Ocean Prime, a high-end seafood and steak restaurant based in Columbus Ohio, opened it’s 12th location in Boston’s Seaport this past December. Ocean Prime specializes in a variety of seafood dishes, meats, and cocktails, and it also offers a gluten-free menu.
Last week I went to check out the gluten free lunch menu and I was impressed with the number of options it offers. Ocean Prime also offers a lunch menu.
The Lavender Citrus Soda is a refreshing summer drink.
For appetizers, we shared the Surf and Turf Sea Scallops and Slow Braised Short Ribs, which just melted in my mouth.
For our entrees we shared the Petite Filet Mignon and Chilean Sea Bass with a side of corn salad.
In addition to this menu, some of the items on the regular lunch menu can be prepared gluten free with modifications, including sushi – Lobster roll, Tuna roll and Hamachi Crudo – and entree salads – Blackened Salmon Salad, Ahi Tuna Salad, Crab Wedge and Flat Iron Steak Salad.
The service is top notch, as is the quality of the food. Ocean Prime is open for lunch Monday – Friday and dinner is served seven days a week.
Disclaimer: I received this meal free of charge. I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.
You can order groceries online and have them delivered to your doorstep in an hour or two, for a delivery charge of as little as $3.99. Sounds too good to be true, right?
Well thanks to Instacart, a grocery delivery service that delivers in as little as an hour, this is actually possible. Instacart, a website and an app where you order your groceries from your favorite stores, recently launched in Boston and connects you with Personal Shoppers in your area who pick up and deliver your groceries from your favorite local stores. In Boston, this includes Whole Foods, Shaw’s, Market Basket and Costco. Instacart is not affiliated with these stores, but it makes shopping there so much easier.
I have a busy life and getting to the grocery store is not always easy, nor is it on the top of my “favorite things to do” list. I mean who likes going to the grocery store at 5pm? The lines are long, the people are moody, and I’m usually hungry. And lets face it, sometimes there just isn’t enough time to go to the grocery store.
Eating a gluten free diet makes this even more of a chore. I shop at multiple food stores because each one offers different gluten free items or significantly different prices for the same product. Instacart lets you mix and match from various stores. So rather than having to run all over the city to different grocery stores, someone else can do the schlepping for me!
With delivery prices as low as $3.99, and free for orders $35 or more this is a no brainer. I can definitely spend $35 in one shopping trip, thanks to the high prices of gluten free items. The minimum order is $10. Deliveries can be made in less than two hours but can also be scheduled for specific times or days when you’ll be home. The company says its fastest delivery was made in 12 minutes. Instacart also offers a service similar to Amazon Prime: for $99 a year, all under two hour deliveries over $35 are free.
I placed my first order at 5pm today. I ordered items from both Shaw’s and Whole Foods. It was easy to browse items by aisle, as you would in a grocery store, and I could filter by brand and/or dietary preferences including gluten free, organic, kosher, and vegan. This was a huge time saver. I was impressed with the number of gluten free products on the site. It’s not like food delivery/take out sites that don’t always list the gluten free options- you know what I mean, we’ve all been there.
Can’t find what you are looking for? It’s impossible to list every single item a grocery store carries. Luckily there is an option to Add a Special Request/Custom Item. All you have to do is include a description of what you are looking for the, the more specific the better, and you can even add a photo, which I did to make it easier for the shopper.
What happens if something is out of stock? When something is out of stock at the store Instacart will do their best to replace it with something similar. During checkout, you can choose specific replacements for any item, or ask for no replacement of an item. If you allow it, your shopper will call from the store to confirm replacement items.
You can view the status of your order and make changes and if the Shopper has not started working on your order, you can add to, modify or cancel your order very easily.
My first order:
Placing my order was super easy. I ordered food from both Shaw’s and Whole Foods.
