LTH Home

Boston: in general

Boston: in general
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
    Page 2 of 3
  • Post #31 - March 29th, 2011, 1:51 pm
    Post #31 - March 29th, 2011, 1:51 pm Post #31 - March 29th, 2011, 1:51 pm
    Okay then.

    We've followed the general consensus and have a reservation for dinner at Erbaluce.

    Next question. Breakfast. Specifically: breakfast near the hotel. I fear this may be a problem. We're staying at the Nine Zero, on Tremont next to the Old Granary Burying Ground (or by the Parker House, if that's a better reference). Anything close by that's worth visiting for breakfast? I'll eat in the hotel if I have to but I'd rather pay breakfast prices for breakfast and have something I'd really enjoy. Don't have too many druthers about what. Recs?
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #32 - March 29th, 2011, 2:52 pm
    Post #32 - March 29th, 2011, 2:52 pm Post #32 - March 29th, 2011, 2:52 pm
    So glad you'll be going to Erbaluce!

    I'm wracking my brain for breakfast ideas close to your hotel. A few questions: what is close? Would a 10 - 15 minute walk be okay or do you want to stay very close to home/hotel base? Are you open to dim sum? You are very close to Chinatown and if that's an option we can recommend some places to try. Finally, are you looking for sit down or breakfast on the go? I ask because there are a few places around you that can do a serviceable egg sander and coffee.... or a breakfast burrito or a good pastry or some such.
  • Post #33 - March 29th, 2011, 5:37 pm
    Post #33 - March 29th, 2011, 5:37 pm Post #33 - March 29th, 2011, 5:37 pm
    What is close depends, in part, I guess, on the weather. In pouring rain, thirty seconds. On a sunny(ish) day, a ten-fifteen minute walk is fine. Open to dim sum? Is the Pope Pol...German? :roll: Of COURSE we're open to dim sum. Or just about anything else from diner food to fancy. Yes, looking to sit down, though. Other questions?
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #34 - March 29th, 2011, 6:51 pm
    Post #34 - March 29th, 2011, 6:51 pm Post #34 - March 29th, 2011, 6:51 pm
    Also going to Boston, in May. Also staying at the Nine Zero :shock: !
    Dinners at Neptune Oyster Bar and Craigie on Main. Also curious about breakfast. Would like near the hotel, one sitdown type place and one grab a pastry and a coffee place. Also need a seafood(lobster roll)lunch rec for when we do a day trip to Seashore Natl Park.
  • Post #35 - March 29th, 2011, 9:11 pm
    Post #35 - March 29th, 2011, 9:11 pm Post #35 - March 29th, 2011, 9:11 pm
    Gypsy Boy wrote:What is close depends, in part, I guess, on the weather. In pouring rain, thirty seconds. On a sunny(ish) day, a ten-fifteen minute walk is fine. Open to dim sum? Is the Pope Pol...German? :roll: Of COURSE we're open to dim sum. Or just about anything else from diner food to fancy. Yes, looking to sit down, though. Other questions?


    Feel free to ask the questions. Trying to help here.

    There's nothing particularly noteworthy about Chicago dim sum, and I guess the same could be said about Boston dim sum, though I think there's a slight edge here. Or at least at Winsor Cafe, where the menu is very limited, and the dim sum is a la carte, and therefore it depends highly on what time of day and who's in the kitchen, but if your timing is right, it's in the big leagues. You could roll the dice on a Saturday morning.

    Winsor Dim Sum Cafe
    10 Tyler St
    Boston, MA 02111
    Neighborhood: Chinatown
    (617) 338-1688

    Image
  • Post #36 - March 30th, 2011, 11:18 am
    Post #36 - March 30th, 2011, 11:18 am Post #36 - March 30th, 2011, 11:18 am
    Gypsy Boy wrote:Other questions?


    I hope you didn't misunderstand. I wasn't sure what porklet (or you or anyone else) needed to know in order to make recommendations. I tried to offer the information I thought would be most useful--the kind of questions I'd ask if someone made a similar query of me. But cities and circumstances are different. I just wanted to encourage whoever considered responding to my question to ask whatever he or she might need to know to answer.... BTW, thanks for all your help!
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #37 - March 30th, 2011, 12:08 pm
    Post #37 - March 30th, 2011, 12:08 pm Post #37 - March 30th, 2011, 12:08 pm
    Gypsy Boy wrote:
    Gypsy Boy wrote:Other questions?


    I hope you didn't misunderstand. I wasn't sure what porklet (or you or anyone else) needed to know in order to make recommendations. I tried to offer the information I thought would be most useful--the kind of questions I'd ask if someone made a similar query of me. But cities and circumstances are different. I just wanted to encourage whoever considered responding to my question to ask whatever he or she might need to know to answer.... BTW, thanks for all your help!


    Thanks for clarifying. I did feel slightly snarked. :? All better now!

    In addition to the super suggestion of Winsor (gosh I love their pan fried turnip cake!), there is a tiny breakfast place about 10 minutes walk from your hotel, Mike and Patty's. They serve breakfast all day (starting at 8 on the weekends), and are pretty wildly admired for the breakfast sandwiches in particular.

    http://www.allmenus.com/ma/boston/277119-mike-and-pattys/menu/
  • Post #38 - March 30th, 2011, 5:47 pm
    Post #38 - March 30th, 2011, 5:47 pm Post #38 - March 30th, 2011, 5:47 pm
    GB, I did misunderstand. I was hungry when I read your post. :wink:

    Around the corner from your hotel, you could go to the place of origin of both the Boston Cream Pie and the Parker House Rolls - the Parker House hotel. Granted, it's an $8 cream pie, and I honestly have not had one myself, but could be fun to check out. Or at least say that you did.

