Judy Rosenberg didn’t set out to be an award-winning chef or an NPR-lauded cookbook author. The owner of Rosie’s Bakery found her calling in 1974 after attending art school and gobbling desserts at some of New York’s finest bakeries, becoming inspired to forge her own batch of sweets. When the staff of a local cheesecake shop got hooked on her homemade cookies, she knew she’d found a recipe for success. Since then, she’s expanded her culinary repertoire to include fudge-nut brownies, bavarian-cream fruit tarts, and more than 14 types of muffins and scones.
Each recipe teems with real, old-fashioned ingredients, such as butter, cream, sugar, and edible monocles. Cakes come in circular layers and rectangular sheets, boasting flavors such as carrot and mocha. Filled with snickerdoodles and chocolate-chip rounds, the cookie lineup conjures more childhood memories than a psychiatrist who rides to work in an ice-cream truck.
You heard right. $20 for $50. And in case your Texas Instrument can't handle that calculation, it's a whopping 60% off your dinner. Located at 26 New St. in Cambridge (near Fresh Pond), Basha offers a variety of new experiences. If you've never smoked flavored tobacco from a hookah, it's time. The water cools the hot smoke, allowing you to enjoy the flavor without the burn. Ride that buzz right on through the live belly dancing. Newcomers to belly dancing will be impressed with the skill of Basha professionals, who can even tap dance with special tap cummerbunds fastened to their abs. Hang out in the outdoor patio while enjoying the great drink selection, especially the Basha Signature Martini with Blueberry Stoli, pomegranate juice and blackberries.
Amid an atmosphere as warm and welcoming as an apple pie's innards, Petsi Pies deftly whips up a bevy of tantalizing baked goods that playfully tease palates with smile-inducing flavors and witty observational humor. The pie shop's variety of sweet and savory pies such as the 9” ($20) chicken pot pie, bacon leek swiss, and spinach ricotta demonstrate that pies can be dinner as well as dessert, while sweet pies such as the 6” ($7) southern pecan, Mississippi mud, and apple crumb prove once and for all that pies are good for more than just smuggling metal files into prison and Achaeans into Troy. Loading up on 10'' lemon meringues, banana chocolate cream, and mixed berry pies ($20 each) is recommended if you anticipate your next fete being crashed by three ugly guys who are constantly slapping each other. Several bakery treats are also available, including snickerdoodles, banana-chip muffins, scones, and coffeecake.
If you stumble over a few of the ingredients in Life Alive’s signature Goddess bowl, don’t worry—you’re not the only one. That’s why the restaurant’s website keeps a glossary of its menu’s potentially baffling ingredients and their health benefits. The Ginger Nama Shoyu sauce, for example, may seem outlandish to Americans but “the Champagne of Soy Sauce” shouldn’t be. It’s 100% organic and non-GMO, ages for four years in cedar kegs with less salt than traditional soy sauce, and is completely raw. Ginger adds an extra dose of healing, since it naturally eases digestive issues and nausea, as well as ulcers and inflammation. In this particular dish, the potent sauce flavors a medley of carrots, beets, broccoli, dark greens, tofu, and short-grain brown rice—a nutritional powerhouse all on its own. The Goddess bowl epitomizes Life Alive’s approach to vegan food: it should be organic, whole, and therapeutic, and use ingredients that come from local farms. And, it should meet these requirements without sacrificing flavor or convenience. In addition to nourishing the body, Life Alive believes that cuisine should also benefit the environment and the community. That’s why the restaurant sources its ingredients sustainably, recycles and composts scraps, and uses biodegradable packaging and cleaning materials formulated without chemicals or bacon.
Hailed as 1 of 11 coffee shops that “put Boston on the map,” according to the Boston Globe, Simon's Coffee Shop decided the only way to top itself was to literally put itself on the map again. Despite just opening, Simon’s Too looks a little more grown-up than its predecessor. Instead of playful orange walls, the coffee shop has exposed brick; instead of scrawling the menu items in multicolored chalk, the baristas print them carefully with white block letters. But Simon’s Too still has the same energy as the flagship location. And it still uses only local coffee, which is brewed from beans roasted in Arlington and Acton. Like a cartoon pie cooling on a windowsill, the coffee bean grinder entices guests with its deep aromas, luring patrons to the wooden counter to order one of the day’s available soups or a signature drink concocted by a La Marzocco espresso machine.
In the midst of crimson booths and dark wood tables, the nimble fingers of bustling pastry chefs carefully arrange a medley of sweets atop an open-air dessert stage, their every movement reflected by overhead mirrors to give diners an better view of the decadence they'll soon enjoy. It is this artistic and reverent approach to confections that embodies each dish at Finale Desserterie & Bakery, an upscale sweetness haven initiated by a duo of Harvard Business School graduates. The team crafts each morsel with the grace of a swan's choreographer as they put an inventive spin on classics such as cr?me br?l?e. Although the desserterie specializes in the sweet stuff, savory cravings find satisfaction in salads, pizza, and pasta selections, many of which balance palates with suggested wine pairings.