happy 21st to rialto restaurant


Twenty one years ago, I was a sophomore in high school.  I was far away from where I am now, on the west coast going through awkward life stages as a teenager.  Did I ever think that so many years later I’d end up near Boston, married with a child, and looking forward to special mama’s-night-outs like this?  Probably not.

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o sushi (cambridge)


O, sushi!  Yes, it certainly is my all-time favorite food.  I could never get tired of eating it and I’m so happy that my family enjoys it almost as much.  Yup, that includes our 3-year-old daughter who – during the day while at home bored and on the kitchen floor – decided to video call her daddy at work and begged to have sushi for dinner.  Luckily, he agreed.  And that’s when we decided to try out O Sushi in Harvard Square.

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flat stanley

I got a phone call from my sister one day asking for a favor: she wanted to know if she could send my nephew, Evan’s, Flat Stanley project to me.  I was vaguely familiar with the scope of the project and agreed to take on the task of photographing Evan’s Flat Stanley in some places around Boston.  “Just a couple of pictures is fine,” she says.  Of course, the shutter bug in me couldn’t resist going over and above the call of duty.  And 25 pictures later – along with a homemade suitcase in tow – Flat Stanley made his way back home to Oakley, California with some memories and souvenirs to share.

Luckily for us, the weather was gorgeous so we kind of used the project as an excuse to head over to Boston one day.  We took him to the Boston Public Garden, Harvard University (in Cambridge), Fenway Park and more.  It was funny because I heard so many comments while shooting the photos of people saying things like, “Oh!  It’s Flat Stanley!” and “I remember Flat Stanley!”  I even had one woman offer to take my photo with him at the Paul Revere statue.

If you’d like to see the other photos from Flat Stanley’s adventures in Boston, click here.

And yes, I took the original cut out drawing that my nephew made to Kinko’s and made a color copy of it and then laminated it.  I know, I’m a little crazy.  🙂

first printer (cambridge)

There’s a new restaurant in Harvard Square, did you know that?  A friend told me about First Printer after my husband mentioned it to me one day, so we decided to check it out last Sunday afternoon for lunch.

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pretty food :: grass fed burger

The R.House grass fed burger made with P.T. Farms beef, Vermont cheddar, smokey bacon, and charcoal onions on a griddled English muffin.  Available on the lunch menu at Russell House Tavern in Harvard Square (Cambridge), shown here with mixed greens instead of french fries.

return of the farmers market at harvard

fresh, ripe strawberries

I was so happy when the email arrived in my mailbox announcing that the farmers market would be opening again on June 14th.  This is the one that takes place right in front of the Science Center building at Harvard, right near the yard.  What’s great about this year’s market season is that they are starting it at 12 noon now instead of 12:30 pm which makes it easier for people like me and my coworkers to take the shuttle from our Somerville office to campus and back within a lunch hour.  And that’s exactly what we did yesterday so that we could grab some fresh produce while checking out the new vendors.  Check out some of the goods we saw:

beautiful, colorful tomatoes

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harvard square’s oktoberfest

In the trend of late blog posts … and now in the practice of putting things out of sequential order of when they actually happened it appears …

We decided to check out the Oktoberfest in Harvard Square a couple of Saturdays ago. Again, another thing we had never done in the 10+ years of living here [sigh]. It was a little too crowded for our tastes so we didn’t stick around for too long, but long enough for me to be intrigued by some food related items (of course!). I was mostly curious about watching these two women fry up a serious load of potstickers.

Wow, that’s a lotta potstickers! And then we were walking along Church Street and I saw this caramel apple station, which I thought was clever. Messy but clever.

There was all sorts of music and live entertainment going on, beer gardens, people in crazy costumes, a huge variety of ethnic restaurants selling food, and lots and lots of people. Including this man on stilts.
We didn’t get any beer but Tony got some delicious Indian food from one of the local restaurants (I was so jealous). Definitely worth checking out if you’re a beer fanatic and aren’t afraid of people dressed up in strange costumes rubbing up against you in the middle of a street.

wine wednesday at rialto restaurant

One neat thing about Twitter is finding out about things going on at local restaurants such as Rialto Restaurant’s Wine Wednesday event. My husband and I originally had plans to meet with a couple of friends for dinner at Cambridge 1, but since that fell through I suggested that we check out this event. And we’re both so glad we went!

Wine Wednesday takes place every Wednesday from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Their wine director, Brad Nugent, hosts an informal wine tasting where he selects a white and red from Rialto’s wine list to share a taste of. Last night, we tried the Riesling (Trimbach, Clos St. Hune 1997) and the Amarone della Valpolicella (Tommaso Bussola 2004). Both were excellent wines. Tony preferred the red over the white because the Riesling was quite dry and he prefers sweeter varietals. And I preferred the Riesling because it had a nice finish. In either case, we were shocked to learn (after inquiring about being able to order either by the glass on a future dining excursion) that they around roughly $150 and $175 per bottle (respectively). Yowzers! So in that sense, it was a real treat to be able to try both of them for free during the tasting!