    If it's a weekday brekkie, you are a matter of feet from Sam LaGrassa's, a sandwich shop, particularly known for their Roumanian pastrami sandwich.

    Image

    It it were me, I'd probably go to Chinatown though, and have a bowl of congee and some dumplings, or a bowl of laksa or heap of char kway teow, etc.

    In fact, the char kway teow I had at Bubor Cha Cha just a couple of weeks ago was a nice rendition of the "light & dry" style, perhaps not as greasy as I'd like, but exhibiting some nice wok hei and sitting in nice balance. In addition to good Singaporean/Malaysian brekkie fare, Bubor Cha Cha also has dim sum, along with a smattering of Taiwanese dishes throughout the menu.

    Char Kway Teow @ Bubor Cha Cha
    Image

    Teochew Dumplings @ Bubor Cha Cha
    Image

    Roti Canai @ Bubor Cha Cha
    Image

    Of course, there's also Penang for some of these Malaysian offerings too. And really, there's no better way to wake up your salivary glands than a pungent puckering bowl of laksa first thing in the morning.

    Roti Canai @ Penang
    Image
    photo by porklet

    Asam Laksa @ Penang
    Image
    photo by porklet

    Omni Parker House Hotel
    60 School Street
    Boston, MA
    617-227-8600

    Sam LaGrassa's
    44 Province Street
    Boston, MA
    617-357-NUM1

    Bubor Cha Cha
    45 Beach Street
    Boston, MA 02111-2018
    (617) 482-3338

    Penang
    685 Washington Street
    Boston, MA 02111-1611
    (617) 451-6373
  • Post #39 - March 31st, 2011, 10:44 am
    Post #39 - March 31st, 2011, 10:44 am Post #39 - March 31st, 2011, 10:44 am
    Another breakfast idea is Thinking Cup at 418 Tremont Street.

    I've not been yet as I'm never in that nabe around brekkie time, but here is an excerpt from a recent review by a friend whose opinions I trust:

    I've had two different egg sandwich specials and one standard egg sandwich. The specials are always on perfectly toasted toast. And, the sandwiches are made with care. When you take a bite, there isn't any slippage of stuff. The flavors were balanced and there were also contrasting textures and temperatures (fresh spinach leaves v. the softness of the egg v. the crunchiness of the toast).

    But the pastries. Wow, the pastries. I've tried the banana chocolate chip muffin (beautiful top), chocolate croissant (flaky, buttery, soft chocolatey nutella tasting filling but with dark chocolate), triple chocolate mousse cake (fine crumb), chocolate bombe (chocolate mousse with a dark chocolate shell) and two different kinds of cupcakes (just the right amount of frosting). Everything was delicious.

    Also of note is the french hot chocolate. The servings are small but the taste is rich and chocolaty. This is a dessert in and of itself.
  • Post #40 - April 9th, 2011, 9:32 am
    Post #40 - April 9th, 2011, 9:32 am Post #40 - April 9th, 2011, 9:32 am
    Ah, Boston in the spring! What could be lovelier? Well, uh, lots of places, actually. After our very brief sojourn, I think we might want to rename it the Windy City. Sheesh. We missed one lunch when our flight out of Chicago was cancelled because of weather in Boston. Then, Friday afternoon in Boston: overcast, rainy, and very windy; Saturday in Boston: sunny but very windy; Sunday in Boston: overcast, rainy, and very windy. I don’t think the wind dropped much below 20-25 mph the entire time we were there. Maybe it was their way of making us feel at home!

    However, we had a great time--it's Boston after all--and had some enjoyable repasts, so on to the food. As I said, our first lunch disappeared since we didn’t even get out of Logan until about 3 p.m., about five hours behind our original schedule. Then our social obligations (we were there for a wedding) unexpectedly took away a dinner opportunity, so we were left with only few chances to eat out since we left Monday morning.

    Our first meal was Friday dinner. We had a 6:30 pm reservation at erbaluce, a place that came highly recommended (see above). I apologize for the lack of pictures from erbaluce. Due to, uh, "technical difficulties" we ain't got no pictures.

    (BTW, I had to look 'erbaluce' up and, after a little digging, was eventually rewarded. It is the name of a grape used to make white wines, both dry and sweet. It grows primarily in Piedmont.)

    The room is small (about 15 tables total) and fairly dark. There is a central overhead light, but it was kept pretty dim. The room was about half full when we arrived shortly before 6:30 p.m.; by 7 p.m., it was full. We found it casual yet elegant in its way, high-toned without being snotty. Comfortable and welcoming. The menu changes nightly, but I’ve scanned ours to suggest the kind of food on offer. We were very warmly greeted and (except for the bread guy), the whole staff was very friendly and treated us extremely well. We were exceptionally fortunate to have Isabella as our server. She ranks among the handful of best servers I’ve ever had. Warm, extremely knowledgeable, there when we needed her and elsewhere when we didn’t. She knew the ingredients, the dishes, was able to compare, and did not shy from making forthright recommendations when asked, in short, a true gem.

