Restaurants

Weekend Recap: Comedy, Cinquecento, and Chipotle!

by agirlandhermutt on March 4, 2013

Well hello! How was your weekend? I caught up with a few of you over Twitter and Instagram so I know what you were up to. I love that social media lets me be all up in your business whenever I want (and vice versa!). 😉

Oh, and just in case you missed these posts last week, check out these posts…My February Favorites
New 33 While 33 list

clip_image00161_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb[1]

I started my weekend a little bit early by heading out for dinner with my buddy, Karen, on Thursday night. She had sent me a link to Zagat’s Top 10 Hottest Boston Restaurants Right Now and we decided to give Cinquecento in the South End a try.

IMG_5542

The restaurant is pretty new to the space and used to be home to another restaurant called Rocca. Cinquecento fancied up the alley entrance to the restaurant and I really loved this touch. The exposed brick with the paintings started the vibe to the whole place.

IMG_5541 Karen and I started off with the Cavolo Nero e Pecorino, a kale salad with pecorino, pine nuts and lemon. I mentioned that we were splitting the salad so the brought it out pre-split. I absolutely love when restaurants do this!

IMG_5531

The shredded kale was fantastic and yet another kale dish that I would love to make at home.

The restaurant became pretty lively by 6:30. Paired with the minimal table decorations and dim lighting it just reminded me of a few places that I have been in NYC. I love that busy, yet intimate feeling at restaurants. Everyone talking and no one is listening to what you have to say. IMG_5532

For dinner I had the Pollo alla Diavola, grilled chicken with pickled chili and broccoli rabe. IMG_5533

First of all, the portion was HUGE. My chicken was enormous! It was also just delicious. I love the broccoli rabe and whatever juice was at the bottom of the dish. It was a touch too salty, but I actually really enjoyed that. I ended up taking home my leftovers.

The only piece of our meal that I did not enjoy was the side dish we ordered. I wavered between the sauteed spinach or the roasted mushrooms and the mushrooms won.

IMG_5535
Unfortunately the rosemary with the mushrooms was so overpowering that they were almost inedible. I like a little tinge of rosemary, but that was all I could taste. Karen agreed and most of the plate stayed uneaten. At $8.50 for the dish that hurt a little.

Karen and I had a lovely time! I absolutely adore Cinquecento and will definitely be back. I can easily see the rest of the girls and I having drinks and dinner here!

Cinquecento on Urbanspoon

 

clip_image00161_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb[1]

Friday

By the time Friday rolled around I was really looking forward to the weekend. I rushed from work to make it down to a free taping of a stand-up comedy show for Comedy Central.

IMG_5553

The BF and I were seated in the 3rd row smack dab in the middle. I joked that we were 3rd row pretty, which in general, is pretty good! I don’t need the pressure of being 1st row good looking. 😉 Both comedians were pretty funny so once I hear when the show will be on I will let you know. We can both look for me in the audience with a dumb ol’ grin on my face.

Dinner was Abby Lane, a newer restaurant that was also on the Zagat’s list. The Executive Chef is Hell’s Kitchen Runner-Up, Jason Santos. I have an obsession with reality cooking shows so it was fun to see him manning the kitchen. The lighting was too dim for pics but I thought the food was pretty good. Abby Lane is the perfect place for a quick  bite and a cocktail before or after a show in the Theatre District.

clip_image00161_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb[1]

Saturday

By the time Saturday rolled around I was ready to get back to the gym. I got my butt to a Total Body Melt class. This is actually just a silly name for “I’m going to kill you and your muscles…slowly”. We did kettle bell squats, lunges with the body bar, and 7 minutes of burpees. Heh. I was like jello afterwards.

Fortunately Korky was on high alert when I got home so he was able to watch over the house while I slept.

 

IMG_5562

I actually have no idea what he is looking at out there. He was like this for at least an hour. Just perfectly still. I’m going to guess the neighbor’s cat was teasing him.

After I slept most of the afternoon away, I headed out to a craft beer tasting at a local liquor store. It was actually a really nice selection of beers and a manageable crowd. I hate going to tastings where you have to fight to get to the table.

