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Two best meals in Boston


ulterior epicure
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Looks like I might be headed back to Boston (first time back in too many years) soon. I'm so out of the loop on the local restaurant scene, and would like some vetted advice from the local eG'ers.

I'll most likely have time for two dinners. I'm looking for two high-end restaurant experiences. No. 9 Park will probably be one. Any other suggestions?

I'm a sushi devotee, and I've heard Uni is good - but I also have heard that it's what I call "modern" sushi. I'm a purist.

Hammersley Bistro, L'Espalier, and Locke-Ober have all been on my radar, but I have no clue as to their current status.

One wrench in the monkey: One dinner inevitably will be a Monday night.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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Two more things:

1. Clio??

2. Needs to be manageably accessible - I will be staying near the Institute of Contemporary Art. Will not have car. But, having lived in Boston for a while (many moons ago), I'm T/cab friendly.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Two more things:

1. Clio??

2. Needs to be manageably accessible - I will be staying near the Institute of Contemporary Art.  Will not have car.  But, having lived in Boston for a while (many moons ago), I'm T/cab friendly.

my vote is for Clio.

One time;one memorable meal;one hefty check, but worth it.

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I just saw the menu for L'Espalier online. I know it's most likely not current, but my, my, it reads wonderfully. Thoughts?

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Craigie St. Bistro in Cambridge. Tony Maws is a recent F&W top chef, the place is "cozy". I had a great meal at Hamersley's. Oiishi is constantly rated as the top sushi in Beantown, I've heard good things about Fugyaku also. For fun, you might think about a stop in Chinatown.

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Craigie St. Bistro in Cambridge. Tony Maws is a recent F&W top chef, the place is "cozy". I had a great meal at Hamersley's. Oiishi is constantly rated as the top sushi in Beantown, I've heard good things about Fugyaku also.  For fun, you might think about a stop in Chinatown.

Oh, right - I forgot about Craigie. Great suggestion.

Isn't Oiishi a chain? That's not, per se, bad, but it makes me a little uneasy. Of course, I could be completely mistaken; this Oiishi may just be spelled the same as sushi chain that I've heard of.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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I think you might like Craigie. Locke Ober is rather uninspired food. My limited experience with L'Espalier was fine, but certainly not thrilling. Clio is more interesting. As is Radius. Oiishi will give pimples to a Sushi purist.

I am curious to hear where you went and how you liked it.

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I have never been impressed w/ Hammersley's or L'Espalier.

number 9 park never wowed me either, but if you do go there, you'll be having italian so i would suggest an innovative place for your other dinner.

craigie st is very good but room is boring blah and food is nowhere near as creative as clio. I do think Clio is the most innovative menu you're likely to find in boston; and portions are as small as the prices are high. asian influences will also be a nice counterpoint to your italian meal.

i am a sushi purist as well so i am not into the modernist places you have mentioned. oishii (correct spelling; it means delicious in japanese; and it is NOT a chain here in boston.) is TOOOOO expensive and oh so modern. not my cup of sake ho ho ho.

hope you enjoy yourself and tell us all about it.

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I have never been impressed w/ Hammersley's or L'Espalier.

number 9 park never wowed me either, but if you do go there, you'll be having  italian so i would suggest an innovative place for your other dinner.

craigie st is very good but room is boring blah and food is nowhere near as creative as clio. I do think Clio is the most innovative menu you're likely to find in boston; and portions are as small as the prices are  high. asian influences will also be a nice counterpoint to your italian meal.

i am a sushi purist as well so i am not into the modernist places you have mentioned. oishii (correct spelling; it means delicious in japanese; and it is NOT a chain here in boston.) is TOOOOO expensive and oh so modern. not my cup of sake ho ho ho.

hope you enjoy yourself and tell us all about it.

Thanks for the suggestions.

I don't need innovative, but I do expect good food. The tasting menu at Clio, presently, is $135 for 12-courses plus 2 desserts. While that's high, if the large majority of the courses fire on all fours, then it'd be worth it.

I'm actually not set on No. 9, if someone can persuade me otherwise. In fact, it looks like it's a little far and inaccessible (sans car) from where I'm probably staying.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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I forgot to mention Salts (forget the chefs name, go figure), He is a more recent F&W winner, but seems to have a lower profile than you'd expect. Also, B&G oyster or Neptune Oyster Bar are great for local goodness on a more casual(but not neccesarily cheaper) scale.

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I forgot to mention Salts (forget the chefs name, go figure), He is a more recent F&W winner, but seems to have a lower profile than you'd expect. Also, B&G oyster or Neptune Oyster Bar are great for local goodness on a more casual(but not neccesarily cheaper) scale.

How funny - I just pulled out my F+W from this year's Chef's Issue and I believe you speak of Gabriel Bremer? What think you of his food at Salts?

Another one: Pigalle. Any thoughts, anyone?

[Edited for grammar.]