    Image
    erbaluce menu, page 1 (night of April 1, 2011)

    Image
    erbaluce menu, page 2 (night of April 1, 2011)

    Pie(d)montese is probably a generally useful descriptor for the menu but the menu is broader than that and tempting in many different ways. To start we were offered a plate with olive oil surrounding a small island of white...something. Our bread server was the only dud of the evening: he didn't bother to tell us what the bread was or what the olive oil island was. He also dropped off our bread in total silence the first time and never revisited. Oh well; as noted above, Isabella more than compensated for him. She told us that it is a white bean puree. Intended as a dip for the bread, I think the olive oil moat around it was unnecessary; I've never understood that particular American invention. The puree was good and an unexpected dip for the bread. After a while, though, I found the slight sweetness in the puree a bit off-putting; the Lovely Dining Companion had no such issue. LDC and I also disagreed on the bread. Neither of us could figure out exactly what it was and we kept forgetting to ask. Cut in cubes like a cornbread, it had that kind of crumb but not that flavor. It was too dark to see exactly what it was and so we're left to wonder. LDC enjoyed it; I found it a little too bland.

    I began with speck served with "native" apples, sesame (both a little oil and some seeds), and mint. The Lovely Dining Companion chose a house-cured salmon bedecked with orange, sprinkled with rosemary and pink peppercorns, all atop a chicory salad. Speck, for those not familiar with it, is nothing more than ham from the Tirol (or Tyrol, depending on which side of the border you find yourself). What makes it different from other hams is that it's cured with juniper (among other things) and is cold-smoked. You can find speck on German and Czech as well as Austrian menus. Indeed, if memory serves, my first exposure came in either Switzerland or Austria. Mario Batali calls it "smoked prosciutto" but I wouldn't use that description since I think it predisposes you to think in the wrong flavor profile. But no matter.

    I don't know what "native" apples are and neglected to ask. They were slightly sweet but with just enough tartness and body (flavor-wise) to stand up to the ham. On balance, I'm not entirely sure I cared for the sesame--either the oil or the seeds. It's not so much a question of working, for the dish did work. Just not, after all, a combination I would eagerly seek out again. Still, it was beautifully presented--as, indeed, all the dishes were that evening--delicious, my personal predilections notwithstanding. LDC pronounced her house-cured salmon fresh (if that makes sense) and wonderfully made. The orange was a great foil, both for the flavor and the acid, and the pink peppercorns were a great complement, if not necessarily traditional. Two excellent openers.

    Dinner: I was completely torn between two entrees and turned to Isabella for help. She asked whether we had been before and, when I explained that we were in town for but a few days, said in no uncertain terms that I must have the ethereal gnocchi (potato, not semolina). Part of my attraction was the ragu of wild boar and beef braised with red vermouth and spices. It sounded absolutely intriguing. LDC chose the lasagnetta with a porcini sauce, with wild mushrooms and marjoram.

    How to say? We both liked our dinners. Indeed, much of our conversation during and following dinner (and for some time thereafter) was why we only "liked" our meals and did not love them. One thought we considered was that this is (far) northern Italian cuisine. We both love the food of Rome (and further south). But, after talking about it, we don't think that's it. We have both eaten enough food from Piedmont, Friuli, Trentino, and the Veneto, to know what to expect. We know enough about and have had enough food from these regions to know what we were getting; we've simply enjoyed this food more elsewhere. We can't quite put our fingers on what it was it except to suspect we simply ordered the wrong things for that moment in time. We are both intrigued by erbaluce and would like to go again and order completely different things.

    For example, while the gnocchi themselves were superb, the sauce just didn't quite satisfy. The boar was surprisingly tame and the red vermouth, while conferring a distinctiveness, didn't appeal. It was bland without being delicate, fine without being particularly enjoyable. So, too, with LDC's lasagnetta (meaning, for all intents and purposes, a little lasagna): perfectly good but lacking in intrigue or pleasure. To be sure, nothing was wrong with either dish. Neither, sadly, did we find that either entree proved sufficiently tasty that we'd be tempted to order them again--notwithstanding, in my case, the absolutely top-notch gnocchi themselves.

    We had dessert. I didn't take any notes since I had asked for a copy of the menu. We got the dinner menu, but not the dessert menu. And while we can now recall most of what was on that menu, the one thing we cannot recall--of course--is the dish we had. Our apologies.



    Saturday morning we were up early enough to make Mike and Patty’s a plausible option. This is a GNR if ever there was one. No sign. No indication that the place is even a restaurant from the outside. Had the LDC not seen a picture on her iphone before we went, we would probably have walked right past it.

    Image
    Mike and Patty's exterior

    It is actually on the same street as erbaluce, at the other end (fairly short street), where the neighborhood is almost completely residential. It’s hard to convey the size of this place: one table for four and a shelf on another wall for two more. That's it. The room can’t be much more than fifteen feet square and about two-thirds of the space is the kitchen. Put four more people in front and no one can move. Literally.

    Image
    About 75% of Mike and Patty's kitchen

    We got there at exactly the right moment. One or two couples were ahead of us; I guess we shouldn't be surprised that many people opt for the food to go. Not surprisingly, the menu accommodates that option. Shortly after our arrival, the line got seriously longer, stretching well past the door and down the steps. Fortunately, it was a sunny day, but the numbers outside quickly eclipsed the number of us packed indoors.

