Wine and Dine Deal…

Hyatt Regency Continues Winemakers’ Dinner Series With Half-Off Offer
This Thursday, September 26th, at 5:30 pm, the Hyatt Regency Boston bids farewell to summer with its upcoming Winemakers Dinner.

 wine dinner

Featuring five thoughtfully-chosen pours from
Greece’s Boutari Winery, the dinner also includes Hyatt chef Kelly Armetta’s exquisite culinary creations. Make a reservation for two by end-of-day , September 24th, and you will receive half-off for a dinner companion. Call 617-422-5454 for reservations.

Filenes’ Ground Breaking and More…


Planning has been in the works for  sometime now and the City has been waiting . Today marked the official ground breaking for the Millennium Partners newest Downtown Crossing  $615 Million  project.



The site work has already been started for the  54 story tower that will feature  500 luxury residential condominiums plus 231,000 square feet of retail space.


Mayor Menino, center, was on hand. To his left, Chris Jefferies, founding partner of Millennium Partners.




Mayor Menino was excited to take the opportunity to announce that the neighborhood would be getting the Super market area residents have been clamoring for. Roche Brothers will sign on as a tenant in one of the commercial spaces on Washington Street.


Ed Roche addresses the crowd.


Arnold Worldwide had signed on earlier for office space  and expects to be opening the doors to their  new world headquarter in September of 2014.


Joe Larking, Millennium Partners  on the left and Roger Berkowitz, Legal Seafoods far right.



Super Bowl like atmosphere.

Just What We Don’t Need…

Don’t get me wrong, I happen to love wood fired pizza. But do we need more pizza in this city?

According to this piece in the Boston Biz Journal we are about to get some more.

A 30-story luxury high-rise in Downtown Crossing has had a vacant restaurant space for years. Its owners now hope to welcome a wood-fired pizza restaurant called Strada 45.

Next Wednesday,  chain restaurant owner John DeSimone plans to make his case to the Boston Licensing Board about opening Strada 45 in the unused, three-story restaurant space at 45 Province Street, DeSimone will explain his restaurant concept to the board, which includes a bar, lounge and wood-fired brick oven for pizza.

The building’s developers, Abbey Group, received a full-service liquor license in 2008 from the board. Three years later, the board rescinded the license because it was not being used, a decision that was appealed and overturned.

DeSimone’s Muscle Maker Grill chain currently has 74 locations in 11 states, including Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. It also has plans to open in Watertown, Mass.

Bye Bye Mantra…

The Boston Business Journal reports of the pending auction…

Nearly a year after Mantra closed its doors in Downtown Crossing, owners of the French-Indian fusion restaurant are facing a foreclosure auction next week.

Salvadore Auctions & Appraisals of Rhode Island has scheduled the auction for Friday, July 19. The 9,323-square-foot restaurant and bar was housed in a commercial condominium at 52 Temple St.

 Mantra restaurant on the auction block.</p>


The two-story unit was purchased by Pabla Realty LLC, an entity of One World Cuisine, in 2008 for $3 million. The owners took out a $1.5 million mortgage that year from TD Bank, according to the Suffolk Registry of Deeds.

A legal notice describes the space near the Theatre District as a well-equipped restaurant and bar on first floor with a modern stylish bar on the lower lever for private parties that features with decorative marble and moldings.

Mantra opened in 2001. 

Check out Hotel Homes…

Check out our feature article on


32E Living Room

 In this week’s “Layouts We Love” column, we take a look at a high-floor custom combination at the Residences at the Ritz-Carlton Towers Boston. Perched on the 32nd floor, this high-in-the-sky aerie combines two original units into one sprawling, 4200 square foot residence. Its 34 oversized windows wrap the west and north sides of the tower, framing dramatic views of the Public Garden, Boston Common, Back Bay, and the Charles River.

