The concept for Savory Square Bistro developed "after years of successful 'Friday Night Bistro Night' dinners as part of Chez Boucher Cooking School," according to Hampton–North Hampton Patch. This concept stuck and the cozy, Old World-style eatery continues to share an address with the culinary training center, allowing diners to indulge in rustic meals inspired by French countryside cooking, Asian flavors, and seasonal New England ingredients. For an extra bit of homespun charm, the bistro's chefs invest a bit of extra effort into their recipes by hand cutting each order of frites, making boursin cheese, and curing salmon in in the kitchen. Even though crisp white linens adorn each table, the intimately lit space is decidedly casual. A painted mural of a provincial village swaths one large wall, complementing the room's mustard-yellow and sunset-orange accents. Various bottles of wine fill the cubbies in the mahogany-hued cube shelves that flank the mural.
The music programming at the nonprofit Maine Academy of Modern Music is designed to allow pupils to rock out to their favorite contemporary jams. During individualized lessons, teachers help students master the basics of rock instruments such as guitar, bass, drums, and more. From there, young rockers can enlist in one of the school's rock bands, where they'll learn to play alongside other musicians as a group. That, in turn, leads to performance opportunities, which the school sets up at renowned Portland venues like Bayside Bowl, Big Easy, Asylum, and the Old Port Festival.
Bands also assemble at the school's rock camps, where attendees not only rehearse originals and covers but also learn rock history and take field trips to local radio stations. Besides its in-house opportunities, the academy's outreach programs also supply local schools with everything from private concerts to master classes to ensure everyone has access to quality music education.
In 1850, Portland Adult Education began doling out knowledge to the masses, focusing on English, business, and all areas of academia. Like the 19th-century horses that gradually transformed into Dodge Caravans, the courses have evolved over the last century and a half. They're now split into two categories: business and personal enrichment. On the business side, students can master everything from computer basics to law. Personal enrichment classes encompass cooking, fitness, and even meditation.
Those who craft edible masterpieces find what they need at The Cake World. Part shop, part school, it outfits bakers of all experience levels with the stuff and skills they need to create towering, edible sculptures from Satin Ice fondant and gumpaste using special tips, cutters, veiners, modeling tools, and more. Rows of edible embellishments crowd shelves, shiny cookie cutters dangle from hooks, and stacks of diverse cake molds invite bakers to expand their imaginations. In the spacious cake-making studio, hands-on classes cover specific decoration topics, special guest artists lead themed workshops, and kids learn how to decorate cupcakes and cakes during birthday parties.
Butter, sugar, and flour. These three simple ingredients form the basis of each treat cooked up at 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.
The bakery's from-scratch approach extends to the attached caf?, as well. Rather than keeping coffee warm throughout the day, staffers ground and brew each cup to order, using custom-roasted Barrington Coffee beans and an Aeropress. This cutting-edge brewing method is designed to extract exactly enough flavor from the beans to create the best brew possible, and achieves it in less than two minutes. Each sultry cup of joe perfectly complements the bakery's wide assortment of baked goods, which range from classic cupcakes, cookies, and muffins to wholly unique goodies including made-from-scratch pop tarts, artisanal marshmallows, and miniature cheesecakes.
When Valerie Beck was in kindergarten, there was only one way to get her to drink her milk: mixing in chocolate. As she grew up, her passion for the sweet treat only deepened. During a five-year stint living in Europe, she sleuthed out the most delectable chocolate shops and bakeries, eventually bringing friends along with her on trips to chocolate hot spots. After returning to the United States, she broadened her scope to create Boston Chocolate Walking Tours, focusing on the city’s increasing number of premium chocolatiers.
Valerie’s team of tour guides reveals Boston's best chocolate spots to guests on 2.5-hour tours around the Newbury Street neighborhood. They embark from Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland, walking or canoeing across the city's historic chocolate canals. The tour changes daily, hitting five–six spots, such as DeLuca's Market and Emack & Bolio's, though the Lindt shop is always on the list.