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Recommendations for Needham, MA

If you can time it right, Captain Marden's Cod Squad truck occasionally comes to Needham's office park just behind the Sheraton. https://twitter.com/codsquadtruck They do fried clams and other things, and the actual store has expensive but very fresh, quality fish.

Spiga in Needham is walkable from the Sheraton and is a very solid option for Italian (better than Sweet Basil in my opinion).

Blue Ribbon BBQ sets up in a parking lot on 2nd Ave across from the Charles River Landing apts for good but not great bbq.

And if you just want a quick bite, Pronti Bistro has very good Indian roti-style wraps.

The Farmhouse in Needham is getting better with experience and is probably the best risk/reward proposition in Needham currently (Blue is consistently solid, but I've never been wowed there and I eat there a lot and I still don't get the raves about Sweet Basil, although the BYOB is nice, especially now that you can buy wine in town).

51 Lincoln would also be a short cab ride and is probably better. I agree with others that your best bet for oysters, etc. is to drive or take the T. Another good option on the T, but on the C-branch of the Green Line is Lineage, which usually runs a 1/2 price bottle wine special in July and also has $1 oysters at the bar from 5-7, at least they did a few months ago. They make some pretty good drinks and the food is very good, specializing in seafood.

Jul 15, 2013
JoeM in Greater Boston Area

Food trucks in the hinterlands

Cap't Marden's had previously parked it's Cod Squad truck on Washington St. in Wellesley, but the town essentially banned 'em. So, no trucks in Wellesley. I miss the burrito truck that used to park in Needham...

http://www.wickedlocal.com/wellesley/...

Jun 17, 2013
JoeM in Greater Boston Area

Need recs for solo business traveler please

I second Neptune. Very close to your hotel and the best food you'll find in the immediate area and where I send colleagues who are staying in the Financial District from out of town. If it were me, I'd probably go twice. No. 9 Park also a good option, but not as good as the 'Tune.

Apr 15, 2013
JoeM in Greater Boston Area

Dinner recommendations in DC with no reservations

Open to anything in VA or DC area. We're staying in Arlington but we'll go anywhere convenient to Metro.

Mar 25, 2013
JoeM in Washington DC & Baltimore

Dinner recommendations in DC with no reservations

Like many, I'm coming to town for the NCAA tournament at the last minute and am looking for some ideas for some good places that don't take reservations since we don't really have plans. Somewhere with quality drinks (or craft beers) to sip while we wait would be a plus. Barbecue or southern cuisine even better. Thanks!

Mar 24, 2013
JoeM in Washington DC & Baltimore

Mario Batali opening a restaurant in Boston?

Oh, if you build it, they will come. The tourists will come... I always liked the setup at their 8th St setup with a large bar with standing room tables at which to wait and enjoy some wine & snacks before being seated, or just enjoying everything in the front. Hopefully the crowds will save some of the olive oil gelato for me!

Nov 28, 2012
JoeM in Greater Boston Area

Strega Waterfront -- What's the attraction ??

Very popular with the expense account crowd, especially the out-of-town travelers. I'm certain they have wonderful ($$) relationships with every hotel concierge in the Financial District. The service has been pretty good when I've been there for dinners (never my choice), and there is a lot to choose from as far as food goes, so it makes it a safe choice.

Mar 15, 2012
JoeM in Greater Boston Area

Anyone been to Pronti Bistro?

I get take out here for dinner somewhat often. Great owner, and the food is pretty solid. Check it out if you get a chance.

Mar 14, 2012
JoeM in Greater Boston Area

Foumami in Financial District?

They are on my regular rotation of lunch places in the financial district. I've only eaten their salads, so I can't comment on the bread, but I think their salads are pretty delicious, if maybe a tad expensive. I was there last week and had the Bibimbap salad which was a special but apparently popular enough that the owner was thinking of keeping in permanently. One of the best salads I've had in a long, long time, combo of rice, salad, choice of protein, and a spicy dressing.

