The Eye Traveler Review

Boston’s North End, everyone knows it, likes it, and needs to visit it when around. I’ve never been a fan because of many reasons. Last night I was invited to Terramia and I have to admit it was by far my favorite in the “End”!

Funny story, when my Italian friend came to Boston for Harvard summer class last year, I took him to the Northend to have a taste of little Italy. The thing about Boston is that everything closes relatively early, when we got there most of the places were closing up. With our growling tummies we stumbled upon a little gem in a small alley, it was empty but us. With a little hope the food turned out to be surprisingly authentic & delicious. Neither of us can recall the name of that place anymore.

But I think I’ve finally found a replacement!

Give me your hand, and I will show you the world(Terramia)!

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We started off with endless Prosecco”Maschio” Brut.

Our waiter was utterly sweet and explained the name “Terramia” means the land. The land of deliciousness, I endorse that!IMG_5660

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Once everyone is seated, the waiter brought plates of classic italian Caprese salad. Fresh sooooft mozzarella on tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil and topped with basils. IMG_5488

Next up is Frittelle Di Aragosta, fresh Maine lobster fritters topped with crispy vegetables in a balsamic honey glaze. Those buns are fried to perfection, you have to try them yourself!

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Zucchini flowers stuffed with cheese.. Drizzled with truffle honey dressing… I can tell you with confident, this baby is eyerollingly good and way better than the ones at Il Panino. IMG_5501

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Here’s a bonus for you, everything on the menu they can make them vegan style! Yasss! I am snap happy about it because I have so many vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free friends, this is GOD send!

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I went with house special, sea bass on risotto swimming in delicious sauce which contains capers, olives, and grilled baby tomatoes. IMG_5510

The sea bass is super fresh and nicely crunchy outside, buttery tender once you bite in. IMG_5511

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Just look at this plate of raviolis..
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Hudson valley duck breast with wild mushroom risotto, broccoli rabe, cherry red wine reduction and green sauce. IMG_5516

Lobster ravioli IMG_5518

We washed down bottles of wines while the food kept on coming.

And all of a sudden the place just got so quiet, everyone was diving deep in their food.
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What’s better than dessert after a great meal? I highly suggest the pudding bread, it was orgasm in the mouth kind of good…IMG_5655

The chocolate cake was deliciously creamy! If you’re a chocolate fan, you should try this.IMG_5656

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We said our goodbyes and headed home with full bellies and full hearted happiness.

I’ve definitely changed my mind on this cute little neighborhood.

Here’s the menu , go on make a rvs and promise me you’ll try every dessert!IMG_5645

Good night little Italy!

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Boston Rookie Review

Here are few of my favorite pictures from dinner at Terramia Ristorante. Untitled

I went to Terramia a few weeks ago with the Boston Blog and Tweet group and knew most of the bloggers at my end of the table, including Jodi (to the left of me- front right), Janelle (to the right of me), Kerri (across from me), and Adrienne (front left). Lovely group of ladies that I am thankful I know!

Untitled I snagged a picture that someone took with Jodi’s phone of us! Untitled Here’s what Terramia looks likes from outside. It’s right on Salem Street in the North End. You’ve probably passed by if you’ve walked down Salem Street. It’s on the left walking into the North End.Untitled

Below are the fried zucchini blossoms- amazing!

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My other favorite appetizer was the lobster fritters with crispy sweet potatoes on top, over a balsamic honey glaze.

Untitled I also enjoyed the caprese salad (fresh buffalo Mozzarella, tomato, and fresh basil). Untitled

You can see the inside, which is small and cozy. They say that they specialize in creative interpretations of Italian classics. You won’t find only red sauce dishes here!

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They opened in 1993 and have about a dozen and a half tables for 2. It’s very intimate, especially on a Friday or Saturday night. We were there on a Sunday and basically took over half the restaurant.

Jodi ordered the risotto of the day, which included wild mushrooms and asparagus.

