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retrofabulousity's Profile

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Toro

That has to be one of the most poorly written reviews I have read in some time.

Jan 04, 2014
retrofabulousity in Greater Boston Area

Debunking Boston restaurant myths

This is true. I am not from here and haven't lived here nearly as long as many places in which I have lived and have had very bad service more often here than in all of the others put together.

I have had this happen at VERY high end restaurants here in ways where I never had it happen in all my years anywhere else, including recently at a board favorite.

I have been waiting to post on it here until I see whether the management resolves the issue. I complained and they have been taking MANY weeks to deal with it and I have had to call them back multiple times, always being polite while they have never once called me even though the fault is theirs and some of their people have spoken rudely to me.

Boston has a lot of great qualities but the last thing which comes to mind is great service.

Nov 22, 2013
retrofabulousity in Greater Boston Area

Sushi

I'm happy to hear that you enjoyed your meal there. I was curious though how it shamed the omkase from Uni per se.

From my own experiences with both I don't see how they are the same type of establishment.

Oct 21, 2013
retrofabulousity in Greater Boston Area

Kirkland Tap etc

I agreed that the scale matters as well as other factors but there's a pretty big difference between a 4 to 1 ratio and a 13 to 1 ratio which makes it seem like Boston is much smaller than it actually is.

Oct 07, 2013
retrofabulousity in Greater Boston Area

Kirkland Tap etc

It's very inaccurate to say NY is 13 times Boston's size; you have to compare metro areas in which case the ratio is much smaller.

Of course NYC is still going to be another world for the reasons you mentioned as well as the difference in culture the people who live there themselves (beyond socio-economic status and income which is alone rather considerable for the higher end)

Oct 07, 2013
retrofabulousity in Greater Boston Area

Suggestions for Italian/Mexican in Burlington/Woburn

I hope you're not suggesting that L'Andana "beats the pants off" A Tavola.

A Tavola is easily a more authentic Italian restaurant by any standard (chef/owner is from Tuscany and knows what he is doing).

Aug 19, 2013
retrofabulousity in Greater Boston Area

Suggestions for Italian/Mexican in Burlington/Woburn

A Tavola in Winchester would be my choice by far for that area roughly speaking.

Aug 18, 2013
retrofabulousity in Greater Boston Area

need italian that is vegetarian-friendly and wheelchair-accessible

For lunch, Gran Gusto is great particularly as almost all the other really good options like Giulia (also in Cambridge) are closed (similarly, A Tavola in Winchester further North and possibly more convenient for you is closed for lunch).

Other options include also Coppa in the South End or Pasta Beach not far from the North End and either is better than the North End options and there's Sportello in Fort Point as well.

May 23, 2013
retrofabulousity in Greater Boston Area

Salts vs. TW Food

Definitely TW Food and it's not even close for me in terms of interesting dishes and though TW Food isn't cheap it's also a much better value to me.

Apr 30, 2013
retrofabulousity in Greater Boston Area

Where to find chickpea flour?

If you go the Persian store in Watertown (Super Hero) you will certainly find all the chickpea flour you could ever want.

I can't imagine going someplace else for this staple of Iranian food.

It's not far from where you were at Sevan actually but most people on this board don't seem to know it and it almost never gets a mention.

Apr 12, 2013
retrofabulousity in Greater Boston Area

Where to find chickpea flour?

Super Hero is the Persian grocery store in Watertown and they would have what you need.

Apr 11, 2013
retrofabulousity in Greater Boston Area

Excellent Cappuccino in the Boston area?

I was trying to avoid entering too much into the specifics of taste; I find Chowhound useful as a preliminary resource to get a good list together but then I think it's best to try it for yourself when possible.

So I generally, unless there are huge and obvious discrepancies, try to avoid saying definitive sorts of things like Dwelltime is awesome and Barismo is merely good...especially given the relation between these 2.

Having said that, I had the impression that Barismo and Simon's have done a lot for the culture of coffee here in the Boston area and remain reference points more so than Dwelltime or Cafe Fixe (places I have been to only a few times but wouldn't have thought to elevate over the others).

Please post your impressions of Howell's as well if you would...

Mar 06, 2013
retrofabulousity in Greater Boston Area

Excellent Cappuccino in the Boston area?

You list most of the good spots for espresso but I am puzzled by your assessment of their relative merits.