My shopper called me because an item I wanted wasn’t in stock, but they had another flavor, so I told her that was ok. She also told me she was having a hard time finding the special request item I had added to my order. That didn’t surprise me because I know that not all Whole Foods carry that very new item. A few minutes later I received a text message with an estimated delivery time. My shopper actually arrived 15 minutes before the estimated time, I can’t complain about that!
I was impressed with the quality or service and communication. I also really liked the convenience and ease of the entire processes.
Prices are set by Instacart and may vary from what you may see in your store or your sales flyer. However, you will see the price for each item when selecting your grocery list. I found that the prices were very similar, if not the same, as what I typically pay for my groceries. For example a carton of Almond Breeze Almond Milk at Whole Foods cost $1.99 in the store and on Instacart. There were some items that seemed a bit high to me, Barbara’s Bakery Puffins at Whole Foods sell for $3.99 and a bit more at Shaw’s, about $5.99-$6.99. On Instacart the price at Whole Foods was also $3.99 but at Shaw’s the Puffins cost $7.99.
After your order(s) is delivered you receive both a text and e-mail. If any replacements had been made the e-mail will show this as well as the adjusted price. You are also asked to rate and tip your shopper. Tipping is not required but shoppers appreciate recognition of their hard work. You can tip in cash or using your credit card during checkout or after delivery.
Instacart is available in and around Boston and NYC (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Woodland Park) 7 days/week from 9am-midnight, depending on local store hours.
Boston’s Iconic Waterfront Seafood Shack Introduces New Chef and New Menu to Kick Off its 20th Anniversary Year
TheBarking Crab restaurant, Boston’s beloved seafood shack, went back to basics this past year, paring down its menu and reemphasizing its commitment to serving fresh, local seafood prepared with a “hook-to-table” sensibility. Now, the Barking Crab has completed ‘phase 2’ of its reinvention with a new executive chef, Joshua Brown, along with a new menu—just in time to celebrate its 20th anniversary year!
ABOUT THE BARKING CRAB & “20-YEARS”
Opened in Boston in 1994 as an outdoor summer seafood shack, an adjunct to Neptune Seafood & Lobster Fish Market, the Barking Crab now stands in the gateway to The Seaport District of Boston, a much loved stop on The Boston Harborwalk. Offering a unique on-the-water dining experience—outside on the back deck under the tent in warm weather and indoors in the cozy Lobster Room with its wood burning stove during the winter. Celebrating its 20th anniversary year, The Barking Crab remains endearingly popular with locals and tourists alike, who return regularly for its fab food, festive atmosphere, and year ‘round vacation vibe.
ABOUT THE NEW CHEF
A Natick, Massachusetts native and graduate of the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, Executive Chef Joshua Brown comes to Barking Crab after seven years at Tomasso Trattoria & Enoteca in Southborough, where he rose through the ranks, going from line cook to pastry chef to a.m. sous chef to executive chef. Prior to that, as banquet chef at French multinational food services giant Sodexo, Josh oversaw catering for large crowds at the JFK School of Government, Harvard Law School, and Highwood Manor House at Tanglewood. He also spent a year as line cook at Michael Schlow’s Alta Strada in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Proficient in charcuterie, whole animal and fish butchery, bread baking and desserts, Josh’s culinary experience, palate and love of good food promise great tasting rewards for Barking Crab patrons—locals and visitors, regulars and newcomers alike. Chef Brown has a gluten intolerance, hence a new gluten free friendly menu.
ABOUT THE NEW SPRING MENU
The Barking Crab’s new seasonal menu offers some of the most creative seafood dishes in the city: from Nantucket Bay scallop ceviche and grilled yellow-fin tuna with gingery vegetables to grilled swordfish with eggplant caponata and a New England take on Southern shrimp and grits.
Gluten free appetizers include: black bean soup, mussels, Nantucket Bay scallop ceviche, tequila drunken shrimp, steamers, and the raw bar.
We tried the ceviche. The Nantucket Bay scallops are known for their delectable, sweet flavor, making this dish very different from traditional citrus filled ceviche dishes I am used to eating. The scallops were large and plentiful, paired with fresh cilantro and onion; this dish had a nice balance of flavor. The ceviche is served with gluten free chips.
