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Elizabeth Clauser

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Everything posted by Elizabeth Clauser

  1. You could take a quick walk over to the North End to Il Panino Express (cash only I believe), or to Nick Varano's Famous Deli (it's really only famous in Nick's head, but they have okay, if slightly expensive sandwiches and are open on Sunday), or even just walk through Faneuil Hall and everyone can follow their bliss.
  2. The beef tongue canape are delicious if they are on the menu, the ham and bisuits are also good. Whatever shrimp dish they are doing for first course is usually delicious, especially their shrimp and grits. For entrees, a lot of people like the catfish, but it didn't stand out to me. Oddly, their chicken dish (I know, chicken seems so boring) is usually EXCELLENT. They also have very solid cocktails - if you are feeling ready to embrace the fall, the no.43 is very good; we make that one at home now. Enjoy!
  3. You can do the Omakase. They will be happy to discuss different levels or dishes you really want to include, add, or subtract - they are very good at discussing what approach will work best for you. Nancy, who is the sommelier (as well the chef's wife and co-owner) is also excellent at helping you pair sake with your meal. We've had some excellent sakes there and the food is always incredibly delicious. Enjoy!
  4. I failed to include O Ya in my recs - I just wasn't thinking sushi when I read your request - but I have to say, it is by far the best table in Boston. You can't go wrong with that pick. Enjoy!
  5. Neptune Oyster Bar in the North End sounds like just the place for you. A really great raw bar and shellfish selection, fantastic fish entrees, daily specials, and a different kind of atmosphere. Unfortunately, despite our seafood rep, Boston's fish restaurants tend towards the fried fish, steamed lobster, touristy kind. If you are tempted to go to Union Bay Oyster, sit at the raw bar and only order oysters (everything else is rather subpar). B&G Oysters in the South End is probably the next best option, but they have a small menu, a small space, and big prices. East Coast Grill in Cambridge, while not dedicated to fish, has both a good raw bar and some unique fish entrees. Finally, some people really like the Legal Test Kitchen, which is pretty much right across from the Wine Expo. I haven't been in awhile, but it gets tepid reviews around here. My husband, friends, and I hated it (strong words, but unfortunately true)- you'd be better off going to a regular Legal Seafoods (there's one across from the Aquarium, not far from the Expo), if you are tempted to follow that route. Good luck.
  6. I'm interested in a really good Southern cookbook. Not New Orleans or strictly bbq, but something that explores other regional foods. I'm probably going to get Edna Lewis, but I was wondering if there was anything else folks could recommend?
  7. I just want to see the show. I don't particularly care if he thinks I can make mayo or not one week a month as long as he gives some really good recipes and techniques for fish cookery. If he does that, I'll promise not to serve him homemade mayo ever, just to be safe.
  8. I keep meaning to buy a couple of cartons of eggs to practice my omelet technique. Now I think I really need to practice more egg techniques - thanks for the inspiration.
  9. Hammersley's Bistro and Tremont 647, both in the South End are good dinner options. Much nicer (and more formal / $$$) is L'Espalier in the Mandarin Oriental; however, their sister restaurant Sel de la Terre, is much less formal and $$$, also in the Mandarin - open for lunch and dinner. There are several restaurants in the North End to consider, such as Prezza and Lucca.
  10. Locke Ober is very formal and no longer open for lunch, just FYI.
  11. I've been thinking about exploring the world of punches and I think your posts have pushed me into action. Thanks so much for these, I look forward to more. I think that gin punch has my name on it.....
  12. ← What's so disappointing to me about this is that, you are right, Stefan really is the best chef there. It's disappointing not because he's kind of a jerk, but because he's completely....passable. He's a very good technician, but he's not artist. I'm not at all interested in eating Stefan's food. Heck, I'm not even sure what a Stefan restaurant would be - he's the guy the chef hires to faithfully and skillfully execute the chef's vision, but nothing more, IMO. That, in nutshell, is the problem with the whole season.
  13. I TIVO'd the Chicago ep and haven't had a chance to watch it yet. We were really hoping he would go to Alinea; bummer that doesn't seem to have happened.
