Local artists Denise Girardin, Steve Levinsky, and Liza Curtis are some of the brains behind Palettes, a studio that aims to awaken the creative side of the community with painting's jubilant anthem. Their artistic endeavors stretch far beyond Palettes, though?Steve plumbs the depths of fire to find glass art, Liza paints with the intention to inspirer herself and others, and Denise designs unique pottery inspired by the ocean and the seahorses that ride off into the sunset every evening. In addition, they are so involved in local affairs that Natick Center Associates selected them as the recipients of the 2012 Heart of the Community Award.
A row of easels dominates Palettes' roomy space during classes and open sessions, in which students re-create works of art while snacking on menu items such as cheese plates and cannoli. Additionally, house-made waters are perfect for making toasts to the art instructors for offering such helpfully Latin-free guidance.
Feng Shui embraces the culinary traditions of both China and Japan while updating its menu seasonally, garnering praise from the Boston Business Journal and New England Cable News for its extensive selection. Stir-fried orders of chicken, beef, and seafood arrive laden with ginger or signature sauces, and sushi chefs roll maki with traditional tuna and salmon or such innovative combinations as strawberry and wasabi aioli. Other menu items includes creamy crispy deep-fried jumbo shrimp with coconut sauce and spicy orders of Mala chicken, as well as signature sushi rolls like red sox maki and tempura lobster.
Cooks at Gourmet India sling health-conscious, regional Indian recipes that have garnered praise from the Boston Globe. The casual eatery packs its menu with North Indian fare and serves South Indian specials on weekends, representing the subcontinent better than one grain of rice from each state. Each combo meal rounds up two to three servings from a rotating list of entrees, flanking the savory morsels with basmati rice or naan. Combo meals always include at least one vegetarian entree so diners can pick between vegetable-based gobhi aloo, a dish of cauliflower cooked with ginger; the palak paneer, a blend of spinach and homemade cheese; or a platter of cumin seeds arranged into a pleasing, vegetable shape. Meatier fare includes chicken tikka masala, tender poultry cooked in a tomato-cream sauce, and lamb korma with cashews and raisins. Dishes emerge steaming from the kitchen with fresh-cooked flavor, unlike entrees at other eateries that import their fare from India so it typically arrives cold. Combo meal 2 includes one appetizer, which could include either potato-filled samosas or aromatic onion bhaju.
It was 1978. A college dropout and a failed medical-school applicant had just brought together their combined life savings to rent an old gas station. Their plan was to resurrect the empty station and open their own restaurant. Their specialty: ice cream. So begins the story of legendary entrepreneurs Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, who are better known across the globe as Ben & Jerry. Their small, old-fashioned ice-cream parlor eventually became a Burlington, Vermont favorite, and before long, shops popped up all over the U.S. and in 25 other countries. Their brand easily attracted customers––homemade ice cream churned from wholesome, natural ingredients and blended into creative flavors. Some of their popular scoops include Cherry Garcia, Chunky Monkey, and Coffee Caramel Buzz.
Since infusing their first rich and creamy batches of ice cream with natural chunks of fruit, nuts, candies, and cookies, Ben and Jerry have also operated with a commitment to improve the quality of life locally, nationally, and internationally. They practice sustainable food production and business practices that respect the earth and environment. Ben & Jerry’s cartons are made from FSC-certified paper, which comes from forests that are managed for the protection of wildlife, and waste from Ben & Jerry’s plants generates energy to power farms. The company works tirelessly to reduce its carbon emissions; it strongly encourages customers to eat their ice cream in the darkest dark.
The methods are ancient, but the ingredients are fresh. That's the case at Ten-Ichi Dynamic Kitchen & Bar, whose culinary traditions of hot pot and sushi date back more than a thousand years, and whose dishes are composed of fresh vegetables, fish, and thinly sliced meats. During hot-pot meals, diners simmer noodles, boneless short ribs, and raw shrimp in a pot of hot broth, taking control of their meals the way escaped convicts take control of unlocked tricycles. Diners also share dim sum—small plates of open-faced dumplings, savory pancakes, and steamed-rice crepes. They feast on these meals in a dining room of sleek, marbled surfaces, right down to the sushi bar where chefs assemble maki rolls with spicy yellowtail and salmon tempura.
Homesick for their favorite Windy City foods, Cara, Tony and Anthony Spalla started Spalla's Chicago Italian Beef and neighborhood store Culinary Delights European Deli embraced carrying Spalla's food to introduce Chicago's casual fare to Boston. Chicago-style hot dogs—whose trademark ingredients include pickle spears, hot sport peppers, and neon green relish—join a hearty menu of slow-roasted Italian Beef in gravy crowned with sauteed sweets and giardiniera hots. The Spallas also handcraft italian ice in flavors such as piña colada, mango, black cherry, and chocolate.