Growing up across the street from the historical North End building where Villa Francesca now stands, Guglielmo Ranauro never guessed that he'd open a restaurant in 1976 and name it after his beloved mother. Ranauro was inspired by her traditional cooking and wanted to create a place where other people could get an authentic taste of Italy.
Today, Ranauro has handed over the family legacy to longtime manager and prot?g? Tomas Salmeron. Salmeron and his culinary team continue to follow those classic recipes, turning fresh-caught fruits of the sea into a daily seafood prix fixe menu. Furthermore, they transform chicken, lamb, steak, and veal into dishes you might find while strolling through a Tuscan piazza or steering a one-person submarine down a Venetian canal. The eatery?s extensive wine list, which includes 140 Italian and international varieties, earned a 2012 Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator. Even the ambiance points diners in the direction of Italy: tin ceilings and stained-glass accents add Old-World nostalgia, and the exposed-brick walls are anchored by Romanesque archways and paintings of bustling village scenes.
Thousands of fashionistas flock to StyleFixx Premier Shopping Events to meet up-and-coming independent fashion designers and browse the latest styles. This year’s displays include the 2012 lines of Hivernage NYC, Bling Boutique, and Cimber Designs. In between shopping sprees, attendees may relax with complimentary beauty treatments such as hair services by Dellaria Salons, makeovers by Virginn Pure Mineral Makeup, and body wraps by good-natured mummies. Once pampered, refreshed guests mingle while sipping free cocktails and munching on samples from Finale Desserts and Haru Sushi, and each partygoer receives a StyleFixx Swag Bag loaded with product samples.
In 1995, Jeff Popkin was tired of hearing about parties only after they happened. Being a fan of parties, he did not appreciate this, and he imagined other people shared his sentiment. He started Boston Event Guide, a website that aggregates upcoming bashes in one place including some of the top booze cruises in Boston such as the Summer Party Cruise. In addition to posting events such as fashion shows at the Liberty Hotel, party cruises, and beer-and-chocolate tours, he and his staff send out a weekly newsletter that highlights top events that are ideal for company outings, birthdays, or group parties.
Prohibition was over, and the Burns brothers were ready to capitalize. The store they opened in 1936, the Burns Brothers Liquor Shop, has since operated as a market, a butcher shop, and a liquor store, and today its current owner Steve Neidhardt maintains the focus on selling fine wines and gourmet meats and groceries. Steve stocks Eastside Wines and Market with more than 450 different bottles of wine from all over the world, priced modestly at $10–$20 per bottle. He also carries craft beers, liquors, and single-malt whiskeys, with a selection of seasonal beers that rotates like a ballerina strapped to a ferris wheel. A longtime lover of vino, Steve studied at Boston University’s Elizabeth Bishop Wine Resource Center, earning a Wine Studies Level 3 certification. He shares his knowledge with the public during wine tastings and in private during tastings and catering for corporate events or special occasions. Eastside Wines and Market also delivers so that customers don’t have to leave to get snacks in the middle of a suspenseful weather forecast.
Nico Ristorante's crimson walls, plush red drapery, and sparkling chandeliers seem designed for romance, as do the extensive list of fine wines and the menu full of classic yet sophisticated dishes. Chef Salvatore Firicano and his crew use locally sourced produce and other fresh ingredients as the tools of their trade, selecting farm-raised mussels and littleneck clams to serve over grilled tuscan bread and stuffing 2-pound lobsters with shrimp and scallops. They use a variety of artfully hand-crafted fresh pasta, from fusilli and rigatoni to tiny, toothsome bundles of potato-dumpling gnocchi.
The restaurant is a part of The Varano Group, a collection of Boston dining establishments created by celebrity restaurateur Nick Varano. Varano's other lauded endeavors include the star-studded Strega Ristorante, Strega Waterfront, and the newest location Strega Prime Italian Steakhouse, located just ten minutes north of Boston.
Tomato plants are imperfect, yielding just as many inedible fruits as the healthy, tasty ones. The organizers of The Tomato Bash devised an alternative employment for the unworthy bounty, transforming the leftover tomatoes into ammunition for a massive ketchup making party. Participants are encouraged to sport silly costumes for the big event, as they are inevitably going to get utterly filthy.
To kick off the festivities, revelers are entertained with a cadre of food trucks, beverage vendors, and DJ playing tunes, including rebellious anthems encouraging the tomatoes to throw themselves. At 3 p.m., the tomato foam machine outside of the tomato arena powers up, pumping the stage area full of bubbly, pink fruit foam. Then the hordes of goggle-clad contestants descend upon a large arena and lose themselves in a sea of red goo.