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Do you go crazy for an item then stop liking it?

I do this all. the. time. And then the unwanted foods take up residence in my fridge for lord only knows how long! Glad to hear others are fickle like me!

www.thefourseasonings.com

Jul 21, 2011
cristinh in General Topics

Myers and Chang - disappointing

I had a bad experience at M&C, too, but my issue was with the terrible service. Our server was very rude, even for Boston standards. The food was fine, nothing special. Definitely won't be back.

www.thefourseasonings.com

Jul 21, 2011
cristinh in Greater Boston Area

4 day solo visit to Back Bay (Northeastern U)- Ideas for interesting food where it's not too awkward to eat alone

Douzo has excellent sushi, and a bar you can eat at. It's always crowded though, which can be a plus or minus for eating alone. Island Creek Oyster Bar is highly recommended too; they have a bar and it's pretty low key.

For Indian I like Kashmir on Newbury Street. Also, If it's your first time in the area, I recommend a trip to the North End... most places are decent, with standouts like Neptune Oyster. Final note: please do not get sucked into eating dinner at the tourist trap that is the Top of the Hub.

I'll be in San Diego in November so I'll take you up on your offer!

www.thefourseasonings.com

Jun 22, 2011
cristinh in Greater Boston Area

Anniversary Ideas - Boston/Brookline/Cambridge/Somerville

There's been a lot of love for Lineage on CH lately... personally it's one of my favorites. It's pretty low-key, and right in Coolidge Corner so it would be both easy to get to and great for a stroll afterwards.

www.thefourseasonings.com

May 05, 2011
cristinh in Greater Boston Area

A little love for Lineage

Could not agree more! Great service and food. I just wrote a review of Lineage for the Brookline Patch, here are some excerpts:

After relishing the house rolls, an almost brioche-type affair with a few fat flecks of salt on top, we started with the Duck Confit Rillette ($11). Akin to a charcuterie platter, the main attraction on this plate is an excellent pate of shredded duck confit; lightly dressed watercress, pickled red onions, grainy sharp mustard, and a few slices of lightly grilled sourdough round out the plate. Cousin Mark’s Crisp Maine Sweet Shrimp ($11) are as fresh as you might expect, if you knew that there actually is a Cousin Mark, and he actually does catch and deliver much of the shrimp and lobster that Lineage serves on a daily basis. Small, breaded and fried to crispy perfection, and served with a flavorful lemon aioli, these shrimp are only in season for a short time, so catch them while you can—the menu changes daily, and these are disappearing soon.

Fresh and briny Island Creek Oysters, served with cocktail and mignonette sauces, are normally $2.50 each, but $1 apiece at the bar from 5 to 7 each evening. Seafood is one of Lineage’s strong points, and if you’re seriously in the mood, opt for the seafood tasting ($38, wine pairing an additional $12), currently a three course menu of salmon tartare, Duxbury Littlenecks, and brioche & Dijon crusted haddock. (Keep an eye out for the twice-annual lobster tasting menu, too.

The Grilled Scottish Salmon ($23) offered a precisely cooked, supremely tender filet protected by a crackly crust, which beckoned lustily from a bed of pearl pasta, chantenay carrots, English peas, and ginger vinaigrette. A Spiced Flatiron Steak ($26), though chewier than expected, delivered a marvelous palate of flavor accompanied by roasted baby potatoes, mushrooms, “melted” leeks, and a green herb sauce.

Lineage saves the best for last; dessert might have actually upstaged the entrees here. We savored a luscious, eggy brioche bread pudding with tart meyer lemon curd, and a smooth, almost fudge-like chocolate pot de crème, both sadly absent from the ever-changing menu now. Try instead the pineapple upside-down cake with a novel tarragon anglaise ($8), or the complex flavors of an old favorite, butterscotch pudding served with whipped cream and candied pecans ($8).

The full review and pictures are on my blog, The Four Seasonings: www.thefourseasonings.com

Apr 17, 2011
cristinh in Greater Boston Area

Thai dishes similar to Pad Thai

I second pad see uw (also seen on menus as pad see you or pad see ew). It's a wide, flat noodle in a dark sauce. The sauce shouldn't be too sweet, but a balance of salty with sweet. There shouldn't be any hot spice here.

www.thefourseasonings.com

Apr 17, 2011
cristinh in General Topics

No Eggs in The Great Cuisines of India?

