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Boston 2019


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#1 Wilfrid

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 09:03 PM

A few days there coming up.  Uninspired on dinner options.  Note, I visit at least once a year, so newish suggestions would be great if anyone has any.
 
Note: Craigie on Main offers "PÂTÉ DE CAMPAGNE traditional and non-traditional accompaniments." Cornichons, bicycle pump.

#2 joethefoodie

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 10:13 AM

I can't help with the food, but other options are now legal!



#3 Abbylovi

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 11:34 AM

A few recent very good meals at:

 

Sarma: Middle Eastern in Somerville. Small plates of intensely flavored food. 

 

Tiger Mama: (near Fenway) Reminds me a lot of Mission Chinese food. Riffs on classic dishes. Nearby is a cute cocktail bar called Fools Errand and there's also a very good wine bar called Nathalie which features wines grown or produced by women. Hojoko is also nearby and is a fun bar.

 

Sumaio: in Cambridge is higher end Hunan. A few months ago I had an amazing meal there. Good for a group.

 

Cafe du Pays: Had some good dishes here, but I don't think the menu changes much.  French-Canadian by way of New England (in Cambridge)

 

Peach Farm Seafood in Chinatown is an old favorite and best to go with a group.

 

Cha Yen in Watertown is my favorite Thai.

 

Doyles in Jamaica Plain. The food is terrible and the beer is so so but the history is worth going at least once.

 

A couple on my list:

 

Whaling in Oklahoma

Celeste

 

This is a fairly good list:

 

https://www.bostonma...ants-in-boston/


It is better to have beans and bacon in peace than cakes and ale in fear.

#4 Wilfrid

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 05:28 PM

Whaling in Oklahoma is a remarkable name.  Thanks for these.



#5 Rich

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Posted 18 July 2019 - 06:49 PM

Don't forget Fenway - some nice spots inside the Park.



#6 irnscrabblechf52

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 11:19 PM

good tinned fish at tinned fish restaurant haley.henry, though needlessly expensive. per that other thread, wherever it is, i also recommend himalayan kitchen in somerville. 


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#7 joethefoodie

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Posted 24 July 2019 - 08:26 PM

Bar Mezzana.  Good enough I suppose, (certainly crowded enough), when one happens to be in this area. Jesus, they built a lot of shit in Boston.

 

They have the whole, back-of-menu heartwarming story of how they're taking care of BOH staff, w/o going too crazy on prices. Almost reasonable for the proffer, I guess, as Significant Eater had a huge serving of Maine halibut, good product well prepared. All pasta made in house; sometimes certain pastas (like the one I ordered) are better made with high-quality dry, but...



#8 Wilfrid

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 02:23 PM

Seafood. I nearly went to Neptune a year ago, but went to Select Oyster instead, which was not great. Saltie Girl looks good, but the advantage B&G has over Neptune and Saltie Girl is that it takes reservations. I like it well enough.

Anything I’m overlooking?

Also interested in any very meat-centric menus. I remember Butcher Shop recommended before. 
 
Oh also, I am going to be staying in the Seaport neighborhood near the Convention Center some nights. Plenty of restaurants there, cavernous and corporate. Is there anything good?

Is Larry J’s BBQ terrible, for example? 
 



#9 Abbylovi

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 06:04 PM

Neptune is excellent but the last time I went was many moons ago, it is just too impossible to get in and it is pretty typical for an hour long (or more wait). Also, once inside it's really small and cramped. Supposedly there are "off hours" when you can just walk in. What those off hours are, I have no idea.

 

B&G is right across the street from the Butcher Shop so you could conceivably go to B&G for one course and the Butcher Shop for another. They are both Barbara Lynch restaurants, she's the Danny Meyer of Boston.

 

When I'm in the Seaport area, I usually try to go to Row 34 which is known for seafood and quite good. Get a reservation ASAP though.

