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The Ultimate Staycation Guide – jqlouise.com

In today’s fast paced world, I think we all need to take just a little bit more time for ourselves and our loved ones. And you don’t need to travel across the globe (even though we like that too) to have a fun weekend out. So lets explore how to have the ‘stay-cation’ of your dreams!

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Getting Started

For any successful staycation, you must plan it with the mindset that this is an actual vacation, but just in a place near where you live. Everything else about a vacation is the same, you will be trying new places, seeing new things and unplugging as much as possible from the real world. So calm down, open your mind and get started! Read more

Haute Secrets Boston: Carla Gomes of Terramia, Cobblestone & Antico Forno

Carla Gomes knows what it takes to make a restaurant in Boston stand out. After all, the North End native has been doing just that since she first opened Terramia in 1993 giving Bostonians an authentic taste of Italy.

Carla Gomes

Since then, she has the beloved restaurant known as Antico Forno to her credit along with the recently opened Cobblestone Cafe on Hanover Street.

We caught up with Gomes recently to find out what she loves most about Boston.

Where were you born?  North End, Boston

How long in Boston?  Most of my life, pretty much

Where do you live now?  Canton, MA

Occupation?  Restaurateur: Owner of Terramia, Antico Forno and Cobblestone

Favorite restaurant  I don’t have a favorite because I like so many…but if I had to choose because I love steak I would choose The Capital Grille

Best Sushi:  Douzo

Best Italian: Terramia

Best dessert:  Bread Pudding

Best place for a romantic date:  Bastille Kitchen

Best Sunday brunch: Ward 8

Best place for a power business meeting:  Antico Forno or Terramia

If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend? Boston Yacht Haven which is right on the Harbor…just beautiful

Favorite shopping venue/boutique: Love it all… whether it’s boutique shops in the North End or Charles St. or South End. But my all time favorite is Twilight on Fleet St. North End

Best place to buy Jewelry/Watches:  E.B. Horn

Best Spa:  Mirbeau Inn and Spa at The Pinehills in Plymouth, MA

Favorite Charity Event:  Joslin Diabetes Center High Hopes Gala

Favorite Cultural Event:  North End Feasts…A tradition close to my heart and my upbringing and also watching football on Sundays if you can call that cultural

Favorite Cultural Institution:  Isabella Gardner Stewart

Best Steakhouse: The Capital Grille

Best Pizza:  When I’m not eating it at Antico Forno, I’d say Volturno in Worcester and Keste in New York

Best Gym/Athletic Facility:  Elite Health and Fitness Center in Stoughton, MA

Best Massage:  Bella Sante…the absolute best massage ever

Best Driving Service:  Myself, I love to drive

Best Museum/Exhibit:  Isabella Gardner Stewart

Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore: I have 2…Fenway Park and Boston Public Library…1st public library with a wealth of knowledge and original artwork

Describe Boston in three words: Three words is difficult….I love everything about Boston, and it being a “Walking City,” but I especially love the people…the way Bostonians band together in good times and bad is the best thing about this city.

All-around favorite locale in Boston, whether a neighborhood, restaurant, venue, or other: North End is definitely my favorite neighborhood

Best Aspect of Boston….The ocean…growing up in the North End and always having the ocean two blocks away. Now since its redevelopment you can walk the “Harbor Walk” on the waterfront which I love to do with my dog.

 

Haute Secrets Boston

terramia

“The North End’s Salem Street has the exclusive privilege of hosting the famed Terramia Ristorante” – Just Luxe

Terramia Ristorante

The North End’s Salem Street has the exclusive privilege of hosting the famed Terramia Ristorante. The dining room is home to a mere dozen tables, guaranteeing an intimate ambience, aided by the calm and unwavering classicalism of the interior.

Terramia goes to great lengths to broaden the horizons of their clientele, with offerings that go well beyond the staple Italian menu items. While it is always changing, seasonal highlights include sesame and lemon trout and open-face raviolo.

The privilege of hosting the famed Terramia Ristorante

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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