    I’m not certain that I’d use the word “character” to describe the place but I couldn’t pass up the chance to photograph a shelf showcasing a small poster praising the quality of Maine sardines AND an industrial size jar of Marshmallow Fluff®.

    Image
    Maine sardines and Marshmallow Fluff®

    Image
    Breakfast menu

    Menus (breakfast and lunch) are on multiple chalkboards and they serve breakfast all day. I photographed the breakfast menu.

    Image
    Breakfast torta

    Image
    Croque madame

    I ordered the breakfast torta: messy, messy, messy. Yummy, yummy, yummy. There really isn’t too much I can (or need to) add to the list of ingredients: eggs, potatoes, salsa, poblanos, refritos, avocado, cheese. Nothing exceptional except in how it all managed to come together and be even better than I expected. Everything was shoehorned onto an oversize, toasted bun. Even with the handy (and excellent) bun, handling this was a challenge. Well-conceived, well-executed, and delicious. What else can you want? LDC had a croque madame with turkey instead of ham. It (like mine) was generously portioned and more than LDC could eat, so I got to finish it. It’s worth noting that the orange juice was fresh squoze. And delicious. We’ve had enough juice that claims to be freshly squeezed that tastes otherwise to appreciate the real thing.

    Too many errands and even a little sightseeing distorted our schedule and we found ourselves stuck between a few must-dos and not enough time on Saturday so lunch was very unhappily sacrificed. In the event, it would most likely have been either Portuguese or Cambodian—both of which are absent in Chicago. But it wasn’t meant to be. I know, I know: what kind of LTHer puts sightseeing and shopping ahead of food? Well, waddyagonnado?

    In lieu thereof, we decided to hold our own personal little “cannoli-off.” It was after 2 pm, we hadn’t had lunch and we had to be out in Medford by 5. So we chose the time to pay visits to Mike’s, Modern, and Maria’s--all conveniently located within a few minutes of each other and a short ten-minute walk from our hotel.

    Image
    Modern Pastry exterior

    Image
    Modern box (with aragosta/lobster tail)

    The first two had lines. Oy, did they have lines. Maria’s didn’t but it seemed, to my inexpert eyes, to be the most…neighborhood-y and down home with old grandmas in the kitchen, etc. It was also the only one—fwiw—where I heard Italian being spoken.

    Image
    Mike's box (with Boston cream pie)

    We took our three boxes, found a little table nearby, set everything out in front of us, and began attracting curious Bostonians! Everyone who saw us had to stop; we received much praise for our ingenuity (jeez, I wouldn’a thought this was an unusual idea). And everyone wanted to know what we thought. You may too.

    Image
    Maria's box with sfogliatelle

    So here goes: we got at least one "plain" cannoli from each place with ricotta. (We got other things as well, but more of that anon.) Virtually the only distinction we could make among the three was that Mike’s shell was less sturdy. (One Bostonian volunteered that she had heard that Mike's prefills--thus leading to a shell which absorbs some moisture and becomes more subject to crumple. We express no opinion on the issue other than to note that both of the shells from Mike’s broke easily. Modern’s shell was a bit…browner. While there may have been slight differences in the filling, the thing that stood out to both our palates was how remarkably similar all three cannoli were. Seriously. One might have had very slightly sweeter filling, one may have had a touch more vanilla, but I challenge any but the most exacting palates to sit down blindfolded and distinguish them. That said, they were all excellent. Really. While I have no doubt that our subjective little tasting will sway no one (at least no one in Boston), I think it’s safe to say we’d happily chow down on cannoli from any one of these three shops.

    Image
    Decisions, decisions...

    As you can see from the Mike's box, they make lobster tails (aragosta). The one pictured is probably close to eight inches long. It's too much. The sfogliatelle from Maria's was superior in every way: flakiness, tenderness, and filling. This is, arguably, comparing apples and oranges, but we agreed that less is more. LDC also insisted that since this was likely to be her only opportunity, she needed a piece of Boston cream pie. No matter that the Parker House, where the stuff was invented for goshsakes, was a two-minute walk from our hotel. She wasn't impressed and neither was I. I think the dissatisfaction in both cases sprung primarily from the fact that we simply aren't fans of the item, not that it was a poor exemplar.

    Many thanks again to all those who posted above; we're very grateful for your help and advice.


    erbaluce
    69 Church Street (Bay Village)
    (617) 426 6969
    http://erbaluce-boston.com/

    Mike and Patty's
    12 Church Street (Bay Village)
    (617) 423-3447
    http://mikeandpattys.com/

    Mike's Pastry
    300 Hanover Street
    (617) 742-3050
    http://mikespastry.com/

    Modern Pastry
    257 Hanover Street
    (617) 523-3783
    http://modernpastry.com/

    Maria's Pastry Shop
    46 Cross Street
    (617) 523-1196
    (no website)
    Last edited by Gypsy Boy on April 19th, 2011, 6:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #41 - April 15th, 2011, 6:28 am
    Post #41 - April 15th, 2011, 6:28 am Post #41 - April 15th, 2011, 6:28 am
    Okay Bostonians: where are you? I expected to ruffle a few feathers with our review of erbaluce (which I'm looking forward, in truth, to revisiting our next time in Boston). I expected to incite possible riots with our comments about our miniature cannoli-off. I thought I might even elicit a few comments from others who had something to say about Mike and Patty's. But I didn't expect what I got: total silence.

