Ringing in the New Year: Boston

This year like always has been filled with several ups and downs and even though amazing memories were made all through 2017 we couldn’t be more excited to start 2018 in style! Each year that passes by we try to decide on a new city to ring in the New Year and this year we decided on an East Coast classic, Boston! A city filled with history, culture and attitude we knew that there would be no shortage of things to do or see; as always our biggest challenge was to try and fit everything we wanted to do in just a few short days on the end of our East Coast city-hopping tour! This year mother nature was being a tad cruel to the city and the temperatures were challenging to say the least making our decisions on what to do and where to go that much more difficult on the final days of the year.

Stay: Loews Boston

In the heart of the Back Bay neighborhood, the Loews Boston was the perfect place to stay to kick off the new year in style. Ideally situated to see the best that Boston has to offer the Loews couldn’t be a better place to call home while taking in all of the city’s highlights! Since we were in a time crunch the location served us quite well as everything we had on our itinerary was just a short walk away. Weather permitting we were on the hot trail to see Beantown by foot. Historical buildings such as the Boston Public Library and Trinity Church are just a quick jaunt from the hotel as well as Copley Square, Boston Public Garden, and the Freedom Trail.

Lobsta and Chowda, the Bostonian Staples After a fun-filled tour on the infamous Boston Duck tours, we headed back to the Loews for a decadent meal at no other than Precinct Kitchen and Bar. Serving New England classics Precinct is a perfect depiction of Boston old and new featuring local favorites from Lobster Rolls, New England Fish and Chips, Georges Bank Seared Scallops, Clam Chowder and more! One of the menu items that we just had to try as it screamed quintessential Boston was the Clam Bake which was chock full of Cape Cod Clams, PEI Mussels, Shrimp, Corn, Red Potato and local Kielbasa.

The Spirit of the Season

Of course being in town for the holidays, cocktails were in order to go along with our dinner spread and we had just happened to hear that Precinct was known citywide for their varied list of unique New England classic mixology. Our bartender was as on point as we had heard mixing up a few of their classics including the Boston Flip (bourbon, Madeira, cage-free egg, nutmeg) the Pumpkin Cider (pumpkin-infused rum, apple cider) and the Able Baker Charlie (vodka, spiced apple).

Meet the Chef: Olivier Senoussaoui, Executive Chef

Originally from the Dordogne region of France, Chef Olivier’s gastronomic career started at the age of 15 at the local culinary school in Perigueux, where he learned early on that seasonal, local produce was an integral part of cooking. After culinary school, he moved to London working alongside top chefs and at Michelin-starred restaurants, including Chef Jean Vessat and restaurant La Bastide.

In 1999, Chef Olivier joined Loews Hotels where he was the opening Chef at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel before being promoted to banquet chef. He worked from 2005 to 2008 as the executive sous chef at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort, and executive chef at the Loews Annapolis Hotel for five years.

In February 2013, Chef Olivier arrived in Boston as the executive chef at Loews Boston Hotel and Precinct Kitchen + Bar, marking his foray into the New England culinary scene. A hands-on chef who brings a sense of urgency to the kitchen, Chef Olivier loves cooking on the line and excels at creating fresh, bold-flavored marinades for just about everything. During his tenure in Boston, he has forged relationships with local and regional food purveyors in New England to help create a menu that centers on dishes with locally-grown and hand-crafted ingredients inspired by the area.

Rest Up

After a day filled with trekking through the city and a hearty meal, it was time to turn in upstairs in our home away from home. The Loews Boston pairs comfort and luxury to make you feel right at home with added style. Classic architecture blended with a modern flare is what you should expect in all 222 spacious guestrooms, two luxury suites, and an expansive Presidential Suite. Warming, sophisticated décor of light grays, blues and neutrals provide guests with classic New England interior design along with plush bedding, a 46 inch LED HD smart TV, an iHome iPod docking station, Keurig coffeemaker with gourmet coffee, spacious work desk with ergonomic chair and much more making your hotel more than just somewhere you sleep during your stay.

Just in case you wanted to bring your furry friends! The hotel understands that some people have a very hard time leaving their pets at home. With a policy that includes up to two pets per family per stay, all the necessary measures are put in to make sure pets and guests’ safety and comfort are a top priority.

