Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Best Boston Dim Sum - Bed and Breakfast Brunch Alternative

Owning and operating a bed and breakfast, you can imagine that brunch is one of the favorite things to do in Boston. You can have it any number of ways, long and leisurely, short and intoxicating or just about anything in between. However, what is one to do when Eggs Benedict has becomes banal and Mimosas lose their luster? Try Dim Sum. Though it will not satisfy your craving for traditional breakfast items, it will provide you with an exciting alternative perfect for exploring different cuisine and culture.

Historically Dim Sum may have originated from a casual tea service for those seeking light sustenance or for travelers along the ancient Silk Road in China. The provisions which were, and still are accompanied by tea are small portions or individual dishes. Today Dim Sum is known for the popular serving method in which individual steamer baskets are delivered by cart to the table. Each cart carries different menu items for guests to enjoy. In Boston, Dim Sum is offered at many different times of day and the week. Traditionally it was a weekend family activity, but was also a popular mid day break or tea time routine. Consider having a light Dim Sum the next time you are staying at a Back Bay Hotel or research a Dim Sum in your home city. The possibilities are more plentiful than you can imagine.

With an active Chinatown, Boston must not be short of fabulous options for Dim Sum. While the options may be as endless as the offerings of the Dim Sum carts themselves, we picked two of our favorite Dim Sum venues in Boston.

In the South End you will find some of Boston's best dining options and favorite restaurants. But Dim Sum? Yes! Joann Chang's Myer's + Chang offers an approachable version for Dim Sum virgins. The menu features familiar dishes that can satisfy both the Dim Sum novice and veteran. Not to be missed are the selection of Bao which is available with Tofu or Short Ribs. Chef Chang's tasty dishes are mouth watering and always leave our guests satisfied. So whether you are just entering the world or Dim Sum or have a more discerning palate you will not not leave Myers + Chang anything but happy!

For the most authentic of experiences, we recommending seeking one of the best restaurants in Boston's Chinatown, well, not exactly IN Chinatown. The Hei La Moon, a little-known yet outstanding restaurant and dim sum house, is one of many Chinese restaurants located on Beach Street, a main street in Chinatown. This established eatery; however, resides on the other side of the surface road from the main part of Chinatown, in Boston's Leather District. The important thing to note is that the Hei La Moon is one Chinese restaurant that excels in nearly everything it does.

The professional staff set Hei La Moon a part from the more informal restaurants found in Chinatown. Located in one of the many old buildings that make up the Leather District, Hei La Moon is enormous inside, making it perfect for dim sum. Hei La Moon has two menus. The more authentic Chinese menu, features rather unusual dishes. Included on the Dim Sum menu are shark fin dumpling, lotus seed buns, and duck feet. For those looking for more Americanized dishes, you will eat delicious and familiar dishes as well.

Whether your travel to Boston has you seeking brunch or the Dim Sum alternative, you will have a diverse restaurant selection at our bed and breakfast and its South End location. Central to the restaurants of our neighborhood, all of Boston's Best Dining we are within walking distance to many of the most popular restaurants. You will not feel guilty have those few extra calories when you cannot resist the cogee or reach for that last Bao at Dim Sum. You will walk around our beautiful city or climb a few extra stairs to our rooftop hot tub. Take in all the sights and most importantly all the flavors that Boston has to offer.There is Dim Sum-thing for everyone!

Friday, March 16, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Parade, Things to Do - Boston Bed and Breakfast

As most visitors know, Boston is one New England city with a very strong Irish influence. This can be best appreciated during the month of March, when we celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Local businesses display their Irish pride all month long and many traditional cultural events are scheduled.  If you are planning to stay with us during the St. Patrick's Day weekend in Boston, you might enjoy checking out a few uniquely Bostonian Irish celebrations.