UntitledI ordered ravioli of the day, which was fig and mascarpone cheese. It was so good. If you ever see it, order it!! Kerri’s veal chop is in the background. Untitled For dessert, we tried/sampled/split the tiramisu, bread pudding, and flourless chocolate cake. All wonderful. I couldn’t pick a favorite.Untitled

They are participating in Dine Out Boston this year, which is August 16-31. They will have a 3 course prix fix dinner menu for $33. Check them out!

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Restaurant Review by Boston Fab

Terramia Ristorante (98 Salem St) coins itself to be the “Best Italian restaurant in Boston” which is a pretty bold statement as it is  located in the heart of the “Little Italy” of Boston, the North End. Bravado aside, the quaint restaurant has been in the area since 1993 when Carla Gomes Agripino opened the restaurant with executive chefs Mario Nocera and Joseph Tinnirello. The idea of the restaurant was to bring the simple, fresh dishes found in the seaside town of Salerno, Italy to the North End. As time has gone on, the restaurant has expanded its flavors to be more daring, yet has kept the intimacy of the Tuscan dining experience  in the atomosphere with small intimate tables adorned with crisp white linens and in the deep wood exposed beam that align the ceiling.

Our blogger dinner was served family style with dishes flying in from the kitchen at a steady pace. To start, we were served bread and their Canollini Bean Puree – think hummus texture – which was served with a bit of olive oil and ground red pepper. It was okay, but I personally preferred the olive oil as a stand alone.

Bread with Cannellini Bean Puree

Caprese salads are a staple in Italian cuisine, especially in the summer, and the one we were served at Terramia had two types of tomatoes and was made with delicious buffalo mozarella, ripe tomatoes and fresh basil.

Caprese Salad

A signature dish of the restaurant is their Lobster Fritters, that are served in crisp pillows of batter that surround the fresh lobster. They are served with crispy sweet potatoes, leeks and balsamic honey.

Lobster Fritters

For the vegetarian and zucchini lovers, they also have the Zucchini Flowers which are made with the same batter as for the lobster fritters, that has a taste of a corn dog or hot water corn bread, but with a slight more fluff. I tasted more of the mozarella and Italian basil than much of the zucchini, but the truffle honey aioli was delicious. But, let’s be real, you can’t go wrong with honey truffle anything.

Zucchini Flowers

Fortunate those who have dietary restrictions like vegan, vegetarian or gluten, they are very accommodating. I had the vegetarian version of one of my favorite Italian dishes, Gnocchi (San Marzano tomato, basil, garlic sauce, Parmegiano cheese) which is usually served with meatballs. They have been praised for their red sauce, which I will agree is very good. The ripeness and type of tomato used in a red sauce determines the level of acidity. This sauce, has very low acidity and a robust tomato flavor. The gnocchi however, was too dense for my palate and didn’t hold the rich tomato flavor of the sauce.  As it is usually served with meatballs, I can understand how some flavors could be lacking. When a chef takes meat out of a dish, they need to add in something else to supplement spice and fullness the meat originally added.

Gnocchi (without meatballs)

Instead of sticking to the menu, I recommend asking for their daily special. The table raved about the Fig Ravioli with Marscapone, and I was fortunate enough to grab a square and immediately regretted my previous order. The sweet roasted fig brought a luxuriance to the simplistic dish and the marscapone cream sauce was “perfecto”.

Fig and Marscapone Ravioli

Also off the menu was a Risotto with Fresh Shrimp which plated looked like a seafood lovers delight:

Seafood Risotto

For dessert, we shared a sampler of Torta al Cioccolato Senza Farina, Bread Pudding and Tirimisu. The table favorite was the bread pudding, though I found the torta al ciccolato which was a flourless chocolate cake, to be divine – and gluten free!

