opinionatedchef's Profile

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Best place for fried seafood/fisherman's platter?

Hargau, what a great lunch idea for visitors with cars who want to explore the Concord area (just 20 minutes away.) Excellent fried clams AND onion rings? can't wait :-}
p.s. have you tried the Clam Box, and how do you think the two compare? thx much.

9 minutes ago
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Some recent Merrimack Valley eats / lunch

excellent helpful details, ali; and info's photos complete the picture! will def head up there v soon. (and THANK YOU for the wed early closing info. I surely would have gone on a Wed afternoon!)

yes, i liked those waltham Tara emps- a few diff kinds. Striper reported on those awhile ago. My fav emps are from Tango in Arlington. Only the beef ones. They freeze well and we keep supply in frzr.

that chicken looks just like the chix at La Fe.

1 day ago
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Canadian foodies looking for central Boston reccs

chicas, welcome in advance! we've helped a lot of canadian visitors on this board, but we need more info to help you better:
--when?
--how many lunches and dinners; any sundays?
--do you have other activities planned so we can rec something nearby?
--what area are you staying in?
--'central boston' means no cambridge or brookline, even though there are subways that go there?
-- ethnic restnts too or are you coming from vancouver or toronto or ......, where you have tons of asian and other ethnic spots?

2 days ago
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

South Shore lunch?

the 2 times we have eaten at the Blue Eyed Crab in Plymouth, we have been surprised and delighted. I think they are open for lunch. I did post about it, if you do a search.

Apr 16, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Some recent Merrimack Valley eats / lunch

ali, this is so great; there's hardly anything on CH about this area, except for Lowell.

I havd a THING about meat pies/empanadas etc. Would you plse describe those at Thwaites- what ethnicity? rather plain English flavors, or spicy cumin or...? Are they like regular round pies, or like crescents/patties/empanadas?

Could you also describe the empanadas at Jacqueline's?
It's a Latin place, maybe Dominican?(menu sounds like La Fe in Lynn which is Dominican) Is the chicken very salty? (they use Saison a lot, major msg/saltsaltsalt)

Thx so much, a. wish I had something to pass on, but I'm following your lead here.

oh yeah, I'm also an arancini lover. don't know if this would ever be of use to you, but:
--Il Casale in Belmont has the best arancini I have had in boston.(they cook their rice in meat stock; serve small ones as an app.) Those at 62 Wharf (Salem) and La Morra are good. Umberto in the No End has the big ones w/ tomato, peas, meat inside that some CHs love.

Apr 16, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Soul fire in Brighton

yes, we did that a number of times and when I posted about it, got major slammed for calling them 'bbq wings' which they apparently are not, in that they are deep fried and then tossed in a bbq sauce. (you were smart enough not to call them BBQ or you, too, would be swimming in a pool of fire....) If you can eat a lot of them and you don't mind the sweetness of the otherwise potentially very good sides, you might find it very worthwhile there for those Monday nights.

Apr 16, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Soul fire in Brighton

i agree about their bbq, but personally, i find their sides way too sweet for me- cornbread, potato salad, coleslaw.....

Apr 16, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Late night eats and drinks ( after midnight) on a Thursday night in Kendall SQ. or vicinity

UNION SQ.---PRECINCT
Monday to Thursday - 4pm to 1am
Friday - 4pm to 2am
Sat. - 4:00 pm to 2am
Sun. - 11:30 am to 1am
Kitchen Hours:
4:30 pm to 10 pm Sun.-Wed.
& to 11pm Thur.-Sat.

Sun. Brunch:
11:00 am to 3 pm



Address:

PRECINCT
70 Union Square
Somerville, MA 02143

Apr 15, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

General Tso's Chicken??

hi pro, there wasn't a name for it; diane (the ever-present owner) told us about it. Just ask her and she'll help you.

Apr 15, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Late night eats and drinks ( after midnight) on a Thursday night in Kendall SQ. or vicinity

maybe you're better off looking for a spot in the club vicinity.

i'm not asking from a base of knowledge, just wondering, about:
Commonwealth; Area 4; the new Hungry Mother outpost (and other places) in that Blue Rm complex; Union Sq. Backbar ; Atwood's? I always had thought that Central Sq was a late night/A.M. hotspot?.........

Apr 15, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

General Tso's Chicken??

yes, it's become a go-to dish there for us. diane says they do 2 versions , one spicier? than the other, and frankly, i can't remember whether we've maybe tried both and liked both..... Wrote about it on another F thread iirc,
and got the sometimes predictable smarmy comments like 'why on earth were you ordering gen. tso's at fuloon?'

btw, chris, now that you are further from F, maybe you'd like to try Quingdao on Mass Ave near rt.16? There are CHs who really love it. I've only had their frozen dumplings. (See smtucker's post at the current bottom of this thread.)

Apr 15, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Fans of Lamb! Lamb Jam - 20 New Eng Chefs: Sunday April 13th, 3-6PM

!

Apr 15, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

1.25.11 Globes review of Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar

slim, this old 2011 thread is all i could find on CH. Have you been lately, since Brian became the chef? He did a really good dish yestday at the Lamb Jam so I wondered about trying the restnt before Sox season gets going.

