The Feast of Seven Fishes

as seen in Scene Magazine on 12.15.2012

View the article in Scene Magazine.

The Feast of Seven Fishes, also known as La Vigilia or “The Vigil,” is a phrase you are sure to come across at a multitude of Italian restaurants this season. Known as one of the most important Italian culinary traditions in the calendar year, it’s a Christmas Eve meal that dates back centuries to its origins in Southern Italy. Today many distinguish The Vigil as a grand extravagance of edible delicacies—some even expanding it into a month-long affair—but historically, the meal was strictly viewed as an abstinence to commemorate the midnight birth of baby Jesus.

Deeply rooted in religion, The Vigil began in the early Roman Catholic days when it was customary to refrain from consuming meat and milk products on Holy Days. While the name points to a 7-course meal of seafood served over Christmas Eve, the significance of the number seven is still unknown and many who celebrate The Vigil cook up to eleven, even thirteen unique dishes.

According to the legend, those who participated in the feast would have good luck and fortune in the year to come. Observant Catholics often ate the famous traditional dish Baccalà, or dried and salted cod fish. Today this dish is still served, along with seafood such as fried smelts and calamari, and the aspect of rejoicing with a simple fish can again be traced back to the impoverished regions of Southern Italy.

Now adopted by a variety of cultures, The Vigil has countless variations that have been passed down through generations. To this day many Italian-American families continue to celebrate the custom here in Boston, utilizing the bounty of seafood available in the area. Over the years more types of seafood have become incorporated into the meal, including indulgences such as zeppoles, or fritters, and crab stuffed mushrooms.

The widely recognized and renowned North End restaurant Mare will carry on with the tradition this year with a 6-course prix fixe dinner offered through the entire month of December. Owned by the famed Frank DePasquale, Mare has been honored for both its seafood and overall dining experience by a multitude of prestigious publications, including Esquire and Food and Wine Magazine.

Executive Chef Greg Jordan has been at Mare for 5 years and he’s never wavered from creating a special holiday Feast of Seven Fishes menu. “Mare has celebrated this tradition since before I started working here,” said Jordan. “Naturally, we have a large seafood dinner with different types of fish incorporated. But there have become some favorites on the menu, such as the whipped salt cod and polenta dish Baccalà Mantecato, which we’ll be continuing this year.”

The prix fixe menu will feature local oysters topped with limoncello ice and caviar, house cured salmon, and spaghetti with mussels. Along with the Baccalà Mantecato, Mare will also be serving Fritto Misto, or semolina coated tiger shrimp with scallops, whole belly clams, and calamari with a meyer lemon aioli. The final dish on the 6-course menu is the Branzino al Saor, a pan fried branzino—the Italian version of seabass—over butter braised cauliflower agrodolce and white bean purée.

While The Vigil is often celebrated today in a more lavish way than in centuries past, the fact that the tradition has been kept alive is what’s important. “It originally stemmed from an abstinence from meat, but now I’d say it’s more about the company you have,” explained Jordan. “It’s about the people you choose to dine with and the act of sharing conversation over a big meal and wine—that’s the main aspect of the tradition we want to foster here at Mare.”

The DateOver

Scene Stealers

as seen in Scene Magazine on 12.15.2012

View the article in Scene Magazine.

You could be in need of a full-scale Dateover and not even know it! Created by experienced matchmaker Emily Romano, the Dateover is an all-in-one Boston-based dating service, dating consultation company and dating concierge. So become the most dateable you with the Dateover philosophy, which presents an image and lifestyle makeover specifically tailored to your personal goals and needs.

CEO Emily Romano developed the idea for the Dateover when she recognized that instead of matching individuals together on dates, she could match individuals with the services they needed to learn to date on their own. With an all-inclusive network of industry professionals at her fingertips, Romano offers date coaching and image consulting in person, informing clients of the areas they could improve upon and setting up those respective appointments.

“The idea came about organically when I realized I couldn’t do what I wanted in the capacity of a matchmaker," said Romano. " Now with Dateover, we have people getting tangible results and it all tracks back to confidence. As a matchmaker I couldn’t address all the underlying issues, but with this completely new design clients are becoming empowered and learning how to act in social situations on their own.”