 

Have never heard of Larry J's. I'm assuming a terrible crowd.


It is better to have beans and bacon in peace than cakes and ale in fear.

#10 Wilfrid

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 08:44 PM

Row 34 is a great tip.  B&G was your recommendation originally, but I had forgotten it's right opposite Butcher Shop.  Thanks.



#11 Chambolle

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 03:09 PM

I asked a Boston-based, RedSox-fan (season ticket holder) law partner friend who enjoys dining out for his thoughts ... he was given appropriate context

I'll note that I think he may be overrating the food at the Roif places a bit ... at least Mistral and Sorrelina (which are ancient and old warhorses, respectively and are maybe more about the scene and seeing than the eating) and Sorrelina isn't a great solo option IMHO. That said, I admit to being way out-of-date.

 

It's within the realm of the possible that a guy like Wilf could indeed enjoy these places if he was looking for such a bourgeois-sceney setting but I would NOT be reco'ing these places for an Orik or an Adrian ...
 
I'll also add that my friend is a more generous grader than I ... so adjust accordingly ... but he should have the pulse of the city for a guy like Wilf
 
It was fairly shocking that it took him 3 days to get back to me ... normally people drop everything the moment Chambo rings ... I'm not sure if it could be related to the fact that he's getting married this weekend ... maybe that was it ...
 

Thanks, hope it was helpful and worth the wait. And thanks again for your kind wishes. This is a big moment in my life, and I am grateful for your friendship and support. Let’s make it a point to spend some quality time together down the road. I will send some pics !

LawyerAndGreatGuy … an oxymoron I know
Partner - Corporate Department

From: Chambo
Sent: Thursday, August 29, 2019 9:19 AM
To: LawyerAndGreatGuy … an oxymoron I know
Subject: Re: A serious NY eater (early 60s) asked re Boston dining ... his exact words at bottom ...

Holy shit ... he totally knocks it out of the ball ⚾️ park !

Look 👀 at him taking that victory lap 🏆🎖... a well deserved one too

Muchas Gracias, mon ami !

Here’s to hoping you perform half as well wedding 🎩 👰 💒 night !

Wish I could be there to join in the festivities but as discussed we’ve got a GEO / timing issue but I’ll surely be thinking about you two 💕 🦅 🦅

Best of luck and hoping you, your lovely and your guests have a great time

Be well and til we meet again ...
Sent from iPhone XI

On Aug 29, 2019, at 3:04 PM, LawyerAndGreatGuy … an oxymoron I know wrote:



LawyerAndGreatGuy … an oxymoron I know
Thu 8/29/2019 3:04 PM

Sorry finally getting a break.

Ok so we have a fairly well seasoned diner who also likes the big plates. But perceptive enough to understand and eschew the impersonal style of the big food establishments.

Let's start with basics. I still believe that the best fish in town is served at Island Creek in Kenmore Square. Casual setting with a large and accessible bar dining format. Raw stuff is great, but the fish courses shine. Next door is a great apres diner cocktail lounge, The Hawthorne. And Eastern Standard is a bit further down the block.

Around the corner chef of the moment Tiffany Faison is killing it, most recently at Fool's Errand, also a cocktail bar but with great snacks. Quite an interesting neighborhood in the Fenway.

Running upscale are the Roif places: Mistral, Sorrelina and Ostra. Beaucoup $$$ with lovely ambiance and great food. Might be worth a trip if he wants to be pampered.

Let's talk about the Seaport. What a disaster. F'n theme park of steakhouses and expense account excesses. But all is not lost. In that area (Fort Point actually) is a pretty cool and intimate place with great creative food: Oak and Rowan. I can't think of a better spot in that neighborhood. Maybe Strega but that too has gone corporate. Ming Tsi's tiki bar Blue Dragon is across from Oak and worth a pre dinner Mai Tai.

