Thursday, March 24, 2011

Boston Bed and Breakfast & The James Beard Foundation Award Nominees - Menton & Joanne Chang



James Beard Foundation Award
You may have noticed a certain amount of anxiety in restaurant across the country this week as the James Beard Foundation was set to make its nominations for the culinary connoisseurs of the year. Commonly referred to as the Oscars of the food, a James Beard Award carries significant weight in the culinary industry, perhaps the sames as an Academy Award in Hollywood, a Pulitzer Prize in Journalism or even a Nobel Prize in World Affairs. However, you look at it, the James Beard Foundation only bestows this prestigious distinction upon a select group of Chefs & Restaurants each year.

In October, the James Beard Foundation organizes an open call on its web site for culinary submissions. This year, the online open call saw a record number of entries, with over 28,000 submissions received. The next step involves an independent accounting firm enumerates the applicants for the chef and restaurant Committee. Next, the Committee produces a ballot of semifinalists, which is sent to a judges' panel, consisting of over 550 food professionals including previous James Beard Foundation Award winners.The collective votes of this panel then determines the final five nominees represented in each of the 19 award categories. Ultimately the panel will then vote on the finalists to determine the winner in each category.  
 Parlor & Library at Boston Bed & Breakfast Clarendon Square
 Boston has high standards when it comes to Education, Health, Finance, Politics & yes Food. We cannot say we are surprised to find that two of the nearly 100 nominees hail from our very own little neighborhood, the South End. We are lucky to have our Boston bed and breakfast surrounded by such a lovely restaurant district. Guest from our boutique hotel eat at a variety of these establishments, including Chef & Restaurateur Barbara Lynch's restaurants B&G Oysters and the Butcher Shop. The neighborhood is not stranger to high profile restaurants either. There have been many notable chefs that have successful set up shop in the neighborhood. Some chefs like Ken Oringer even share the James Beard Foundation Award nomination (& subsequent win) with the following local chefs. You will that many of these chefs are in good company, which ultimately makes the South End a premier dining destination in Boston.  Hence dining out is one of our favorite things to do in Boston!
Barbara Lynch's Menton, James Beard Award Nominee

However, the 2011 James Beard Nominee did not make the list this year for either restaurant, Menton her new Italian French restaurant landed her a nomination for the Best New Restaurant. Serving only Prix Fixe & Chef's Tasting Menus, her restaurant Menton showcases the subtle cuisine found in the border region of France near Italy producing a delicate and sophisticated offering. Menton is located in the Seaport District not far from our South End Bed and Breakfast. Reservations are a must, a proper attire are required. We recommended this restaurant before the nomination and we can guarantee many others will be recommending it now that it has received this preliminary distinction.

Chef Chang's Recipes Revealed
On the other end of the scale, is the less formal but undeniably delicious Flour Bakery. Pastry Chef & Owner, Joanne Chang received a nomination for Best Pastry Chef. Her flour bakery is a warm and welcoming spot that features an array of sweets from breakfast items to divine desserts and just about everything in between. (A great place for lunchtime salads & sandwiches or even try one of her ready to go prepared meals). We absolutely love Flour and in fact it is our exclusive providerof Cupcakes in Boston when guests order our Birthday Celebration package. Do not just stop at Cupcakes, the list goes on and you have to try the infamously elusive sticky buns and the twice baked brioche.

The nominations for the 2011 James Beard Foundation Awards were revealed through a live-tweeted broadcast @BeardFoundation Monday morning from the Oregon Culinary Institute in Portland. The winners will be announced on May 9th at the Awards Ceremony and Gala  by previous James Beard Award-winning hosts including Top Chef Head Judge, Tom Colicchio, Local Chef & Owner of the Fabulous Blue Ginger, Ming Tsai and Traci Des Jardins


Monday, March 14, 2011

Coppa Restaurant Reservations & South End Chef Jamie Bissonnette is Best Chef in New Englad

When Coppa Enoteca, the newest restaurant to launch from Ken Oringer, opened last year it was a break out success. Easily surpassing the dullness of former Shawmut avenue tenant, The Dish or as we like to call it The Don't. However, it was not the overwhelming mediocrity of The Dish that left Coppa looking fabulous in the South End restaurant scene. It was the careful assessment of the neighbor restaurant supply & demand & the talent of a couple master mine chefs.

Coppa debuted in the South End quietly, not even formerly announcing its doors had opened. This whisper emerged from the corner or Milford Street & Shawmut Avenue, quickly spreading along with rumor that the food was fabulous. At first, Coppa did not except reservations which annoyed some. How were you suppose to get a table at the South End's newest hot spot? Especially when one of the best things to do in Boston is eat! Exactly the point, you were not suppose to get a table unless you lived in the neighborhood and could stop by at opening time an add your name to a list. Or timing was on your side & you managed to get a table after much waiting or luck. Either way, this reservation strategy made it impossible for the suburban foodies to monopolize all the restaurant reservations that the neighborhood residents were missing. Now some time later, Coppa is taking reservation. The frenzy has died down, but the hype remains the same.

Plus, you will need a reservation after the latest award. That is right, Chef Jamie Bissonnette is New England's Best New Chef according to Food & Wine Magazine. We understand how he earned this titled. When you stop by Coppa it is a course by course of tantalizing bites and balanced flavor profiles that leave you speechless.

We are lucky to have Coppa as a neighbor. Guests from our Boston Bed and Breakfast love this restaurant. We make a special effort to speak with each of our guests about their preferences and needs while in Boston. Naturally, tailoring a restaurant selection to meet our guests needs is important. We provide a comfortable setting, fine linens, unique atmosphere and we want the places we send our guests to do the same. Coppa is holding true to our promise for great style & service. With Spring nearly around the the corner, we are excited to see the return of outdoor dining. We love to set the back garden terrace for breakfast. At Coppa you will find a similarly quaint street corner with bistro tables & chairs scattered casually around the restaurant exterior. These simple comparisons highlight a distinct style you can only find in the South End. Visit us soon, we will be sure to get you one of those "new" reservations at Coppa.