Ribelle, Beat Hotel, and Other Good Eats

It’s time for another edition of my Good Eats Series, where I share some of the great foods I’ve enjoyed but were previously undocumented.  This installment is all about food, food, food. Plus two winter-appropriate drinks.

Before we get into all the deliciousness though, I want to address something: some of you have noticed that I’ve slowed down a little bit in my posting schedule over the last few weeks. Thanks for the emails and concern, but my schedule has just been pretty crazy lately! I may have bitten off more than I can chew with all of my commitments. So I had to relax and chew more slowly. But don’t worry – after the holidays, things are going to ramp up again! And in fact I have some exciting things planned for 2014…

For now, let’s focus on these good eats.

First, Ribelle. Brookline’s hottest new restaurant is headed by chef (and owner) Tim Maslow, who was recently crowned Eater Boston’s Chef of the Year.  Ribelle has been getting some good reviews – the Boston Globe gave it four stars (extraordinary), with Devra First saying it’s “food that goes POW! in your mouth.” I couldn’t agree more. I liked the food there so much, I went back twice in 3 days! Think: rigatoni with octopus, fennel, and smoked tomato; agnolotti with short rib, smoked bone marrow, brussels sprouts; swordfish with peanut romesco and gigante beans. And these were the dishes that I didn’t even get to take pictures of, because my Supper Club friends and I couldn’t wait to dig in. I did, however, manage to sneak in a few iPhone pics:

The Dickens – Jamaican run, hot cider, amaro whip

Carrots – with hazelnuts, berry jam, mustard seeds

Truffle Egg Toast – semolina bread, shishito peppers, egg

 

Pappardelle – with bolognese, kale, and pork skin (yes, chicharron!); Cabbage – with brisket, beluga lentils, egg, and caviar

Olive oil ice cream with chocolate shell and sea salt

We tried other desserts, too, but the olive oil ice cream was the best. It was so creamy with an almost aggressive saltiness. Highly recommended!

Ribelle on Urbanspoon

Now let’s talk about Beat Hotel. This brasserie, bar, and live music venue is the latest addition to Harvard Square’s scene. Beat Hotel is owned by the same people as The Beehive in the South End; there’s daily live music, no cover charge, great cocktails, and a seasonal menu. I was invited to a media dinner a few weeks ago, but have already been back multiple times and has not been disappointed. I love the fun, hippie vibe, the spacious area, and the location right near the center of the square (it is in the former space of The Tannery in Harvard Square, right below the Gap). And the food is really good.

Hamachi Sashimi

Butcher’s Platter – pates, smoked meats, cheese, pickles, olives

Braised Beef Brisket – with sweet potatoes and petite Brussels sprouts

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cake (blurred in the background is the Bread Pudding – also amazing)

Beat Hotel on Urbanspoon

Another place that I’ve been to multiple times, especially this year because I work nearby, is Papagayo in the Fort Point area. I’ve always liked Papagayo, especially the spicy guacamole prepared tableside, but at a recent lunch with my co-workers I discovered a new gem from the menu:

Tacos de Atun (Tuna Tacos) – minced fresh tuna, wonton tortillas, chipotle cream, and cabbage slaw

These adorable Asian-style tacos were delightful. Sure, they’re little (the tacos are fried wonton wrappers), but you’re probably going to fill up on chips, salsa, and guacamole, right?

Papagayo on Urbanspoon

One more thing from a restaurant and then we’ll move on…

This is the Angry Orchard hard cider from Sweet Cheeks, one of my very favorite restaurants in Boston. If you like BBQ and meat, please, get thee Sweet Cheeks.  You’ll eat the best biscuits EVER, and don’t ignore the desserts and drinks. Lately I’ve been opting for cider and cider-based cocktails (see cocktail from Ribelle above). Angry Orchard Crisp Apple is on top of my list!

