The executive chef at Zendo Asian Bistro & Lounge flavors the menu's Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Thai dishes with 25 years of Far Eastern culinary expertise. Moo shu pancakes swaddle roasted peking duck, cucumber, scallions, and hoisin sauce ($22 for half) as lemongrass and chili rain down on a flavorful fillet of pan-seared tofu ($18). Servers deliver the sizzling Thai sirloin steak ($25) with a side of noise-canceling headphones, grilled veggies, and spicy gravy, and top tables with plates of grilled salmon on mein, coated in spicy tomato sauce and cilantro ($22). Diners can dock the sushi boat for two ($46), whose manifest includes an artistically arranged assortment of nigiri, sashimi, and maki passengers.
Easily spotted by its pink-and-white awning, Ginger Betty's constructs gingerbread creations for year-round celebrations. Though it offers gingerbread in more forms than a shape-shifting forest monster, the original ginger snap is a crowd favorite and is scooped up by the dozen ($10). Creative crunchers can clamor for the cookie-decorating kit, comprising one gingerbread man and two holiday-centric cookies, such as Easter eggs, Arbor Day trees, or Boxing Day gloves, as well as two bags of colored frosting and an assortment of decorative candies ($21.99). Gourmet Easter baskets abound with sweet treats and can be customized with a choice of two dozen assorted cookies, including ginger snaps, sugar cookies, and other hand-decorated, rabbit-delivered delights.
Inside a historical downtown Quincy home that dates back to the 1850s, chef and baker Lisa Tavakoli crafts signature dishes and scones for guests to savor in a Victorian tearoom. Lisa gathers 8–15 students around her countertop to demonstrate how to top plates with multiple courses and drinks. She emphasizes the gustatory roles that all senses play, creating visually appealing dishes and steeping teas that appeal to the drinker's sixth sense. Curricula include Persian cuisine, Italian cuisine, and courses on raw cooking and seasonal ingredients.
Named after the O'Neil Family's adoring grandmother, Sadie's boasts a confectionery construction crew that builds custom cakes and gourmet chocolates from scratch and offers a variety of gift baskets and confection-making supplies. Unlike a bomb-diving ostrich protecting a nest full of donuts, a two-layered, 8-inch german chocolate cake ($16) endorses sharing among 10–12 sweet companions, while miniature handmade pastries ($.75–$1.25 each, $14 per dozen) including chocolate cupcakes, pecan and walnut turtles, and boston cream pies sate candied-cravings with individual nibbles. Customers with one-of-a-kind dessert aspirations are invited to sit down with one of Sadie's cake creators who will design a custom cake that bests fits the occasion and price range (see past works for some delightful examples).
Butter, sugar, and flour. These three simple ingredients form the basis of each treat cooked up at Amanda Oakleaf Cakes. While the ingredients are straightforward, the cakes are anything but, as proven by head baker Amanda Oakleaf and the 4-foot-tall Dora the Explorer cake she constructed on the Food Network’s Cake Challenge. At her shop, Amanda and her team of artists, sculptors, and bakers create treats that run the gamut in flavor and function, from elegant tiers of red velvet to sugary cartoon figurines placed atop marshmallow fondant. Guests can dream up flavor combinations such as gingerbread cake slathered in white-chocolate buttercream or chocolate samoa layered in honey icing, or offer up a 3-D object for Amanda and her team to re-create in meticulous, edible detail. Regularly scheduled cake-decorating classes impart visitors with some of the team’s creative tricks of the trade, such as leveling cakes and keeping schoolchildren from swarming in through the doggy door at the sight of snickerdoodle cupcakes.
When walking down the stairs into the Channel Café, guests may not be clear as to whether they are entering an art gallery, restaurant, or a friend's swanky apartment. Paintings, sculptures, pictures of Angela Lansbury, and other perfect works of art fill the spacious dining room as natural light floods in through street-level windows beneath the high ceiling. The basement eatery owned by seasoned chef Tammie Watson and baker Joyce Parlapiano takes a simple, locally sourced approach to cooking while still creating eclectic dishes that fit in alongside artsy neighbors in the Fort Point Channel district. Espresso drinks and loose-leaf teas pair well with house-made granola or egg-and-potato-filled breakfast wraps, and a curated beer and wine selection livens up seasonal salads and burgers topped with a West African barbecue sauce.