IMG_5565

clip_image00161_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb[1]

Sunday

When I woke up Sunday morning from Zumba I found it a little harder to get out of bed than normal. My legs were still burning from my strength class on Saturday. A sign of a great class or super weak legs?! I’m going to go for a combo of both. Jumping around during Zumba actually really helped with the soreness and I felt great afterwards. It is amazing what a little booty poppin’ can do for the body and soul.

I usually reserve Sunday as my “Erin Day”. I run errands, go grocery shopping, clean the house, and do a little retail shopping. This Sunday was dedicated to Forever21, Target, and a little treat at Chipotle. Mmm…chicken salad bowl FTW. I like mine basic. Lettuce, chicken, mild salsa, and a bit of cheese. I don’t think I could ever get tired of Chipotle. Never ever.

IMG_5574

No weekend is complete without a little upkeep and this time I decided to try out my new at-home gel manicure kit from Sensationail.

IMG_5577

I was pretty pleased with the results and plan to do a full review on the whole kit once I have passed the 2 week mark. Stay tuned for that!

clip_image00161_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb[1]

Tonight I am giving the TRX workout a try. I got a Groupon deal that was a steal so I figured why not. I’m slightly nervous, but super excited too! Check back on Wednesday for my thoughts!

See ya soon!

{ 6 comments }

Oysters and Nutcrackers

by agirlandhermutt on December 18, 2012

It is official. I’m ready for Christmas. I’m on the verge of my last day of work before the holidays and I’m singing the Christmas carols.

Fun Erin Face: I hum jingle bells when I get stressed out. I have had this pointed out to me by many people. Apparently it is quite annoying!

This is the first year in many years that I did not put up a Christmas tree of any kind. For a few years I had a big tree, but then I moved to a smaller table top tree. This year…nothing. I finally got an itch for some type of Christmas decoration though and my parents came through by sending me some lovely lights for the windows. By the end of the weekend my house was glowing and the stockings were hung. No tree, but plenty of Christmas spirit.

BUT! What really put my spirits in overdrive was a trip to the Boston Ballet. Megan and I went to see The Nutcracker last week and it was lovely.

Before the ballet we met up for some $1 oysters at Marilave in Downtown Crossing.

I’ve been to Marliave once before for a pre-bachelorette party dinner and we sat upstairs. I was a bit early so I took a seat at the bar for a drink and to check out the sparkly lights throughout the restaurant.

When Megan arrived we got cracking on the oysters immediately. Marliave serves 4 different types of New England shore oysters: Island Creek’s Duxbury, Wellfleet, Castle Hill, and Cranberry Ledge. I’m a fan of the Island Creek’s.

It was fun to just enjoy a drink or two and catch up. I love after work dinner dates!

 

Finally it was time to head down the street to The Opera House. This year a re-imagined Nutcracker was introduced with new sets and costumes.

Some fun facts about the new Nutcracker:
-Over 200,000 jewels are used in the costumes.
-Sugar Plum and Dew Drop costumes have over 3,600 jewels on their tutus and bodices.
-All of the sets were painted by hand and domestically made.
-Most props were built in Boston Ballet’s 40,000-square-foot warehouse in Newburyport.
-The large Christmas tree is 42 feet 6 inches tall.
-More than 300 dancers perform in the new production.
[source]

The Opera House itself is so beautiful on the inside. When I walked in I instantly felt transported to another time. Everything is so opulent and rich in colors and sparkles.

I wasn’t able to take photos once inside the theatre but it was just as lovely with chandeliers and paintings. I spent the entire time before the show started just looking around and checking things out.

I adore The Nutcracker so I was excited to see how they could improve on what I thought was a beautiful ballet to begin with. The costumes were amazing. The dancing was fantastic. The music was lovely, as always. The Nutcracker just screams Christmas to me and I was so glad that we went to the show this year!

My love for The Nutcracker actually goes back many years. Way back when, I was a dancer. I loved jazz with all my heart, but ballet became my favorite one time of year when The Nutcracker came around. My Mom was kind enough to send me a few photos from my earlier years in The Nutcracker.

I started off as an Angel. I have no idea where this fits into The Nutcracker. There are never any angels in the productions I have seen but apparently the Northwest Florida Ballet production has them. I didn’t have teeth but I was glad to be there.