Torta al Cioccolato Senza Farina, Bread Pudding and Tiramisu

What I learned from my meal at Terramia, is that when you are eating in the North End, once you’ve found the restaurants that makes your favorite dishes the way you like, stick to that restaurant.  When trying out a new restaurant, have a sense of adventure and always go for the specials. By trying something that’s off the menu, you will experience the strengths of chef’s talent and creativity.

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OpenTable’s Diners’ Choice – Local Pick in 2015

DC-RGBWindowStatic-2015Terramia Ristorante Selected as a OpenTable’s Diners’ Choice Local Pick in 2015 for Best Romantic Restaurant in Boston.

“We are thrilled that Terramia has been recognized for excellence by OpenTable diners, and we look forward to introducing others to our unique brand of modern Italian food fare,” says owner Carla A. Gomes.

Thanks to all the diners who have helped Terramia earn this recognition in the Boston area for over the years.

Be sure to reserve in advance, now that the word is out. Your table is waiting!

The selection is determined by recent, verified OpenTable diner reviews within Boston:

A small, quaint, pleasant restaurant with excellent, fast service. Amazing food and kitchen staff took great care to ensure my family dined well. The place is always crowded, reservations are a must and you will not be disappointed.

“Always a pleasure to go to Terramia,food was amazing as always, I had the spaghetti with shrimp and lobster and it was delicious, my wife had the open face ravioli, can’t go wrong with that, service was good, we had a perfect dinner again thanks to Terramia!”

“As a former Chef I thought the food was excellent and outstanding service. Highly recommend it.”

Quaint and cozy! All of our food choices were delicious (including dessert). We were able to take our time, enjoy our meal and feel pampered by the staff.

DraftKings Interview Series: DaveTheChamp8

DraftKings Interview Series: DaveTheChamp8

An interview with a DraftKings icon.

Daily fantasy is the fastest-growing sector of fantasy sports and football is, by far, the most rapidly-expanding sport within the industry.  The lure of simplistic salary-based lineups and potentially life-changing prize pools continues to attract new customers and is yielding double-digit growth to sites like FanDuel and DraftKings.  As NFL Opening Weekend approaches, the FootballGuys partnered up with DraftKings to get an inside look at some of their success stories over the past twelve months. The intent of these interviews is to have some fun talking about their success while trying to pick up some helpful advice along the way.

In today’s installment, we sit down with Dave Gomes, a 25-year old native of the North End neighborhood of Boston.  Unlike some of the other interviews we have done in this space, Dave is not a typical ‘grinder’ with years and years of metric-based research to help generate a ‘model’ that drives his daily process; instead, Dave is a relative newcomer to the DFS space, having started less than a year ago after several conversations with his brother, who experienced early success on DraftKings.  Dave took the plunge into DFS and less than three months later, he won DraftKings’ marquis tournament, the Millionaire Maker, in front of live cameras in a bar in the North End of Boston.  Unless you have been living without cable, you have undoubtedly seen that celebration in the form of the newest batch of DraftKings’ commercials.  We reached out to Dave to pick his brain, find out more about his DFS prowess, and to learn more about what a million dollar sweat feels like–we think you will enjoy the ride.  For more with Dave, feel free to give him a shout on his Twitter page at https://twitter.com/DaveTheChamp8.

Given Name: Dave Gomes
Daily Alias(es):  DaveTheChamp
Age:  25
Hometown: Boston, MA
Occupation: Student at MCPHS in Boston
Twitter Handle: @DaveTheChamp8

How long have you been playing daily fantasy football and how did you find it? 

Last year was my first year playing DFS. My brother had been playing a lot and telling me it was easy to win money. He actually stopped playing our season-long league because he was so into DFS, so I was intrigued to see what he was doing.

Do you still play season-long fantasy football? 

I do still play season long fantasy football and am in two leagues currently. In my big money league ($3600 grand prize), I am the two-time reigning champion who is attempting to become the first player in the league to win three consecutive times this season.

How would you describe the similarities/differences between season-long and DFS?

