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Posts posted by pattimw

  1. We live in NC and haven't been to Boston in almost 20 years.  On our last visit  I recall eating at Legal Seafood.  We will be visiting there again this weekend....going to support our team in the Women's Final Four basketball tournament....arriving on Saturday and I'll leave Wed. morning;  hub will stay on a few days to attend a conference.  I've read through this thread with great interest.  Would someone be so kind as to tell me which places are in the area of Boston Common?  Any suggestions for reasonably priced breakfast places....we'll be staying in a nice place, but not interested in paying big bucks for hotel breakfasts.  Thanks so much in advance for your help and advice.


    A lot of the places mentioned above aren't too far from the common.

    No. 9 park abuts the Common, it's across from the State House.

    Silvertone's is on Bromfield St., running up to the common. Great casual food as someone said above. Mac and cheese, meatloaf, steak tips.

    Ivy on Temple Place just opened. Have heard good things - Italian small plates.

    Troquet is on the other side of the Common from No. 9 Park on Boylston st. I think that was also mentioned above.

    Breakfast? Paramount on Charles St. is a good one and relatively close to the common. As someone said before, breakfast isn't a thing in Boston like in NYC. I would recommend hitting one of the bakeries in the South End as someone said above (Flour or South End Buttery). I think Tremont 647, also in the South End, is one of the few places in the city that is known for its brunch.

    Good luck! Weather is supposed to be warm and sunny (by our standards) this weekend!

  2. I would agree with what most posters here have said and recommended.

    When I travel I try to go to some places that are well established and avoid the so called "hot/trendy" operations of the moment.

    East Coast grill and Jasper White's Summer Shack are musts.

    I would also add Loch Ober--maybe for lunch--this is a Boston/New England institution that has been updated by Lydia Shire (I believe she is still there) she is an outstanding chef and also somewhat of a Boston institution. The atmosphere here is priceless--old world Boston!

    I would also look at Hammersley's Bistro--this has been around quite a while and IMOP is often overlooked in favor of more trendy and fleeting spots. The food here French/Mediterranean is wonderful and Gordon Hammersley is usually at the stove.

    Also the Legal Seafood in the Park Plaza Hotel is great (I believe this is the original)--inexpensive seafood really done well--stick to the simple offerings.

    I would absolutely second Hamersley's Bistro. And I agree with the other poster about Olives- I wouldn't bother.

    The link from a previous poster has some great suggestions. But I would avoid Haymarket - if you want an outdoor market, there are a couple of good ones - Monday and wednesday at City Hall Plaza and Copley Place Tuesday and Friday and there's a newer one at the Northern Ave bridge on Thursdays. You can get wonderful cheese, bread, fruit for a picnic.

    Enjoy your honeymoon. Boston is gorgeous in the summer!

  3. iriee - those sure aren't local favas!

    balducci's has them year-around - but then again, they have canned vegetables year-aound, too!

    that said, friends have said that frozen favas are amongst the best frozen vegetables - but I've never seen those.  (though I do keep around frozen sugar snaps, just in case.  and I always have frozen chopped spinach for making creamed spinach a la The Palm Cookbook.)

    I did see frozen favas at whole foods. maybe I will give them a whirl.....

  4. Well, I guess that's one way to get on their mailing list.

    No kidding. I didn't realize it retailed for $1,000 a bottle. Pretty insane.

    I wonder what this means for the brand....will it lose some of its cache? Will these new owners try to preserve the cult status?

  5. Why not use something in season, or even better use, say soaked and cooked dried butter beans (which are Fava beans in their winter guise)

    Over here, butter beans are a type of lima bean. I've never seen favas labelled as such.


    Is the name broad beans over here then?

  6. The lamb prosciutto is every bit as good as it sounds!  I'm sure you can find Salumi meats somewhere in Boston. They do a wholesale business all over the country. I can find out which restaurants they sell to if you'd like.

    I'm going to Boston to sit on some architecture juries in May. They are going to take me out to dinner pretty much anywhere I want after. I suggested Oleana. Thoughts? Suggestions?

    I'm thoroughly enjoying your very thoughtful & highly interesting blog.  Thanks for all your effort!

    Oleana is one of our favorite restaurants in Boston.  My daughter was in grad school at Harvard & whenever we visited her, we went to Oleana, including the day she graduated!  Ana Sortun is very innovative & we highly recommend Oleana.

    Henry- just started reading this blog yesterday and felt compelled to read from start to finish. Love your perspective on architecture and food and I am feeling the need to visit Seattle for all the food. I think I'd go for Salumi alone.

