rlh's Profile

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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).

about 14 hours ago
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.

1 day ago
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)

2 days ago
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

John Gertsen leaving Boston, GM role at Drink

Thanks for the details.

In spite of the bright spots of Ezra, Josey, and Parker behind the bars at Drink recently, cocktails other than theirs are not always stellar - still a loyal fan willing to try it any time there's a seat available at a bar, but not quite as great as it was a couple of years ago.

Maybe less of John's focus or the natural turnover has taken its toll?

I'd love to hear stories of others' recent experiences there, as well as recommendations of favorite spots to casually sit, discuss and enjoy top notch cocktails with amazing bartenders (Clio used to be one for me (pre Todd's exit), Backbar still is, and Alden&Harlow is fast becoming one when Seth is around, which seems to be most of the time).

Jul 16, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

searching for great ginger ale

I really like Maine Root's Ginger Beer - do they also make a Ginger Ale? Where is it available in the area?

Jul 15, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

Day in Boston - where to eat Italian? Other suggestions?

One Italian lunch this Wednesday: Pizzeria Regina on Thacher St in the North End - it is a sure thing - awesome pizza (I always request well done and stick to very basic cheese or 1-2 toppings at most), fair prices, kids generally love it (went recently with a 10-year old visitor - he is still raving about it) - it is bare bones and cramped quarters, but quick once you're seated -

and I am not sure why you're getting so much pastry advice when you asked about a meal....

Jul 14, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

Thai E-sarn

We will not be back to this place that we can see from our house any time soon after a really disappointing dinner from the "Authentic Menu" last night.

But first the positive: the service was gracious, warm, and responsive throughout the meal, and the Singha beer was cold.

We had (shrimp) fresh rolls, green papaya salad with seafood (shame on us for ordering that on Sunday night....I guess), and chicken larb woon sen - all of the food was too sweet/processed tasting, there was very little heat (we weren't asked about preference and assumed authentic implied heat where heat is normally expected), and not fresh or aromatic at all in terms of produce / herbs - wilted brown iceberg lettuce, desiccated carrot garnishes, etc.

My spouse who is adventurous and open-minded about food and eats pretty much everything declared it "disgusting".

We were also put off upon entering by a combo of musty/moldy/chemical smells - not what we look for in a dining experience - ever.

Finally, there was only one other occupied table in the entire room last night, and we didn't observe any takeaway activity while there. Now I understand why.

Jul 14, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

searching for great ginger ale

Have you tried the Grown-Up Soda (GUS) version? I like it as it's not too sweet, but it is also not as gingery as it could be, either - widely available around Cambridge -Iggy's Bakery on Fawcett St. near Fresh Pond rotary always has several flavors available - and it is listed on the website as available at Central Bottle, Whole Foods, and Pemberton Market

Jul 13, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area
1

Day in Boston - where to eat Italian? Other suggestions?

Plus 1 on Galleria Umberto if they are open when you are here - note that the line may be long, but it does move quickly since there are very few menu options, all of which are excellent - probably also cash only - great spot for a 9-year old to have tasty lunch!

Jul 12, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

Day trip from Boston

Brattleboro, VT is a nice day trip using Rt 2 West (just over 2 hours each way):

-the Co-op there downtwon sells virtually every small, local VT cheese and stores /packages them properly
-the Farmer's Market on Saturday am is great and delicious for lunch
-there is great coffee at Mocha Joes, and
-dinner is unique, delicious and friendly at Three Stones (Mayan - outdoor patio - you NEED a reservation in advance - the dark chocolate chili pepper dessert is spectacular - and I don't typically even like chocolate) .

There is also some terrific, not too rigorous hiking available in the area.

Jul 11, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area
1

Retirement party for 50 near Government Center

Not sure of its current status or budget, but the dining option on top of 60 State St that was the The Bay Tower Room a long time ago is a stunning space, and I think they may even specialize in this type of event now.

Jul 11, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

Where to Buy Sour Cherries in Boston

Wilson Farm in Lexington has them for 1-2 weeks each year - from upstate NY, I think - haven't seen them yet.

Jul 09, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

Ethnic Markets that sell these Steamers?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listin...

FYI - available for almost $50 once shipping is included...not sure how that pricing compares - and you have to wait for delivery

Jul 08, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

St. Honore

If you mean the decadent French dessert ("cake"?), I am also eager to hear the recommendations if there are local sources!

Jul 08, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

D'Amelio's Off the Boat or ????

I have been many times over a number of years but I have never had the clams (I prefer either the quantity/quality of Kelly's or Moulton's for nearby, or the top North Shore options).

I love the warm lobster roll (the butter coupled with the brioche bun is pure decadence, I know), raw bar oyster selections, fries, tonnato main, crudo specials, burger, and cold crab salad (huge and delicious).

