Spotlight: Eat Boutique

Photo: Courtesy of Eat Boutique

Eat Boutique is not just a food blog; it’s a mindset.

What started in 2007 as a document of Maggie Battista’s cooking exploits, Eat Boutique is now a mini-business comprised of herself, food and travel writer Jessica Merrill, French photographer Lise Pellegrin, Boston’s very own Shelby Larsson (or, as she calls herself, “Lady Gouda”), and Chloé and Dennis Phillips, a duo who’ve eaten and drank their way around the world.

These six food lovers are dedicated to the “boutique” experience, which they say is more than just dining in a bite-sized eatery. As Maggie puts it, boutique dining is “a way of eating” that incorporates handmade, homemade, lovingly made food in an authentic setting under the care of really attentive and really hospitable people.

Not too much to ask for, right? Eat Boutique certainly doesn’t think so. While many fashion designers, hotels, restaurant chains, etc., use the “B” word pretty liberally these days, Eat Boutique really respects its true definition and works to share that experience with you in a variety of forms. Maggie and Co. not only tell you where you can find the best boutique dining in Massachusetts, they also bring it directly to you through gift boxes made up of local artisanal goodies, and also through cooking sessions (coming this spring) and food events like blogger potlucks and private Sunday lunches.

The Eat Boutique team also stretches further afield than MA—way further. A well-traveled, somewhat dispersed group, they report on boutique-ing in New York, where Jessica, Chloé, and Dennis live, and also California, Vermont, Las Vegas (declared, “NOT Eat Boutique”), Italy, London and Paris. Basically, wherever they find themselves. As they do travel quite a bit, Eat Boutique’s next plan is to launch mini-guides for the different cities they visit (here’s Maggie’s Paris edition).

Photo: Courtesy of Eat Boutique

Right now, however, Shelby Larsson can’t venture too far from home under all this snow. But she’s found a delicious way to conquer the cold: a revamped hot chocolate recipe (that involves Bailey’s), topped with gourmet, chocolate chip and caramel-dipped marshmallows from 240 Sweet. Another cold weather cure is Maggie’s Cauliflower and Mushroom Soup, one of her wintertime favorites, which she amps up with a goat milk béchamel.

So, whether you’re searching for that boutique experience or you’re in the market for a unique gift or recipe idea, it’s worth checking out Eat Boutique for some guidance (not to mention the beautiful photos!).

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