    Hmmm. Maybe this is a message. You guys didn't sic Whitey Bulger on me now, did you? :shock:
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #42 - April 18th, 2011, 12:50 pm
    Post #42 - April 18th, 2011, 12:50 pm Post #42 - April 18th, 2011, 12:50 pm
    Well, I'm thrilled you enjoyed Mike and Patty's! And I loved your pix of the little gem and your brekkie meals. It really made me happy that you were willing to try out this tiny speck of a place and loved it. I am impressed by the cannoli-off to be sure, although it's not something I would do as I don't care for sweets in general.

    However, I'm a little saddened by your experience at Erbaluce as I read recently about another visitor to our fair city who ordered pretty much the same thing you did and licked the plates. I will say that I think Chuck does better with fish and meats than pasta in general. The first time I tried the food at Erbaluce, it was so different from my idea of an "Italian restaurant" that I wasn't sure I really got it. The use of cinnamon and other baking spices in otherwise "savory" dishes threw me for a loop. And I like my butter, cream and animal fats so the chef's eschewing them wasn't a plus in my book. But as I went back I found I enjoyed these nuances more and more, and now I especially seek out these herbacious, savory, sweet combinations from his kitchen. I'm glad you got Isabella to save the day as she's a sweetheart.

    I guess I wish you'd had three more meals so you could have tried some Cambodian, Burmese and dim sum. Next time.
  • Post #43 - April 19th, 2011, 6:34 am
    Post #43 - April 19th, 2011, 6:34 am Post #43 - April 19th, 2011, 6:34 am
    porklet,
    Thanks for the feedback. Indeed, we loved Micke and Patty's--wish they were here. And wish they had just a few more tables. But then it wouldn't be the same, I guess. Still, the place is an absolute winner.

    I DO like sweets but must confess that the cannoli-off was a bit much, even for me. Still, it seemed like the only way to see what we thought. And since we had so little time, why not comparison taste? We were really quite surprised at how similar all three cannolis were (and, by the way, we did NOT eat everything pictured in one--or even two--sittings. We just needed to comparison taste the cannolis while they were fresh).

    As to erbaluce, two comments: I am used to, and quite like the use of stereotypically "sweet" spices in savory dishes. I don't think that was the issue. I do think, however, you may have hit on something that I knew going in and forgot about until you posted again: the absence of butter, cream, and animal fats. As I think back on other renditions of Northern Italian food we've had elsewhere, that wasn't missing as it was here. It undoubtedly creates a different flavor profile and, while we didn't dislike it, I can see that it might take a little getting accustomed to. And so we'd happily return and try the place out again. I think our only caveat would be that we'd need to have Isabella for our server. :lol:

    And absolutely yes: only not three but probably at least a dozen more meals. So much to sample, so little time.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #44 - April 19th, 2011, 9:06 am
    Post #44 - April 19th, 2011, 9:06 am Post #44 - April 19th, 2011, 9:06 am
    Glad you had a nice visit, GB.

    I found the results of your rather objective horizontal cannoli tasting to be amusing and simultaneously not surprising. I am pretty sure much of the taste-preferences are driven by things other than taste. Only tourist rubes go to Mike's and therefore I think it sucks. :wink: In perhaps a similar vein, I had a dog at Portillo's and Gold Coast (the one that shares a space with Popeye's downtown) this past weekend and dangit if they weren't as good a diggity dog as I've had in Chicago.

    With respect to Erbaluce, I will only add that there is another menu, which perhaps is only offered at the bar (that's the only place I eat), which has a number of smaller plates and a risotto of the day, among other things. I tend to eat off of that menu and the apps menu almost exclusively, though I have found great enjoyment in the mains as well, but less so with the pastas. The place is polarizing. A friend of mine has been eating there for a long while, probably since it opened, and only now has started enjoying the place. Could be a matter of getting accustomed to the tastes. Either way, I always roll the dice with recommending it to folks and I'll continue to roll, because I happen to enjoy it that much.
  • Post #45 - June 10th, 2011, 1:44 pm
    Post #45 - June 10th, 2011, 1:44 pm Post #45 - June 10th, 2011, 1:44 pm
    Spent a couple fun days visiting cousins in Boston enjoying beautiful weather and a few fine meals. Lunch on Saturday was simple seafood at the Barking Crab, including a good, if rich clam chowder, crispy, succulent fried clam bellies, and a wonderful lobster roll with mostly lobster and little dressing. Nice setting on the water.

    Cragie on Main was unavailable Saturday night but Coppa was a great alternative. My cousins aren’t the most adventurous eaters so we couldn’t sample much in the way of offal, their specialty. Everything was spot on including chicken liver crostini with mostarda, wood roasted meatballs with lard and parmesan, wood roasted asparagus, wood oven roasted pig's tail with mostarda glaze, a pasta dish with lamb, a margherita pizza and a parma pizza.