While the building is clearly modern, the floor plan is timeless. The gracious entry foyer leads into a vast open-plan living/dining room that alone measures 860 square feet (80 square meters). This grand entertaining space easily accommodates formal dinner parties for twelve and several distinct seating areas. From the living room, double doors lead to a handsome mahogany-paneled library with direct views of the John Hancock Tower.

The grand apartment’s “family wing” includes a top-of-the-line kitchen with a separate butler’s pantry and dining bar opening into a sunny breakfast room with built-in banquette and access to its own balcony – perfect for morning coffee or a sunset aperitif. In addition to two generous bedroom suites, both with en-suite bathrooms, the family wing includes a family/media room for informal living. However, the residence’s master suite will not be outdone, complete with double walk-in dressing rooms and his-and-her baths.

Designed by renowned Handel Architects, the Residences at the Ritz-Carlton Towers Boston occupy one of the city’s top locations at its cultural heart – steps from Newbury Street’s boutiques and dining as well as performances at the Opera House, The Wang, and Colonial Theaters. However, this is the Ritz-Carlton, so residents can also enjoy myriad luxuries without leaving the complex, including concierge services, in-residence dining, housekeeping, the 100,000-square foot Sports Club/LA, as well as restaurants and the cocktail bar.

Currently on the market through Bruce McCue of Atlantic Associates Real Estate, the building’s top sales agent, the apartment is offered for sale at $5,495,000, and includes three parking spaces and state-of-the-art audio/visual systems throughout.

For the full article visit: Atlantic Associates Article

This Should Warm Up Your Day…

From our friends at Masa…Did you know ?

Friday is National Margarita Day!

Just in time for another snow Boston storm… perhaps I will see you there!

                                                                       Celebrate with Masa Boston
                                                                             Friday, February 22nd

Boogey Man



Chamucos Blanco Tequila, Cardamom Tincture, Cracked Black Pepper, Fresh Lemon & Lime.

Chamucos Blanco is a Highland Tequila Using Stainless Steel Ovens to Cook the Agave. Full Bodied with Tropical Fruit Notes and an Intense White and Black Pepper Finish.



The Treasure



El Tesoro Reposado Tequila, Muddled Green and Red Bell Peppers, Pineapple, Combier, Fresh Orange & Lime.

El Tesoro Reposado is Highland Tequila, Using Brick Ovens to Cook the Agave. Rested in Aged Oak for 11 months. Mellow yet Rich Agave Flavors, Notes of Olive Oil and Leather with a Hint of Sweetness.



Blue Gold


Oro Azul Anejo Tequila, House Made Oaxacan Bitters, Agave Nectar, Fresh Orange & Lime.

Oro Azul Anejo is a Lowland Tequila, Using Ovens to Cook the Agave.  Aged for Over 2 Years in Charred Oak Barrels.  Roasted Tropical Fruits, Brown Spices, Toasted Nuts and a Touch of White Pepper. Somewhat Rustic with an Artisanal Edge.

                                                masa restaurant 

                                                               439 tremont st, boston, ma 02116
                                                               617.338.8884 |

Feed me!

 Dining just keeps getting better in Downtown!

Keep an eye open for another new restaurant in our neighborhood…this one will set up shop at 35 Temple Street. That address is the current location of the Windsor Button shop which ,after many years, will be closing soon .

The yet to be named restaurant will be opened by Joe Cassinelli….check this out from a recent issue of the Phoenix.

 It’s not often that you encounter a chef-owner who is as passionate about choosing the best fish (haddock or pollock?) for his tacos as he is about ensuring his servers remember to say “hello” and “goodbye” to guests. Nor is it every day that a local chef talks about the Davis Square dining scene without smothering a smirk. If that corner of Somerville does have a burgeoning scene, Joe Cassinelli is one of the key players. In a very short span, he opened two jam-packed, rave-reviewed casual restaurants: Posto (187 Elm Street, Somerville, 617.625.0600), an upscale Neapolitan-style pizzeria, and The Painted Burro (219 Elm Street, Somerville, 617.776.0005), a sustainable twist on authentic Mexican

Are You A VIP?

