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A Fish Called Wanda's Profile

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pre-theater dinner on tuesday

We are going to see Rent on Tuesday. Any dinner suggestions? I was thinking Pigalle, but then I read on this board that it went down hill. Their $40 prix-fixe looked tempting. Any other suggestions in this price range or cheaper? It doesn't need to be fancy. I could even go for a really fabulous burger (though that seems to be hard to find). I would prefer new American, French, Italian, Spanish. No Chinese, Indian, Thai, Mexican, Japanese.

Thanks so much!

Lunch in Wellfleet off-season (sept 13-17)

Thanks for all the suggestions!

Finally reached Hatch's. Said that they'll be open until Sept 21.

Lunch in Wellfleet off-season (sept 13-17)

any places in particular in P Town that are good for lunch (and open off-season)?

Lunch in Wellfleet off-season (sept 13-17)

I know the topic of where to eat in Wellfleet has been discussed to death on this board and I apologize for bringing it up again. But 3 things make it a little tricky to do my homework properly:

-we need lunches (not dinners)
-we'll be there Sept 13-17 (off-season, so many places close)
-we'll have a one year old with us.

We are looking for lunch places that have excellent food and relatively efficient service. Is there some place that offers good lobster bisque, clam/fish chowder, lobster rolls, etc.? I tried calling the places positively reviewed on this board (Wicked Oyster and Mac's), but they seem to be closed for lunch in mid september. Any other options?

I was also hoping to go to Hatch's to buy fish for dinner, but their site says they are only opened till mid september and when I tried to call no one picked up. Not sure if sept 13-17 is the good mid part of the bad mid part. Anyone knows?

Any advice on where to buy good bread?

Breakfast and bakery suggestions would also be welcome :)

Thanks so much!

Gas vs. Propane

We are looking for a house right now and I am faced with a scary possibility of not having a gas line in the house. I cook professionally, and give cooking classes in my house, so living without a gas stove scares me. I called the gas company and it sounds like putting gas into a house that doesn't have a gas line right outside or at least close would be ridiculously expensive.

I know some people put a propane tank outside of their house and bring a line into the kitchen. If you have any experience with that, would you mind sharing what you think of it. Here are some specific questions:

1) Can you connect it to a gas stove and oven or are you limited to a gas cook top and an electric oven? I am asking because I really like gas broilers :)

2) Does propane feel any different than gas?

3) How often do you have a refill your tank if you cook every day?

4) How much does it cost to put this system in?

5) How much a refills?

Thank you!

Jul 15, 2008
A Fish Called Wanda in Cookware

Harvard Square monday night -- need ideas

Howdy there hounds,

We are slowly starting to go out again after having a baby 8 months ago. The first few times we stuck to our tried and true favorites: Ten Tables and Rendez Vous. It's good to know that both are still great places to get a reliably good meal.

We are trying to do something adventurous this monday night and go dancing near Harvard square at 7:30pm, which doesn't give us much time for dinner. Let me know if I am in fantasy land, but I was hoping to find dinner in Harvard square area that would be good, reasonably priced for what it is, and doable in about an hour (6-7:15pm). Is there such a thing? We are open to all suggestions from a burger to innovative French. We are not big fans of Chinese. Other than that, all cuisines are welcome. We are happy to spend up to $100 for 2 pre tax, tip, and drinks.

Any suggestions?

Thanks :)


great baguette or other bread?

I have no idea if the location makes a difference, but the one I went to was at Savage Mills.

great baguette or other bread?

Thanks for your suggestions, hounds. Unfortunately, we decided to go with Bonaparte due to convenient location. What a disappointment! I think poor Napoleon turned in his grave when these people opened their bakery. Their baguettes had mushy crust and closed crumb with absolutely no holes or flavor. If you took supermarket bread and shaped it into a long thin loaf, that's what you'd get. The addition of wheat germ or some other "health bread" looking ingredient was strange. I can't say it ruined the bread, because this bread couldn't get any worse, but it just shouldn't be present in traditional baguette. I also tried their croissants. Too dense and bready.

I guess next time, I'll stick with La Brea bakery stuff my parents get from Giant. It's nothing to write home about, but surely beats Bonaparte. And if I am ever in DC, I'll check out Breadline. Too bad it's a really long drive from Reisterstown where my parents live :(

great baguette or other bread?

