Category Archives: Foodie Friday

Foodie Friday: Saltie Girl

Tinned fish is about to become a thing in Boston. Brand new Back Bay restaurant Saltie Girl, brought to you by the local MET Restaurant Group, opened June 1 complete with raw bar and a tinned fish menu. MET Restaurant Group president Kathy Sidell (who by the way is Stephanie of Stephanie’s sister, who knew?) was inspired by tapas bars in Barcelona.

The skinny sliver of a space (just 30 seats, galley style, with four banquettes down one side and the bar down the other) is located adjacent to MET Back Bay (it used to be its private dining room). It’s a much needed addition to the neighborhood, which mostly lacks cooler restaurant concepts.

The Saltie Girl interior is design perfection. And I mean perfection. Even more impressive, Kathy Sidell decorated it herself. She is responsible for all of it: the Moroccan patterned cement tiles for the bar backsplash, the turquoise fish scale tiles that clad the bar itself, the perfect aqua paint color, the rope wrapped columns, the glossy wood banquettes, the copper light pendants, and the travel photos

As for the food, it is also exquisite. Gorgeous and insanely delicious.  Chef Kyle McClelland (a culinary artist) works behind the bar to make the cold offerings, while hot dishes, overseen by MET chef David Daniels, come from the kitchen downstairs. Oysters are shucked barside, obv.

New Back Bay Restaurant Bar Saltie Girl Moroccan Tile

The bar is the restaurant’s focal point, and an on trend thing of beauty. Its back wall is lined with Moroccan patterned cement tiles(#trendalert); glass shelves hold the liquor. See those copper pineapples? (#trendalert)  Exotic drinks for two are served in them. The second time I was there a young couple was sharing one, but it seemed rude to intrude upon their moment for a photo.

New Back Bay Restaurant Saltie Girl Raw Bar

The bar is lined with aqua fish scale tile (#trendalert) . The first portion of the bar is dominated by a raw bar. Glass canisters hold garnishes and sauces are served in apothecary-like bottles with medicine droppers(#trendalert) .

Boston Bar Saltie Girl Serves Bloody Marys With An Oyster

Bloody Marys are topped with a raw oyster (#trendalert) . The straw is stainless steel (#trendalert) , which I quite appreciated. (I have an unreasonable aversion to black plastic straws.) The clipboard (#trendalert)  lists the raw bar offerings: various oysters, clams, shrimp, king crab, and sea urchin.

Oyster Platter At Boston Raw Bar Saltie Girl

Two young women sitting next to my husband and I at the bar ordered this spread of oysters. I did ask them if I could take a photo. Note the medicine dropper condiment potions.

New Back Bay Restaurant Saltie Girl Banquettes Rope Wrapped Column

Four banquettes line the deep turquoise (I’ll ask Kathy for the exact paint color) wall parallel to the bar. Columns are wrapped in thick rope. Worn copper pendants illuminate marble tabletops.

Travel Photography Boston Restaurant Design Saltie Girl

Kathy told me the name of the photographer who took all these travel shots (his day job is a globe-trotting position for Ralph Lauren), but I cannot recall. I will find out and update.

New Back Bay Restaurant Saltie Girl Raw Bar

The floor is a simple white hex tile with black grout. A dozen industrial style metal stools(#trendalert) are used for bar seating. A handy black pipe means your legs don’t dangle.

Tinned Fish Display At New Boston Restaurant Saltie Girl

Back to the tinned fish(#trendalert). They’re imported from Europe and the packaging is pretty. Options include tuna (for the unadventurous like me), sardines, anchovies, trout, and mackerel.

Tinned Fish Clipboard Menu New Boston Dining Experience Saltie Girl

Time to order. Raw bar and tinned fish on a clipboard. Salads, sandwiches, and hot dishes on a paper placemat, diner style (but definitely not diner prices).

Tinned Fish Served On Slate Slab At Saltie Girl

Obviously we had no choice but to order a tinned fish platter. Lamely, we got tuna, though I understand the mackerel is easy to eat too. Cockles are not for me. The tinned fish is served on a slate slab (#trendalert) with crusty bread, pickled peppers, some sort of delicious jelly, and OH. MY. GOD. The BEST homemade butter I have ever tasted. There went my diet.

Black Salt Grey Salt White Salt Boston Restaurants

And to make everything even better, Chef Kyle (complete with requisite tats (#trendalert))  treated us to a trio of exotic sea salts (#trendalert). A black lava salt (from Hawaii maybe) with a smoky flavor, a grey sea salt, and a white. I’ve probably not mentioned this on the blog before, but butter and salt are basically my two favorite foods.

