Bar Boulud, Restaurant Review

This past week I had dinner at Bar Boulud inside the Mandarin Hotel on Boylston St. Boston. Not once, but twice because it was that amazing. Bar Boulud is a french inspired bistro by famous Chef Daniel Boulud and Chef de Cuisine Aaron Chamberswith. It has a spectacular wine bar with selections from Burgundy and the Rhône Valley.

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Inside Bar Boulud

The waiter recognized that I had visited Bar Boulud the night before and to thank me, the management team presented my table with this beautiful charcuterie board.

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The sweet managing stuff presented us with this fine charcuterie, terrine, and pate plate

Bar Boulud serves classics like terrines and pâtés, burgers, in-house charcuterie, and some of the most amazing oysters I’ve ever tasted. Crisp, smooth and briny. Mmmm, now I’m hungry! With it’s delicate decor, celebrity chef and 5 star wait-staff, one would think Bar Boulud would have a pretentious air. Quite the opposite.

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Duxbury Oysters

Service was impeccable, the red velvet tufted seating and dim lighting was so relaxing. Perfect for a date or a nice solo meal.

Bar Boulud

My favorite dish was the Spaghetti au Citron with wellfleet countneck clam, bottarga
lemon, fennel.

Spaghetti au Citron

Spaghetti au Citron

To finish off my meal, I had the Chef’s version of a Boston Creme Pie -Gâteau à l’Orange, vanilla bavaroise, fresh oranges, grand marnier soup, vanilla ice cream. The presentation was gorgeous!

Gâteau à l’Orange

Gâteau à l’Orange

I highly recommend visiting Bar Boulud – It’s located at the Mandarin Oriental Boston. 776 Boylston St. (617) 535-8800

Makeup and More

In late 2014, I started contributing to an amazing lifestyle blog, PippaLoves. Below you’ll find my posts. Check them out and let me know what you think!

The Girls Guide To Dressing For Success While Staying Fabulous

During the week you can find me in black yoga pants or leggings, a sporty black tank-top, and a comfortable hoodie or sweater…both black, of course. Click here to read more

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Got 10 Minutes? That’s All You Need To Look Fabulous All Day, Every Day

I start with Glam Glow’s YouthMud It exfoliates the skin and leaves it smooth and bright in only 10 minutes. Enjoy the tingle! Click here to read more

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6 Face Masks That Will Rescue Your Skin From Winter

Face masks are a huge part of my beauty routine. I use a variety of different masks throughout the week and like Martha Stewart, I never use the same mask two days in a row! Click here for more

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What I’ve Been Up To

The last few months have been a whirlwind. I had big plans for my blog this fall but alas life happened and I was left with little desire or time to spend on my blog.

Forgive me? Yes?

I’ll leave out the lame stuff but here is a picture walk of some of the cool and fun things I ate or did the last few months.

I appeared as a guest blogger here. PLEASE check it out and let me know what you think!

I helped set up for my girlfriend's bachelorette party

I helped set up for my girlfriend’s bachelorette party

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The bachelorette partay!

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I indulged. Parma proscuitto, manchego cheese, blackberries, pickles, and a smooth sangiovese. I did not eat the pretty rose

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I sent Uber to collect this sparkly Scala dress from my girlfriend then decided to change into black pants & a black shirt.

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I became a Cooking Matter Volunteer for No Kids Hungry! Yay!

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My friend made me the most amazing poached egg, drizzled with a fine olive oil. Isn’t she a beauty!? Am I the only one who finds eggs so darn sexy? (bad picture but come on!)

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Trying on my dress for the wedding

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My date suggested I wear flats…and I listened! Crazy, right? Here he is hemming my Alice & Olivia dress

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Stunning wedding centerpiece

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With the lovely bride. Love you, Jenna!

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I visited my sister & her two cherubs to celebrate my nieces 4th birthday

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Relaxing with my niece

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With my lovely mother, niece and nephew

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Having a good laugh with Amy of Cupcakes & Couture

Shot Glass Eggs

I made shot glass eggs. recipe coming soon. along with 100 others!

I’m having my 3rd hand surgery next week so I hope to post a few recipes before I go under. Thanks for your patience!

What have you guys been up to? Are you ready for the holidays?!

Xo Vanessa

On The Run With V: London

 iPhone pictures from my trip to London.

Enjoy!

London

A wedding inside my hotel!

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London

London

 

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The saddest pizza I ever did see

The saddest pizza I ever did see

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London

Hotel selfies

London  London London

Words, recipes, and updates coming soon.

