Friday, December 4, 2009

A Seaport Staycation, Part 2: Family Friendly Meals at Aura & Flour

As part of the Seaport-Family Friendly Friday package, you and your family can enjoy a meal Aura and to try the cuisine of Chef Rachel Klein. (You can enjoy the Family Friendly meals each Friday, regardless of whether you stay at the Seaport. For more photos and details on our past experiences click here or here. Note, too, that the Seaport Hotel and Aura treated us to our stay there and our meal at Aura.) After we checked out the Seaport's pool, it was a treat to then head downstairs for dinner.
The food was as good as it as been on our two other dining experiences. This time my favorite part of the meal was the grapefruit pulp that accompanied a perfectly cooked salmon.
It added the acidity of any citrus, with a touch of sweetness. It also balanced the richness of the parsnip puree and chamomile beurre blanc. In fact, it was so good, that I may have to try this combination at home.
My husband's chicken was done well, but I couldn't get enough of the side dish: mini brussel sprouts that were tossed with plump gnocchi and a shallot cream sauce.
As always our kids ate their share of chicken tenders, fresh carrots and peas, and noodles with a delicious homemade tomato sauce. The restaurant (or Chef Rachel as my son now calls her) inspires me when they take the courage to serve carrots, barely steamed and whole.
So frequently restaurants over-cook the carrots in hopes that children will enjoy them. My kids prefer the texture and tastes of these.

Our desserts were the best we have had at the family friendly nights. One of the highlights for our boys are the enormous bowls of berries. My husband's favorite was the rosemary apple tart that was served with an apple cider reduction.
I fell for the mini-pumpkin tart with crisp, spiced pecans. So often pumpkin pies are a sweet homogeneous plate of pumpkin on pie dough. The nuts made the dish infinitely more interesting and delicious.
As always, my boys loved the chance to play with blocks, to interact with other kids and to draw while we finished our meal in the adjacent room, all key elements of Aura's Family Dining. However, this night had an additional special treat as it was also a fund-raiser for ReadBoston. This organization is a not-for profit that addresses early literacy in Boston schools and aims to have all children reading by third grade. This meant that Curious George (one of my sons' heroes) was there to dole out hugs, while we were able to add to our Curious George collection and contribute to ReadBoston.

The next morning, part of the package includes a trip to the Children's Museum. While we could have had breakfast at the Seaport, we chose to go to one of our all time favorites: Flour, located just behind the Children's Museum.
One son was smitten with a blueberry muffin top, while the other shared delectable French toast (made with their foccacia), and a cranberry muffin that was full of berries. I loved the pumpkin seeds that graced my pumpkin muffin, as well as their tender egg sandwiches with a dijon sauce. The meal helped us to have energy to tackle the Children's Museum despite limited sleep the night before.

Finally-Aura is offering two special events this month: today, on Friday, December 4th will be a Hanukkah meal, while on December 18th it will be a Christmas themed evening. Just check their website for more details or click HERE to see the calender of events.

Aura, Family Friendly Nights at the Seaport Hotel, 1 Seaport Lane, Boston, 617-385-4300
Flour, 12 Farnsworth Street, at Fort Point in South Boston, 617-338-4333

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