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Italian Bakery

I'd definitely go with Clear Flour or Iggy's easily (la Salumeria, Formaggio, Dave's, Capone etc all use one or both with good reason).

Next down on the list would be Bricco or Nashoba.

Further down would be A & J King in Salem and places like Fornax in Roslindale or Hi-Rise in Cambridge.

All the Italian American places besides Bricco make bread which would be unrecognizable in Italy (La Cascia, Parziale, Italo's etc) and I find them pretty horrific but if that's what you're looking for, there are plenty of those.

There's a reason everyone uses Iggy's and Clear Flour. And Iggy's pizza by the slice is the real deal much like a high quality place in Rome would produce.

Dinner rec for tomorrow 4/21 in Cambridge/Somerville/Arlington?

It's the quieter part which is maybe tougher but Rialto is one of the better more quiet special occasion-ish places though maybe a bit more upscale than you wanted.

Otherwise I would say Oleana, Sarma, Craigie or Study which is new and really, really good...much better than I thought it might be. There is also the Journeyman (not so sure about just getting a salad there though). You might also try Hungry Mother or the Puritan...

Neapolitan style pizza in Boston/Cambridge/Somerville/...

Since our last pizza meet up, I tried Marco's in Peabody which was very good (and also pretty good homemade pasta fatta in casa as well). The chef is from Genova.

I also have heard more great things about Volturno in Worcester and pretty good things about Babbo in the Seaport which I will try shortly (letting them get everything running smoothly first). One other place which I haven't tried for various reasons is Crush in Boston.

I just thought I would add all of these so the thread would be as complete as possible.

Neapolitan style pizza in Boston/Cambridge/Somerville/...

I agree with you 100% :) A4 is my favorite as well (which I mentioned at the pizza meet-up).

Sunday brunch: Coppa or Aquitane?

Coppa or maybe Ribelle for me.

Yelp for Pure Entertainment: Erbaluce

I was discussing the first review quite obviously.

The reviewer voiced his opinion, he didn't invite a response from the chef where the customer should be told to "beat a hasty retreat to the narrow world from which you emerged. There the bedazzled knick knacks and shellacked surfaces.."

It's a prick move from Draghi and it's way out of place. If a chef did it on here where the level of discourse is generally more informed on average it would still be a prick move.

You're a chef, get over it. You make food and some people like it and some don't. That's life.

People on here love to pick on easy targets like Nick Varano but let this slide because Draghi is more 'refined'

I've been to Erbaluce found it very underwhelming for a variety of reasons (didn't bother to post about it) and I'd certainly never set foot in there again after reading this. A more low-key person would think twice about posting a review because most people don't like being told by the chef that they are rubes and simpletons.

As for your question about musicians etc there is the Amazon reviews section and similar sites, multiple gear and musician forums like thegearpage (the most significant one) etc. I don't see Pat Metheny and Pierre Boulez sifting through reviews to argue with random people online who didn't like their work.

Do they respond to journalists and professional critics? Occasionally but very rarely and they certainly don't habitually troll online forums and review sites.

Yelp for Pure Entertainment: Erbaluce

Yes and I think you can see a difference between debating with a music critic and a random "critic" on the equivalent of yelp.

Draghi isn't debating with Devra First or Colby Krummer, he's lecturing a poster on yelp.

Not hard to see the difference.

Yelp for Pure Entertainment: Erbaluce

I'm a musician first of all and secondly I didn't say it never happens but musicians generally don't go on the equivalent of yelp and debate critiques.

So I live on THAT planet.

Glad I made you laugh; I won't say what your post "made" me do.

Yelp for Pure Entertainment: Erbaluce

I can't disagree more actually. It's a service industry and even musicians who are the quintessential art for art category rarely speak this way to people about their taste for that matter.

You do what you do and let people like it or not.

I find responding to reviews by random people to be very unseemly regardless of the merits.

And would you really want musicians etc to reply to your likes and dislikes pointing out that your ears are untrained and that you aren't capable of understanding real music and so forth?

Step outside your area of expertise for a moment and think how much you'd appreciate that

Yelp for Pure Entertainment: Erbaluce

I clicked on the first link and found Draghi's response and tone to be quite a turn off. That seemed a very snooty reply and as bad in its own way as the silly review itself.

