Weekending: A Valentine’s Day Blizzard

Good morning, friends! I am so happy that I have today off, and I hope all of you¬†do, too! My plan today is a workout and then going up to Kittery to meet my parents for lunch since I won’t be around this weekend when they come to help my sister move. I wanted to go spend a few nights up there, but with the snow and parking, I just couldn’t make it work ūüė¶

I’m sure you’re probably so sick of me (and a lot of other Boston bloggers) venting/complaining about the snow- I get it. It’s totally annoying, but somehow talking about it makes me feel a little better. Misery loves company, right? Anyway, with the way this winter has been over the past 3 weeks, it’s really no surprise that another blizzard would hit the city over Valentine’s Day weekend. I honestly felt so bad for all the restaurants because it’s no doubt they all suffered from people cancelling their reservations. I’d love to say we were different, but once we heard about the storm, we opted to stay local and just bar hop by foot (in boots!) rather than get dolled up for a fancy dinner. It ended up being perfect.

Friday night, I had plans on heading to the gym after work, but I did something I rarely do: skipped it. My bag was packed and it was in my plans, but as the day wore on, I realized I was really sore from Thursday and just wasn’t feeling it. I’m so happy I skipped it because traffic was insane and it took me over an hour to get home from work as it was. I was picturing a hungry, tired, post workout Monique in that situation and it just wasn’t pretty ūüėČ

Roberto picked me up and we ended up throwing together a really great, simple dinner: gluten free panko coated fish, sautéed veggies and millet . Everything about it, especially paired with a few glasses of wine and some good catch-up convos with RM, was perfect!

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And, just when we thought it couldn’t get better, it did! I came across this post from Athena’s Friday Favorites¬†and knew I needed to make it for RM. As you know, we try to eat *mostly* paleo, so this seemed like a great addition to our Valentine’s Day weekend. While they were good on their own, I decided they needed (yes, needed) frosting, so I made a simple one of unsweetened bakers chocolate, water, peanut butter, vanilla and confectionary sugar that made the dessert!

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Boston Restaurant Roundup: Part 2 {Seaport District/Southie & East Boston}

Did you miss my first “Boston Restaurant Roundup” post? If so, check it out here. In that post you can find lots of restaurants in the downtown Boston area, including Faneuil Hall, Financial District and Downtown Crossing.

As far as this post goes, we are moving out of downtown Boston to some of the more “up and coming” areas in Boston: Seaport District/Southie and East Boston. While these are a little more on the outskirts of the city, they are super trendy right now and draw masses of people. Here are some of my favorite restaurants in these areas- enjoy!

Seaport District

  • Row 34 is not only my favorite restaurant in the area, but probably my favorite restaurant in Boston right now. I was taken there for my birthday and have wanted to go back ever since! The d√©cor is amazing, they’ve got a great beer (with gluten free options!) and wine list and are known for their Oyster selection. The rest of the options on the menu were just as good as the shellfish appetizers we tried. The only downside is that it is always really busy, so getting a reservation can be tough.

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  • Trade– I haven’t eaten there, but the drinks are really, really good! It’s also in a great location and has a funky style to it. The downside is that the drinks are pricey, but if you’re going for just one before dinner plans, it’s perfect!

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  • Miel– This is a French restaurant located in the Intercontinental and it’s my favorite French restaurant in Boston. I’ve only been for lunch, but every time I’ve been it’s been awesome! From their fancy salads to sliders to French sandwiches and French Onion Soup, the taste and presentation is terrific. They’ve got a really nice patio area on the water, too, which is always a plus!

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Southie

  • Lincoln– I have had dinner and brunch at Lincoln and both times I was pleasantly surprised by the food. It’s known as a “hot spot” for late-night drinking, but it’s worth a visit during meal time, too. They have a “bucket of bubbly” that is a really popular item for brunch, and they were very accommodating to gluten/dairy intolerances when I went there for dinner. If you plan on going there for your night out, I suggest getting there early (like 9pm early) or going for dinner beforehand, otherwise you’ll be in line for a long time.

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  • Stephi’s in Southie– My sister and I went there for brunch on New Year’s Day and were really pleased with the decision. They’ve got a huge bar area, as well as an open dining area, too. The wine was very affordable and the dishes had interesting and really delicious ingredients in them. I still want to go back for dinner!

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  • Moko– My sister just moved to Southie and this restaurant is right down the street from her apartment. We finally decided to go earlier this week and I was really satisfied with the menu options and the quality of the fish! I don’t often have a hard time deciding what roll I want to order, but at Moko there were so many delicious options that I really struggled! I settled on a crazy spicy roll and when I asked to have them do it without tempura, it was no problem at all. I love when restaurants are accommodating to food requests. Though the rolls were not cheap, the wine was! I got a glass of Kendall Jackson Chardonnay for $9, which I think is a great deal. I definitely suggest visiting this little hole in the wall sushi restaurant if you’re in Southie.

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East Boston (aka, Eastie)

  • Santarpio’s–¬†I’m sure this comes as no surprise, right?!¬†Whenever I tell people I live in Southie, the two things they most commonly ask is if I’ve been to Santarpio’s and/or Rino’s. While I haven’t been to Rino’s (yet!), I have been to Santarpio’s a number of times and each time it has lived up to the hype everyone gives it. The pizza is absolutely delicious (the pepperoni, garlic and hot peppers is my favorite), the meat skewers are always worth getting (sausage is my favorite) and the waiters/service is worth a trip on its own! It’s certainly a “no frills” type of place, but the drinks are cheap and the food is great.