Dear Maryland Hounds,

I am from Boston and will be catering my brother's rehearsal dinner in Silver Spring, MD in the end of this month. Although I have family in that area, none of them know where to get good bread. I don't just mean better than wonderbread. I mean REALLY good baguette, focaccia, etc. that is on par with what you'd get in France and Italy (or at least close :) Good crust, nice open crumb, proper amount of salt, and all that good stuff.

Can anyone recommend a bakery between Silver Spring and Baltimore that carries such breads? In Boston, Whole Foods carries most of the good local bakeries. So while the breads made by Whole Foods are kind of pathetic, you can always find good bread there if you know which companies to look for. Do they do that in Maryland too? Which bakeries should I be looking for if I go to Whole Foods?

Thanks so much!

Portland Fine Dining Over Xmas

I know this reply is a little late, but I just want to agree with Win. I've been to Hugo's twice and both times experience was transcendent. Some courses were just a bite, but it was a perfect bite, and some were rather substantial. But with 15 or so courses that they sent out (it's was technically a 10 course menu, but they always send extras), we were absolutely stuffed by the end and couldn't finish dessert.

I know that Fore street gets all the accolades, but I don't see how it can be even put in the same category as Hugo's. Fore street is very good home cooking in a very loud atmosphere. We had a good dinner there once, but I wouldn't go there for a special occasion.

Oatmeal--What do you put on yours (besides brown sugar)?

I love savory oatmeal (particularly when it's made with McCann's steal cut oats). Cook it according to instructions on the can, and finish with a little butter and salt. I often sprinkle a little parmesan on top.

Beyond Salmon >>

what's the best way to store apples?

Hi HillJ,

Thanks! I am blushing ;)


Adding 'savory' to an IBS diet-tips?

This sounds like a tough diet. So sorry you have to go through this.

I am not sure if cream is ok, but how about poached fish? I use a mixture of water and dry white wine for poaching, but if wine is not ok, you can just skip it. After fish is almost cooked, I remove it to let it rest while reducing the poaching liquid to concentrate the flavor. Then swirl in a little flour blended with butter to thicken the sauce and finish with a little cream. I add some sort of chopped herb in the end, but you can skip that if it's not ok. Here is the basic recipe that you can modify to suit your needs:

Here is another idea: mashed celery root (if you get tired of potatoes


If mushrooms are ok, try getting some imported, dried porcini and reconstituting them. The liquid is super flavorful and you can use it to make a soup or risotto. Even if you skip onions and garlic, it will still be very flavorful.

If oats are ok, here is an oatmeal risotto made with steel cut oats:
Again, you can skip the veggies or substitute as necessary. Even if served completely plain with a little parmesan, it's still good.

By the way, is salt ok?

I do hope your husband feels better soon!


what's the best way to store apples?

Thanks hounds!

My apples are now safe in the fridge in a plastic bag with holes. I only have 5 Lbs, so as long as they stay for couple of weeks, I am fine.


Beyond Salmon Blog >>

what's the best way to store apples?

Just got a ton of apples from our farm share. What's the best way to store them? I usually just keep them in a paper bag at room temperature, but I have no idea if that's a good way.

Thanks :)

Beyond Salmon Blog >>

can I freeze butternut squash soup?

Yes, pureed.

Thanks so much you guys :)

can I freeze butternut squash soup?

A friend just had a baby, and I'd like to make them some meals to stock their freezer. Can I freeze butternut squash soup (or some other winter squash soup)? I am sure we'll get something pumpkiny in our CSA this week, but I don't know what that is yet.


Beyond Salmon Blog >>

Sel de la Terre - what happened?

If you want to try the best of what their kitchen can deliver at half the price, go for lunch. The steak and fish entrees are always fabulous. They are rarely more than half full at lunch, you don't need reservations, and their kitchen is not overwhelmed, thus great food. Dinner can be hit or miss.

Beyond Salmon Blog >>

Vicky Lee's in Belmont

It's at 105 Trapelo Rd, in Cushing square where Cakes used to be.