Jan 26, 2012
JoeM in Greater Boston Area

B'day dinner for woman of a certain age in Newton/Needham/Wellesley/Dedham/W Rox

The Cottage in Wellesley or Chestnut Hill should hit your pricepoint and has pretty good food that should be popular with a mature crowd. Alta Strada may be another option.

Dec 07, 2011
JoeM in Greater Boston Area

Petit Robert Bistro (Needham) or Aquitaine (Dedham)?

I've found Petit Robert in Needham to be pretty awful the last few times I've gone. the Dedham Aquitaine is good and much better compared to PRB although I've never been there w/ a large group. I'll repeat the earlier recommendation to consider Gaslight; I don't know that it's 'much' better than Aquitaine in terms of food quality, but the ambiance is a little more lively, they have better cocktails and there is free parking which is always a plus.

Nov 22, 2011
JoeM in Greater Boston Area

November 2011 Openings and Closings

I was wondering where that popcorn smell was coming from... fills all of South Station.

Nov 08, 2011
JoeM in Greater Boston Area

Very solid barbecue in Needham: Midtown Smokehouse and Grill

I had the ribs and they were cooked (not smoked) to the right doneness (agree that they shouldn't fall off the rib). That said, they still tasted bad.

Oct 27, 2011
JoeM in Greater Boston Area

Very solid barbecue in Needham: Midtown Smokehouse and Grill

I've got to agree with sak on this one. I ate there last night.

- Server was nice enough but terrible. Knew less than nothing about the beers on tap (when I say that, I mean that she gave out incorrect information instead of saying “I don’t know” and finding the right answer), didn’t bring cornbread and then made up a story about why she didn’t (they were out, but then made some more, but the piece I got was below room temperature, so unless they found a new method of baking…)

-Food was not good at all. They were out of many of their bbq items (“We’ve been really busy since we opened”) which seemed odd since they could surely order more food if they had run out earlier in the week. Since I didn’t want chicken or sausage, I had two different kinds of ribs, baby back and St. Louis, both unsauced since they had sauces on the table. The meat came out grey, room temperature, with the baby backs very dry and bland and the St. Louis slightly less dry but equally bland. No discernable rub, no smoke, it seemed like they had been grilled and then left in a pan for a few hours. The texas bbq sauce was pretty bland, the Memphis sauce had a nice sweetness/smoke flavor to it, but no heat (as advertised). My wife had the pulled pork which tasted as if prepared similarly. I had a very bland cole slaw and some ok texas-style beans as my sides. My wife had sweet potato fries, which were very good. I swear the cornbread was made from a jiffy mix box, only because I actually really like their cornbread and blueberry muffins (a childhood thing I think). So I enjoyed it, even though cold and somewhat soggy as a result (think airplane food).

Overall, not a good experience. I’ll probably be back; they had quite a few fish dishes, so maybe that’s the way to go. I’d definitely be back if they got NFL Sunday Ticket; many flat screens and a decent tap list (once you figure out what is on there). But I’d avoid the bbq.

Oct 21, 2011
JoeM in Greater Boston Area

Alta Strada advice?

The marscaporeos

Oct 06, 2011
JoeM in Greater Boston Area

The Mystery of the Village Fish

I'd like to get excited, but how in the world (or at least a town like Needham where nothing gets done without months and months of outrage and controversy) are they going to smoke on premises??? I hope they find a way... or at least have a good menu otherwise.

Sep 27, 2011
JoeM in Greater Boston Area

The Mystery of the Village Fish

It was open on the 27th.

I haven't heard anything about a bbq/sports bar type of place and imagine that such a place would create quite a 'controversy' with lots of letters and local paper editorials worried about underage drinking and the smoke and the undesireables who go to bars in the metrowest suburbs (I'm being sarcastic, but I'd be willing to put money on it happening...).

