fesenjan's Profile

Title Last Reply

Reims restuarant that a great find

We were there recently and loved our lunch at a smallish place called Au Cul de Poule -- specialty of tartares, but all sorts of other well-done and often wittily titled options. http://www.cartesurtables.com/les-res... We had reserved via the website La Fourchette and it apparently did not go through, but they were able to take us anyway.

Oct 10, 2013
fesenjan in France

Champagne dégustation/visite, Reims/Epernay

I just thought to be helpful to future searchers, I would post our experience: we actually did find many small houses in the area open for visits and tastings without reservations. (The harvest was just beginning in some areas and a week away in others.) We ended up booking the Mumm tour in Epernay, which was a bit commercial but worth it, especially for the vintage tasting for which we opted at the end. We also enjoyed tasting a flight of champagnes at C Comme in Epernay and learning about the differences in taste depending on proportions of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, and Pinot Noir -- I'd recommend this experience for anyone who is not thoroughly conversant with different styles of champagne.

Oct 10, 2013
fesenjan in France

More North Shore MA dining

I also enjoy Five Corners and 62, but I would choose Barrel House in Beverly over many Boston competitors. I am baffled that it hasn't gotten more love on this board.

Sep 14, 2013
fesenjan in Greater Boston Area

Sunday dinner recs in Paris

The webpage of Les Climats says mardi-samedi at the moment, actually.

Sep 09, 2013
fesenjan in France

Champagne dégustation/visite, Reims/Epernay

Goodness, thanks for this! The listings from, e.g., the Epernay tourist office show many places that don't mention reservations as being required, and in other wine-growing regions I've long been accustomed to dropping in for a tasting with no problem at all. It's very helpful to know that won't fly in this case.

Still interested in recommendations of favorites, if anyone has them.

Sep 03, 2013
fesenjan in France

Fuloon issues?

Bumping this thread to say that my husband and I ate there last night and were disappointed. We hadn't been in over a year. I know Sunday's not the best time to judge, but the food was overall far less striking than it has been on previous visits -- and came out so fast that we didn't think it could possibly have all been freshly prepared.

We had our old standby Mandarin Cabbage with Spicy and Sour (overbalanced to the sour this time, not at all vibrant or fresh tasting), tried Steamed Beef, Szechuan Style (the most successful of the lot, nice numbing effect) and also ordered Starch noodles with Pork (boring thick sauce, heavy noodles). It was not a terrible meal, but compared to previous outings there a low point for us.

Sep 02, 2013
fesenjan in Greater Boston Area

Champagne dégustation/visite, Reims/Epernay

My husband and I are going to be outside Reims (Sept-Saulx) for about 5 days at the end of this month. Searches on this board turn up older threads suggesting that taking a formal tour of at least one of the really big houses is worth it, and seeming to give Pommery the nod for that. Since in addition to visiting Reims and Epernay themselves, we'll be driving around enjoying the area, we were wondering if anyone had recommendations of two or three smaller houses that wouldn't require reservations. (We wouldn't be trying to cram them all in in one day.)

Sep 02, 2013
fesenjan in France

So now we're in Swampscott. Where to eat?

Barrel House in Beverly has become our main go-to place: great food of all sizes and descriptions without a pretentious atmosphere, interesting wine list, very creative craft cocktails. I also love Cielito Lindo (as long as you stay away from the Tex-Mex page, which is nothing remarkable) and their new taco place, Taqueria La Victoria. All in Beverly.

Life Alive in Salem is another place that's similar to Organic Cafe -- if you like juices, vegan, raw, etc, they're both actually excellent. Also i definitely second AJ King and 62 for Salem places.

Aug 04, 2013
fesenjan in Greater Boston Area

The 2013 CSA and Farmers' Market season has begun!

I haven't been to either of my local markets yet (Beverly and Salem) but have had one pickup from the Food Project CSA at Long Hill in Beverly. Very high quality and large quantity. Kale, chard, spinach or salad mix, arugula, fantastic radishes, cilantro, dill, plus pick your own for other herbs. A woman with a young boy was in front of me in line, and as she explained the items to him he relayed the information to me with great enthusiasm, e.g. THIS IS LETTUCE! YOU DON'T HAVE TO COOK IT!

Jun 13, 2013
fesenjan in Greater Boston Area

Live fermented pickles, kraut etc

Maitland is also at the Salem Farmers Market on Thurs afternoons as of today.

Jun 13, 2013
fesenjan in Greater Boston Area

Barrel House Beverly

Hey North Shore people -- I could only find one mention of this place, which is relatively new on Cabot St in Beverly and has become a go-to for me and a bunch of my friends. They have an interesting wine list, creative cocktails made attentively, some great bar food (excellent charcuterie and cheese plates, poutine) and a dining menu that is at least for me right in the strike zone. Not cheap, but not pretentious, nice open space, pretty view of the church across the street.
http://www.facebook.com/BarrelHouseAm...

