Last night I had the pleasure of attending the one year anniversary party and celebration of achievement for BanQ, a contemporary French/Asian fusion restaurant in Boston’s South End. Within the past couple of years, the South End has sprouted with new eclectic restaurants; however, what makes BanQ so noteworthy is not limited to their delicious food, but their award-winning interior design. Thus, this celebration was in combination with Wallpaper Magazine, who awarded BanQ with their “best new restaurant” award in 2009.
The party’s attendees included Boston area public relations professionals, beauty insiders, and interior designers among others. I brought my friend and coworker, Leighann Farrelly, who is the Director of Marketing in Boston for Yelp.com. I knew this party was right up her alley, and she was more than enthused to attend! Before mingling and chatting, we hit up the bar, where they were featuring four delicious-sounding cocktails. We both opted for the Deerhunter, BanQ’s version of a gingery-mojito, concocted with Goslings Bermuda Rum, ginger beer, blood orange puree, mint, and lime. This cocktail was strikingly similar to a cocktail I’ve requested at Drink multiple times. Perhaps I’ve started a Boston cocktail trend? (more…)
Boston’s Chinatown is one of my favorite areas of the city. No, it doesn’t have the best shopping, best spas, or even the best food; however, what it does have is the most authentic feel of anywhere in the city. When I want a break from typical Boston life, I’ll head over to Chinatown. I love being immersed in a completely different experience than the typical Beacon Hill yuppy or touristy North End vibes. To me, Chinatown is a refreshing escape.
Chinatown used to be known as the Combat Zone, a seedy adult entertainment area of the city. Prostitution and drug dealing were rampant and unfortunately are still issues. However, with the development of Emerson College, Suffolk University, and the Ritz Carleton on the outskirts of the neighborhood, as well as general gentrification of the area, Chinatown can now be valued and appreciated for the cultural experience it offers.
My friends joke that I am the resource for everything Chinatown. Whenever they have questions on where to get the “best of” in the neighborhood, they come to me. I have yet to let anyone down with my recommendations! Below is a taste of the best of what Chinatown has to offer. (more…)
I’ll be first to admit that I have a serious obsession. A cupcake obsession. While New York City was on the forefront of the cupcake boom, the Boston cupcake market was basically non-existent. Sure, most bakeries sold decent cupcakes in their list of offerings, but there weren’t any solely cupcake-dedicated boutiques in the city. That is, until last year, when a little slice of heaven appeared in Back Bay. Sweet, Boston’s first cupcake boutique, opened to the joy of thousands of Bostonians who had the same obsession and cupcake fantasies as I. Why wouldn’t they? HOW couldn’t they?! Cupcakes are perfection; tasty, cute, portable, come in a wide variety of flavors, and you can eat more than one (or at least I can!) and not feel bad about yourself.
Sweet is dedicated to using only the finest ingredients, including Madagascar vanilla beans, Callebaut and Bensdorp chocolate, as well as organic carrots in their Organic Karat cupcake which is topped with an edible gold leaf. From little touches like cupcake inserts to keep your cupcakes sturdy while being transported, to complimentary cards, ribbon, and birthday candles, Sweet takes every little detail into consideration.
With the success of Sweet’s first location comes a second location in the heart of Harvard Square. This store has as similar look and feel to the original in Back Bay, with dark brown wooden floors, fun brown, pink, and white wallpaper, clips of Mary Antoinette being shown on the flatscreen TV, and funky jazz beats in the background. Sun streams through the floor-to-ceiling windows as one can sit at one of two tables and enjoy their sweet treats while relaxing with friends or people watching on the Square below. Sweet is elegant, classic, and trendy all at the same time. (more…)
Pinkyotto is Boston’s latest addition to the fun and frenzied Newbury Street shopping scene. Originating in New York City, this is Pinkyotto’s fifth location and the only outside of the City. Pinkyotto prides itself on providing funky, one-of-a-kind trend -forward pieces at affordable pieces; nearly every accessory and article of clothing is under $200.
I stumbled upon Pinkyotto after a leisurely lunch at one of my favorite outdoor patios, Stephanie’s on Newbury. One of the first things I noticed while browsing through merchandise is that there are no sizes. Everything is “one size fits all”. The owner explained that when they opened their first location, they were extremely limited on store space. and wanted to provide their shoppers with a wide variety of clothing, so rather than limit their design, it chose to limit sizes.
