rlh's Profile

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Sono Asian Cuisine, Arlington. Continues to improve

Thanks for the reminder - we went in Wednesday night for dinner when I wasn't willing to stand and wait at Toraya and the Sono sushi bar was completely open - Tom was working in the kitchen and I did experience the language barrier with the staff out front, but once again really enjoyed the food very much.

My wife thought the hamachi kama was overcooked a bit, but it was tasty and huge as ever to me (I was happy they had it after missing out on the last two visits). The negihama maki was pretty perfectly made with beautiful yellowtail inside and the smoked salmon nigiri was a real standout, along with what I was told was locally-caught mackeral nigiri.

The only letdown for me was the Summer Scallop Roll - pretty flavorless except for way too much, way too undercooked shallots minced up with the equally minced up scallops on top - I think I will stop ordering from the House Specialty designer maki page - they have all been failures over the course of four visits.

When we sit at the sushi bar, ask Tom about what's special that day, and then order basic preparations of the very pristine ingredients, we are impressed and satisfied every time -- I think we need to go here more often - I guess the location may explain why we were the only customers there for over an hour at prime time on Wednesday night...they deserve much more business.

1 day ago
rlh in Greater Boston Area

Recs please: 3 meals in Boston

good call to reserve at ICOB (or Row 34)! enjoy. also - another Oleana plug if you are willing to trek into Cambridge - it is memorable and phenomenal...a must reserve kind of place as well

Aug 29, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

Best Chicken parm sub in Boston

Casa Razdora on Water St downtown - awesome, but I think it's special vs. daily menu item.

Aug 28, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

Restaurant in Arlington or Somerville for 8 people, Saturday lunch

I also immediately thought of Christopher's in Porter Square, but the parking may be challenging on a Saturday afternoon - parking and shopping (first) at CVS, Tags, or the grocery across the street is a good strategy. Sometimes that lot is heavily patrolled, and I know of towing incidents if you park and immediately go elsewhere when it's really busy.

Aug 27, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

Recs please: 3 meals in Boston

Lunch: Taiwan Cafe or Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe

Dinner: Neptune Oyster, Row 34, or Island Creek Oyster House

Aug 27, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

Kickass Cupcakes Is Closed

Probably the overdue end of a trend, but a bad product at high prices with very poor service may also have been part of their demise - several attempts to like it, but no success at the store or the truck (Dewey Sq - what an attitude!)

Aug 07, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area
1

Upscale Dinners in Boston

These are all convenient and high end options:
Lespalier

Sorrellina (I prefer to eat at the bar here - awesome tuna / salmon tartare

Mistral - the room and service are slightly better than the excellent food IMHO but a good overall experience

Clio - more creative, possibly not as good as it used to be - excellent service, very quiet

Hamersley's Bistro - not as fancy, but consistently delicious and reliabe

Aug 06, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

August 2014 Farmers' Markets, Farm Stands, CSA updates

really nice purple kale, musk melon, and ground (husk) cherries from Red Fire Farm at Dewey Square yesterday - a few heirloom tomatoes, corn, and pattypan squash to be tried tonight...

Aug 06, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

Where to buy cachaca

Pretty good selection at Kappy's Wellington store in Medford / Malden - Seleta is my favorite so far. While the Leblon bottle is pretty, I don't think it's worth the premium and it doesn't make good caipirinhas to me.

Aug 06, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

Low-carb lunch options downtown

Ask whoever seats you - it could be his wife Doris

Aug 06, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

Blackfish in Truro or PB Boulangerie Bistro in Wellfleet?

Wellfleet has great food, and yes - exactly - line up at PB for bread and croissants (or even homemade jam) to go (if you get extra, those day old croissants make the finest french toast I have ever eaten, BTW), but not for their coffee, cocktails, or dinner - this is based on 4 dinner disappointments and no wins over two seasons

Blackfish has excellent food and service, but is very much an indoors venue - I really like it after dark for a nice dinner.

