Summer in Massachusetts Preview Party At Boston Chops

Boston Chops, Boston, Mass.

I recently attended a Summer in Massachusetts Preview Party at Boston Chops. The location of the party gave me a chance to finally see what Boston Chops was all about, and the theme of the party gave me the opportunity to learn about what's going on in MA this summer.

Boston Chops bills itself as an urban steak bistro rather than a steakhouse, and I noticed that while there was lots of dark wood and leather like typical old-school steakhouses boast, there was also lots of natural light (big windows), exposed brick, and a less heavy feel to the space.

Boston Chops, Boston, Mass.Cocktail menu at Boston Chops, Boston, Mass.

Lin and I both arrived early for the party, having made the trek over straight from work, so we grabbed seats at the bar and ordered some cocktails and apps to pass the time. A quick glance at the cocktail list, and I knew I was going with the Pamplemousse -- sparkling wine with grapefruit. (I can't get off this grapefruit drink kick.)

Pamplemousse at Boston Chops, Boston, Mass.

The bartender asked if we wanted popovers with our apps, and who says no to that? Of course we did. The popovers were served in small metal pans with a bowl of softened butter. I thought they were a tad overdone but was impressed at their lofty stature.

Napkins at Boston Chops, Boston, Mass.Popover at Boston Chops, Boston, Mass.

The menu has a section called "Rarely Celebrated" and lists things like bone marrow, sweetbreads, tripe, and tongue. The oxtail croquettes jumped out at me from this list, so Lin and I got some to share. I loved how these were cakes of meat with a crispy breading. I find that croquettes can sometimes be too bready and you're left wondering where the main ingredient is. That wasn't the case with these. The tender, flavorful oxtail was very prominent. The red pepper mostarda was slightly sweet and nicely complemented the croquettes.

Oxtail croquettes at Boston Chops, Boston, Mass.

We also split an order of brussels sprouts au canard. My guess was that this meant these were fried in duck fat. The brussels sprouts were served in an adorable Staub cocotte and were accompanied by crispy lardons. The brussels sprouts sitting in the oil at the bottom of the pot were the most flavorful, and I couldn't stop eating them.

Brussels sprouts au canard at Boston Chops, Boston, Mass.

Boston Chops on Urbanspoon

Once we'd had our fill at the bar, the Summer in Massachusetts Preview Party was kicking off, so we wandered over to see what it was all about. There were lots of pamphlets to pick up on activities in Massachusetts, as well as wine samples from Travessia. I'd recently tried Travessia's Riesling and loved it, so this time I sampled their rose. This could easily become one of my favorite summer wines.

Travessia wines

While at the party, I grabbed brochures on Travessia, the Massachusetts Wine & Cheese Trails, downtown New Bedford, and the coastal wine trail. I love that there are so many wine and cheese related things to do nearby.

We left with goodie bags filled with fun stuff from Bonnievilles, Harbor Sweets, and Robin's Candy. Bonnievilles makes these awesome power cookies. I got the salty peanut one in my bag and was instantly a fan of the soft, chewy cookie. Harbor Sweets shared some of their sweet sloops, and Robin's Candy gave us gift cards, so I need to make my way over to the shop one day soon.

What are your favorite things to do in Massachusetts during the summer? Me, I'm a Cape girl, but I can definitely see myself checking out some wineries around here too!

For those who entered the Firehouse Subs Giveaway, I used Random.org to select the winners, and they are: Alaine, Colleen, Latanya, Lucy, and Maria. Congrats! Please send me your mailing addresses!