Boston Restaurant Roundup: Part 3 {Back Bay/South End/Fenway}

It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted a restaurant roundup for you. I meant to do it as a 3 or 4 week installment, but clearly the weeks got away from me and I never finished this series! I’m here today with a bunch of restaurants in the Back Bay, South End and Fenway area. I grouped these together since they are all in ‘that part’ of the city, as I usually say. Although they each have their own distinctive name and area, you get to all of them by going in the same direction, so that counts for some type of similarity, right?

Before we get to these restaurants, make sure you check out my other Boston Restaurant roundups pertaining to different areas of the city:

Boston Restaurant Roundup: Part 1 {Downtown Boston}

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

Back Bay

    • Douzo Sushi– Here’s another great sushi restaurant. The sushi is a little pricey, but it is worth it! I’ve been for lunch and dinner and enjoyed both so much. They have a really good wine selection and they validate parking in the garage nearby- $5 for 3 hours, which means you can park, eat, shop and only pay $5!

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    • Cafeteria– My sister and I have gone here a few times for lunch and always love it. The menu is small, but there’s always something that catches our eye. They’ve got a great outdoor dining space and the whole “school” theme is really fun. The prices are reasonable for this part of the city.

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    • Back Bay Social Club– I’ve always loved this restaurant- both for brunch, dinner and just drinks. Again, they have outdoor seating, which is always on my list of “must haves” for summer dining. Brunch cocktails are tasty and the bar tenders are always really nice. I had dinner there and loved the salad and scallops. They’ve got wine on tap, too 😉
    • Sonsie– I’ve eaten at Sonsie a few times and have always enjoyed it. My sister and I went there recently and had an awesome lunch some great drinks. I love that it’s right in the heart of the Back Bay and has great windows that open up onto Newbury Street.

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South End

    • Gaslight– The first time I went to Gaslight, I hated it, however, when I went back some time after, my thoughts were completely changed. I recently went back for lunch and was again, happy with the experience. I love French cuisine, and this place does not disappoint! The Croque Madame was top-notch.

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    • The Gallows– My friend Jess and I went here and I was so thankful that she introduced me to it. It’s a dim-lit, crunchy type of restaurant with a good list of “small plates” for sharing. We ordered some tacos and a butternut squash dish and a few other things and I loved everything.

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    • Stella– I’ve only been here once, but have been dying to get back. The food is fantastic and they have 2 bar areas so you’re two times more likely to get a seat at the bar 😉 They also have a gluten free menu and everything we had from it was fantastic! This is one of RM’s favorite restaurants in the city.

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Fenway

  • Eastern Standard– This restaurant is also a favorite in Boston. The last time I went, we sat at the bar and had a great time trying new drinks, watching the bar tenders do their magic and ordering different things from the menu to try. Another thing I love about ES is the fact you can tell the bar tender that you’re waiting for a spot at the bar to eat dinner and will reserve a place for you when spaces open up. This eliminates the need to always be hovering and watching for people who look like they might get up, which makes for a much more enjoyable experience!

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  • Yard House– If you’re looking for a good bar with lots of beers on tab, Yard House is the way to go. There are always games on TV and always a good bar scene. And, out of all the sports bar restaurants in Boston, Yard House has the best food (in my opinion). There’s also a Yard House near my office in Lynnfield that’s huge and conveniently located amongst lots of shops.

By the looks of this list, I think I need to start going out to eat in the Back Bay/South End/Fenway area. My girlfriends and I are going to Stephi’s on Tremont tomorrow, so I’m sure I’ll be adding that to the list after.

Questions for you: Have you been to any of these restaurants? Do you have a favorite restaurant in this part of the city that I didn’t mention?

Also, I want to wish my parents a very happy anniversary!! I love you both so much!

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Weekending: Dining, drinking & celebrating mom

Weekends are usually pretty great, but this past weekend was especially great and I think the combination of being surrounded by lots of family and the weather was the reason behind it. I’ve been trying to cut back on weekend recaps because I’m not sure how much you enjoy hearing about my play-by-play weekend adventures, but this one was filled with trying out new restaurants and celebrating someone very special so I figured it was worth sharing 😉

Friday night, I met the boy in Central Square and he brought me to a little hidden gem: Green Street Grill. This little restaurant/bar was tucked away on a street parallel to Mass. Ave right in the heart of Central Square. We were lucky enough to snag 2 seats right at the bar (our favorite) and enjoyed some vino and delicious (gluten free) dishes. I had had a very stressful (but good stress) day and it was so nice to be able to relax, have a few wines and not think about anything for a while.

Saturday morning, my sister and I went to a class at Flywheel and, just as I expected, Ann taught a phenomenal class. I’d love to say that I had a great ride, but for some reason, my legs felt like lead and I just didn’t have it in me to push myself and pedal faster. I wanted to- so badly- but my body had another thing planned. Oh well. It was still fun riding next to my sister and we left there hot yoga sweaty!

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After class, we shopped around a bit (I got a new dress for Miami!) and then had lunch at Sonsie. The weather had cleared and we got seats right near the open windows- felt so nice to have warm weather!

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I can’t say any of what I ate/drank was healthy, but life is all about balance, right?

Saturday night was date-night. We went to his brother and sister-in-law’s condo in the South End for roof deck cocktails and baby snuggles before having dinner at Stella, which is also in the South End. My friend Jess recommended it and it turns out it’s one of his favorite restaurants, so it was a no brainer to try it out! Even better? They have a whole gluten free menu. We had a drink while waiting for spots at the bar to open up (the Bruins were on. I couldn’t care less, but I wasn’t going to take him away from watching). For dinner, we shared the sausage and broccoli rabe, the arugula salad and the braised short ribs. They split that for us, which was so nice! They also served it atop gluten free penne instead of GF mashed potatoes which was totally fine.

