Get your tickets for Friday!

I hope you haven’t forgotten to grab your tickets to TV Diner’s Platinum Plate Gala this Friday night! Check out my interview with Jenny Johnson for more info. It’s going to be a great time. I’ve been planning my outfit all week. ;)

Just as a reminder, here are the restaurants you’ll see or taste there:

Also, don’t forget about the charity auction with great items to bid on which will benefit Horizons for Homeless Children. This will be hosted by Billy Costa and Matt Siegel from the best morning show ever, Matty in the Morning. Can’t wait!

Please note: I received a complimentary ticket because I will be covering this lovely event for the daily craic. All opinions (as always) are my own, so is my genuine enthusiasm. Also, logo images from NECN.

The 5th Annual TV Diner Platinum Plate Gala

Getting ready for another Friday night curled up on the couch with a glass of wine watching reruns of How I Met Your Mother? (Oh, that’s just me? Awkward…)

Well, if the holidays were mostly dedicated to ‘family time’, and if your big New Year’s Eve party was a bust (there’s always too much pressure on NYE!), then you’re in need of a guaranteed fun night out. Lucky for you, I have just the event for you. The 5th Annual TV Diner Platinum Plate Gala (presented by Dadgar Insurance), which will be featuring over 30 of the finest restaurants and vendors in the New England area. They’ll be putting their best plate forward, while you’ll be sipping cocktails, mingling with local celebrities and dancing the night away courtesy of the Hip Pocket Orchestra. Keep in mind; this will all be taking place at the elegant and luxurious Seaport Boston Hotel – talk about a swanky night out on the town!

TV Diner Gala - Photo credit, NECN

You’re Invited:

When: Friday, January 20th from 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Where: Commonwealth Hall at the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center

1 Seaport Lane Boston, MA 02210 (617) 385-4000

Tickets: You can grab yours here

Restaurants / Vendors: Find out more about them here

Do you watch TV Diner? If you do, cheers! If you don’t, you should! It’s wonderful show – my go-to source for learning more about local restaurants that I inevitably want to try. I even got to see the taping of an episode last year, which was fantastic. :)

Along with the great recommendations, you’ll also get plenty of entertainment from the show; hosts Jenny Johnson and Billy Costa make a really fun and charming duo.

So from spots like the new Atlantic Wharf Smith and Wollensky, to Vlora, the Back Bay’s hip Mediterranean spot – Jenny and Billy visit all kinds of places in Boston, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and beyond! Check them out on NECN weeknights at 7:30 p.m., or Saturdays / Sunday’s at either 10:00 a.m. or 7:00 p.m. And don’t forget about their Facebook and Twitter pages.

Lucky enough, I got to catch up with the fabulous Jenny Johnson recently about this year’s TV Diner Platinum Plate Gala – the culinary event of the year. Check out all the details below, and I hope to see you at the Gala!

Jenny Johnson - Photo credit, NECN

CM: This is the 5th annual Platinum Plate Gala. How long have you been with TV Diner?

JJ: I’ve been with TV Diner for over 6 years. I started as an Associate Producer, became Executive Producer and on air talent one year later – expanding my role on air with Billy.

CM:  Speaking of Billy Costa, he seems great! What’s the best part about working with him?

JJ: Billy is amazing – the finest of entertainers, one of the most hilarious human beings you will ever meet as well as the most dedicated to his work. There is never a dull moment when working with Billy!

CM: How many restaurants will be present at the Gala?

JJ: Over 40 participants – there are 30+ actual restaurants, some specialty vendors like Piantedosi Bread, Cedars etc. and featured spirit brands.

CM: What has been your favorite part of the Gala in the past?

JJ: The Gala really is the culinary event of the year – it is the ultimate night for foodies. My favorite part is seeing TV Diner Nation all gussied up – ready to eat, drink and dance the night away!

CM: What is the attire?

JJ: I always say that it’s Black-tie Optional, but a very small majority of men wear tuxes. Women I say – go all out – if you have that dress that you’ve been dying to wear, this is the night to wear it!

CM: Is it a sit down dinner, or more of a mingling type event? What’s the atmosphere like?

JJ: No sit down – there are some tables, but this is a tasting so in between eating people are mostly dancing to the 15+ person Hip Pocket Orchestra.

CM: The auction at the Gala will benefit Horizons for Homeless Children – a great charity. How did you guys get involved with them?

JJ: Horizon’s and Comcast have a wonderful relationship – NECN/CSN/Comcast has a long-term relationship with the non-profit and we are dedicated to bringing awareness throughout New England.

CM: What’s your favorite restaurant in Boston?

JJ: My favorite restaurant…that is so hard!…What am I eating? I always have a great meal at BarLola in the Back Bay – but I usually need a dish and I can give a better answer. Love Sorellina, Taranta, Taberno de Haro…it’s too hard, we are so spoiled with great restaurants!