Aug 29, 2011
JoeM in Greater Boston Area

Cheesecake recommendation in the North End/Financial District?

Any recommendations for a good Cheesecake baker in the North End or Financial District? Looking for a whole cheesecake, not necessarily slices. Thanks

Aug 18, 2011
JoeM in Greater Boston Area

Southern Barbecue in Boston? Oxymoron?

so I tried BBQ smith this afternoon. Nice people, decent sandwich, but I wouldn't call it serious bbq.

I tried their beef sandwich. It came on a multigrain roll and with soy-bbq sauce, so I immediately will disqualify it from any serious barbecue discussion based on those two things alone. Not very much smoke flavor. It was tasty though. Best part was the $0.50 coconut oatmeal chocolate chip cookie.

Aug 05, 2011
JoeM in Greater Boston Area

Southern Barbecue in Boston? Oxymoron?

One more vote for BT's. I grew up in Kentucky and have ventured south many times for barbecue (both east to TN/NC and west to MO/TX) and BT's is the only place I'd consider taking southern friends who would want to try our 'cue. Their brisket is great, although occasionally a little too moist (fatty) for my taste.

I'm going to try to make it BBQ Smith, the food cart near the Chinatown gate on the greenway today for lunch; it looks promising.

Aug 05, 2011
JoeM in Greater Boston Area

July 2011 Openings and Closings

A new burrito/taco place is opening (or opened) on Broad St across the street from Flat Black. I just noticed it this morning. (and hadn't ingested my coffee yet, so I don't remember details like the name). Sign said 15% off.

Jul 28, 2011
JoeM in Greater Boston Area

Beacon Hill Help

Also should note that on weekends and weekdays after 5:00, it's $10.

Jul 21, 2011
JoeM in Greater Boston Area

Beacon Hill Help

If you'd rather be closer to your car after dinner, there's a parking garage in 100 Cambridge, which is directly across the street from Grotto. The entrance is on Somerset. Sometimes you can score metered street parking on Bowdoin/Cambridge/Somerset.

Note: If you have limited mobility, Grotto is at nearly at the base of a rather steep hill going up to the State House. It's not hiking in the Alps, but it might be challenging for those who can't walk very far.

Jul 21, 2011
JoeM in Greater Boston Area

Going to Blue Ginger

I ate here on Tuesday and also thought it was too salty (and I like salt). Butterfish was fantastic.

Jul 15, 2011
JoeM in Greater Boston Area

Have to go to awful restaurant tonight--what should I order?

I've been to several large dinners here and feel your pain. Some of their stuff is passable, but not swimming in grease is nearly impossible, and everything is huge. Their chopped salad isn't bad (get dressing on the side if you can). I recall they have a passable frutti de mare.

Jun 29, 2011
JoeM in Chains

No City Hall Plaza food trucks this morning . . .

Boston has the lamest bbq festival I've ever seen. Even small & mid-sized cities have 10+ bbq vendors, lots of good bands, etc. at their rib 'burn-off's'

Jun 24, 2011
JoeM in Greater Boston Area

No City Hall Plaza food trucks this morning . . .

Bon Me is over by South Station.

-----
Bon Me
Mobile truck; no formal address, Boston, MA

Jun 24, 2011
JoeM in Greater Boston Area

Outdoor Venue Help! :)

What about one of the harbor islands?

http://www.bostonislands.com/private-...

Jun 23, 2011
JoeM in Greater Boston Area

Coming to Boston on Sunday for anniversary dinner with wife- thinking Mare 5 course tasting menu and need other ideas for reasonable chef tasting ($10-15 a course)

Lineage in Brookline has their lobster week menu up and you can have $1 oysters at the bar from 5-7 while your pregnant wife watches!

Jun 16, 2011
JoeM in Greater Boston Area

Sel de la Terre - which location?

The Groupon is only for the Back Bay location (the other is in a mall in suburban Natick).

Jun 16, 2011
JoeM in Greater Boston Area