The oil in the fryer is changed every single day. The gluten free chips are the first thing made in the morning and set aside for gluten free patrons.
For our entrees we ordered the shrimp and scallop kebabs and grilled swordfish.
The shrimp and scallop kebabs are served with Spanish rice and rosemary chimichurri.
The grilled swordfish is served with eggplant caponata and black beluga lentils.
We were so impressed with the distinct flavors of every component of each dish. The fish was fresh and cooked to perfection. I rarely order swordfish because it more often than not is overcooked and dry. But this swordfish was the complete opposite. The quality of the food was also impressive; we were not expecting such creative and refined dishes.
Dessert is made in house. Every morning Chef Brown makes one to two desserts, and sometimes they are gluten free, sometimes they are not. Chef Brown made us a dessert of prosecco, macerated strawberries and pomegranate molasses.
Executive Chef Joshua Brown wants to make sure that guests’ first impression is a great and lasting one. We certainly had a great first impression— if you can believe it this was my first time at Barking Crab— and we will be back again. It’s nice to have gluten free options at a place you would never think it was possible, and even better that the chef completely understands gluten allergies.
Perhaps you’ve heard – Restaurant Week is now Dine Out Boston. Whatever name it goes by, I’ve still got you covered when it comes to gluten free options.
From March 16th-21st and then again from the 23rd-28th participating restaurants will be offering tasty prix fixe lunch or dinner menus (or both). New this year are the three pricing tiers for each meal period. Lunch menus are available for $15, $20 or $25, and dinner menus are priced at $28, $33 and $38. Price and number of courses vary by restaurant.
Below is list of participating restaurants that offer gluten free options on their Dine Out Boston Menus. Some offer full Gluten Free menus while others have a few gluten free options on the menu, or can accommodate very easily by subbing gluten free pasta for regular, etc.
If you would like me to add your restaurant to this list, or if you are a gluten free diner who has recently enjoyed a gluten free Dine Out Boston meal somewhere else please let me know and I will be happy to add it to the list.
Dine Out Boston Restaurants with Gluten Free Options:
On Saturday I attended a complimentary lunch at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House with Blog and Tweet Boston. Del Frisco’s was born more than 20 years ago and embodies the rich tradition of the classic American steakhouse, with impeccable chef-driven cuisine, an extensive award-winning wine list, and unparalleled hospitality.
The Boston location is nestled in the Seaport District at Liberty Wharf. Featuring spectacular harbor views, a sprawling waterfront patio, and a grand circular bar, the sleek, modern main dining room is flanked with deep booths, private and semiprivate dining rooms. The entire restaurant is skirted with jaw dropping display of wines behind glass.
Upon arrival we were immediately greeted by a friendly staff. At the bar we were treated to samples of two of Del Frisco’s most popular drinks:
The VIP— Svedka Clementine Vodka infused with fresh Hawaiian pineapple. And the Pomegrante Martini— 360 Vodka, PAMA Pomegranate liquor, splash of cranberry.
We had impeccable service throughout the event. The servers were incredibly knowledgeable about the menu and knew about my gluten allergy before I even got there. I was so impressed with their thoughtfulness and extra special attention they gave me. They explained each and every dish we tried with such precise details, and brought me gluten free versions— again, explaining in great detail what it was and how it was altered to be gluten free.
Del Frisco’s does offer a gluten free menu, but there are many items not listed on this menu that can actually be done gluten free.
*Note: “Gluten-Free designations are based on information provided by our ingredient suppliers. Warning: normal kitchen operations involved shared cooking and preparation areas. We are therefore unable to guarantee that any menu items is free from gluten or any other allergen, and we assume no responsibility for guests with food allergies or sensitivities. Please inform a manager of any allergies when ordering.”
The food was incredible. Each dish was better than the next. I can honestly say I haven’t had food this good in a long time.