For one thing you set off Dwelltime from Barismo...you do realize Dwelltime is a Barismo project, right?

In any event I have had espresso at all of those places [1369 (Cambridge), Diesel (Somerville), Thinking Cup (Boston), Simon's (Cambridge), Barismo (Arlington)] including Voltage and Howell's and I think they are all mostly in the ballpark and are the ones most espresso (and consequently cappuccino) lovers will mention in the Boston area.

You could also add Bloc 11 and Cafe Crema if you like as well in that general range.

Traditionally, Simon's has received a lot of praise and awards for whatever that is worth to you.

Mar 06, 2013
retrofabulousity in Greater Boston Area

Picco

Grab Gusto in Cambridge certainly serves pizza napoletana and Pasta Beach on Atlantic Avenue also does, as does Guido's Charcoal Kitchen in Waltham.

Any of those 3 is miles and miles more authentic than Picco, especially Gran Gusto if that is the style you are looking for.

Italians here in Boston pretty much go to Gran Gusto almost always and Pasta Beach after that. Guido's is new and is the next closest on the list.

The pizza I and the rest of my Italian crew had at Picco's was quite disappointing but people here are probably looking for different things.

Feb 22, 2013
retrofabulousity in Greater Boston Area

Il Pastificio - Everett, MA

It's a great little place which in a lot of ways has conserved a lot more of the Italian traditions than any other Italian shop I have seen here in the Boston area.

Those of you who like Modern etc should really stop in here and try a variety of things (as pappabuona says, the cassata is virtually unique in this area)

I have had the tortellini as well (which compare very favorably with Bella Ravioli, Dave's etc) and the pastries in general look quite appetizing. It really is a shame that it isn't discussed more often on here and I hope he stays in business!

Jan 15, 2013
retrofabulousity in Greater Boston Area

Pici in Metrowest?

Metrowest also has Panzano Market in Southborough and Waverly Market in Framingham you could try along with Tutto Italiano

http://www.panzanomarket.com/
http://www.waverly-market.com/

Dec 04, 2012
retrofabulousity in Greater Boston Area

Glamorous restaurant...in Boston.

Somehow this thread would not have been complete without a certain someone mentioning Le Bernadin or Jean Georges for the 100,000th time even though they still remain located in another city not covered by this board :)

Given the stated preference for Island Creek which I think is one of the most stylish decors in Boston, I thought of Sorellina, Mistral and Rialto (the Regattabar is a plus just upstairs but often closed in this period). And though it is no Jean Georges, Market by Jean Georges might be a possibility as well. Someone also mentioned Bond which could work though I don't think the food would be as good as at most of these but that might not be the focus.

Dec 04, 2012
retrofabulousity in Greater Boston Area

Dinner near-ish to the Lenox

You're very welcome :)

The Gallows is really cute, nice service and some interesting plates. I very much like it in that vein but I don't know that it would be a real once in 4 years dinner place. That said, if you go with that in mind, it could be fun (or perhaps would be nice to combine with a visit to Coppa as well which isn't so far away).

Dec 03, 2012
retrofabulousity in Greater Boston Area

Dinner near-ish to the Lenox

"having just returned from NYC where i had dinner at J-G and Bernadin..."

Is there a relationship between the beginning of your post and what the OP asked (particularly since the OP wasn't planning on spending anything comparable in Boston in the first place)? You seem to mention those restaurants in NY a lot for someone writing on the Boston board.

As for the question, lunch will eliminate a lot of the better options as many of the good places and places mentioned are closed for lunch. Toro and Coppa are open for lunch (Coppa all day) and they might be a good option for you.

I'm not sure what your price-point is but the best places in Back Bay are generally very pricy unlike in Cambridge to an extent where you could more easily have a more interesting special meal at more reasonable prices so you may want to rethink that geographical limitation.

Of the less extravagant dinner places in the area (assuming you go to Coppa or Toro for lunch) I agree that Island Creek would probably fit the bill better than most

Good luck !

Dec 03, 2012
retrofabulousity in Greater Boston Area

Scugnizzi in Arlington (formerly Buona Vita Restaurant)

I ate there recently too and had one of the worst experiences imaginable. I found the pizza horrible and the arancini were terrifyingly awful (they don't even use risotto actually).

I can't imagine how anyone associated with Italy could have anything to do with this place.

Service was also thoroughly incompetent.