Apr 15, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

How do you eat your grapefruit?

Apr 14, 2014
opinionatedchef in General Topics

How do you eat your grapefruit?

I LOVE stories about older people who do such great things, major giving back efforts. Thx so much for telling about him. Those Minnesotans are a hard working breed!

Apr 14, 2014
opinionatedchef in General Topics

How do you eat your grapefruit?

so funny, exactly my experience! I have just fallen in love w/ pink/red grpfrt and the uniquely satisfying juiciness of them. My Dad used to cut around @ section when i was little, but i find that a very unsatisfying process.

Have you had the 'famous' "sweetest" grapefruit from Texas? Long ago i was told about them by a TX friend, who also said their small harvest usually stays in TX. Someone said they have gone out of season now, so i have been trying a number of diff ones from FL lately and am hoping the supply will last, but do you know what the season is? and do you have preferences in origin?

Apr 14, 2014
opinionatedchef in General Topics

At long last, Sarma!

After admiring Cassie's dish above the other 19 chefs at yesterday's American Lamb Jam, we finally made it in to Sarma tonight, and she continued to thrill us. I just now read through this thread and it's interesting that, from our experience tonight, a number of the complaints seem to have been addressed since then. It's a big open room; the whole front is a wall of glass . Banquettes run along 3 walls , while a long bar and kitchen fill one half and tables and banquettes the other. Quite unlike Oleana, It has a very spacious uncrowded feeling in all the areas. We could not hear neighbors' conversations, and overall noise level was comfortable. With all these considerations, it felt 'designed for comfort.'

Our server was friendly and very knowledgeable about the food, and good at guiding us for menu choices.
The menu is divided into categories, though i would call them all "Small Plates". We ended up with 8 savory dishes, 2 desserts, a mixed drink and a cider. We took home 1 dessert and 2 savory dishes, so I daresay our $135 meal and bill (pre-grat.) could have comfortably filled a third person .(If so, we would have each owed $42 plus gratuity.) Personally, i find that alot of Turkish food tastes fine at room temp., so our Sarma leftovers will be enjoyed by us as breakfast or lunch tomorrow.

Favs:
--Fried chicken with tahini remoulade. Boneless yet tender and moist, deeply spiced(not hot-spicy)
thick crunchy crust, cleanly fried. THIS is a truly terrific fried chicken, and the yoghurt sauce is a perfectly bright piquant partner. (The one dish of four kitchen specials that we jumped on even though we knew we had ordered enough already. <And never was heard a discouraging word.........> )
-- Swiss Chard Rolls with ( [ I requested] skordalia over the sweet potato sides because i was still recovering from the sugar overload at yesterday's Lamb Jam.) Wow and wow. A dash of cinnamon, the beef with a lovely creaminess.
--Moorish Pork Skewers with charred spring onions and a great Romesco sauce (very similar to Jim Becker's.) The pork was generous and amazingly tender, coated with a tomato spice mixture.The dish reminded us vividly of Tony Bourdain's program joining a Spanish Spring celebration in the fields w/ piles of harvested scallions, char grilled and dipped in big bowls of Romesco.)

--- Kinnefe (shredded filo) timbale filled w/ three cheeses, with beets, sauces and pepper cress. Another spring rainbow.

--Gigante beans, breaded and fried, combined with a beautifully simple and refreshing mushroom and celery salad.

-- Plain frozen Greek Yoghurt w/ Sesame Caramel (my chosen topping from a long list). Juuuust enough sweetness with the tart. What a refreshing way to end a meal filled with complex spicings.

-- Ricotta (mixed into the batter) Beignets- wonderful soft-as-a-cloud texture, cleanly fried. Sesame Caramel added a needed touch.
--Elettaria- Rum, lime, cardamom, ginger drink
------------------------------------
"Missing Something, not sure what" :
Eggplant salad
Trout Almondine (it's orange Scottish trout and doesn't taste anything like our lake/river trout.)
Zucchini pancakes- at $10 for 3 little pancakes, this was the only dish i felt was over priced.
Beef Tartare- exquisitely beautiful presentation but curiously unstriking flavor
------------------------------------------
All in all, our dinner at Sarma was really a breath of fresh air. And in showing so much forethought about our long-awaited Spring, the food really filled me with a mindfulness of this special season! I guess the fact that the place was packed when we left at 8 ( Monday, the first night of Passover) showed that alot of people feel as positive towards Sarma as we do .

Apr 14, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Menotomy Grill - Arlington (anyone been?)

darn it hotoy, i hate it that you had a bad dinner like that. but th you for telling us, so i now will def not go there.
Maybe alot of would-be Menotomy customers were at Sarma tonight, because it was packed to the gills.

Apr 14, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Fans of Lamb! Lamb Jam - 20 New Eng Chefs: Sunday April 13th, 3-6PM

funny, i just realized that that Jim Solomon dish was a Lamb riff on Fesenjahn, the Persian 'national dish' of Duck w/ walnuts and pomegranate syrup glaze. << Duck and Pork and Sugar ,oh my! Duck and pork, not Lamb, oh my!>>

Apr 14, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Adventurous Eating Around Theater District?

yay! what did you love?