I remember loving how fun this dress was because of the hoop at the bottom. I would make it swing back and forth as much as I could. I’m sure to the delight of my dance teacher and all those around me. 😉

I was NOT the only family who got into The Nutcracker game. My Dad, after a case of being too nervous to watch me the first year or so, decided to join in. He was asked by one of the directors to be a “Party Dad”. In the beginning scene when Clara first receives her Nutcracker, he was one of the Dads yucking it up in the background.

Possibly he was giggling about my attempt to be a solider? I think my favorite part of this costume is the little red stickers I had to wear on my cheeks that would either fall off constantly or cause some type of rash when I ripped them off after the performance.

There were a few other years in there where I played a mouse, lead solider, and I’m sure a few other things. These just happen to be the photos my Mom keeps around to giggle at. My Dad went on to be Drosselmeyer, Clara and Fritz’s Godfather. There was a cape involved and even more make-up than above.

We were a dancing family. 😉 I’m sure my Mom couldn’t have been prouder.

After a great dinner out, a wonderful ballet, and some reminiscing of my ballet days, I went home with a smile on my face and the Christmas spirit coming out my ears.

Now I say…bring on the vacation!

{ 1 comment }

A Visit to the Mapparium!

by agirlandhermutt on December 3, 2012

Hello friends! I played tourist Friday night and finally visited a site that has been on my Boston To Do list for the past few years. I went to visit the Mapparium!

The Mapparium is an exhibit at The Mary Baker Eddy Library. It is a 3-story high glass globe that is made of 608 stained glass panels. Within the globe is a 30 foot long bridge that allows people to walk through the globe and view all parts of the exhibit.  It was built in 1935 and is based on maps from that year.


[Source]

We arrived just in time to make the last tour at 4pm. While we were waiting for the tour to start we looked around the library and noticed a board with post-it notes on it. Kids who visited the library and exhibit wrote their answers down to the question asked.

I could only laugh and think about what I would have written as a NKOTB obsessed 12-year-old.


I’m still contemplating what I would write on my own post-it note as a 32-year-old. That is a tough question! Maybe I would still write NKOTB?! 😉

I also practiced my old time writing skills while we waited for our tour.

When it was finally time for the tour we ended up being the only people around. Go to the Mapparium on a Friday at 4! The guide took us into the globe and then set up the sound & light show. Parts of the globe light up as they speak about different parts of the world. It was so pretty and so cool to feel like you are physically inside a globe that you see all of the time. We were able to walk around and look over without bumping into anyone and also got to play with the sound acoustics in the globe. So fun!


[Source]

I’m obsessed with geography. I have a really hard time grasping where exactly things are and have to look at a map all of the time to understand basic geography. Geography has never been my strong suit and I think that is why I try to learn as much as possible. I even put a light up globe on my Christmas Wish List this year!

We said our good-byes to the globe with promises to be back and set out for some drinks.

If you are a local or a tourist in Boston and have never been to the Mapparium, I urge you to go! It’s a really cool experience and fairly cheap.

clip_image00161_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb[1]

Boston was absolutely beautiful on Friday and it a lovely, but chilly, night to walk around.

I had an amazing parking spot on Boylston St so we popped into one of my happy hour spot favorites, Bukowski Tavern. They have a HUGE variety of beer and I’m in love with their White Trash Cheese Dip.

We were sitting around people watching and decided at the last minute to try to make a reservation at Abe & Louie’s, a steakhouse in Back Bay. Usually you have to get a reservation a few days (at least) in advance, but luckily I found one open on my OpenTable iphone app.

Whenever I got to Abe & Louie’s my eyes are always bigger than my stomach. This time was no different. We ordered an unpictured caprese salad and a bottle of wine. Then it was time to get down to business.

Osso Buco, Sauteed Mushrooms, Tuna Steak= FULL BELLY!



After dinner it was a LONG stroll to go a very short distance to get back to the car. I needed my food to digest, but I also love being in the city when people are running about in the cold. There were a couple of college kids playing instruments on the sidewalk and people were crowding around listening. It was just a really fun night.

clip_image00161_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb1_thumb[1]

The rest of the weekend I took care of some errands and much needed house cleaning. I’m trying my best to stay on top of everything so the next few weeks before Christmas don’t turn into a big stress frenzy. So far, so good!

Have a great week and see ya tomorrow!

{ 0 comments }