Sumaira Flower

Sumaira Flower

November 11, 2012

Christopher Huang Photography, BOSTON


They say that if you're involved in the entertainment industry, you should be updating your portfolio every 6 months or so. The last time I took any pictures was over a year and a half ago. With my first movie releasing in less than 5 months from now, I figured I gotta update my pictures. I wanted to make sure to hire the best of the best in Boston therefore I called an old acquaintance - Christopher Huang. 



For those of you who are not aware, Christopher Huang is an acclaimed photographer in Boston who beautifully photographs for fashion spreads, advertising/marketing purposes, events, editorials etc. He has a unique approach toward photography and he is a magician when it comes to working with his camera. 












Take a look at some photographs from my latest photo shoot with Christopher Huang. Visit his website at www.christopherhuang.com and like his Facebook page - "Christopher Huang Photography". Thanks Chris for giving me such great pictures and making me feel comfortable :)

A special thanks to Aldo Velaj - owner of Vlora Mediterranean Restaurant - for letting me use his BEAUTIFUL restaurant; Beacage Salon & Spa for making my hair faboosh; & Beverly Langston of Chanel for doing my make-up! XOXO ciao. 



October 19, 2012

HAPPY 2 YEARS!


This week, I am celebrating the 2 year anniversary of sumairaflower.com! I can't believe it's already been a couple of years. Time goes by fast when you're having a blast.
 
Thank you to everyone who reads my blog and to all the restaurants, clubs, & lounges that put up with my shenanigans! ;)
 
I promise to continue providing more obnoxious reviews... xoxo ciao

October 11, 2012

Emerald Lounge, Revere Hotel

Saturday night, my friends and I ventured to the newest hot spot in Boston - The Emerald Lounge inside of the Revere Hotel (formerly the Radisson).

The Emerald Lounge is located on the club-saturated Stuart St. You'd think because there are so many great places to go in that area that Emerald would have to work extra hard to get people in the door. Quite the contray, Emerald Lounge stands tall and confidently offering its amazing space and interesting decor as its USP - not to mention no cover charge which is always a plus!

If you know me well, you know I hate bathrooms but I was lured into this Ruby Lounge via the bathrooms and I found the washroom area to be rather sexy. As my friend best put it, these bathrooms were made to have sex in them LOL.

The Emerald Lounge reminds me a lot of my old stomping ground Whiskey Park which sadly shut down :(  It offers the same kind of loungey yet clubby environment without being too trashy if ya know what I mean. I had an absolute blast at Emerald and am DEF going back.

A special thanks to Teodora for being such a sweetheart to me and my friends! XOXO

October 10, 2012

Oak Long Bar Kitchen, Fairmont Copley Hotel


Besides the fact that it is one of the nicest, most classic hotels in Boston, the Fairmont Copley Hotel has one more thing to brag about - the Oak Long Bar Kitchen, formerly the Oak Room.

I went to the Oak Long Bar on Thursday night with a bunch of work folks to indulge in some vino. When someone suggested Oak Room to me, I instantly thought of the brunch that this place was known for and wondered why we would go here. Turns out, it's been newly renovated with a new name.

Let me just start off by saying, I AM OBSESSED WITH THE DECOR! It is so historic yet trendy. It is so large yet so cozy. It is so grand yet welcoming. With the number of people and dark wood sheilding the approaching cold weather, one can feel nothing but warmth inside. I'd like to think this is a larger version of Sonsie with the kind of people that come here and the ambience.

Drinks are priced appropriately. Staff is wonderful. I have intentions of making this place a regular. If you've not been here since it's makeover, I highly recommend you do! PS. This is an excellent date spot in my opinion ;)

October 02, 2012

Hops N Scotch, Coolidge Corner

Last week, I met up with a good friend of mine for dinner and drinks at Coolidge Corner's newest addition, Hops N Scotch (formerly Finale). Ever since I read the article in Improper Bostonian about this restaurant, I have been finding an excuse to check it out. 

Hops N Scotch is precisely what Coolidge Corner was missing - a classy yet casual place where people of all ages can join for drinks, food, and sports any night of the week. The atmosphere was very happening for a Wednesday night. I like the decor and ambiance - it's very cozy and welcoming. Lots of different kind of seating arrangements that cater to everyone's ambitions for going to Hops N Scotch. 

All is great about HNS however, I only had qualms about one thing... I am currently on a diet and trying to behave when I go out to eat. Hops N Scotch has very limited menu options. When I say limited, I mean it. I have never been to a restaurant that offered such little options for their patrons. Additionally, all the food is very unhealthy and fried. YIKES! Not helping me out one bit. I would usually find no bread-service to be taboo but let's be real, I don't need any bread so won't hold them accountable for that! ;) Food is probably not the USP of HNS so I guess no biggie.