I quickly began rummaging through the racks of florals, lace, gauze, dresses, tunics- you name it, they have it. I had an event that evening and was looking for something funky and offbeat without sacrificing my typical classic and preppy style. I selected a variety of different pieces including a ultra short chiffon leopard dress, white lace 3/4 length sleeve tunic, and a simple black pocketed dress with an oversized bow on the front. (more…)
SportsClub/ LA member? Owner of a vacation villa on Anguilla or St. Barths? Regular at Harvard Gardens, Sonsie, or Vault? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, I have some advice: Get off the computer, dig out your latest Barney’s purchases, call yourself a cab, and ask to go to the Langham Hotel. Yes, the Langham. That sleepy hotel in the Financial District best known for their all-you-can-eat Chocolate Buffets on Saturday. Believe it or not, there’s something special in there, and it’s called BOND.
The Langham Hotel is one of the least likely places to think you’d find Boston’s newest nightlife hotspot. Appropriately named for the former Federal Reserve Bank it now occupies, BOND’s ridiculously awesome bumpin’ beats, yummy eats, and an amazing vibe has caught a lot of attention in the Boston scene. (more…)
Editors’ Note: We’re happy to introduce our friend Sara Steele-Rogers, girl about town in Boston, to guest blog for us on what’s hot and hip in her home city. Be sure to follow her series to keep up to speed on the going-ons of our favorite New England city.
The Fort Point area of Boston has certainly been through a myriad of changes through its history. Transitioning from a major participant in the wool trade, to textile mills and warehouses for manufactured goods, the area truly began to “find” itself when discovered by Boston’s artist community in the 80′s. Fort Point quickly rose to hold the largest concentration of visual art studios in New England, and with the neighborhood’s recent development, restaurants, lounges, bars, and boutiques have slowly been emerging as some of the be-seen places in the city.
Enter Drink. Located below the hustle and bustle of Congress Street, Barbara Lynch (of No.9 Park, Stir, Butcher Shop, B&G Oysters fame) has penetrated Fort Point through the inception of this libation destination. The sleek, dimly lit, and slightly industrial space is filled with all types: businessmen, 20-somethings, cougars, tourists. It’s all here. (more…)
Fashion and food go hand in hand at the Emporio Armani CaffÃ¨ located in Boston’s swanky Back Bay. I stopped by this Milanese eatery last March for an early afternoon pick-me-up and was instantly charmed by its elegant sophiscation yet inviting nature. From what I understand, the Armani Cafe is a social hot spot in Boston- a scene frequented by the city’s European and Latin American populations, as well as stylish locals and vistors alike. During the warm months, the outdoor patio provides prime seating for watching the fashionable set strut down the city’s largest runway- Newbury St.
But I stepped into the restaurant to dodge the winterly chill during the slightly awkward hours between lunch and dinner so I essentially had the whole place to myself. I chose a window table and ordered the insalata di gamberi e fagioli (shirmp and white bean salad, $14), which was pleasantly delicious despite being a simple plate. The portions are not huge and the fare is generally light, making this a great place to gather a few gals for lunch – or the cafe ambiance also makes it a comfortable space to dine for one. (more…)
Periodically, I travel to Boston for work and when I’m there I always set aside a few hours to stroll down Newbury St. For those of you who haven’t been there, Boston is a cute mixture of both a cosmopolitan city and a New England town- and Newbury reflects that by housing some of the biggest fashion names (Armani, Chanel, Loro Piana) in two-story brick walk-ups along it’s tree lined street. A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a fantastic undergroud store called Stil and was immediately enchanted by all the pieces I saw and tried on. Stil markets itself as a concept store providing distinctive clothing- both “fashion forward yet conservative, edgy yet understated, tastful and tantalizing.” Betty Riaz, the owner, stocks Stil predominately with Scandivanian designers that are new to the US market so the customer knows that she is purchasing a hard-to-find item. With such a finely selected and limited inventory collection, I’m sure the Stil fashionista will be hesitant to reveal where she purchased her beautiful clothing… but some secrets are too good not to share!
Stil is located at 170 Newbury St. between Dartmouth & Exeter.