Wednesday Wanderlust


Oh Chicago! You really are one fantastic city. You have the charm of my beloved Boston and the big city feel of my one and only NYC. Your lake is majestic, your skyline breathtaking, and your people so kind. Thank you for a wonderful Memorial Day visit. We can’t wait to visit you again!


Stay- Chicago

When K and I decided to travel to Chicago this past Memorial Day weekend, I was torn between staying at the newly opened Soho House Chicago in the West Loop and Public Chicago in the Gold Coast. The decision was made easy when I learned that my request for a holiday weekend at the Soho House was not fulfilled. So Public is was.

With 285 rooms, this hotel is much larger than we typically like to stay at. The rooms are tastefully designed by Ian Schrager and the common areas on the first floor are beautiful, including a coffee bar, a library den and a movie room. However, I must be honest and say I was a bit unimpressed with our experience. We heard our neighbors, the bathroom was tiny and had few amenities {no robes, only 2 towels and lackluster products} and the accent chair in our room was dirty and stained. Thankfully we had lots to see {and eat} so there wasn’t much time spend relaxing in our room.


Eat Chicago

While I was disappointed with our hotel of choice, the food in Chicago did not disappoint. My favorites include:

Little Goat – Located in the West Loop, Little Goat should not be missed. We had our first breakfast here and loved every single delicious bite. We started with their enormous ooey gooey cinnabun and shared the Kimchee + Bacon + Eggs + Pancakes Asian Styke BreakfastTasty Thing. This is the actual name… I promise! And the service was fantastic. We asked our waiter, who had just been in Boston oddly enough, his not to miss spots. Fortunately, we had dinner reservations at his top spot. Score!

The Winchester – Located in East Village, we enjoyed a leisurely Sunday brunch here. The interior is beautiful and my cocktail of Allagash white and grapefruit juice with a salt rim was delightful. A perfect neighborhood spot!

Doughnut Vault – I’m a total sucker for a good doughnut and the old-fashion buttermilk glazed is all I’ve been thinking about since I left. So good.

Floriole – Located in charming Lincoln Park, Floriole is the bakery of my dreams. And although we didn’t visit on this most recent trip, I have indulged in the pastries at this french inspired cafe more times than I’d like to admit!

Milk & Honey Cafe – Located in the eclectic Wicker Park neighborhood, I would refer to Milk & Hone as the Flour Bakery of the midwest. Great sandwiches, pastries and plenty of room to eat. It really is a place where “fresh and goodness meet!”

avec -Meaning with in French, avec was initially designed as the place to enjoy a light bite before your meal at critically acclaimed Blackbird next door. However, avec has now become the place to go for your meal. A dinner reservation is nearly impossible to get so we opted for lunch, which I highly recommend. The chorizo stuffed dates with bacon in a piquillo pepper-tomato sauce is worth every calorie.

Big Star -The place for tacos in the Windy City. Located in Wicker Park, right by the L, this is a great place for meeting up with friends. They have a huge patio and the beer list is quite impressive.

Piece Brewery + Pizza – Although Chicago is known for it’s deep dish, I’m a thin crust girl so highly recommend this local establishment with musical roots. Just guess who is a part owner? Rick Nielsen from Cheap Trick!

The Bristol – Located in Bucktown, The Bristol is that neighborhood spot I wish we had in Boston. Good comfort food, tasty cocktails and friendly staff. You can’t go wrong.

Girl & the Goat – You all remember Stephanie Izard from Top Chef, right? With her winnings, she opened up this Must-go spot in her hometown. If you can’t score a reservation, Little Goat is hers as well.

Ruxbin – “People who love to eat are always the best people.” One of my favorite quotes from Julia Child and the introduction to the menu at this Chicago gem in Noble Square. Ruxbin’s concept is a curated, family style meal. You pick two small plates, two large and two desserts. Meals arrive on the most beautiful pieces of pottery that are available for purchase here. The chickpea pierogi with apple, zurek, celery leaf, and radish bonito has moved onto my top 5 best dishes I’ve ever had list.

Maudes Liquor Bar – Located down the street from Girl & the Goat, this is a romantic spot to grab an after dinner drink and dessert. The chocolate mouse was sinfully smooth.