Julie Sahni's Classic Indian Cooking has two recipes for eggs; one for scrambled eggs with cumin and fragrant herbs and another for whole eggs in spicy tomato sauce. The eggs in sauce sounds very similar to an Israeli dish called Shakshuka, and it sounds really satisfying. I'm planning on making Julie's version in the next week or so.

www.thefourseasonings.com

Apr 17, 2011
cristinh in General Topics

Improving the Palate

I'm kind of relieved to hear it, mariacarmen. Nice to know I'm not alone here. We've just begun some experiments in "mindful eating," meaning we look at a recipe's ingredient list and try to pick out a particular flavor within the dish. It works with wine, too, when you get a bottle that lists the flavors very specifically.

www.thefourseasonings.com

Apr 17, 2011
cristinh in General Topics

Improving the Palate

And a great excuse to get my husband cooking! Ha!

Apr 14, 2011
cristinh in General Topics

Improving the Palate

Thanks, guys. I suppose I should specify that I'm supposed to be a supertaster, which I discovered during a technical experiment in grad school designed to ferret out those of us who supposedly have "the gift." Needless to say, I was surprised, because due to my palate I had assumed I would be a non-taster.

www.thefourseasonings.com

Apr 13, 2011
cristinh in General Topics

Foods that you are embarrassed to tell people you actually eat (a.k.a. foods you only eat when alone).

In grad school I actually wrote a paper comparing eating alone to sexual self gratification because they are solitary acts from which we derive intense pleasure. Love this thread!

Here are a few of my indulgences: canned sardines on toast, entire bags of baked lays (they're baked, so they're healthier! right?), terrible sushi, stuffed grape leaves, seafood salad. And entire cucumbers, with the skin on, eaten just like a hot dog.

Cristin
www.thefourseasonings.com

Apr 13, 2011
cristinh in General Topics

Improving the Palate

Dear Hounds,

I've been slowly noticing over the past few years that my husband, who could subsist on nothing but macaroni and cheese alone, actually has a very good palate. He can pick out different flavors within dishes, or taste my cooking and tell me exactly what it needs.

Naturally this is a source of consternation for me, since I'm the one who's actually interested in food. I'd like to improve my palate, pick out the flavors for myself, maybe even show him up a time or two.

Hounds, are there any exercises you know of that help improve the palate? Become more sensitive to individual tastes within a dish? Learn how to adjust seasoning when you cook? Anything? Anything? Bueller?

(Note that I'm not talking about learning to like different foods; I am a very adventurous eater who will try almost anything.)

Cristin
www.thefourseasonings.com

Apr 13, 2011
cristinh in General Topics

Do you use a lunchbox?

A blue and white polka-dotted bag. It's a thick plastic, so when my salad dressing spills all over the inside as it did a few days ago, it is easily cleanable.
It's cute, but I have to say, it looks kind of ridiculous next to my bright purple purse.

www.thefourseasonings.com

Apr 13, 2011
cristinh in Not About Food

twenty something californians in town for the marathon

Duozo for sushi, Drink for cocktails.

www.thefourseasonings.com

Apr 06, 2011
cristinh in Greater Boston Area

Hungry Mother Recommendations

Oh, yes! Forgot to mention those amazing deviled eggs. The cornmeal catfish is supposed to be a specialty of theirs, so I'm glad you got to try it. They do such an amazing job over there. And the service was fantastic, too.

www.thefourseasonings.com

Apr 04, 2011
cristinh in Greater Boston Area

Darbar Restaurant - Pakistani in Brighton

Darbar was recommended to me by a Pakistani friend as being authentic and delicious. I still have yet to go but it's encouraging to see so many of you have chowed down (pun intended) at Darbar and liked it!

www.thefourseasonings.com

Apr 04, 2011
cristinh in Greater Boston Area

Best Tuna Tartare?

Agree with Duozo! So, so fresh (as is everything they serve).

www.thefourseasonings.com

Apr 04, 2011
cristinh in Greater Boston Area

Hungry Mother Recommendations

This is probably too late for your visit! But we just went for my birthday last weekend. I had the sea bass, which was really well cooked and flavorful. The roast chicken was tender and moist and came with excellent little potato gnocchi and mushrooms. The steak frites was a huge hit; the only snag is that when ordering, the waiter said "We're cooking it medium-rare today, is that okay?" It was, but if you want a choice, know that you might not get one.

My favorite part of the meal was actually a side dish of cornbread! It's cooked in a cast-iron skillet and served saturated with melted sorghum butter.

For dessert, a coconut cake with chocolate icing, coconut ice cream, and blood-orange marmalade. Delicious but the cake was drier than I prefer. The cookie of the day was a rosemary-lemon shortbread dusted in powdered sugar, which was well-balanced.

www.thefourseasonings.com

Apr 04, 2011
cristinh in Greater Boston Area

Jacky's Table - not bad, but...

