Restaurant Review: Del Frisco’s Chestnut Hill

Last weekend I was invited to check out the new Del Frisco’s in Chesnut Hill with some of my favorite people, Blog and Tweet Boston! Being an SCLA Private Trainer, I have become quite familiar with the area known as “The Street,” which boasts a ton of family friendly, and upscale restaurants and shops including The Cottage, LuLuLemon, Pinkberry, Treat Cupcake, and Davio’s to name a few. In the past year there has been some major construction out in the CNH area, not to mention the recent opening of my upstate NY favorite, WEGMANS! Because I am generally in this location to work, let’s just say making bad financial decisions has become more commonplace.

Due to the fact that a majority of the exercise machines and group fitness rooms at work face Del Frisco’s, that means I have only been salivating over the mere thought of steak since the restaurant opened, as it stares at me day after day. Not wanting to be distracted while training clients any further, I of course jumped at the chance to join my peers in this dining experience.

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We arrived at the restaurant early and were greeted with their signature cocktail, the V.I.P, which was infused with pineapple and clementine vodka. We also started out with their ahi tuna tacos, cheesesteak egg rolls, deviled eggs with a truffle chive vinaigrette (Yum!), and two of their wood oven baked flatbreads. The cheesteak egg rolls were a little too greasy and rich for my liking, but my disappointment was quickly overcome with their flatbreads, which included mushrooms + arugula, and a shaved brussels sprouts +bacon +fontina flatbread. Both boasted caramelized onions to top them off, and the mushrooms + arugula had a hint of truffle oil flavor to it, which I am always a fan of on pizza. I also appreciated that the crust was not too thick or thin but just right!

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After wetting our appetites with the above, large plates of some of the main dishes were served. There was a short rib stroganoff with pappardelle noodles, with crispy onion strings piled on top, a 12 oz sliced filet paired with a generous sized crab cake, and their seared asian tuna salad consisting of shaved Napa cabbage, arugula, mango, avocado, almonds, tomato, topped with a ginger-sesame dressing. The filet was so tender and juicy and everything was quite fresh! Unfortunately, because there were so many of us and only one dish of each, I only got to sample a little bite of each, which left me starving until I got home. The food is atypical of my usual diet, so the appetizer course didn’t quite fill me up as I managed small bites, anticipating the main courses that are more in line with what I usually eat.

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After the main course, we finished off with petite donut ball versions ( as I’ll call them) of their rich and delightful six-layer doberge lemon cake. While lemon is typically not my preferred dessert of choice, who can say no to lemon buttercream icing and lemon glaze? A little too sweet for my liking, but nonetheless delicious! I highly recommend this dessert if you dine at Del Frisco’s!

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All in all I think everyone was pleased with the meal and I certainly enjoyed myself! If you plan on dining at Del Frisco’s, I will tell you that there are not too many paleo and waist-friendly options. Many of my clients complain about the lack of nutritious options, though the chef does seem willing to make the appropriate modifications if you ask. They were able to accommodate gluten sensitivities but am unsure if they would do so during a normal busy dinner-service. Regardless, there are a few healthy options such as the Ahi Tuna Steak, The Asian salad we had, Bay of Fundy Salmon, Brown Bag Fish, 8oz Filet paired with roasted asparagus, and Kale and Brussels Sprouts to name a few.

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Del Frisco’s Grille
33 Boylston Street, Chestnut Hill, MA

Disclaimer: While I received this meal free of charge, all opinions are my own.

Question: Have you dined at Del Frisco’s before?

Bloggers Wod at Crossfit Coolidge Corner

Hey hey!

It’s that time of the year when everyone is sick and lucky ol’ me just happened to catch what’s going around. Which means I have been slacking big time when it comes to the gym. A runny nose+coughing doesn’t equal a very good workout. So when the opportunity presented itself to attend a workout at Crossfit Coolidge Corner this sunday for bloggers- I was in! Every so often I get invited to these blogger events where we are provided with the opportunity to try out new products/new services and have fun connecting with fellow  bloggers! 

So,  Crossfit Coolidge Corner invited us to try a Crossfit style workout in their brand new facility on beacon street. I have to say, spending an hour or so working out, specifically cross fit, was not a bad way to start my week. For anyone that knows me, I’m a tad bit obsessed with this high energy, fat-burning, killer workout. 

When we arrived we were taken through the basics of foam rolling. For those of you unaware of the benefits of foam rolling, I wrote all about it not too long ago here. We then went into some basic mobility and movement prep work. I thought it was really neat that even after 2 years of cross fit, I am still learning new ways to prep for a workout! I don’t do much mobility work, but know the importance of it, so I appreciated the instructor taking the few extra minutes to walk us through this and explain it to us.

Then- came the warm up! Hello sprints, high knees, sled pushes, broad jumps! Still sick with a slight cold, this definitely got my heart rate up faster than expected. We managed the sled pushes in team though and ended up having a really fun time with it. Unlike many other Crossfit gyms, this one had a turf, which I found neat for a CF facility and obviously highly versatile! What a great tool to diversify workouts even further. 