Xo

Labor Day Weekend, 10 Things To Do In Miami

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On The Run With V: The Lake

When you receive a Facebook message from your friends at 11:30pm on a Saturday with detailed instructions to pack an overnight bag because they’re picking you up the following day for an adventure, what do you do? You giggle at their nonsense and go back to sleep. Well, that’s what I did. Turns out it wasn’t a joke.

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Lake Winnisquam

The next morning I rolled out of bed, grabbed my black Lululemon Vinyasa to Vino workout bag from under the bed, then sat on the floor in front of my dresser neatly (throwing) clothes in the bag.

Swimsuit. Check! Toiletries. Check! Sweater because it’s New England and temperatures drop faster than Nicki Minaj in her new video Check! Four dresses and one more bathing suit...Check! Check!

Within two hours, I was staring at a pristine lake in Northern New Hampshire. So this was it. Summer in New England is coming to a close.
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The Lake House

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Lake Winnisquam

 Dinner

We went to O Steak’s & Seafood. We started with appetizers and cocktails at the bar. I really enjoyed laughing and chatting with the bartender. He was charismatic and boy does he know how to make a delicious cocktail!

 

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O Steaks & Seafood

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Wine.On.Tap ,,, Amazing!

TheLake

O Steaks & Seafood Patio

This appetizer was incredible
Pops- beef, blue cheese, bacon bits

That view….

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Amazing sunset view while dining at O Steaks & Seafood

 The Next Day

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Sunday breakfast- the perfect quiche

I had a slight fear of lakes before this trip. I remember swimming in a dusty brown lake when I attended summer camp as a tot. Weird tickling sensations rubbing against my legs, slippery algae between my toes, and the stillness of the murky lake made my stomach turn. But not this lake. It was so inviting! Clear waters and the perfect temperature for swimming.

 

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My first time kayaking!

This adventure was a lovely intermission. Thanks for coming with me, everyone!

Now I have a question for you…lakes or oceans?

Where will On The Run With V go next? Follow my Instagram for the latest updates!

On The Run With V: Sunsets and Beaches

This past year I took travel to an entirely different level. Every three weeks, from January to May, I traveled outside of Massachusetts  – every 3 weeks! I know, it’s bananas. With everything that happened last summer, I wanted nothing more than to be far away from Boston and closer to friends…lucky for me, most of my friends live in warm beautiful cities. Polar Vortex 2014 vs. Sunny Paradise…

Hmmm, that’s a tough one!

 Over the next few weeks I will be posting some of my favorite photos and videos from destinations around the world..well, not really..I tend to travel to the same locations over and over again but really, does it matter? I am not complaining! 😀 My pictures and videos each hold special memories and a piece of my heart. I hope you enjoy them. If you’re feeling adventerous, follow my Instagram hashtag #OnTheRunWithV. You won’t be disappointed.

Welcome to WAMC’s first travel series!

On The Run With V: Sunsets and Beaches

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Barcelona, Spain

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Thisiswhyitravelsunsetsbeaches

Coral Gables, FL

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Thisiswhyitravelsunsetsbeaches

Kauai, Hawaii

  Love like travel is a series of moments that we immediately leave behind – Elizabeth Eaves

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Kauai, Hawaii

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What’s your favorite travel destination? Leave your response in the comment section below- I look forward to reading your responses!

xo  V

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La Vie En Rose

This year has been full of highs and lows and just as things were starting to look up, life happened. Minor setbacks are frustrating but I refuse to allow them to cripple me. Uh huh, honey!  I am moving forward with my life and doing so with a positive outlook. I do have my moments, but that’s what yoga and kickboxing are for, right? 😉

Some people ask me how I maintain such a positive energy despite everything I’ve been through. It’s simple. I did my time- I spent several months self-reflecting, trying to make sense of my life. My fight is won-if I can survive last summer, I can get through anything. So pardon me while I live my life through rose colored glasses  (hence the post title, La Vie En Rose) because from where I’m standing, things are looking good and they can only improve.

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La Vie En Rose, Summer Edition

Two days after attending The Good One’s Chef Battle ,I had the 1st of 5 reconstructive hand surgeries. I usually shed a few tears as the nurses wheel me away from my family to the operating room but not this time, guys!  I was all, “yah, I’ve got this! Oh! Look at that room. I had surgery in OR 315 last year!” The nurses smiled and waved as I went by- they remembered me from last summer…I guess I made quite the impression when I asked if I could have prosciutto as my post-op meal. What else would I want after 12 hours of fasting?!

