9.13.13

worthy of gifting…

After many-a weddings, births, anniversaries, birthdays, and house-warmings, I’ve finally found my groove with what I feel are the perfect gifts for each special occasion. And if you are really stumped, there is a gift-shopping service named Amesalu that is probably worth checking out!

 

For the new baby: Barefoot Dreams “Nap-To-Go” plush pillow and blanket.

For the mother of the new baby: Personalized jewelry from Jennifer Meyer, or this from Maya Brenner Designs for a less expensive option

For the new couple: Anything from Didriks in Cambridge

For the new Boston homeowners: A classic. The Shreeve, Crump and Low Gurgling Cod pitcher

For your host for the weekend: The Simon Pearce crackle glaze Belmont pitcher accompanied by anything else that they sell (I personally like some seasonal napkins and serving wear… its nice for your host to be able to freshen up her table setting every now and again!)

Wine for your dinner host: A never-fail is any red by Stags Leap with my personal favorite either being their Petit Syrah or Cab

For the health-nut or master chef in your life: The Vitamix Blender. Mix cocktails and/or protein smoothies. Puree your child’s organic produce, or replicate a soup from the New England Soup Factory. This thing does it all brilliantly!

For the person who has it all:

 

 

 

 

Check out Charitybuzz.com to purchase an exclusive experience for the person who has it all – from walk-on roles for your favorite tv shows to tickets to the a meet-and-greet with Sting before VIP tickets to his concert, you can pretty much find anything you want to do in life from music, entertainment, sports, fashion and art to food… and its tax deductible (and for a good cause).

8.8.13

worthy of children…

I may be biased, but I have three beautiful little chicks! Here are some of my favorite places in Boston to shop for them for all different kinds of occasions.

Lester Harry’s
http://www.lesterharrys.com
115 Newbury Street, Boston

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What To Shop For:  Beautiful, stylish clothing, shoes, accessories, toys and gear for babies and children up to age 12.
Sloane’s Favorites: Barefoot Dreams Lovey Bunny (exclusive carrier of Barefoot Dreams) and Lili Gaufrette, Jean Bourget and Neige clothing
Marin’s Favorites:  The Baby CZ cashmere hats for fall and winter
Avery’s Favorites: Flora and Henri separates for lounging – which is how she spends most of her day

 

Jacadi
www.jacadi.us
310 Boylston Street, Boston
What To Shop For:  Classic French children’s clothing from infancy to age 12
Sloane’s Favorites: Pink Belted Winter Puffer Coat
Marin’s Favorites:  Their knit jumpsuits
Avery’s Favorites: Pink velvet and bow front dresses

 

Mulberry Road
http://shop.mulberryroad.com
128 Newbury Street, Boston
What To Shop For:  Casual clothing, shoes, outerwear, accessories and toys for babies and children
Sloane’s Favorites: Their hair bows and clips
Marin’s Favorites: Kissy Kissy clothing
Avery’s Favorites: Trumpette socks

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mila Lilu
http://www.milalilu.com
Copley Place Mall
What To Shop For:  Mini versions of designer clothing labels like Chloe, Marc Jacobs, D&G and more
Sloane’s Favorites: 3 Pommes dresses
Marin’s Favorites: Sophie Giraffe Teethers
Avery’s Favorites: Angel Dear curved pillows

 

The Red Wagon
http://www.theredwagon.com
69 Charles Street, Boston
What To Shop For:  Local preppy clothing and chunky personalized knit sweaters
Sloane’s Favorites: Red Wagon private label roll-neck sweater
Marin’s Favorites: A football onesie for the fall
Avery’s Favorites: fun toys and gifts for her friends

 

Coco Baby
http://www.cocobabyboston.com
1636 Washington Street, Boston
What To Shop For:  More organic labels like Go Gently Baby and Anais & I
Sloane’s Favorites: the array of tutu’s
Marin’s Favorites: Egg by Susan Lazar dresses
Avery’s Favorites: The Nursery Works Vetro Acrylic Crib – like the one North West has…

8.7.13

worthy of entertaining

Whether it’s a wedding or a private dinner party in your home, these are the entertaining vendors that are simply the best and definitely worthy of Merit!