As for other good eats that I’ve been enjoying in the comfort of my apartment:

I recently became part of the Kerrygold Blogger Network, and they sent me this party nibble pack of Dubliner Cracker Cut Cheese, crackers, red wine, and marcona almonds. They said it was a “party pack” but most of it became “instant dinner.” I love kicking back with a little cheese plate for myself – I put together cheese, crackers, fruit, wine, and chocolate. Paired with a good movie, a hoodie, and sweatpants, and I’m a happy camper. I especially love the convenient, cracker-size slices of creamy, crumbly Dubliner. If you haven’t tried Dubliner cheese yet, I suggest looking for it on your next grocery trip – it’s so good! It tastes like a cross between sweet cheddar, nutty Swiss, and salty Parmsesan. Great for snacking.

More snacks: CVS Gold Emblem pomegranate dark chocolate bites is a nice option when I’m craving something chocolate-y (and yes, it pairs well with my cheese plate for one).

And I fell in love with this little tin of Nudo extra virgin olive oil with cocoa nibs. (Holiday tip: for those who are looking to buy gifts for foodies, this festive gold tin would make a great stocking stuffer!)

I received both as samples, but will gladly buy both for myself. Especially the chocolate olive oil. It’s a unique way to add chocolate-y richness to desserts, and I can imagine it would be delicious on savory dishes as well. I drizzled a little bit on some pound cake slices and it made the cakes taste even more luscious.

Last but not least, several weeks ago I attended the Annual Taste of Perkins event:

lobster grilled cheese bites

salted caramel fudge brownies on a stick

Long time readers know that the Perkins School for the Blind has a special place in my heart and that I try to go to this wonderful event (please read my review and you’ll understand!) every year. This year’s event was bigger and better than ever, with blindfolded taste tests, silent auctions, a cocktail reception, food stations. But more than the food, I love how this event bring awareness, discovery, and greater appreciation for our senses. It’s always emotional for me because I have a personal connection to the school, but I am 100% sure that each and every person who attended that event was touched and came out feeling more grateful. And that’s the best kind of event there is.

Stay tuned next week for a holiday dessert recipe that will make homemade gifting easier and sweeter. And in the meantime, I’d love to hear about YOUR latest Good Eats!

   

15 Responses to “Ribelle, Beat Hotel, and Other Good Eats”

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    Erica @ In and Around Town posted December 12, 2013 at 10:06 am

    I am going to Ribelle after Christmas and cannot wait – I have heard nothing but amazing things about it!

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    Alaina posted December 12, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Oh man, everything looks so good! I need to get out more. :-P

    David and I did try Gather last week and it was so delicious. It’s right in your neck of the (working) woods if you haven’t tried it out yet! I recommend the veal shank with sage gnocchi . Yum!

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    the Squishy Monster posted December 12, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    I’ve obviously been missing out—I need lobster grilled cheese in my life!

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    Megan posted December 12, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Everything looks mouthwatering. I totally get it about slowing down. Enjoy the holidays!

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    Daisy posted December 12, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    you have been busy visiting some amazing new restaurants!! I have ribelle at the top of my list!

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    Honey What's Cooking posted December 13, 2013 at 1:32 am

    wow, that truffle egg french toast looks AMAZING! such fun eats.

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    Joanne posted December 14, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Apparently it’s time for me to plan a visit to Boston…both of those places sound amazing!!

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    Cailee posted December 14, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Wow!! Everything looks so delicious!! Especially that peanut butter cake!! I love pb and chocolate… seriously the best combo!! :)

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    Liz posted December 15, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    You know where to find some marvelous food! I was especially enamored with those brownies on a stick, but it all looks wonderful!

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    Meghan M. (@TraveleatloveMM) posted December 16, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Great post! I love Beat Hotel so much, and the Kerrygold gift pack was such a tasty treat!

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    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes posted December 16, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Everything looks so darn good!!!

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    sarah k @ the pajama chef posted December 17, 2013 at 11:36 am

    olive oil ice cream! i’m so intrigued!

    • Bianca Garcia replied December 17th, 2013 at 2:16 pm

      It was my first time trying it – sooo good! I’ve had desserts made with olive oil before and sometimes it’s hard to taste the olive oil, but in the ice cream it was pretty prominent (and delicious).

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    Kerrie Urban posted December 20, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Great pics! I’ve been wanting to try Ribelle and you just made me want to even more! The truffle egg toast looks amazing!

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    Molly Galler posted December 24, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    I recently tried the Beat Hotel as well. Ribelle has been on my list since it opened. Who can resist magic shell?

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