Celebrations at Cinquecento!

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The South End is home to many amazing local favorites for dining.  With a nice blend of old and new eateries, patrons can choose between sticking with what they know or dining at the areas newest hot spot.  Since I’m always up for a challenge for my sister’s birthday her best friend and I surprised her with Cinquecento!

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Now, if you haven’t been to this new addition…

Stop Everything and check it OUT!

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Business hours for dinner are 5pm to 11pm Monday thru Wednesday and 5pm to 12am Thursday thru Friday.  As their site states, Cinquecento offers, “this edgy community [South End] a contemporary, casual and energetic Roman Trattoria, perfect for a spontaneous night out or your go-to spot for dinner and brunch”.  Agreed!  This restaurant definitely fills the void of an Italian cuisine meeting scene.  Affiliated with the fabulous Aquitaine Group, this new addition since November 2012 is as aesthetically pleasing as its sister restaurants with not only a main dining room and bar but a private function room equipped with a bar.  With on street parking and a free parking lot adjacent to the restaurant patrons can drive in knowing they won’t have to fight for parking or pay a ridiculous fee.

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I heard the brunch here is fabulous (I will try it soon), served from 10am to 3pm Saturday and Sunday. I can’t wait for the patio in the summer!

Dinner menu items start from $8 and go as high as $30.50 not including sides that start at $6.50 and salumi (cured sliced meats) starting at $5.25.  Cocktails are either $10 or $11, beer is between $4 and $28, while Amari (Italian liqueur with bitters) range from $6 to $11.

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To get our party started we began with the Cozze in Brodo.  This appetizer consisted of Steamed Mussles, Red Onion, and Basil marinated in a Spicy Broth.  For my main I got the Bucatini alla Carbonara containing Pancetta (pork belly), Pecorino (Italian cheese from sheep’s milk), and Black Pepper.  My sister had the Vitello Milanese con Gorgonzola e Rapini or Fried Veal with Gorgonzola Cream and Broccoli Rabe.  Her best friend tried the Taglaiata alla Fiorentina; Char-Grilled Bavette (fan-shaped cut) Steak, Toasted Sage Oil, Garlic Spinach & Roasted Potatoes.  Since I had to get a cocktail due to the occasion I drank the Autunno, made with Vanilla Bean Infused Apple Cider, Rye, and Fresh Lemon Juice.

First out was our drinks and I loved mines.  It wasn’t too harsh and I loved that you were able to taste the rye within as well as the vanilla notes.

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Following our whistle wetters were the yummy mussels.  These we’re some of the yummiest mussels I’ve had mainly because of the spicy sauce they were swimming in.  The nice and thin broth definitely made this appetizer stand out!

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In a reasonable amount of time our entrée’s arrived.  For a busy Friday night the wait was not long.  My carbonara was lovely!  I’m so glad I didn’t add chicken; the pork was plenty meat for me.  The cheese clung and melted throughout the pasta, distributing nicely through each bite.

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I had a bite of my sister’s veal and her friend’s steak.  The veal was nice and lean!  I enjoyed how the young beef was breaded.

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The steak was delicious on it’s one but was fantastic when combined with the toasted sage oil.  Two thumbs up!

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To end our “tour di roma” for dessert we went with the Lemon & Riccota Torta which I wasn’t too excited about…but then I changed my mind.  This treat contained a Ricotta Pound Cake with Lemon Crema & Blood Orange Sciroppo (syrup).  First bite and I fell in love!  The pound cake was light, while the cream and syrup both were refreshing additions, turning the traditional everyday pound cake into a celebratory dessert.  Great choice made by sissy.

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I’m glad that not only did my sister enjoy her Birthday present but we were able to bond over good food and conversation in a new, sleek atmosphere.  Shouldn’t that always be the case? Maybe I’m just fat, ha-ha. Xo.

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Some of the lovely staff. Thank you!

Cinquecento

500 Harrison Ave.

Boston, MA 02118

617-338-9500

http://www.cinquecentoboston.com

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Friday Brunch at Ferrara’s!

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Whenever I’m off work on a Friday (which is rare) I like taking in luxuries of the day for instance waking up later than usual, walking around the city like a tourist, and of course having a REAL lunch. The usual 30-minute break doesn’t allow much catching up or better yet food enjoyment.  It’s more like a mundane necessity than extraordinary nourishment for the body.  This is how I stumbled upon Ferrara’s.