Tinned Fish Served On Slate Slab At Saltie Girl

As you can see we ate every bit of that tinned tuna fish, jam (#trendalert), and butter. Okay, I got seconds on the butter.

Chef Kyle Serves A Salad At Saltie Girl In Boston

Next,Chef Kyle McClellan serves my husband a salad.

Green Salad At Saltie Girl

Have you ever seen such a pretty green salad?

Stone Crab Toast At Saltie Girl In Boston

Both times I ate at Salti Girl I ordered Stone Crab Toast with burrata and avocado. There is a whole section of toasts (#trendalert) on the menu. At $10 it’s a good deal; very filling. It melts in your mouth and tastes heavenly.

Best Tuna Tartare In Boston

My husband, who is much more disciplined when it comes to sticking to his diet, ordered the tuna tartare. Scrumptious. Those purple flowers are chive blossoms.

Moroccan Tile Backsplash At Saltie Girl Restaurant In Boston

Another shot of the Saltie Girl bar (aka, my husband’s new neighborhood haunt).

Travel Photography Adorns The Wall At This New Boston Restaurant

Some more travel photos above the banquettes. Looks like Capri.

Tinned Fish Packaging At Saltie Girl In Boston

Tinned fish packaging is cute and pretty. That squid looks like a Disney character.

New Back Bay Restaurant Saltie Girl Pop Up Towel With Check

At the end of the meal, there is this Japanesque presentation — a wood block with water and a compressed cloth.

New Back Bay Restaurant Saltie Girl Pop Up Towel With Check

Voila. It rises. Pull it apart and wipe your hands.

New Back Bay Restaurant Saltie Girl Canned Fish Tin

The bill and an empty tin. A mermaid is the Saltie Girl mascot. There’s a carved one mounted at the bar too.

Saltie Girl Restaurant In Boston's Back Bay Has Raw Bar Tinned Fish & Great Design

Saltie Girl, 279 Dartmouth Street at Newbury Street, Boston

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Foodie Friday: Dry Line Artisanal Gin

On Tuesday night I attended the launch of Dry Line Cape Cod Gin at Outlook Kitchen in the Envoy Hotel on the Boston Waterfront. Although it’s hard to get me to an event, there was no way I’d miss this.

Dry Line Gin is crafted by South Hollow Spirits at the Truro Vineyards. I spend many summer afternoons on the lawn enjoying lunch from the food truck Crush Pad. (They also produce Twenty Boat Rum, which you may have spotted on my bar tray.)

Dry Line Cape Cod Gin Distilled With Peppercorns

South Hollow Spirits is the Cape’s first craft distillery since Prohibition. Dry Line Cape Cod Gin is a small batch, twice-distilled spirit made from organic sugar cane juice that is fermented for three weeks. After the first distillation, the gin is moved to steel drums to steep for 48 hours with botanical-filled hemp bags.

The botanicals used to distill Dry Line include Eastern Red Cedar juniper berries (sourced on their own property), orange peel, lemon peel, cardamom, allspice, coriander, orris root, grains of paradise, angelica root, anise, and dried cranberry. The spirits absorb essential oils from these botanicals, then redistilled, and brought to 94 proof.

Dry Line Cape Cod Gin Bottle + Launch Party Invite

Local graphic designer, who also used to own Farm Gallery, Susie Nielsen, designed the bottle and labeling, which is exquisite. Here are images from the launch party on Tuesday. Everything was delicious, including the four gin drinks served. (No, I did not drink them all.)

Cocktails Made With Dry Line Cape Cod GIn

Dry Line gin drink served upon arrival.

Dry Line Cape Cod Gin Launch At Outlook Kitchen + Bar

We were seated in a private dining room with a glass wall to the kitchen. I was lucky enough to sit between Kristin Roberts and Dave Roberts Jr. (head distiller). It’s a family business. Their dad was there too.

Dry Line Cape Cod Gin Boston Tea Party Cocktail

The arugula and pear salad was served with the Boston Tea Party Cocktail made with Dry Line gin, peppermint lemon infused tea, lemon juice, muddled strawberries, and basil. My favorite. (Please serve this at the Truro Vineyards drink shack this summer!)

Outlook Kitchen + Bar Wall Installation Lighting

Cool lighting installation on the wall behind our table.

Dry Line Cape Cod Gin Party At Outlook Kitchen + Bar

Tagliatelle pasta with onion puree, cherry tomatoes, peas, spinach, and Grana Padano.  Served with SeaPORT Martini made with Dry Line gin infused with citrus, pink & black peppercorns, and port. (Sorry I didn’t take a photo of that one, which was actually too strong for my sensitive self.)

Dry Line Cape Cod Gin Launch Party Menu At Outlook Kitchen + Bar

The evening’s menu. (Oyster shell from last month’s Timberland dinner at Row 34, but hey, it’s Cape Cod appropriate.)