Membership is a year long, with the first three months focused on the transformation. For the remainder of the membership, the Dateover maintains your results and assists in helping you meet new people. Members enjoy access to weekly events and service discounts, along with anything from wardrobe consultation to accent reduction to one-on-one talk therapy.

With the Dateover network on your side, you are guaranteed an individual plan to make you more confident, more striking, and ultimately more dateable. Check out the site at to set up your very own 2-hour consultation with a Dateover professional.

John Varvatos Adds his personal touch to patron anejo tequila

Scene Stealers

as seen in Scene Magazine on 12.15.2012

View the article in Scene Magazine.

Patron’s infamous tequila bottle will be getting a special holiday makeover this season with the help of legendary fashion icon John Varvatos. He has partnered with Patron Spirits to redesign the Patron Anejo bottle, which features a limited edition bottle stopper and gift box this holiday season. Decorated with the Patron bee and a miniature guitar head complete with tuning keys, the design reflects Varvatos’ rugged rock ‘n’ roll style while continuing to honor Patron’s commitment to excellence. The trademark look of the Patron bottle has never before been altered, so this first-ever design collaboration is exclusive and undeniably distinctive.

Known for his laid-back attitude and edgy, masculine take on fashion, Varvatos represents an entire men’s lifestyle with the brand he launched in 2000. “As a fan of Patron tequila for many years, I thought we’d lend a little rock ‘n’ roll attitude to the brand,” said Varvatos. “I hope everyone enjoys this limited edition stopper for many years to come.”

Patron Anejo consists of a rareblend of finely aged tequilas, all aged in individual white oak barrels for a minimum of 12 months. Much like the winemaking process, each vintage of Patron Anejo is carefully crafted to make every sip smooth and inimitable. Whether you’re simply a fan of great tequila or interested in having an exclusive collector’s item, these bottles will be available at select retailers by November 2012. †

Presenting DJ Jimmie Espo, CEO & Founder of Move it Music DJ and Lighting

Scene Stealers

as seen in Scene Magazine on 04.05.2013

DJ Espo has been a successful disc jockey for more than 20 years. His resume spans from performing at Boston’s hottest nightclubs to providing flawless wedding experiences.

After launching Move it Music in 1998, he transitioned his exceptional DJ skills to the wedding entertainment industry. With his fresh approach of mixing the classics with current dance hits, DJ Espo packs reception dance floors just as he did the clubs.

Jimmie has been recommended by a multitude of the area’s elite wedding venues and performs at nearly 100 weddings annually throughout New England. He’s been featured as a wedding entertainment expert in magazines such as Brides and Newport Bride, along with numerous wedding blogs and online channels. Additionally, Jimmie has co-authored two books—How to Plan the Perfect New England Wedding and The Ultimate Wedding Reception—which both contain advice and interviews from more than 15 top wedding professionals.

What sets DJ Espo apart from the rest is his attention to detail and love for his craft. He supplies ultra-modern LED lighting effects, custom monogram designs, and an exclusive, state-of-the-art photo kiosk he created himself, called the “Air Booth.” DJ Espo and the Move it Music team are dedicated to fulfilling all their client’s needs and wants, following the company’s core belief that it’s Your Vision, Your Style, Your Day!

This coming year, DJ Espo will perform at some of the most glamorous and prominent venues in Boston, including the Westin Copley Place, Fairmont Copley Plaza, Hotel Marlowe, Marriott Long Wharf, Park Plaza, and Ritz Boston Common. Today, he is one of the most sought-after premier DJs in New England. By providing a first class wedding experience for every client, DJ Jimmie Espo exceeds client’s expectations on a regular basis. This is why Jimmie’s reputation even exceeds itself.

Tia's Topside

Scene Stealers

as seen in Scene Magazine on 04.05.2013

Lori Lilly of Tia’s Restaurant on the Waterfront will be reopening not one, but two beautiful locations this season. Tia’s of Boston—which will be swinging back into its 32nd year on April 15th—is a well-established seafood eatery famous for its lobster rolls and prime location on the water. While the second location has a waterside view of its own, it offers guests a completely unique atmosphere. Situated at the top of a hill overlooking the Lower Village of Kennebunk, Maine, Lori Lilly welcomes any and all to the enchanting Tia’s Topside.

