Boston Food News

 It seems that food has been a popular topic lately in the Boston media world — but isn’t it always?. A few weeks ago, (6/10) the Improper Bostonian came out with an issue titled “Fresh Flavors” and then two Sunday’s ago, Boston Globe Magazine featured “The Food Issue”.

I love these types of issues, as it gives me some much-needed updates on the local food scene and what’s new and cool. Not that I’m not “in the know”… I guess I sort of am… but I’m just not ‘out there’ nearly as much as I used to be. Therefore, I heavily rely on what I hear and what I read to keep informed. And to be honest, I really LOVE reading about food and restaurant news. It never gets old or boring to me… if anything, it’s quite the opposite… it invigorates me. When my new issue of Sauveur arrives in the mail, I get all giddy. And when I get my hands on LOCAL food news, I’m even more excited.

So as I poured over these two issues, looking for new and interesting tidbits of info, I made some mental notes on a few items I deemed worthy of sharing with you. Let’s start with the Improper…

One of the first things in this issue that caught my eye was the article on how Harvest (in Cambridge) has a slew of house-made liqueurs, which you can order as an “Ice Flight“… the featured liqueurs served in ice shot glasses. How cool (pun intended) is that? The article goes on to discuss how ice is the new “it” ingredient in the bar world, with everything from slushies to flavor-infused ice cubes showing up on menus. Perfect for summer if you ask me (that is, if we HAVE a summer — it’s rained 27 of the last 31 days in Boston).

Next up was the introduction of a new restaurant called Teranga— Boston’s first and only Senegalese restaurant. According to the story, “the menu reflects the diversity of the Western African nation’s cultural influences, from French to Vietnamese to Arabic.” The restaurant is 95% Islamic, so the focus is not on alcohol (though you can get beer and wine) — but rather, on non-alcoholic elixirs… flavored with exotic aroma’s such as orange flower, vanilla, hibiscus, ginger and the like. The restaurant is located at the intersection of Washington Street and Mass. Ave — on the cusp of the South end. This is a definite “must visit” for me…

The rest of the issue included a look at Boston’s next generation of top chef’s that included food hotties such as Cassie Kyriakides Piuma — chef de cuisine at my ALL TIME favorite restaurant Oleana. Another story focused on the incestuous relationship of Boston chef’s to restaurants and each other… and was quite interesting. It seems that the “best of the best” have all worked next to or for one another at one time or another during their careers.

Moving on to the Globe Magazine Food Issue… it’s no secret that I rip the recipes out of this magazine each week — as they are some of my favorites. I found it quite amusing this week to see the recipes focused on cherries — specifically because they featured a blurbon the wonders of the cherry pitter… just days after MY story! Sorry BGM — I beat you to the punch!

The focus of the issue was on “50 Delicious Finds“, followed by a storydiscussing how Boston restaurants are no longer about glitz and glamour, but more so about featuring simple, fresh foods that grow in our back yards. The spotlight was on Krista Kranyak, owner of the original Ten Tables in Jamaica Plain and her second Ten Tables in Cambridge (which is doing very well). I am absolutely ashamed to admit that I have never been to either… not for a lack of wanting to go — I just haven’t gotten around to it yet because we haven’t been going out much. SOON though… very soon.

The 50 finds listed gems that the authors found tasty, satisfying, fun, yummy, surprising, finger-licking, scrumptious and enticing. You can find the entire list online. Here are some of my favorites:

-Rose petal raspberry float at Beacon Hill Bistro — flavored with house-made rose soda and served over a spoonful of litchi sorbet.

-The new Farmer’s Market at Harvard University — open to the public every Tuesday from 12:30 to 6pm at the corner of Oxford and Kirkland Streets in Cambridge.

-Bar-only oyster discounts — $1 per oyster (served on the half shell) at Rialto (Mondays 5:30pm until they run out), Sel De La Terre (Mondays, 5-7pm), McCormick & Schmick’s (Tuesdays, 3:30pm to midnight), Dante (Friday & Saturdays) and 28 Degrees (Tue-Thu, 5pm to 10pm and Fri-Sat, 5pm to 7pm).

-The Chip-in Farmin Bedford, MA — where you can have a 12-child birthday party (for ages 9 and under) where the kids can pet and feed goats, sheep, chickens, rabbits and cows. For $75, you get a 2-hour time block, animal feed and access to the “birthday room”.

Drop-in & Decorate — where you can bake a bunch of cookies, decorate them and then donate them to a food pantry, women’s shelter or other non-profit.

-A slice of pizza for $1.45! — You can get a Sicilian slice at Galleria Umberto on Hanover Street in the North End, for this extremely low price. The slices are served from 10:45am until the run out.

Green City Growers — this company will be your “personal farmer” by constructing and maintaining raised-beds and organic produce “farms” in your back yard, on your deck, your roof or anywhere else the sun shines (drive ways, balconies, etc.). So now you can grow your own veggies… no excuses!

And if this information isn’t already enough… my neighborhood — West Roxbury — has some new additions to the restaurant scene:

The Upper Crust has opened yet another location
Skara Grill is open and serving Greek cuisine
Phuket has started delivering
Fresh Catch to Go has fresh and fried seafood to take out, including seasonal lobster rolls (my summertime favorite)

All four restaurants are located on Centre Street.

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