Other than the food, I really do think HNS is great especially for Coolidge Corner. I had the privilege of meeting one of the owners who was such a sweetheart. I think they will find a lot of success in Brookline. Even though I'm not a sports person by ANY means, I could see myself joining some friends to watch an athletic event on their large screen tvs if in the mood lol. 


Check out Hops N Scotch out if you're looking for a casual place to wind down after work, eat some fried food, and hang out.

PS. The owners of HNS are the same owners as the wine and spirits store next door!

Snappy Sushi, Newbury Street



It feels like it's been ages since I last blogged - well that's because it has been. My sincerest apologies for not blogging about my usually-social life because it hasn't been very social. Not for bad reasons - my time has been occupied with filming for a movie! Go figure!

In any case, I did have an afternoon off about a fortnight ago where I decided to relish one of my favorite foods - SUSHI. I visited Snappy Sushi located centrally on Newbury Street on a beautiful, crisp, Fall afternoon. The weather was still nice enough where I could sit outside, people watch, and chomp away on my delicious makimono and nigiri. 

Snappy Sushi has everything I look for in a restaurant. Excellent service, location, a mouthwatering menu, moderately priced, and great atmosphere. Believe it or not, I actually have nothing to complain about! I can't wait to go back to Snappy Sushi and devour more uni.... YUM! Check it out - HIGHLY recommend!

August 30, 2012

WEEKEND GETAWAY: Revel, Atlantic City


This past weekend, I visited Atlantic City with my mom, sister and friend to celebrate my birthday (which was a while ago LOL)

We stayed at the newest hotel on the block in AC - Revel. What a great name. In short, this hotel offers something completely different from the other casinos on the strip. Revel has so much to offer that you don't literally do not have to leave the hotel ever. 

We dined at The American Cut, Azure (where Beyonce & Jay Z apparently ate), gambled, went to a burlesque show at Ivan Kane's Burlesque Club, shopped at the outlets - oh it was all just too much fun! Wish I took advantage of the private beach though - there's always next summer ;)

Words are not enough to express how beautifully designed and creative the hotel and its amenities are. Take a look for yourself! 


PS. Thank God Boston doesn't have any casinos... I would be absolutely broke! xoxo

Brocades Boutique, Washington Square


FINALLY the gods have heard me! There is an Indian boutique in Brookline... VICTORY!

Brocades Boutique is located in Washington Square of Brookline. This is HUGE because up until now, the only Indian-wear store was all the way in Somerville which is pretty inconvenient for city people without cars like myself.  

I visited Brocades on my way home from the gym on Tuesday. It is owned by a lovely lady from Mumbai named Shikha and her adorable pup Mr. Buttons. Brocades carries an array of ensembles. Her collections include everything from casual tunics from Pakistan all the way to Bollywood-style bridal wear. 

(Shikha - store owner of Brocades Boutique)

I can't tell you all exactly how elated I am that something of this nature has arrived to our hood here in Brookline LOL. Though it's only been open for a few months, there is no doubt in my mind that Brocades is going to maintain success and is here to stay - there is literally NO other store like this here. 

Thank you thank you thank you Brocades for saving me a boring T-ride to Somerville for every time I need an outfit for a wedding!

Visit www.brocadesboutique.com for more information!

August 22, 2012

M Bar & Lounge @ Mandarin Oriental


Hier soir, I visited a place I haven't paid a visit to in a LONG time! I went to the ultra fabulous and underrated M Bar & Lounge at The Mandarin Oriental in the Back Bay. I haven't been to M Bar since I was in college and let me tell you, it was still as lovely of an experience as it was three years ago.

A friend and I wanted to go out for drinks last night but not somewhere crazy crowded and "scene-y" like Sonsie (don't get me wrong, I love Sonsie. But it wasn't one of those nights.) So I suggested M Bar which is a quiet but exquisite lounge on Boylston Street.

With its dark, sexy ambience, M Bar attracts a niche group of people - those looking to wine and dine in a classy, sophisticated place suitable for dates, dinners, and work events. I love the music M Bar plays - it totally makes me feel like I'm in Sex and the City.

If you're looking for a good date place, I HIGHLY recommend M Bar. It's a little pricey but totally worth it given the atmosphere and service.
PS. It's nice to come here now without fearing of getting my fake id taken away! LOL xoxo Ciao!

Theme Song: Archipelago by Quantic

August 21, 2012

The Brahmin, Back Bay

Saturday night, I finally paid a visit to the ever-so-talked about Brahmin located on Stanhope in the Back Bay. Brahmin was the complete OPPOSITE of what I had expected. 