The new Ritz-Carlton Residences VIP access card is here!


The new VIP card will be replacing all previously established house charge accounts on March 31. The new card will provide owner and residents a new account for charging hotel services to a private card account, payable monthly. It can be used at the hotel restaurants and bars, In Room dining and for over night accommodations.

You must present the card when using the services. The card entitles you to a 15% discount on all food purchases at the Avery Bar as well as the Artisan Bistro.( Sorry, food only, not for your bar tab!)

Contact the Director of Residences for a new application if you haven’t done so as of yet.

What’s Cooking…

Lots when you mingle with these fine Chefs!

With Jaques Pepin and Mary Ann Esposito in town, who could pass up the chance to rub shoulders and get some insider cooking tips from the pros.

Chef Pepin was the guest speaker at the Algonquin Club in the Back Bay to introduce his latest book. BTW, did you know that our own Mr. David Barlow has recently been elected as President of the Club?

Ciao Itlia Mary Ann Esposito and Kathleen Cook.



One of the world’s most renown chefs, Jacques Pepin and KC





It turns out that both Chef Pepin and I once worked for the Howard Johnson company so many years ago. ( In High School I was a cook at HoJos,  he was corporate!)




Mayor’s Holiday Special …

November means the start of the holiday season– and the Mayor’s Holiday Special is helping kick things off with an amazing variety of discounts to theater shows and restaurants.

Discounts include tickets to “The Nutcracker” and $10 vouchers for Back Deck, Blu, Fajitas & ‘Ritas, and GEM. The Mayor’s Holiday Special runs through New Year’s Eve.

For a list of all the offers visit the Mayor’s Holiday Special website here.

Meet The Neighbors At Sip…

Paul and Karen Cormer, Kathleen Cook , David Williams, Jeff Menzer (General Manager of Sip), Lynn Williams

Last night the good folks at SIP on Washington Street welcomed old and new Ritz- Carlton friends with wonderful samples from their menu and some great wines to enjoy.

For a few hours it was a nice gathering of neighbors, and for many it was their first chance to stop in and check it out.

General Manager Jeff Menzer also manages Avery Provisions next door with prepared foods and provisions you just might need at home.

Perhaps you may have caught Sip featured on Billy Costa’s TV Diner last night as well.


Joe from the North Tower and Alan from the South Tower




Coming Up..Meet The Neighbors

Monday evening September 10th at Sip..but don’t forget to register!

Boston Tied for Last in Zagat Latest Survey…

This caught my eye from the Boston Business Journal

Although nationally the average rate that people go out to dinner has stabilized since the recession, Bostonians are still dining out fewer times per week than the national average of 3.1.  Bostonians eat an average of 2.5 meals out each week, tied with Philadelphians for the least-frequent restaurant patrons, according to Zagat’s report.

While Zagat reports that dining out has stabilized at 3.1, that number is still lower than the 3.3 meals out that Americans treated themselves to before the recession took hold in 2008.

The survey found that on average, U.S. diners fork over about $35.65 per meal, a slight uptick over last year’s average. The priciest dining in the country is in Las Vegas, where the average meal costs $47.53.

The survey queried over 156,000 foodies who dined out an estimated 25 million times during the last year, according to Zagat.

The survey, which listed the top restaurants in major U.S. cities, gave a shout to the upscale sushi joint O Ya, as a top restaurant in Boston.

The report also found that 74 percent of diners in Boston support restaurants being required to post their health department letter grades.

“Our surveyors’ support for the display of health department letter grades has grown as fast as support for the smoking bans a few years ago,” said Tim Zagat, Co-Founder and Co-Chair of Zagat, in a press release. “By requiring restaurants to maintain sanitary environments, these laws are benefiting the overall safety of the consumer.”