"beat a hasty retreat to the narrow world from which you emerged. There the bedazzled knick knacks and shellacked surfaces.."

I have eaten at Erbaluce and am not a fan of the food actually.

Moreover, I don't think that telling someone he comes from a narrow world and he should run away from "culture" is really the thing to do.

A wine bar focused on US and (and non old world in general) production?

I mentioned Meritage before and they are going to reopen April 21st with a new look, menu and a wine bar as well:

http://boston.eater.com/2015/4/10/838...

Ribelle Outstanding

I've been many times and never had a salt issue. I think it's a great spot and I always take out of town guests there.

Sarma and the Multiple WOW!s

The food at Oleana is very different from typical forms of Turkish food...and in a very good way. Someone looking for Turkish home cooking would be missing the point entirely.

Oleana doesn't purport to be a Turkish restaurant or Persian restaurant either for that matter though there are elements of both cuisines.

first time at Mulan. What are your favorites?

It definitely matters to me...

What Chinese places use higher quality fish around here?

I've been to quite a few of the better considered places on this board and haven't been too impressed with some of the sourcing in that sense.

Don't Waste Your Allowance on Ordinary Sweets! Hold Out for the Good Stuff;Hold Out for Paris Baguette!

I can't say I have had anything I can even recall at Paris Baguette which struck me as a forgettable chain bakery so I gave up after 3 visits.

I would much rather make a stop at the Iggy's store in Cambridge.

Cafe Madeleine in the South End on the other hand is a great relatively recent spot and worthy of more attention on the board.

Best place for seafood dinner

I lived in Barcelona for a while and don't there's anything sad about seafood in Boston in some imaginary seafood face-off.

I have noticed you to be one of those posters who constantly compares Boston unfavorably to cities elsewhere. I don't think you are actually interested in conversation so much as confirmation of your own prejudices and attempting to project an air of sophistication.

On topic, Island Creek, Neptune, Row 34, Ostra and (probably) the new Select oyster bar would be very seafood centric places which I would feel comfortable recommending.

I would also recommend Courthouse Seafood depending on what you are seeking and what time of day; pick out anything you want in the fantastic seafood market next door and then have them grill it in the restaurant with their fried seafood/clamshack specialties.

As noted elsewhere many times, most good restaurants in Boston know how to prepare fish well and most people here don't feel the need for a "seafood restaurant" since it's pretty commonly well made throughout the finer establishments and oysters are all over etc.

Fenway/Kenmore: Good, cheap restaurants?

Yes it has indeed been "widely discussed" including by me and a few others in the past few weeks on this very board.

NY style pizza does exist here and so do other pizza styles (Neapolitan and otherwise) which are very worthwhile even in Italy, much less NY so I continue to marvel at this ridiculous statement about pizza and Boston.

I have lived at length in both NY and Italy and we just had a chowmeet with some Italians and other lovers of pizza to discuss and eat pizza in fact.

Back to the OP...if you are interested in pizza, there are 2 very recent threads with loads of recommendations. They aren't light-years distant from Fenway but they aren't right in that neighborhood.

If you are looking for high quality food near Fenway, these would be my recommendations for spots close by (if price is no issue):

Clio
Uni
Asta
Island Creek Oyster Bar
and to a lesser extent, Deuxave and Eastern Standard.

Trattoria Toscana used to be pretty solid (and it's reasonably priced) but I haven't been back since the chef changed.

Otherwise, go a little further to Allston or Cambridge or Chinatown and your cheap food options expand exponentially.

One can hardly complain about a dearth of good cheap food options while simultaneously living in a high rent part of town...

Best ice cream in Boston is..

Well, for ice cream it's pretty obvious that it's Toscanini and Cristina's to a lesser extent but for gelato the options are pretty limited in the area (the North End has several mediocre options with "glow in the dark" powders and food coloring).

Giulia however makes some really good gelato, far better than the others available in town up to now. Dolce Freddo in Methuen and Newburyport was the only other decent option but I am curious to see how Amorino does here; has anyone been?

Pizza

I'll say this for probably the 100th time...Iggy's slices are a huge standout here in Boston.