 

VENUES

 

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
www.mfa.org

Venue Highlights: Breathtaking event space in the Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Family Courtyard in the new wing.
Capacity: up to 400 guests with no dance floor, 300-350 with dance floor
Catering Situation:  Exclusive catering with Restaurant Associates
Event Contact: Rebecca Logan, rlogan@mfa.org, 617.369.3115

 

Four Seasons Hotel Boston
www.fourseasons.com
Venue Highlights: Newly renovated ballroom with beautiful views of the Boston Public Garden
Capacity:  ~250 with dance floor but there are ways to get creative to expand capacity
Catering Situation: In-house catering at the Four Seasons – the food is excellent
Event Contact: Jim Peters, jpeters@fourseasons.com, 617.338.4400

 

Boston Public Library
www.thecateredaffair.com
Venue Highlights:  The stunning outdoor Courtyard where you can stage ceremonies and cocktail receptions and Bates Hall for dining
Capacity:  ~300, dancing in a room separate from dinner
Catering Situation/Event Contact: Exclusive catering with The Catered Affair, 617.982.9333

 

Space 57
www.space57.com
Venue Highlights: Versatile and modern blank canvas of space in downtown Boston
Capacity: Up to 900, reception-style
Catering Situation: Either in-house with The Revere Hotel or the caterer of your choice
Event Contact: Laura Kinsman, 617.457.2623,lkinsman@reverehotel.com

 

CATERERS

 

The Catered Affair
www.thecateredaffair.com
Known For: Exquisite menus and five-star service
My Favorite Hors d’oeuvre:  tuna tartare in a wonton cone
When To Hire Them: Any occasion that needs to be absolutely flawless
Who To Work With: Kate Nixon, knixon@thecateredaffair.com, or 781.982.9333

 

Max Ultimate Catering
www.maxultimatefood.com
Known For: Creative menus and cutting edge presentation
My Favorite Hors d’oeuvre: lobster grilled cheese
When To Hire Them: When you want to host a truly original event
Who To Work With: Dan Mathieu or Neal Balkowitsch

 

Catering by Andrew (kosher)
http://www.cateringbyandrew.com
Known For: Beyond edible kosher food
When To Hire Them: When you need a great kosher caterer
Who To Work With: Anyone, 617.731.6585

 

Timothy S. Hopkins Catering
http://www.tshcatering.com
Known For: Simple, delicious, New England fare
When To Hire Them: Smaller events in your home that you want to be lovely and delicious, but don’t need to pay top catering dollar
Who To Work With: Anyone, 978.768.9990

 

RENTALS

 

Tenting & Rentals
Petersen’s Party Center
www.ppcinc.com
Unique Capabilities: Stunning Custom Tenting and Flooring; Full stock of rental inventory (tables, chairs, linen, china, bars, etc.) for one-stop event shopping
Who To Call: Dave O’Leary for tenting, anyone for rentals, 781.729.4000

 

Table Settings
Be Our Guest
http://www.beourguestpartyrental.com
Unique Capabilities:  Fabulous china, flatwear, glassware and other lovely decorative accents for the table
Who To Call: Anyone, 617.427.2700

 

Linens
Table Toppers
www.ttnewton.com
Unique Capabilities: Beautifully tailored custom or in-stock linens in any and every fabric, for every size table; napkins and chair cushions and covers
Who To Call: Georgia, 617.558.0008

 

Event Décor
PBD Events
http://pbd-events.com
Unique Capabilities: lounge furniture rentals, drapery, bars, and other custom furniture and décor to enhance the look and experience of any event
Who To Call: Anyone, 781.848.665

 

FLORAL DESIGN

 

Marc Hall Design
http://www.marchalldesign.com

When I Used Him: When money was no object and the floral design and decorative details had to be unimaginably stunning.
Who To Call: Martha Barron to set up a consultation, 617.482.6272

 

Winston Flowers
www.winstonflowers.com
When I Used Them: All the time! Because their floral design is exquisite and working with them is sheer joy.  The flowers – and service – always exceed expectations!
Who To Call: Meghan Covington, 617.541.1100

 

VIDEOGRAPHER/PHOTOGRAPHER

 

Boston Wedding Films
http://bostonweddingfilms.blogspot.com
When I Used Them: When I needed the best videographer. Period.  The quality of their filming is exceptional as is the editing, and the best part is that you won’t even know that they are there.
Who To Call: Jason Falchuk at 617.461.6809
Click here for a sample of their work from a wedding I did in 2011.

 

For Photographers, please see my blog post on wedding photographers

 

OTHER MISCELLANEOUS VENDORS

 

Music Management
For any and every type of musical entertainment from a solo Latin guitarist to a string quartette to an African drum band
www.musicmanage.com

 

Ultimate Parking
For valet parking at an event or at your home
http://www.ultimateparking.com

 

Mia Carta
For beautiful engraved invitations
http://www.miacarta.com

 

Grapevine Paperie
For beautiful and original custom invitations and printed materials
http://www.grapevinepaperie.com

 

Ted Clausen Calligraphy
Beautiful hand calligraphy
http://tedclausencalligraphy.com

 

8.2.13

worthy of travel

Sometimes I just don’t want to have to go far to get away.  Here are some of my favorite New England destinations, and what I like to do once I’m there. Bon voyage! ~ Tamar

 