I do wish they could fix the wait for a table that almost always exists (too many experiences like yours could begin to address it, right?), however, I know others have also noted bad attitudes from the employees, but I have NEVER seen this in 10+ years dining there - yes, they are really busy, but have always been highly professional and hospitable, and often even downright helpful and friendly to me.

Jul 08, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

D'Amelio's Off the Boat or ????

If you are willing to go at off-peak time and / or wait, you can't beat the seafood at Neptune Oyster in the North End - under ten minutes by auto from your hotel - no reservations so the earlier you can show up and put in your name, the better - pretty much always a wait, but so worth it. You can walk around the North End or the Greenway in the meantime. Parking can be low hassle at Parcel 7 Garage and low cost (under $10) with a validation from one of the many merchants in the North End (but not Neptune).

Jul 07, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

Native Corn

Verrill Farm was selling ears from Delaware today - OK and tasty, but not the same as fresh local by a long shot

Jul 06, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

Where to stay near walkable, local food/shopping

For a casual, authentic delicious Italian lunch (pizza, pasta w sauce, salad, or sub etc.), go to Casa Razdora on Water St. between Broad and Batterymarch - the line moves fast and the menu is on the wall as well as a couple of laminated cards - they never have the AC on, so try to go when it's not too stifling if you're going to eat in.

The pizza (HUGE slices), any pasta / sauce combo with chicken or shrimp, and the subs (especially Italiano and Tacchino turkey) are all favorites.

Jul 04, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

Must-do Boston eateries- July10-13

Oleana - get in line at 5p and try to score a patio table - completely awesome in every way.

Jun 30, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

Bars for group events 07/18 and 07/19

Maybe Marliave on Friday evening - and I think they still have 1/2 price clams & oysters early (4-6p) and late (9-10p) in the evening - food, drinks, and service are all just OK IMHO but the central location and outdoor space option would be nice

Saturday seems a bit tougher - with the Sox having home games both nights, I would steer clear of the Kenmore to Longwood corridor - maybe something in Brookline would work (such as Public House)?

Jun 27, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

Fourth of July cocktails

I recommend the Betsy Ross - easy, tasty, and not too common - I think she was from the Mid-Atlantic region - it's a great drink, and the Ferrand Dry Curacao is worth getting if you can:

http://liquor.com/articles/mixing-up-...

Jun 26, 2014
rlh in Spirits

The Best of the Best: An Ongoing Thread

I have to add Kale (and Fennel) Salad with Pistachio Cream dressing at Alden & Harlow as my hands-down favorite-ever raw kale creation

Jun 26, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area
1

Where to stay near walkable, local food/shopping

Big fan of the Nine Zero Kimpton Hotel on Tremont St if the price works - it is right in the middle of the city and you can walk almost anywhere in Boston within 20 minutes (even less to Chinatown, Beacon Hill, and North End), as well as have easy access to several of the subway lines - there are tons of shops a couple of blocks away at Downtown Crossing, but not nearly as high end as those in Beacon Hill on Charles St, in the South End, or in the Copley / Prudential Malls in Back Bay. You are also right across the street from the Common and on the Freedom Trail.

Jun 25, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

The Best of the Best: An Ongoing Thread

Baked Alaska: Oleana

Profiteroles: Oleana (creative) / Brasserie Jo (classic)

Moules Frites: Central Kitchen

Secret Burger: Alden & Harlow

Veggie Burger: Christopher's

Oyster Slider: Island Creek Oyster House

Raw Bar: Neptune Oyster

Fries: Drink

Osso Bucco: Mamma Maria

Pork Chop w Vinegar Peppers: Prezza

Crusty Bread: Iggy's (the factory) Francese Roll Wheel
and French Epi

Beef with Longhorn Green Chilies: Taiwan Cafe

Chilean Sandwich (original chicken): Chacarero

Cumin Lamb / Lamb (teriyaki?) Skewers: Golden
Garden

Tomago Nigiri Sushi and Agedashi Tofu: Toraya

Hamachi Kama: Sono Sushi

Clam Chowder and English Style Fried Haddock: Dry Dock Cafe

Onion Rings: Lobster Pool

Florentine Cookies: Lakota Bakery

Iceberg Salad: Za

Jun 24, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

The Best of the Best: An Ongoing Thread

It wasn't creative, but the Osso Bucco I had recently at Mamma Maria was perfect in every way.

Jun 24, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

Moving to Medford . . . What are the local haunts?

Bigger than Casa Razdora downtown? They literally slice a large pizza into 4 (yes, four!) pieces and sell those chunks as their slices - only two types available (cheese or soppresata) but really tasty!

Jun 24, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area

Best....French and/or seafood... 4 people $300 dinner inc drinks

Alden & Harlow is a TERRIFIC recommendation to add - tops on my list currently for a fun night out with great food and drinks - and it's conceivable to get a peak time dinner reservation in advance with less than 8 weeks notice (the norm at Island Creek these days...)

Jun 20, 2014
rlh in Greater Boston Area