So, why is it so hard to get a reservation when I call?

Artisan Bistro Opening Changed to Tuesday…

The Ritz Carlton Hotel’s new restaurant, Artisan Bistro will now officially open Tuesday. They needed some volunteers to try a few menu sampleson Friday night …who was I to say no?

From left to right: Peter Wittenborg, Joseph Benjamin,  Kathleen Carrigan, Kathleen Cook and yours truly. 

A few finishing touches remain before opening.

I get by with a little help by my friends: Mary, KC, KC, Karen Cormier, myself and Paul Cormier.


R-C Hotel Restaurant Almost Ready to Roll…Sneak preview!

The new Restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton is getting close to the finish ! 

 Artisan Bistro will feature “approachable artisanal cooking” with the menu to be based on what’s fresh and locally available during the different seasons.


This is what they have to say for themselves…

Opening in September 2011…

Much of what will make one of Boston’s newest restaurants, Artisan Bistro appealing will be its ability to please Boston locals, the stream of visitors taking in nearby performances in the Theater District, movie-goers heading to the nearby Cinema or business executives from the nearby Financial District meeting for lunch or dinner.

Artisan Bistro will serve as a meeting place; a gathering point where guests will mingle during or after-work and post-theater over cocktails while enjoying approachable artisanal cooking. As for the food, it’s aimed squarely at offering fresh local and seasonal dishes, using native ingredients, as well as uniquely sourced products with subtle bistro influences.

Executive Chef Fabian Ludwig, who joined The Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common from boutique hotelier Ian Schrager’s Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City, will lead the kitchen. In his 40 years, Chef Ludwig has cooked in six countries at prestigious restaurants and hotels in Hungary, Germany, Bermuda, America, Switzerland, and England. His cuisine is derived from years of traveling the world and incorporating local and new flavors.

Signature dishes at Artisan Bistro will include Seared Licorice-Honey Glazed Chicken with Rainbow Swiss Charr and Lentil Fricasee; Croque Monsieur with North Country Ham and Gruyere Béchamel; Smoked Pork Chop with Apple Sauce, Caramelized Cipolini Onion and Mashed Potato; Blue Hill Bay Mussels in a Sweet fennel-Tomato Broth; burgers and flatbreads including a Truffled Mushroom, Mozzarella Flatbread; and daily specials to include a Braised Beef Short Rib with Mashed Potato and Root Vegetable. An Artisan Cheese Collection with cheeses imported from around the world and local New England farms will be served with house-made pickled figs, quince and preserved walnuts.

The 76-seat modern dining room will be dressed with rich dark and light woods and will feature elegant European design elements. Spot coloring in the new space includes black, off-white, cognac, blues and warm grays to echo a classic bistro look and feel. Crafted wood wainscoting will envelop the room and soft ambient lighting from above will bath white-washed, wood floors to reflect a bistro-like setting. New stitched-leather booth seating will line the dramatic windows overlooking Avery Street and two high-top booths will stage the dining room on either end. Additional cluster seating will be intimate and close, allowing for easy conversation and lively exchange. A communal table will also serve to unite friends and those who will likely be friends by evening’s end. Warm, soft colors will soothe the room from lunch to dinner, and after hours.

The new restaurant’s 22-seat bar, with a patinaed zinc top, is an integral part of the restaurant’s fun. The mood at the bar will be lively, inviting, yet relaxed and casual at the same time. The cocktail program will include local and classic favorites infused with bistro influences like the Cured Cocktail, A.B.’s Uncommon Sidecar or the Grilled Pineapple Margarita, numerous local microbrews and a signature brunch Bloody Mary menu with ‘Marys’ crafted from fresh tomato water. A wine list with exceptional varietals and moderately-priced bottles and glasses from around the globe complements Artisan’s menu.

Artisan Bistro will open in mid-September and will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, and brunch on Sundays.




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