While I waited (impatiently) for the doctors to anesthetize me, my girlfriend Karissa walked over from the cardiology department for a quick chat, isn’t that sweet?  Thanks Karissa!

Next, I was taken into the frigid operating room and chatted with the doctors and staff about my summer until I drifted off to sleep. When I woke up in the recovery room I cried and told the staff how much I loved them! haha A BIG thank you to Dr. Goverman, Dr. Fagan and their staff at the MGH Burn Unit for taking such good care of me.

MaVieEnRose

My pre-op happy face…do you see the fear in my eyes?

Last week I went back to MGH for my post-op appointment and my doctors’ were extremely impressed with the results. This news is helping to calm my nerves for my 2nd surgery on September 5th. Despite having gone through 5 surgeries in the last few years, just the thought of anesthesia makes my skin crawl! Here’s to surgery #2 being just as successful as the 1st.

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Oh Hay Tom Brady! Fancy seeing you here

Once my hand healed, I was ready to get off the couch and have some fun. My girlfriend Jenna scored last minute tickets to the New England Patriots Training Camp and lucky for me, she asked me to join her! We sat 5 rows from the field. 5 ROWS! It was icredible. We could see Tom Brady’s pearly whites every time he laughed and joked with his teammates. Tom Brady. He’s just like us! I thought Jenna was going to faint at least 5 times throughout the practice but she held it together haha. We really wanted to get an autograph but no such luck. We must have missed the memo about bringing a cute child to dangle over the field. Next time, it’s game on- we will BOTH bring a child!

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She couldn’t even…

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Patriots Nation!

The following weekend I attended an incredible blogger trip to Saratoga, NY for the horse races. I’ll post details about that another day but here is a sneak peak:

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Spending time with Black Jack

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Bloody Mary Bar at the Boston Blogger Brunch

On Sunday, I spent a relaxing evening in Newburyport with a friend. We started off at Brine for cocktails and oysters then headed to Ceia Kitchen for an incredible dinner. I think we ordered everything off the menu! We had an assortment of cheeses, charcuterie (naturally), and an assortment of their small plates.

LavieEnRose

Downtown Newburyport, MA

If you visit Ceia, which I highly recommend, you’ll notice beautiful award plaques hanging on the wall. For three consecutive years, Ceia was honored as Newburyport’s first and only ‘Award of Excellence’ by Wine Spectator. Wine lovers, prepare to be impressed by the extensive wines offered by the glass and bottle.

Ceia Cheese Plate

Ceia Cheese Plate (photo taken from Ceia’s website)

I was thrilled to see they had one of my favorite cheeses on their menu-Leonara. It’s a soft goat cheese with a grassy, mild goat flavor from Leon, Spain. I recommended eating it before your meal and if you’re a cheese lover like myself, have some after dinner drizzled with honey. It makes for a  lovely dessert and it also aids in digestion, how fitting!

Of all the small plates we shared, our favorite was The Egg– a coddled egg served in a mini mason jar with truffle, plump mushrooms and foie sauce. We also loved the stuffed squash blossoms and the gambas (shrimp) with Nora Chiles and garlic. The Nora chile is very mild and it has a nice sweet taste that complimented the gambas perfectly.

I apologize for not taking any photos to share with you. I was really into the experience and my iphone went untouched for a few hours. Shocking, I know!

The Best is Yet To Come

— I received a callback from the audition I had back in May! I  had my second audition last Friday and I think it went really well. Fingers crossed! The production process is a slow one but it’s worth the wait. Eek! I’m so excited!

— It happened again. My incurable wanderlust has resurfaced and soon I’ll be packing my bags and heading overseas. Can you guess where I’m headed? Check out my Instagram to find out!

La vie en rose isn’t so bad, is it?

mavienrose

Advice from a great friend

The Good Ones, Top Secret Chef Battle

Hi Friends! I hope everyone is having a fantastic summer! Despite having surgery recently, I am doing better than ever-I have so much to share with you (later this week) but let me start here.

Two weeks ago I had the privilege of attending a Grecian themed rooftop party hosted by The Good Ones. The rooftop party was the third of their Top Secret Chef Battle series. If you haven’t heard of this dynamic group, click here and get familiar because they are taking over Boston.

The Good Ones is focused on raising awareness for great causes and brands. For this event,  Vitamin Angels was highlighted- Vitamin Angels is a group dedicated to helping at-risk populations in need with a main focus on helping pregnant women, new mothers, and children under five.