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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While we're on the subject of Boston, any suggestions for something a cut below No. 9, Clio, etc cost-wise, but still offering a reasonably gracious meal? I've been to Pigalle and B&G and found them fine, but nothing special.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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www.saltsrestaurant.com I've not had the opportunity to go there yet.Another on the I've heard good things about is Sibiling Rivalry(Kinkead brothers). But I find Craigie and Salts most intriguing.

edited to add: Oleana, Ms. Sortun's take on North African/Turkish/eastern Med is well regarded.

Edited by Timh (log)
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www.saltsrestaurant.com    I've not had the opportunity to go there yet.Another on the I've heard good things about is Sibiling Rivalry(Kinkead brothers). But I find Craigie and Salts most intriguing.

Yes, thanks for that link to Salts. Between that and Craigie, it seems like the eats in that area have improved somewhat. In my day, it was The Tasty for their greasy-but-awesome burgers, and then a sundae at Herrell's. But, I suppose, those were different days. *sigh* Does that bank vault still have that awfully kitschy, but almost cute, oceanic "theme?"

Kinkead brothers? As in the same Kinkead of Kinkead's in D.C.??

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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While we're on the subject of Boston, any suggestions for something a cut below No. 9, Clio, etc cost-wise, but still offering a reasonably gracious meal?  I've been to Pigalle and B&G and found them fine, but nothing special.

Neptune oyster on Salem knoks B & G out of the water!

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edited to add: Oleana, Ms. Sortun's take on North African/Turkish/eastern Med is well regarded.

I'm a big Oleana fan. It's been my go-to restaurant in Boston for a while, save for Monday nights when it's closed, when I often head to Chez Henri.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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edited to add: Oleana, Ms. Sortun's take on North African/Turkish/eastern Med is well regarded.

I'm a big Oleana fan. It's been my go-to restaurant in Boston for a while, save for Monday nights when it's closed, when I often head to Chez Henri.

Oh, thanks you two - another great one to consider. I just took a look at the menu and it reads wonderfully!! I would enjoy hearing any/all recent experiences at Oleana, Clio, No. 9 Park, Craigie SB, and Salts (or re-direct to appropriate threads).

I think I've narrowed it down to these five. LoL! I think I'll have to make another trip to Boston in the near future.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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If you can wait, I'll be eating at Oleana next weekend and will report back.

Thanks, yes, I don't go for another month or so.

If you happen to be taking requests, I'd love to know how the grilled octopus, the spicy fideos, the hake kibbeh, the flattened chicken, and the duck shawarma are. Oh, and if you're a sweet tooth, I'd love to know how the goat's milk ice cream dessert and the house-made ice creams are. :raz:

u.e.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Despite it's very French name, Chez Henri's menu reads like an international tour: Chicken Breast Pibil with pupusas and Rice-Crusted Tuna with Peruvian octopus salad??

It all sounds great.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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The octopus is great; I don't know about the other items, though my dad (a notorious finick -- is that a word?) loved that flattened chicken.

Chez Henri billed itself as French-Cuban for a long while, but it's mainly quite solid quasi-fusion stuff with a French, or at least continental, base. It ain't No. 9 Park, though.

Have you considered the Butcher Shop? It's of a different nature than the other things here, but it's got remarkably good charcuterie. Worth a stop at some point.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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The octopus is great; I don't know about the other items, though my dad (a notorious finick -- is that a word?) loved that flattened chicken.
I love a good flattened chicken (caveat: not the road kill type). Octopus, when it is offered, is also a must-try for me, unless I've been warned otherwise.
Chez Henri billed itself as French-Cuban for a long while, but it's mainly quite solid quasi-fusion stuff with a French, or at least continental, base. It ain't No. 9 Park, though.
The name doesn't suggest that it might be.
Have you considered the Butcher Shop? It's of a different nature than the other things here, but it's got remarkably good charcuterie. Worth a stop at some point.
I hadn't until I ran in to Barbara Lynch at a function not too long ago. She had me at sausage sampler.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Oleana is definitely an interesting/good choice as it is a very unique style of cuisine on a pretty sophisticated level. If you are lucky it also might be warm enough to sit in the pretty garden. It is also the only one place where I am tempted to go vegetarian, the tasting is a lot of fun. Plus the have a small but smart wine list. Another bonus is consistency (I had only a single evening recently when the food was just good but not really inspired).

Sibling rivalry is forgettable. They try (too) hard and put lots of stuff on each plate. Everything per se is of decent quality, but I can't recognize any concept. Tastes like food from people with a good technical education but a lack of confidence and no vision of composition or harmony. I also dont find the ambiente exactly exciting.

(And per chance I was invited to the sister place in DC recently...felt like a trip in a time machine back to the early nineties).

If you go to Craigie SB it seems important to communicate that you are an experienced eater and like something off the safe path. They like that and usually find some interesting surprise.

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If you go to Craigie SB it seems important to communicate that you are an experienced eater and like something off the safe path. They like that and usually  find some interesting surprise.
Thanks for the advice. Do you mean to say that they will cook off menu for a diner at their request?

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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