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February 1, 2013     Post-Gazette
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February 1, 2013

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Page 8 POST-GAZETTE, FEBRUARY 1,2013 Fascino Salon and Spa Official Launch Party FASCINO SALON AND SPA STAFF: Deanna Dillon, Kristin Wheeler, Colleen Tagen, Caterina Ferullo, Jack Abbott, Michele Raposa and Kasey Buono. On Friday, January i I th, Fascino Salon and Spa held their official launch party, complete with a walk down the red carpet, a signature Fascino mimosa, music, passed hors d'oeuvres and a gift basket giveaway. Many came by to see the new salon and enjoy the evening of fun and fashion (courtesy of a fashion show highlighting clothes and acces- sories by Savas Studios). Fascino owner Caterina Ferullo thanked everyone involved in the successful evening by saying, "Thanks to all who participated in the celebration of the official launch of Fascino Salon and Spa ... it was a huge success! We're looking forward to many more events including charity work and community outreach." Fascino Salon and Spa is located at 30 Tremont Street in Downtown Boston. To inquire about the services they offer or to make an appointment, please call 617-367-2446. You can also visit them online at fascinosalonandspa. (Photos Jamie R. Doyle Photography) CHOCOLATE TASTING Timed for VALENTINE'S DAY For chocolate lovers, there is never a day that goes by when a quick bite of the "brown gold" isn't satisfying. Valentine's Day is just an added bonus - when single servings can easily multiply and anyway, a boxed assort- ment makes choosing a single candy an exercise in futility. Imagine, then, plates of freshly created chocolates free for the tasting. Artisanal concoctions that include the richest, rarest dark chocolate filled with a dark ganache infused with black tea and ginger or fresh zabaglione petit fours, blood orange ganache enrobed in dark chocolate, or white chocolate with macadamia nuts. These are just some of the flavors created by chocolatier Christopher Norman - the Hudson busi- ness that will be featured during a Wine and Chocolate Tasting scheduled for Satur- day, February 9 th from 5 un- til 7 pm at Verdigris Tea and Chocolate Bar, 135 Warren Street, Hudson. The event is free and open to the public. Rated second best in the United States, the artisanal hazelnut paste,",Consider makers'dre,knowrt-for their. inventive flavor combina- tions, high quality, and ex- quisite taste. Among their domestic customers are Tiffany's, Dean & Deluca and Whole Foods. Says Kim Bach, owner of Verdigris Tea and Chocolate Bar, "We're really fortunate to have Christopher Norman here in Hudson. They are consid- ered to be among the top ten chocolate makers in the world. To have them as a lo- cal resource is a privilege." Once thought of as a simple Valentine's Day gift, chocolates have now become a specialty with ingredients so rare that a comparison to caviar is not out of the ques- tion. Organic, specially se- lected, and hand-picked are just some of the words found on chocolate packaging these days. Makers travel around the globe to taste and savor ingredients that will add just the right combina- tion of richness and exotic vibe to their candies. Then again, even the word candy seems too antiquated and naive for these creations. And owner Kim Bach knows just how extravagant these artisanal chocolates can be. "I remember buying a Hershey's chocolate bar after school when I was a kid," she says. "These days, to buy some of the artisanal bars we offer here (in flavors like "Wood Smoked Choco- late") you can spend $I0.00 easily. During the holidays, or for a special event, we have customers who will se- lect two or three bars, wrap them with a ribbon and hand them on as a really excep- tional gift." The chocolates from Christopher Norman are just such an extravagance. From pumpkin ganache to kiwi, tea infusions to ground hazelnuts, even red beet and carrot flavorings, chocolate makers Joe Guiliano and John Down are inventors of some of the most extrava- gant and tasty chocolates made today. Their Amarene Cherries begin with im- ported wild cherries from Italy, then coat them in two layers of chocolate -- the first dark, the second bitter- sweet. The result is nu- anced flavors both sweet and tart. Spiced chocolate selec- tions have even more com- plicated combinations -- dif- ficult to imagine, but deli- cious to taste. Names like Sweet Basil, Coconut Curry, Rosemary Walnut, Cinna- mon Cardamom and Basil- Smoked Sea Salt with Olive Oil are not selections nor- mally associated with con- fections found on an after- dinner chocolate tray. "Christopher Norman Chocolates are exceptional," concludes Kim Bach. "We're lucky to have them making chocolate in Hudson, and lucky to have them at our store. This tasting should give the customers a chance to see how delicious, exotic and fun artisanal chocolates can be. And, of course, it's no coincidence that we're host- ing this event three days before Valentine's Day. We want people to sample these chocolates, then make up a box filled with their favorites. We'll add the bow and they can take it away - ready for gift giving." The Chocolate and Wine Tasting is scheduled to be- gin at 5:00 pm on Saturday, February 9 th. Verdigris Tea and Chocolate Bar is located on the corner of Second Street at 135 Warren Street. The event is free. For fur- ther information, call 518- 8283139..