    Stella serves delicious brunch. Lana ate what they called a breakfast pizza, which had typical breakfast toppings including eggs, meat, etc. but was served on a very delicate crust. I had Linguini "Carbonara" with poached egg, smoked bacon, and parmesan which was tasty but was made with cream. I expected the sauce to come from the egg yolk as in authentic Italian carbonara so this was a bit rich for my taste. My alternative would’ve been duck omelet, with duck confit, crumbled goat cheese, mushrooms, and baby spinach.
    "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day." Frank Sinatra
  • Post #46 - July 10th, 2011, 2:37 pm
    Post #46 - July 10th, 2011, 2:37 pm Post #46 - July 10th, 2011, 2:37 pm
    "
    Okay Bostonians: where are you? I expected to ruffle a few feathers with our review of erbaluce (which I'm looking forward, in truth, to revisiting our next time in Boston). I expected to incite possible riots with our comments about our miniature cannoli-off. I thought I might even elicit a few comments from others who had something to say about Mike and Patty's. But I didn't expect what I got: total silence."


    Gypsy Boy - my thing with the "miniature cannoli-off" is that I can't get past the variety of fresh torrone at Modern Pastry to buy anything else there or any other bakery in town. It is unique in my experience and something I recommend to every visitor. Sometimes, I will also buy a "pizza dolce" ricotta cheese pie which they do like my nonna, but without the candied citrus peel.

    I'm not a Bostonian, but was born in Red Sox Nation and am headed there next week for a tour of the kitchens of family and friends. Its hard to get out to a restaurant when your sister lives 10 minutes from here: http://www.joeslobstermart.com/
    gp
  • Post #47 - July 11th, 2011, 9:54 am
    Post #47 - July 11th, 2011, 9:54 am Post #47 - July 11th, 2011, 9:54 am
    gpconco wrote:Gypsy Boy - my thing with the "miniature cannoli-off" is that I can't get past the variety of fresh torrone at Modern Pastry to buy anything else there or any other bakery in town. It is unique in my experience and something I recommend to every visitor. Sometimes, I will also buy a "pizza dolce" ricotta cheese pie which they do like my nonna, but without the candied citrus peel.


    Can't argue with you. Cannoli is not something either one of us ordinarily have. But before leaving for Boston, we kept hearing "ya gotta have the cannoli at [.....]." After a while, it became apparent that the only way to appease everyone was to try the cannoli at all three places. If I'd had my druthers, I'd likely have chosen other things. However, there are worse ways to spend an afternoon. My only regret is that we couldn't manage a table with coffee or, better yet, an espresso to accompany the cannoli-off.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #48 - July 11th, 2011, 2:21 pm
    Post #48 - July 11th, 2011, 2:21 pm Post #48 - July 11th, 2011, 2:21 pm
    We just got back from spending a week in Boston and had some great meals. The highlight was Craigie on Main, which lived up to all our expectations. We went with a 6 course tasting menu that was incredible. They have the menu structured in such a way that it is obvious they are pushing you towards the fixed price or tasting menu options (i.e. all items in a course have the same price, so a mesclun salad will cost the same as carpaccio or scallops if you're ordering a la carte). They also asked us what looked good on the menu and what type of meal we were looking for to help them create the courses. It was obvious that they really paid attention to our comments and put together a wonderful meal. We also requested a mix of wine and beer pairings for each course (we each split a beer or glass of wine with each course) and the server did an excellent job selecting and obviously knew all the selections well. We had some cocktails before and after, which were great as well. I asked for a Remember the Maine and they knew what it was and made a great one for me. It's been over a week since we ate it, but here's my recollection of the meal:

    - amuse bouche of squid ceviche, salmon, and a Bluefish terrine.
    - A great Hamachi Sashimi course
    - Fried/smokey crab with a great squid ink sauce to accompany it
    - Farro pasta with crispy chicken and chicken liver sauce - the sauce was really creamy and worked really well with the farro and chicken.
    - Pork Belly Confit
    - Green apple and celery sorbet with candied celery and Barolo cheese
    - Bourbon chocolate cake and an Apricot crumble/cake/tart thing (awesome)

    I wish I'd taken some notes so I could do the meal justice, but I was too busy enjoying it.

    We also had 2 lunches downtown that were notable. Marliave had a great lunch menu and I had a really nice Flat Iron steak along with some well cooked and seasoned frites. I also tried some of the Rarebit and some of the macaroni and cheese. All were very good. On another day we stopped at Daily Catch on Fan Pier after taking our daughter to the Children's Museum. I read mixed reviews of the Fan Pier location, but found it to be really solid. They had a special grilled menu the day we were there and had a large charcoal grill going at the end of the patio. Everything we had was pretty basic (grilled shrimp, scallops, etc.) but the quality of the fish was excellent and it was cooked very well. There are few things in the world as great as a high quality scallop grilled well.

    Regarding the Cannoli issue - I grew up in Boston and moved to Chicago about 18 years ago. I never really got the big deal about cannolis. I certainly like a good cannoli, and can tell when a place is selling bad cannolis, but I've never found a huge difference between places that are making fresh cannolis. Most places that are making decent cannolis have something more interesting to buy.
    It is VERY important to be smart when you're doing something stupid

    - Chris

    http://stavewoodworking.com
  • Post #49 - August 14th, 2011, 11:31 am
    Post #49 - August 14th, 2011, 11:31 am Post #49 - August 14th, 2011, 11:31 am
    Hoping for some help here--been thru a number of the Boston related threads today and still not feeling I have what I need to know...mainly because I feel like my request is pretty "Trip Advisor-ish" but I don't want to rely on that type of recommendation.

    Anyway...here goes...