The Allis – The most well designed bar I’ve ever been to. I literally could move right in. They also offer afternoon tea service. A must!

Another must is a Chicago hot dog. We had ours down on the waterfront from a street vendor but I’m told the best place to go is Downtown Dogs. The poppy seed bun, relish, mustard and celery salt make you realize you don’t need ketchup after all!

A few places that we didn’t make it to but are on the list for next time include: Mott Street, Parson’s Chicken and & Fish, The Hampton Social and Fat Rice.


Besides eating my way through a city, I always like to take in a bit of history and a bit of culture. I highly recommend an Architectural Boat Tour, a walk around Millenium Park and Cloud Gate and a visit to The Art Institute.

And if time allows, get tickets to a comedy show a Second City Not sure I’ve ever laughted so hard in my life.

Can’t wait to see you again, Chi-town!


Tuesday Travel


For today’s travel post, I wanted to take the opportunity to share some of the new places that now call Boston home, just like me! I may be biased, but I have to say this city just keeps getting better. Read on and you’ll see why!

Yvonne’s  – A supper club you won’t want to miss. I’ve been three times. I can’t get enough of this place.  Plan ahead as it is nearly impossible to get a dinner reservation past 6 pm. Oh and make sure you check out the women’s powder room. Once you walk in, you will see why.

Whole Heart Provisions – Eat more veggies is what this place is all about. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I have a slight obsession. Their miso bowl with roasted broccoli, smashed cucumber, edamame, shaved brussels sprouts, red cabbage slaw, sesame crunch and orange miso dressing on their rice pilaf blend is out of this world.

Boston General Store  – It’s not like Coolidge Corner needed to make another reason for me to visit. Between The Booksmith, Otto, and the theatre, I’ve always found my way there. This lovely shop packs everything and I mean everything.

SRV – I’ve been wishing for a new and delicious spot to open up in the South End and my wish came true with SRV, located on Columbus and Mass Ave. Their pastas are divine and the space very inviting. It’s the kind of place you just want to hang out at.

Sheppard – Located in the former Chez Henri space off Mass Ave. near Harvard Square, Sheppard is run by two industry veterans: Susan Regis (who has cooked along some of Boston’s most notable chefs) and Rene Becker of Hi-Rise Bakery (one of my favorites). The decor is soothing, the menu approachable and delicious. I kind of wish it were my neighborhood spot.

Templeton General –  My new go-to spot in the Fort Point for all things house and home.

Tiger Mama – The second restaurant from Top Chef alum Tiffani Faison, Tiger Mama is at the top of our list of places to try. All the reviews I’ve heard are amazing. Need to get there stat!

Little Big Diner – Located a hop, skip and a jump from Downtown Boston (in Newton Center), Little Big Diner is inspired eastern Asian cuisine in a few and high energy space. Their steamed pork and cabbage dumplings are some of the best I’ve ever had. Well worth the 15 minute drive.

And before I go, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention two new coffee shops: Curio Coffee in East Cambridge and Gracenote in the Financial District. Both delicious. Planning a trip to Beantown,  remember I’m always here to help!




Winter Bucket List


The shortest day of the year… my goodness! With a new season upon us, I like to put pen to paper and come up with a few bucket list items. For a little perspective, I took a quick look at my 2013 bucket list.  Sadly I didn’t get to check everything off then so here’s hoping to do so in 2016!

  1. {Finally} Ice skate on Frog Pond. This has been on my list for years now and I really just need to do it.
  2. Host an intimate dinner party. I find it much easier to entertain during the summer months on our deck but this winter, I’d like to do an intimate formal dinner party for friends.
  3. Walk and Explore. During the winter months, I find it easy to hurry home after work and curl up by the fire place. This winter, I’d like to bundle up and explore this beautiful city of mine. So much has changes since I’ve been back.
  4. Unplug. I will admit, I am addicted to my phone and several of my apps. I am going to try and instill a new rule: no social media after 8 pm.
  5. Read. The pile of new books next to my bed is getting quite high. I try to read a book a month but would like to increase this to at least two, maybe three. Any recommendations?

I promise to keep you apprised as I check these off one by one!




