and have always felt that Boston was my hometown "city." And for many years I've been going to Provincetown, way out on the very tip of Cape Cod.
Hotel Note: And instead of rushing from the train and connecting with the boat, my travel companion, Bud Santora and I, decided to spend a night in Boston at The Taj (now my fave hotel in Boston) located on Arlington Street.
Arriving in Bean Town's South Station at about 2pm, it was pouring rain. After a quick cab to the hotel, we checked in and discovered a gorgeous room waiting for us overlooking Boston's Public Garden.
Without even unpacking, we headed down to the Taj Bar and lounge for smart cocktails and just a little food to tie is over till dinner.
We could have sat down at a table and looked out at the park and order any of their traditional afternoon "teas", which include scones, sandwiches and canapes, but we opted to sit at the bar and order from their menu.
The only thing better than the artisan flatbread special of the day and of course a bowl of clam "chow-dah" (it is Boston, after all) was Eddie Foster, our bartender. Friendly, informative and funny, you must drop by and say hello to him the next time you're in Boston.
and then crossed over to Commonwealth Avenue Mall. Commonwealth is a broad boulevard and has always felt very European to me. There are nine sculptures and monuments along the center garden walkway sandwiched on either side by stunning residential properties.
|Samuel Eliot Morison|
|The Ether Monument|
Drenched, we made our way back to the hotel to rest a bit, changed and then headed out the door for dinner. Boston is a foodie's delight. There are so many spots to choose from––places I love and even more that have been suggested by friends––but Bud and I decided to stroll a bit and see if some new and different place grabbed our attention. The rain had stopped, it was Friday night and suddenly the sidewalks were bustling with people all searching for the same thing: a great restaurant.
We could have gone traditional New England fare but instead we surprisingly ended up at Vlora.
I ordered mussels steamed with white wine, shallots, lemon juice, parsley and garlic. Such a simple recipe but when done correctly, simply sublime. Plump, fresh mussels and a gazillion of them. (They could bottle the broth and make $$$$!)
And Bud had the vegetarian moussaka...a stack of eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, potato, Swiss chard, tomato and chilled garlic yogurt and cucumber sauce.
Chased with martinis, it was perfect and completely unexpected. I definitely want to go back and try the Flaming Saganaki - their special frying cheese flambéed with brandy!
And what better way to end the evening than with a trip to L. A. Burdicks, Handmade Chocolates?
But it's not just chocolate bon-bons. Try any of their specialty drinks or enjoy the Zuger Kirsch: vanilla tea cake with Kirsch and butter cream or their Hazelnut-Orange Cake: hazelnut flour cake enrobed in gianduja.
The next morning the sun was shining brightly and after coffee and muffins, it was a quick walk through the gardens. And there they were, just as I remembered as a kid, The Swan Boats.
I think I even see all my ducks in a row!
And walking back to the hotel was none other than "A One Man Band." What he lacked in talent, he made up for with enthusiasm.
It was a great but short trip to Boston but now we had to head to the ferry and off to Provincetown!