese Pasta Bake: This was super easy to make and came out great. I combined cooked wheat penne, mozzarella balls, chopped chicken, a can of crushed tomatoes (drained), and a container of chopped grape tomatoes in a casserole dish. Then I sprinkled shredded Parmesan and Romano cheese on top and baked it at 350 degrees. The addition of fresh basil after it was done really made it.

Booty by Brabants One Pieces: I was hesitant to order one of these because they are “one size fits most”, but was pleasantly surprised when the pineapple print one piece that I ordered fit perfectly! I ordered another bathing suit this morning too, because I can’t resist a flash sale. For those outside of Boston, Booty by Brabants is a workout gear and one piece brand from Boston fitness queen Kelly Brabants. Her Booty by Brabants workout class is dance-inspired and HARD. I can’t wait til my new suit shows up so I can get use out of it before summer ends.

My New Cheese Drawer: Apparently a lot of people had cheese drawers in their fridges growing up, but I actually didn’t like cheese as a kid (I know, I’m making up for lost time nowadays). Recently the amount of cheese in my fridge at any given time has gotten out of control, so naturally instead of buying less, I’ve allocated an entire drawer to my collection. And now I have room for so much more cheese! It’s a beautiful thing.

Cooking With Lamb: I recently tried a recipe for lamb meatball grinders from my boss (and blogging pro), Susie. They turned out great and made me wonder…why don’t I cook with lamb more often?! So this week I purchased lamb again, and used it to make some tasty Greek bowls to pack for lunch. I definitely will be doing this again, maybe with orzo next time! Does anyone have any good lamb recipes to recommend for me?

Free Red Sox Tickets: Who doesn’t love that? Jeff and I got to attend a really close (both in score and seats) game after I scored some tickets from work. It was a gorgeous nice to be at Fenway and I purchased my first ever concession from one of those guys that walks around the stands. I mean, I was excited.

Anchovies: I like the food, but I’m talking about a place. My friend Sara introduced me to her go-to spot, Anchovies in the South End, and I have been obsessed ever since. Their portions – both drink and food – are huge and well priced. Everything is insanely delicious. I even ate there twice last weekend.

Eggplant Parm!

The Handmaid’s TaleI finished the first season last month but don’t think I ever got around to mentioning the show here. I loved it and was simply hooked from the beginning. It’s definitely heavy though; I could only handle watching a couple of episodes at a time before I had to go focus on or do something, well, happier. But Elizabeth Moss is fantastic and I’m so glad that the series will go beyond one season. We’ll see how they do now that they will be expanding past the book (which I haven’t read) but I have faith that the show can continue on with its momentum and impress yet again.

Praise be, bitch.

The Senator’s Wife: I pulled this book off the library shelf when I was in need of a new read and had nothing lined up. While I’m not done with it yet, I’m about 75% of the way through and really enjoying it. I’ve been reading a lot of thrillers lately so it’s been enjoyable to switch to something that I don’t necessarily feel the need to finish all in one sitting. This has been a great read-a-few-chapters-before-bed book.

That’s what I’ve been loving lately, along with the fact that today is FINALLY Friday. Does anyone else feel like this has been the longest week ever? What are you loving lately? Let me know in the comments!

Boston Summer Bucket List

There is certainly no shortage of things to do in Boston, especially during the summertime. It can be hard to choose which patio to visit, which events to prioritize, and which tiki cocktails to drink. Today I’m here to try to help you do just that, and am sharing my Boston Summer Bucket List.

Swizzle Sundays at The Hawthorne

Typically when I’m in Kenmore Square it’s because I’m visiting Eastern Standard, but on many Sunday evenings in the summer you’ll find me next door on The Hawthorne‘s patio, enjoying delicious tiki beverages.

At each Swizzle Sunday, different brands and the bartenders or ambassadors that represent them set up shop with cocktails specially curated for the occasion. Swag is handed out, and good times are had by all.

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What I’m Loving Lately #2

The first thing I’m loving lately is the fact that summer is finally here!!! Of course my car and apartment A/C both broke when we entered a legitimate heat wave, but one is fixed and the other is close to being fixed, so I’m staying positive. Mild temps are on the way too, and I’m hoping for another sunny weekend so I can spend as much time as possible outside.

Anyway, let’s get to the rest of what I’m loving lately.

