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Valentine's Day Essentials in Boston

Posted by Suzie Canale on Thu, Jan 26, 2017

If you’re planning on celebrating with a special someone this February 14th, you’re going to have to do a little planning to make sure you have the essentials.  No matter what she says, she’ll be expecting something, some sort of hint that reveals how much you care so don’t blow it!  There’s no need to spend the entire contents of your wallet or try to pull a rabbit out of your hat to impress her if you strategize beforehand keeping in mind thoughtfulness and romance.  Focus on her individual qualities, likes/dislikes and personality and you should have a good feel of what your holiday gifting should be.  If you’re not sure where to begin, take a look at this checklist to keep you on track and ready to celebrate Valentine’s Day.


  1. Plan a special evening, whether it’s at her favorite restaurant or simply dining in at home.  If you are going to head out for the night, make sure to make your reservations well in advance (at least three weeks) because bistros, cafes and fine dining locations will all be frantic since it is the busiest day of the season for them.  

Top Five Boston Restaurants for Valentine’s Day:

a.) Mooo

b.) Sophia's Grotto

c.) Menton

d.) Delfino's

e.) Ruth's Chris


     If you’re planning on staying in, be sure to buy your ingredients a couple of days in advance to avoid running out of the essentials because yes- you’ll be the one who does all of the cooking!  Pick up a bottle of wine and select a menu that you know she’ll flip over.  If you really           want to romance her, DO THE DISHES!

  1. Grab a card.  It’s the easiest and least expensive way to tell her you love her.   Hallmark isn’t just a multi-billion dollar company for nothing-they know their stuff!  Browse the stationary section of a CVS and read through the options to see whether a funny or lovey-dovey card is going to fit best for your relationship.  If you really want to get creative, find an old photograph of the two of you and glue it to a piece of construction paper folding it in half.  This is a sweet gesture of how your love has grown and will most likely remain in her keepsake box for years to come.
  2. Don’t be a bozo- ORDER FLOWERS!  Gift with a box of chocolates and you’ve just made her holiday!  Unsure of what variety to pick up?  Here are some options but keep in mind her favorite blooms and preference of color.  Again, don’t wait to the last minute to order a bouquet since this is like Super Bowl Sunday for Boston florists!
  1. Red Roses
  2. White Lilies
  3. Orchids
  4. Black Pearl Roses
  5. Mixed Floral Bouquet.

Tags: Restaurants, Boston Flower Delivery, Roses, Valentine's Roses, Valentines Day, Black Pearl

Romantic Reservations - Valentines Day Restaurants in Boston

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Jan 31, 2015

Bostonians are already booking their romantic dinner reservations for Valentine’s Day and are wondering what are the hotspots for February 2015?  If you’ve begun the search, you already know that there are a ton of options available to you, which can be like finding a needle in a haystack.  Not to worry there’s an easy way to find your perfect dining locale by asking yourself a few questions first.   What type of ambiance do you desire?  Which variety of cuisine are you hoping to eat?  What is your meal expenditure?  Are you looking for entertainment during your date or maybe a quiet and secluded environment?  These are important issues when designing a successful Valentine’s Day experience and will provide you with the useful information needed to make the correct choices.  For me, I prefer Italian food or fish rather than steak house menus and love a candlelit room but dislike it when you can barely see the person across from you.  (Last week I actually went to a restaurant where it was so dark, I couldn’t find my way out of the bathroom.)  So it might be wise to get a good feel for your partner’s tastes before booking a table.  Check out these Bean Town eateries that have always made my Valentine’s Day list and see if they are the right fit for you and your sweetheart!


Capital Grille

250 Boylston Street, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

(617) 928-1400


This has been one of my haunts since moving into the city and I can honestly say that you almost can’t go wrong with anything ordered off the menu.  Although yes, it’s a steakhouse, they offer a variety of other delicious dishes including plank salmon and seasonal halibut with heirloom tomatoes.  The sides are incredible as well, specifically the sautéed spinach, mashed potatoes and frites.  I also highly recommend the Caesar salad and French onion soup that are definitely the best Ive tasted anywhere in Boston.