Upon entering Tia’s Topside, a fire blazes on the patio and a set of granite steps leads you into the restaurant. The place has a modern, nautical feel with a two-story porch and a fire pit. Though it is more upscale than the original Tia’s, this quaint beach house provides a casual yet elegant experience that makes guests feel as if they’re in a friend’s home.

The boutique restaurant fits 150 guests inside, compared to 450 at Tia’s in Boston. Its romantic and intimate setting has become a popular space for special events such as baby showers and wedding receptions.

Lori Lilly chose the location because she loves the charm of Kennebunk, Maine. Set in a dynamic little village, she hopes to bring the success of Boston’s Tia’s to a Kennebunk setting. The restaurant will reopen on May 3rd for its third year running. Tia’s Topside is also open for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, with a daily happy hour from 3-6 p.m.

Bacardi Debuts Pineapple Fusion

Scene Stealers

as seen in Scene Magazine on 04.05.2013

This April, Bacardi is set to release Pineapple Fusion, the newest addition to the Bacardi Flavored Rum family. The brand’s most heavily supported flavor launch to date, Pineapple Fusion blends the sweet notes of pineapple rum with a hint of coconut to deliver a drink that’s bursting with Caribbean flavors.

As the largest privately held, family-owned spirits company in the world, Bacardi has been starting parties for more than 150 years. Its newest fusion flavor is now available, and Bacardi will keep the party going with an unforgettable taste experience. Try Bacardi Pineapple Fusion mixed or or straight, or concoct your own unique recipe at your next social gathering.

Boston Athletic Companies Go the Distance

New Balance, Converse, Puma & Reebok

as seen in Scene Magazine on 04.05.2013

The Boston Marathon is quickly approaching in less than a month, which will attract roughly 500,000 spectators—easily New England’s most widely viewed sporting event. Always held on Patriots’ Day, it is hard to fathom that the world’s oldest annual marathon began in 1897 with a grand total of only 18 participants.

And with the marathon comes much chatter of various fitness trends, running tips and training secrets. But what many Bostonians may be unaware of is that our fair city is home to four of the world’s leading sports footwear manufacturers, each with a unique history of its own.


New Balance, originally founded as New Balance Arch Support Company, launched as a private company in Brighton, Massachusetts in 1906. It was founded by William J. Riley and began as a company that only manufactured arch supports and orthopedic shoes. New Balance’s first product, a flexible arch support, was designed with three support points—a concept which Riley took from observing chickens in his yard after he noticed their three-clawed feet resulted in perfect balance.

The company made its first shoe, “The Trackster,” in 1960, which was the world’s first running shoe to come in varying widths and made with a ripple sole. New Balance strived for excellence, and while it earned a solid reputation from its customers, it remained a small, Northeastern enterprise for decades. Even as late as 1972, New Balance consisted of only 5 employees making 30 pairs of shoes a day.

On the day of the 1972 Boston Marathon, current Chairman Jim Davis bought the company for $100,000. Davis looked to expand New Balance into a global company. With the era of recreational jogging exploding in the mid-70’s, sales grew rapidly at New Balance and its product line expanded extensively. Incredibly, in less than 40 years, New Balance transformed itself from a company of 5 employees selling primarily through mail order to a corporation of more than 4,000 employees—one of the largest makers of sports footwear in the world.

The current Boston headquarters is located at 20 Guest Street, near the Massachusetts Turnpike in Brighton. The company has recently released detailed plans for a new world headquarters to be built atop the currently existing structure in Brighton. The construction, which is expected to begin this year, will include a $500 million real estate development over 14 acres as well as a commuter rail station.


Converse Rubber Shoe Company was established in Malden, Massachusetts by Marquis Mills Converse. Converse published a catalogue in 1913 that emphasized its core philosophy. It read, “Our company was organized in 1908 fully believing that there was an earnest demand from the retail sneaker dealer for a rubber sneaker company that would be independent enough not to follow every other company in every thing they do.”