The thing I want to post about, though, is their Sunday night Pigs and Whiskey event. They buy a whole pig and prepare it with various whiskey pairings (in addition to the regular menu). So last Sunday, my husband and I had a whole confit pig's head (it was a small pig and was only too much for 2, not WAY too much for 2) -- when I say confit, I mean confit, submerged in duck fat then crisped off. The jowl meat was incredibly delicious, and then all the cracklings, the tongue, the (yeah we did) eyeballs... just epic. There are also ribs, chops and more normal pig parts, but if you are the kind of person who is up for a confit pig head, seriously... this is like a life experience for only $60. Pic attached.

They're doing it again tomorrow (and the pig is 200 pounds according to their FB page so that head's gonna serve a group.)

Apr 13, 2013
fesenjan in Greater Boston Area

source for decent amount of fresh mint on North Shore

New Angkor Thom Market on Essex St in Lynn FTW: bunches $1 apiece, and I got to discover a new store (and am currently waiting for my lunch order at Tacos Lupita as a bonus!) Thanks so much!

Mar 28, 2013
fesenjan in Greater Boston Area

source for decent amount of fresh mint on North Shore

Thanks! I'm aware of various Malden, Quincy, Lowell, Waltham possibilities as well as H-mart, and travel to them all at times, but am just hoping for something closer this week. We're woefully short of Asian markets on the North Shore as far as I know (there is J-mart in Danvers, but they do not have produce.)

If there's a Lynn expert out there, I'm all ears, though.

Mar 27, 2013
fesenjan in Greater Boston Area

source for decent amount of fresh mint on North Shore

We make a stuffed lamb roast for Easter that requires a lot of fresh mint. I used to get a couple bunches at the Danvers Market Basket, but they haven't had it for a few years, and the Shaw's and Stop & Shop I tried only carried the overpriced little plastic containers of a few springs. One year we talked a local restaurateur into selling us some out the back of the kitchen; last year I went to H-Mart in Burlington. Surely there must be someplace closer (I'm in Beverly.) Can anybody verify having seen healthy-sized bunches of mint for sale on the North Shore recently? Thanks.

Mar 27, 2013
fesenjan in Greater Boston Area

Organic bread flour in New England?

I wonder if the folks at the grain CSA in Amherst could help: http://www.localgrain.org/

Mar 15, 2013
fesenjan in Greater Boston Area

What to get at Henry's in Beverly?

They are known for their pot pies, apparently. I agree that they are very pricey, but if you're a prepared-foods person (which I'm not) they have a lot of options.

Feb 16, 2013
fesenjan in Greater Boston Area

Fasika in Somerville

Thanks for reminding me of Fasika. I've gone to Habesha in Malden and Lucy's near Symphony for Ethiopian more recently; it's time get back to Fasika.

(Is Habesha still open, btw? Their website is giving me a 403.)

Feb 12, 2013
fesenjan in Greater Boston Area

If you could have any chocolate for Val Day from a chain store or chocolatier what would you want?

I'd join those going for Taza -- either Guajillo chile, or salt and pepper -- which you can get at Whole Foods or several local stores, or go to Taza and take the tour. Also maybe the 85% dark Green&Black bar, which if you can believe it they tend to have at Market Basket. I try to avoid the stuff sourced from West Africa because of the child slavery issues there, so that would rule out most mainstream chocolate manufacturers.

Feb 12, 2013
fesenjan in Greater Boston Area

Sunday breakfast north of Boston...

Depot Diner on 1A in Beverly is very popular. Not a foodie type place, but a great breakfast spot.

Jan 10, 2013
fesenjan in Greater Boston Area

Compare Clams at Clam Box w/ Farnham's & w/ Essex Seafood?(Plse Don't Shoot)

Here is the link to the Klam Krawl report. Gosh, was that really 2008???
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/543497

Sep 16, 2012
fesenjan in Greater Boston Area

3 days to Essex area to explore the huge marsh, where to eat?!?

I second (or is it third?) the Clam Box as an unmissable spot, despite the very missable setting. Several of us from this board did a clam shack crawl a few years back and it was the winner.

If they are open in Oct, White Farms homemade ice cream on 133 in Ipswich is quite good.

Agree that Alchemy and Franklin Cafe are good enough spots in Gloucester. Alchemy has interesting cocktails.

Sep 14, 2012
fesenjan in Greater Boston Area

Need Help with Choosing a CSA for Summer '12

I buy from Farmer Dave's at the Beverly Farmers Market occasionally and have enjoyed their stuff. Not a big issue for me, but just in case this is a priority for the OP in making choices, they are Integrated Pest Management, not organic.

