Even with a plethora of restaurants to choose from in Boston’s North End, Il Villaggio manages to stand out, and not just because of its prime location on Hanover Street. The glassy restaurant offers Mediterranean-leaning takes on classic Italian dishes, like a semolina gnocchi served with creamy pesto sauce. With white tablecloths on a small number of tables, Italian wine bottles placed carefully on skewed shelves and chandeliers that look like freshly trimmed branches, the homey restaurant also serves up classic Italian comfort food from its open kitchen in the back. The chefs here use fresh mozzarella and churn out generous portions of lobster ravioli, chicken parmesan andlasagna to the masses that always seem to be queuing up out front.
The Boston Wine Expo’s Grand Tasting event unites varietals from nearly 200 wineries around the world with cuisine from more than 40 local eateries during four hours of culinary harmony. Attendees can sip more than 1,000 red and white elixirs culled from the grape-producing and wild-cork-taming regions of North America, Europe, the Southern Hemisphere, and the Mediterranean. Samples from Boston-area restaurants such as Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Sandrine’s Bistro complement each swig as vintners enlighten enophiles on current winemaking trends. Throughout the afternoon, top gastronomic maestros tread two stages during live demonstrations that divulge recipes and directions for finding the secret compartment hidden inside every wine bottle. Lifestyle exhibits and a full schedule of seminars enlighten guests on topics ranging from cheese-and-wine matching to the diversity of Italian varietals (not included with this Groupon). A portion of the event’s proceeds will benefit local charities.
Ann Supple Massey, the owner and founder of Rouge Cosmetics, has personally tested every product in her store, from the eye shadows to the moisturizers to the body fragrances. Her discerning eye is one of the reasons the store was awarded "Best of Boston" for makeup shopping in Boston Magazine in 2009. In addition to time-tested favorites from industry leaders such as Nars, Stila, and bareMinerals, clients also find products from more exclusive brands such as Darphin and Blinc, whose “Kiss Me” mascara has graced the lashes of celebrities Jessica Alba, Rachel McAdams, and Jessica Rabbit.
Most of the aestheticians and makeup artists at Rouge have experience working at photo shoots and fashion shows, so they’re primed to help customers with a range of beauty needs. During private makeup lessons, they guide customers through popular techniques such as the smokey eye, and also acquaint them with tools and beauty products tailored to their personal style. The shop offers several other services, including bridal makeup and false lash applications.
Sixty2 on Wharf is owned by Tony Bettencourt, the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts–trained former chef of the acclaimed Tomasso Trattoria in Southborough. Since opening in 2008, Sixty2 has seduced Salem stomachs with contemporary re-inventions of Italian classics. Bettencourt's meals use local and fresh ingredients shipped to the restaurant via seahorse-drawn gondola. The antipasti platter ($22) allows the chef to drop some knowledge on your plate, as he fills the plate with whichever antipasti options he deems best for the climate and current astrological alignment. Pasta dishes include the potato-filled cappellacci ($24 for full size) and the ribbon-like tagliatelle with a traditional meat-based Bolognese sauce ($26 for full size), while an assortment of entrees ($22–$30) include duck, lamb, chicken, and sea scallops seasoned and spiced to flavorful magnificence. The warm toffee-pudding dessert is a sweet salvo guaranteed to lob a taste grenade at any lingering post-entree hunger.
In as little as one week, Bar Time’s experienced team of mixologists and bar owners transforms students of all experience levels into certified bartenders. In an onsite bar environment, the instructors cover bar fundamentals, teaching students to properly pour, make garnishes, and craft specialty concoctions by mixing, blending, and layering. Along with front-of-the-house skills, students learn basics of bar management, such as controlling inventory and explaining to time-travelling police that Prohibition is over.
After the 35-hour training, which is split into one week of daytime classes, two weeks of nighttime classes, or six weeks of Saturday classes, pupils are ready for professional gigs, some of which Bar Time can supply through their event staffing. Bar Time also offers event planning for soiree hosts and consulting services for budding restaurateurs who could use a crash course in the fundamentals of opening and staffing a new eatery.