Restaurant Review: Alden & Harlow

On Friday evening Teddy and I decided to treat ourselves to a nice dinner out. We wanted to try a new-to-us place, so opted for Alden & Harlow. Spoiler – it was phenomenal!

The atmosphere in the restaurant is very cozy – lots of exposed brick, wood tones and metal fixtures. Very farm-to-table – yay!

We started with a light appetizer: Sunflower Toast, Three Ways, Pickled Green Tomato, Bianco Sardo. We enjoyed the Striped Bass Crudo and the stone fruit plate, and ended with Moosabec farm mussels. Of course, we had to try dessert too, so finished the evening with brown butter peanut cake. Overall, every dish was super interesting – the textures were unique and exciting, the flavors were extremely fresh and vibrant and the portions were a perfect size.

 

 

Everything on the menu is designed to share, so we ended up not getting anything with meat (Teddy at the ham garnish on one dish). I’d love to see a few more vegetarian options on the menu, but overall this was an amazing meal! Perfect for a fancy night out. I’d highly recommend a meal here, especially in the seats under the windows up front! I hear the menu changes frequently, so I’m already looking forward to our next trip here.

Restaurant Review: Catalyst

Teddy and I had the pleasure of dining at Catalyst, a modern American restaurant in Kendall Square. The verdict – wonderful!!

 

 

The atmosphere at the restaurant is amazing – really relaxed with comfortable chairs that made me feel like we were eating in a living room. Another (random) thing that I really liked – the tables were really far apart from one another. This made for a very intimate dining experience, as we didn’t feel like we were yelling to hear one another speak.

 

Another highlight of the evening was the beer list. We had thought about going to another bar later in the evening for drinks, but the list was so impressive there that we were more than happy to relax at our table! I had a bourbon barrel aged beer that I previously tried at Mead Hall – it was just as good as I remembered!

 

Now onto the food. Wow! Everything was exceptional. We started with buffalo “chicken” cauliflower. This was so exciting! As a couple that is half vegetarian, any time we both can enjoy a “fake” meat, we’re happy. I then enjoyed really amazing mushroom pasta which had a wide array of mushrooms. Finally, for dessert we had a wonderful chocolate treat. The best part for me was the rosemary caramel sauce – such an interesting and lovely treat!

 

Overall this was one of my favorite restaurants we’ve eaten at in the Boston area – maybe a tie with Oleana. I loved the atmosphere, the food and the drinks list. Everything you need for a great evening!

Reflections on 24

I recently celebrated my birthday, and that always reminds me to slow down and remember everything that happened in the last year. In many ways I hope to never have another year like this one – it was emotionally tumultuous for me and my family. There were many highs, but also many lows. I hope that future years are a bit quieter in some ways, but I’m also happy for everything that came my way. Without further ado,

Milestones of 24

  • Saying goodbye to some very important people – Nana, Uncle Charlie and Mr. Bailey
  • Finishing graduate school and earning a masters degree
  • Presenting the results of a multi-year research project at a scientific conference in Philadelphia
  • Quitting the 3 jobs I had while in graduate school
  • Traveling in Europe for 3 weeks
  • Traveling by myself for 1.5 weeks
  • Moving to Cambridge
  • Taking advantage of living in Cambridge! Museums, excellent food and exciting activities abound
  • Finding a full-time job – a salary, insurance and a 401k
  • Spending the 4th of July in Maine with Teddy’s family
  • Spending time with my family in Cape Cod
  • Running in my first 5k
  • Visiting my sister in Ithaca (twice!)
  • Spending a long weekend in DC with Lauren and Sumana
  • Getting a paper published in a scientific journal
  • Making mead
  • Hosting a holiday party to consume said mead
  • Traveling in the US Virgin Islands with my mother
  • Seeing the Dali Lama speak
  • Playing way to many games of Settlers of Catan

I’m sure there are plenty of things I’m missing, but these things really jump out. I’m looking forward to new adventures in the year ahead. I’m looking forward to another great year!

 

Do you reflect on previous years on your birthday?

Mine falls so close to New Years I find January to just be a very reflective time!

