Ok, this is just nasty.

Geoff and I have been on the hunt for the perfect purple beverage for our wedding cocktail.  We’ve come up with some good ideas so far but every time we see an interesting article online we tend to check it to see if there’s a good purple drink.  Simple purple alcoholic drinks that don’t involve muddled out of season fruit seem to be elusive.

Anyway, I noticed this little article on Boston.com and perused it thinking there might be something useful in it.  What I found was this… monstrosity.  I know I’m a vegetarian and thus more likely to think this is nasty, but Geoff agreed with me on this one.

The Abbatoir


Now complete with meat juice!
The Abbatoir Cocktail... coming to a slaughterhouse near you!


$9, The GallowsIn the mix:
¾ ounce savory mixture (veal stock, caramelized onions, and olive brine pureed and double strained)
¾ ounce Quinta do Infantado tawny port
¾ ounce Batavia Arrack
¾ ounce Lillet Blanc
Shake and strain. Garnish with lemon peel and cracked pepper.

Bar manager April Wachtel says that the veal stock is a “shocker” to many customers. “No one has a clue what it will taste like . . . the mouth feel is very lovely. You might think it will be gelatinous, but it’s not.”

Bottom line: The veal stock, onions, and olive puree makes for a sturdy, rich backbone in this savory sipper. Never mind the drink’s not-so-appetizing name, another word for slaughterhouse.

VEAL STOCK?  Oh, nasty.  NASTY.  Rest assured we won’t be serving any of this, or anything even remotely like it, in our home or at our wedding.  Just… no.



So we’re both in food comas now.  It may not be the best time to write a restaurant review.  But we’re going to do it anyway because that’s how we roll.

Tonight we had dinner here, at The Fireplace in Brookline.  As some of you may or may not know or care, we’ve been on the search for a place to have our rehearsal dinner since… June?  The search started in earnest in August and then stopped when I fell, got laid off, and Geoff got deep into his school work and then Internship.  Now that all of that is over and we’ve passed the T Minus One and Counting mark to the wedding, we started looking again.  And, boy, what a find.

First of all, this is a large rehearsal dinner, 60ish people.  It’s for a popular night in November 2011, and we have not only some food allergies and special diets to contend with, we have some exceptionally picky eaters to worry about as well.  This meant that some of our favorite cuisines, and restaurants that could seat large parties like ours, that served good food, and that were proximate to the church were out.  We needed something relatively nearby, that had great food and wine, a good atmosphere, was handicap accessible, and had parking.

The Fireplace is all that and more.  We contacted the General Manager via email at the end of last week.  His name is Kevin.  Kevin, to put it plainly, rocks.  He got back to us basically when his shift was over.  So, in the middle of the night.  The prices he quoted were great and the menu, well, it rocked our socks.  We were thrilled.  In the back of my mind I remembered reading in the Globe about when The Fireplace had opened, but I wasn’t spending much time in Brookline then.  So I had never made it there for a meal.  That, was my loss.

We made arrangements with Kevin to come by this afternoon or evening.  We were initially entertained at the bar when we arrived by the fabulous Erica.  The woman knows how to mix a mean margarita, she’s fun to talk to, was willing to let us talk to her about our quest for the perfect purple cocktail, and is an all around fabulous bartender.  Seriously, people, go there and ask her to make you something.  With her talent and her well stocked bar, you won’t regret it.  (Also, there was a majorly famous Boston Sports figure at the bar who I happen to know lives in the neighborhood.  She treated him with respect and without fawning all over him, clearly he’s a regular.  I won’t reveal his name so this place can remain a regular haunt for him, but it was quite cool to see him there, especially for Geoff.)

Kevin came over and chatted with us and then took us to our table.  It was clear from our talk that he knows his food and wine exceedingly well and that he loves what he does.  From our vantage point in the back at the top of the room we could see everything and get an idea of how we’d seat people, how the curtains would close off the rest of the top section from the bottom bar area, where the handicap entrance was, etc.   Then there was the food.  I’ll let Geoff take over from here….

