Restaurant Review: Bistro Du Midi

This restaurant was listed on my Bucket List post from a couple weeks ago! One of my friends from college, Devon, is an assistant pastry chef at Bistro Du Midi and received an awesome employee of the month gift card in recognition of her hard work! She decided to share the gift card with me so we could eat our hearts out!

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Bistro Du Midi is located at 272 Boylston Street, Boston MA. It’s a 2 minute walk from the Arlington T stop on the green line so it’s very easy to find. The restaurant is two floors with the kitchen being on the second floor. The view from the second floor overlooks the Boston Public Gardens! This place is definitely full of class, so dress up! The food and drinks were amazing too so let’s not dilly dally anymore:

Devon and I each ordered a crudite, entree, two sides to share a la carte and one dessert. But since she works there, we ended up getting…

Amuse Bouche: Smoked White Asparagus Soup with Escargot Beignet

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Fluke Crudite with Fried Squid Ink and Bottarga Consomme

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Faroe Island Salmon Crudite with Parmesan Crisps and salmon roe

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Pate Plate with Crispy Pork Belly Pate

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Duck Breast with Sweet Potato, Artichoke, Almonds and Duck Jus

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Thyme Garganelli Pasta, Lamb neck, Morels, Spring peas, Manchego

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Spring peas, favas, crispy pork belly

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Mushrooms, trumpet royale, hen of the woods

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Earl Grey and Elderflower Souffle

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Ice Cream Flight with Black Sesame , Caramel and Ganache, Marshmallow and Red Velvet Ice Cream

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Wild blueberry cheesecake, hazelnut cremeux, lavender sponge cake

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Mascarpone beignet, citrus sugar, pear cardamom butter

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Everything was so yummy! My personal favorites were the Smoked Asparagus Soup, Salmon Crudite, Duck Breast and the Ice Cream Flight! Such a great experience and service was impeccable. We each got awesome drinks that were well balanced and tasty. I definitely recommend this place for a splurge night out! Devon’s gift card was for $150 so after that, her employee discount and the free plates that were sent to us, the bill was ONLY 12 DOLLARS! I literally couldn’t have asked for a better deal or experience!

I have a couple more posts planned coming up but I’ve been busy at work working 6 day weeks consistently so my time is tight! Stay tuned for more things to come!

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

 

 

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Restaurant Bucket List: Boston!

It’s no secret that I love food and experiencing a great restaurant or new dish. Boston has so much to offer and despite being here for two years, my list is still long! So without further adieu and in no particular order, here’s my Boston Restaurant Bucket List!

Sweet Cheeks Q

Mistral

Craigie on Main

Bistro Du Midi

Alden and Harlow

Harvest

Sarma

Oleana

L’Espalier

Cutty’s

Island Creek Oyster Bar

Toro

Central Kitchen

Fairsted Kitchen

Neptune Oyster

Bronwyn

Lumiere

The Beehive

Highly recommended:Tiger Mama
Deuxave
Ribelle
Posto
Deep Ellum
Lulu’s

I’m 100% open to suggestions to beef up my list! What kind of restaurants are your favorite? Thank you for visiting and be sure to come back on Tuesday for another post grad blog!

Taj Update: Winter Cafe Desserts!

We just recently came out with a new winter dessert menu for the Taj Boston Cafe! Here’s what’s available for the upcoming weeks!

799Boston Cream Pie: vanilla anglais, citrus segments, chocolate garnish

800Hazelnut Pane de Gene: Taj honey bavarian mousse, chocolate garnish, pistachio ice cream, chocolate sauce

797Meyer Lemon Panna Cotta: chambord gelee, poppyseed cake, meringue crumble, mandarin orange sorbet

798Grand Marnier Daquoise: Hazelnut daquoise cake and Grand Marnier mousse wrapped in chocolate served with an orange Grand Marnier sauce.

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Peanut Butter Banana Torte (top left): peanut croquant, peanut butter powder, and chocolate sauce

Spiced Maple Cheesecake (3rd row from the top, left): walnut crust, brown butter powder, cocoa nib tuile, orange sauce

Masala Tea Creme Brulee (3rd row from the top, right): served with fruit and poundcake

Chocolate Fondue (bottom): served with assorted fruits, cakes and candies for dipping

Wipe that drool off your face and stop by to try it for yourself! Check back on Tuesday and enjoy your weekend ahead!

 

Restaurant Review: Amada!