Only available at lunch they closely resemble high quality Roman-style pizza by the slice and even when lukewarm they are extremely well-made and not just another slice and simply on a different level from anything else made here. They would do very well in Rome, the capital of pizza al taglio.

Aside from that, Scissors and Pie on Newbury is worth a mention as an explicit Roman pizzeria al taglio...though I prefer Iggy's, Scissors is open normal hours and has the widest variety of quality pizza toppings in Boston.

As for the best of the rest, there is Pepe Bocca in Davis and obviously Umberto has its charms. For those saying Umberto is Sicilian style, it really isn't; it's again more somewhere between the height and make up of Roman pizza by the slice or some sort of hybrid of that and what many here call Sicilian and enjoyable when it's hot (I like the pizzaioli there too).

I like some things about the Otto slices but they probably make too many toppings for what walk in demand they have so it hurts their product.

Armando's seems to vary a bit but is probably about as good a "NY" style slice as I have had around here.

Neapolitan style pizza in Boston/Cambridge/Somerville/...

So just a note to mention that, as promised above, a few of us will meet up tomorrow evening for pizza and of course more discussion!

If anyone is interested, feel free to email at chowhoundpizzameet@gmail.com

Fenway/Kenmore: Good, cheap restaurants?

"Any chance these friends are New Yorkers? If that's the case, nope, there's no good pizza in Boston and they should stop trying. "

LOLWUT?

What exactly is this supposed to mean? There's plenty of good pizza in Boston even if you come from Rome, much less NY. See the recent Neapolitan thread for many suggestions, in both Neapolitan and other styles.

Frank Pepe's coming to Chestnut Hill

I have to say that it could mean something entirely different.

People make a fetish out of certain things and comfort foods are a great modern example of this.

I for one don't think good Italian pizza is as rare as you make it sound. It sounds to me like you are a serious fan of one place in particular (Una Pizza Nap. which is a good spot no doubt but it is one of many) and it has played a big role in shaping your expectations and you compare every place to it implicitly.

It's starting to remind me of that poster who always discusses restaurants in Boston by first making reference to Jean George in NYC.

In part this general topic was discussed in the other recent Neapolitan pizza thread so I won't rehash it here beyond this.

A wine bar focused on US and (and non old world in general) production?

That's true but it's the closest thing there is in terms of ambiance to my sense of what he was seeking. Wine bars tend to skew old world and there aren't many wine bars here in the first place.

Other wine bars would include Bin 26, Les Zygomates, Belly, Sip, maybe the Butcher Shop and not much else unless you include the restaurants with bigger wine selections like Prezza, Meritage, and Le Troquet etc.

One could always try the restaurants and those 3 have big lists. As for actual wine bars, maybe Les Zygomates has more of the actual wines you want. I haven't been in Sip since early on but they also have a fair number of new world wines (though I wasn't crazy about the place in general at the time but perhaps it would appeal more to the poster for this purpose).

A wine bar focused on US and (and non old world in general) production?

I'd say check out Spoke in Davis Square in Somerville.

Is this the worst restaurant in Boston?

That place is pretty legendary. I came across it because it is one of the few places open very late in Boston. Since I read the reviews first (unlike most of those reviewers) I never did actually order and always wondered how they stay in business.

Frank Pepe's coming to Chestnut Hill

Not the place for this but I prefer Max and Leo's to Regina. I will be curious to try Pepe all the same of course.

Neapolitan style pizza in Boston/Cambridge/Somerville/...

So I set up an email chowhoundpizzameet@gmail.com so we can coordinate a pizza meet-up as mentioned above...

We can discuss the logistics off-site that way if anyone is interested

Thanks!

Great Boston restaurants with my kids

Definitely Giulia and Ribelle would be tops on my list of Italian places in the area and both would be fine with kids (I have seen plenty in both).

Question about the bar at Sarma

They have a little lot and it's not the worst area for parking anyway.

Great restaurant and I like the bar area too.

Neapolitan style pizza in Boston/Cambridge/Somerville/...

I have had those at Il Casale (love the location actually) and I thought they were pretty decent the first time I had them years ago and not so great after that (I had some pretty forgettable meals there too in general).

I would still say that the suppli at Prides were my favorite but they are way out of my area so..

What other pizza places do arancini or especially suppli well?