Vicky Lee's in Belmont

What a great addition to the neighborhood! I stopped by once for breakfast and once for dessert all in one week. The corn buiscit (sp?) with raspberry preserve was like a good scone (light in texture and not dry at all). The almond croissant was excellent -- crispy outside, airy inside, creamy almond filling. Good teas and coffees too and great atmosphere for hanging around with the paper in the morning. I heard they'll be serving lunch on weekdays, and brunch on weekends soon.

Beyond Salmon Blog >>

Any good breakfasts near Washington sq. park (Greenwich village)?

We'll be staying in Greenwich Village near Washington Square park this weekend, and we need to find a good place to go for breakfast. A bakery with good coffee and morning pastries would be perfect, but all suggestions are welcome, as long as it's a place where we can sit down (so no carry out please).


Oct 12, 2006
A Fish Called Wanda in Manhattan

Babbo's booked -- where to go?

We'll be in Greenwich village for a wedding this weekend (coming from Boston), and we'll have two meals on our own. Friday night and saturday night. Were hoping to go to Babbo, but I guess I should have called much earlier -- they are all booked. Any suggestions for good places to go (where I can still get a reservation)?

Here is what we are looking for:

Price: up to $50/person for food (without wine, tax, tip).

Cuisine: Italian, French, New American, Mediterranean, or really good, interesting bar food (where we can have several appetizers as a meal).

We are not big on atmosphere or food esthetics (we don't mind them, but we don't seek them out either). But we are obsessive about the food (seasoning, doneness, choice of ingredients, etc).

Something in Greenwich village would be great, but we'll travel for great food.

Thanks so much for your help!

Oct 09, 2006
A Fish Called Wanda in Manhattan

Celebratory Lunch Tomorrow--Ideas?

Sel de la Terre is my favorite special occasion lunch. Get a steak frite or any fish entree -- reasonably prices and really yummy :)

Helen's Kitchen >>

Cooking by intuition?

I am on the extreme end of cooking by intuition. I grew up learning to cook from my Mom in Russia, and haven't seen a recipe till college. I didn't even own a cookbook till the senior year. All the cooking knowledge and recipes were passed to me with words like "some, a little, and a lot"

Baking was a nightmare for me for years. As I found out just recently, I've been measureing flour all wrong. I've been cooking since age 7 and teaching cooking classes since I was 24, but I just never saw how flour is measured before. I also had no idea that mixing it an extra minute can make your cakes and muffins tough. Stuff like that just doesn't happen with cooking. Now that I know, I am obsessive with measuring for baking. I don't even trust cups and measure dry ingredients with a scale.

Cooking is another story though. I never measure when I cook for myself and can't even make myself follow the recipes exactly as written the first time (I only use them as inspiration). But when I write recipes for my students, I make sure to measure everything carefully.

Now that I think about it, my hatred of recipe following prevents me from cooking dishes from unfamiliar cuisines. I mostly cook French, Spanish, Italian, and Eastern European. Those are the countries I've been to and since I know what the final dish should taste like, I can get there by tasting as I go. But cooking a Thai or Vietnamese dish almost feels like baking, and too chemistry labish for me.


I love the muffins at 1369, particularly cranberry-nut and peach-granola. Petsi Pies also makes great muffins.

Perfect steak -- finally!

Hi Bostonbob3,

Yes, I live in Belmont about 5 minutes from Iggy's, Formaggio's and other such dangerous places.


Perfect steak -- finally!

Thanks for the tri-tip tip :) It's on my list. Is that the same as sirloin tips?

Perfect steak -- finally!

The first time, I didn't do anything to those steaks to see how they are on their own. The second time, I topped mine with garlic herb butter before serving. I am guessing it's similar...

Perfect steak -- finally!

Dear hounds,

Thanks to all your tips and explanations I have finally made a perfect steak.

The short story is: Sear on the outside. Cool 10 minutes, finish in 250F oven for 10 minutes per inch of thickness (roughly). Perfectly medium-rare from the surface to the center. I have only tried it on hanger steak so far, but the results were fantastic. I am sure the same technique can apply to other cuts with adjustments in timing.

The long story, pictures, etc:

Thanks so much for all your help in this matter. I realize that I am pathologically picky and no cookbook helped me nearly as much as all your advice.


help me make great steak

Pittsburg style means charred on the outside and very rare inside