Tag 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!

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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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?

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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Cooking with CourseHorse

I received a complimentary ticket to this cooking class from CourseHorse in exchange for a blog post about my experience. However all opinions are my own, and my already-established enthusiasm for Tavern Road’s classes can be read here.

I remember a couple of years ago when, because I was still having a hard time working out less than seven times a week, my therapist suggested I look into taking some fun classes that weren’t fitness-related. I wish something like CourseHorse had existed in Boston back then, because it would have made me much more likely to take her advice (instead I just bought a new coloring book).

Photo by Paul Garmon

CourseHorse is a discovery and booking tool for local classes. Their community outreach manager recently contacted me about sharing an experience at one of the classes listed in their directory. Naturally I picked a cooking class at Tavern Road because I already knew I’d love it, but there were tons of other cooking classes in Boston listed. Cooking isn’t the only activity you can find. Though still in beta here in Boston, CourseHorse already has classes listed in arts, tech, fitness, language, and more. You can search by neighborhood, price point, time of day, and even skill level. Once they officially launch, the amount of classes listed will be even more extensive.

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Valentine’s Getaway in Newport

Though my stay and some food and drink were complimentary, all opinions are my own.

Jeff and I took a couple of off-season trips to Newport, RI last winter, and we were fortunate enough to be able to do so again this year on a little Valentine’s Day weekend trip thanks to the Newport Marriott. We stayed there in November 2015 and had a lovely time, so we went into this trip with high expectations that – I’m happy to report- were met thanks to a gorgeous room, above-and-beyond hospitality, and tasty food and drink.

The harbor view rooms do not disappoint.

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January Recap

I can’t believe it’s already February! I (mostly) have let blogging get away from me so far in 2017, so I decided to write a post recapping what I’ve been up to so far this year (aka in January). It’s honestly not anything different than what you might expect, but what can I say, I’m fairly predictable. Let’s go.

Cooking

I’ve continued to experiment in the kitchen with fun recipes that both Jeff and I can enjoy. I used this recipe to make some super easy meatball sliders, and made my best round of calzones yet – one buffalo chicken and one Hawaiian. I also made some of the “usual suspects”, like taco salad and tater tot trash dip (on Jeff’s birthday).

Capo’s New Lounge

I already was a fan of Capo in Southie, but last Thursday I had the chance to attend a media event for their new lounge, and I have to say it may be the coolest space I’ve ever seen in Boston!

Picture your grandpa or uncle’s old wood-paneled basement, and you’ll be able to picture Capo’s lounge. The walls are decorated with kitschy decor like taxidermy animals and light-up booze signs. Corners with couches and coffee tables make visitors feel like they are actually hanging out in someone’s home.

Photo Credit: Mike Diskin

Photo Credit: Mike Diskin

Photo Credit: Mike Diskin

Photo Credit: Mike Diskin

And best of all, Capo does not ruin the vibe of this lounge with a DJ. Instead they bring in live music like brass bands, which fits the atmosphere perfectly.

Photo Credit: Mike Diskin

Did I mention the cocktails are fantastic, and that eating in the restaurant upstairs gets you easier access to the lounge downstairs? I know what my game plan is for the upcoming weekends!

#VibeWithATribe

I have been visiting Recycle Studio through ClassPass for awhile now, but was still excited to attend RPR‘s #VibeWithATribe blogger event at the studio this past Saturday. A group of bloggers took a spin class taught by one of my favorite Recycle instructors, John. We followed up our good sweat with bubbles courtesy of Champy and snacks/juice from Pressed.

I received a pretty awesome Recycle gift bag, which has become my new gym bag! Inside were lots of goodies including a gift card from local Boston fitness brand Crane & Lion. I’ve already used it to order a pair of leggings and can’t wait to try them out!

The bag I received (photo courtesy of @Recycle_Studio on Instagram).

The leggings I ordered! They’re on sale right now, FYI.

ClassPass Debate

Speaking of ClassPass, I’m still not sure what I want to do fitness-wise after my next cycle with them ends. Right now I’m getting 20 classes per month for $120, which is a great deal and pretty much the amount of classes I’d want to use in a month. But I’m only getting 20 classes to “ease” me into their new structure of 10 classes per month for $120, which I definitely can’t stick with. I’d need to buy a membership elsewhere to supplement that! Right now a few options I’m looking into are FitReserve, a similar platform to ClassPass that could offer me 20 classes a month (yay!) but at an increased price of $185/month (boo…but still a good deal when you look at price per class). Or if I want to keep my monthly fitness fees the same, I could join Turnstyle for $120/month and get unlimited access to spin and bootcamp classes. The only issue with that is, I really like how platforms like ClassPass and FitReserve give me location flexibility. Turnstyle has a few locations but none of them are as convenient for me as some of the studios on ClassPass/FitReserve, like Charlestown Cycling Club. My head is spinning just as I type this…what’s a class-addicted girl to do?