Feb 11, 2012
fesenjan in Greater Boston Area

Please help me learn to love kale......!!

Dino/tuscan/lacinato kale is great with a Caesar salad dressing, too. Chiffonade, dress ahead of time to let it wilt a bit. If 100% kale is a bit strong for you, you can 50/50 with Romaine.
And as others have said: kale chips. So good.

Feb 03, 2012
fesenjan in Home Cooking

February 2012 Fresh & local markets, farm stands, CSA, Delivery etc

I went to the Winchester Market last week and yes, not as much produce. However, one of my favorite producers, Winter Moon Roots from Hadley, has a stall there. All kinds of beets, watermelon and daikon radishes, turnips, carrots, and more, running about $2-3 a pound. They are also in Somerville at the winter market at the Armory.

Feb 03, 2012
fesenjan in Greater Boston Area

CSA Share North Shore of Boston (near Wakefield)

The CSA I'm in, First Light Farm has a pickup in Lynnfield. http://www.firstlightfarmcsa.com/

Jan 26, 2012
fesenjan in Greater Boston Area

Where to buy Paneer in Cambridge/Somerville?

Yes, I second this -- over to the back right of the Market Basket at 400 Somerville Avenue. I've always found it there, reasonably priced. I think it's called Little India Market.

Jan 04, 2012
fesenjan in Greater Boston Area

November 2011 Winter Markets, CSAs, Farm Stands & Other Fresh, Local Sources

The Salem Winter Market starts today, and has some new vendors. 2-6 PM inside the little structures on Artists' Row downtown.

Nov 10, 2011
fesenjan in Greater Boston Area

H Mart [Not] Closed!

Could it have been just that they were without power from the storm?

Oct 30, 2011
fesenjan in Greater Boston Area

Biryani Park - Sri Lankan in Malden

Thanks to the wonderful hounds on this board for sending us to Biryani Park. We went last night, and were blown away by the food. Service was very friendly and warm but quite slow. This was 3 days after the positive Globe review, and the place was fairly full but not packed (no one waiting, an empty table or two, some takeout orders going on).

As we waited for our order we were comped a whole series of things (I'm not sure why):
-mini mango lassis. Very thick and rich, quite sweet.
-fish "cutlets," 4 fried balls of fish/potato, spiced deliciously and fried very well (from the Sri Lankan menu)
-2 string hoppers - as others have said, these don't do much for me, and I found the yellow sauce a bit monochromatic

What we ordered:
-Chicken 65. I believe this is the only a time a dish, upon arriving at my table, has activated some reptilian, evolutionary suspicion about the color being so intensely red that I might be about to ingest some kind of poisonous berry. Fortunately I overcame this evolutionary suspicion immediately. Delicious, very hot, nuggets of boneless chicken, some sort of citrusy or vinegary tang in there. Awesome. Too hot for me. Ate it anyway. There are several other "65" dishes with the same preparation. The name has a number of possible explanations, apparently.
-Gobi Manchurian on the rec of this board. Fried very, very crisp, studded with peppers and onions. Really great, not just your standard fried cauliflower app.

-Goat biryani. Revelatory. Complex melange of flavors, just incredible. You really should get some kind of biryani.
-Lamb Deviled Grill. This was big chunks of lamb layered with strips of cabbage, pepper and onion, plus "capiscums" (you know what those are) tho not especially spicy. Came off to me as sort of Chinese or more properly I guess Indo-Chinese. The least interesting of the dishes we had, and suffered by comparison (but only by comparison). Lamb was tender, but its flavor not really well integrated with the rest of the dish.

The table next to us got dosas, which were beautiful and the size of, like, a small watercraft.

All the dishes other than the string hoppers (which I'm guessing I just don't "get") and the lamb gave us that elusive sense of "I've never eaten anything quite like this before." We chatted some with the owner, who was very nice and friendly. Prices quite reasonable.

That said -- I hope they are able to make some progress with organizing their service a bit better, because they really deserve customers who are as happy with the pace and flow as with the food. We saw one table wait 20 minutes to have a credit card picked up, and another actually walk out after waiting some time to get an order taken. There were also a couple instances of staff literally running to and from the kitchen, which just conveys an unnecessary sense of panic and trouble. I hope they get to the point where managing 8-9 covers at a time plus some takeout does not overwhelm them, because I want to go back to Biryani Park more than once!

-----
Biryani Park
105 Broadway (Route 99), Malden, MA 02148

Oct 22, 2011
fesenjan in Greater Boston Area

where to buy organic chicken livers in Boston area?

Thanks - yeah, I'm on the North Shore so that would be a bit of a hike, but who knows, I might be out that way for something else.... that's exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for!

Oct 17, 2011
fesenjan in Greater Boston Area