Of course no workout would be complete without the actual workout itself! It was an a Strength of strict press 5X5 and ring rows 10 reps 4 sets and then an EMOM (every minute on the minute) on 3 burpees and 2X down and back on the turf with a med ball  (20,14). I enjoy when Cf facilities program this way- first with a strength and then with a higher intensity workout. I find that it really helps prep me for the workout and allows me to work on both systems- cardiovascular and strength. 

Once we started, about the 3rd round in, my legs and arms were definitely burning. This was a tough one, tougher than I thought it would be going in, but it left my lungs smoked and my body sore. Fortunately, with my CF background (at Cf southie) I was able to push through until the end. Probably not the best workout to do post-cold but nonetheless it was highly functional! The instructors were all super friendly and paid close attention to our movements and corrected when necessary. Coach Brett taught the class and he was just fantastic! He was smart about choosing a workout that anyone could do really and go at their own pace. I think it would have been way too difficult for some of the newbies if it was a snatch day or thruster day! Overall it was a safe and effective workout that I think portrayed to some of the other bloggers what cross fit is all about.  One of their core beliefs is that “the real joys of fitness come from the achievement of proper functional movement; learn to move well and you will start to live well.” I think they held firm to this belief through their attention to proper movement. 

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After our sweaty session, the event concluded with a goodie bag (how cute is that saying!) filled with a CF coolidge corner T. some yummy matcha sparkling drinks, hint water, and a sweet green (coming to Chestnuthill soon!) headband to keep your hair out of your face. It was super sweet of everyone who contributed to provide us with one incredible workout and the thoughtful goodie bag!

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You can check out  CF Coolidge Corner at 1285 Beacon St in Brookline. 

http://www.crossfitcoolidgecorner.com

So go check it out! Post below letting me know which workout or Crossfit movements you love the most! 

Boston Bloggers gather at Drybar: A “premier” blow-dry bar

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Last night I had the wonderful opportunity to gather amidst blogger friends at the new Drybar location in Chestnut Hill. A fellow CNH employee, I’ve driven past this shop full of hair styling mavens frequently enough. It’s constantly abuzz with the 40+ females of the area who just left the gym and are prepping for their next soiree. Boy do I wish I had the time! I take every single extra minute of sleep I can get during the week before I absolutely must roll out of bed in order to make it to work on time. This often results in many days with my hair quickly thrown up into a bun and I’m satisfied and good to go.

I consider this service quite a luxury and reserved for special occasions only, so, when the opportunity presented itself- you betcha I was in! Someone else styling my hair while I get to sit back and relax?!  What a great concept!

In all honestly, I have gotten my hair styled before at BeStyled, just cross the street. The concept of the Drybar is a tad different though in that they pride themselves on their simple concept: Just blowouts! No makeup, no hair cutting, simply blowouts to perfection. For $40 you pick your style, such as Mai tai, the Cosmo, and then your stylist gets to work!

In contrast BeStyled is a tad cheaper, around $35. I don’t think however that BeStyled offers products, whereas the Drybar had this gorgeous display of their products, which is a wonderful thing if you like the product that the stylist used on your hair. Drybar also offers a membership so that if you are a regular it makes scheduling and paying for services easy. An example of this would be the “Barfly:”

The Barfly:

  • 4 Blowouts + 2 free Floater (head/neck massage)
  • 10% off all products (in-shop only)
  • $140 per month (save $20)

Anyways, upon arrival I was greeted by an attentive staff who were so sweet and offered me my choice of wine, champagne, coffee, or tea! Hmm..wine please! I was then seated in their plush waiting area..everything about the place was adorable! They had petite snacks for you to munch on, and while I was getting my hair styled someone came around and served us these adorable pretzel appetizers. We were also served flat bread and mini desserts from Seasons 52. Needless to say I was quite impressed with how much they went out of their way to make this a fun event for us. This would be such a fun and cute idea for a birthday party or girl’s night out.

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So what look did I go with? I went with the Mai Tai- which is supposed to be sexy, beachy, waves. Let’s just put it this way- the sex part of sexy wouldn’t be a lie as I look like I got pummeled during the act or I just walked out of a nightclub with a fro on top of my head. #fail. Seriously disappointed in these so-called “mavens.” I get it- my hair is extremely difficult to work with- but no one should ever walk out of there with hair that looks like this: Image

Somehow this translates into sexy beach waves?? Perhaps we need a new definition then. I pretty much ran straight to the bathroom and almost cried (not really) I just pulled my hair back up. I attempted to grab the curling iron out of my stylist’s hands before she could do more damage but was unsuccessful so I let her and the assistant manager attempt to remedy her god-awful mistakes. Let’s just say I won’t be going back.

So if I were to compare BeStyled to DryBar this is how they match up

Price: BeStyled- $35 DryBar- $40

Overall Style: BeStyled wins on this one

Decor and Design: DryBar definitely was more chic and pleasant. I also liked how they had mirrors in front of you.

Staff: Drybar was way friendlier and attentive.