    Taking a quick trip with SO and a MIGHTY picky 11 year old (chicken fingers, grilled cheese, hot dogs are pretty much his spectrum) and while I've been to Boston a few times, I was always in transit and have never really experienced much of the city. We're staying at the Sheraton Boston on Dalton (near the Prudential Center). Here's what I'm trying to plan:

    In Boston:
    1-2 breakfasts and 1 lunch
    2 dinners

    We'll be at Fenway for a day game on Wed.

    Thursday, we're headed to Pawtucket for a Triple A baseball game that's not til 7:30 p.m. and will be traveling via rental car. So looking for suggestions for that day--would like to see another area.

    Picky eater kid and SO won't go for anything ethnic or funky so that leaves out most of the Board's recs. What I'm looking for are places that won't leave me feeling ripped off and sad but conform to their narrow parameters. Seafood is good, so long as waits aren't ridiculous and I KNOW we're going to have to go to the North End b/c SO loves it there (he ran the marathon a few times so considers himself a Boston expert :P ). So any rec's for the lesser of evils of the italian spots there would be very much appreciated. And anything else that will lend itself to family peace and harmony as well.

    thanks all!!!!! I owe you all one and promise to report back!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #50 - August 14th, 2011, 12:16 pm
    Post #50 - August 14th, 2011, 12:16 pm Post #50 - August 14th, 2011, 12:16 pm
    Only two places I can guarantee your SO's son will dig, providing the waits aren't bad.

    1) The Daily Catch on Hanover St. in the North End, information/specifics searchable in this forum in that I've made multiple posts on DC. Tiny, tiny spot, which means in order to avoid waits you will have to go on the off-hours. But this is a spot like no other, and if he likes pasta, he'll like this. Fresh as fresh can be.

    2) Kelly's Roast Beef. The original stand, on Revere Beach, is a trip back in time, and he will enjoy everything from the roast beef sandwiches to the fried clams. Nostalgic atmosphere deluxe.

    410 Revere Beach Blvd.
    Revere, MA
    (781) 284-9129

    http://www.kellysroastbeef.com

    Have fun!
  • Post #51 - August 14th, 2011, 12:21 pm
    Post #51 - August 14th, 2011, 12:21 pm Post #51 - August 14th, 2011, 12:21 pm
    jnm123 wrote:Only two places I can guarantee your SO's son will dig, providing the waits aren't bad.

    1) The Daily Catch on Hanover St. in the North End, information/specifics searchable in this forum in that I've made multiple posts on DC. Tiny, tiny spot, which means in order to avoid waits you will have to go on the off-hours. But this is a spot like no other, and if he likes pasta, he'll like this. Fresh as fresh can be.

    2) Kelly's Roast Beef. The original stand, on Revere Beach, is a trip back in time, and he will enjoy everything from the roast beef sandwiches to the fried clams. Nostalgic atmosphere deluxe.

    410 Revere Beach Blvd.
    Revere, MA
    (781) 284-9129

    http://www.kellysroastbeef.com

    Have fun!



    Thansk jnm--TDC is on the list and, since we actually prefer eating early, I'm hoping to maybe get there after the ballgame on Wed...

    Any thoughts on the day that we end up in Pawtucket? Besides food, is there a logical day trip that we could coordinate with that?
    Last edited by boudreaulicious on August 14th, 2011, 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #52 - August 14th, 2011, 12:21 pm
    Post #52 - August 14th, 2011, 12:21 pm Post #52 - August 14th, 2011, 12:21 pm
    jnm123 wrote:2) Kelly's Roast Beef. The original stand, on Revere Beach, is a trip back in time, and he will enjoy everything from the roast beef sandwiches to the fried clams. Nostalgic atmosphere deluxe.

    410 Revere Beach Blvd.
    Revere, MA
    (781) 284-9129

    http://www.kellysroastbeef.com

    Heartily seconded... for the lobster rolls. Runaway best of the dozen or so I tried.

    Edit : Eek. Thirded, apparently. Sorry about that.

    Dmnkly wrote:Kelly's Roast Beef
    For lobster rolls. This may be my favorite thing I ate in the six months we were there. I understand the original location in Revere is the best, and that's the only one I've been to. I don't believe you said when you'd be going, so be warned that there's no indoor seating. Just picnic tables outside, and on the beach across the street.
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #53 - August 14th, 2011, 12:28 pm
    Post #53 - August 14th, 2011, 12:28 pm Post #53 - August 14th, 2011, 12:28 pm
    Thanks Dom!

    Keep 'em coming...that's only 2 meals :D
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #54 - August 15th, 2011, 2:59 pm
    Post #54 - August 15th, 2011, 2:59 pm Post #54 - August 15th, 2011, 2:59 pm
    boudreaulicious wrote:Hoping for some help here--been thru a number of the Boston related threads today and still not feeling I have what I need to know...mainly because I feel like my request is pretty "Trip Advisor-ish" but I don't want to rely on that type of recommendation.

    Anyway...here goes...

    Taking a quick trip with SO and a MIGHTY picky 11 year old (chicken fingers, grilled cheese, hot dogs are pretty much his spectrum) and while I've been to Boston a few times, I was always in transit and have never really experienced much of the city. We're staying at the Sheraton Boston on Dalton (near the Prudential Center). Here's what I'm trying to plan:

    In Boston:
    1-2 breakfasts and 1 lunch
    2 dinners

    We'll be at Fenway for a day game on Wed.