When you go to a place named after the highest level of Hinduism's caste system, you can only expect the place to have Indian influence, right? WRONG. Brahmin on the contrary is an all-American restaurant & lounge. Why the owners would decide to name this place Brahmin is beyond me but anyway, moving on.

The Brahmin has a very interesting set up. You walk in and there is a giant staircase leading to the basement in the middle and a bar in the middle. There is an area on the right designed for dancing but trust you me, there was none of that happening which is very unfortunate.


I was told that the Brahmin was a dancing venue with no cover so I got my dancing shoes on and was so ready to show off my moves. What a disappointment. The crowd also made me feel like I was in college again like T's Pub in Allston.

Since so many of my friends rave about the Brahmin I am really hoping Saturday was an off night. I couldn't even last an hour in there.

August 19, 2012

EID MUBARAK!


I want to wish all brothers and sisters around the world a very joyous and healthy Eid. Wish I was in New Jersey wearing a new outfit and plowing through plates of biriyani! Enjoy the beautiful day everyone! :D

August 13, 2012

Sandrine's Bistro, Harvard Square


On this lovely Monday afternoon, I ventured off to Cambridge for a work lunch. I chose to eat at Sandrine's Bistro because it wasn't in the midst of the Harvard Square mayhem.

Sandrine's Bistro is a French restaurant owned by the noteworthy chef Raymond Ost located on Holyoke Street. It looks tiny from the outside but don't let the outer appearance fool you. It's actually a very spacious restaurant with an abundance of seating arrangements.

Sandrine's offers French cuisine with an Alsace touch as the menu suggests. Their lunch menu was perfect with just the right number of options and unoverwhelming verbiage to describe the French food.

I ordered a portobello mushroom sandwich with some pommes des frites. Pretty standard and pretty delicious. My lunch date ordered a mushroom "tarte flambee." Now that's what I should have gotten - it was like a party in your mouth!


I would describe the decor of the restaurant to be old-fashioned French and to some degree kitsch. I liked everything but definitely did not appreciate their rather archaic carpeting. Minor detail but bothersome for my picky taste.

In any case, Sandrine's was an enjoyable pseudo-French experience. I wish there had been French music and French speaking people around me but no big deal. I give Sandrine's a 3 out of 5 stars. It was good, definitely not bad, but had the potential to be notch better.

Bon soir all you beautiful people! XOXO

August 10, 2012

Grafton Street, Harvard Square

After the horrific and embarrassing experience at Mr. Bartley's, my friend and I were still famished so we headed to the famous Grafton Street. There must have been some sort of event happening as it was packed!

Surprisingly though, we were seated right away. We were seated in the corner where the view was beautiful but the gnat issue was horrible.

For appetizers, we ordered tuna tartare (my favorite) and oysters! For entrees, we ordered scallops and pizza. The food was nothing to write home about - it was ok. The service was fine - nothing to complain about. The atmosphere was whatever.


I had higher expectations from this restaurant as people are always raving about it in Bostonian magazines. It wasn't bad but it wasn't exceptional. The location is fantastic though.

Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage, Harvard Square


 
One of my girlfriend's had been raving about Mr. Bartley's burger joint since she was born. We decided to finally go and check out this supposedly phenomenal place in Harvard Square.

We arrive there, and shocking, I have to use the ladies' room. As the hostess was seating us outside, I kindly asked her where the restroom was located. She responded by saying they didn't have one and that I would have to walk two blocks down the street to use one at Panera Bread. Her exact quote after noticing my puzzled expression was, "we're grandfathered therefore we don't have a bathroom." Okay, cool. GREAT customer service. You have a full-service restaurant with tons of people inside and outside and no bathroom. WTF?


In any case, as annoyed as I was, I decided to go to Panera to use the loo. She promptly told us that if I was going to use the restroom, she wouldn't be able to seat us until the full party was present. My friend argued that the hostess knew I was there and was coming right back, so what's the big deal? Maybe if they had their own restroom, I wouldn't have to do that but now you won't seat us? That's LUDICROUS! Of course my feisty friend demanded to speak to the manager while I had to go take care of my own business.

When I came back to the restaurant, my friend informed me that they accepted cash only. Which place in 2012 DOESN'T accept credut cards. How much more stupid can this place get?

Out of sheer frustration with the stupidity of this restaurant, we decided to leave. This is the first time I am posting about a place that I didn't eat/drink at.

AWFUL, AWFUL, AWFUL customer service! If you are in the mood to get royally pissed off, please go to Mr. Bartley's... otherwise, STAY FAR AWAY!


Tamarind Bay, Washington Square


On Tuesday night, I was really craving Indian food. So, I headed over to Washington Square to check out a spot I have been interested in testing for a long time now - Tamarind Bay. Tamarind Bay boasts of servicing coastal Indian food which heightened my interest that much more. Coastal Indian - I'm thinking tons of fish dishes and Goan-ish food.


