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jackal10

Visiting Boston

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I'm visitng Boston for a workshop at MIT on 14th-19th October.

Meets?

Eats?

Bakeries?

Pizza?

Looked through the other (rather old) threads, but I guess much has changed since last visited many years ago.

I guess revisit Faneuil Hall for Boston Baked Beans and Indian Pudding

Legal Seafoods for chowder and lobster. Where else?


Edited by jackal10 (log)

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No car, but I understand they have taxis and public transport.

Based at Kendall Square and the St Botolph club

I'd like to try things and local specialities that are better there than elsewhere. High end dining, and artisan baking.

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No car, but I understand they have taxis and public transport.

Based at Kendall Square and the St Botolph club

I'd like to try things and local specialities that are better there than elsewhere. High end dining, and artisan baking.

In the Cambridge area, Hi-Rise Bread Company for baking, Upper Crust ( a local pizza chain), and Hungry Mother are all good. Atasca for Portuguese also good and maybe an ethnic cuisine you don't see a lot of other places. Dali - tapas - is really good food and wicked fun vibe.

In Boston, if you can get a reservation, O Ya (sushi, but really, you have to try) is great. Flour in the South End (bakery), Number 9 Park (high end), B& G Oysters (expensive but fabulous lobster rolls - and oysters) are also good choices.

If you can get out of the city, Blue Ginger in Wellesley is a solid choice.

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I second Oleana. Its excellent. Also nearby is EVOO which is similarly excellent - its New American, lots of organics and local produce but not in the least pretentious, and a good wine list too.

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Right down Mass Ave, in Central Square, Steve Johnson is still turning out great food in his new venue, Rendezvous. Always worth a visit -- Steve has turned out luscious, exciting, reliable food year in and year out, first at The Blue Room, and now here.

I'd rather eat Steve's cooking than anyone else's in the greater Boston area, any day. He doesn't get as much press as some of the other chefs in the area, but we're just thrilled he keeps feeding us the meals we enjoy most.

- Laura


Edited by Lapin d'Argent (log)

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I was a complete newbie to Boston when I visited for 5 days in April, and had some fabulous meals.

The blow-out meal was at Neptune Oyster, where I shared a HOT lobster roll (that means with butter rather than mayo) and ate no fewer than 21 oysters and 3 clams on the half shell. :wub: Hey, I had just finished Boston, I earned it! :raz:

The crazy expensive meal (in retrospect) was the brunch at Henrietta's. It was really, REALLY good but that didn't mean there wasn't sticker shock when my tab for $39 plus a $10 bloody mary arrived. Eesh. That being said, an indicator of the variety and quality lies in the 7 kinds of terrines available for sampling. Expand that out to fruit, bread, oysters, pastas, desserts, et cetera. . . Basically I'm saying it is a good value, but not of the cheap kind. :blink:

If you're an ice cream fiend, you're in the correct city. Herrell's for hot fudge on anything and everything, J.P. Licks for whatever, Christina's in Cambridge for Kulfi or any special flavors, Toscanini's for burnt caramel.

Favorite breakfast in town was nearby in Somerville (I was staying a longish walk away in Cambridge), a cool little family cafe/storefront called The Neighborhood. Portuguese, but not just that. Order linguica and cream of wheat and you'll have the full experience, no matter how weird that sounds.

Then I had some chocolate at Burdick and all was well, in a stuffed-to-the-gills kind of way.

Whew! I only regretted not having a reservation for Helmand (Middle Eastern), but ended up eating next door at a pretty darn good Thai place.

The tales of my trip in real time can be read over at chow.com.

(edited to fix name of brunch joint and add external trip details link)


Edited by misstenacity (log)

"You can't taste the beauty and energy of the Earth in a Twinkie." - Astrid Alauda

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Food Lovers' Guide to Santa Fe, Albuquerque & Taos: OMG I wrote a book. Woo!