    Thursday, we're headed to Pawtucket for a Triple A baseball game that's not til 7:30 p.m. and will be traveling via rental car. So looking for suggestions for that day--would like to see another area.

    Picky eater kid and SO won't go for anything ethnic or funky so that leaves out most of the Board's recs. What I'm looking for are places that won't leave me feeling ripped off and sad but conform to their narrow parameters. Seafood is good, so long as waits aren't ridiculous and I KNOW we're going to have to go to the North End b/c SO loves it there (he ran the marathon a few times so considers himself a Boston expert :P ). So any rec's for the lesser of evils of the italian spots there would be very much appreciated. And anything else that will lend itself to family peace and harmony as well.

    thanks all!!!!! I owe you all one and promise to report back!


    gentle nudge for additional info since I could really use a few more rec's, particularly for dinners and our little excursion south...anyone?? thanks!!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #55 - August 15th, 2011, 3:34 pm
    Post #55 - August 15th, 2011, 3:34 pm Post #55 - August 15th, 2011, 3:34 pm
    Pawtucket: Tasty, unpretentious Venezuelan arepas and nice people:

    http://www.laarepari.com/

    Cash only when I ate there a couple of years ago.
  • Post #56 - August 15th, 2011, 8:23 pm
    Post #56 - August 15th, 2011, 8:23 pm Post #56 - August 15th, 2011, 8:23 pm
    OK, here's a grand recommendation request: a lunch spot and a dinner spot that can handle a party of 20. So many of the (great) above recommendations don't accept reservations, which rules them out. Any direction toward spots that are good, accessible (in the literal sense) and can accommodate is greatly appreciated.
  • Post #57 - August 18th, 2011, 9:18 pm
    Post #57 - August 18th, 2011, 9:18 pm Post #57 - August 18th, 2011, 9:18 pm
    I could fill a post with my "where not to eat in Boston" warnings but I'd prefer to write about the one good meal I had here instead...

    Vinoteca Monica was great--highlights were a perfect Negroni; good white bean puree with the very fresh bread basket; delicious bruschetta with arugula, tomato and pureed potato and garlic ; well-grilled calamari with fresh tomatoes; handmade spinach spaghetti with turkey meatballs (sounds scary but was actually delicious). Of everything ordered, I like my dish the least--not because there was anything wrong with it--it was just a bit too sweetly spiced for me (lobster/prawn risotto--still not sure how it came to be slightly sweet). Highlight of the meal--watching uber picky 11 y/o devour--and I do mean DEVOUR--a "free form chicken lasagna" with actual green things in it :P. He didn't eat much of the chicken (which was clearly freshly roasted chicken--I ate most of it) but pretty much left nothing else on the plate. And he was SO proud of himself.

    We ended up there because we wandered into a tiny retail market that they owned and, when asked to direct us to the restaurant our hotel reserved for us, the family friend working there politely gave us directions then replied that it was "very good" but we should check out "his" place that was, coincidentally, across the street. We liked that he didn't bad mouth our original reservation. We checked out both and let the kid decide--he voted for Monica. We got very lucky I think.

    VINOTECA di MONICA
    143 Richmond St.
    Boston, MA 02109
    (617) 227-0311
    http://www.monicasboston.com/MonicasBoston/Index.aspx
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #58 - October 15th, 2011, 6:00 pm
    Post #58 - October 15th, 2011, 6:00 pm Post #58 - October 15th, 2011, 6:00 pm
    I'm in Boston for work (staying in the waterfront area). I had a great lunch of char kuay tiaw and roti canai at Bubor Cha Cha (thanks tatterdemalion!). Anyone have any updates for Boston (near the waterfront or within a mile or two is preferable though I'm hoping to get to another neighborhood or two for a meal). (I've reviewed the contents of the LTH threads on Boston--just looking for new recs/endorsements)
  • Post #59 - December 2nd, 2011, 11:23 am
    Post #59 - December 2nd, 2011, 11:23 am Post #59 - December 2nd, 2011, 11:23 am
    Going to Boston next week for the first time and have been researching food all day.

    This is the plan:

    Monday - Daily Catch in the NE followed by some Modern Pastry if still opened
    Tue - Erbaluce
    Wed - Muqueca

    As well, if I can swing Mike & Patty's for breakfast on Wednesday, as that breakfast torta looks really good to me.

    Anyone have any updates on Boston recently? Anything to definitely stay away from as that is more fun sometimes then what should I eat.
  • Post #60 - December 2nd, 2011, 2:18 pm
    Post #60 - December 2nd, 2011, 2:18 pm Post #60 - December 2nd, 2011, 2:18 pm
    Drink if you like cocktails.

    Eastern Standard if you want cocktails and brasserie food in that neighborhood.

    Flour Bakery for more of a coffee/bakery breakfast, call ahead to reserve on of their sticky buns (though I actually liked the breakfast sandwich more).

    2nd Craigie on Main, Mike & Patty's (Bacon and Egg Fancy!), Modern Pastry, Neptune Oyster. B&G Oyster and Butcher Shop are pretty good, too, but B&G is probably eclipsed by Island Creek these days (it wasn't open yet when I was in Boston last year).

    Other choices to consider: Hungry Mother, Toscanini's or Christina's or JP Licks (ice cream), Myers & Chang, Fuloon (in Malden), South End Formaggio, Cutty's (sandwiches), Scups in the Harbour (breakfast), Chacarero, Rincon Limeno (Peruvian).

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more