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Boston 2018


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#1 Wilfrid

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 05:59 PM

Would really like to go to Neptune Oyster next week, but no reservations, stories of long waits, and not much flexibility in my schedule means probably not. Pity.

 

 



#2 Evelyn

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 06:09 PM

I'm going next week. Thankfully my schedule is flexible  :cool: .



#3 Adrian

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 06:12 PM

Would really like to go to Neptune Oyster next week, but no reservations, stories of long waits, and not much flexibility in my schedule means probably not. Pity.
 
 


Its been a while, and cant vouch for current quality, but if you can get there for opening its historically been okay.

I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.


#4 Chambolle

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 06:26 PM

Would really like to go to Neptune Oyster 

 

No. You. Don't.

 

You really want to go to Select Oyster ... read up on it and you'll understand why

 

Pricier than it should be but such is life



#5 Wilfrid

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 07:39 PM

Good suggestion, and it seems easy to reserve.  Thanks.



#6 Wilfrid

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Posted 27 August 2018 - 07:43 PM

Anyone been to Meritage?



#7 Chambolle

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Posted 29 August 2018 - 03:45 PM

Yes

Where will you be staying ?

#8 Evelyn

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Posted 29 August 2018 - 03:50 PM

I'd appreciate some lunch suggestions, Chambo. I'll be at the Omni Parker House. I will have a car, so can go further afield. Heading to the middle of nowhere for a wedding. So if you have any suggestions a reasonable distance from Hudson/Marlborough, those too would be greatly appreciated.



#9 Chambolle

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Posted 30 August 2018 - 08:57 AM

.



#10 Chambolle

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Posted 30 August 2018 - 09:30 AM

Re lunches, I can consider that ... but it might take a day or so... cuz I’m waiting out the totally unexpected rain (which is not all that surprising a development here) at Old Town Coffee (@joe - pretty good flat whites) after a useless (for Chambo) lunch at Ibai (my last time there ever, I just decided). I might be here for a while ... we’ll see … so I am just going to randomly ramble ... and then I gotta rush home to the hotel, hit the gym and head to dinner. You asked for my Bastard life story, here in Boston, right ? I aim to please … and this is a lot better than getting soaked right now … which kinda just did happen at Ibai in a baby way … but let’s move on to the high seas of Boston …

 

Per prior post, let me add that I’m NOT saying that Neptune isn’t still pretty good.

 

It’s just that it isn’t the right choice for the prior inquirer. It’s no ressies, it can be a bit of a scrum to get in, it can be a bit uncivilized once in, probably sloppy from a plating and eating perspective. Select is simply a better selection given his predilections. And it might be for you too based upon mood, company, location etc. Assuming you’re a walker, I'll note that the stroll from the Omni to Select could be delightful, going down Beacon and Newbury to* and Comm Ave fro, All that said, I’d still ship Adrian to Neptune cuz I couldn’t bare to listen to him whine on endlessly about Back Bay Brahmin pretensions and then drone on in already-overdone way about how restos follow in the footsteps of their hoods cuz I know all this and don’t have any time to read such nonsense because I’m waaaaaayyyyy too busy writing that sort of stuff. Nuff said.

 

* The Public Garden is one of the most delightful and beautiful parks to be found. If still open, cut in by Charles Street, be sure to pass the pond, weep at the majesty of those wonderful, weeping willows, take a good solid look at President Numero Uno on horseback and then I’ll allow you to exit. Oh yeah, one more thing, be a good Boston citizen while there and remember to Make Way for Ducklings. (You asked for directions, didn’t you ?)

 

TL;DR - My recs aim to be aimed at what the REQUESTER wants whether or not it’s what I may want or prefer. It’s a good rule to follow, methinks.

 

 

Re Marlborough, I’ll note that I had previously asked a great, longtime Bostonian friend (longtime Bostonian and longtime friend, even if he parks it in JP) who would surely know if Marlborough had any nearby decent dinner options because I was curious myself and, surprise surprise, there seems to be NOTHING in that area of any real interest … or so I’m told … and that is consistent with my own knowledge. Nothing ! 

 

Believe it or not, he reco’ed some weird ice cream shop and said that’s the best I have ! Can you imagine ... an ice cream shop instead of a resto for dinner ... the scariest thing is if he’s right. Chambo informed him that the Chambo brand is not in a position to recommend ice cream shops for dinner (@Adrian – it would be kinda like Berluti recommending that you should get some nice boots at UGG … uggggggh !) and he understood.

 

What you have probably already figured out is that Marlborough is on the outer fringes of the 128 Technology Corridor (the area between Rt 128 and Rt 495 from, hmmm, about 7 oclock to 11ish … although those Live Free or Die denizens will try to convince you that it extends up to NH … but don’t listen to those people cuz they don’t even pay taxes up there). Lots of good tech and biotech companies in this corridor, but the food is kinda Silicon Valley minus Manresa, minus the strip malls but plus some nice rural country roads.