Gluten Free bread from Something Without Wheat Bakery. Amazing; the other girls liked it better than it’s gluten counterpart.
Tuna tartare with citrus, capers, and chili cakes served with cucumber slices.
Seared Ahi Tuna withshaved Napa Cabbage, Arugula, Mango, Toasted Almonds, Tomato, Avocado, and a Ginger-Sesame Dressing, drizzled with gluten free soy sauce.
House made chips (*fried in same fryer as gluten containing foods).
Steakhouse salad with broiled prime strip steak, deviled egg, baby mixed greens, watercress, avocado, cherry tomatoes, bacon, Parmesan, blue cheese & horseradish lemon dressing.
Filet Medallions served on scallion mashed potatoes and thin green beans.
Ribeye, New York Strip Steak, Filet Mignon, and Sirloin. Each one seasoned with salt and pepper and mouthwatering delicious.
Sautéed Mushrooms With dinner we enjoyed Del Frisco’s private label cabernet from Robert Foley Vineyards, Napa, CA.
The Crème Brule, a twist on an already delicious classic with the addition of cinnamon and Belgian white chocolate, is divine.
Big thanks to Executive Chef Derek Barragan.
Lunch at Del Frisco’s was an unforgettable experience. With impeccable service, exceptional cuisine, good company, and stunning views. It can’t get much better than that.
Disclaimer: I received lunch free of charge, with the exception of gratuity, which we happily paid for the great service. I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.
My girlfriends and I are always looking for any reason or excuse to get together to eat, drink, and have a good time. Rather than go out I decided to invite a few friends over for Girls Night, and hired a chef through Kitchsensurfing, to make us appetizers and dessert.
I love Kitchensurfing, I’ve been using the service for a few months now for private dinners (Valentine’s Day is coming up!) and a cooking lesson (click on the links to read about my other KS experiences). My friends, on the other hand, were newbies, and they were just as excited to try something different, as I was to introduce them to Kitchensurfing.
So what is Kitchensurfing?
Kitchensurfing is a marketplace for chefs of all kinds. It’s a service that allows you to bring chefs into your home to cook you a personal and customized meal. From hobby chefs to Michelin star chefs, you can browse the chefs on the site, view their sample menus, read their reviews, and book any of them. From private cooking lessons in your home, to meal deliveries, to a private dinner party for two or fifty-two, KS allows you to ‘shop’ around based on your own needs, wants, budget, and diet.
How it works:
Browse the list of chefs, read their reviews and sample menus, and pick one you’d like to have cook for you. Send them an e-mail and voilà, you’ve got yourself a private chef.
Submit a “Match Request”. Fill out a form stating what you’re looking for (party size, budget, date, time, etc.), any dietary restrictions or allergies, preferred cuisines, and anything else you want or don’t want. Your request will be sent to all the chefs matching your criteria. Chefs will then contact you to customize a menu. Once you’ve found a chef and a menu that you are satisfied with you can book your chef!
The booking process is incredibly east and it is ok to say no if you don’t like an idea or menu item. So be specific about your likes and dislikes along with any dietary restrictions. All the chefs I’ve worked with were great with communicating with me prior to the booking, and customizing the menu to my likes and needs. And remember, the chefs want you to enjoy every last bite, so be upfront and honest!
Keep reading for your $100 code….
Our Girls Night was such a blast! The menu looked amazing, and the food turned out even better than we could have imagined. My friends loved every moment of it and could not stop talking about trying KS on their own.
Chef Stephen Coe created a menu of tapas and dessert. Each course was delicious and beautifully crafted. The freshness and flavors of each dish were impressive; we cannot say one bad thing about any of this food.
Red and yellow beet salad with shaved sheep cheese, candied pistachios, and a blood orange aged balsamic over local greens.
Sashimi Tuna served over seaweed salad with pickled ginger, sesame seeds, and siracha sour cream and rice crackers.
