I think someone must have waved fairy dust on me last week because I found myself the lucky winner of brunch at the Bristol Lounge at The Four Seasons in Boston. The contest was through a local group of foodies, Boston Brunchers, and we had to give the Four Seasons staff our best arguments for why we should be chosen.
I’m a lawyer. I know how to throw down. Instead of going the foodie route and laying down my culinary credentials, I went for straight pity.
I have a full-time job, a spouse who works crazy hours, and an autistic toddler at home. At our house, brunch doesn’t get more exciting than pancakes. If we’re lucky, pancakes with blueberries. But let’s be honest, usually it’s cereal. I would love to get a little break from the hustle of the house to enjoy what your chefs can do and remember back in the day when I used to spend all day cooking.
And the pity card totally worked.
To get my frumpy self all ready for the fabulousness of the Four Seasons, I decided to go preppy. White sundress, green cardi and even my real pearls.
(The only downside of swank bathrooms that I have found is the low lighting.)
The major problem with my outfit came down to one thing: footwear. I have been scouring the city for good, comfy flats and I’ve been failing miserably. I have some cute shoes, but they had to be up for my public transit trek. Thus my feet ended up like this:
Yup, my scuffed neutral sandals and unpainted toes on display for all the world to see. Luckily they didn’t kick me out when I got there.
The Boston Four Seasons is right across from the Boston Public Garden and the Common. It’s a great view, and the Bristol Lounge where we were brunching had big, beautiful windows.
Not sure anyone’s noticed they’re flying a Canadian flag AND a Bruins flag. Didn’t realize that was legal in Boston right now.
I met my fellow brunchers and we were greeted by Kristan from the Four Seasons PR Team. Before we started eating we headed upstairs to the Pastry Shop, one of 6 in house kitchen. (One is a totally refrigerated kitchen where they do all their salads and sushi!) It didn’t surprise me to learn that most hotels these days farm out their pastries (so many blah desserts at hotels and conferences) but The Four Seasons still does all their own stuff in this tiny little kitchen.
Chefs Ashley and Lenore were nice enough to take a little break from their work to show us around and teach us a few tricks. They were prepping for a baby shower, thus these adorable plates:
Don’t you wish you were talented enough to prep your plates like that?
Well, yours truly is now a certified expert in Writing in Chocolate.
In fact, I’d say my Writing in Chocolate skills vastly exceed my cursive skills. (Did you know I failed Handwriting in the 5th grade? Not because I had such bad handwriting but because I never turned in my worksheets. But still. FAILED.)
Actually, I think our group did a pretty impressive job given our experience level. Want to hire us for your next party?
Can you tell we all had brunch on the brain?
Of course, none of us had quite the skills of Chef Ashley:
The man just has the touch.
He was also incredibly kind and gracious. Can you believe we didn’t use any kind of fancy writing tools? Just melted chocolate, parchment paper and our own two hands. He took the time to teach me the secret to making your own writing-in-chocolate-or-anything-else tool. Maybe if you’re nice to me, I might tell you, too.
I think we were all a little hesitant to leave the cozy and warm shop, but they sent us down with a bag of goodies and the promise of a plate of scones to be sent to the table.
After our exciting pre-brunch activity, we finally made it to the Bristol Lounge!
The service was impeccable. Kristan showed us around. We had a table reserved. We had a doting waiter. We got visits from the Manager and the Executive Chef.
The food was, of course, amazing. For me the highlights were the lovely little skillets of Huevos Rancheros, the Croissant French Toast and (believe it or not) the Poached Pears. To prove how good the service was, I asked one of the girls at the hot stations what they poached the pears in. She didn’t know but said she would find out. Two minutes later while I waited for my custom-made omelet, she came back and told me they were poached in water, white wine and sugar. That’s service! Now if only I’d thought to have them give me their exact recipe…
Here’s a peak at some of the sights of the buffet.
Everything there was made in-house. And you could really see it in the details. See all those little jars? All for little homemade sauces and goodies. Like pickled green tomatoes, homemade cream cheese, jam, etc.
If you’re not quite up for mixed greens and goat cheese at breakfast, don’t worry, there was plenty for the more basic palate. Scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, home fries, and the aforementioned omelet bar. I also loved these little parfait shooters. It’s the first time I’ve seen them in real life, before they only seemed to exist on episodes of Top Chef.
As if that wasn’t enough, there was also their new signature brunch drink, a New England take on the Bloody Mary: the Lobster Trap. Made with tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, celery salt, fresh tarragon. I could really tell it was a fresh-made Bloody Mary. Who needs a mix? It had a nice kick. And, you know, the lobster claw.
Once the scones made their way down, they didn’t disappoint. You know how scones are usually a little dry and on the crumbly side? These were moist and sweet. Plus they were served with lemon curd, strawberry jam and devonshire cream. The cream was light and smooth, the jam was incredibly rich, I could’ve eaten a whole meal of just those scones.
Sadly, with all the other food to eat, I could only handle 1 scone. The group almost came to blows over who would take home the leftovers. Lucky for us the Manager happened to overhear our conversation and returned with gift bags with 2 extra scones for us.
It was a truly amazing experience and I felt like such a VIP. The Lounge has a great spring menu serving comfort food with a twist, including Rabbit Pot Pie and Meatloaf with Porcini Gravy. I hear they have amazing burgers. And after those scones, I think I’m going to have to take my Mom to their daily Afternoon Tea so she can experience it. (She is a fiend for lemon curd.)
They not only do brunch but lunch, dinner and have a full bar for cocktails. I loved the cozy corner couches scattered through the place. (And I might have peeked at the TV over the bar to check on the French Open a couple of times. Go Rafa!)
I’ve been disappointed by many a hotel restaurant, even when the hotel itself is the height of style and luxury. But the Four Seasons Boston far surpassed what I’ve had elsewhere. Every detail was perfect and the food was delectable.
I’m so excited to go back. I’m also excited to see the Boston Brunchers again soon!
Oh, and my apologies for the camera-phone pics. If you want to see what a really good camera and a talented photographer can do with our fabulous brunch, I suggest you check out this writeup from Justin at F2%.
Thanks to the Four Seasons, who provided us a free Brunch. The contest was put on by Boston Brunchers and the Bristol Lounge and we were not required to blog the event. I blogged it because I want my tummy to remember how grand it was!