I've been to Jacky's Table a number of times and always liked it. The first time I went, we could tell right away that this was not like any French restaurant we knew: our waiter, who himself was French, joked with us at length and even gave two of our friends, who had just gotten engaged, a glass of champagne on the house.

I've been there on weekend nights and never had a problem with excessive noise-- but there's never been a live accordion (bizarre!) and I do have to say that they seem to run out of things quickly. The first thing we order, be it wine, appetizer, whatever, always seems to be out.

If you want a quiet experience, try going for Sunday brunch. When we went, the place was half-full, quiet, and relaxed. And they have a killer baguette French toast. Sounds weird, but definitely worth a try.

www.thefourseasonings.com

Apr 04, 2011
cristinh in Greater Boston Area

White People Discover Black Garlic

I thought the link to an article called "White People Discover Black Garlic" would take me to The Onion. What a bizarre headline.

Apr 04, 2011
cristinh in Features

Need recs for Chinese in Boston proper

Second Sichuan Gourmet. Decent food, decent prices, easy to get to even if you're staying downtown. They would easily accommodate a large party if you tell them you're coming.

www.thefourseasonings.com

Mar 31, 2011
cristinh in Greater Boston Area

Naked PIzza - coolidge corner

Take a look at http://www.dominos.com/shared/base/pd... for an idea.
Naked says "Our dough, sauce and cheese contain no additives, preservatives, colorants or weird chemicals of any kind." Vague, yes, but since that's the entire premise of their restaurant I'm inclined to believe it. At the least it's a step up, no?

www.thefourseasonings.com

Mar 29, 2011
cristinh in Greater Boston Area

Food Trucks, are they worth finding?

What, what?!? I work in this area but didn't see this truck! Sounds like I missed out. I'll definitely watch for it in the future.

Cristin
www.thefourseasonings.com

Mar 29, 2011
cristinh in Greater Boston Area

Naked PIzza - coolidge corner

Hm. I've only been to Naked once, but I really liked it. The crust had a nice nutty flavor and the cheese tasted real. Taste-wise, I could see how it might not win best-pizza award, but there's a lot of value in a pizza that doesn't have a ton of preservatives and that isn't dripping with grease. I think it's a great pizza for what it is (meaning, the focus is on a healthier pizza).

www.thefourseasonings.com

Mar 29, 2011
cristinh in Greater Boston Area

Dinner suggestions - contemporary/ bistros

Oh, yes!! I love Jacky's Table: great food, great atmosphere, and it's very affordable. Their moules frites are amazing.

http://thefourseasonings.blogspot.com/

Feb 25, 2011
cristinh in Greater Boston Area

Mid-price choices near Lenox hotel?

I second Island Creek Oyster Bar for seafood (I notice you hate oysters, but there are plenty of other seafood choices there!). Atlantic Fish Company (entrees $20-30) and Turner Fisheries (entrees $25-35) are also pretty close to you.

My experiences at Eastern Standard and Boston Beer Works have never been great. There are better options out there for American food.

http://thefourseasonings.blogspot.com/

Feb 23, 2011
cristinh in Greater Boston Area

American Craft: Much improved

Does anyone know what the prices are like at American Craft? One of my pet peeves is when restaurants don't list their prices on their online menus.

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American Craft
1700 Beacon St, Brookline, MA 02445

Feb 23, 2011
cristinh in Greater Boston Area

The best and worst of Brookline?

Oops, I think you're right... I'm thinking of Chef Chang's on Beacon Street.

Feb 07, 2011
cristinh in Greater Boston Area

The best and worst of Brookline?

Hope you're having a good time in Brookline, gramercy! There are some new places in Brookline that are worth trying, like The Abbey in Washington Square, and Cognac Bistro in JFK Crossing. Chef Chow's and Jae's have closed.

Some of my favorites are The Abbey, Taberna de Haro and Tamarind Bay. I've also heard great things about The Regal Beagle, which just opened recently.

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Tamarind Bay
75 Winthrop St, Cambridge, MA 02138

Regal Beagle
308 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446

Cognac Bistro
455 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446

Feb 07, 2011
cristinh in Greater Boston Area

Need recs for restaurants in Coolidge Corner

I agree-- now that the prices are lower, it's a great place. Fun atmosphere and energy. If you go earlier in the evening, it's family friendly. When I was there I saw a few families (including young kids).

Feb 07, 2011
cristinh in Greater Boston Area