The first-rate service is what one can expect during their stay at the property. From the moment you walk through the lobby, doors are opened, bags are assisted with and anything your heart desires becomes a priority. From the bellman to the front desk to the housekeeping service, every guest is treated with VIP care. Whether it is a New Year’s Eve celebration, a business trip or romantic getaway the Loews will make sure you have a trip to remember.

First Night

Since 1975 Boston’s First Night has been a mainstay in the city and provides the ultimate New Year’s Eve celebration where people gather from all over to ring in the New Year. Free for all who attend First Night is a collaboration of artistic performances, special attractions, music, fantastic ice sculptures and more bringing an electric energy to the heart of Boston spanning throughout the city. A special pyrotechnics and light show for the countdown is done in Copley Square as well as midnight fireworks on the harbor for the whole city to enjoy.

First Day Brunch

There’s nothing better than starting off the new year having brunch and reflecting on the year past and times to come. AreaFour in Boston’s south end on East Berkeley Street is quickly becoming one of the city’s hotspots for tasty brunch favorites and a unique themed cocktail menu that will have you talking for days. The location is building some serious traction being thoughtfully placed in the Troy, an up and coming luxury apartment complex. The lunch and dinner crowd are showing up on a daily basis giving the restaurant a solid reputation to make AreaFour one of the city’s hottest new additions. Inside you will find colorful modern décor fused with a retro throwback style creating an atmosphere that is definitely all their own.

On Saturday and Sundays AreaFour opens for brunch and the locals and in-the-know tourists come in packs looking to try the latest foodie haven. The open concept kitchen entices guests with the chef’s creations, handmade pizzas and more making mealtime decisions more difficult than usual with all the savory dishes passing by. The food at AreaFour is definitely no joke so beware, be prepared to bring your appetite! Popular menu items include the Hot Mess (Maple Sausage, Bacon, Caramelized Onions, Banana Pepper Relish, Fried Potatoes, Vermont Cheddar & Two Poached Eggs), the Hong Kong Waffle (Rolled Egg Waffle, Pistachio Ice Cream, Blackberry Sauce) or the Carnivore Pizza (Tomato, A4 Mozzarella, Soppressata, Sausage & Bacon). The mixology program at AreaFour is something the staff is quite proud of with hand-crafted cocktails such as the OOOH Child (Becherovka, Green Chartreuse, Irish Cream, Dry Curacao & Chicory Coffee) or the Smooth Criminal (Brockmans Gin, Yogurt Liqueur & Blueberry Puree). The highlight of the cocktail program is easily the Malibu Beach Barbie, a concoction of Peach Infused Vodka, Curaçao, Perfect Purée of Napa Valley Cranberry, Lemon and Simple Syrup. While the drink is tasty its the presentation that won us over, complete with a bucket of sand and you guessed it, a Barbie doll.

Oak + Rowan

One of the newest additions to Boston’s Fort Point Oak + Rowan has most certainly been the buzz in the city’s ever-evolving dining scene. Nancy Batista Caswell one of the city’s well-known restaurateurs opened Oak + Rowan as her third dining venture just over a year ago. Since Boston has always been a classic seafood and steak kind of city anything that is bringing a new flare to the culinary scene will always be looked at with a little scrutiny at first sight. Fast forward a year and change and the reports are in, Oak + Rowan has passed the test with flying colors and every seat in the house is filled on any given night.

The open kitchen turns out refined dishes with a nouveau cuisine style that along with the industrial-chic feel makes for a meal for the ages. The 150 seat restaurant is both stylish and warming, Caswell has used her many years in the restaurant business to bring her refined product to the forefront. Her overall passion is clearly evident as you sample your way through her menu, celebrating all things land and sea she brings the finest cuts of meats and New England’s finest seafood to the table on a daily basis. Fresh oysters, caviar, handmade pasta dishes and desserts that are definitely photo-worthy are what you will see at Oak + Rowan day in and day out. The sleek 22 seat bar is filled nightly with locals delving into the refined handcrafted cocktail menu, an award-winning wine list as well as New England’s varied brews. You can’t go wrong with the Cocoa Pappardelle (wild boar ragout, rapini, pumpkin, walnut, sage) or the Potato Agnolotti (broccoli, clothbound cheddar, smoked nuts).