MAINE

The White Barn Inn & Spa
37 Beach Avenue, Kennebunkport
www.whitebarninn.com
When To Go: Summer and Fall
Why Go:  For the 5-star dining experience and to enjoy Kennebunkport
What To Do:  Eat, Beach and Water Sports, Antiquing (along Route 1) and Spa
Where To Dine: The White Barn Inn Restaurant, Grissini, Big Fish

Hidden Pond
354 Goose Rocks Road, Kennebunkport
www.hiddenpondmaine.com
When To Go: Summer
Why Go: To take advantage of the coastal Maine outdoors
What To Do:  Yoga, Kayaking, Paddle Boarding, Nature Walks, Beach, Mixology Class, Spa
Where To Dine: The White Barn Inn Restaurant, Grissini, Big Fish

 

VERMONT

 

Twin Farms
452 Royalton Turnpike, Barnard
www.twinfarms.com
When To Go: Fall, Winter, Summer
Why Go: For the ultimate luxury getaway in New England
What To Do: outdoors, spa, relax, dine, rinse, repeat
Where To Dine:  The Inn is all inclusive with its famed cuisine. There is no need to leave this heaven – haven? heaven? same thing.  The food is simply outstanding.

 

 

 

The Inns at Equinox and Equinox Resort
3567 Main Street, Manchester
www.equinoxresort.om
When To Go: Summer, Fall
Why Go: For a lovely Vermont weekend getaway full of unique activities and experiences
What To Do: the British school of falconry (seriously, so fun!), Landrover driving school, Orvis fly fishing, golf, archery, outlet shopping
Where To Dine: Chop House, Silver Fork, The Reluctant Panther Inn & Restaurant

 

Stowe
When To Go: Winter
Where To Stay: TopNotch Resort & Spa, Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa
Why Go: For the skiing, spa and socializing
What To Do: ski, snowboard and other winter sports
Where To Dine: Hen of the Wood, Michael’s on the Hill, Piecasso and Frida’s

 

NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

There aren’t any hotels that are truly worthy, but check out my blog post on my beloved Lake Sunapee.

 

THE BERKSHIRES

The Wheatleigh
Hawthorne Road, Lenox
www.wheatleigh.com
When To Go: Year round
Why Go: If you want to feel like you are escaping to your very own private country palazzo with service that sets the bar for the rest of the leading hotels in the world, and food to match.  Also go there to get married, like I did J
What To Do: traditional Berkshires activities.  Tanglewood, Jacob’s Pillow, the Normal Rockwell Museum, antiquing, hiking, golf, picnics, Kripalu, cross-country skiing and other non down-hill winter activities
Where To Dine: Besides Wheatleigh, Nudel, Bistro Zinc, Bizen,

 

Stoneover Farm Bed & Breakfast
169 Under Mountain Road, Lenox
www.stoneoverfarm.com
When To Go: Summer, Fall, Winter
Why Go: If you want a fabulous B&B experience, because even the name of the place is warm, authentic and luxuriously cozy. And there are only five guest rooms.
What To Do: Traditional Berkshires activities.  Tanglewood, Jacob’s Pillow, the Normal Rockwell Museum, antiquing, hiking, golf, picnics, Kripalu
Where To Dine: Wheatleigh, Nudel, Bistro Zinc, Bizen

 

CAPE & ISLANDS

 

Wauwinet
120 Wauwinet Road, Nantucket
www.wauwinet.com
When To Go: Summer
Why Go: To enjoy the most incredible views of the Atlantic and to enjoy Nantucket quietly
What To Do: enjoy the private beach and ocean views.  Ocean-front recreation activities and shopping in town.
Where To Dine: Topper’s, The Pearl, LoLa 41, Galley Beach Restaurant at Cliffside

 

The White Elephant
50 Easton Street, Nantucket
www.whiteelephanthotel.com
When To Go: Summer
Why Go: To stay in the heart of Nantucket and enjoy all of its social surroundings
What To Do: Ocean-front recreation activities, biking and shopping in town.
Where To Dine: The Pearl, LoLa 41, Galley Beach Restaurant at Cliffside, Corazon del Mar

 

RHODE ISLAND

 

The Ocean House
One Bluff Avenue, Watch Hill
www.oceanhouseri.com
When To Go: Summer
Why Go: To be transformed back in time to the height of “summering” in New England.  Experience turn-of-the-century (1900s, not millennium) – very “Somewhere In Time” charm with modern amenities.
What To Do: Golf, tennis, fishing, boating, croquet, lawn games
Where To Dine: Seasons Restaurant

 

 

MY GO-TO TRAVEL RESOURCE:

Andrew Harper and The Hideaway Report

 

7.31.13

worthy of foodies

They are not necessarily the newest restaurants in town, but these are easily the best in my book, and certainly always worthy of Merit. Enjoy! ~ Tamar

 