To kick off the beginning of my trip back to Pennsylvania to see my family, my sister and I spent a night in Philly during Restaurant Week! My sister is a graphic designer for the University of Pennsylvania, and so when I flew into the PHL airport, I just grabbed a train into Center City to meet her! Knowing that I’m a foodie, Steph and I planned on picking a restaurant from the list that most interested us. The winner was a place called Amada!
Amada is a Spanish tapas place created by Chef Jose Garces opened in 2005. Perfectly tucked away in the Old City neighborhood, Amada is located at 217-219 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia PA. It’s less than a 5 minute walk off of the subway stop at 2nd Street.
Upon entry, we were pleasantly greeted and they graciously stored my luggage in a separate room for safe keeping throughout our meal. We were lead through half of the dining room that accommodates both large and small parties and sits adjacent to an open kitchen where 6 lucky diners might sit during service. The décor was simple but rustic and while the seating arrangements were close together, each party still felt private.

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Being that it was restaurant week, their menu was limited but still offered a variety of choices. For our 3 course meal, we each had the option of 2 small plates per course, which meant that my sister and I could share 8 plates and 2 desserts. We were SO stoked. The sangria came strongly recommended by two of her staff members and we weren’t disappointed.

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Let’s dive into the meal!

First course:

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Aged Manchango Cheese with truffle lavender honey
Garrotxa Cheese with Garlic Dulce de Leche

These cheeses were SO delicious. I don’t know if it’s because we were both starving but it was the perfect opener to our meal. I also loved that they served granny apple slices with the bread, cheese and dips because it really elevated the cheese plate!

819Tortilla Espanola: Spanish tortilla and saffron aioli

This was probably my least favorite course of the meal, but it was still pretty tasty! The inside tasted sort of like a potato which I wasn’t expecting but it paired great with saffron aioli.

820Croquetas de Jamon: Ham Croquettes

These were outta this world! Small but mighty, they were served with a red pepper puree and I could’ve devoured an entire platter of them by myself!

Second Course:

815Coca de Costillas de Ternera: Flatbread with Beef Short Ribs, Horseradish, Parmesan, Bacon

This flatbread was perfect for sharing between two people. The beef short ribs were tender and the parm and bacon really blew its flavor out of the water!

816Hanger Steak Brochettes: Grilled a la Plancha

817Esparragos Con Trufas: Grilled Asparagus, Poached Egg, Mahon Crisp, Truffles

This had to be my FAVORITE course of the night. I’ve really been digging asparagus lately and this dish was tender and served in a garlic butter sauce. Once the poached egg was broken, the sauce became even more rich and dynamic! I would’ve even loved to have a piece of bread accompanying the plate so I could sop up all the delicious aftermath.

818Panceta: Crispy Pork Belly, Cauliflower Puree, Rioja Shallot Jam, Boquerone Salsa Verde

This pork belly was very tender and fatty, but in a way that it melts in your mouth. The cauliflower puree mellows out the fattiness of the pork belly and the shallot jam added a dash of sweetness.

Dessert:

814Tocinillo de Cielo: Citrus Vanilla, Pistachio

This dessert was peculiar but awesome! It was almost like a custard or yogurt but sweet. A citrus foam laid nicely on top with a dash of cocoa nibs. It was a nice light dessert after a heavily flavored meal!

813Tarta de Chocolate: Dark Chocolate Tart, Orange

This tart was small but mighty. The chocolate in the tart was intense and rich but was cut by the orange segment and sauce on the plate.

As always, there aren’t many restaurants I meet that I don’t like, but this one really took the cake! I’m glad to have been able to experience a great restaurant during a discount week and share so many unique dishes with my sister!

Hopefully you aren’t drooling too much! Have a great weekend and I’ll meet you back here on Tuesday for another post! Thanks for reading!

Taj Boston Update!

This past holiday season has been totally crazy at work but I feel like I’ve really been making progress in my career! As much as I loved my job as a baker at Flour, I wasn’t sure where I could go from there. I needed to  learn more, faster and I found that opportunity at the Taj! I started my employment as the swing shifter which means I was slowly being trained to cover any shift needed.

In a previous post (check it out HERE), I spoke a little bit about what the PM banquet shift was like! We prep for evening events like weddings or receptions and gatherings! It could be served banquet style where guests go up to a display and pick what they’d like to eat or even make it more formal and each guest receives a plated dessert. I alternate the PM shift with the AM shift where I prep plated desserts for the cafe and bake morning pastries for the in room dining guests (aka room service) or front desk.

While one of my co-workers is on a three week vacation, I’ve taken over a new shift! I’ve been spending my time learning how to execute high tea! Every weekend, we have multiple seatings of a formal high tea service. As the last part of their meal, each group would receive a little stand of pastries! We change that menu seasonally and I was able to help implement during its first week!

Included on the tea stand for the winter menu is: pistachio macaroons, chocolate roulade, vanilla pommegranate panna cotta, passion fruit ganache tart, blood orange pate de fruit, spiced cookies and maple walnut and cocoa scones served with orange curd and devonshire cream! While I didn’t come up with the menu items, I was able to help imagine their presentations and really try step up our tea game!