A few weeks back, I volunteered at the Kendall Square EatUp. In addition to my time, I purchased a raffle box to give to this worthy organization. To my surprise, I won a yearly membership to Dinner Lab. I like to pride myself on being in-the-know about the Boston food scene but somehow, this one escaped me. Dinner Lab is a fascinating concept, which started in New Orleans. The founding team wanted to introduce their hometown to diverse cuisine and bring people together around the dinner table. Membership entitles you to an invite-only dinner, in a unique space (not a restaurant) by chefs who come from some of the world’s best restaurants. Pretty cool, right?

I received my first invite this week for a dinner on December 4th, which sadly I can’t make as we will be en route to NYC for the weekend. Take a look at the chef details below. Looks like I will be missing quite a night.


I am hopeful the next invite isn’t too far off. I should note that Dinner Lab is available in cities across the country. Traveling for work or planning a weekend getaway, sign up for your destination to find out if a Dinner Lab is available. A worthy culinary experience to join. Happy eating!

My {Boston}

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To close out Boston week, I wanted to end on a high note and share My Boston. All of my very favorite things in this little city of mine. Enjoy!

All Things Food

Coffee Shop – Simon’s {simply the best latte}

Donuts – Union Square Donuts {the strawberry glaze changed my life}

Brunch – Mistral {no better place to spend a Sunday afternoon on a chilly winter’s day}

Sandwich – Cutty’s {the ham pimento is my go-to}

Food Truck – Bon Me {it’s all good}

Bar Scene – Brick + Mortar {signature cocktail = sister mary}

Pizza – A4 and Dirty Water Dough {a tie}

Sushi – Douzo {you must try the back bay roll}

Indian – Punjabi Dhaba {no frills are needed when the food is this good}

Italian – Giulia {the best pasta you’ll ever have stateside}

Oyster Bar – Neptune Oyster {food + decor makes this a gem not to be missed}

Tacos – Loco Taqueria {fried zucchini taco is where it’s at}

BBQ – Sweet Cheeks Q {top chef alum Tiffani Faison makes the best biscuit and bbq sauces hands down}

Date Night Spot – Sarma {just go and you will see why}

Guilty Pleasures

Movie Theatre – Kendall Square Cinema {i won’t confess how many movies i’ve seen here}

Mani/Pedi – MiniLuxe {with multiple locations throughout the city, this is the place for a little pampering}

Waxing – Bella Sante {the only place I go for these services}

Spa/Facial – Spa at The Mandarin {an indulgence but well worth it}

Boston Musts

A morning stroll through the newly opened Boston Public Market

An afternoon at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

A sunset Boston Harbor Cruise

A ride on the Swan Boats

Enjoy my favorite view of Boston… Grab a Hubway in Harvard Square and bike along Memorial Drive to Boston. The prettiest view of all!

Shops {in Boston}

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At least once a day I daydream about owning a little shop and wonder what the layout will be? Which items will line my shelves? And will people actually come in? I have romanticized life as a shop girl. Perhaps this is due to my long retail history. In any event, I believe I have a discerning eye for a shop done right. And the good news… several in Boston are doing it right and thus I want to share with you my favorite shops in Boston. Similar to my previous two posts on Boston, I thought it easiest to divide by neighborhood.

One thing to note: if you are visiting Boston and looking for more mainstream shops {J.Crew, Ann Taylor, Anthropolgie, etc.} just head to Copley Square and Newbury Street. You will find anything and everything there.

Beacon Hill

Charles Street is one of the most charming streets in Boston (next to Marlborough Street in my humble opinion) and is lined with some of the cutest shops. My favorites include:

Wish –  Oh how I wish my closet looked like Wish, filled with Joie, DVF, Milly and Ella Moss basics.

Holiday – When looking for that piece I won’t find anywhere else, I stop on in to Holiday. The sales people are always super helpful and their affordable jewelry is a go-to for last minute gifts.

Good – A well curated shop of jewelry, handbags, linens, pottery and books. They are also my source for the Rebecca Atwood candles, my go-to hostess gift.

December Thieves – The owner of this shop was recently named by Boston magazine as the best shopkeeper in the city. Kuddos to Lana, whose locations in Beacon Hill and the South End are filled with curiosities, wears and whimsical jewelry. A shop not to be missed in Boston, for sure!