Luckily there is meat other than big steaks in that area. Andy Husbands opened his Smoke Shop in Fort Point, and serves a great bbq set up. Lots of meat there. And it's across cross from Menton if he wants to watch people spend 5x as much for a smaller portion.

A note about pasta: 2 aces in the South End are getting press: Mida and SRV. Decent food with cool vibe. Also recall that Scampo at Liberty Hotel is solid.

Here's the real story. Unfortunately dining in Boston has become far too expensive to produce and maintain great food and steady clientele. This is why the more interesting restaurants have moved to the fringes like Somerville and South Boston. Kind of what happened to Brooklyn which now seems to be moving to Queens. Those neighborhoods are far more affordable and offer chefs the opportunity to experiment and differentiate, so if he is inclined to trek then Sarma is a great choice in Somerville and Fox and Knife is winning Big Time Awards in South Boston. Both have women chefs who have received great acclaim.

Have read good things about Celeste but haven't been. Lots of new places have opened so a search would turn up some interesting things.

Hope this is helpful.
LawyerAndGreatGuy … an oxymoron I know
Partner - Corporate Department


-------- Original message --------
From: Chambo
Date: 8/27/19 8:34 AM (GMT-05:00)
To: LawyerAndGreatGuy … an oxymoron I know
Subject: Re: A serious NY eater (early 60s) asked re Boston dining ... his exact words at bottom ...

Understood !

That’s why I passed the info along ...

Sent from iPhone XI

On Aug 27, 2019, at 2:33 PM, LawyerAndGreatGuy … an oxymoron I know wrote:

Actually this would be the most fun part of my day this week



LawyerAndGreatGuy … an oxymoron I know
Partner - Corporate Department


-------- Original message --------
From: Chambo
Date: 8/27/19 8:30 AM (GMT-05:00)
To: LawyerAndGreatGuy … an oxymoron I know
Subject: Re: A serious NY eater (early 60s) asked re Boston dining ... his exact words at bottom ...

Thanks but don’t put too much effort into it ... keep it simple ... because I’m SURE you got better things to be doing !

Sent from iPhone XI

On Aug 27, 2019, at 2:21 PM, LawyerAndGreatGuy … an oxymoron I know wrote:

Interesting take although this one forces him to spend his time here mostly in an Uber. I have some thoughts and will send them to you today. I think he can do pretty well if he has a couple of days here and wants to stay in the general downtown area.



LawyerAndGreatGuy … an oxymoron I know
Partner - Corporate Department


-------- Original message --------
From: Chambo
Date: 8/27/19 1:43 AM (GMT-05:00)
To: LawyerAndGreatGuy … an oxymoron I know
Subject: Re: A serious NY eater (early 60s) asked re Boston dining ... his exact words at bottom ...

And just because you may enjoying reading some Boston resto commentary (maybe a week from now ... I fully understand that you are fully overloaded ), here is what a greater Boston area woman had to say re Boston in July 2019 and then yesterday (directly in regards to the serious NY eater's inquiry) ...


Posted 18 July 2019 - 11:34 AM
A few recent very good meals at:

Sarma: Middle Eastern in Somerville. Small plates of intensely flavored food.

Tiger Mama: (near Fenway) Reminds me a lot of Mission Chinese food. Riffs on classic dishes. Nearby is a cute cocktail bar called Fools Errand and there's also a very good wine bar called Nathalie which features wines grown or produced by women. Hojoko is also nearby and is a fun bar.

Sumaio: in Cambridge is higher end Hunan. A few months ago I had an amazing meal there. Good for a group.

Cafe du Pays: Had some good dishes here, but I don't think the menu changes much. French-Canadian by way of New England (in Cambridge)

Peach Farm Seafood in Chinatown is an old favorite and best to go with a group.

Cha Yen in Watertown is my favorite Thai.

Doyles in Jamaica Plain. The food is terrible and the beer is so so but the history is worth going at least once.