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If you're based near MIT, you can eat very well in the vicinity. Lapin d'Argent mentioned one of my favorites, Steve Johnson's Blue Room in Kendall Square. In the same neighborhood is a new place getting good reviews (I haven't been yet), Hungry Mother. In nearby Central Square, one my favorites is Central Kitchen on Mass Ave. A short menu but always high quality, fair priced wine list, and a comfortable place to have a meal at the bar if you're alone. Closer to Harvard Square, there's Craigie Street Bistro, one of the best restaurants in the area. For a more casual place, I like Casablanca, with generous and delicious small plates of mediteranean food. Further out, at the Alewife T stop, is Jasper White's Summer Shack for all things seafood. As for pastry, Hi-Rise in Cambrige is excellent.



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The best dessert is at Clio at the Elliott Hotel in Boston.

Ken Oringer, chef owner has had numerous brilliant pastry chefs including Alex Stupek (WD50), and recently Rich Billings (Joel Rubicon).

Rene, the pastry chef, is young but is rockin out some of the best flavor/technique combos I have had in recent times.

If you go for sushi at Uni (the best in the city) or a dinner at Clio (worth the spulrge), leave room for dessert: alternatively, sit at the bar and go for a dessert tasting.

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I think I need to try dessert at Clio!

I'd forgotten that Craigie is moving to Central Square...nix that. A second vote for Oleana in Cambridge, then.

If you can get away from your conference and take the T to Boston, I would also recommend No. 9 Park. But I'd stay away from Barbara Lynch's South End outposts of B&G Oyster and the Butcher Shop. The food is good but wildly overpriced for the casual food that it is (I'm still recovering from the bill for a visit to the latter last Friday, which made me remember why I'd stayed away).



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I don't know what the prices are like at the Butcher Shop these days, but we've had a great time there and haven't felt overcharged. The cured products there are fantastic, if you're into that sort of thing.

The cured products are fantastic, as are their own terrines and pates. If you can make a meal of one of those and a glass of wine (and often times that's what I want), then I'd be happy.

My recent visit was with a small group of friends, with the intention of sharing some wine and cured meat followed by dinner. Our first difficulty was with the wine list, which was both oddly organized and definitely on the pricey side. Only a few wines were below $50 per bottle (our desired price limit), and despite an educated clientel and consultation with staff, the choices were mediocre at best. Food from the dinner menu was quite good, but main course prices for small appetizer portions. The per person bill was near $90 and when I got home I raided the refrigerator.

My point is that qualite/prix ratio was poor. I eat out once or twice per week and don't resent paying for a good dining experience. But within my budget, I won't head back to the Butcher Shop anytime soon. I'd rather pay more for a dinner at No. 9 Park, another of Barbara Lynch's restaurants.



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Any very recent openings? I've been to Boston a few times and eaten at many of the recommended places. I'm keen to try a couple of new places - even if no one can say if they're good or not yet...

D.


Read about what I've been eating at http://theeatingwell.blogspot.com/

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Per The Butcher Shop, I've also heard similar complaints from friends who have recently gone there. Prices have risen and plates have gotten smaller, and not that interesting of a selection. Too bad, I loved the place. B&G still rockin' though.

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Any very recent openings? I've been to Boston a few times and eaten at many of the recommended places. I'm keen to try a couple of new places - even if no one can say if they're good or not yet...

D.

Newest that I would recommend is Estragon Tapas on Harrison in the South End. On Friday and Saturday you can get whole braised pig head: the other dishes are far less daughting and very good.

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I have a collection of various restaurants that you might want to look at on Google Maps. They were vetted as best I can for future visits to Boston. I've only been to a few.

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UT...77,0.07699&z=14

I'd also appreciate comments if some really don't belong.


Banished from Chowhound; I like it just fine on eGullet!

If you`re not big enough to lose, you`re not big enough to win! Try this jalapeno, son. It ain't hot...

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Any very recent openings? I've been to Boston a few times and eaten at many of the recommended places. I'm keen to try a couple of new places - even if no one can say if they're good or not yet...

D.

Newest that I would recommend is Estragon Tapas on Harrison in the South End. On Friday and Saturday you can get whole braised pig head: the other dishes are far less daughting and very good.

I'm there on a Saturday - but sadly on my own so I'm not sure I can manage a whole head. I assume that's not a dish for one ; )

Will try to get down there though. Looks good.