Mac's Shack (on Commercial St, not the Pier) for sushi and any other seafood is always top notch, but try to go off peak and be very patient as it is extremely popular.

I know opinions and reports are mixed on The Bookstore, but if you get an outdoor table upstairs overlooking Mayo Beach, it's hard to beat. The raw bar and service there have always been solid to strong for me over a number of years and visits.

Similarly, the deck and raw bar outside at The Beachcomber at Cahoon Hollow around happy hour times is a must with every stay in Wellfleet for us when it's open.

Aug 05, 2014
rlh in Southern New England

Low-carb lunch options downtown

Taiwan Cafe - beef with longhorn peppers (mildly spicy) or braised eggplant (but this is sweet...)

China King - Hon Sue Beef (IF made by chef Edwin in the old King Fung Garden style - the one the other chef there makes is totally different and terrible) - it should be a dark brown to black pile of slivers of charred beef with a lot of onions / scallions (not a sweet technicolor mess of peppers and flavorless chunks of overly soft beef)

Aug 05, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

Low-carb lunch options downtown

Chacarero does offer a spinach salad with their meats over it.

If you can pass up the pizza, pasta, and sandwiches for the steam table specials at Casa Razdora, they are always tasty and pretty much all protein / veg / fat if you select carefully.

It is indeed a salad, but can be a great one at Zo with either their pork gyro or chicken - I prefer their tzaziki to their dressings - hold the bread usually given on the side (their soups and stews are also hearty and delicious - the lamb chili in season is a great choice).

Finally, the meze bar at Boston Kebab House or Cafe De Boston usually has something that would work - just go early before they are reduced to desiccated leftover crusts on the pans...

Aug 05, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area
1

Osso Bucco or Roast Veal or Lamb

Reservations - yes. Mamma Maria or Prezza for meats - definitely.

Aug 05, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

June 2014 Farmers' Markets, Farm Stands, CSA updates

Because we are always bemoaning the fact that there seems to be NO place to get real Ukrainian food (we do frequent and enjoy Cafe Polonia which is close, but it's really good Polish) in the Boston area that is closer than Veselka in NYC, I noted this post and we made a point of detouring to the Exeter, NH, Farmers Market last Thursday - and we are SO glad - this is the real deal - and it's awesome.

Everything we had from a wide range of offerings last Thursday in Exeter at the Farmer's Market was AWESOME, with very friendly service and lots of smiles as well.

My wife declared the vereniki (potato and feta dumplings) very possibly the best she's ever eaten (including homemade and those renowned ones made by the women in the basement of the church in the East Village in NYC), the holubesty (meat and rice stuffed cabbage with creamy mushroom dill sauce) was perfect and delicious, the borsch was great, and the potato zrazy and stuffed chicken we ate on site for lunch was also a meal to remember.

You can really tell that everything is very carefully handmade and that they use an abundance of produce right out of their own garden ("farm to plate", if you will...). The potatoes with the chicken were so full of natural potato goodness that we were reminded of an experience at Alice Waters' Chez Panisse where simple potatoes were also memorable even ten years later.

We can't wait to visit Bucovina again to try new items and get more of what we now know is SO good, or to have a special occasion to use the catering services - and Newburyport is slightly closer than Exeter and during the weekend....thanks!

Aug 04, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

PHX CHer in BOS to imbibe

Yikes - yes - I obviously need to visit Palmer much more often...thanks.

Jul 30, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

Toronto Foodie Visits Boston

FYI - Daily Catch in the North End WAY outshines the other locations consistently (and especially Fan Pier, in spite of its waterfront views...).

Jul 29, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

Where to eat near the Doubletree?

Chinatown is also very close and a great lunch option - I believe Dumpling Cafe on Washington St and China King are both ground level and pretty accessible from the sidewalk - and very good. You can search for them specifically in more detailed posts to get menu ideas / recommendations.