 

So my friend says to me “You know, Marlborough is way closer to Worcester than Boston”. And I say “Ahhhhh, there’s good places now in Worcester ? ! ?” and he says …

 

Well before I tell you what he says, here’s my one and only Worcester story.

 

Ages upon ages ago, when I was a little tike (and as sweet as can be, I would like to add), I went to a Van Halen concert at the Worcester Coliseum. David Lee Roth is wearing leopard-skin leather pants, skin tight with suspenders, no shirt and wild chaotic hair down below his shoulders. Eddie and bro are doing their loud thang while Roth is running around like a maniac, screeching out lyrics and sweating profusely. Another song finishes. Crowd roars. Roth requests silence, using hand motions. Silence. Roth, catching his breath, now tries to calmly speak into the mike “Worcester … I am so glad to be back in Worcester ! ” The crowd ROARS ! Roth uses those hand motions again. Silence. Roth now roars “WHUHHHHHHHHHHHHHH-STUHHHHHHHHH ! You got a lot to be PROUUUUUUUUUUD about !” The crowd goes absolutely NUTS. And continues going nuts ... and starts chanting “WHUHHH. STUHHH ! WHUHHH. STUHHH !  WHUHHH. STUHHH !”  ….. and I turn to my friend and scream in his ear, so I can hopefully be heard, “Roth is SOOO mocking these people and they have absolutely no idea that he’s doing so”

 

Anyway, the rain seems to have just stopped so I need to get moving but let me tell you one last thing. 

 

Back then, Worcester had nothing to be proud about … nor does it have any worthwhile restos now.

 

eta – I tried to post this from mobile yesterday but something wasn’t working … couldn’t seem to post because the Post button never activates. Is that true on iPhone ? And what is the easiest way nowadays to post pics on MF ? ie very easy to freely upload a bunch of pics somewhere in one fell swoop and then include them in an MF post. Answer this in some appropriate technical forum, por favor



#11 Abbylovi

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Posted 30 August 2018 - 10:42 AM

Evelyn your hotel is near Yvonnes, a lovely place for cocktails. Not sure how good the food is. Chinatown is also nearby, one of my favorites is Peach Farm Seafood. Row 34 is a little farther away but I think a great New England restaurant.
It is better to have beans and bacon in peace than cakes and ale in fear.

#12 Abbylovi

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Posted 30 August 2018 - 10:48 AM

Oh Kala Thai would be great for lunch. They just opened near the Boston Public Market, which would also be fun to visit or even graze around.

Kala Thai is related to Cha Yen, one of my favorite restaurants that is located in Watertown.
It is better to have beans and bacon in peace than cakes and ale in fear.

#13 Evelyn

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Posted 30 August 2018 - 01:49 PM

Thank you both!

 

Unfortunately, for many years I used to have to spend a week in Worcester every year for the PGA Tour's B.C. Open. The upside was I always lost a couple of pounds that week  :o  :D . There was an Italian restaurant (Black Orchid) that was supposedly mob owned. It at least had some decent pasta. But that was about it. I can't say I'm surprised that Worcester hasn't improved. 

 

Hopefully the weather will be good, and I can follow Chambo's directions to a tee. It sounds like Yvonne's for a cocktail. Then on to Select. Saving the walk and Neptune for lunch before I head to the culinary wasteland of Marlborough. The mother of the bride recommended going to the Tower Hill Botanical Garden in Hudson the day of the wedding. Lunching at the cafe there after roaming around. All I can say is there had better be good wedding cake on Saturday night  :P .



#14 Chambolle

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Posted 01 September 2018 - 10:48 AM

Hopefully the weather will be good, and I can follow Chambo's directions to a tee. It sounds like Yvonne's for a cocktail. Then on to Select

 

My Lord, if you are actually going to follow my directions then I better flush them out a bit for you, right ?

 

I concur with Yvonnes for a drink but I would strongly consider doing it as a postprandial.

 

Yvonnes is great space and is a bit of a yuppie-istic, see-and-be-seen place (nothing wrong with that … just stating what it is) in the former Locke-Ober's locale. I’ll also note that in the 90s Yvonnes was a semi-private social club for the yuppy set and quite the scene back then as it was all new blood as opposed to all the “exclusive”, old-school, blue blood Boston clubs that existed for the Mayflower set.

 

I recommend leaving the drink for later because if you are relatively new to Boston then I think an extra 45 minutes walking the city during daylight / dusk hours will be way more memorable than sitting in yet another, albeit good, cocktail place.