Read about what I've been eating at http://theeatingwell.blogspot.com/

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I have a collection of various restaurants that you might want to look at on Google Maps. They were vetted as best I can for future visits to Boston. I've only been to a few.

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UT...77,0.07699&z=14

I'd also appreciate comments if some really don't belong.

Oh excellent! That maps coming with me~!

thanks,

d.


Read about what I've been eating at http://theeatingwell.blogspot.com/

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Brief trip report:

First night: Ate at the hotel, the Kendall Square Hotel, converted from a former fire house. Adequate, enlivened by power cut with which the staff coped well. Convenient location for MIT and my meetings. Hotel and food adequate.

Legal Sea Foods, Kendal Square. Oysters then lobster. What can one say? Does what it says on the tin. Excellent quality seafood, served without fuss. All visitors to Boston must go legally - its now quite a large chain.

MIT faculty club. Institutional banquet catering. Could be better. A lot better. Amused by having to make the menu selections some weeks in advance at the time of booking, which were then printed on the place name cards. I was Mr Tenderloin.

Google canteen: Deserves its fame. How office catering should be done.

Had an excellent hot and sour soup, then beef carved by the chef.

Flatbread Pizza, Burlington (a small chain). Hand knitted wood fired organic pizza. Worthy.

Clear Flour Bakery. Said by many to be the best bread in Boston, and I have no reason to doubt them. Small friendly dedicated place and team.

Had some delicious Canneles de Bordeaux.

Durgin Park. Classic. I'm really fond of this place, and its updated well. The beef maturing as you go in has to be seen.

Lock Ober. Perfectly OK lobster soup and Dover Sole. Indian Pudding too light - not as good as Durgin Park

Flour Bakery (South end). More of a very busy sandwich shop. Had a bread with baked in sausage, peppers, mozzarella, which hit the spot, but the bread was only average.

Galleria Umberto Classic Italian working cafe. Short fixed menu. Long queues for Pizza - only tomato and cheese - used to be $1/slice now $1.35, and Arancini - Sicilian meat, cheese, peas and rice in a deep fried ball. Good. Some say best Pizza in Boston.

Mike's Pastries, almost opposite, another must visit shop. Locals debate whether they or Modern make the best cannoli (flavoured riccotta in a crisp shell). Modern was closed, so we could not make the comparison.

Great Bay Restaurant. Maybe I had eaten too much already, but I found it pretentious and average. Small overcooked lobster with lots of irrelevant junk, such as a squash flower stuffed with brandade, except the brandade was mostly mashed potato.

Top of the Hub. Sunday Brunch. You go for the view.

To my taste the omelette was cooked at too low a heat, and was dull, and the muffin in the eggs Benedict was hard and stale.

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Durgin Park is not fine dining. You are eating tradition, plain food, plainly cooked maybe at wooden benches with traditionally rude wait staff.

Since I come from a similar tradition, I like it,

I only eat there prime rib, homemade Boston Baked Beans, Indian Pudding, all which are excellent. I dare say the clam chowder, broiled scrod or lobster are equally acceptable, but I've not ventured. The menu rightly says that the management is not responsible for steaks ordered well done.

Locke Ober has had a makeover. and Lydia Shire has lightened the place and the food, not to the advantage of the Indian Pudding. I was taken by a fussy eater, and they coped with the demands ("take this bread away and toast it") well. Not cheap but it was described as their favourite place, and what I had (lobster soup, not chowder, and dover sole with a respectable Alsacian Pinot Gris) was competant rather than exciting.


Edited by jackal10 (log)

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I like Mike's Pastry a lot.

Neptune Oyster is terrific, though not cheap.

I have occasionally had decent meals at Legal Seafoods, but as often I've had very overcooked - dried and hard - fish and shellfish, and I've never been pleased with the service.

I did try Top of the Hub, though I figured it would be a bad idea for a meal. I had some fries - adequate - and a big, silly-looking, not very well-made Cosmopolitan. It might be OK for a glass of wine, period. The view is really wonderful.

Hamersley's Bistro is great, something I wouldn't miss.

I don't usually do Sunday brunch, but at Aujourd'hui, it was delicious and lots of fun.

I like Durgin Park for the same reasons that Jackal mentioned.


"Life itself is the proper binge" Julia Child

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