DFS and season-long fantasy football are very similar and playing in a competitive league can help your DFS performance a lot. Players in my league are always adding players and making moves on what they see on a week-to-week basis, which keeps me on my toes.  The cool thing about DFS is that you can have any player you want and have less of a commitment to a player who has a bad match up so you have a great opportunity to win every week because you choose your team depending on player matchups that given day.

Describe your initial experience on DraftKings?  Were you immediately successful or did it take time to learn the nuances of DFS?  What resources did you use to learn how to become successful?

I was playing weekly $100 head-to-head contests and winning. I would look at the overall point totals of the big money competitions and mine were comparable so I decided to play the Millionaire Maker GPP. The DraftKings Playbook’s game logs, updates, and stats helped me choose the players I wanted to roster, but monitoring player movement in my yearly league also helped identify other potential value plays…again suggesting that there can be crossover between season-long and DFS.

Last season, you finished 35th in the DraftKings’ Millionaire Maker in Week #10 for a take-home of $3500, which you subsequently parlayed into ~ 50 lineups for the Week #11 Millionaire Maker.  What made you make the decision to risk all of your winnings on lineups for the following week? 

First, with the money I won in Week #10, I had already won 10 times the money I initially deposited.  Next, I was so close to winning a million dollars in Week #10, I just had to ride the wave into Week #11 to see if I could capitalize.  Since I was playing with DraftKings’ money, it seemed like a good investment at the time!

Haha!  Seems like a risky endeavor—would you advise others to take the same approach?

If a person is playing with ‘house money’ and thinks that they have a lineup that could win a million dollars, it’s worth the risk because the money you would lose was not your own to start with anyhow.

In Week #11, you indeed won the Millionaire Maker, largely on the legs of a 0.6% owned Jonas Gray, who ran for 4 touchdowns on Sunday Night Football against the Colts.  Because DraftKings’ headquarters is in Boston, they were there to record your ‘sweat’ on Monday night (*Interviewer’s note:  Check out 30-seconds of the footage here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2X1f1i4tJ74).  Can you describe the 24 hours between Sunday and Monday night, including the moment when you realized you were actually going to win the $1M first place prize?

I was back about 17 points before the Pats game started on Sunday night and had Jonas Gray left as my “wild-card play” for the week.  At the price I paid to have him in my lineup, I wasn’t expecting a 44-point performance; I was hoping for a touchdown with maybe 50 rushing yards…enough to get me higher in the standings to win some of my investment back. Half way through the game, I was in first place and absolutely freaking out in my apartment waking the neighbors up! I knew that my team had no players left, so I was checking how far back other entries were to see if they could pass me during Monday Night Football. For all of Monday, I was anxious knowing that depending on MNF, I could be a millionaire by the end of the night. I was so nervous that whole day leading up to the victory that I thought I was going to have a heart attack! I swore from that day forward I would always have a player going Monday night because I don’t know if I could handle the emotions of being a millionaire for only half a day with the possibility of losing by the end of Monday night.  When I knew I was going to win I was shocked and didn’t know what to do. I celebrated with my family and friends but was still absorbing the fact that I had actually won.

How big was your bar tab on Monday night?  How does a hangover feel when you wake up as a millionaire?

The bar tab was around $5,000 dollars after the cleanup for all the popped champagne bottles that were sprayed around the bar. That was the best hangover I’ve ever felt. The next morning I was basking in the glory of my winnings and dreaming of how I was going to spend my cash.

Did you do anything completely selfish with your windfall?

Not really.  With my winnings, I bought my brother, myself, and two friends Super Bowl tickets and had the experience of a lifetime watching our beloved Patriots win their 4th Lombardi trophy against the Seahawks in Arizona.

Your brother appears in the DraftKings’ commercials and is pictured holding the check with you–what can you tell us about his role in the victory?  Was he there merely as moral support or did he have a piece of the action?