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Yum. I can’t wait to go back- I dream of that dish. Okay, not really, but it was SO good.

Sunday was a fun day filled with pampering mom! We were lucky enough to have them agree to come down for the day instead of us going up there since we’ve been a few times in the past month or so. Danielle and I made a pretty delicious brunch, if I do say so. We had an egg casserole (egg, milk, chicken sausage, sautéed peppers and onions, spinach and cheese- so easy, so tasty), warm kale salad (with EVOO and lemon juice as the dressing, craisins, goat cheese, grilled pear and candied pecans), fruit salad and Stonewall Kitchen blueberry muffins.

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One of the best parts of the day was the fact we got to spend time on my back patio, soaking up some serious sun!

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(terrible picture, but it was all I had!)

My mini patio set is, well, mini, but we squished to make it work.

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Yummm. I love brunch food! We had such a nice afternoon drinking wine (mom loves excuses to day drink!) and catching up. My dad is coming down next weekend to help get my garden started and I can’t wait! It will be so nice to have fresh veggies all summer- I’m lucky that he has volunteered to help!

And that about sums it up. Although it was a rather indulgent weekend, there’s nothing better than spending time with the people you love and food/drink indulgences are totally worth it during those times!

Questions for you: Did you get outside to enjoy the weather? What was the best part of your weekend? What did you do to celebrate Mother’s Day? What’s your favorite “hidden gem” restaurant? Do you ever have workouts where your mind wants it but your body doesn’t?

Weekending! Harpoon Fest, Sushi, Sonsie, Friends

Before I get to my post scheduled for today, I wanted to take a minute to say how much Oklahoma is on my mind. Seeing the images on the news that the tornadoes caused makes me speechless. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of those who have been impacted by these tornadoes. Absolutely heartbreaking.

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Hi there! How is everyone doing?! I had a super busy weekend, but it was really, really fun! My friend, JP, was in town for the weekend (he is my former coworker/BFF and is moving to Chicago at the end of the month), so it was fun to get to hang out with him, as well as some SMC ladies.

Friday

I was pretty busy with work on Friday, but I was able to make some Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Banana Bread during my lunch break. I don’t know where I got the recipe (definitely from a blog, but no idea which one), but mmm it came out so tasty!

001I talked to my college girlfriends and realized that it was Harpoon Fest, so some of us decided to go. Although it was a little chilly on Friday evening, it was still a fun night!

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(Do you follow me on Instagram, yet?)

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Saturday definitely would have been the better day, weather wise, but I’m still glad we were able to go! Around 9pm, we all decided we were all pretty chilly and decided to head out. We joined JP and some of his friends for another drink at Dillon’s.

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Knowing that I had to teach kickboxing at 10am the next day, I kept myself in good control and even drank a plain club soda while at Dillon’s… shocking, I know! But well worth it. There are some classes I could teach while being tired and a little hung over, but kickboxing is certainly not one of those!

Saturday

Kickboxing was a blast! There were not as many people as usual, but I blame that on the weather. Saturday was absolutely beautiful and had I not been teaching, I would have gone for a nice run outside!

When I got home from kickboxing, I worked in my garden a little bit. I had a few more things I wanted to plant and my dad was nice enough to give me 3 more bags of soil, so it felt good to knock that off of my “to-do” list, while still working on my tan 😉 And, the sun went in just as I was ready to eat lunch. Perfect timing! I sautéed some broccoli and summer squash and then added in an egg, scrambled it up, topped it with goat cheese and served it as a wrap. Easy, healthy, yummy.

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Perfect fuel to clean the apartment, actually. Danielle was around to help, so we split up the different areas of the house to clean and got to work! By the time we were finished, I was exhausted, so you know what I ended up doing? NAPPING. If you know me, you know that I NEVER nap, so this was pretty crazy. I passed out for a solid 45 minutes and only woke up because I was drooling everywhere my sister told me it was time to shower. Luckily, I wasn’t groggy or anything, because that is the worst, and part of the reason why I don’t nap.

After we were ready, we headed to Joshua Tree in Somerville for a cocktail and snack before meeting up with my friend, Lauren, for sushi. Davis square was hoppin’! There was some sort of sidewalk/porch band festival thing, too, which seemed pretty cool. I love how the spring weather makes people venture out and about.  I got a Sangria, but it was awful so I didn’t finish it. Boo 😦

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For dinner, we went to Fuji in Kendall Square since I had a Groupon that was just days from expiring.

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While we perused the menu, we enjoyed some edamame and Sauvignon Blanc. $26 for the bottle. Ummm amazing.

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I ordered a Spicy Tuna Roll, which was only OK. It seemed like it had tempura mixed in and I wasn’t a fan of that. Everything else was delicious, though, especially the company and free valet parking 🙂

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After dinner, Danielle and I went to Sonsie to grab a drink with JP since it might be the last time that we see him before he moves to Chicago 😦 The city was very much alive and I loved it! Sometimes it’s nice to have a reminder of how wonderful it is to be able to live in Boston. I think I take it for granted far too often, so last night was nice to soak it all in.

All in all, it was a great weekend. I went out and had fun with friends, had some great adult bevvies, and was able to enjoy Boston. Sunday was the icing on the cake as I was totally in my element at the Wellness By The Water retreat. I’ll do a full post dedicated to my experience there later this week, but I’ll say that it was awesome.

Questions for you: What was the best part of your weekend? Did you go to Harpoon Fest? Did you go out dancing (mom, I know you did!)? Drink any fun, summer-ish cocktails?