Hi everyone! One of my best friends and I decided to get out of town recently and explore one of our favorite New England cities: Boston. It had been quite some time since I last went to Boston and enjoyed it from a tourist perspective so this was a welcome trip. We got to visit the Isabella Gardner museum; I'm not sure how I missed this awe inspiring venue over the last decade. We also visited the Museum of Science which, wouldn't you know, had a food exhibit on display and it was one of the most visually stunning exhibits I've seen to date: The Photography of Modernist Cuisine. The link doesn't do it justice. If you're a food lover in Boston go see this exhibit. Now. I'm excited to share this post because a) I got to taste a whole new side of Boston and b) I'm particularly impressed with how much I consumed in a quick, 36 hour trip to Boston. It might be borderline gluttony but when there's someone to share it with it lessens the burden.
We arrived on the later side of noon in the middle of a quiet spell of rain. With a hankering for a larger than average lunch we found ourselves in the Back Bay area at The Salty Pig.
Even though it was closer to 1:30pm the lunch crowd was still going strong. I didn't mind waiting the fifteen minutes because the open kitchen and wall art were so mesmerizing my hunger was momentarily quelled. When we were finally seated we made a quick decision on two dishes to share: A BLT with pork belly and a charcuterie board with rillette and pork shoulder. We anxiously watched other boards pass by and when ours arrived I grabbed half of the BLT before the plate hit the table.
Crunchy lettuce drizzled with a bright, lemony aioli and topped with a hunk of pork belly made for pretty great rainy day dish. I appreciate a well built sandwich and this was no exception. It was tasty but not truly out of the ordinary. The ensemble on the charcuterie board, well, that's a different story.
The thinly sliced, house made n'juda rillete and small jar packed with smoked pork, harissa and calabrian chiles were outstanding. The board was served with a cheese I can't remember, pickles, dijon mustard and crusty bread. Like a mason laying bricks, I carefully layered the mustard and cheese with the meat and pickles and came out with a beautifully constructed bite.
After we ate every last crumb from the board we headed to the Isabella Gardner Museum. The amount of artwork and furniture Mrs. Gardner collected over her lifetime is astounding. Everything in the mansion was curated by Mrs. Gardner herself and has not been moved since. I really can't believe I'd never visited before-do yourself a favor and go on the next rainy day we have.
We decided to do a later dinner at Scampo at the Liberty Hotel. I had thrown a bachelorette dinner for one of my best friends a few years ago and have always wanted to go back. Pizzas and pastas are what Scampo does well so that's what we ordered: a white truffle cheese pizza with chanterelles and figs and a squash ravioli with pumpkin seed brittle and crisped Brussel sprout leaves.
The ravioli were served in a swirl of brown butter sauce, a fine finishing touch to the well balanced dish. The pizza however, fell a bit flat. I remembered the pizza being a bit better during my last visit. There was too much cheese, the mushrooms seemed a bit gummy to me and there were some chanterelle impostors that made their way on to the dish. I think the toppings weren't distributed evenly and there was no balance of texture so it was just soft.
Before hitting brunch, Steph and I visited the Museum of Science and explored a number of different exhibits, including the Photography of Modernist Cuisine.
The photos definitely increased our appetite and while my photography is nothing special, look at our brunch,
I did some research and found Lulu's Allston had an intriguing brunch menu and was right near the Mass Pike entrance, an easy choice. Look at this menu, S'mores pancakes? Pilsner and bacon pancakes? Am I dreaming?
We both ordered the White Trash Hash: braised short ribs, tater tots and poached eggs. The short ribs melted in my mouth and were even better with yolk and tots. Lots of tots. Like, Holy tots, Batman.
There was also a side of pecan smoked bacon that quickly disappeared. Imagine what the best hearth smells like in the dead of winter and infuse that into bacon. That's what this tasted like. Trust me, it's good.
It was just what we needed to get us through the 3 and half hour ride back to New York. I love that I have some new places to add to my arsenal of Boston favorites. Even the hotel thought we made some good choices,
Until the next dish, ciao!