When walking down the stairs into the Channel Café, guests may not be clear as to whether they are entering an art gallery, restaurant, or a friend's swanky apartment. Paintings, sculptures, pictures of Angela Lansbury, and other perfect works of art fill the spacious dining room as natural light floods in through street-level windows beneath the high ceiling. The basement eatery owned by seasoned chef Tammie Watson and baker Joyce Parlapiano takes a simple, locally sourced approach to cooking while still creating eclectic dishes that fit in alongside artsy neighbors in the Fort Point Channel district. Espresso drinks and loose-leaf teas pair well with house-made granola or egg-and-potato-filled breakfast wraps, and a curated beer and wine selection livens up seasonal salads and burgers topped with a West African barbecue sauce.
Gregg and Barth, the owners of Barrington Coffee Roasting Company, stand in the large, industrial roasting area, pouring green coffee beans into mammoth roasters. They sniff the beans, which they’ve recently sourced from socially responsible, family-owned farms situated all over the world. Prior to this moment, they and their staff have thoroughly analyzed the beans, making sure that each batch enhances the bean’s body rather than overshadowing its natural flavor. The coffees are then packed up and shipped out, or sent to the company’s own Boston--based coffee shop, which has won shout-outs from a variety of media sources such as Martha Stewart Living and Forbes Magazine.
The rich aromas of coffee flood their coffee shop, a minimal, concrete-floored space. Baristas bustle, artfully crafting perfect cups of single-origin coffee or lattes crowned with foam leaves. The shop also hosts a variety of events, including traditional coffee ceremonies from Ethiopia and tastings of traditionally prepared Turkish coffee.
Judy Rosenberg didn’t set out to be an award-winning chef or an NPR-lauded cookbook author. The owner of Rosie’s Bakery found her calling in 1974 after attending art school and gobbling desserts at some of New York’s finest bakeries, becoming inspired to forge her own batch of sweets. When the staff of a local cheesecake shop got hooked on her homemade cookies, she knew she’d found a recipe for success. Since then, she’s expanded her culinary repertoire to include fudge-nut brownies, bavarian-cream fruit tarts, and more than 14 types of muffins and scones.
Each recipe teems with real, old-fashioned ingredients, such as butter, cream, sugar, and edible monocles. Cakes come in circular layers and rectangular sheets, boasting flavors such as carrot and mocha. Filled with snickerdoodles and chocolate-chip rounds, the cookie lineup conjures more childhood memories than a psychiatrist who rides to work in an ice-cream truck.
Lee Napoli, one of Boston’s top pastry chefs, has been skillfully producing percolating pastries since 1989. Lee's students will glean mounds of treat-making knowledge during his three-hour chocolate crafting class, where they’ll employ their very own arm paddles to masterfully mold tasty tidbits. Learn how to temper chocolates (made fresh daily) and create tantalizing truffles using fresh, high-quality ingredients, while Lee sprinkles you with helpful tips and pointers. Once you've found a date that doesn't conflict with your chocolate-catapulting class, call ahead to schedule your chocolate making class at ChocoLee Chocolates.