 

To the that end, here’s your updated walking instructions.

 

Exit the Omni, peek your head in Mooo*, then peek into No 9 Park, goto the Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Regiment Memorial and read the plaque. Turn around and admire the Mass State House. Turn around again (slowly now, dont get dizzy !) and admire the Boston Common from this slightly elevated situation and think to yourself “Hmmm I’d sure like to walk through the Common but Chambo isn’t letting me, grrrrrrh ...”. Now walk down Beacon Street, probably staying on the Boston Common side to better admire the Beacon Street historical townhouses … take it slow and appreciate each one ! (and avoid high-heels) When you come to Charles Street, I strongly advise a pre-Public Garden detour to get a much fuller Beacon Hill experience. Turn right on the all-too-quaint and lovely Charles Street, passing Deluca’s Market, the Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro (ok for a sandwich / salad for lunch), The Paramount (a bfast / brunch greasy spoon for the weekend to recap the prior night’s debauchery) and turn right** onto Mt Vernon Street. When you come to Louisburg Square, go for it and walk around the whole square and try to guess which mansion is John Kerrys house (twas actually Teresa Heinz’s place pre-marriage). Continue up Mt Vernon, right on Walnut, right on Chestnut, back down the hill and make your way back to Beacon and Charles. Now you can enter the Public Garden, Make Way for Ducklings, walk towards and take the bridge that crosses the pond and on to GW as equestrian, exit on Arlington. You are now in Back Bay, which goes alphabetically from Arlington, to Berkeley, to C D E F G Hereford and then skips IJKL and ends at Mass Avenue. Since we’re headed to Select Oy and we are going to do Newbury, the resto / boutique street, to and Commonwealth Avenue fro with its impressive townhouses (You can reverse it if you insist but Chambo says do Comm Ave on the southern side as the domaines are a bit more impressive IMHO). However, some detours oblige ! Either coming or going, you must include Boylston Street from C to D to see Trinity Church, Copley Square, the Boston Public Library, the Old South Church. All of these are pretty much mandatory ... and in the process you can't miss the John Hancock tower and the Prudential Building.

 

A tiny start, granted, but a very good and high-worthy introduction to historical Boston and some of its architecture.

 

 

* If someone else is paying or you need to do high-end entertaining, you can easily walk to Mooo for meat (think steakhouse with a twist) and Ostra for, well, ostras y mariscos y pescados. (Just noticed that Ostra is dinner only). Both are places from chef Mammano and money-man Roiff who have been doing Boston restos for more than 20 years (and have been previously mentioned by yours truly in a prior Boston thread). Ostra is newer and Mooo has been around for a while and was formerly called The Federalist until it changed towards a more steakhouse-y concept. Places to spend a lot of money in a high-end ambiance. Not really recommending them but based upon circumstances, sometimes they might be needed or useful.

 

** Prior to making this turn, if the small but high-end Savenor’s Market is still open, you might scoot further up Charles Street to admire their pre-packaged game terrines/pates, cheeses etc



#15 Chambolle

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Posted 01 September 2018 - 11:17 AM

The mother of the bride recommended going to the Tower Hill Botanical Garden in Hudson the day of the wedding. Lunching at the cafe there after roaming around

 

Quite frankly, I think that the M of the B is barking up the right tree re focusing on enjoying a lovely locale and then having a quick, convenient lunch nearby as opposed to lunch being the star attraction.

 

I luv lunching and if the wedding were almost anywhere in France or Spain I would be responding very differently but Boston just isn’t going to offer a lunch experience that is worth the time vis-à-vis the various sites that you could see if you are not very familiar with the greater Boston area … and especially if you have a car at your disposal.

 

 

I understand that she recommended the Botanical Gardens as a close-by option, but I'm not convinced they are your best option  ... and of course so much depends upon personal taste. I'm sure those gardens are lovely but in between Boston and Marlborough there are much more interesting things to see, methinks.

 

A. If you have an academic / architectural bent, why not visit MIT and Harvard ... with a nice, simple lunch option thrown in

 

B. If you have an artistic bent, the Isabella Stuart Gardner museum is a wonderful two-hour visit (and of course the nearby Boston MFA is excellent but time is limited and that's now an entire day)

 

Of course, the Green Monster and the Citgo sign are nearby too.

 

If you think you'd do A, I'll give you the details. If not, no worries as it saves me, you and everyone time.

 

And finally, if you do go to Hudson then tell us what's the deal with the New City Microcreamery ... but you didn't hear that from me. If someone asks, just say your buddy Berluti told you about it ... and I'm not even sure if it was recommended for its ice cream or its coffee or because there is some Speakeasy associated with it ... and I'll probably never know, unless ... 

 

Ball's in your court, Ev !