Deux Ave
contemporary French cuisine
317 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston (Back Bay)  617.517.5915
Chef: Chris Coombs
The Vibe: modern casual elegance, food and service focused, unpretentious
What To Drink: anything mixed by Francis or Emily
What To Order: “Night Moves” Scituiate Lobster with Gnocchi, then Crispy Skin Gianonne Chicken & Proscuitto

 

Sorellina
modern Italian fare
One Huntington Avenue, Boston (Back Bay)  617.412.4600
Chef: Jamie Mammano
The Vibe: stylish and chic
What To Drink: I don’t know what its called, but a “blueberry smash” is about as close as I can get to this delicious vodka based cocktail in a rocks glass
What To Order: Tuna to start (tuna tartare, simply incredible. ask for extra crisps), Filet Mignon with Montepulciano sauce for entrée, Zeppole (italian doughnuts, white chocolate sambuca crema) to finish

 

Oleana
eastern Mediterranean
134 Hampshire Street, Cambridge   617.661.0505
Chef: Ana Sortun
The Vibe:  Turkish paradise (try to snag a table outside)
What To Drink: The Sangria
What To Order: My husband and I like to order a few “meze” dishes and then split an entrée. Absolutely order the Warm Buttered Hummus with Basturma & Tomato, and Spinach Falafel with Tahini, Yogurt, Beets & Crinkled Cress for Meze, amongst others. Entrees change seasonally, as do the heavenly desserts by Pastry Chef Maura Kilpatrick. Order anything with the words “salted” or “cashew” in the description.

 

Craigie on Main
refined rustic – a foodie’s dream
853 Main Street, Cambridge  617.497.5511
Chef: Tony Maws
The Vibe: American bistro
What To Drink: The Augustine
What To Order: the tasting menu if you have the time and stomach capacity.  Spanish Octopus à la Plancha
followed by Vermont Pork Three Ways: Suckling Confit, Grilled Belly, Spice-Crusted Rib

 

The Bristol
upscale comfort food
The Four Seasons Hotel, 200 Boylston Street, Boston (Back Bay) 617.338.4400
Chef: Brooke Vosika
The Vibe: quiet power brokers
What To Drink: Bombay Sapphire Martini, slightly dirty, extra olives or Red Wine
What To Order: The Bristol Burger with truffle fries we love like family. The Pan Seared Sea Scallops is also excellent, as are any of their home made pastas.

 

Coppa
Italian tappas enoteca
253 Shawmut Avenue, Boston (South End) 617.39.0902
Chef: Ken Origner and Jamie Bissonnette
The Vibe: neighborhood secret
What To Drink: The Americano (not a coffee) – they only have beer, wine and liqueurs
What To Order:  Arancini and Tuscan steak tartare, the Sicilian Fisherman’s Pizza (calamari pizza) Campanelle con Pesta Gnocchi con Sugo, Ossa di Maiale

 

Menton
formality at its finest – French with Italian inspiration
365 Congress Street, Boston (Fort Point Channel District)
Chef: Barbara Lynch
The Vibe: formal, special occasion, impeccable service. Prepare for a long evening of fine dining
What To Drink: fine wines
What To Order: the pre-fixe or chef’s tasting. Let them tell you what is best.

 

Sweet Cheeks Q
killer bbq
1381 Boylston Street, Boston (Fenway)
Chef: Tiffani Faison (of Top Chef fame)
The Vibe: southern bbq for the northern foodie
What To Drink: anything that comes in a moonshine jar
What To Order:  the bucket’o’biscuits with honey butter alone are worth the trip, the Berkshire pulled pork tray, natural half chicken, hush puppies, mac’n’cheese, collard greens and blackeyed peas

 

Hungry Mother
antebellum influence
233 Cardinal Medeiros Avenue, Cambridge (Kendall Square)
Chef: Barry Maiden
The Vibe: eating at home
What To Drink: the non-alcoholic mint lemon soda with peach bitters
What To Order: the boiled Virginia peanuts, cast iron chicken breast with a ragout of morels and legumes and the rubarb brown betty

 

Clio
A Boston institution, French influence
370A Commonwealth Avenue, Boston (Back Bay)
Chef: Ken Oringer
The Vibe: upper east side/special occasion
What To Drink: fine wines
What To Order: Foie Gras Laquee, Butter Basted Lobster and the Citrus Creamsicle (one of the most original desserts I’ve ever had)

 

Bondir
sustainable American farm to table
297A Broadway, Cambridge  617.661.0009
Chef: Jason Bond
The Vibe: Cambridge foodie
What To Order: the menu changes daily
What To Drink: wines paired per course

 

TW Foods
farm to table tasting dinner
377 Walden Street, Cambridge
Chef: Tim Wiechmann
The Vibe: in the know foodies
What To Order: You can only choose either the 3-course or 7-course tasting.  You have no control over the delicious things served.
What To Drink: again, get the wine pairing with the courses