    Not sure if you'd be interested in two more cents on restaurants in Boston - in case you have other opportunities to eat out while here.

    I think Oleana is a great idea, and I would also check out Rialto and Hamersley's if you have the time.

  7. Speaking of wine and laws in MA, has anyone heard the latest on the wine shipping bill? Last I knew, Romney had vetoed the watered down bill back in November and that the legislature was due to vote on a revised bill sometime soon.

  8. Hmmmm....

    I am making a Halibut recipe with fingerlings and meyer lemon salsa. the favas are briefly sauteed and kept warm with the smashed fingerlings in a saute pan.

    Do you think the frozen shelled favas would be a total waste?

    Spring recipes always have favas....too bad spring doesn't come to MA until June. :rolleyes:

  9. HD now has a line of reduced fat ice creams. I have tried the Dutch Chocolate and Vanilla and am very impressed. WAY better than the Fro yo. Higher in fat, but a great compromise between the regular and frozen yogurt.

  10. Hello! I need a suggestion for a nice dinner in Burlington. I'd prefer a good wine list and a younger clientelle (ie, anything labeled "continental cuisine" is out)....

    I would love your suggestions.

    So far I've found by searching outside the site: L'Amante and Opaline. Thoughts?

    thanks for your help!

    Smokejacks, which has been mentioned by many here before, is a great choice. Nice wine and cheese selections, food is very good, and the atmosphere is probably more in line with what you're looking for - up to date, modern. Plus, it is right downtown on the corner of Church and Main - so you can take a nice walk before and/or after dinner up church st. or down to the waterfront.

    Don't know anything about L'Amante or Opaline.

  11. St. Supery and Voss are two Napa producers who usually do a good job with SB, so that it tastes like SB and not a Chardonnay wannabe.  I'd echo Carolyn, these aren't made to age.  I'd ask the question, how did they taste, regardless of the color?



    I would definitely say that the flavor was as I would expect from a SB - crisp, with some grassy flavors, maybe a slight hint of citrus, but not overpowering. I didn't notice as many of the tropical fruit flavors I typically remember from other Napa SBs. Very "clean."

  12. I've had a few 2003 Sauvignon Blancs from Napa recently (St. Supery and Voss in particular) and have noticed that there is very little color in these wines- and I am so used to SB being straw yellow. I know color isn't always a big deal, but i was wondering if these are too young to drink, if they need another year in the bottle?

    Hopefully I am not outing myself as a true novice here....just wondering if others had noticed....

    Todd Wernstrom observed in The Wine News last year (as did others, I'm sure, but his piece was the one I read) that CA SB producers are beginning to learn that you can't handle SB the same way you would Chardonnay (i.e., aging on oak, as Carolyn mentioned). Just as you don't manhandle Pinot Noir the way you would Cabernet. The result is, hopefully, SBs that are more classic, traditional, and I would argue appropriate to the grape. It sounds like you're seeing some of the first results of this. I'm with Carolyn on appreciating this style over the typical CA version.

    Very interesting. Thank you for the information!

  13. I've had a few 2003 Sauvignon Blancs from Napa recently (St. Supery and Voss in particular) and have noticed that there is very little color in these wines- and I am so used to SB being straw yellow. I know color isn't always a big deal, but i was wondering if these are too young to drink, if they need another year in the bottle?

    Hopefully I am not outing myself as a true novice here....just wondering if others had noticed....

  14. this was a great cooking weekend for me. Did a lot of cooking from cookbooks.

    Sat night's dinner-

    Roasted pork tenderloin with wine, fennel, rosemary, and bayleaf (from Jamie Oliver)

    Roasted Potato Galette with Thyme

    Frisee Salad with Sage Croutons (both from Amanda Hesser's The cook and the Gardener)

    Argyle 2003 Pinot Noir (my new favorite Pinot, and can be obtained from Costco at a great price :biggrin: )

    prepped dinner while watching "le Divorce" - anyone else watch movies while cooking? I set up my laptop and some small speakers in the kitchen. It's fun, since our kitchen is so separate from other rooms and I need to keep myself company.

    Sunday night - Dh and I celebrated Valentine's Day.