An old chef of mine from school used to work at the Taj and she came to visit the hotel one night. She laughed as she told me that a display dummy cake in the lobby was one she made back in 2010! I brought this to my current chefs attention and he’s going to let me design a new cake for the display! I’m really looking forward to expanding my skill set and adding something new to my portfolio.

Lastly, we have a new dessert menu coming up for the cafe that we’re currently testing recipes for! My dessert is a Meyer Lemon Panna Cotta with a Chambord Gelee, poppyseed cake, meringue crumble and mandarin orange sorbet! I’m looking forward to putting the finishing touches on the recipes and seeing it in action.

While I don’t have any pictures yet, I’ll be sure to post them in the upcoming weeks! I feel super lucky that I’m being exposed to so many facets of the industry at this job and I can’t wait to see what’s coming up next!

I hope everyone enjoys their weekend! Be sure to check back next week- I have a couple fun posts coming up! Thanks for reading!

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins!

The name might be a mouthful but I can promise you that these muffins are even better. Perfect for a special sweet treat in the morning or dessert at night. These are multi-functional muffins people! Get em while they’re hot!

I got this recipe from the Flour cookbook by Joanne Chang. I can personally attest to this recipe after having worked for Joanne for the past year. I did change just a few little things however, to make it my own! So here you have it!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
makes about 24 muffins

1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1/4 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t salt
4 T flax seed
1/2 c packed. brown sugar
1/2 c plus 2 T sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c canola oil3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 T creme fraiche or sour cream
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 bag peanut butter/chocolate chips

**For this recipe, I added flax seed, used half brown sugar half white and added chips! Without these, you can easily make plain banana bread!

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and flax seed. I used a fork to “fluff” the ingredients if you don’t have a sifter at home!

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3.Using a stand mixer, whip the sugar and eggs on medium speed until they become light and fluffy.

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4. On low speed, drizzle in the oil so it has time to incorporate itself into the egg mixture.

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5. Add the bananas, creme fraiche/sour cream and vanilla and mix until the banana is broken down into fairly small pieces. This should only take about a minute or less.

6. Using a spatula, fold in the flour mixture by hand.

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Right before all of the flour is completely incorporated, add 1/2 bag of chips and mix only until combined as to not overmix.

7067. Only mix just until there aren’t any flour streaks left.

8. Portion the muffins about 3/4 full and bake until golden brown (about 15-20 minutes). You can also bake this full batch in a loaf pan but it will take much longer to bake in the oven!

7059. Wait until the muffins cool and VOILA! A delicious treat for any time of day.

704Let me know if you try this at home! Does anyone have any recipes they want to share or would like me to share? Have a good weekend and enjoy your muffins! Be sure to return on Tuesday for another blog post!

Caramel Corn!

HAPPY FALL, FRIENDS!

It’s officially my absolute favorite season!! It’s time for basic white girls squealing in delight over pumpkin flavored things and UGG boots. Thankfully, those are two things that I hate but EVERYTHING ELSE about fall makes me so excited. Boots, scarves, cozy sweaters, cute hats, crisp air, pretty leaves, pumpkin and apple picking,fall festivals, football games, a sense of community, etc etc etc. I could go on for days.

But the MOST exciting part revolves around food, of course. Who would I be if I didn’t relate everything to food??

I learned this caramel corn recipe from the Taj and it’s so freaking good and easy to make! Its the perfect match of sweet and crunchy for the fall and just in time for Halloween. Enjoy!!

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Yield: 5 quarts popcorn

1c butter
2 c brown sugar
1/2 c corn syrup
1 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1 t vanilla extract
5 quarts popped popcorn

  1. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Begin by popping your popcorn kernals on the stove in a large pot with a couple tablespoons of canola oil. Keep the pot covered with a lid or a large piece of aluminum foil. As the oil starts to get hot, begin shifting the pan back and forth to agitate the kernals and keep them from burning.
  3. In a sauce pot, melt the butter. Stir in both sugars, corn syrup and salt and bring to a boil
  4. Stop stirring once the mixture is boiling, and let it go for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Take the mixture off the heat and quickly stir in baking soda and vanilla extract.
  6. Immediately pour the mixture over the popcorn and quickly fold together coating all the kernals.
  7. Spread the popcorn on parchment and oiled sheet pans and bake for 60 minutes. Check and stir the popcorn every 20 minutes.
  8. Let cool, break into pieces and eat away!

679Let me know what you guys think! I’m definitely keeping this recipe in my back pocket. On Tuesday, I’m divulging some more of my secret Boston finds! I love this city! Thanks for reading- hope you all have a great weekend!