d

dot_boston's Profile

Title Last Reply

Sunday Brunch for 15-20ppl in Lee/Lenox, MA

Thank you all for the suggestions! We are, in fact, staying at the Cranwell. Their breakfast/brunch menus look good but the Music Room appears a bit more formal than what I was hoping for (at least from the one photo they have on their web site).

I will check out the Red Lion Inn and the Morgan House Inn. I do think that Williamstown is too far for this group.

I did think of Chez Nous. We had my brother's rehearsal dinner there 5 years ago and they did a very nice job and were super pleasant to work with.

What do you all think of Haven in Lenox? They are willing to accommodate our group with a special menu. Never been there but I like the look of the space from their website and their menu is appealing.

Thanks again, and please continue making suggestions...!

Dec 18, 2012
dot_boston in Southern New England

Sunday Brunch for 15-20ppl in Lee/Lenox, MA

Hello all,
I'm looking for a venue that could host a group of 15-20ppl for a brunch on a Sunday in January in Lee or Lenox. We will be in the area for the weekend celebrating my sister's 50th birthday. Saturday is a spa day followed by dinner at the Wheatleigh (in the library).

I'd like a semi-casual place with good food. We will want to arrive, have a cup of coffee (or something stronger), chat a bit, then sit down to eat. I'd like to do a buffet rather than order a la carte (although this is not a deal breaker; will order a la carte in the right place). Given this, it would be ideal to have our own space within the venue. It doesn't need to be a private room, just an area that we could stand in without being in the way or hovering over tables of other guests.

I'd really like to do this in a restaurant and avoid going to a hotel since we will have had dinner in a hotel setting the evening prior.

Any thoughts on what might fit the bill? All suggestions appreciated!

Dec 18, 2012
dot_boston in Southern New England

Cape Cod: Oktoberfest at Aqua Grille in Sandwich

We ended up going to Oktoberfest on Sunday. It's their 5th year holding this event but our 1st year attending. I was told over the phone, earlier in the week, that it would be half indoors and half outdoors on their new-ish outdoor patio space. The German-style band would be outdoors with seating, a gas fire pit, etc.

Unfortunately, Sunday turned out to be a very windy day. We arrived about one hour after the event started and the place was hopping. The band was inside, all the food stations were inside....the only thing outside was seating, and very few souls were braving the wind.

The entry cost was $18 for 6 tickets; additional tickets were $3 each. There were two food stations, both with the same items: veal schnitzel (2 tix), Berlin burgers (2 tix), bratwurst (2 tix, potato pancakes (1 tix) and large pretzels (1 tix). Sides were homemade sauerkraut and German potato salad, and there was applesauce (not homemade) and sour cream for the potato pancake. They also had a good quality mustard for the bratwurst & pretzel. Sides were included with the other items - no ticket necessary. Portion sizes were generous.

The hits were the burger, the bratwurst, the pretzel and the sauerkraut. The burger was slider-sized and thick, all beef, with "German" spices (no idea what these are). It was in a savory gravy that had small chunks of onion. Very moist and flavorful.

The bratwurst was very good, especially when combined with the mustard and sauerkraut.

The schnitzel was too thin and appeared to be overcooked. It was dry, dry, dry. My guess is this is an item that does not "hold" well. I think in a kitchen-to-table situation this would have been much better.

The potato pancakes suffered the same fate - too thin & overcooked (and I was really looking foward to a good potato pancake).

They had beer & wine available...I didn't really check these out since I wasn't interested in drinking.

Service was good, lots of staff circulating, clearing away plates, etc (all disposables), replenishing food at the stations, etc.

Overall this was a good, not great, event. Had the weather cooperated and part of the event had been outdoors, I think it would have had a slightly more festive feel - especially since they had festooned the patio with colorful German banners and flags. It wouldn't have changed the food but it would have added to the spirit of the day. Ultimately they ended up breaking down one of the food stations so that extra seating could be put indoors. No one wanted to sit outside.

In terms of value, there were 3 of us and we each had a hard time using all 6 of our tickets. If we had been drinking, that wouldn't have been an issue. But servings were generous and we each tried two things (so 3-4 tickets) and shared bites with each other. The surprisingly nice thing was that they packed up some food in a to-go container and we were able to use up our tickets that way.

Aqua Grille is offering a fairly extensive German menu in the restaurant for the next two weeks. They handed out small menus while we were there and some of the items sound very good. I would not hesitate to check it out given what I tasted on Sunday.

