Boston Chefs Voice Favorite Restaurants
Posted 06 January 2003 - 08:50 PM
-- Ken Oringer of Clio: "If you could eat at only one restaurnat in town, where would it be and what would you order? Blue Ginger, anything on the menu. What are your favorite restaurants in Boston? For Mediterrean, Oleana. For Asian, Oishii. For Latin, Taqueria Cancun. For seafood, Imperial Seafood. For breakfast, I'll go to Chau Chow City for dim sum. For takeout, Santarpio's Pizza."
-- Michael Schlow of Radius: No. 9 Park for Mediterranean; New Shanghai, Jumbo Seafood, Sichuan Garden in Bookline, Penang, and Pho Pasteur for Asian. Jasper White's Summer Shack for seafood. Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe for breakfast.
-- Frank McClelland of L'Espalier: For only one restaurant, dining in the North End, particularly Antico Forno. Favorites include Sel de la Terre (affiliate) for Mediterranean, Oishi for Asian, Cafe Brazil in Allston for Latin; Woodman's for seafood; Agawam Diner for breakfast; Red-Bones for takeout.
-- Ana Sortun of Oleana: Casablanca for Mediterranean; Farm Grill in Newton for Greek. Tacos Lupita for Latin. Mike's City Diner for breakfast. Formaggio Kitchen for takeout.
-- Ming Tsai of Blue Ginger: Likes Sweet Basil in Needham and Blue Room and blu. Likes Brioche at the Berkeley in Wellesley for breakfast. Likes also Oga's Japanese Cuisine in Natick, Oishii in Chestnut Hill, Sashimi Bar at Clio (that Sashimi Bar is very good, although relatively expensive).
-- Gordon Hamersley of Hamersley's Bistro: For one restaurant/one dish: Rialto for duck; Franklin Cafe for chicken livers; New Shanghai for steamed chicken. For favorite restaurants, Oleana for Mediterranean. Oishii Too in Sudbury for Asian. Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe for poached eggs, home fries, sausage and English muffin. Flour Bakery + Cafe for takeout.
-- Lydia Shire of Locke-Ober: No. 9 Park for Mediterreanena; Peach Farm, New Shanghai, China Pearl for Asian. Jasper White's Summer Shack for seafood. Ye Old Cottage in Weston for eggs over easy with doubt sausage patties.
-- Todd English of Olives: For Mediterranean, Oleana. For Asian, Jumbo Seafood, and China Pearl for dim sum. For Latin, Tacos El Charro in Jamaica Plain. For Dover sole and a great white Burgundy, Anthony's Pier 4. For breakfast, Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe.
-- Thomas John of Mantra: Oleana for Mediterranean. For Asian, Oishii. For Latin, Chez Henri.
-- Jody Adams of Railto: Hamersley's Bistro; Jasper White's Summer Shack
Posted 07 January 2003 - 07:22 AM
We were in Boston on Christmas eve day and stopped in at Charlie's, which is our favorite breakfast place in Boston. My husband always has the turkey hash. This time he got to share it and another favorite, french toast, with a friend. There were nine of us in all, five adults and four kids, and we were all able to find a seat because it was slow. Usually there's a wait for either table or counter.
We've also eaten recently at the new Davio's location (corner of Arlington and Stuart streets) and all I can say is that it's hard to imagine how Franklin Cafe's chicken livers could possibly be better. Davio's serves them fried and crispy, with a sweet, tangy port reduction. They were meltingly tender. Garnish was crispy spinach, pine nuts and golden raisins. I had originally ordered the butternut squash gnocchi with fennel sausage and apple, but something about the way our server recommended the chicken livers made me change my order. Afterwards, I could have kissed him.
Posted 07 January 2003 - 07:37 AM
Posted 07 January 2003 - 09:53 AM
I was surprised to see a couple of chefs mention Jasper White's Summer Shack for seafood. I was completely underwhelmed on my one visit and wouldn't really recommend it to anyone. I wonder if there's a loyalty to Jasper White that goes beyond the quality of his restaurant......
Posted 07 January 2003 - 12:15 PM
I share Bushey's skepticism about the Jasper White empire. The Summer Shack has gotten some bad notices. I looked over his place -- King Fish Hall or something similar -- in the Quincy Mkt. area. The decor was spectacularly over the top, reminded me of Farallon in SF, the menu was intriguing, the smells arising from the ovens were tempting, and the occasional dish that came over the counter was attractively presented, but we happened to be passing through at an odd hour and did not feel up for a real meal.
I think the Boston Globe had a review of both Oishii's. It might be worth checking the Boston.com website for the details.
Posted 07 January 2003 - 12:52 PM
Posted 08 January 2003 - 07:40 AM
We get to Boston a couple of times a year and are still working through our list of places we'd like to try. Never got to Jasper's. Recently we went to Rialto, after my having missed Jody Adams years ago at Michaela's. Our meal at Rialto was wonderful: everything tasted good and the service and atmosphere was of the casual elegant style we prefer. I'm still waiting to get to No. 9 Park; my husband was there for lunch about a year ago and loved it.
Posted 08 January 2003 - 07:48 AM
Posted 08 January 2003 - 08:16 AM
Posted 16 January 2003 - 03:07 PM
I've eaten at Oishii in Sudbury on several occasions and it is very good. There are other good places for sushi in the Boston area, so it's not b/c there's no competition. I will add, though, that the new Japanese restaurant in Natick that Ming Tsai mentioned, Oga, is excellent, potentially in a league of it's own for sushi and Japanese in this area. It's well worth the trip outside the city to try it.
I wonder whether Oishii gets mentioned so much because it's very good, or because its competitors are relatively weak.
Posted 18 January 2003 - 11:08 AM
I ordered four items, one of which was superb. They served the best Toro sashimi I have ever had. The fish was smooth, the flesh solid without break or crack in it, a beautiful clear color -- pinkish mauvish, but don't depend on my color memory for that detail. Going down the gullet, it was like silk. The flavor was fantastic. In the last few months I have had toro at two other respectable places, Fugakyu in Brookline, reputed among the best sushi bars in Boston and Osaka, certainly the best in Northampton. There was no comparison. Oishii's was in a different league. The other dish worth trying is Hamachi Torched Maki, tobiko, cucumber, and spicy mayo on the inside, hamachi, torched on the outside, sprinkled with mayo and black caviar. It was very good, though not the same distinctive experience as the toro. The other two dishes are not woirth a repeat engagement. One was the Tako Su, octopus in light vinegar and lemon. I had octopus the night before at Oleana and was in the mood to continue the roll, but this was bland and disappointing.
It was a terribly cold day and to warm up I ordered the spicy seafood miso soup. Other than its heat, it had nothing to recommedn it. The scallops and shrimp were bland and the broth had heat, but little distinctive taste. Tang the owner (I believe) and chief sushi maker is a pleasant fellow who buys good fish. The hostess, waitress, and telephone order-taker Jackie is pleasant as well. However, it can be disconcerting to give your order to someone walking around with a head-set.
Posted 18 January 2003 - 12:47 PM
Where exactly in Natick is Oga located? What precisely have you tried there?
Posted 20 January 2003 - 09:15 AM
It's been a few months since I was there, but my recollection is that I had their fresh spring rolls, house nigiri platter, shrimp tempura appetizer, and beef rolls appetizer. They also have an extensive sake offering.
The owner is one of the original founders of Ginza, he's done a lovely job of renovating the interior of what was a fairly bland Chinese restaurant.