Courtesy Bmore Media – Pepe’s Pizza, a neighborhood hangout in Mount Washington for 34 years, is undergoing a $1.5 million expansion and renovation that will wrap up in August.
Last week, while having brunch at a friend’s house, the hostess opened her liquor cabinet and started taking out bottle after bottle of “weird liqueurs” that some friends had left her with when they moved. She threw ice cubes into a number of tumblers and said, “Please make something. I just want to use this stuff up.” As well-mannered guests, of course we all obliged. Needless to say, the concoctions we came up with stole the show. The frittata and muffins were great and everything, but did you taste my blackberry-peach-rum-seltzer combo with muddled mint? All too often, these moments of genius live on only in our memories—after all, when else will that exact combination of ingredients be available again? And really, with so many virtuosic mixologists out there, who’s actually interested in my amateur dabblings? We’ll tell you who: the folks at the Mt. Washington Tavern as the opening of the Sky Bar approaches.
The bus to New York was crowded and cold and the pages of my training manual haphazardly highlighted and clipped were all over my lap. Less than a week as a wine shop sales associate and I already had to skip out of town to see a friend’s theater production, but the need to achieve would not relent. I scoured those pages on the bus, eager to fill the gaping chasm of my lack of wine knowledge from the ground to the glass.
Even at the end of three years of virtual saturation in material and product, wine and the knowledge thereof seems to be like so many other subjects: the more you learn, the more there appears left to learn, more daunting and more worthy the quest becomes. It was the first of many discoveries, the literature major in me unable to resist noticing pockets of metaphor tucked into the vineyard vignettes. Turns out, the story in my glass starts much earlier, deep in the dirt with roots reaching for the pulse of the place they’re growing.
Actually, less is more. When you initially think of an agrarian society, you assume that there will need to be plenty of sunshine, plenty of water, and nutrient-rich soil for whatever crop is growing, right? Because ideally a farmer would want a large, bountiful harvest, creating the provision of food and good income for the year. And I’d bet that’s probably true for a lot of things, but when it comes to viticulture, it’s almost the opposite. Vines that work the hardest in some of the toughest conditions often are the ones to produce the most wine-worthy fruit.
Spring. It gives you a feeling of hopefulness, no? Me, I’m hopeful for asparagus. And peas. And oh yeah, rhubarb! (And tulips, peonies, hydrangeas…)
This post is a super simple one: a few of my favorite spring recipes. If you make these once, they will be in the rotation. Promise.
I’d been hearing a lot of buzz about Vino Rosina lately and I visited the restaurant to check it out for myself. I had been once before for dinner and loved it. I went with a group of great friends and we shared cocktails, wine and a bunch of small plates to celebrate my birthday. We had such a great time. Lately, it seemed like some people had forgotten about this place – maybe because so many new restaurants have opened in Harbor East. A few friends have said, “Oh, I love that place…let’s go back!” So, I did.
Ah, dinner at the bar. I like it a lot. It’s casual, you get to really know the person waiting on you and the people around you…and you can also get a fabulous meal. When I go to faves like The Food Market, Birroteca, The Wine Market, PABU, I love to eat at the bar.
One of things I like best about Vino Rosina is that it’s a really approachable place. You walk in, grab a seat at the open square bar (get there early) and can take in the entire place. The people are friendly, the decor is modern yet warm and it’s not too big. And, wow, the kitchen is tiny, tiny…just ask Jesse Sandlin, the former executive chef who’s just returned. When she left in early 2011, her sous chef Sajin Renae took the reigns and ran the kitchen very successfully until she left to open Fork & Wrench in Canton. Then, owner Jim Lancaster recruited his former chef Jesse back – and she’s creating great things in that little kitchen once again.
That’s me. Taking it all in.
I’ve never been one for fancy restaurants. Don’t get me wrong, I love great food and service but I can do without the formality. I suppose I’m more of a Peter’s Inn or Corner BYOB kind of girl. So, this was my first time at Wit & Wisdom and I wondered…what would a girl from a tiny town with two traffic lights who now lives in the land of hipsters and pink flamingos identify with there? I figured that out pretty quickly when I visited for dinner a few weeks ago. It was pretty eye-opening actually.