In 1917, the company took a chance on a game that hadn’t reached popularity in the sports world yet—and that sport goes by the name of basketball. After crafting an elite shoe for the professional basketball league, Converse and basketball became practically synonymous. The company began sponsoring a team named The Converse All Stars, a team that just so happened to possess the legendary player Charles “Chuck” Taylor. Taylor became a salesman and athlete for the company, which lent to the creation of a shoe that’s still in style today: The Chuck Taylor All Stars. By the 1960’s, more than 90% of professional and college basketball players were wearing Chucks.

Throughout the years, Converse evolved into a shoe that represented a wide range of cultures. When World War II came along, the company began to manufacture a scope of products for servicemen overseas including boots, parkas, and rubber protective suits. Decade by decade, the Chuck Taylor All Stars became the footwear of choice for a variety of groups. The rise of the grunge era in the 1980’s allowed Converse to broaden its horizons from solely athletic-wear to casual footwear.

Celebrating the spirit of originality and rebellion not only in sports but also in humanity as a whole, Converse continues to be welcomed into the lives of many. As of today more than 800 million pairs of chucks have been sold, and are the best selling basketball shoe of all time. 60% of Americans have owned at least one pair of chucks over a span of more than 80 years.

After a decade at its current headquarters located in North Andover, Converse recently announced that the brand would relocate to a larger headquarters in Greater Boston in April 2015. Owned by Nike since 2003, the company plans to occupy more than 186,000 square feet of space in a two-story building across from the TD Garden.

In mid-2011, Converse opened a state-of-the-art recording studio in Brooklyn, NY. Called Converse Rubber Tracks, it’s there to provide musicians with free high-quality studio time. Always invested in originality, the company hopes to be “a catalyst for creativity” for the NY music scene and give back to the community through inspiration.


If it weren’t for a bitter rivalry between brothers, there is a pretty good chance that neither Puma nor Adidas would exist today. In the 1920’s, brothers Adolf (nicknamed Adi) and Rudolph Dassler began a shoemaking business together in the little-known town of Herzogenaurach, West Germany. The Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory began making shoes in their mother’s laundry room, and was powered at times by riding a stationary bike hooked up to their equipment.

After constantly fighting about everything from the future of the company to the wives they’d selected, the two eventually parted ways. Adi went on to create Adidas in the plant they once shared, and Rudolf officially set up a rival shop across the river on October 1, 1948. For a short time, Rudolf’s company was named Ruda. He quickly changed it to Puma, the Spanish word for cougar. It was formally named PUMA Schuhfabrik Rudolf Dassler [Rudolph Dassler shoe factory].

Puma was the first sports shoe manufactured to utilize advanced durability production technology. The same year it was founded, Puma launched its first football boot: the “ATOM.” The company’s focus on innovative techniques, technological improvements, and fashionable utility has endured throughout the years.

The brand has graced the feet of some of the most legendary athletes in history. Such icons include footballers Lothar Matthäus and Diego Maradonna, New York Knicks basketball player Walt “Clyde” Frazier, and track star Usain Bolt. At the opening whistle of the 1970 World cup finals match, Pelé—widely considered to be the greatest soccer player of all time—knelt down to tie the laces of his Pumas. Upon request of a Puma representative, this move gave millions a close-up view of the brand. For wearing the shoes, Pelé was handsomely rewarded with the sizeable figure of $120,000.

Today, PUMA distributes in more than 120 countries and employs more than 9,000 people worldwide. The brand blends influences of sport, lifestyle and fashion, a fusion christened “Sportlifestyle.” The Boston headquarters is located downtown at 1 Congress Street. At PUMA’s retail store on 333 Newbury Street, there is a live DJ set every Saturday and Sunday.


Joseph William Foster established Reebok for one fundamental reason: to make athletes run faster. He created the world’s first spiked running shoes in 1890, handcrafting them for an elite clientele of international athletes. In 1895, Foster expanded his UK-based shoemaking company into a family-owned business, titling the brand J.W. Foster and Sons. It was not until 1958 that Foster’s grandsons, Joe and Jeff, renamed the company Reebok. The name was inspired by the Dutch word “rhebok,” a type of African gazelle.