Geoff here – I am so very glad we found this place.  The menu is just amazing.  They had a lot of really good traditional New England cuisine, and it’s obvious the owners and management are history aficionados, which is something I can definitely appreciate.  Among other things, they serve a lot of traditional New England beverages like hot mulled cider, hot buttered rum, and Madeira.  Yes, Madeira is a traditional New England beverage, as it was one of the most popular wines in colonial America – it was Thomas Jefferson’s favorite, for example.  Anyway, the wine list is quite good, and they have a decent selection of ports and other dessert wines, as well as an extensive list of fine cognacs and Scotch whiskeys.

Kelly started with a cup of the Butternut Squash Bisque with Great Hill Blue Cheese, and I ordered a cup of the Classic Clam Chowder with New Hampshire Bacon.  I tried both, and both were delicious.  (Note from Kelly: The Bisque?  Oh my goodness, I think I could have a little cup of that with every meal this winter.)  Then we moved on the main course.  Kelly had the Acorn Squash & Sheep Milk Cheese Ravioli in a Brown Butter Sage Light Cream Sauce w/Sautéed Greens, Shaved Fennel, Asiago & Crushed Hazelnuts (although she got it without the Hazelnuts).  I ordered the Lobster Mac & Cheese with Asiago, Mozzarella, Vermont Creamery ‘Cremont’ & Great Hill ‘Blue Cheese’, Caramelized Cauliflower & Lemony Spinach, which Kevin warned me I would not be able to finish in one sitting, and he was absolutely right.  But it was phenomenal.  And finally we shared dessert – Peanut Butter Fudge on Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie with Vanilla Ice Cream, Salted Caramel Sauce, Toasted Almonds & Hot Chocolate Fudge.  My eyes almost popped out of my head, this was so good.  I can hardly wait to try some other items.  (Note from Kelly: Seriously, he was without speech for several minutes after taking the first bite.  The Peanut Butter Fudge?  Was magical.)

Afterward, we talked again with Kevin and confirmed with him that we were going to go ahead and book the place for our rehearsal dinner.  It is just perfect.  In fact, I am looking forward to coming to some of their wine tastings sometime down the road.  They even have some historically-themed events, such as a Valentine’s Day diner that includes “John Adams” and “Abigail Adams” in period clothing reading their letters to each other in first person.  So yeah, I am really liking this place.  I can hardly wait to see how everyone else will like it.

So, Boston people?  Wanna do Dinner?  Lunch?  Brunch?  You know where we’re going to celebrate when Geoff and I get jobs, right?

~Kelly & Geoff

What is it with my dogs and baked goods?

Geoff here – many people not in my immediate family may not be familiar with the infamous Thanksgiving holiday story about the family dog, Frank, eating an entire pumpkin pie.  My dad had baked several pumpkin pies for the family to enjoy, and apparently one of them was just a little bit to close to the edge of the dining room table.  So Frank, being the clever little food-obsessed beagle that he was, managed to sneak into the dining room (where he was usually not allowed to be) and get the pie off the table with no one noticing.  The next time my dad went into the dining room, he found a completely empty aluminum pie dish, looking as if it had never been used, just sitting on the floor.  There was no pie debris anywhere.  Not a crumb.   And one less pie on the table.  And one very bloated looking beagle under the dining room table.  Frank had made an entire pumpkin pie disappear.

Well, Rerun has picked up the torch and is running with it.  Our upstairs neighbors had given us a gift of a loaf of pumpkin bread to thank us for watching their cat while they were out of town.  The family recipe that Lindsey uses includes chocolate chips, something I would not think of as being appropriate for pumpkin bread but turns out to be absolutely delicious.  So Kelly and were very much looking forward to enjoying the pumpkin bread.  We set it down on a table in the dining room and headed out for the evening to do various things.  When we returned, there were little pieces of aluminum foil on the floor all over the living room, and an almost entirely empty aluminum bread pan that was just sitting there.  Rerun, looking suspiciously bloated, was nearby.  Needless to say we were not pleased.

If this is you, speak up, please.

Hi folks,

I randomly received a Groupon to Bukhara this morning.  It was very cool, $30 to a restaurant where Geoff and I eat every Christmas Eve and whenever we’re in JP.  Here’s the thing, it was from “Dantilla” and it was addressed to “Keff” and “Gelly”.  Color me confused.  I have a fairly short list of people in mind who this might be from, but if you’re the generous giver, please step forward.