My brother Rob and I would rattle back-and-forth players that we both liked each week. He has his own account and we wanted to help one another win. I had asked him earlier that week if he liked Jonas gray as a bargain play, he said that he did, and even had him in a few lineups. I looked more into Jonas’ prospects that week and liked what I read; I put him in most of my lineups because he was so cheap that I could invest in more expensive players at other positions. If it wasn’t for Rob, I could have very well overlooked the Jonas Gray play and never have won the million dollars.

Given your success in larger guaranteed prize pools (GPP’s), what tips can you share to help others maximize their chances of finishing in the upper echelon of those types of games? 

The best way to win money on Draftkings is to enter a 50/50 contest with the same lineup multiple times so you make a consistent weekly winning off that, but then using those winnings to play in the millionaire contest.  This way, your risk of losing money is minimized, while still employing the opportunity to win a ton of money in the million dollar contests.

Without giving away your ‘secret sauce,’ what metrics/statistics do you most value when constructing your DFS lineups?

I personally like to build my team around Aaron Rodgers.  He won 6 DFS players (including myself) the Millionaire Maker last year.  I also like to choose players in good offenses to maximize the opportunity to score touchdowns. I choose my wide receivers by targets and their defensive coverage that week.  I like to choose running backs in a good offense that face six men fronts and who receive goal line carries.  I choose my defenses depending on what quarterback they are playing that week.  For example in Week #11, I chose the Buccaneers’ team defense for a cheap price because they were playing the untalented, struggling Robert Griffin III that week and it paid off with 22-points.  The most important part of the big contest is finding the player, that you think is undervalued, at a low price and playing them, which allows you to roster the more expensive players that are much more likely to put up big numbers.

What single piece of advice could you give a beginner that you wish you had gotten prior to jumping into DFS?

Play 50/50 contests for 25 or 50 dollars—this is where most beginners will have their best chance of doubling up their money on a weekly basis.

What is your single biggest mistake since starting to play DFS?

My worst mistake was continuing to play Jonas Gray weeks after he won me the money. For example, I entered DraftKings’ Big Prize GPP during the Divisional playoff round and starting Jonas Gray over LeGarrette Blount cost me a lot of money. I went with my heart instead of my brain and I could have won more money if I didn’t.

Can you talk about your bankroll management habits, assuming you have a system for tracking profit/losses?

Bankroll management habits tracking profit/loss?  I just don’t lose and then it’s easy to track how much I win.  (*Interviewer’s note:  Your mileage may vary)

You tend to play most of your volume on DraftKings.  Can you elaborate on the site features that DraftKings’ offers, which most appeal to you and your style of play?

I only play on Draftkings.  I started on Draftkings and never could see myself using another site because Draftkings is easy to use, it’s more skill-based because they do not force you to deal with the unpredictability of kickers, and (of course) they have changed my life.

What is the single biggest misconception about daily fantasy sports today?

The single biggest misconception in DFS is that it isn’t for everyone. While you have a better chance of winning if you know the sport you play, I think that any fan can win by playing.  I don’t think that any one in my fantasy football league would lose money playing DFS because they are informed fantasy football players and have an edge on the competition.

 

RANDOM QUESTIONS

What celebrity have you been mistaken for?

I have been mistaken for Mark Sanchez and Vincent Chase (Entourage) when I had lettuce.

How did you choose your daily fantasy alias?

DavetheChamp sounds very cocky, but is a name that I was givin by my friends at a young age and stuck with me my whole life.  My dog is even named ‘Champ’ after me.

What is your dream job?

I’d like to be a General Manager for a NFL team.  I am, however, pursuing my dream as a Physician Assistant working with children with diabetes…this degree will allo me to be both a healthcare provider and an ‘example,’ as I have had Type 1 diabetes since I was one year old.

You’re on death row–what’s your last meal request?

It’s a toss-up between the Filet Mignon at Terramia Restaurant in the North End of Boston and the Capital Grille Porcinini Delmonico Steak.