    All recipes from Andrea Immer's Everyday Dining with Wine

    Warm Crispy Goat Cheese Canapes (sliced goat cheese and breaded with crumbs, sauteed and served atop melba toast, topped with a slice of sun dried tomato)

    Voss 2003 Sauvignon Blanc

    Churrasco Style Steak - rib eye marinated in paprika, cumin, garlic, cayenne, parsley, olive oil, and sherry vinegar, then grilled

    Creamed Spinach

    Spicy Fruited Couscous (couscous cooked with a curry powder, then pine nuts, diced apricots, and cranberries and cilantro stirred in)

    J Vineyards Brut Rose (never knew steak and rose sparkling wine would be such an amazing combination, but the wine was perfect with the spiciness and enhanced the steak, rather than drowning it in a strong, tannic Cabernet)

    Dow's Late Vintage Bottled Port -1997

    homemade truffles made with Valhrona and chambord

  15. We have a bottle every night with dinner. I have a glass waiting on the table for my wife when she walks in the door. Every night she has to try to ID the wine, otherwise I won't tell her what it is. She is quite good at picking wines, which leads to another subject : Is the female pallate  better than a males?? I've heard this in the past.

    So fun. I do this with my husband sometimes.

    I have heard from various sources that women have a better sense of smell, which obviously, is related. I wonder if there are more female "supertasters" than male. I would be curious to learn more...but this might be a separate topic...

  16. This article in the LA Times

    O'Brien, 49, who made his money running computer software companies, bought 40 acres in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley five years ago, renamed it O'Brien Family Vineyard and announced that he was going to make a $28 Bordeaux blend aimed at women.

    "Folks in Napa said I was absolutely wrong," he told me over lunch recently. "They said women drink only … white wine, cheap white wine that they buy in the grocery store."

    Ouch! The tone on the part of the author is certainly not sympathetic to this cause of marketing wine to women, and he also mentions "Wine for Women" by Leslie Sbrocco, which educates about wine in the following manner:

    But Sbrocco also repeatedly compares specific wine varietals to articles of clothing, as if women were too ignorant or too stupid to understand wine on its own terms.

    Thus, Chardonnay is popular largely because of its versatility, "just like those black pants that come in many fabrics and styles." Sauvignon Blanc is like "a crisp white cotton [shirt]." Pinot Noir is satin. Merlot is "nothing short of vinous cashmere." Zinfandel is "black leather pants." Cabernet Sauvignon is a "wine wardrobe essential," the equivalent of an "all-purpose" black suit. Dessert wines are pajamas.

    When I spoke with Sbrocco last week, she said she used the fashion analogies "to focus on things relevant to women's daily lives."

    I know that it is true that wine marketing is directed at men, for sure. Pick up any Wine Spectator and you will see that. But is it fair to "dumb it down" for women? I really also didn't realize that there was such a gap in the levels of wine drinking among men and women.

    I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this topic. I thought it was an interesting article and a sub text in the wine industry that I have always been curious about.

  17. I don't think you're actually supposed to eat these. They're a token for a donation, like a plastic poppy or a plastic yellow ribbon. They're all made from the same plastic, just dyed different colours.

    mm love that vintage Jinmyo. :wub:

    I'll eat any of the peanut butter-based cookies, and I confess that I really like the um... caramel and coconut ones. Those are really more like tiny candy bars or something, though.

    (it's been a few years, btw... are we still allowed to call them Samoas? Last I knew, the name was changing.)

    (and yes, I realize that's a regional name. If you haven't heard of the name, then, well, it's not from your region. :smile: )

    I knew them as Samoas as a kid. I always forget the Carmel delites name.

  18. What kind of cheese is that in your lunch?

    it's a very ordinary young Gouda cheese.

    That, on some good wholegrain bread, is one of the few things I can eat every day without ever getting tired of it.

    the simplicity of it just looks so inviting.

    Oh, and my mouth.is.watering at the sight of those fries. The look so nice and crispy from the outside, but i bet they are soft and smushy inside.... :wub:

  19. I think I was in your place a few years ago....young and impressionable! So i can definitely relate to wanting to get over that "hump" in the learning curve....

    I did read Wine Spectator, even though it was a little esoteric. Wine & Spirits and Wine Enthusiast are a little better for something without a great depth and breadth of wine knowledge.

    Several people on this thread said tasting and taking notes. Really, no better way to learn. Take notes. Yes, be a geek. Part of the wine thing is being conscious while you drink, thinking about what you are smelling, tasting, seeing, etc. You have to engage your mind. (yup, I'm a geek).

    Wine Bible by Karen McNeil is good - endlessly comprehensive - don't even think you can get through it all, but it is an excellent resource, especially about regions. Not sure if this is too basic, but Great Wines Made Simple by Andrea Immer is a great book that helps you learn how to analyze wines, the characteristics of the varietals, etc.

    And not sure if this is in your budget, but travel to wine regions if you can. We have a few locally here in Mass. and I have been fortunate to visit Napa and Sonoma twice. I also visited a couple in Virginia.

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