Overall experience: Meh- It was neat and fun to do but honestly was difficult to interact with the other bloggers while we were all getting our hair done. Obviously that was the focus, and point of the event was to relax and be spoiled a little, but I left feeling like a lion with a mane yet to be tamed. Hey- at least the food was enjoyable, a lot of thought clearly went into this event, and good conversation was had by all in between the blowouts.

Thanks Drybar! Better luck next time with my hair!

Holiday Galas and Blogger Meetups

One of the many perks of living in Boston and being a blogger: Always having a full social calendar, especially around the Holidays!

I was recently invited to the annual Boston Blogger Meet-up as well as Boston Common Magazine’s Holiday Gift Guide Gala. More than 400 trendsetting companies came out to enjoy the Holiday party, equipped with Land Rover’s, Asian-inspired chef cooking station, signature cocktails, handcrafted beer by Stella Artois, Champagne by Bauer Wines & Spirits, French macaroons by C. Crowell Fine Confections, Jimmy Choo auction items, perfume, delectable desserts, and Mozart Liquor. You name it, it was there! I mixed and mingled and even got to climb inside and experience the interior of the 2013 Range Rover with other excited guests of the party as you can see below.Image

Before that however, I attended the Boston Blogger Meet-up at The Warehouse in downtown Boston. I got to meet Jill Tomich, CEO of the Bombshell Revolution, Molly K, who blogs at WickedCheap Boston, and caught up with GlutenFree Boston Girl. We sipped back wine and chowed down on sliders, while engaging in conversation about our blogs. Some of these bloggers truly amaze and inspire me. Some do this for a living, while others do it as a hobby. But whether it is a job or for fun, many of these women have such successful blogs and are doing great things. It is an honor to get to meet them 🙂

So thank you bloggers and thank you Boston Common Magazine for an incredible evening!

Cocoanuts Summer Blogger Event/Chocolate Heaven

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I apologize as my posts as of late have been few and far apart. I guess that’s what happens when the summer sun rolls around, you’re still stuck studying, and working over 45 hours a week. Oh well. I’m happy to say I have managed to find time for a few social events, one being a Blog and Tweet Boston event @blogandtweetbos, at Cocaonuts artisan chocolate shop in the North End. The shop features chocolates from local chocolatiers, such as FIX Chocolates, and Yes chocolates (which come in flavors like “beer and pretzel” and “PB&J”).

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The shop prides itself on sourcing from local companies, and caries a selection of nut mixes and dried fruits, as well as other gourmet snacks to complement the variety sweet products and make for a perfect picnic or bridal shower arrangement. 

 

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While there I was able to sample several cookies from Lark , which uses all natural ingredients and a unique combination of flavors, like polenta, salted rosemary, and crisp oat to make for a truly addictive treat. We also sampled treats with names like Mango Juniper, toffee made by Little Bits (which was honestly my fav!), raw chocolate, and ginger and golden berry chocolate, amongst much more. Little Bits is a family-owned shop that boasts flavors of coconut, cookies and cream, Hawaiian seat salt, and espresso toffee bits. 

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If you’ve never been to Cocoanuts or are looking for a purely decadent treat, gift, or product from individuals who care about fresh, raw ingredients, local products, and above all summer entertaining, I suggest you check it out. The shop is incredibly adorable and as mentioned plenty of times already, offers the most delectable, rich treats imaginable, made right here in Mass!

 

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It was a pleasure being able to connect with my other blogger friends and enjoy such fine arrangements of chocolates. Tara, the owner, set up displays of chocolate with fruit and cookies and shared some of her tips for entertaining. By breaking up little chocolate bits to serve on platters, it makes for a nice enjoyable treat after dinner or to creatively incorporate sweets into any party that friends will surely enjoy!

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The biggest thing I learned was to not store chocolate in the fridge. (oops!) Condensation can form as a result and change the texture. Tara recommended instead to store at a cool room temp. 

If you love chocolate, then head on over to Cocoanuts! You can sample chocolate made  with rich caramel and sea salt, or some infused with peanut butter, apple wood smoked bacon, and caramel. I can honestly say I tried just about everything twice and then some. But, I really enjoyed the peanut butter brittle with strawberries, organic raw cocoa, and a macaroon with jelly inside that burst in your mouth with the first bite, which was creative and really cool! Antedote chocolate also had some really neat flavor combos that were 77% cacao, lending smoothness and not a hint of bitterness considering. The ginger and golden berry really stood out to me as did the mango and juniper. 

 

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This experience gave me some great ideas for upcoming gatherings, and exposed me to new way of enjoying and appreciating chocolate!

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It was great again meeting new and old bloggers and of course leaving with a belly full of delicious chocolate. At least I feel better being able to tell myself it was raw and organic 🙂

Thanks to Tara for opening your doors, creating adorable arrangements, sharing your chocolate, and providing us with a wealth of neat tips and ideas and a night of invaluable fun.  Thanks to the business owners who joined us by creating and sharing their wonderful treats and their passion with us.

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On a side note, most of the items and cookies were gluten free!

So get slicing and serving with chocolate and red wine !

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Location: 28 Parmenter St. North End, Boston, MA 02113

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