If you have access to a car, take a twenty minute drive south of the city to the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton, MA on Saturday the 17th for a true Irish breakfast with cold pints starting at 10:00 AM, continuing with Irish music and step dancing all afternoon.  Head back into the city for a 3-mile self-guided stroll along the Irish Heritage trail, with 16 historical sites beginning at the Rose Kennedy Garden by the waterfront and ending near Fenway at the John Boyle O'Reilly Memorial.  Stop in for dinner at Durgin Park in Faneuil Hall for the best corned beef and cabbage in the city.
On Sunday the 18th, take the Red Line Subway into South Boston for the 111th annual St. Patricks Day Parade. Over a half million spectators line the streets for the Southie Parade each year, making it one of the nation's largest St. Patrick's Day celebrations! Get a spot on Broadway early, as the parade starts at 1:00 PM but the streets fill up quickly! After the parade, grab a few pints at one of Southie's countless neighborhood Irish pubs. The L Street Tavern (where the movie Good Will Hunting was filmed!) and Murphy's Law (scenes from Gone Baby Gone were filmed here as well) are two local favorites. If you're not too tired from all the celebrating, jump back on the Red Line and dig into history at the Boston museum dedicated to perhaps our city's most famous Irishman, John F. Kennedy.

Centrally located among these sites, you will find our downtown Boston bed and breakfast. Our South End neighborhood location, allows you to experience all the fun and festivities of the South Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade and things to do in Boston, while be able to escape to our boutique hotel for a relaxing evening to unwind from all the celebrating. A soak in the hot tub will sooth the body and feet after wandering the Irish Heritage Trail or enduring long periods of standing during the parade.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

New Restaurant Near Boston Bed and Breakfast in South End

It has been just about a year since Rocca closed its doors at 500 Harrison. During that time, there may have been a few other closures in the South End restuarant scene, but none that we miss quite as much as Rocca. Last year, we were gifted with a string of new restuarants on Stanhope Street like the fabulous Red Latern and its neighbors Brahmin and Zocalo, all near our Boston bed and breakfast. After months of rumors circulating new ownership of the space at 500 Harrison, it seems that the Aquitaine Restaurant Group's vision is beginning to materialize along with support & excited.

The Aquitaine Group, is well known and respected Boston restaurant company, revered for the Metropolis CafĂ©, Union Bar and Grille, and Gaslight Brasserie du Coin, Aquitaine in the South End, as well its sister locations in a couple suburbs.

The group was founded at the creation of  Metropolis Cafe in 1995, by Executive Chef/Partner Seth Woods. A few years later, Woods opened Aquitaine Bar on Tremont Street in Boston's South End paving the way for what guests at our Bed and Breakfast now know as restaurant row. Jeffrey Gates joined the Aquitaine Group a few years later and in 2003, was a key player in opening Union Bar and Grille and later Gaslight Brasserie, both in the South End restaurants. Gates brought a wealth of experience and an understanding of the Boston restaurant scene to the Aquitaine Group. This experience will be crucial in the group's latest endeavor, 500 Harrison, an urban, Roman trattoria.

With success of the group's neighboring Brasserie, Gaslight, the location of their new restaurant, called Cinquecento - or "500" in Italian, is not seen as a curse or weakness, but an opportunity. Obviously they are naming the business after the address. Bold, we love it! We believe this is the right attitude to help the group consider which types of cuisine, price point, audience and atmosphere would succeed at the address.

Speaking of atmosphere, from what we have gathered, the space will receive a complete overhaul, stripping away the comtemporary visage of the former restaurant and focusing on the rustic, warehouse bones of the space. An impressive staircase will lead restaurant goers to reimagined second floor, which will span the former atrium and be the only level of the restaurant. The former lounge and bar space will become a private event space and will allow the energy of Cinquecento to be focused on a single floor, which the new owners believe will bring a successful ambiance.

The only thing we do not like? The wait, there has been no timeline revealed, so when Cinquecento will open remains a slight mystery. Our Boston boutique hotel guests hope that the wait is not long, and we agree. Dining in the South End restaurants is one of our favorite things to do in Boston. We look forward to welcoming Cinquecento with open mouths and open arms. Soon. In the meantime, check out the other fabulous Boston dining options down the street from Clarendon Square.