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.
Beantown Pub Crawls commemorates the joy of the holidays with a few good beers and some celebratory strolls through Boston. Bringing revelers to some of the city's most beloved watering holes, Beantown's organized crawls ensure that holidays—including Valentine's Day, Cinco de Mayo, and Christmas—can be celebrated on more than just one day. The Ugly Sweater Crawl encourages participants to don tastelessly festive threads as they help raise money for Toys for Tots, and previous events, such as Halloween's Costume Crawl, have involved significantly more outlandish duds.
The Wine Shop of Reading prompts clients to ask themselves, "am I the next Sam Adams?" But not because they're helping found a nation, but because they're interested in brewing beer. Onsite, The Wine Shop staff works with visitors to not just sell them great beer, but show them how to craft a solid home brew with the skills, ingredients, and equipment to do so. Instructors also teach wine making, as well as bartending skills, which involves more than artfully draping a towel over one shoulder and coming up with punny cocktail names.
During the two-hour foray, samplers will tipple high-end wines with bite-sized pairings to match. Learn techniques for sampling wine, pairing tips, and which wine fits best in which glass (example: wine from a square box will not fit in a circular glass). There will be five or so wines to try, which you can read about in vivid detail here to prep your buds for the journey ahead. After your palatal field trip is complete, you can pick up a bottle of your favorite sampled wine for $10 off retail. Bottles range from $16 to $30.
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.