Dry Line Cape Cod Gin Bee's Knees Cocktail

Lemon tart made with Meyer lemon curd, meringue, and mint for dessert. Served with Bee’s Knees cocktail: Dry Line gin, lemon juice, honey syrup.

Craft Spirits In Cape Cod


All photography by Marni Elyse Katz / StyleCarrot

Dry Line Cape Cod Gin is available in select bars, restaurants, and liquor stores throughout Massachusetts starting May 20, 2016. Also available at South Hollow Spirits/Truro Vineyards or online.

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Mother’s Day Gift Guide: The Best Chocolate Desserts to Order Online

I’ve been on a bit of a diet of late, but if I weren’t, I would be really, really happy if my UPS or FedEx guy buzzed with any of these chocolate desserts in hand for me. (Is it any wonder I need to cut back my calories?) Let’s discuss the best chocolate desserts to order online.

No, I’ve not been satisfying cravings by fantasizing over photographs. In an effort to be more frugal (how conscientious, saving calories and dollars), I was clicking through to some online coupon sites for promo codes and was distracted by a free shipping offer for Harry & David on Frugga. (While you can order some crazy amazing food online, sometimes shipping can be pricey.)

It turns out Harry & David is so much more than fruit. They’ll ship you full-on Cheesecake Factory confections. Or just go with chocolate covered strawberries, Hailing from New York I’m a longtime fan of Dean & Deluca which not only has delicious food, but gorgeous presentation. Chocolate and salted caramel layer cake anyone? If your mom’s palette is stuck in tweendom, go for chocolate covered Oreos from Neiman Marcus.

I also recommend the honey sweetened, chocolate dipped marshmallows from Boston maker Apotheker’s Kitchen, which I discovered at the Eat Boutique holiday pop up. And let’s not forget another Boston area favorite, Dancing Deer. (Remember when they invited me on a factory tour?) I often send my own mother Dancing Deer brownie snacks.

One of the best gifts I get during the holidays are the chocolate covered pretzels and chocolate covered graham crackers that Matouk sends as a thank you. But I can’t remember where they come from. (Note to self: Find out!)

Here are 7 of the best chocolate desserts to order online for Mother’s Day, or any time really.

Best Chocolate Desserts To Order Online For Mother's Day

S H O P P I N G 

1 Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel

2 Chocolate Covered Strawberries

3 Parallel Chocolate Bar Set

4 Chocolate Covered Marshmallows

Crispy Chocolate Pearls

6 Chocolate Covered Oreos

7 Dancing Deer Chocolate Chunk Brownies

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Filed under . REGULAR FEATURES, Foodie Friday, Gift Guide

Champagne Cocktails & Cupcakes

As you prepare for a splendid celebration later this week, be it dazzling or quiet and cozy, take note of these delicious treats. Perhaps you have time to create such treats. Click the blog links for the recipes.

Here’s to a year of champagne and cupcakes. Cheers!

C H A M P A G N E  C O C K T A I L S 

blackberry-ombre-sparkler

Blackberry Ombre Champagne Sparkler  •  The Cookie Rookie

st-germain-and-champagne-cocktail

St. Germain and Champagne Cocktail  •  Kitchen Confidence

champagne-cocktails-with-raspberries

Holiday Champagne Cocktail  •  Love You Mean It

champagne-peppermint-white-christmas

Peppermint Champagne Cocktail  •  Freutcake

winter-champagne-cocktail

Winter Champagne Cocktail  •  Style Within Reach

C H A M P A G N E   C U P C A K E S 

Champagne Cupcakes For A Sweet New Year's Celebration

Champagne Cupcakes with Rose Hibiscus Buttercream
The Seaside Baker

Champagne Cupcakes For A Sweet New Year's Celebration

Champagne Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting
Best Friends For Frosting

Champagne Cupcakes For A Sweet New Year's Celebration

Champagne Cupcakes  •  Life Love Sugar

Have a safe, smart celebration.

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Shopping Trip: Eat Boutique Holiday Market

Maggie Battista has been doing the beautiful food thing with her website Eat Boutique for years. Yet somehow I just discovered her, I guess via social media (Eat Boutique IG is a must-follow).  She just published a gem of a cookbook, Food Gift Love: More Than 100 Recipes to Make, Wrap and Share (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October 13, 2015), with gorgeous photography by Heidi Murphy of Boston-based  White Loft Studio.

While I’ve been “liking” her gorgeous photos (it’s practically a cyber-stalking situation), Battista has been working her butt off readying her latest pop-up shop, Eat Boutique Holiday Market.

