boston

Boston City Guide

In May, my entire family and I had the privilege of visiting Boston together to see my brother graduate from Boston University. We had the best time being together and experiencing the city. My husband and I had never been to Boston before and we were definitely looking forward to a vacation, sans kids. We stayed at the wonderful Godfrey Hotel (full review here) which was right in middle of great attractions. After arriving late Thursday afternoon, we took a cab to our hotel to check in, get our bearings and have a drink before we headed to dinner at Cinquecento (full review here). I was really looking forward to sleeping in for three mornings straight and not having to change diapers and bathe tiny humans. Friday morning we had the BU Commencement ceremony followed by lunch at the Eastern Standard. The food was amazing and the staff was even better. Our waiter was 13th generation Bostonian and so friendly, helpful, patient and funny. Our plates were the perfect size for lunch and we didn’t leave feeling heavy and weighed down. Their cocktails, wine and beer selection were very impressive and I had a delicious cider beer which tasted like champagne (double win).

Dinner was at the incredible Abe & Louie’s steakhouse in Back Bay. This restaurant had an old school charm and the service and attention to detail was impeccable. I wouldn’t have expected anything less, because their reviews online are stellar. Since there were eight of us in our group we were able to try a variety of different items. The dishes that stood out were the Lobster Mac & Cheese, Shrimp & Scallop Louie (pan-seared scallops and shrimp on risotto), 24 oz Bone-In Aged Prime Ribeye and the Potatoes au Gratin. Plus, their dinner rolls were fantastic. Usually I don’t comment on the bread but these were so fluffy and buttery, and with just a hint of sea salt on them,  they seemed to melt in your mouth.

We had a jam packed day planned for Saturday. We started off by walking through the Boston Commons followed by visiting the wonderful Top of the Hub’s Skywalk Observatory, which has an incredible 360-degree panoramic view of Boston and surrounding areas. We were lucky enough to have a tour provided to us and we learned so much about the history of Boston. I definitely recommend checking out the Skywalk Observatory, especially if you have kids in tow because they will love being up so high and seeing all of the city. I know Henry would have gotten such a thrill watching the planes taking off and landing at such a high altitude.

After taking in the city view at the Skywalk, we took a pedicab to the famous Fenway Park to catch a Red Sox game. Little did we know, they were letting fans out onto the field to meet players, take pictures and walk around. It was a truly one of a kind experience that will never forget. As excited I was to be at Fenway Park, I was equally as excited to eat some ballpark food! Part of the whole experience is enjoying some beers, brats and cotton candy. I definitely did not hold back (sorry jeans).

Sunday morning we walked along Newbury Street and ate at the famous Stephanie’s on Newbury. The location is ideal for people watching or having a drink on the patio after an afternoon of shopping. They have a fun Bloody Mary menu where you can customize your drink and add different veggies and vodka. The possibilities are endless and the perfect start to your weekend brunch.

I ordered the Green Chile & Pork Enchilada which was topped with house made enchilada sauce, 2 fried eggs and served with guacamole and salsa verde. I think I scarfed it down in under 5 minutes, it was that good. My husband chose the classic eggs Benedict which was tasty but I think he should have ordered outside the box 🙂 We split the house made Pecan Sticky Bun and let me tell you, if I were a local I would order these in bulk and eat them every morning.

If time would have allowed, we most definitely would have taken the Duck Tour. We saw them everywhere and they looked like a ton of fun. We’ll be looking forward to that on our next trip! Our overall experience in Boston was phenomenal. From our hotel stay, amazing food and beautiful weather, it was an incredible weekend and we can’t wait to return!

 

The Godfrey Hotel, Boston

While in Boston we stayed at beautiful Godfrey Hotel, which is a new boutique hotel located in the Theater District. The vibe at the Godfrey can best be described as hip ,laid back, cool and welcoming to all. During our stay I saw people from all walks of life: young travelers, families with small children, professionals and large groups. The main thing that stood out during my time interacting with and observing the staff is that they were all polite, patient, helpful and professional to everyone. The Boston Commons and Public Garden are only a few blocks away and The Paramount Theater and Boston Opera House are only a few steps from the entrance. Public transit is also close by, making the Godfrey convenient to an array of attractions.

A plus side of staying in a newer establishment is that there is usually minimal to no wear and tear.  We stayed in the Executive King Suite and everything in our room was clean and new. All the decor and fixtures are modern and stylish. The carpet is a chic grey which compliments the plaid headboard and bedding. There is a large desk, wardrobe and two side tables. The room was the perfect size for my husband and me. 

Unlike most conventional hotels, the bathroom is equipped which a beautiful sliding door, which hides nicely along the back of the wall. The shower doors are floor to ceiling glass and the sink is a beautiful porcelain. All the minimalistic and modern accents throughout our room really added an elegant touch. 
I loved that there was a mini fridge in our room which was empty, allowing us to fill with waters, juice and coffee creamer without having to take all of the mini bar items out. It was such a bonus to come back to the room after being out all day and having cold beverages to drink. A single cup Keurig is a must for any traveler. I was able to enjoy my entire cup of coffee warm in the morning without having to reheat it 10 times (#momlife).  The 55″ HDTV’s come equipped with the hotels Innspire, letting you stream movies and music directly from your phone. The WiFi is free at the Godfrey in all rooms and lobby which is an excellent deal since some hotels can charge upwards of $20+ a day. 
A beautiful breakfast spread was provided for guests every morning in the front lobby near the bar. Everything from juice selections, hot coffee, fresh fruit, yogurt and pastries were exactly what we needed to start our mornings off right. Since our days were pretty packed, having a quick bite fit right into our schedule. The bar area was really fun in the evening and extremely convenient for a nightcap before heading to bed. There is an amazing bartender who made some incredible cocktails and was always so friendly. 