Reebok jumped into the US market in 1979 after being acquired by sporting goods distributor Paul Fireman. At $60 a pair, the company was selling the most expensive running shoes at the time. In 1982, Reebok introduced the first athletic shoe for women, “The Freestyle.” To this day it is still Reebok’s best selling shoe. Reebok ultimately created a name as an industry leader by focusing on three major growing trends: the aerobic exercise movement, the influx of women in sports, and street culture casual wear.

Reebok launched the Rbk line in 2002. Inspired by street fashion and geared toward a hip-hop crowd, the line featured big name athletes and prominent musicians. With the “S. Carter Collection by Rbk,” Jay-Z became the first non-athlete to have a signature athletic footwear collection. Later on, 50 Cent teamed up with Reebok for the “G Unit Collection by Rbk.”

Later on in the 2000’s, Reebok began a transition from a company primarily aligned with general fitness to a company associated with a variety of sports. By 2006, it had partnered with the NFL, the NBA, the WNBA, the NHL, and the MLB to manufacture a range of merchandise for both teams and fans. With the acquisition of The Hockey Company in 2004, Reebok became the world’s leading producer of hockey apparel and equipment.

In January 2006, Adidas acquired Reebok. Shortly after this purchase was made, CEO Paul Fireman announced his decision to leave, turning the company over to Paul Harrington. As of recent, Reebok’s latest fitness venture has been its involvement with one of the biggest exercise programs of our time: CrossFit. In Boston, there are two Reebok CrossFit locations in Back Bay. Additionally, the Reebok World Headquarters is in Canton, Massachusetts.

Boston Mints

Making mouths pucker throughout the city

as seen in Scene Magazine on 07.31.2013

The BostonMints™ collection offers more than just a breath of fresh air. Founded by Joanne Ilacqua, this exclusive line of long-lasting, supple lip-glosses comes in 12 decadent shades. BostonMints™ are made of natural ingredients and offer a healthy alternative to other beauty products.

A highly sought-after local makeup artist and owner of Adamo Day Spa, Joanne first began creating custom lip cosmetics for models needing gorgeous, durable, and moisturizing lip care. She began selling BostonMints™ in-person and at her day spa in Cohasset. Now these refreshing spearmint-flavored glosses are available online and at select stores in Boston.

BostonMints™ lip-glosses are loaded with moisture and shine to accent any look. Enhanced with Vitamins C & E, aloe vera, antioxidants, and essential oils, you can experience a naturally beautiful pout every season. Every shade of lip-gloss supplies your lips with a burst of color, each featuring a fun, Boston-themed name that’s dear to our hearts. To name just a few, the line’s colors include T Party, Swan Boat, Go Sox, and Bean Towne.

BostonMints™ are available in full and purse sizes, both perfect for gift giving. You can find the collection at Flock (274 Shawmut Avenue) and a variety of retailers along the South Shore. They are also sold online ( and at Joanne’s own Adamo Day Spa. Starting at a reasonable $9, the BostonMints™ line rejuvenates your lips while adding a pretty pop of color, perfect for any date night.

Spectacular Sunset & Lobster Clambake

Hosted by Boston's Favorite Seafood Joint, The Summer Shack

as seen in Scene Magazine on 07.31.2013

Read this article live from Scene Magazine.

If you haven’t yet ventured to the Summer Shack’s Lobster Clambake and Spectacular Sunset Cruise this summer, you’re missing out on one of the most picturesque and unrivaled views of the city. This spectacular experience, which begins and ends with a scenic 20-minute ferryboat ride, showcases one of the only locations in Boston where you can watch the sun set behind the city itself.

Now mid-way through its 6th season, the weekly lobster bake is hosted by Jasper White’s Summer Shack Restaurant. The 3-hour Spectacle Island affair boasts a casual setting, magnificent sunset, and fresh lobster, leaving many attendees wishing they had traveled to this tropical paradise sooner.

Part of the Harbor Islands National Park, Spectacle Island is unique in its accessibility and setting. The island got its name because of its distinctive shape—two hills with a valley in between—indeed resembling a pair of spectacles, with gazebos at the top of each hill.

The Summer Shack’s Lobster Clambake takes place every Thursday and Friday evening between late June and September. Prices are $80 per person and tickets can be purchased online at