Grilled Oysters with pancetta, fennel, bee pollen, chives, and grated sheep cheese.
Scallops with artichoke hearts, romaine, olives, basil, tomatoes, and capers.
Warm chocolate soufflé with strawberry tarragon and white balsamic purée.
The awesome folks over at Kitchensurfing have provided me with a $100 discount code for YOU, my readers! Click here to claim your $100 voucher and discover what Kitchensurfing is all about. The code is valid Monday, February 3, 2014 through Sunday, February 16, 2014. Your meal needs to be booked prior to the 16th, but the date of the actual meal could be after this date.
And you don’t have to live in Boston; some chefs are willing to travel all over the state, even to Maine!
Disclaimer: I was not paid for my review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Pictures from my previous Kitchensurfing Experiences
– Late Season corn soup served hot with a ragout of lobster, bacon, and corn
– Kale salad with a warm bacon vinaigrette
– Blue Fish pan seared with crispy skin, over maple glazed carrots and fall vegetables
– Pumpkin & carrot cake (dairy, gluten free)
– Arugula, Carrot & fennel salad with a creamsicle vinaigrette, sunflower seeds & orange slices
– Braised Lamb Shank slowly cooked in tomatoes and garlic. Served with a gravy made from its own juices. Accompanied by Roasted root vegetables and garlic mashed potatoes
– Mini Flourless Chocolate Mousse Cake Garnished with powdered sugar and a fresh raspberries
I was recently invited to attend blogger/media tasting at Au Bon Pain, hosted by Chief Brand Officer, Maria Feicht and Executive Chef/Director of Culinary, Roger Bowles. Unfortunately, I had to work and could not go. But, lucky for me, I was invited to check out the new holiday menu and gluten free options at a later time.
When you think of Au Bon Pain what comes to mind? Bagels? Sandwiches? GLUTEN?
Yes, they do have a gluten-filled menu, but they also have many gluten free options, including; salads, soups, a chicken harvest rice bowl, oatmeal, hot and cold lunch bar items, and other gluten free snack options.
Au Bon Pain strives to create healthier yet flavorful convenient options for everyone. ABP’s website offers nutritional and allergen information for every single menu item.At Au Bon Pain, items are clearly marked if/when they contain allergens. I like the variety of gluten free options available at each location and I am happy that Au Bon Pain is recognizing this opportunity to give their customers more information about their products.
I’ve eaten at Au Bon Pain numerous times but I had no idea that the company was founded over 35 years ago in Boston! Au Bon Pain has over 250 locations world wide, including Thailand, Japan, and Kuwait.
Six times a year, the company introduces new seasonal items to the menu, and sometime they become permanent fixtures. The New Holiday Menu only includes one new gluten free option. It’s disappointing there’s only one GF option, but once you try the GF Thai Coconut Shrimp, you won’t care about the gingerbread cookies or peppermint shortbread!
The Thai Coconut Shrimp is a blend of petite shrimp, red peppers, carrots, bamboo shoots and lemongrass in a coconut and curry broth with a touch of spice and fresh lime. This is not the type of soup I would expect to find at this café, but I am pleasantly pleased that it is on the menu and I hope that it becomes a mainstay!
And, Au Bon Pain now has K-Cups! Awesome right?? I drink coffee, from a Keurig machine, Every. Single. Morning. So this was great news for me!
Au Bon Pain has over a dozen locations in Boston and Cambridge. To find a location near you, click here.
Show Your Moves on Boston’s Best ‘80s Dance Party Cruise.The Spirit of Boston on Boston Harbor delivers the most entertaining and unique combination of dining, dancing, entertainment, and spectacular views. Cruising year-round from Boston’s historic Seaport District, the Spirit of Boston offers Lunch, Dinner, Cocktail, Moonlight Cruises and much more!
On November 16, 2013, come aboard Spirit of Boston for a great dinner and fun night dancing to your favorite ‘80s hits. Come dressed in your best ‘80s gear and get ready for a totally radical cruise on Boston Harbor. Parachute pants, leg warmers and yes, even mullets, welcome.
