It’s no secret that we’re in for bitter cold weather this weekend, but Wellesley Fire Chief Rick DeLorie has issued a fire safety warning to remind residents who aren’t escaping to warmer climates of some best practices.
“The Sub-freezing temperature dip this weekend will tax our heating and electrical systems as we try to stay warm, so a little caution can help you make you it safely through the extreme weather,” DeLorie said in a statement.
*Don’t Overtax Furnaces
“Keep thermostats set at the lowest comfortable temperature as furnaces may struggle to keep the house warm; wear warm clothes and put an extra blanket on the bed,” DeLorie said.
“Cold snaps like this is when we tend to see space heater fires and one of every 16 space heater fires in the past five years has caused a fire death,” Chief DeLorie said. “Space heaters need space, so use them in a 3-foot circle of safety, free of anything that can catch fire. Space heaters are not designed to replace your central heating system, they are only designed to provide a little extra heat on a temporary basis. So be sure to turn them off when you leave room or go to bed at night.” He advises plugging space heaters directly into outlets, not using extension cords.
*Unvented Kerosene Heaters Illegal in MA
The use of unvented space heaters that use a liquid fuel such as kerosene inside homes and buildings is illegal in Massachusetts. They pose an extreme risk of carbon monoxide poisoning as well as a fire risk.
*Wood, Coal & Pellet Stoves
“Already this winter heating season, Massachusetts has seen numerous serious fires from the improper disposal of ashes from fireplaces, wood and pellet stoves,” said Chief DeLorie. “A single ember can remain hot for days, so put ashes in a metal container with a lid away from the house, the garage, the deck.”
It’s never too late to have a licensed professional clean and inspect your furnace or chimney. Heating equipment is the leading cause of carbon monoxide in the home.
*Prevent Freezing Pipes
Let water drip a trickle to prevent pipes from freezing and open cupboards under sinks to let heat circulate around the pipes unless there are small children in the home.
*Protect Sprinklers Systems
In order to protect sprinkler systems, check on your building during to the cold snap, especially if you don’t have a low temperature alarm. Make sure that all portions of the building remain heated to at least 40°F and are not exposed to freezing conditions. Setting the thermostat higher (50-60 °F) during this cold snap will help make sure pipes in concealed areas stay warm.
For more information on winter heating go to: www.mass.gov/keepwarmkeepsafe.
Via The Wellesley Players:
The Wellesley Players announce auditions for children’s roles in their upcoming Family Theater production of The Pied Piper. We are looking for children between the ages of 7 and 14 to perform at Wellesley High School on May 14 and May 15. There are three larger roles: Pip, a boy aged 12-14; Fabian, a boy aged 11-13; Florinda, a girl aged 9-11. There will be a few parts for children from 7-14 years old who sing, but do not have spoken lines.
Audition dates: Tuesday, March 1 and Wednesday, March 2 at 7:00pm.
Children should be prepared to sing one verse from the songs Over the Rainbow (Wizard of Oz) and Tomorrow (Annie). Auditions and rehearsals will take place at 30 Summit Road in Wellesley at the home of Music Director Wil Breden.
In May 2016, we will produce the original musical The Pied Piper at The Wellesley High School with performances on Saturday (11am & 3pm), as well as Sunday (2pm) afternoon. The Pied Piper is an original piece that affords opportunity for older children and adults to perform for young children and families in Wellesley. Long-time Wellesley Players members and town residents, Wil Breden and Barbara Tarlin are teaming up as music director and stage director to bring this new version of to the stage.
As you surely know, Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year (if you didn’t know that, you’re welcome for the heads-up). That seems to call for a Saturday night celebration of a love as rare and true as yours, and tending to your Valentine’s dinner needs is the perfect way to show how much you care. After all, who wants to kill the mood by tackling cooking and clean-up duties on such a momentous day? No need for all that fuss, here’s a list of 9 great restaurants in Wellesley, and 1 beyond Wellesley, to take your Valentine. We’ve compiled and condensed some of our past reviews of these romantic hot spots, to give you and idea of what you’re getting yourself into.
Blue Ginger, 583 Washington St.
Wellesley’s best known and most unique restaurant is Blue Ginger, opened by Ming and Polly Tsai in 1998. Blue Ginger, which features east-meets-west cuisine, is on the upscale side, though the bar area offer a more casual atmosphere. Their specialty cocktails list includes offerings such as the Ichabod Crane, a wintry mix of rye, allspice, and apple cider reduction ($12) or try out a Peak Organic Nut Brown beer ($7). Appetizers include selections such as their charcuterie plate with duck prosciutto, chicken liver mousse, basturma, and country pate ($15) and shiitake-leek spring rolls ($12). Entrees are where the creative team really shines with offerings that include sake-miso marinated sablefish ($41); and pan-seared kurobuta pork porterhouse with apple cider pork jus ($32).
Juniper, 13 Central St.