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  • Ecco– Ecco is located across the street from Santarpio’s and is actually owned by the same owners. I’ve been there for drinks a few times and dinner once and each experience was really good. The drink menu has some fun options and their taco trio plate is delicious! I’ve heard that they have a back patio, too, so it’s a great place to go when the weather is nice.

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  • KO Catering and Pies– My Eastie friends Pat and Colleen told me about this place and then the boy and I went there on our first date! What I love about it is that it’s almost on the water (it’s in the seaport district) and has outside picnic tables, pitchers of beer, live music and drinking games (corn toss, etc.). The food isn’t to be overlooked, though, as it seemingly reflects authentic Australian meat pies. I got a “floater” which means it’s a meat pie topped with mashed potatoes and gravy and it was to die for! I’m big on messy foods and this fit the bill perfectly. I can’t wait to go back this summer!

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  • Prima e Dopo– This is owned by the people who own Rino’s and was opened to accommodate the masses of people waiting hours for a table at Rino’s. It’s a small place, but they have wine (on tap!), beer and spirits, as well as a small menu. I went with my upstairs neighbor, Lisa, and my sister on Valentine’s day and we had the meatballs, pizza and something else that was a cheesy/saucy dish. I’ve also had the shrimp scampi bruschetta and everything was SO GOOD! The prices are also great.

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  • Angela’s Caf√©– My friends Pat and Colleen also introduced me to this place- a little hidden gem Mexican restaurant. We went for brunch and I got the Mexican Breakfast Burrito and it was so good! I’ve heard that their margarita’s are also super tasty… I still haven’t had a chance to get back there to try them, though. Since they have outside seating, I’m sure I’ll make my way there some night after work for one this summer.

I think that does it for places I’ve gone to and enjoyed in the Seaport/Southie/Eastie areas of the city. Did I miss any/do you have any suggestions for places I should try? Have you been to any of these places? Wine on tap- love it or think it’s gross? Where’s your favorite pizza place?

A jam-packed weekend full of working out & dining out

Do you ever have those weekends where you’re so busy you feel like you need another day just to breathe and catch up on everything you didn’t catch up on over the weekend? That was me last weekend… and, well, all of last week, actually. I have spent the majority of the beginning of this week catching up on everything I wasn’t able to do last week or this week- my floors need to be washed desperately, but that keeps getting pushed further and further down my list, which is totally ok ūüôā

Anyway! After work on Friday, I met up with someone for drinks at Vintage Lounge, which I hadn’t been to in years! From there, we headed to Sakurabana for sushi (as a Catholic, I’m not supposed to eat meat on Friday’s during lent, so sushi was a perfect option!).

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Saturday started with kickboxing (loved seeing Jen, Mary, Valerie, Dani and all the other familiar faces!) as my first workout and then I met my sister at Exhale Spa for a Core Fusion Cardio class with my sister. We met up with our friend, Jessi, for lunch at Anthem. It was such a beautiful day in the city- perfect for walking around and having lunch out (actually, who am I kidding- any day is a great day for lunch out in my mind!). We shared a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, the Fondue (cannot go there without getting it- SO SO SO good) and a pizza.

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I did some serious bar/restaurant hopping on Saturday night, which was great at the time, but not so great when I had to wake up at 7:45am on Sunday to teach a 9am class, after having gone to bed at 1:30am and losing an hour of sleep due to the time change. Womp. Oh well, I made sure to not drink too much so at least I wasn’t hungover! My Saturday night locations included: Prima E Dopo, Back Bay Social Club, M Bar at the Mandarin Hotel and finally Towne… phew! I wasn’t kidding when I said I hopped around ūüėČ

Sunday I taught my 7th class of the week, puttered¬†at Target and then did my CPR recertification. Not really my favorite way to spend a Sunday, but I didn’t really have a choice!

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Lunch at Pizza Etc.¬†after the recertification did make me happy… I’ve missed their Greek salad with grilled chicken. When I lived in Brighton, Rachel and I would get that salad once a week!

By the time I grocery shopped and got home, the last thing I wanted to do was cook dinner. I ended up going to Santarpio’s¬†to grab pizza… not the healthiest choice, but I had been craving it for a while so I decided to just do it. It did give me a crazy bad stomach ache later on- I wonder if it was the pizza or just the fact that I had eaten out literally all weekend.

By the time Monday rolled around, I was so ready for my usual clean eats! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy eating out and would never deprive myself of it, but my body just likes it better when I don’t eat out consecutively for days in a row. I used to let it bother me when I would eat out a lot, but at this point in my life, I’ve gotten to a place where I just let it go and enjoy it because I know as soon as Monday rolls around, I’ll be back on track with my eats. No better way to do that then kale & onion stuffed turkey meatballs served over spaghetti squash and saut√©ed veggies, right?

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I’ve been enjoying this all week!

Questions for you: What was the best part of your weekend? Did you try any new workouts/classes/studios? Did you go to any new restaurants? Have you been to any of the ones that I went to over the weekend? Do you beat yourself up after indulgent weekends of eating out and drinking? What’s the first thing you do to get back on track?