After we finished our tastings, Tony had a glass of the Barbera and I had a glass of the Nebbiolo (Vietti, Perbacco, Langhe 2006). His was a lot more buttery than mine but both were delicious (I had never tried a Nebbiolo before), and they both went quite well with our appetizers.

Rialto has a great bar menu where one can order antipasti dishes at $4 per plate, or three plates for $10. We thoroughly enjoyed the local mozzarella which was served with yummy braised tomatoes (yes friends, don’t worry, the husband ate those and kept them far away from me!); the roasted winter squash which was served with a deliciously tart pomegranate sauce; and the fried olives which were stuffed with salami and parmesan. (P.S. I think we could’ve eaten a hundred more of the stuffed olives! So yummy!)

I think next time I’ll try the potato croquettes, the smoked salmon, and definitely the duck liver pate dishes. Mmmmm … just thinking about all this is making me hungry!

So if you’re ever in the Cambridge (Harvard Square) area on a Wednesday evening and enjoy wine, definitely check out Rialto Restaurant’s Wine Wednesday and give Brad a visit! Be sure to tell them that Candice sent you. 🙂

farmers market, 08.25.09

My coworker and I decided to take the 12:00 pm shuttle from our off-site location to the Harvard campus to check out farmers market finds. I had also heard that one of the chefs from Hungry Mother was going to be creating a free food sample during the first hour, so that made for even more of an excuse to get out of the office, stretch our legs, and enjoy the beautiful summer day.

The first stop was at the Danish Pastry House stand. I love to buy fresh bread and pastries from them whenever I visit the farmers market.

The double chocolate cookie is Tony’s favorite from them. I bought us a nice long loaf of French bread for dinner to go with this big head of lettuce that we made a salad out of.

We were tempted to buy some of these beautiful azaleas. So many pretty colors that would make a gorgeous bouquet.

I ended up getting a ball of fresh mozzarella from Fiero di Nonna (so sweet and good!), a couple of small yellow tomatoes, blueberries, and a cucumber. And then we stopped off at the “live cooking demo” table where there were two chefs from Hungry Mother putting together a dish they called “Caveach”.

It was made with bluefish, watermelon pickle, fresh market veggies and herbs. I couldn’t eat any of it (stupid watermelon!) but my coworker and Tony said that it was quite delicious!

It’s funny how free food (or anything labeled “free” for that matter) will attract a crowd. I took about ten other shots but they all came out blurry because some woman was in my way and she actually bumped my arm a couple of times as she was [apparently] excitedly waiting for the samples to be done.

Sure did look yummy, huh?!?!

Unfortunately, we had to go back to work and couldn’t stay out longer to enjoy the beautiful weather. It was finally nice and sunny out without being too humid.

Don’t forget – the farmers market at Harvard goes on until mid-October. Each Tuesday from 12:30 to 6:00 pm. Check it out if you can!

henrietta’s table in harvard square

Gosh, I’ve just about completely neglected my regular blog and realize that I’ve been doing nothing but going out to eat lately. Sheesh. Might explain the tight pants, although I was hoping that it was because of the long johns I’ve been wearing. :-/

Anyway … I digress. I had dinner with a friend at Henrietta’s Table last night at the Charles Hotel in Harvard Square. I have to say that it was truly a nice experience. I used to be anti-restaurant-in-a-hotel because I know they can be pricy and a little too frou-frou sometimes. They do have some pricy entrees, I’ll admit, but it wasn’t over the top. It has a really cozy atmosphere and a local-based menu.

We both ordered appetizer dishes, plus shared two side items. She had the Maine Rock crab cake with grilled asparagus and house-made tartar sauce and said it was delicious. I had the House Smoked Pastrami Salmon which was served on field greens with chive oil, crispy potato wafers and lemon Vermont creme fraiche and it was just awesome. We split the mashed potatoes and butternut squash sides which were simply yummy themselves (and enough to feed like four people). I had two glasses of 7 Deadly Zins wine, one of my stepdad’s favorites (note to self: try to get a bottle for home soon). The best part (and the part I’ve been craving all day!) was dessert: a coconut cream cake. OMG. To die for!!

Their logo is a pig and so they give you a small plate of gingerbread pig cookies at the end of your meal. Of course, we were so stuffed by then that we didn’t eat any, but it’s still a really cute gesture. Will definitely take Tony there some day, even if it’s just for the coconut cake!!