One lucky winner will win two tickets for the 80’s Dance Party Cruise on Saturday, November 16, 2013. This is your chance to spend an evening dancing to 80’s tunes and eating delicious food all while taking in gorgeous views of the Boston Harbor, wearing your favorite 80’s getup.
Saturday, November 16, 2013 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM Boarding at 6:30 PM Departing from World Trade Center, Boston
This giveaway ends on Thursday November 14, 2013 at 11:59pm ET. Good luck!
Want to learn more about the Spirit of Boston? Check out their website for other events and dining options. I highly recommend the Chocolate and Champagne Brunch, which I attended in September and you can read more about here.
A new alcohol delivery service app called Drizly, developed by three Boston College alums, rolled out this past spring and we used it tonight for the first time. I don’t know what took us so long to get on board!
Drizly is a convenient and enjoyable way to buy alcohol. Drizly allows users to have their favorite beer, wine, and/or liquor delivered to their door in 30-60 minutes, without the hassle of going to the liquor store, and without any markup!
I’m sure you’re asking, “How is this legal?” Well, rest assured, it is completely legal. The Drizly team is following Massachusetts law and has worked with some of the best law firms in the state to ensure that everything is absolutely on board. They have a state of the art ID verification system that makes sure the person ordering and receiving the alcohol is over the age of 21.
So how do you get started? Simply download the Drizly app and put in your address and payment info. Browse their list of available beer, wine, alcohol and extras (bitters, Bloody Mary Mix, martini olives, etc.), place your order and then sit back and relax.
Save $5 on your first order with promo code “glutenfree”. Enjoy!
Attention Gluten Free Diners! Believe it or not, delectable dishes await you at a number of restaurants this Restaurant Week.
It’s that time again, when some of Boston’s finest – and most expensive – dining establishments offer dinning experiences for affordable prices. Last year’s 3 course dinner menu cost $33.12, and the year before $33.11. Well this year they decided to raise the price by not only 1 cent, but $5.01. However, this is still an unbelievable price for many of the options available. At The Capital Grille, the Bone-in Kona Crusted Dry Aged Sirloin will cost you $43 on a regular night. Pigalle’s Cassoulet braised lamb shank runs at $31 on the dinner menu and the seared salmon at Davio’s will set you back $29. Now that you have a little more perspective on that, I think you don’t mind such a big price increase this year. (Some restaurants are including a glass of wine or sangria in this price too, others have great wine specials to go along with the restaurant week menu)
As someone who loves food I naturally have always participated in restaurant week, which is actually two weeks twice a year in Boston. But as someone who has developed food intolerances over the last few years (gluten free since 2009, dairy free since 2012 and now yeast free too), it has made me a little anxious. Until recently, a limited menu rarely meant something was food allergy/intolerant friendly. [Unfortunately it still does sometimes]. Over the years I’ve had to politely decline invitations from friends to dine at certain restaurants due to my dietary restrictions and the lack of Restaurant Week options. I’ve also persuade them, sometimes more like whining, to go somewhere else, even after hearing them say they’ve “been dying to try this place” or “have been waiting months to go here”. Well, that is all changing. As gluten free diets and other food allergies are becoming more prominent in our society, it is leading restaurant owners and chefs to becoming more aware of and knowledgeable about gluten free diets and how to accommodate to our dining needs.
Below is a list of restaurants that offer gluten free Restaurant Week menu options. Some offer full Gluten Free Restaurant Week Menus. Some off gluten free options on the menu and others can accommodate very easily by subbing gluten free pasta for regular, etc.
If you would like me to add your restaurant to this list, or if you are a gluten free diner who has recently enjoyed a gluten free Restaurant Week meal somewhere else please let me know and I will be happy to add it to the list. Click on the restaurant name to bring you to the Restaurant Week Menu.
Disclaimer: This list is my own personal list based on personal and past experiences.