Trillium Beer Garden: I visited with Jeff and my brother the first weekend they opened on the Rose Kennedy Greenway and loved it! I also like that they offer local wine in addition to beer. The food trucks are a huge plus too…I enjoyed a huge burrito after this picture was taken.

Nightshift Brewing Shark Jumper IPA: Speaking of beer, we tried quite a few during my brother’s visit. After the beer garden we went over to Nighshift in Everett, which has been one of my and Jeff’s favorite spots for awhile. I fell in love with their Shark Jumper, an IPA infused with Meyer Lemon. Super refreshing and the perfect summer brew.

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May Recap

May is over and it was a great month. You already know I went to Nantucket, but I’ve also tried some new restaurants, fallen into a good fitness groove, cooked a few dishes, and spent time with Jeff, friends, and family. All of that hasn’t been quite enough to distract me from the fact that summer has taken its time to show up, but it’s come close.

A (rare) warm May day.

I thankfully didn’t have to worry about cooking the night I got back from Nantucket, because I had a dinner invite to Aqua Pazza, a new restaurant in the North End. There my friend Cristen and I enjoyed a fantastic multi-course meal at a spot that I’d call perfect for date night or an evening out with some girlfriends. The Bolognese di Maiale was particularly a dish to write home about.

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5 Must-Visit Spots on Nantucket

I’m going to preface this post by saying that I am a Nantucket tourist. I don’t consider myself a regular visitor, nor do I consider myself to be the island’s number one fan. So to you Nantucket experts, if you finish this post and think that my picks for must-visit spots on the island are obvious and “tourist-y”…you are absolutely correct!

But they are also great picks for someone traveling to the island for an annual trip (hello, me) or a first-time visit. I just got back from my fourth Nantucket Wine Fest weekend and am happy to say that I checked off almost everything on my to-do list! And that left me inspired to write this post, and share some of my favorite places to visit.

1. Cisco Brewers

Here you can find a brewery, distillery, and winery all in one place. There is truly something for everyone at Cisco Brewers. Food trucks are always around in the afternoon, which is a good thing because there is a LOT of booze to try here. The last time I visited, we had lunch at a seafood truck called The Lobster Trap. However I went with the chicken fingers and fries, because I was really craving some old fashioned greasy food. My suggested course of action at Cisco? Have an ice cold tap beer, then head to Triple 8 Distillery for a refreshing cocktail. End at Nantucket Vineyard with a wine flight, and be sure to conclude it with the port…it’s something special. After all that, grab some food and try to stop yourself from impulse-buying Cisco merchandise.

Lunch from the Lobster Trap, paired with an IPA.

Dad and I in the wine tasting room.

2. Cru

This place is a scene, and that is reflected in the prices on the menu. But oh man, is it fun. I allow myself one visit to Cru per trip to Nantucket, and it’s always worth it. Brunch is probably my favorite time to go, but a mid-day snack on the outdoor patio/lounge isn’t bad either. Also, any restaurant that serves sparkling wine in a coupe glass gets my vote.

Lilly is key Cru attire.

3. The Nautilus

I could probably spend a decent part of my day sitting at The Nautilus‘ bar, chatting with the friendly bartenders and watching them make drinks. The cocktails incorporate freshly-squeezed fruit juices (right in front of you, squeezed to order) and you can even get one in a porron if you’re feeling aggressive. I would say that, in terms of hospitality and quality of drinks, Nautilus is the bar in Nantucket that most reminds me of my favorite bar in Boston, Eastern Standard. If I lived on the island, I could see myself becoming a regular there.

From @nautilusnantucket on Instagram.

4. Boarding House

Espresso. Martinis. Okay, that’s not the only reason why I’m recommending Boarding House, but it’s up there. I’ve never actually eaten at this bar, but it’s fun enough on its own as a place to go out. During Wine Fest weekend it is absolutely packed most of the time, but the bartenders are seasoned pros and still serve drinks efficiently. Like I said, the espresso martinis are amazing. But the fact that Modelo is on the beer list is pretty great too.

5. Nantucket Prime

This is a great restaurant for both a special meal and a casual gathering with friends. In fact, I did both at Nantucket Prime this past weekend; I took my parents there for a special dinner, and enjoyed some drinks outside on the outdoor patio the night prior. I also tried both burgers on the dinner menu, including the Big mACK, an amped-up version of a Big Mac. If you want to splurge, you can go for the filet and some family-style sides. The wine list is also very impressive, and includes a Pinot Noir from Nantucket Vineyard, which is what my parents and I chose to have with dinner.

