Sumaira Flower

Sumaira Flower

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!