South End

Many would say that the South End is the heart of Boston, home to wonderful restaurants, cafe and unique shops. Lucky for me, our apartment is around the corner and thus I frequent these shops often!

Farm & Fable – An epicurean’s dream. Cookbooks, vintage cocktail glasses, Farmhouse Pottery from Vermont, oyster knives, and tea towel galore… My sweet friend Abby certainly has it all in her beautiful store on the corner of Shawmut and Milford Street.

Twelve Chairs – Just like I want my closet to look like Wish, I want my home to resemble Twelve Chairs. Housing both a retail space and design studio, their second floor location on Tremont should not be missed. From throw pillows to vintage lamps and artwork, there is always somethings to discover at Twelve Chairs.

Hudson Boston – My go-to shop for interior inspiration and wedding gifts.

Olives & Grace – “A curtsy to the makers” is what this little shop is all about. Handcrafted items and locally sourced food products, Olives & Grace is my go-to spot for that friend who has everything. It’s no wonder they were named as the best gift shop by Boston magazine. I’m a huge fan of the Boston coasters.

SAULT New England – This is my girl’s favorite shop in all of Boston.


Just a short T-ride from downtown Boston on the Green Line is Coolidge Corner. My first “neighborhood” in Boston (technically I lived up the road in Washington Square but spent a great deal of time in CC) and one that I return to again and again.

Brookline Booksmith – Hands down my favorite bookstore. They now have a used section in their basement and offer a wonderful selection of discounted titles.

Mint Julep – A charming neighborhood spot featuring a wonderful selection of jeans and cute “going out” tops at a good price point.

North End

For a neighborhood typically known for food, the North End has a few shops not to be missed.

Shake the Tree – An eclectic shop featuring clothing, jewelry, housewares and accessories. It’s my local Anthropologie!

In-jean-ius & Twilight – In-jean-ius started with a simple mission: to help women find the perfect jean for their body type. It was only a matter of time till then expanded their offerings with Twilight, a store inspired by that magical time between day and night.


And last but not least, my favorite shops across the river.

Pod – This tiny boutique resembles home to me. A beautiful collection of found objects for both the home and you. I’m in-love with their offering of Kerry Cassill pillowcases at the moment.

Loyal Supply Co. – Nestled in the heart of Union Square, Loyal Supply Co. is a design firm, retailer, and distributor of goods for the home, office, and studio, who lives by the motto “Supplies for Life.” I get more compliments on my key chain from them than anything else I carry.

Tune in tomorrow for My Boston list. Until then, have a wonderful Wednesday!

Bakeries {in Boston}

Boston Bakeries

I have always had a soft spot in my heart for bakeries. Anytime I’m planning a trip to a new place, I do my research to find the best local bakeries. Not only do I have a sweet tooth, but there is just something about a bakery/cafe vibe that captures me. With that, I thought I would share my favorite bakeries in Boston on this #tasytuesday.

We will start in Boston proper and go by neighborhood…

Tatte in Beacon Hill – Located on the corner of Charles and Mount Vernon Street, this is Tatte’s fifth and newest location in Boston {and my personal favorite as it is a short walk from my apartment}. Breakfast is served daily till 11:30 am and favorites include the avocado tartine and the shakshuka, a traditional north african dish. For lunch, the grilled halloumi salad is where it’s at. Tatte’s attention to details make it an instagramers heaven. Just take a look at their feed. And good news, most of their locations have plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.

Flour Bakery + Cafe in Back Bay, South End & Fort Point – Flour Bakery is what dreams are made of. Seriously. A trip to Boston isn’t complete without a visit to one of Joanne Chang’s delightful Flour locations. And good news, they offer breakfast, lunch and dinner. Favorites include their blueberry muffin, vegan chocolate cupcake, smoked turkey sandwich and greek salad. And to quench your thirst, they create a seasonal spritzer and specialty drink. This summer, their lemon-lime aid has been keeping me hydrated. Flour’s Back Bay location has plenty of seating and is also across the street from the Frieda Garcia park so great for kids too.

Canto 6 in Jamaica Plain – This rustic french bakery is the bee’s knees and has a loyal following of JP neighbors. And while it will take a little maneuvering to get to from downtown (Orange line outbound to Forrest Hills, get off at Green Street and walk two blocks towards Washington Street), I promise it is worth the trip. Their seasonal scones are some of the best and their sandwiches are the perfect accompaniment for a walk in the nearby Arboretum. Seating is limited.

