Bit of Boston {Chef Ming Tsai & Bar Lola}

Good Morning and Happy Monday! I cannot believe it's July already (and that we still don't have a new home for August, but that's a whole other story) and that this week is a holiday week! Josh and I are headed down to Fire Island for the 4th and to enjoy a few quiet days after it with some of my family. But before we head out on Wednesday (although I will still be posting while we're away), I want to share with you some exciting things that I did this weekend. On Friday evening, I got the opportunity to meet an incredible chef - Chef Ming Tsai - and to enjoy a fantastic restaurant in the Back Bay - Bar Lola.      
 

Last week, Mommy Niri of MommyNiri.com invited some Boston Bloggers to attend an event by the Macy's Culinary Council at the Macy's at Downtown Crossing. The event, which began at 5, was going to showcase a couple of Chef Tsai's recipes and he was going to talk through how he makes each one. A mini cooking show presentation by one of my favorite chefs? There was no way I was going to pass this up. I scooted out of work a few minutes early and arrived just in time to snag the last front seat.




Not only is Chef Tsai a phenomenal chef (in his own words, he "crushed Bobby Flay" on Iron Chef), but he's also incredibly smart and a great speaker. While showing the audience how to cook 2 fantastic summer dishes - Wok-stirred Vegetables and Rice Noodle Salad and Shrimp, Mango and Local Herb Summer Rolls - he gave us some great tips and told some funny stories. He swears by salad spinners to dry pasta, thinks champagne goes with everything, and one of the reasons he loves to cook is because he has the opportunity to change something in just 2 hours. He was engaging, creative and great about taking questions from the audience.




And after, I bought a copy of his newest cookbook and he signed the inside cover for me. 
 



It was refreshing to see a celebrity chef be so real with an audience; Chef Tsai is one of the, all too far and few between, genuine personalities in this industry. I am looking forward to eating at his restaurant in Wellesley, MA - Blue Ginger - time and time again.

After leaving Macy's, I headed over to Bar Lola on Comm Ave for dinner and drinks with some girlfriends. A Spanish tapas restaurant, with reasonable prices, and unbelievably delicious food. The 6 of us shared about 10 different plates, were stuffed at the end, and, with tip, each spent only $27.00. And yes, there was sangria involved.



We shared this delicious bread, enjoyed great company and had an attentive waiter. This was my first time at Bar Lola, but it definitely will not be my last. If anything, the bacon wrapped dates will keep me coming back for years! 

I hope you had a great weekend too! Eat at any great restaurants? Maybe stay in to avoid the heat and cook up something delicious at home instead? I'd love to hear about it!

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