Insights, tips, and restaurant reports from CHOW editors and Chowhound.
"I keep asking myself: why don't I go to this place more often? I can't wait to go back," says snowcone about dinner at Rendezvous, a Cambridge spot that has what Pia calls "wonderful food and cocktails, intimate setting but not so fancy that you feel like you have to dress up."
Hounds aren't the only ones who love this underrated spot; Chef Steve Johnson was on this year's James Beard list of top chefs in the Northeast.
• The mint and cucumber cocktail, an elegant combination of those two ingredients plus lemon, gin, and simple syrup-- a perfect summer refresher
• Arugula and escarole salad with shaved fennel, breadcrumbs, and anchovy dressing
• Maine crab cakes with Berber spices and purée of fresh peas
• Toasted orecchiette with pork and veal meatballs
• Roasted chicken with morels, leeks, spinach, and mustard sauce
There are great deals to be had here, too. The Sunday prix fixe menu, a steal at only $38, includes an appetizer, entrée, and dessert. Monday night is also tapas night, with reasonably priced small plates.
502 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge
Discuss: Great meal at Rendezvous
Cooked right in the sauce. READ MORE
"Over 700 comments" is all you need to read to understand that breastfeeding in public still retains a whiff of controversy. A story in the St. Paul Pioneer Press about a breastfeeding woman being booted from a Maplewood, Minnesota buffet touched off a firestorm of comments that reflect a) the diversity of opinions about breastfeeding, b) how little of an article is actually read before the typical commenter weighs in with his or her "thoughts" and c) how far the national discourse has sunk, since, say, the relatively enlightened era of two or three years ago.
Here's the kind of food story that warms the cockles of your heart: When a guy at the newly opened Target Field in Minneapolis decided to fire up a delicious batch of marijuana (or "oregano," as he later described it to security guards) he chose to do so in a red pepper hollowed out into an improvised pipe.
On the heels of a rash of lawsuits accusing the site of extortion, Yelp.com CEO Jeremy Stoppelman posted to the Yelp blog about the new ways the site would up its transparency by adding a link for users to see reviews that were automatically filtered off a business's page, and eliminating the "Favorite Review" feature from its advertising package, which had previously allowed an advertiser to select a review that would appear at the top of its listing. READ MORE
While they may have gone a step too far when they equate drinking bottled water to smoking while pregnant, the creators of "The Story of Bottled Water" make it pretty clear that there is really no reason to be buying and throwing away countless plastic bottles a year. READ MORE
Hotcakes Bakes has a truly unique cupcake, says bulavinaka. "The cake portion is based on the popular tres leches cake; it's moist, flavorful, and slightly spongy, and has a tres leches-like filling piped in the middle," explains bulavinaka. "This is topped with a horchata frosting, then garnished with fresh slices of mango that have been adorned with chili powder. It really is the little package that sums up some yummy sweets found in Mexican cuisine and beyond." The horchata frosting is nice and cinnamon-y, and the mango is fresh. The whole shebang is moist; quite unlike the dry cupcakes peddled at some other bakeries.
Hotcakes Bakes [Westside - Inland]
4119 South Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles
Discuss: Hotcakes Bakes in Culver City/Mar Vista: Tres leches, horchata and chili mango all in one cupcake!
"Everything we ordered hit high on the taste meter," says bulavinaka about the new, slightly dressy Westside Lebanese restaurant Mezza Grill. Fried cauliflower by itself justifies a visit. The seasoning highlights the cauliflower's natural nuttiness, and the cauliflower is cooked "just enough to give a slightly crispy texture on the outside" but leave it "still steamy and fragrant on the inside."
Falafels are perfectly fried, with a soft inner warmth, says bulavinaka. The accompanying tahini is excellently lemony, and balances well with the falafel.
Succulent, sweet shrimp kabobs come perfectly cooked, with a nice char on the outside. They are served with creamy garlic condiment. "Creamy garlic and shrimp, what a perfect match," says bulavinaka. "I can't say enough about the kitchen's chef. His name is difficult for me to even think about pronouncing but he is a magician."
Mezza Grill [Westside - Inland]
9901 Washington Boulevard, Culver City
Discuss: Mezza – Chow Alert for Excellent Lebanese Cuisine in the Southern Hemisphere of the Westside