Wine

I wanted to give a shout-out to a Prosecco I recently discovered. I usually don’t drink Prosecco because it’s too sweet for my palate, but my parents gave me a bottle awhile back and I found it in the fridge this week. I decided to open it when I made our calzones because it would pair well with the spicy buffalo chicken, and was pleasantly surprised by how dry it tasted! Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a champagne girl through and through, but this $10 bottle of Prosecco is more in my price range.

Food, going out, fitness classes, and wine. Yup, I’m pretty sure that this is all standard stuff. Still it was a good January overall (with temps that weren’t TOO frigid – yay!) and I’m excited to see what February brings!

What was the best part of your January?

Any recommendations for what I should do after I leave ClassPass? Has anyone tried FitReserve?

Any recommendations for another cheap, dry sparkling wine?

What I’m Loving Lately

I actually had to search my own blog to see if I’ve previously done a post with this title, because it sounded so familiar. But good news – I haven’t! So here’s a little round-up of a few things I’m loving lately, because I don’t want to write a whole blog post on each of them (and I don’t think that would be nearly as fun for you to read, either).

Blaze Pizza

I’ll start with full disclosure…Blaze sent me two free pizza vouchers, and those are what Jeff and I used the first time we tried this place. But we have also been talking non-stop about it, and have made plans to return on a couple of occasions. (Both plans were foiled for a variety of reasons, but that’s not important.)

blazepizza

I describe Blaze Pizza as “Subway, but with pizza”. For a flat fee (thick crust is extra…and worth it), you go down the line and pick as many toppings as you want. Then the pizza is fast-fired at an extremely hot temperature, and ready for you in minutes. You can also add finishing touches after the pizza is done, like balsamic vinegar or – oh baby – ranch dressing. While I was happy with the creation I made above, I was very jealous of Jeff’s pizza, which escaped into his stomach before I could get a photo of it. Guess we’ll just have to go back so he can recreate it and I can get my picture! Blaze is a national chain so look for your closest location here.

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Recent Boston Eats

It’s been awhile since I shared some of the good food I’ve experienced here in Boston, so I figured I’d comb through my camera roll and highlight anything I found in there that was taken recently. In my eyes, if I took a picture then the food must have been good (the exception, of course, being if the lighting was awful…in that case, no photographs are taken).

Bar Mezzana: Pasta

If you haven’t tried Bar Mezzana yet, drop what you are doing and go there now. You don’t even have to read the rest of this post; I’m confident the experience you end up having will tell you why I’m recommending it. The restaurant is located in the South End’s luxury Ink Block apartment complex and focuses on pastas, raw seafood, fresh crusty bread topped with all varieties of spreads, and prosciutto with house mozz. LOTS of house mozz.

barmezzana

I personally cannot stay away from the pastas. I’ve sampled three so far and can’t wait to return for more. I’d recommend all of those three: orecchiette with sausage and fennel, paccheri with lobster, and another variety with rabbit that looks like it’s off the menu now (darn). For dessert, go for an espresso martini. Bar Mezzana’s bar staff is super knowledgeable and this espresso martini is probably the best I’ve ever had.

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Journey to Western Mass: Part 2

Did you miss part one of my recap? Click here to read! Also, for any of my readers who live in Boston and love fitness, I’m hosting an Instagram giveaway for two tickets to the Jimmy Fund Fit Fest taking place this Saturday on the Esplanade. Enter here!

When I last left off, my boyfriend Jeff and I were convening with our friends Matt and Dave in the lobby of the Hotel Northampton for dinner. One of the best parts about our trip was the fact that our hotel was located right in the center of town, and we could walk everywhere! We took a short stroll to Bistro Les Gras, a farm to table restaurant with menus that change daily. First we got a round of appetizers, including a fantastic steak tartare.

IMG_8912

Three out of four of us went with the burger as our entree, thanks to recommendations from many locals we’d talk to throughout the day. The burger lived up to its reputation, and its flavor made it obvious that it was ground in-house.

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