Monday, September 20, 2021

The Newport Sweet Shoppe

Yes, we took Newport by storm last weekend along with thousands of others seeking to squeeze in one last weekend away before summer ends.  Our very first stop in town was The Newport Sweet Shoppe.

Their handmade chocolates, cookies and cupcakes are legendary ... and delicious, always fresh and one of our top New England favorites.

We snagged several chocolate cupcakes, some cookies dipped in chocolate and, of course, the Milk Chocolate Cashew Turtles which are always extraordinary.

Next time you're in Newport stop by on this little side street just off Bellevue Avenue for some nice, sweet surprises and some cool party ideas.

The Newport Sweet Shoppe 
82 William Street 
Newport,  RI  02840

Telephone:  401.619.4600

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Newport Mansions Wine and Food Festival 2021: Preppy Central

Preppy Alert:  We'll likely be touring Chateau Sur Mer in the early part of the day, then onto a light lunch on Thames before heading to the 22 Bowen's wine dinner presented by Ana Fabiano, author of "The Wine Region of Rioja". Looking forward to meeting up with all the preps Saturday, September 18.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Newport Mansions Wine And Food Festival 2021


The Newport Mansions Wine And Food Festival 2021 will look a little different this year but, as always, promises to be the social event of the Fall season.  Although many of the seminars are sold out and there is no Grand Tasting, there is an expanded restaurant program this year at some of Newport's hottest spots including Zelda's, Gurney's, The Grill at Forty North and Cara at The Chanler.  Hope to see you there!  For a full listing click here.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Prospero. Caliban. Ariel.

(l) John Douglas Thompson as Prospero and John Lam as Ariel.

It's my favorite Shakespeare play, The Bard's last work, mystical, whimsical and magical, a word I rarely use.  The Commonwealth Shakespeare Company's new production of THE TEMPEST currently playing under the stars on Boston Common is a sheer summer delight you do not want to miss.

Like in the play itself, nature conspired and conjured up a respite of perfect weather for this classic tale on the night we attended.  How could one go wrong?  A stunning night in Boston, a quiet crowd munching on beautiful picnic spreads and all in anticipation of escaping this past year with friends and art-lovers of all ages and backgrounds.  And if that wasn't enough how about our friend John Lam, cast in his first dramatic role (he's principal dancer of The Boston Ballet) sprinkling that magic dust all over the stage?

Siobhan Juanita Brown as Gonzala.

We so loved this production that as we departed the Common we asked ourselves:  How lucky are we to be here?  Take your children.  All young people should be exposed to live theater even if they don't quite understand the synopsis.  It's not an overly lengthy play at about ninety minutes.  They'll love the costumes and the staging and the music.  Take the grandparents and the rest of your family and all your friends and all their friends, too.  We have already vowed that we will be back again with a new crew to experience it through their eyes.  There is nothing like it in Boston right now and we are sorely in need of it.  

We recommend that you do reserve space in advance as it is limited and the crowds can be large.  We sat in "the wings" but there really is not a bad spot for viewing.  (I walked around and checked).  A blanket and sumptuous picnics are allowed (no tables or large chairs) and we do suggest renting a beach chair in advance at a nominal fee of $10.00.  The production is free.  Bravo!

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Where are we?

Lazily cruising in a sunny port in Italy?

Yacht relaxing in sunny Spain?

Strolling Downton Abbey?

 Exploring the public art in Paris?

Nope.  We are in Newport.  It's a great place to explore and filled with lots of photo ops and people from all over this world.  New friends.  Great food.  What could be better?

Friday, June 25, 2021

La Forge Casino: Classic Newport


Nestled into the Tennis Hall Of Fame is La Forge Casino, known to Newport insiders as THE place to go for great food, great service and all at a great value. It's not haute cuisine.  It's just a great, relaxing dine out.

We snagged a courtside table for a late lunch after heavy shopping and lots of walking all over this fabulous enclave, staying across from Hammersmith, spoiled with big breakfasts and long wine dinners.

Dean went with the Reuben Sandwich and Fries.  Grilled to perfection, I tried a bit.  

I went with the Classic Burger, of course, served with a side of Caesar Salad, drenched in Pecorino Romano and very fresh.

We were there in the late afternoon, as said, but the private club feel was there.  Tips:  call ahead for reservations because it gets packed, be ready to wait unless you know an insider or are a member, the bar is great.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Fresh Lobster


There is nothing like fresh lobster, caught off the boat, brought into the restaurant and cooked. The local fisherpeople in Newport are the best.  This was our view every morning, high atop Narragansett Bay. 

Lobster Roll at The Clarke Cooke House in Newport with fries and Cole Slaw.  We loved the vibe here, absolutely preppy central, classic Newport on a fine night.

Carol, Dean and Jason, all enjoying a glass of Riesling from Newport Vineyards.  Nice sip.  And, yes, we had the most enviable window table in the place.

Great dinner. Great laughs. Great friends.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

The Vox Hunters


Armand Aromin and Benedict Gagliardi are The Vox Hunters.

The best part of traveling or being on vacation is often, for us, just wandering around looking for the interesting.  It could be a landscape or seascape, architecture, people or really anything unique that strikes our fancy.  And that is precisely how we discovered The Vox Hunters on our recent trip to Newport.  

The musical duo, native Rhode Islanders, are incredibly talented (both play multiple musical instruments) and perform an entrancing traditional folk music the likes of which you have never heard before and it truly tells a story.  A story of us.  

