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Boston Parents Paper Best of the Best 2011
Our Family Favorite Award Winners
Favorite Romantic Night Out
597 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 617-524-8810
5 Craigie Circle, Cambridge, 617-576-5444
133 Bradford Street, Provincetown, 508-487-0106
Whether it’s a sidewalk bistro, a little hideaway tucked into an exclusive neighborhood, or a seaside Victorian home, Ten Tables gives you three delightful options for a romantic dinner for two. This restaurant prides itself on gourmet fare lovingly crafted from fresh, local produce and meats. The Jamaica Plain location literally houses only 10 tables in a brick-walled sidewalk storefront; the Cambridge location, while slightly larger, seems almost hidden just below ground level in a quiet apartment complex amid stately mansard-roofed homes. And the newest location in Provincetown is a restored Victorian home with dining on two floors, a beautiful fireplace and an outdoor patio. The menu, different at each site, offers innovative takes on vegetarian entrées, fresh fish, chicken, pork and beef. Try the tasting menu – a secret chef’s-choice series of courses. Desserts beckon with a chocolate and sea salt terrine, a Meyer lemon cheesecake and more, while the wine list is broad and coffee includes a French press service.
Favorite Mom’s Night Out
The Melting Pot
– 213 Burlington Road, Bedford/Burlington, 781-791-0529
– 76 Arlington St., Boston, 617-357-7007
– 92 Worcester Road, Framingham/Natick, 508-875-3115
Who doesn’t like fondue? Homemade bread dipped in gooey, mouth-watering cheese, meats and seafood in oil or, most especially, fruit, cookies and more dipped in melted chocolate. Our readers gave enthusiastic nods to Massachusetts’ three Melting Pot restaurants for a Mom’s Night Out. With three Eastern Massachusetts locations, this international chain of eateries offers a variety of fondue and wine options, from the full four-course fondue-themed meal – cheese fondue, salad, a main entrée and dessert – or a cheese fondue and wine pairing or a decadent chocolate fondue dessert. The Melting Pot actively caters to ladies’ night out, offering the chance to sit, eat, drink and just chat for as long as you like – and to indulge in a girl-loved delicacy, chocolate-covered strawberries!
232 Patriot Place, Foxborough, 508-623-1195
Girls just wanna have fun, right? At Bar Louie, at the Patriot Place shopping, dining and entertainment complex at Foxborough Stadium, you and your mom pals can gather for fun martinis (such as the Louie’s Cosmo, Strawberry Fizz or Caffeinator), microbrews and wines. Hungry? Enjoy the Crispy Calamari, the popular Bavarian Pretzel (with three sauces) and other creative appetizers, or quell your cravings with one of Bar Louie’s oversized sandwiches. This is a hip, happening place and it can get quite crowded and noisy. So come early if you prefer a slightly slower, quieter pace.
Parenting Gold: 20 Award-Winning Products That Bring Out Your Parenting Best|
Our 2011 National Parenting Publications Awards for Parenting Resources feature books, gear, web sites and more to make your parenting lives easier. Here, we list the 20 gold-winning products. For all of this year's winners, visit NAPPAawards.com.
Creative Moms Share Their Best Birthday Party Ideas|
Massachusetts moms offer some fun and easy ideas for breathing new life into birthday parties, offering tips on everything from party themes to favors to thank-you notes.
Relationships: When Your Mother-in-Law's Comments Hurt|
What to do when your mother-in-law's critical comments about your parenting are hurtful and frustrating? A local psychologist and our readers weigh in with advice.
Bakeries, ice cream, family restaurants and sweets
Meeting the Needs of the Profoundly Gifted|
Profoundly gifted kids have different, but very real, special needs. Intellectually advanced kids can have trouble making friends and, if not challenged at school, can become bored and disruptive. Here's what you can do to help them thrive.
Rate Your Earth-Friendly Efforts|
A Newton mom is the brainchild behind the website Practically Green (http://practicallygreen.com), which quizzes you on how "green"-friendly you are and shows you how to take steps to improve the health of the environment
Concussions: Recovery is More Than Sitting Out a Game|
New state regulations aimed at better protecting child athletes from the dangers of concussions focus on educating adults on how to recognize a concussion and on how long a child might need to recover, physically and cognitively.
Great Alternative Sports for Kids|
Not all kids like the go-to sports of football, soccer, baseball and basketball. Here's a look at four alternative sports that are great for kids – badminton, fencing, synchronized swimming and Double Dutch!