NOPE! It's typical Indian food that can be found in any Indian restaurant in Boston. Don't get me wrong, the food was FANTASTICHE but I was really hoping Tamarind Bay was going to offer something different.











In any case, I devoured saag paneer, bhindi, and pulao. OMG just saying these things makes my mouth water. SO delicious and I love the seating arrangements.

Though I didn't get my coastal Indian food, I do highly recommend Tamarind Bay. They are situated in a great, happening location and serve awesome food.

August 07, 2012

Thanks Marc Bertrand! (Sports Hub 98.5)


On this lovely Tuesday morning, I received a cute little gift in the mail - I got a t-shirt from Marc Bertrand, radio anchor of station 98.5 Sports Hub!

Thanks Marc - you totally made my day LOL.

Follow Marc on Twitter @ Marc_Bertrand and check out his segment on 98.5!

August 05, 2012

Forum, Back Bay

Yesterday afternoon, I needed a break from shopping at Lord & Taylor's huge sale, so I went to Forum on Boylston Street in the Back Bay. 


Forum is what used to VOX. It's fairly new - they just celebrated their 1st anniversary. There are so many popular restaurants surrounding Forum (Atlantic Fish Co, Abe & Louie's, L'Espalier, Sel de la Terre, Towne etc) so one would think that it'd be really hard to stand out. But, not so much. Forum effortlessly manages to attract patrons and serve them their delicious foods in their beautifully decorated restaurant. 

The venue itself is very spacious and grand. Vox used to be very dark and intimate but Forum is now huge, well lit, and very NYC-ish. I had tuna tartare and fish tacos for lunch. They were SO good and SO reasonably priced! I was actually shocked as to how reasonable the pricing on the menu was. 

Not much more to say because I was so pleased with the entire experience. Great location, excellent service, and delicious food. If you happen to be in the area and want to nom nom on fish tacos - go to Forum! 


PS. I'd be interested to know if Forum turns into a lounge or something on weekend evenings. With its sexy and open atmosphere, I bet it would be a great mingling place for single cats! ;) What a visual treat - what an improvement from VOX!

July 28, 2012

BrasserieJO, Back Bay (Colonnade Hotel)

Prime location - CHECK!
Critically-acclaimed chef - CHECK!
Valet parking - CHECK!
Colossal space - CHECK!
Outstanding wine collection - CHECK!
1st French restaurant in Boston - CHECK!















Given these amazing qualities that should equate to fabulous dining, I had the most DUD of an experience at BrasserieJO. 

Let me begin with the food. Not only was the bread cold, but it was so stale my teeth almost chipped. The food was oily from beginning until end. The escargot were completely tasteless. The entrecote was more of a roast beef than an actual entrecote (yet BrasserieJO boasts of being so authentically French - ya right!)

In my opinion, the atmosphere was anything but French. It was empty, quiet & music-less, and diner-like more than anything else. A French bistro wannabe is what it is! Considering it was a Friday night and such a happening location, I was shocked to see how empty the restaurant was. 

I imagine though, that the people who were there besides myself and friends, were tourists or first-timers who don't know what's good for them. The only thing this restaurant has going for itself is its catchy name and location in a classic Bostonian hotel. 


According to some reliable sources, the quality of food at BrasserieJO has significantly decreased. Decision makers at BrasserieJO, if you are listening, for your sake, please place more effort toward improving your food rather than folding your napkins oh so perfectly. You may have a chance of gaining your prestige and reputation. Sorry to say, but this was so disappointing... ciao. 





Trident Booksellers & Cafe, Newbury Street


How has it taken me 5 YEARS to check out Trident considering I'm always on Newbury Street like it's my job?

Trident Booksellers & Cafe is a one of a kind in Beantown.  It's a happening cafe amidst a book shop located at the beginning of Newbury Street if coming from Mass. Ave. It incorporates a unique theme of eating while reading. You walk in and instantly feel the energy of studious bookworms eager to eat their spinach omelets while memorizing the human anatomy. You can't help but get immersed into the intellectual environment. But I guess that's the whole idea... so you buy books too. 

Though the menu at the cafe offers standard American diner items, it's pretty delicious (such as the brie omelet...YUM!) Breakfast foods are options all day which is a HUGE plus! Seating arrangements are designed so that you can enjoy your grub while getting your biz done. The rustic, run-down atmosphere works for Trident as it makes you feel like you're in a library and but not a complete nerd! Hehe. 


I liked Trident so much that I came here twice in one week. I highly recommend this place if you are looking to get some work done but don't require dead-silence. Trident is an animated, engaging place where one can expect pleasure as well as productivity. Cheers! :D