For starters at this hot spot (opened in 2014 by the owners of Needham’s Sweet Basil) we tried out the eggplant baba ghanoush served with pita bread ($6). Its creamy texture and smoky flavor, along with the homemade pita, made it a winner. Another popular app is the chicken shish taouk with braised greens and harissa yogurt ($12).
Entrees include kavavia (Greek seafood stew) made with mussels, shrimp, calamari, tomato broth, potatoes, and crostini ($28) and the braised faux beef shortribs with porcini broth, pecorino millet polenta, and gingered carrot slaw ($27). Absolutely to die for, and something I’ve had on at least three occasions here, is the charred octopus, never overdone or rubbery, always fork-tender and perfect ($14, appetizer).
Bocado, 45 Church St.
Bocado hit instant popularity since its 2014 opening. On our visit, we tried out the bacon wrapped scallops with white truffle honey ($9.50), which were fantastic. Also a hit was the raw tuna with lemon basil crema ($13), although the sweet potato chips that were served alongside it were limp, not crispy as I expected. The mozzarella stuffed crispy rice balls with basil aioli ($6.40) got a big thumbs up. Just as we thought maybe we were filling up, a generous platter of beef tenderloin with potatoes and roquefort cream came out. That delicious dish was nearly our undoing, and it’s true that we were unable to eat our way through all the potatoes, even though they were salty and crispy-browned. Somehow the tenderloin disappeared.
The menu encourages diners to complete the experience by sharing a pitcher of sangria for $25, but we weren’t all sold on the sangria, so we ordered our drinks individually. The diner who ordered the sangria reported that it had the requisite red wine fruitiness she expected. I ordered a beer on tap and was served a 10-ounce glassful. Seemed skimpy, but beer is not where Bocado is putting their emphasis, as their extensive wine and sherry list makes clear. Our friendly bartender made sure everyone remained content and refilled our glasses with water or other, as needed.
Then dessert came out, a donut-like confection served with chocolate dipping sauce. In a supreme effort of mind over satiety cues, we plowed through it, and it was just light and airy enough to convince us that it hardly counted in the grand scheme of things. Whatever we thought we meant by that.
Alta Strada, 92 Central St.
This is the type of restaurant where you sit down and have a lovely meal, tended to by knowledgeable but unobtrusive wait staff. The clean, open space allows you to see and be seen at either tables or at the bar. Appetizers include roasted autumn squash with spiced pumpkin seeds; white beans with rosemary; broccoli rabe with chiles (appetizers are 3 for $18 or 5 for $30). Also on the menu are salads, individual pizzas with a creative flair; pasta dishes, and main dishes such as grilled chicken breast and arugula salad ($19); local swordfish with gigante beans ($33); and more.
Amarin, 27 Grove St.
I’ve eaten here only once, for lunch, and ordered what turned out to be a memorable bowl of Muslim Noodles, made with spicy Indonesian coconut curry with tofu, hard-boiled egg, and bean sprouts, served with a choice of beef or chicken $9.50). It warmed me to my very core on a cold winter day. The dining room, with its white tablecloths and cozy feel, make it the perfect place to bring a date.
Cafe Mangal, 555 Washington St.
This elegant spot, in Wellesley for 15 years, serves Mediterranean and American cuisine with a heavy Turkish influence. Worth noting: Cafe Mangal is a BYOB establishment, and it is closed Sundays. New on the menu: Turkish style shrimp casserole ($15), baked portobello mushroom with roasted red peppers and chevre ($15), and Mediterranean style quinoa salad with French fetal cheese ($14). If you go for lunch, expect to see a lot of ladies. Dinner in this unique place is more of the Valentine date night experience you’re looking for.
The Local, 11 Forest St.
I sat with a group of six who ordered drinks and a selection of $5 appetizers, or Snack Things as The Local calls them (Fried Pickles, Truffle Parmesan Fries, Crispy Onion Things). Everything on the menu is listed under a Thing category, with items scaling to $20 and up for salmon and skirt steak dishes. We also ordered chicken wings ($10), which came in spicy sauce, plus ginger cheesecake as a finisher (all desserts are $7). A bunch of the appetizers arrived in adorable little tin dishes. Our party enjoyed all of the food, with one member going so far as to call the fried pickles as “great”
The Local offers a wide variety of drinks, with beers served in solid straight-up 16 or 20 ounce glasses running I believe $6 or $7 apiece — so probably not the kind of place that’s going to attract a big hang-out-and-watch-the-game crowd. Fancy drinks include the Blueberry Mai Tai and Ginger Whiskey Smash.
We sat at the far end of the restaurant, which seems to be miles away from the entrance. The layout overall is broken up nicely with the bar and another section semi-surrounded with dividers. The lighting in the restaurant — and this is key for a cozy date — is minimal, giving the place an intimate feel despite its size. The decor is simple and nice, with elegant overhead lighting and big black-and-white framed photos of sports and old-timey Wellesley scenes. Our server was friendly and attentive, even as he trained another young man on the tricks of the trade.
The Cottage, 190 Linden St.