Towne Stove and Spirits

The Shops at the Prudential Center

900 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02115

(617) 247-0400


This is a great place to go because its location is directly next to the Prudential Center where there is an abundance of shopping and live entertainment including jazz music, piano bars and dance clubs.  The food is pretty good too where they offer a wide variety of gourmet induced cuisine such as their lobster pizza.  The chef prepares several shellfish concoctions including shrimp and lobster but allows a healthy selection of steak, poultry and duck for you meat lovers out there.  This is the place for you if you’re an adventurer in the kitchen and it’s likely that you’ll appreciate their interesting spin on popular restaurant dishes. 

suzie__ricky_canale Suzie and Rick Canale January, 2015 Chestnut Hill MA 


Tags: Steak House, Towne, Steak, Restaurants, Valentines Day

Boston’s Top Comfort Foods for Winter 2015

Posted by Suzie Canale on Sat, Jan 10, 2015

It’s cold outside and Bostonians are searching to find their favorite foods that will comfort them through the next few months.  January, February and March can be bitter and icy, the kind of weather where we need a little extra cushion in our stomachs to brave the season.  For some it’s a decadent dessert while others prefer an entrée of rich cuisine but whatever you favor, I think we can all agree that we need some extra meat on our bones during this time of year.   City restaurants can have just what you’re looking for or maybe you would rather opt to stay home and create your own menu?  Here’s a bit of fare facts to help you explore and enjoy some of the top comfort foods for winter 2015.


Top Comfort Foods

  1. Pasta has got to be the number one “go-to” food when we need a “calorie hug” and there is an extraordinary array of options open to you.  Tortellini with sautéed spinach and cherry tomatoes is delicious and carries very little prep time.  Stuffed shells are another fabulous comfort meal because you can alter the variations of ricotta cheese and add whatever fillings you like such as mushrooms, extra tomatoes, onions and spinach.  Alfredo, chicken and broccoli is another classic that actually contains healthy vegetables and protein so it’s a little more “guilt free”.
  2. Soups are number two on my list because (if prepared right) you can get your bones warmed without eating an excessive amount of fat.  Excellent varieties include creamed corn, cream of broccoli and chicken noodle soup.  Some of these are quite simple to make in a crock pot or can be interchanged with bases replacing a heavy flour roué with a blended rice, celery and onion substitution (I use this when making my cream of broccoli recipe).  Soups are also ideal because you can throw in whatever veggies you have left in your fridge to make scrumptious bowls of yummy and heart healthy soups.


Best Winter Cookbooks

There are millions of wonderful cookbooks out there and all contain some useful tricks from the trade to help you whip up five star meals.  My favorites include “How To Cook Everything”, “The Joy of Cooking”, William Sonoma food guides and “Martha’s American Food”.  Trust me on the last one and look up her recipe for macaroni and cheese.  You’ve never tasted anything like it, I assure you!


Try Em’ and Dine In Em’

If cooking is just not your thing, have no fear because Bean Town is home to some spectacular restaurants, bistros and cafes.  How about chicken potpie found at “Henrietta’s”, French onion soup from the “Capital Grill” or a burger from “Tasty Burger”?  Don’t forget we are famous for the world’s best clam chowder so treat yourself with a sampling from my favorites “Union Oyster House”, “Legal Seafoods” and “Grill 23”.

suze Suzie launched her third children's book, The Candy Roses of Cape Care at the Union Oyster House in 2013.


Tags: Restaurants, Boston, Chef, cooking, #EXFL

Exotic Flowers Top 5 Restaurants in Boston for Mother's Day

Posted by Rick Canale on Mon, Apr 29, 2013

Mooo Boston florist Okay so you have ordered your flowers for Mother's Day, she gets them from Exotic Flowers and loves them. Now it's Mother's Day and she really should not have to cook, do you order in ? Call a caterer ? Most of us make the call on dinner, lunch or brunch. Mother's Day is the busiest restaurant day of the year in Boston. Check out our top five choices for Mother's Day. By the way, if you are caught between flowers and food; the Koran tells us that flowers are food for the soul.

  • McCormick & Schmicks in Faneuil Hall Marketplace; great seafood in the heart of the city. This is a great choice for lunch or early dinner, that way you can stroll through Quincy Market and take in some sights. 
  • Mooo Restaurant at the ultra chic XV Beacon hotel on Beacon Hill. If you are looking to lavish mom with personalized service and high end dining, ask for the GM Alexa and tell her that your Exotic Flowers sent you.
  • Towne florist in boston

Dining Al fresco on Mother's Day or having a large event ? You cannot beat the atmosphere, energy, food and once again beautiful planters at Towne Stove & Spirits on Boylston Street in Boston. Ask for TerriLynn Haak, she is among the best in the business.

* Getting take out ? I am in. I will be selling flowers from early hours on. Why not ring up my friend Chris at Seven Star Street Bistro in Roslindale. His Chinese is not only delicious, but healthy as well.

delfinos florist resized 600

* Looking to stay away from the crowds and traffic of the Back Bay and Downtown Boston ? Why not ring up Delfino Restaurant in Roslindale ? Master Chef Stephen Judge has been creating the best Italian food for more than ten years. His menu specials are out of this world and perhaps the only area restaurant who can fuse both Northern and Southern Italian along with steaks and seafood. This restaurant is a cannot miss.

Or you can make an effort and cook at home. But with restaurants like these, why bother ? She deserves the best.

Tags: Steak House, Mother's Day, Mother's Day Flowers, Restaurants

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