CM: Outside of Boston?

JJ: Outside of Boston? Arrows or MC in Maine – love the owners, love the atmosphere love the food.

CM: What’s your New Year’s resolution for 2012? (If you have one!)

JJ: New Year’s resolution – yoga 3x a week – EVERY WEEK WITHOUT FAIL – I need to remember to breathe! {Tell me about it!}

Thanks so much Jenny!

TV Diner!

My co-worker, Heidi was nice enough to invite me to a taping of TV Diner today – it was such a good time!

It was a laid back, casual atmosphere. The show was filmed at the Viking Center in Westwood – it was cool to see the test kitchen and poke around the absolutely beautiful showroom designed by Westborough Design Center (one day I’ll have a big, gorgeous kitchen to cook in, right?) Lee from the Viking Center kindly answered all our questions and Ryan, the Associate Producer of TV Diner was very accommodating (and so nice!). The chefs – Joe Bartel from Flemings, Mario Capone from Towne and Michael Scelfo from Russell House Tavern – were all friendly and obviously really talented. Let me tell you – they each have their respective jobs for a damn good reason (trust me, we got to try all the food).

And of course, the lovely Billy Costa! It was fun getting the chance to chat and hang out with him. He’s very nice! Random bit of trivia – he went to Merrimack (where I graduated from) for two years and played hockey. So funny!

Check out some photos from my TV Diner adventure (thanks again Heidi!)

The Viking Center


More than 3

Almost ready to start!

Delicious filets


Filet & crab meat stuffed shrimp. AMAZING

Celery root & apple bisque with (I believe it was) a hazelnut flan. Out of this world

Can I have this please?

Love this one!


Love love love

Heidi hamming it up with her husband Brian and Billy Costa

My bud Billy and I with lots of lamb



Mmm mmm good

If today taught me anything, it was the fact that there are still SO many restaurants in Boston that I need…well maybe not need, but reeeally want to go to, including: Towne, Flemings and Russell House Tavern. I seriously have to get moving!

Don’t forget – Restaurant Week is rapidly approaching. Might just be the perfect time to check out both Flemings and Russell House. Towne, don’t you worry, I’ll be visiting you soon too. ;)

Paul Pierce! (And 100 Days of Kindness, Day 52)

To be quite honest, sometimes I surprise the crap out of myself.

A few weeks ago I read about The Truth Strikes Again Celebrity Bowling Tournament. I saw that there was an email address for more information on media access at the event. A light bulb quickly turned on – ding! – once I read that, I just had to take my chances and email to see if I would be able to go.

A few weeks passed and I forgot about my magical email. Until – ding! – a response. The email read, “We will add you to the media list.” Who me? Really? Is this a joke?

Turns out it wasn’t a joke (luckily) and I headed off to Foxwoods last Friday evening after work, to attend the bowling tournament hosted by one of my favorite people in the world, Paul Pierce. You see, I’ve always had a knack of getting my mind set on something happening – then setting out to make it happen – and a lot of the times it actually does happen. So, if I may be frank, I’d like to give myself a little pat on the back for making this one happen. I always knew I’d meet #34.

Not only was I pumped to go to this event because I knew I’d meet some of the Celtics or other local celebrities, I was also excited to learn more about The Truth Fund (which started in 2002 in order to “make an impact on the lives of underprivileged youth”). The Truth on Health Campaign launched in 2009 to “help empower and encourage young people to lead healthier lifestyles  by incorporating physical fitness and healthy eating into their daily lives and by encouraging a commitment to being active for at least 60 minutes per day.” FitClub 34 provides the tools and resources children need to maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep their (age-appropriate) workouts fresh.

This event was sponsored by USI, Foxwoods and the High Rollers Luxury Lanes and Lounge. Some of those in attendance were fellow Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Kendrick Perkins, Big Baby, Nate Robinson, Avery Bradley and Marquis Daniels as well as YOUK, Billy Costa, Maria Menounos (originally from Medford) and Ramiro (94.5).

I truly think it’s amazing that Pierce has dedicated a lot of his time on making sure that children around the US – aren’t playing video games all day, that they are actually getting off the couch and moving around a bit. If these young sports fans see that Pierce is promoting these ideas, hopefully they will think it’s cool to exercise! It’s always genuinely nice to see a rich, famous person use their ‘power’ in a positive way.

Check out the event:


Celebrity Chef Ming Tsai


The Truth Strikes Again

Maria Menounos


High Rollers

The wives

Billy Costa


Billy Costa

The Truth

Let the games begin!

Paul Pierce


The Truth




Checkin out the scores




Just can't believe it

Getting the group shot together

Almost there..




Fab place

Really? Is this happening?

Some of the live action:


What a great night it was! Everyone was so friendly and the event was awesome. Thank you to Megan for letting me come. :)


My kindness for today: I expressed genuine happiness and love towards someone who shared very exciting news with me.