A couple on my list:

Whaling in Oklahoma
Celeste


Posted Yesterday, 06:04 PM
Neptune is excellent but the last time I went was many moons ago, it is just too impossible to get in and it is pretty typical for an hour long (or more wait). Also, once inside it's really small and cramped. Supposedly there are "off hours" when you can just walk in. What those off hours are, I have no idea.

B&G is right across the street from the Butcher Shop so you could conceivably go to B&G for one course and the Butcher Shop for another. They are both Barbara Lynch restaurants, she's the Danny Meyer of Boston.

When I'm in the Seaport area, I usually try to go to Row 34 which is known for seafood and quite good. Get a reservation ASAP though.

Have never heard of Larry J's. I'm assuming a terrible crowd.

________________________________________
From: Chambo
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2019 3:23 PM
To: LawyerAndGreatGuy … an oxymoron I know
Subject: Re: A serious NY eater (early 60s) asked re Boston dining ... his exact words at bottom ...

Take your time ...

and no need for big write up as I’m sure you just might possibly have other priorities ...

Sent from iPhone XI

On Aug 26, 2019, at 3:20 PM, LawyerAndGreatGuy … an oxymoron I know wrote:

Hmmmm thinking.....



LawyerAndGreatGuy … an oxymoron I know
Partner - Corporate Department


-------- Original message --------
From: Chambo
Date: 8/26/19 1:39 AM (GMT-05:00)
To: LawyerAndGreatGuy … an oxymoron I know
Subject: A serious NY eater (early 60s) asked re Boston dining ... his exact words at bottom ...

how might you respond ? is Craigie on Main still performing at a high level ? mention Eastern Standard ? or is there some better / newer / closer fish option ?

he's going to be solo on business ... would have ZERO problem sitting by himself at a table ... but would also enjoy counter dining but only if it's very comfortable ie backless stools, forget it

he went to No 9 Park last year and liked it, for example ... he enjoys that fine dining thang ... even if the place is 15 years past its prime, he doesn't know that and it's not really relevant for a 1st time diner

he went to Select Oyster, as seen below, per my suggestion, and didn't love his meal. He ordered some big piece of cooked fish as his main, which isn't the place’s strong suit. He doesn't know the place and is probably imagining that he's going to get some nice composed fish dish a la No 9 Park ... whereas Select is really all about the oysters, raw stuff, ceviches, etc etc ? Agree or not ... because I am far far from an expert or having any expertise re Boston restos nowadays ...

Notice where he's staying ... his words below ...

======================

Seafood. I nearly went to Neptune a year ago, but went to Select Oyster instead, which was not great. Saltie Girl looks good, but the advantage B&G has over Neptune and Saltie Girl is that it takes reservations. I like it well enough.

Anything I’m overlooking?

Also interested in any very meat-centric menus. I remember Butcher Shop recommended before.

=====================

Oh also, I am going to be staying in the Seaport neighborhood near the Convention Center some nights. Plenty of restaurants there, cavernous and corporate. Is there anything good?

Is Larry J’s BBQ terrible, for example?

=====================



#12 irnscrabblechf52

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Posted 29 August 2019 - 03:33 PM

I’ve been meaning to go to Sumiao, but since I just returned from China, will wait a bit.

Sarma is fine for what it is, but I think one can do nearly as well cooking at home.
Immortal space traveler.

#13 Abbylovi

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 06:17 PM

I think I’m a fairly accomplished home cook and am scratching my head at this last comment.
It is better to have beans and bacon in peace than cakes and ale in fear.

#14 irnscrabblechf52

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 08:02 PM

The only thing we had that I felt I couldn’t approximate (out of ~8 things) (albeit at 70-80% quality) was the fritter dish—because I’m bad at frying.
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#15 Wilfrid

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Posted 01 September 2019 - 11:37 PM

Butcher Shop would be perfect tomorrow night, 10 minute walk from my first night hotel. Shamefully giving staff Labor Day off.