Located in a former laundromat, an industrial-like space owned, like everything else in that part of Allston, by Harvard Business School. Thanks to Maggie, this wide open white wonderland is hosting 70+ (mostly)  local artisanal food vendors through Dec. 10. The Scandinavian-inspired feel is so appealing, so peaceful, so pretty, I kind of want to move in. It is a Pinterest board come to life.

Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista

Eat Boutique Holiday Market  is open Wednesdays through Sundays until December 20, 2015 at 267 Western Avenue, near Harvard Business School in Allston. (Exact hours at the end of the post.)

Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista

Food Gift Love by Maggie Battista

The recipes are very tempting. I might even make something. But not gift it.

Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista

Those worn wood communal tables are calling out for me and my computer. If it were open weekday mornings, I might just be there. Really they’re for eating the scrumptious food purchased outside at whichever food truck is scheduled that day. When I visited last weekend with my son and husband we got scrumptious fish tacos from the Baja Taco Truck.

Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista

I was thrilled to meet Maggie Battista last weekend, and she couldn’t have been nicer. (She hugs hello and goodbye.) Turns out we could have easily crossed paths over our many, many years in new media, starting in the mid-’90s. It’s not often I run across others who knew how to program AOL screens in Rainman. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, skip it.)

Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista

Le Parfait Jars stocks, well, Le Parfait jars, at the back of the space. They’ve also got a pretty IG feed.

Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista

Cape Cod-based Salt Cellar Shop has fun, flavored salts and dreamy photos on IG. I’d love a salt stack as a gift. In fact, I featured a similar one in a Boston Globe gift guide last month.

Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista

Flavored syrups are a thing. (Yep, featured those in a Boston Globe Magazine gift guide, because I’m on the cutting edge.) Eat Boutique Holiday Market is hosting Maine company Royal Rose Syrups. That’s co-owner Forrest minding his table. What does one do with raspberry, anise, or saffron simple syrups? Mix ’em in cocktails of course.

Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista

Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista

Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista

Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista

Loyal Supply Co. is a design firm, retailer, and distributor of cool goods for the home, office, and studio with a very cool storefront in Union Square, Somerville. Last month I met Ryan at the Remodelista Holiday Market at Lekker. Last weekend I met his partner Kimberly at the Eat Boutique Holiday Market. They also carry modern geo jewelry, wood rattles, candles, artisanal honey, and home products by Copenhagen brand Hay. I think they are the only ones carrying Hay here. I L O V E Hay.

Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista

Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista

I’m not a coffee drinker but my husband said his cup from Black Magic Coffee Co. was quite good.

Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista

Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista

Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista

Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista

Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista

Everyone needs small batch Sriracha. These are from Kitchen Garden Farm in Sunderland, Massachusetts.

Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista

A bicycle is a must-have prop in any hip shop.

Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista

Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista

Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista

Shelves of alluring cookbooks.

Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista

Beauty products by Brooklyn-based company PLANT. Great packaging (haven’t had an opportunity to try the actual products). I love that they’re made with the help of adults with physical and mental disabilities at a workshop in New York City.

Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista

Artisanal chocolate bars by Farmhouse Chocolates based in Bristol, Vermont.

Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista

I was psyched to meet Shari Apotheker of Apotheker’s Kitchen because I had been emailing with her husband and business partner Russ about a gift guide recently. Sadly, their honey-sweetened, dark chocolate covered mallows were cut from the story, but I can report they are OMG amazing. I bought a package of ten. I gave two to each kid, and—here’s how you know they are excellent and refined—neither one loved them. These are grown up marshmallows, thank you very much.

Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista

Apotheker’s Kitchen makes chocolate bars too. The gourmet kind with peppers, sea salt, and quinoa.

Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista

Marshmallows that taste like honey.

Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista\Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista

Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista

Eat Boutique Holiday Market
267 Western Avenue • North Allston (Boston)

Wed. – Fri. – 2 – 8PM
Sat. 10AM – 8PM  •  Sun. 11AM – 5PM

Eat Boutique Holiday Market Boston Pop Up By Maggie Battista

EVENTS on Saturday, Dec. 12

Start the day with pop tarts from Flour Bakery
10–11:30AM Wreaths Workshop with Adrianna Adarme of The Year of Cozy
Mei Mei Street Kitchen Food Truck
1–2PM Book Signing with Maggie Battista of Food Gift Love
2–3PM Bake Cookies with Maria Speck of Simply Ancient Grains 
6–8PM Mei Mei Street Kitchen & Chef Brendan Palley of Pelekasis

Some workshops require tickets.

More events on Sunday and the following weekend.

All photos by Marni Elyse Katz for StyleCarrot

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Filed under . REGULAR FEATURES, Foodie Friday, Just In, Shopping Trip