Apr 14, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Fans of Lamb! Lamb Jam - 20 New Eng Chefs: Sunday April 13th, 3-6PM

fyi others: tavolo and ashmont grill. fig glazed lamb shank w/ pasta....

Apr 14, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

A tasting of local French macarons: Formaggio Kitchen, Whole Foods, Tous Les Jour, Violette Bakery

very true. also, for small bakeries, one never knows when some items are made, so thinking about them being made this weekend might be inaccurate (because wkends are prob the busiest retail days for her.) i would imagine she does most of her production in non-retail hours. well, she is a very conscientious person, so i'm hoping this is just a temporary slip, as it happens to everyone...

Apr 14, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

just moved to the Northshore

Five Corners is such a favorite for us that we drive up from Boston every other week or so for their Sunday Brunch/Lunch . They are not open for weekday lunch ,so
you may be able to have your party there on a weekday.
Beautiful light filled room, excellent service and lovely food.

Apr 13, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Fans of Lamb! Lamb Jam - 20 New Eng Chefs: Sunday April 13th, 3-6PM

Lamb Jam Report 2014:What the Heck, Chefs? WHAT is with the Sugar???

I feel a rant coming on, but I will try to keep it brief. The Lamb Jam was at the Sonesta this
balmy afternoon, and I was so psyched because many chefs from places that I either liked or had been wanting to visit- were taking part.
There were some 20 restaurants represented from MA, NH, ME, RI . I tasted all of their dishes,
and 13 of them had one thing in common: Sugar. A noticeable sweetness. Do you find that odd or is it just me? I don't have anything against sugar, per se, some form of it can work well with pork and duck, for instance. But station after station after station, I just couldn't get that sweet taste out of my mouth.
BBQ sauce, sweet pickled vegetables of all types, Banh mi sugar glaze, dried fruits, fresh fruits, sweet breads .......

My favorite dishes were indeed four unsweet ones. As many of her fans might expect, Cassie Piuma from Sarma had the most complex plate. A heavily spiced lamb shoulder was massaged and roasted and shredded for a mini shawarma roll-up like you've not tasted in these parts! And this was accompanied by a simple refreshing green pea tabouleh , 2 sauces and a slice of amazing lamb jerky. In a similar vein, Nemo Bolin of Providence's Cook and Brown Public House, made a Scotch egg in a casing of merguez, on pools of contrasting sauces. Brian Reyelt of Citizens Public House got my personal "Most intriguing Dish " award with his deceptively simple Lamb McNuggets. (When Judges' Winners were announced for each category : Ground, Shoulder, Leg, Shank, both Nemo and Brian took home trophies.) The fourth fav for me was Robert Sisca from Bistro du Midi, with a Beet canneloni filled with a Lamb Bolognese. Since I have not eaten meals at any of these 4 restaurants, I hope to remedy that soon.

After thinking about it awhile (The 'Why?Why?' of the 13 sweet dishes) I came up with a reason that made sense to me. What I decided was that these 'sugar chefs' are not used to cooking much with Lamb, but they ARE used to cooking alot w/ Pork, so they translated their pork dishes by subbing with lamb.
And it just didn't work, for me anyway. But then again, just because i didn't like them- doesn't mean that they weren't wildly popular with the hordes of excited attendees. Their Peoples' Choice trophy went to Jim Solomon from The Fireplace, with a decidedly sweet Pomegranate Glazed Lamb over a Walnut Polenta.

Apr 13, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

A tasting of local French macarons: Formaggio Kitchen, Whole Foods, Tous Les Jour, Violette Bakery

really? i'M ASTOUNDED. what a bummer/so sorry but i've honestly never had them any way but delicious.

Apr 13, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Boiled Crawfish

You might call the Southern type restnts and ask if the chef is planning to feature crawfish when it comes in season. Hungry Mother, M3, Beacon Hill Bistro (i think chef is southern, not the restnt). The Texan cook, Heath, at Pennypacker's in Somerville- mentioned to me that he was going to do a big crawfish boil for his co-workers- when crawfish come into season, so he would maybe know where to order them in case you wanted to boil some yourself.

Apr 12, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

General Tso's Chicken??

thx en, found it through amazon and ordered it. I know it will be fascinating!

Apr 12, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area
1

Fans of Lamb! Lamb Jam - 20 New Eng Chefs: Sunday April 13th, 3-6PM

Anybody going?

http://boston.fansoflamb.com/lamb-jam...

VIP part is sold out but tickets still available for gen'l admission.

Apr 12, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

General Tso's Chicken??

karl, that's a book? well written?
I am soo excited to see, today, that there's a new documentary about the dish!! Let's all hope it will come to Boston soon! I love the trailer:

http://eater.com/archives/2014/04/10/...

Apr 12, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area

Oysters

ha! i've just started it :-}

Apr 11, 2014
opinionatedchef in Greater Boston Area