The Big mACK! Source

So there you have it, my five favorite spots on Nantucket. I’m sure there are more that I haven’t even discovered yet, and that’s why I’ll be going bACK (I know, eye roll) as soon as possible!

Have you been to Nantucket? What are some of your favorite spots?

Signature Crafted Fun at McDonald’s

I received compensation from McDonald’s in exchange for writing this review. Although this is a sponsored post, all opinions my own.

There was a time when I took pride in saying I never ate fast food. I’ll be honest, I looked down on people who did eat it. But over the years as I have worked on bettering my relationship with food, my opinions have definitely changed. I don’t eat fast food every day, but when I do, I enjoy and savor every single bite. I’m all about treating myself to a Big Mac or those signature golden McDonald’s fries when I’m craving them. So when I found out that the closest location to my apartment, the newly renovated two-story McDonald’s in Everett, wanted to host me and a group of bloggers to try their new Signature Crafted sandwiches…I was 100% in!

The McDonald’s in Everett is one of 11 new “smart” locations that now feature ordering kiosks and table-side service – a “Just For You” experience. Though the classic cashier option remains, those who prefer a digital experience can order from easy to use stations that accept credit card payments.

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Brunch at Plan B Glastonbury

I received the food and drink in this post free of charge. However (and longtime readers already know this), I’ve been a fan and paying customer of Plan B for a very long time! They even named a burger after me back in the day.

I went home to Connecticut this past weekend to celebrate my dad’s retirement, but made sure to spend time with old friends as well. On Sunday morning, Jeff and I had the chance to enjoy Plan B Glastonbury‘s brunch with Kat and Plan B’s marketing director, Shannon. We arrived at 10:30am on the dot, which brings me to my first positive note about the brunch…it starts at 10am. Jeff and I are huge fans of early brunch, because sometimes you just get up and can’t wait until noon.

(Not) fun fact about Boston: there are no bottomless beverages and no happy hours. So when I saw that Plan B offered bottomless bourbon sours at their brunch – and for $15 no less – I had to jump on that deal. When in Rome, right?!

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Rocking the Guac (Judging) at Painted Burro

Every now and then I take a look at my schedule and notice just how many of the awesome plans on my calendar are a result of this blog. It leads me to have what some may call a “pinch me” moment. Never when I started Cait Plus Ate did I imagine it would give me the opportunities it has, from awesome events to sneak previews of restaurants to fantastic vacations and staycations. Today I wanted to share one of those pinch-me moments with you all: the chance to be a judge in a guacamole competition!

This past Sunday was Painted Burro‘s 5th annual guacamole making contest, and I was asked to be one of the four judges. Proceeds from ticket sales benefited No Kid Hungry, and attendees were able to taste all ten guacamole recipes. We four judges determined the grand prize winner, and the audience voted on a People’s Choice winner as well. The prizes were pretty awesome: $400 to the restaurant, the winning guacamole featured on the menu for a week, and the best prize (to me)…anytime reservations for a year.

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Signs of Spring

The weather is FINALLY warming up here in Boston, and I couldn’t be happier about it. Winter has gone on long enough and I’m ready for patios, sundresses, and rosé.

Last weekend was Cochon555, and I was thrilled to attend the event for the first time ever. But more notably, I was thrilled by the fact that I was able to attend this indoor/outdoor event in merely a sweater and leggings. No jacket, no problem. Plus the warm weather made the above pictured Fernet Branca Menta Cold Brew all the more refreshing.

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Latest Boston Eats & Sips

It’s been awhile since my last round-up of awesome food and drink I’ve had lately in Boston! But that doesn’t mean I’ve been short on items to share. In fact, I’ve just been short on time to do so because there has been so much to taste these days. My Restaurant To-Do List never ceases to grow, and neither does the list of spots I hit up regularly. Here are some eats and sips I’ve tried recently, at restaurants both old and new.

The Jesuit @ Ruka Restobar

Ruka Restobar, located inside the Godfrey Hotel in Downtown Crossing, is from the same folks behind Yvonne’s and Lolita. While the food hasn’t necessarily been calling my name (just not my type of cuisine), the creative drink menu is right up my alley. Upon visiting the bar area with some coworkers, I immediately noticed a beautiful drink being served in some of the coolest glassware I’d ever seen. I knew I had to try it.

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