Clear Flour Bread in Brookline – Specializing in classic french and italian breads, Clear Flour Bread is my go-to for you guessed it, bread. And while they offer some pastries {a delicious chocolate chip cookie}, there is no seating.

Cambridge Bakeries

Now, let’s cross the Charles…

Hi-Rise Bread Company in Harvard Square & Huron Village – I have my brother Travis to thank for introducing my to Hi-Rise. Similar to Flour, they have an impressive offering of pastries and mouth-watering sandwiches. Sometimes when I need an afternoon pick-me-up, I travel over to their Harvard Square location for a latte and a piece of their sinful vanilla bean loaf cake. It’s so good it was featured in former NYT food critic Amanda Hesser’s book Cooking for Mr. Latte. Their Huron Village location also has an impressive wine offering.

Sofra Bakery + Cafe in Cambridge/Watertown – Sofra is unlike any cafe experience in Boston with influences of Greek, Turkish and Lebanese delights in both decor and offerings. Their meze bar offerings are incredible (beet tzaziki is my favorite) and their chocolate earthquake cookies are just about the best thing I’ve even tried. Seating and parking are limited so I suggest going later in the day after the morning and lunch hour rush.

Forge Bakery in Union Square – When I’m craving a breakfast sandwich, I venture to Forge Bakery. Their simple egg sandwich on a homemade english muffin with avocado and sriracha hits the spot every single time. And in colder months, they make one of the most delicious hot chocolates I’ve ever tasted. Good news… plenty of seating and parking at Forge.

Bagelsaurus in Porter Square – I still remember the first taste of my very first NY bagel. Fifteen years later, no bagel could ever compare. That was until I discovered Bagelsaurus. Owner Mary Ting Hyatt’s bagels are simply the best and her offerings of bagel sandwiches are off-the-charts delicious. Might I suggest the t-rex? Bacon, almond butter, and banana. So good! I suggest greeting the staff at opening (7 am weekdays; 8 am weekends) as they sell-out quickly.

Loyal Nine Cafe in East Cambridge – The newest addition to the bakery scene, Loyal Nine Cafe has the most limited menu but one that is well worth the trip. Their coffee and lattes are served in pottery hand-made by the owner and their breakfast pastries (typically 3-5 to choose from) are delicious. We had the cinnamon roll Sunday morning and were quite happy. There is plenty of seating both indoor and out and since Loyal Nine is relatively new to the bakery scene in Boston, the pace is calm and perfect for a relaxing morning and/or afternoon.

Be sure to follow along with me on Instagram as I go #outandaboutwithmay in Boston and check back tomorrow as I share my favorite shops in this beautiful city of mine!

New {in Boston}


As last week got away from me {sorry for my silence}, I wanted to keep my promise and devote this week to all things Boston. Today, I thought I’d share with you all that is NEW in this city of mine.

To keep things easy, I thought I’d go neighborhood by neighborhood. First up, Fort Point.

Fort Point/New Waterfront/Innovation District

I use to fondly call Fort Point the land of Barbara Lynch as Congress Street was home to three of her restaurants (Sportello, Drink and Mention). In just a few short years, though, Fort Point has blossomed and is now included in what many are calling the Innovation District, which includes The Seaport and the Waterfront. Companies like EnerNOC and Vertex are relocating to this thriving district. Driving down Seaport Boulevard, you can’t help but notice the luxury condo towers popping up left and right. The growth is incredible. Even more incredible, the restaurants to join the scene. A few to note: Mario Batali’s Babbo Pizzeria, Gather, Committee, and Empire {sister restaurant to the Back Bay’s Red Lantern}. I haven’t been just yet but I hear Hotel Envoy is the place to go for an evening cocktail and the best views of the Boston skyline at their Lookout Rooftop Bar.