My absolutely favorite part of the hotel was the the original marble staircase and elevators which were both carefully restored to their former glory. The first floor of the building used to be a fashionable place to shop, now it’s a fashionable place to stay. I love when hotels keep part of the original architecture since it adds so much to the character of the redesign.

With only 11 floors and 242 rooms, the hotel was never overly crowded or noisy, which I appreciated. We never had a wait time and the staff was always on top of our needs as well as the other guests. Thank you so much to The Godfrey for having us and providing such a pleasant and enjoyable stay. If you are planning a trip the Boston soon, I cannot recommend this hotel enough. You definitely will not regret it!

*This review was in partnership with The Godfrey Hotel. As always, all opinions expressed are my own*

Local Eats: Cinquecento, Boston

My entire family and I were lucky enough to all be together in Boston this past weekend to see my brother graduate from Boston University. It was such a special moment for all of us and I was so excited to have my husband with me so we could experience Boston together for the first time. We arrived late Thursday afternoon and had been up since the early morning hours preparing for our trip. Our dinner plans were taking us to Cinquecento in the South End and we had been looking forward to it all day.
The restaurant was very easy to get to. We walked from our hotel in the theater district and it only took about 20 minutes. The weather was beautiful and we loved sightseeing a little on foot. As a blogger and photographer I am always on the lookout for unique walls and backdrops. The brick walls leading into Cinquecento were so beautifully painted and definitely set the tone for what was about to come. The restaurant has a spacious outdoor patio and bar which was very busy, but not overwhelmingly crowded. It looked like a great place to meet friends for a drink or come let of some steam after work. It was also nicely shaded in between tall buildings which made for a more enjoyable experience. The decor and architecture inside Cinquecento stays true to their Italian namesake. Gorgeous industrial fixtures and glass pendants hung from the high ceilings and the rustic wooden tables provided wonderful ambiance and character.
Our table in Cinquecento was in a prime location: a corner booth in the bar area. The tall windows let the natural light pour in beautifully, making it the perfect spot for photographing food. blogger problems. The entire staff could not have been friendlier and went above and beyond to make everyone feel welcomed and taken care of. Our waiter was well versed in every aspect of the menu and knew his wines like nobody’s business. I am not a big wine drinker but he was able to pick out a few wines for me to sample throughout the night and I found a new white that I absolutely love: La Scola Gavi dei Gavi Bianco Secco. Definitely ordering a case of this as soon as possible. I also tried the Minuetto Cocktail which consisted of Prosecco, Vodka, Elderflower, Grapefruit and Lemon. It was also delicious with just the right balance of all ingredients.
For starters we had the Steamed Mussels with Red Onion, Basil and Spicy Broth. The broth was more delicious than the mussels, which were exceptionally prepared. Thank goodness for the bread they kept bringing because we soaked up every last bit of that broth. Being the carb lovers that we are, we also ordered the Ricotta Fresca: warm ricotta, olive oil and grilled bread. I’ve never had warmed ricotta but was pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable it was. At most restaurants I visit there are usually only a few appetizers which look appealing to me but at Cinquecento they all looked good. Bruschetta, Grilled Octopus, Oysters, Charred Beef Carpaccio … the options are endless and there is something for everyone.
My husband had the Bolognese (veal, pork, pancetta, beef and parmigiano) and our waiter warned him when he ordered that it could possibly be the best he’s ever had, and he wasn’t kidding. It was that good. My husband’s standards are set pretty high when it comes to meat sauce, yet he raved about this for the rest of our trip. I chose the Fettuccini Al Funghi E Tartufi: foraged mushrooms, truffle butter and basil. I’m a sucker for truffle anything and this didn’t disappoint. If you’re a fan of mushrooms, you have to try this dish. The noodles were so fresh and I could have drank the truffle butter sauce with a straw. The Brussels Sprouts were prepared to crispy perfection with just the right amount of parmesan cheese and pepper sprinkled throughout. Asparagus with cured egg yolk and parmigiano was so fresh as if it had been locally picked that day. We ended the evening with the Bittersweet Chocolate Budino (molten chocolate cake) with fresh whipped cream and Grand Marnier. Cinquecento really raised the bar for the trip and we kept comparing everything we ate to our first dinner in Boston.
If you are a current Bostonian or visiting this wonderful city, Cinquecento is a must. The food was out of this world delicious and the staff, dare I say it, was even better. Nothing makes me happier than having an all around wonderful experience. Thank you, Cinquecento for making our first night in Boston a memorable one!
*Our meal & drinks were provided by Cinquecento. As always, all opinions expressed are my own*

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