Features food with Southern California flair such as Sesame Ahi Tuna nachos, seared rare and served with crispy wonton chips, Asian vegetables, ginger vinaigrette, and wasabi cream ($14); California Caesar salad with creamy avocado dressing, sourdough croutons, and shaved parmesan cheese ($10). Slow braised lamb bolognese penne rigate ($20); pan roasted bbq organic salmon with creamy green onion rice and fried okra ($24); buttermilk boneless fried chicken with whipped potatoes ($20); and more in a light and bright dining room.
CK’ Shanghai, 15 Washington St.
Chinese food. Full bar service. Appetizers of chicken wings, chicken fingers and peking ravioli (all about $7 per order) were all tasty and hot (temperature-wise). The shrimp fried rice ($8.95) was generously portioned. Service was excellent, and the restaurant itself is bright and clean and lively. Watch out for sitting in booths facing the front door on a winter night though — chilly.
And one beyond Wellesley…
Heritage of Sherborn, 33 North Main St., Sherborn
When ordering drinks just remember, this is a gastro-pub. All that means is don’t go asking for a Bud Lite or some such. Think craft, small batch, quality refreshments. Drinks in hand, our waiter took our order. For an appetizer, we tried the Kale and Chicken Nachos with apple-knocker cheddar, chive sour cream, and amazing smoked salsa ($10). A beautiful presentation arrived of about 3 large, circular nacho chips arranged artfully with judicious amounts of toppings. Crisp and fresh-tasting, these weren’t the type of nachos you plunk down in front of ten-year olds. Which is the point on Valentine’s Day.
Also on the appetizer menu, the chicken wings with barrel-aged hot sauce, gorgonzola cheese, and radishes ($12) were served with a fiery hot sauce. The crisp radishes served with it were a nice switch from the usual side of raw carrots and celery.
On the entree side of things, the fish and chips battered with Stormalong Cider and served with German coleslaw ($18) was a good-sized portion, and the batter was light and crispy, while the fish was firm and mild. The menu also includes semolina crusted skate wing with couscous, almonds, roasted beets, and kumquats ($22); and quinoa mushroom burger with arugula, apple knocker cheddar, crispy onions, tomato jam, and fries ($14)
Other things that looked enticing:
Fried mussels ($13), sausage and chickpea stew ($10), Pizzas ($14), and potato gratin ($7 as a side).
If the pub area is a bit bustling for your tastes, and you want a quieter environment for your meal, there are additional, smaller and more intimate rooms available by reservation.
When longtime Wellesley Square shop Paper + Presents departed town over the summer, it teased patrons with a cryptic “Stay tuned for updates on the next chapter.”
Now we know what that next chapter is: Carolyn McCoy’s business has been converted into a mobile retail boutique (dubbed Penelope) selling personalized paper products, monogrammed gifts, party goods and more in the Greater Boston area. The new tagline: “We’re not stationary anymore.” More info Paper + Presents here.
Wellesley College has named Dr. Paula A. Johnson, a professor and faculty member at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, as its 14th president effective July 1. She will be Wellesley’s first African American president.
Current president Kim Bottomly, who has been on the job since 2007, announced last April that she would be leaving this year.
Johnson is chief of the Division of Women’s Health at Harvard Medical School and Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where she founded and is executive director of the Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology.
“I am honored and humbled to be asked to serve as Wellesley’s president, and I view this presidency as the capstone of my career, which has been devoted to the advancement of women through education and faculty development, and by working to improve their health and well-being,” Johnson said, in a statement.
You can hear about Dr. Johnson’s take on His and Hers… Healthcare in this TED Talk:
Students chat up Dr. Johnson here:
After attending Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, Dr. Johnson received her MD and MPH degrees from Harvard.Her mother-in-law, Phyllis Rosenthal Sands, is a proud Wellesley alumna from the Class of 1946.
Dr. Johnson is a native of Brooklyn and currently lives in Brookline. We’ll see if she can make do with this little abode later this year.
As seen on Westgate Road in Wellesley — big coyote:
— Jonathan Harrington (@JBHarrington92) February 10, 2016
UPDATE 2/10/16: Wellesley High’s Kevin McDonald informs us that this concert has been rescheduled to Thursday Feb. 11 at 7:30pm at Wellesley High (the snowstorm messed things up on Monday). First 20 people at the door receive a free Vocalogy CD. The event is free and open to the public, though it’s recommended that you reserve a seat here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/vocalogy-and-rice-street-singers-rescheduled-tickets-21497511636
The California-based jazz quintet Vocalogy is launching an east coast tour this week and they’ll be visiting Wellesley High School
on Monday, Feb. 8, when they will be conducting clinics with students during the day and then performing a free show that’s open to the public at 7pm.
Vocalogy will appear in concert with the WHS Rice Street and Keynote Singers.
You can get a feel for Vocalogy’s musical stylings here:
Separately, Wellesley POPS reminds you that while the US Navy Concert Band concert in March is currently sold out, those interested in attending are still encouraged to get themselves on the waiting list in case space opens up.