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I was looking for lunch with friends, and instead they said, “let’s do brunch”.  “On a Friday?” I thought.  No way!

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Voted Best Brunch in Boston Ferrara’s keeps brunch lovers like myself happy with an amazing menu Friday thru Sunday from 8am to 3pm!  If you’re not a brunchie junkie like me then you can join Ferrara’s for dinner Monday thru Sunday from 4pm til closing.  The only thing that makes me sad is that I’m just finding out about this gem and they’ve been open since June 2012. So many wasted Sundays!!!  And Fridays!!!

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Casual and modern patrons can come in right after work for a drink and hangout or make Ferrara’s a destination for dining. The location of the restaurant is close to Haymarket Station making commuting by T easy peasy.

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Menu meal prices are between $4.95 and $16.95 while sides are between $1.95 and $4.95.  I was excited when I seen the “Seafood Benedict” option on the menu and had to have it.  I went with the Fresh Lobster Meat instead of the other options of Maryland Lump Crab or Shrimp and washed it down with some cranberry juice.  This was only the start of a beautiful experience.

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My lobster was SO tender with nice chunks!  The home fries here are to die for!  Cooked up with onions and seasoning, they don’t need any ketchup.  I was full, I was happy…and then the chalkboard caught my eye.  It read, “Egg in a Jar”.  I read the contents and ordered one for my table.  We agreed to not have your potbellies “visible” so we shared this special.

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The Egg in a Jar contained Creamy Mashed Potatoes, Sautéed Mushrooms, Seasoned Grilled Chicken, a toped with a Warm Sunny-Side Up Egg and Crispy Prosciutto. At the time it just sounded different, but after the first bite it was my fate.  The prosciutto was yummy!  I never had it crispy before then.  We broke the yolk of the egg so it could run throughout the jar, which worked out well.  Served with elongated Siciliano bread we quickly dug into our jar, almost as if we didn’t consume our brunch prior.  The mash and chicken delivered as promised and the mushrooms were a nice balance.  If this item is served again when I return I’m getting it for MYSELF hands down.

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So Yummy

I can see how and why Ferrara’s is worthy of high ranks in the city.  With good service, good prices, and tasty meals one has to give credit where it’s do.

Xo!

FERRARA’S KITCHEN + BAR

76 SALEM STREET

BOSTON

857.753.4615

http://www.ferrarasnorthend.com

Rum and Cake Party with Mayan Fiesta Rum Cakes!

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Have you tried rum cake?  If so, do you LIKE rum cake?

Answers to those questions may vary, but what remains constant is that rum cake exist, period.

I LOVE rum cake.  Coming from a Jamaican family I don’t think I really had a choice (I’m sure I did).  Every Christmas and Easter I’m guaranteed, if at no other point in the year, a piece of that dark moist goodness.  But about last year I found out something quite impressive about rum cake in Cozumel, Mexico:

  1. The cake color could actually be yellow, and
  2. You can make different FLAVORS!

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Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of ALL AGES I present to you Mayan Fiesta Rum Cake Co.!

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With their two awesome slogans of “it’s Rum O’Clock somewhere!” and “The Rummiest!”  this company delivers a rum cake containing FOUR TIMES the rum usually used in rum cake taking away the need for water.  That’s right, this rum cake is made with NO water, just rum!  So cool!

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When I tried a sample last year I bought one mini cake for under $9 to bring back to the states.  This year I bought 6 so my family and I could try out other flavors!

Perks about the small cakes:

–       You can eat it all yourself OR share the rum

–       They store easily in your luggage

–       You can try MULTIPLE flavors and eat a whole cake at the same time! (yes, I’m greedy)

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Of all the flavors we purchased I LOVED the Lime Margarita and Banana Crème best. I enjoyed the taste of bananas in this rum cake; it’s not overbearing or faint, but just right!  As for the Lime Margarita, something about it reminded me of Jamaican Rum Cake, which was a treat because I enjoyed this snack just before the holidays.  Both cakes equally moist and full of bold flavor!  How does this family run company keep their cakes so tasty is a great secret that I’m happy I can devour.

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My niece’s hand modeling

Although the company’s website is under construction, you can still phone order from them and get your product shipped!  It’s so worth the S&H. Nothing like arriving home and having food waiting for you to eat it on your doorstep.

Sweet!

Mayan  Fiesta Rum Cakes Co.

Av. Rafael E. Melgar,

Cozumel 77600, Mexico

888-344-3402

http://www.rainforestrumcakes.com/