We caught up with them for a few moments before they began a quick rehearsal for a recent appearance at The Redwood Library And Athenaeum on Bellevue Avenue.  And how were they going to perform this concert?

Why, on top of a giant fluorescent yellow rocking chair, of course.  The 19 foot Windsor style rocking chair being painted the bright color was what, we have to admit, caught our attention.  We just had to stop and find our what it was all about!

We highly suggest you check out their music (and tap dancing) on the website and join us in becoming a new fan:  The Vox Hunters.  Happy summer travels, everyone!

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Summertime: Find Your Island


It's summertime!  Finally, the pool is open, the masks are off and the warm weather product samples are rolling in.  One of the first shipments we received here at TBF Worldwide International headquarters are these sips from Fishers Island Lemonade.

The products we sampled so far have been light, refreshing, unique and ... yes, spiked with vodka and whiskey.  That's right, they are definitely Mommy and Daddy drinks but not overpoweringly strong, just perfect for a hot day by the pool or the cocktail hour as you fire up the grill.  We also highly recommend the spiked ice pop they call Spirit Pops!

For recipes, to learn more or order directly from Fishers Island Lemonade in plenty of time for the Fourth Of July fireworks!  Just click on the link and find your island.  It's sure to be the hit of your next summer soiree.

Monday, March 29, 2021

The World's Best Buttercream Egg


The buttercream egg is, for us, the quintessential Easter treat and we are confident that we have discovered the best of the best.  It's from Hilliards Chocolates.  Enrobed in a delicious coating of milk chocolate it is creamy and not cloyingly sweet.  It's also large which means you can enjoy it in several visits.  The butter cream is not runny like in other chocolate eggs but more solid.  And it melts on the tongue in such a satisfying way.  Made in small batches, by hand, this really is tops. Try it.  We guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Sugar Plum Chocolates


You know what's coming up this month, don't you?  Well, here at TBF we eat a LOT of chocolate.  Someone has to taste all these samples!  This is an interesting one that we really liked from Sugar Plum Chocolates:  Strawberry Cheesecake.  It even has little bits of crumb mixed in for a bit of crunch and a real cheesecake experience.  Get this for your significant other and, promise, it will not be forgotten.  Look for these in fine food stores or order online through the website, like we get everything these days!

Stash Tea


We are absolutely loving the samples sent here to TBF HQ from Stash Tea.  Delicious herbal teas perfect for afternoon tea on these cold (and often snowy) afternoons here in New England.  We love the Meyer Lemon and Coconut Mango varieties, so far.  Some of the decaf blends make a perfect, warming sip just before bed.  We're also looking forward to some flavorful lattes, chais and cocktails. Look for Stash in your supermarkets or order online where you can also find all the cool recipes.  

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Nu Burger


If you're anything like us the one thing you've been dying for during this pandemic is a great burger.  Well we recently had one at Nu Burger, a pop-up burger outpost at Anoush’ella in the South End.  It was everything and more that satisfied the hunger for a juicy, meaty experience.

I went with the Pesto Basilico with fresh mozzarella, basil pesto, roasted tomato, lettuce and crispy pancetta.  Medium rare, dripping with flavor, fresh ingredients and a toasted brioche bun it was all we had been craving for.  We've had other burgers during this pandemic but nothing nearly as good as this.

My dining companion enjoyed the Umami Truffle with pecorino, truffles, fried egg, tomato, balsamic shallot, arugula and aioli and reported equally satisfying results.  "The best I've had in years," being the exact quote.  There are a few other varieties you can find on the menu and we both vowed to go back and try them, as well.  Why go anywhere else when you've had the best?

It's really quite difficult during these trying times to report on the vibe of a place or even an area with most places that were once thriving now literal ghost towns, shocking us with an eerie emptiness but we saw more people out and about in the South End than in other locations, all properly masked and practicing covid-19 etiquette.  And the steady stream of takeout orders was impressive.  Then again, good food will always be in demand.

35 West Newton Street
Boston MA 02118
Telephone:  857.265.3195


Saturday, December 26, 2020

A Very Unconventional Christmas


It was a very unconventional Christmas 2020, to say the least.  Bound by the constraints of the pandemic protocol there were no family gatherings with exchanging little gifts and most of all no big family feast with lots of desserts and laughter that lasted for hours.  What can one do except roll along with the punches that are 2020?  

Since there was no need to cook and do my traditional weekend of baking the annual treats for everyone with, typically, all those trips to a crowded grocery store where let's just say not everyone is properly masked or keeping a safe distance I did something different.  I picked up dinner at the local Chinese food place.

I braved the pouring rain.  It was an unnatural sixty degrees out with howling winds, not exactly a New England Currier And Ives scene.    Yet, despite everything it was relaxing, I have to admit.  

And it was a time to look through the front door windows dripping with humidity (it was warmer than Florida) and onto 2021, when we are all hoping for much better things, much better times and a renewed realization that we should be grateful and never take for granted all the little things in life.  I am really looking forward to smelling those Springtime flowers!

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Kitshy Halloween Dinner

Here's a fun Halloween treat that kids of all ages will love.  Surprise them with Stuffed Pepper Jack O' Lanterns.  Easy to assemble and make and a nice surprise.  Maybe they'll even eat a vegetable!

Draw out the face of your design on the pepper then carefully cut out with a sharp knife.

Get a can of good old school Beefaroni.

Drain a bit of the sauce out.  Otherwise it's going to leak out all over the place.  Then mix it with some shredded mozzarella.

Stuff the peppers and bake at 350 for 30 mins.  Let cool a bit and serve to your ghouls.