South Boston/Southie

With the development throughout the Seaport/Waterfront, it’s no coincidence that South Boston has become the neighborhood for young professionals to enter the real estate market. In a recent article, I noted that Southie currently has over forty projects in either the planning/approval stage, under construction or just opened phase. All this activity has led to the opening of some pretty legit neighborhood spots. American Provisions is my go-to for delicious sandwiches, wine, cheese and provisions for an afternoon picnic, LOCO Taqueria & Oyster Bar for a night out on the town {and celebrate #tacotuesday} and Neatly Nestled for a wonderful selection of home goods and last minute gift ideas. I hear if you are single, Lincoln Tavern is the place to go. And you must check out The Lawn on D, a first of its kind, outdoor interactive space {adult playground} with a unique art installation of  20 lighted oval swings, games galore {bocce, ping pong, corn hole} a sound stage and open-air bar. This place has certainly lifted Boston’s cool factor.

Ink Block

In between Southie, I-93 and the South End, use to live a little paper called The Herald. But since it moved to the waterfront, this warehouse zone of the South End has been relatively quiet with just a gas station, Medieval Times and the Pine Street Inn. But times are a changing. Today, Ink Block is a 6-acre development with three unique buildings and 315 apartments to help restore this once vibrant neighborhood. This has certainly helped to extend the sophistication and appeal of the South End. At the anchor of it all, is a Whole Foods Market, which makes me a happy girl as my apartment is about a 8 minute walk away. Add to that, a milk + honey spa, and Ink Block is moving to become the hub of the South End.


When Filene’s closed their doors in early 2006, Downtown Crossing lost a bit of its luster and for the past ten years has been a place one passes through to and from the Financial District and the Boston Common. Thankfully this is changing. Millennium Tower, a luxury high-rise residential skyscraper is emerging from the former retail location. And while occupancy won’t begin until next summer, you can check out the development while visiting the first city location of Roche Brothers. Word on the street is that acclaimed chef Michael Mina will be opening a Boston location of his acclaimed Pabu restaurant. Is it 2016 yet?!?!

Also changing the face of Downtown Boston is the highly anticipated Boston Public Market, which since opening last month, has become my new favorite spot in Boston.


Similar to the Innovation District, condo buildings are under construction all along the back of Fenway Park. Add to that, a Target and rumors of a Wegmans grocery store, and pretty soon you’ll never have to leave Fenway. And if you have out-of-town guests visiting, just have them book a room at the recently opened Verb Hotel. The pool scene alone makes me want to book a stay-cation here.


There are many in Boston who refuse to cross the Charles River and venture over to Cambridge and Somerville. But let’s be honest… this is where the food revolution has taken off in Boston. Alden & Harlow, Sarma, Union Square Donuts, Loyal NineState Park, Spoke Wine Bar. You can’t go wrong! Planning a trip to Boston, I highly recommend crossing the Charles and taking in the food scene on the other side.

So there you have it… my take on all that is NEW in Boston. Planning a visit? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment or email me with any questions. Happy to help!

Image Credit: Drawings of classic Boston icons by Swiss Cottage Designs via their blog.

Take Two


It’s hard to believe that a year ago, I gathered up my belongings and re-rooted myself back in the city I said I would never return to. One should learn never to say never! But you know what? While I was going through my rebirth, Boston was too. This city is just bursting with energy and it is quite an exciting time to live and work here. So this week, I thought I would devote all my posts to my city, Boston. I hope you’ll join me for the adventure!

Opening Day


It’s a very exciting day here in Boston as the much anticipated Boston Public Market officially opened its doors at 11 am. K and I are heading there after work {hours are 8 am to 8 pm, Wed-Sun I believe} and I can’t wait. Be sure to check out my Instagram feed this evening as I’m sure I won’t be able to control myself with the food photos!

I remember the first time I went to Chelsea Market {back in 2009} and wishing my beloved city had such an incredible space dedicated to all things food. Little did I know that the Boston Public Market has been in the works since 2001. According to the BPM website “In 2001, a group of food producers, restaurateurs, and food lovers gathered to form the Boston Public Market Association. After years of work advocating for the development of a public market in Boston, they gained the support of elected officials and helped identify a permanent site for the market.” But worth the wait it is as it’s the only locally sourced market of its kind in the United States. Everything sold at the Boston Public Market is produced or originates in New England.

The list of vendors is impressive too. Union Square Donuts, Mother Juice, Bon Me, Cellars at Jasper Farm, Sweet Lydia’s and Sienna Farms. My kitchen, tummy and fridge will be so pleased.