Whose Who

Carolyn Kim, Julian Sayles from Team Sayles Music and Lighting, and Jennifer Brooke are the co-founders of The Good Ones.

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R&D Jennifer Brooke, Chief Visionary Officer Carolyn Kim, Good One Kimberly Giardino

The guests were intellectual, creative and beautiful people from the Boston area. The event was so top secret…I didn’t receive the location until the night before!

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Jimmy Guzman having a good laugh (photo cred: Vincent Hohn)

Read on for more details and photos from this amazing event

*

Top Secret Chef Battle

Brendan Smith of Uni Sashimi Bar, Brendan Burke of Bastille Kitchen , and Jonathan Moriera of Post 390 created Greek inspired dishes.  I will leave out the winner because honestly, each chef did an incredible job-I was blown away. Click on the links for more information on where you may try food created by the three incredibly talented chefs.

One of my favorite details about the party was their use of local vendors. For example, the fish was purchased from a local non-profit, Cape Ann Fresh Catch of Gloucester, MA-the largest community of supported fishery in the United States. You could taste the freshness in each bite.

(photo cred: Anastasia Sierra)

Jonathan Moriera (photo cred: Anastasia Sierra)

(photo cred: Anastasia Sierra)

(photo cred: Anastasia Sierra)

 Tenzin Conecho Samdo, Bartender/Mixologist from Trade-Boston, worked hard all night making delicious cocktails. My favorite cocktail was Olympian’s Collin, a mixture of clean, organic Crop vodka, sparkling matcha tea by Motto, cucumber and lime.

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Tenzin working his magic

(photo cred: Anastasia Sierra)

(photo cred: Anastasia Sierra)

The Good Ones

photo cred: Anastasia Sierra

Apart from the amazing food and beverages served were Grecian models and Mark Penta– artist and illustrator who worked hard illustrating live portraits of the guests.

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Mark Penta

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Additional Photos

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Taking in the view with Georgina

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The gracious host-Mark O Andrus (photo cred: Vinceny Hohn

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photo cred: Anastasia Sierra

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One of the gorgeous models (photo cred: Anastasia Sierra)

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Beautiful Boston

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Caterpillar from Alice and Wonderland (photo cred: Anastasia Sierra)

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The models wore custom headpieces by Jimmy Guzman & clothing designed by Candice Wu.  H&M by Kashmir from VS Salon (photo cred: Anastasia Sierra)

 

thegoodones

photo cred: Vincent Hohn

Are YOU a Good One? Click here for more information!

thegoodones

So…are you?

Happy Monday, Friends!

Xo

Spain: The Land of 100 Cheeses, Part 2

Walking into a room with beautifully assembled rows of cheese is my idea of heaven. I am convinced that I could survive on cheese, cured ham, and wine. Actually, that is exactly what my friends and I survived on during our year abroad in Spain!

Back in April, I told you guys about Alimentaria, the amazing food & beverage conference I was attended in Barcelona, Spain. That night I was so excited for the following days event- Spain the Land of 100 Cheeses. I was ready to relive my college days.

Though a few months have passed since my visit to Barcelona, I find myself constantly streaming through the photos and I realized how lucky I was to experience this cultural event and I really wanted to share my experience with you.

Cheese Sampling

“Hmm I think I’ll try THIS one!”

As if I didn’t love this country enough! Spain-The Land of 100 Cheeses and Unforgettable Memories

SpanishFlag

Why didn’t anyone tell me the flag was backwards!?

 

SpaintheLandof100Cheeses

Event attendees had the chance to sample the best cheese in the world, the winner of the World Cheese Award 2012 and hundreds of other award winning cheeses from various regions of Spain. Beside each tray of cheese was a card explaining the brand, type of milk used, its variety and more!

SpainLandof100Cheeses

The cheese buffet also included a wine and cava bar along with an amazing spread of fruit, nuts, and honey.

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Fun Fact

Spaniards eat an average of 17.5lbs of cheese, per person every year according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Environment. That is a lot of queso but I am not surprised seeing how one can visit a local sandwich shop in Spain and feast on a cheese bocadillo-a sandwich consisting of 2 ingredients: fresh cut cheese nestled between two pieces of white crispy bread. Carb-free dieting obviously does not exist in Spain!

 

JasonLicker

Jason Licker having a grand ol time!

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A few days ago, I read an article that suggested American restaurants should have cheese carts. I will not argue with that! Let’s go America, bring on the cheese!