Special Winter Weekend

This weekend was particularly special as it was my birthday! That’s right, I’m officially one year older. 

We got the party started early at work when one of my co-workers brought in yummy cupcakes from Sweet. I had a snickerdoodle one and it was awesome – what a great idea for a cupcake flavor! That evening Teddy and I had a fantastic meal at Ten Tables. We enjoyed a lovely walk in the snow-covered neighborhood and had an early night. It was just perfect!

Saturday

On Saturday my parents had planned to come into town, but unfortunately they were both sick. They’ve been having a difficult time this winter, so hopefully we’ll catch up later this week. That didn’t detour us from still enjoying our day, though. 

Our first stop was the Harvard Museum of Natural History. We both particularly enjoyed the Scott Miller exhibit. The photographer spent time in the back country of Maine, shadowing the region that Henry David Thoreau explored more than 200 years ago. Both Teddy and I loved the beautiful images of Maine – we’ve spent quite a bit of time there, and it made us both want to go outside and explore more. Hopefully we’ll be able to find some time to go camping soon. We need to prioritize it more, seeing as it’s something we both really enjoy.

We spent the rest of our time in the Peabody Museum, one of the oldest archaeological and ethnographic museums in the world. The exhibits are divided into North America, South America and the Pacific Islands. We particularly enjoyed the art from the South American regions. The entire museum really reminded me of the Redpath Museum at McGill – same vibe, similar types of display cases, same type of stuff on display. I got nostalgic, but it was great!

After a quick stop at the Cambridge Public Library, we headed over to Trillium, a great brewery in the south of Boston. They have an awesome selection of IPAs so we got some great drinks to share with friends later.

After jumping back on the T we jetted over to Newberry Street and headed to Warby Parker. Teddy picked out some great new glasses and then we wandered around the neighborhood and wandered into a great used book store.

Our final stop of the evening was a friend’s house for…what else, but another game of Catan! It was great evening.

Sunday

Sunday was a bit quieter, but I got quite a few errands done and prepared for a rather stressful week. I watched a bit of the Super Bowl and quite a few episodes of Gilmore Girls. It’s looking like we are going to get another snow storm – time to hunker down again!

Restaurant Review: Ten Tables Cambridge

On Friday evening Teddy and I had the pleasure of dining at Ten Tables in Cambridge. I live quite close by so we’ve been taking about going for a while. I’m glad we finally did – we will certainly be back!

The restaurant is farm to table style – very local ingredients and a small, frequently-changing menu. They pride themselves being a neighborhood restaurant, and we certainly found this to be true. We were quickly seated and both felt that the atmosphere was very cozy and warm.

We decided to forgo appetizers as neither of us was starving, so we started with some wonderful crusty bread and some white wine. We chose the house white, and both felt that it was a great accompaniment to our meal. I enjoyed a lovely salmon dish cooked with a red pepper sauce, cabbage, and ricotta ravioli. The entire dish was exceptionally wonderful. The salmon was flakey and moist and the sauce paired wonderfully. Teddy had a stake which he was incredibly excited about, and it was cooked to perfection.

For dessert, I enjoyed cinnamon churros with a basil creme fresh. Teddy had a candied bacon pound cake treat that he has been eye on their menu for months. Both far surpassed our expectations! The churros were still warm and light on the inside while the outside was covered with yummy cinnamon sugar. Teddy’s cake was dense but not too sweet.

Overall, we had a fantastic time at Ten Tables, and are looking forward to the opportunity to return. The service was exceptionally attentive, the food was very memorable and unique, and the atmosphere was perfect for a romantic evening meal. Add this place to your must-eat-at list!

Snowbound

So, have you seen the weather up in Boston lately? Yeah…we have snow. Kind of a lot. Whoo blizzards! We got between 2-3 feed over about 36 hours. Maybe it’s the winter baby in me, but I always love a good storm. Everything gets all quiet and sparkly and cozy.

Another perk of the storm – I had to work from home for two days. Sometimes it’s just really nice to work with my slippers on and a big cup of tea next to me. Plus, the week is almost over, and I have fun plans for the weekend. Here’s hoping the rest of the week zooms by!