Oct 16, 2012
dot_boston in Southern New England

Cape Cod: Oktoberfest at Aqua Grille in Sandwich

Aqua Grille is holding its Oktoberfest this Sunday 1pm-5pm. Anyone been? Or heard anything about it? www.aquagrille.com/oktoberfest

Aqua Grille is also doing a German menu for two weeks, Oct 15-28. The menu sounds pretty interesting. I'm on the fence...should I go Saturday night and order from the German dinner menu? Or go Sunday to Oktoberfest? (or both if the food warrants it...?).

Any input appreciated.

Oct 11, 2012
dot_boston in Southern New England

What do you make for breakfast on Christmas morning?

Eileeeen, my Grandmother also made Swedish Tea Ring every year for Christmas! She's gone now, but I have her hand-written (and very worn) recipe. I never knew where she got it from...what recipe booklet is it from?

These have remained a tradition in our family for Christmas morning and now I (and sometimes my mother) make them. We have them with coffee as we open gifts.

Dec 17, 2011
dot_boston in Home Cooking

banh mi

It's Ba Le that has the Eiffel Tower on their sign. I've had their banh mi a couple of times and enjoyed them, although I'm no expert. They also have a number of prepared dishes that you can take to go (it's all to go, there is no seating), as well as pre-packaged foods in a refrigerated case.

-----
Ba Le Cafe
1449 Dorchester Avenue, Boston, MA

Apr 28, 2011
dot_boston in Greater Boston Area

Cocktail Party (Annual Event) for Clients in October - Elegant & Tops in Food & Wine

I've done a number of events at State Room over the past 5 years. While your group is too small for their Great Room, the Harborside Rooms would work well. For an out of town group, the views of Boston and beyond are amazing - it's the 33rd floor of 60 State Street. The space is high end. Their current chef is a former Four Seasons executive chef, so the food is quite good with interesting presentations.

Feb 08, 2011
dot_boston in Greater Boston Area

Dim Sum on Sunday, Feb 6th... impact of Chinese New Year?

Ha! Yes, maybe we'll converge. But it sounds like you may be there earlier than we will be. We are meeting at 12:30 - later than I hoped but necessary for some in our group. This is my first dim sum so I'm very excited. (Well, not the first exactly but last time was over 10 years ago in NYC.) My strategy is to identify a table who clearly knows the ropes and watch which carts they take from! :)

The good news is that tomorrow looks to be a fairly nice day to wander around Chinatown before or after.

Feb 05, 2011
dot_boston in Greater Boston Area

Recs for dorchester tonight????

I live within walking distance of both Ashmont Grill and Tavolo. I've eaten at them both numerous times and I agree with C.Hamster. The service at Tavolo is SO much better. I always sit at the bar and get friendly, timely service. I have stopped going to Ashmont Grill because of the attitude from the bartenders. Nothing outright rude (usually), just a constant low level feeling that I'm not quite important enough to be taking up a bar stool. I also prefer the food at Tavolo. Almost every meal I've had there has been very good, with a good-but-not-very-good dish every now and then.

To answer the OP's question (far too late, I know), I find the food at The Ledge to be mediocre. I've tried it at least half a dozen times, maybe more, and I always walk away feeling like I've spent too much money for a sub par meal. Every now and then (about every eight months, when the memory from the last meal there has faded), I go back, looking for a change of scenery from Tavolo, Anh Hong, Pho Hoa, etc., hoping, wishing that they will have raised the caliber of their kitchen, and end up disappointed once again. I think the key to success there is to keep it basic, with something like their burger. I've enjoyed that when I've ordererd it there. And I find them a bit on the pricey side for what they offer, particularly their cocktails. I agree with Pegmeister, though, that they do have a great patio area. Sadly, they do not allow dogs on the patio, unlike dBar and Blarney Stone, so in the warmer weather those two spots move to the top of my list so that I can bring my pup.

Having said all this, it's great that we now have enough choices in this neighborhood to even be having this conversation!

-----
Ashmont Grill
555 Talbot Ave, Dorchester Center, MA 02124

Tavolo
1918 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester Center, MA 02124

Blarney Stone Bar
1509 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester, MA 02122

Anh Hong
291 Adams St, Dorchester, MA 02122

Feb 05, 2011
dot_boston in Greater Boston Area

Dim Sum on Sunday, Feb 6th... impact of Chinese New Year?