Nov 29, 2012
retrofabulousity in Greater Boston Area

Authentic Italian

I couldn't agree more.

The 2 places which are the closest to what one would find very typically in Italy are Gran Gusto or Trattoria Toscana. This doesn't mean the others in town aren't good (and I enjoy some things more at some of the other Italian places in town actually) but they would strike most Italians regardless of their specific regional origin as somewhat 'different' and the person recommending them would probably make mention of this fact.

To be fair, even in a place like Rome where I spent much of my life, you won't find more than a handful of restaurants specifically aiming at some other region of Italy's cuisine and this tends to be the case up and down the bel paese.

Apart from Gran Gusto and Trattoria Toscana, I think la Campania and il Casale tend towards more "Italian" than most others in the sense intended by the original poster.

2 other possibilities I have yet to try are Bistro 5 and A Tavola but they look promising.

if anyone is interested, the pizza by the slice at Iggy's is very reminiscent of Roman pizza by the slice as well and is worth a special stop (only available at lunchtimes at their bakery itself)

Nov 05, 2012
retrofabulousity in Greater Boston Area

Erbaluce?

I found Erbaluce interesting but I personally would not call it the most 'authentic' of Italian spots or even Piedmontese spots to be honest and I would be surprised if Draghi were aiming for that actually. I discussed this with a Piedmontese chow friend just the other day who is also of the same opinion in fact (I lived mostly in Rome but also spent some time in the North).

If you are looking for a more romantic and solid Italian spot which also is well regarded by this board and many in the Italian expat community here, you should probably give La Campania a try. It is probably the most typically romantic of the higher level Italian places here and offers more secluded dining if that is what you are after.

Oct 31, 2012
retrofabulousity in Greater Boston Area

Metro West - is it really as hopeless as I think?

Madrid Bakery in Marlboro is an interesting find; an actual Spanish bakery hidden away in Metro West.

Oct 03, 2012
retrofabulousity in Greater Boston Area

Rave for Arlington Restaurants

Just a FYI Reza's in Chicago is generally not considered to be that great (many Persians consider it to be rather weak actually) so you might give some places in town a try.

Oct 03, 2012
retrofabulousity in Greater Boston Area

Bob's Italian Food

That's Bella Ravioli...very sweet people in there too.

Sep 29, 2012
retrofabulousity in Greater Boston Area

fancy takeout/picnic place?

Dave's in Davis Square for sandwiches and more or Dominic's in Waltham for sandwiches as well. Probably the 2 best spots in boston and maybe formaggio kitchen or Russo's for any additional sides, melons etc

Aug 29, 2012
retrofabulousity in Greater Boston Area

Your favorite *Southern Italian* restaurant in Boston?

I was not critiquing Erbaluce for not being "authentic" but rather stating that I can understand people who have certain expectations in that department not being pleased.

Jul 10, 2012
retrofabulousity in Greater Boston Area

Your favorite *Southern Italian* restaurant in Boston?

I find the GG part of that strange. The place is as conventional as it gets 99 times out of 100 and I mean that in a very good way. Trattoria Toscana is the same thing.

Erbaluce is a lot more unusual for better or for worse. I do not particularly care for it but I doubt anyone would claim that it is simply typical of Italian cuisine anywhere in Italy per se.

Jul 10, 2012
retrofabulousity in Greater Boston Area

Your favorite *Southern Italian* restaurant in Boston?

He isn't just sharing an opinion; he is repeating over and over a personal preference so I think it bears pointing out that Gran Gusto is quite solid and authentic as far as that goes and to do that, it also bears pointing out that GG has consistently a very high number of actual Italian fans here which is precisely how I came to know the place when I came to Boston from Italy..

Too often self-styled know-it-alls on message boards with 5 minutes experience in a country speak as if they had lived and cooked somewhere for 30 years.

I would prefer that those like myself coming from Italy or wherever else not look at this board when looking for something Italian and be discouraged by such antics.

Jul 09, 2012
retrofabulousity in Greater Boston Area

Your favorite *Southern Italian* restaurant in Boston?

There are scores of actual Italians here in Boston who swear by Gran Gusto for a reason. You seem to have found one dish who knows when and somehow thought you could deduce who knows what.

How many years have you lived and cooked in Italy by the way?

Here's the menu http://www.grangustocambridge.com/gra...

Looks pretty solid to me.

Jul 09, 2012
retrofabulousity in Greater Boston Area