Jul 28, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

PHX CHer in BOS to imbibe

Agreed - showing up at Drink at 4p (ideally Mon-Wed) is the best plan - and try to sit at a bar with either Josey, Ezra, or Parker if you are looking for surefire experience, creativity, craftsmanship, and top notch hospitality. After midnight is also quieter there on weeknights if you find yourself awake and in that area...

Jul 28, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

Best Seafood North End

We had several fantastic seafood apps and mains at Mammia Maria in June - the soft shell crab was a memorable special - great place for a client dinner in a great location - best osso bucco / risotto milanese in town as well!

Getting into Island Creek Oyster Bar

How did it go? Did you get to eat at ICOB? How long was the wait? Thanks!

Jul 27, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

Dinner with kids near opera house

Specifically, I have taken kids about that age to Dumpling Cafe on Washington St and they LOVED it - you can get a big table with a lazy susan in the middle and fill it up with at least the soup dumplings and something salt and pepper fried - not expensive and very quick / tasty.

Jul 23, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area
1

Family Celebration in Greater Boston

It is what it is and having been a couple of times personally, I think the description fits - you should probably stay away if traditional, formal, attentive service in a quiet setting with direct harbor view and stunningly fresh seafood simply prepared will nauseate you.

Snarking aside, I do think Legal is inconsistent as a corporation (see Legal Crossing downtown...), but I also think they got it right in that spot - if price (and value) is no object, it is a top notch special occasion experience.

Jul 23, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

Family Celebration in Greater Boston

Legal Harborside Second Floor is a VERY high end spot with white glove service and top notch food - the regular Legal setup is on the 1st floor of the same building and there's rooftop bar scene above that's popular. That said, if you like (northern) Italian, Mamma Maria is delicious, intimate, and elegant - had one of the finest osso bucco preparations ever there recently at a relative's college graduation celebration - and they paid lots of attention to the graduate, which she loved. Both of these options, however, are solidly above your budget for entrees for most of the menu.

The private room at Row 34 would be nice if available, and Sam's at Fan Pier might be a good option as well.

Jul 23, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

Can It Be?! Is Our Beautiful City Finally Getting a Terrific French Bakery?

I see that Paul is going into One Boston Place downtown - do you think it's a contender on the pastry front? I enjoyed what I had from the one in South Beach, but it was mostly croissanty things (and the coffee was a real letdown!).

I agree that we don't have a great supply of high end pastry shops at all, BTW (and that our bread options are a totally different matter, as you noted).

Jul 22, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

Any special MA or NE foods to look for try out/buy?

+ 1 on Toscanini's - right up there with Jeni's and Graeter's - but try to get to the shop itself in Cambridge - I don't think what is sold in retail shops (like Whole Foods) is made the same way in the same place - it tastes to me as if it has other ingredients / more air incorporated and / or is not stored properly. Toasted coconut is an awesome flavor.

Jul 21, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area
1

PHX CHer in BOS to imbibe

And if you end up around Kendall Sq (not a recommendation to make it a destination in and of itself), I have enjoyed Catalyst (interesting milk punches most days - though I prefer the ones at Back Bar), West Bridge, Belly, and Lord Hobo ( - but never Hungry Mother for my cocktail experiences - the food is good there, however)

Jul 21, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

PHX CHer in BOS to imbibe

I would add Highball Lounge, Sarma, Alden & Harlow, Park, and Tavern Road to your list - they are as good or better than most listed now

Jul 20, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area
1

searching for great ginger ale

No snarking intended - to me, they are fundamentally different products in that true ginger beer is produced by fermentation (and requires more patience to make) whereas ginger ale is a flavored, carbonated beverage (non-fermented)- here's a longer discussion for further reference:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/391817

Jul 16, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

John Gertsen leaving Boston, GM role at Drink

Uhhh - by Parker I obviously mean Palmer at Drink...

Jul 16, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area