Hi Hargau, good to know. I've been on the fence between CP and Hei la Moon. Anything in particluar you like at HLM, either from the carts or off the menu?

Jan 24, 2011
dot_boston in Greater Boston Area

Dim Sum on Sunday, Feb 6th... impact of Chinese New Year?

Wowza!

Jan 24, 2011
dot_boston in Greater Boston Area

Dim Sum on Sunday, Feb 6th... impact of Chinese New Year?

Ha! I wouldn't have thought of that. The lion dances are the following weekend but I imagine there could be firecrackers the Sunday we will be there. Thanks for the suggestion.

Jan 24, 2011
dot_boston in Greater Boston Area

Dim Sum on Sunday, Feb 6th... impact of Chinese New Year?

FD, I agree. Normally I would try to avoid the peak hour/mad rush, but in this case the idea of a crowded room with a celebretory air appeals to me. As does the whole cart experience. When in Rome, right?

Jan 24, 2011
dot_boston in Greater Boston Area

Dim Sum on Sunday, Feb 6th... impact of Chinese New Year?

China Pearl is on my short list of places to go. Do they take reservations? We will be a group of 8-10 gathering at 12:30pm. (I'm sure I can find that info elsewhere but thought I'd ask... Chow folks are always in the know on these things!)

-----
China Pearl Restaurant
288 Mishawum Rd, Woburn, MA 01801

Jan 22, 2011
dot_boston in Greater Boston Area

Dim Sum on Sunday, Feb 6th... impact of Chinese New Year?

I agree...I like the idea of more people, it will feel fun and festive. I just want to avoid the mediocre food experience that can too often be a part of eating out on a major holiday (Mother's Day, Easter, etc). Sounds like this won't be the case.

Jan 22, 2011
dot_boston in Greater Boston Area

Dim Sum on Sunday, Feb 6th... impact of Chinese New Year?

Thanks for the heads up on the lion dance. I went on line and read that it will be on Feb 13th this year. That would be a fun experience!

Jan 22, 2011
dot_boston in Greater Boston Area

Dim Sum on Sunday, Feb 6th... impact of Chinese New Year?

Hi All!
I'm a long time reader, first time poster. I'm getting together a group for dim sum and the date that works for most of us is Sunday, February 6th. We are going to a place in Chinatown - don't know exactly which one yet but I have found great options from other threads here.

Here's my question: given it's right after Chinese New Year, is this a bad time to go? Will it be like going out on New Year's Eve? Will there be hordes of folks celebrating CNY - which could be kind of fun but a long wait? Or will most be at home celebrating with their families (including the A team that would normally be in the kitchen)? I don't go for dim sum very often so I want to make sure I'm not setting up myself and the group for a less than ideal experience before we even walk in the door.

Thanks!

Jan 21, 2011
dot_boston in Greater Boston Area

Lunch spot in 1eme (or 3eme) for jet-lagged trio

Thanks souvenir. I just googled Le Loir dans la Théière to see if I could find a website. No website but I did find a blog that has photos of the interior. They have leather club chairs that look very comfy! They could be just what our jet-lagged bodies will need. How's the food - is it chow worthy?

Nov 08, 2009
dot_boston in France

Lunch spot in 1eme (or 3eme) for jet-lagged trio

Thank you both for your recs. JmV, Rue Berger is very close and sounds like there are mutliple options.
Souphie, we are having dinner at Chez Denise that night... it was a favorite from a previous trip and we are looking forward to heading back there. I read in another thread (delucacheesemonger, I think) that they have some good game items now. (And it hadn't even occurred to me to go there for lunch! not sure why....)

Thanks again!

Nov 07, 2009
dot_boston in France

Lunch spot in 1eme (or 3eme) for jet-lagged trio

We are arriving on Wednesday at 11am and have 2-3 hours before our rental apartment in the 1eme will be available. Fortunately, we can drop off our luggage while the apartment is being cleaned. I'm looking for a place nearby to have lunch. We'll be low energy since none of us sleeps very well on a trans-atlantic flight so 1eme or the western side of the 3eme would be ideal. Someplace comfortable (banquettes a plus), perhaps a bit cozy/warm-feeling, and with food that is definitely good but not necessarily very good. (We'll save those meals for when we have slept and have the energy and enthusiasm to appreciate them!). Also important is a place that won't mind if we linger.

I appreciate any suggestions...thank you!

Nov 05, 2009
dot_boston in France