  14. I love your posts, keep them coming, please! All of a sudden I want to practice my old-school sauces this weekend. Your commentary is helpful and brings my Escoffier and New Professional Chef to life a little bit more. Thank you.
  15. LOL. After reading the link it is clear that he fancies himself to be a reality TV villian when in reality he is just a pretentious ass. Logorrhea should not be confused with brilliance nor sophistry with insight. Looks like we'll be seeing more of him because Bravo likes the negative press. A shame, because it isn't titillating, just stupid and irritating. I don't think many watch to see what the twit will do next. ← There's a reason his first book was titled "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People". His whole career is based on being an unrepentent, shameless ass hat.
  16. I made a celery root soup - it's pretty much potato leek, except instead of potatoes, you use, well, celery root. Also added some chile powder to add a little heat in the back and subtle kick. It had a nice, bright flavor, but was still a comforting, satisfying dish.
  17. I too am happy Melissa and Gene got the boot. I had given Gene some props early on for rigging up that grill (but then again, didn't Michael Symon do something similar on the Next Iron Chef?), but the daikon noodles with tomato and basil sounded disgusting even before they were paired with over-cooked fish. I am conflicted about Ariane - I think some of her wins have been cheap and she doesn't seem very creative or inspired overall, but her skate dish was the only one that I'm curious about. If caterers don't win, doesn't that mean Stefan is without hope as well? I think he's going to be in the finals, myself. Fabio has disappointed of late, but the judges did say that his pasta dish would have been perfect if he'd left off the lamb. Hopefully, he'll learn from that and make a comeback. Looks like next week, we get a visit from Hung.....I wonder how he and Toby would've gotten along?
  18. I would choose Craigie. It's a more relaxed, convivial atmosphere and all of Tony Maws' attention is on it. Clio is a lot more buttoned up, there have been some service issues, and Oringer is all over the place. But's that's just IMO.
  19. Well, a couple of things. CSAs are not going to be at their best in the winter in terms of variety. Also, I've found that, depending on the size of the share, splitting one with someone limits you even more. I split a half-share with someone a few years ago and, like you, found it to be extremely disappointing. I got my own half-share at a later date and enjoyed much more. The best stuff is going to go to the full shares, so if you have the people or the preservation skills to put that to use, it will end up with the best variety. Finally, it does pay to shop around, meet your farmers - the best way is usually at the farmers' market because you can see the variety and quality of the produce, as well as figure out if they are friendly / responsive to you as a customer. I love the farmers I have my CSA with, but they are my third try. They were my favorite stand at the farmers' market for years and when they went the CSA route, I jumped at the chance and haven't looked back.
  20. I've been enjoying Anne Burrell's new show, Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. She has a few personality tics that can grate, but I give her latitude because: 1. She knows her stuff 2. Good recipes 3. She can probably kick my ass
  21. Maybe a little lame, but Ratatouille. Also, Like Water for Chocolate, Babette's Feast, and Tampopo
  22. What a treasure trove this thread is! Just when I thought I was running out of good food writing to sink my teeth into. While it's a cookbook, not a narrative, I'm currently poring over Grant Achatz's Alinea cookbook. It's beautiful!
  23. In my opinion, there was very little flavor, it was a bit dry, and it was not very "Northern-like" at all to my tastes (that is, it was not soft, moist and sweet). What gives? I could swear I have made a successful CI-recipe cornbread before, it must not have been this one! I was left wondering if it was the cornmeal itself: I used a stone-ground organic that had lots of germ in it, so I was hoping for a lot of great flavor, as the article promised me! Is there another Northern-style cornbread recipe in a more recent issue that I could be thinking of? (I feel like it might have actually had corn kernels in it, anyone remember that one?) ← I make many, many items successfully from CI's various offerings, but I have to concur that the Northern Cornbread was problematic. I used high quality, stone-ground cornmeal that as far as I know wasn't sitting around very long. Yet mine also was a bit dry and lackluster. I tried more than once, thinking I had over-baked or any number of other variables, but never hit on a winning version with this recipe. I did, however, make the cinnamon rolls from Baking Illustrated this weekend and they have never let me down. Yum!
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