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!


    • 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.



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.


    • 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.


    • 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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  • 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!


  • 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!

Weekending: Granary Tavern, Birthday Lunching, Jingle Bell Running

I’m pretty sure the weather this past weekend did nothing for getting people in the holiday spirit, right? Nothing like 60 degree weather in December! Oh well, by the end of the weekend, I was able to ignore the weather and fully get into the Christmas/holiday spirit!

Friday Night

Friday night, my sister came over and we headed into the city to meet up with my former yoga instructor and current friend, Alyson. We decided on Granary Tavern, which I love. Alyson was running late so Danielle and I grabbed a drink at the bar while we waited. I splurged on the La Crema because, well, why not?


We shared a few things like the Fondue, Ahi Tuna and Pizza. So good!

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After dinner, we bounced around to a few places before going our separate ways. Such a fun night and we definitely need to do it again, Alyson!



For the first time in a month, I didn’t have to teach last Saturday! But, to be honest, I missed it 😦 I really love starting my Saturdays teaching at the Oak Square Y because the energy is so good in that class and it gets me pumped for the whole day! Last Saturday, I decided to head to the Wellington BSC for some cardio, core and BodyPump. It was great!

After lunch, I met up with some of my college girlfriends (I love when I get to see them more than once in a week!) at the Yard House for our friend Lauren’s birthday. Have you guys ever been to the M Street Shops? They have so many stores (including a Lulu!), coffee shops and restaurants. I’m seriously obsessed with it and cannot wait to go back. Lunch was delicious, but what made it even more special was the fact that our friend, Kelly, who lives in San Francisco now, joined us. It was perfect!

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I hope you had a good birthday lunch, Lauren!

Saturday night was amazing- I did absolutely nothing! I feel like I’ve been on the go a lot on week and weekend nights so the fact that I had the chance to be home, alone, with no plans was awesome. I was in bed at 10pm and slept until 8am. Boy was that necessary!


I woke up feeling like a new woman after 10 solid hours of sleep! After breakfast, I headed to Somerville to meet up with my sister and our parents for the Jingle Bell 5K. I will recap on that later, but it was such a fun race and day! We are so lucky that our parents are so supportive and love coming down to do things with us. They braved the ice storm and everything. Thanks mom and dad!


After the race and lunch, I was SO happy to have a chance to hang out on my couch and shamelessly watch cheesy romantic holiday movies. I’ve been seriously obsessed with these movies this year!


I don’t have many Sundays where I have no meal prep to do, no lunches to make, no grocery shopping to do, etc. I had a little blogging to do, but besides that, I was faced with an afternoon with no plans and it was lovely 🙂

Questions for you: Have you ever been to Granary Tavern? Did you or do you know anyone who ran the Jingle Bell 5K? What’s your favorite Christmas movie?

Photo Shoot with Kapitol Photography and a Weekly Catch-up

Hey there! TGIF 🙂 This week started out fairly busy, but calmed down throughout the week. As of the end of work today, though, I will be gearing up for a very busy weekend consisting of teaching, moving and doing lots of shopping.

You may remember me mentioning my coworker/friend, Tim, in my Stowe, VT recap. Well, he was up here for business again at the beginning of the week and decided to come up Sunday evening instead of taking one of those deathly early flights on Monday morning (don’t those flights always seem like a good idea when you book them? And then you are rudely reminded of how awful they are when your alarm goes of at 4am, right?), so we got together and grabbed dinner and drinks at the Yard House in Fenway. I thought it would be go to Fenway since Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake were playing there. It was packed, but since the Yard House is huge we didn’t have a problem getting a table. I was a bad blogger and didn’t take any photos, but Tim did take this video that I’ll share.

IMG 4712 from Monique Gagnon on Vimeo.

It was pretty cool that you could hear the concert so well!

I was able to get up Monday for an early 3.5 mile run before work. After work, since Tim was still in town, we grabbed drinks at the Alibi Bar which is in the Liberty Hotel. The drinks were delicious!

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Since most coworkers were on vacation this week or out of town for client site visits, we didn’t have a big group dinner like we usually do. Some of us went to Gaslight in the South End. I was hesitant of going there because the one and only other time I had been was one of the worst dining experiences I’ve ever had! From the service to the wine to the food, I was utterly unimpressed. It bothered me so much because I’m usually pretty easy to please and the Gaslight has really great recommendations. With that said, this past visit completely erased the former bad memories associated with the Gaslight. The wine was delicious and my dinner (Swordfish Roti–with couscous, heirloom tomatoes & cucumber gazpacho) was amazing!! Some of the best swordfish I have ever had. So happy they redeemed themselves!

On Tuesday, my sister met me at my new apartment after work. She was so sweet and brought champagne and treats! I’ve been avoiding moving or even thinking about moving (I’ve had my keys since August 1st and hadn’t even stepped foot in the apartment since then. Clearly I’m having issues with moving!), but having her there and seeing her be so excited for me helped to get me out of my pending move funk and actually make me excited! So much so that I started making my “need to buy” list. Yuck!


The rest of the week was as they all are: work and teaching, but I did want to take some time now to show you the amazing headshot photos that I got back from my friend, Dan Brown (aka, Kapitol Photography). Dan and I went to college together and via Facebook, I realized that he is an incredible photographer. Not long after I started my blog, I realized that I wanted to get some professional photos taken so I reached out to Dan. He was more than happy to help! It took us forever and a day (ok, not really, but it took a while) to get a date that worked on both of our calendars, but after seeing the photos, it was well worth the wait. We headed to Acorn Street in Beacon Hill and then made our way to the Esplanade. Here are some of my favorites! I’m looking to pick one to use as my B2B headshot- please vote for your favorite in the comments! 🙂


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The two photos above were taken on Acorn Street, which is the most popular street to photograph in the city of Boston! It was absolutely beautiful and we were lucky enough to have it to ourselves the entire time we were there. We walked up and down the street and Dan got photos from all different angles, but these two were my favorite (very similar- I realize that 🙂 ).



These two were taken as we left Acorn Street and made our way up and down various other streets in Beacon Hill. The brick buildings are my absolute favorite! How great would it be to live in Beacon Hill?! We also tried a bunch of serious face photos, but I looked terrible in them! I am just not one of those girls that can pull off the straight/serious face photos.







We took these right as we were about to cross over the bridge and photograph on the Esplanade. I feel like these have the real “city” image so I like them for the background, but they aren’t my favorite in terms of strictly headshots. By the time we made it over to the Esplanade, the sun had unfortunately set a little more than Dan would have liked. I was really impressed with how he was able to know where to put me, how to have me angle my head and my body (did you know if you put both your hands right on your waist, vs. on your hips, it makes you appear thinner in photos? These are things us ladies should all know 😉 ) and how to maneuver his way around different places in the city to get the “right” shot.

We are going to do another shoot, but instead of focusing on the “professional, Boston living, work hard/play hard” side of me, we are going to focus on the fitness side of me. I’m super excited for that shot because it means I get to buy new Lulu, right?! Big thanks to Dan for taking time out of his busy schedule (he’s getting married in 2 weeks!!) to take these photos and allow me to share them with all of you! If anyone is interesting in having Dan shoot photos, he can be contacted through all forms of social media:
Facebook: Kapitol Photography
Instagram: kapitolphoto
Twitter: @KapitolPhoto

That about does it for me today! I am not sure how much I’ll be blogging throughout the next couple of days or so since I’ll be moving, but I hope to get some regular posts up next week!

Questions for you: What is your favorite Fenway bar? Where is the last restaurant you went where you had a horrible experience? Have you ever had professional photo’s taken?