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veryveryrosalind's Profile

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Framingham/Natick restaurant recs??

Wanted to say I ADORE EO Noodles, which we first tried thanks to a Galleygirl rec. The Chinese standards are great (loved the Yu Hsiang pork), as are the noodles. If they would hire someone to do delivery, I would be a very happy camper.

EO Noodle
1245 Worcester Rd, Framingham, MA

Framingham/Natick restaurant recs??

We ate at the Met Bar in the Natick Collection on Saturday night. It was awful. At 6pm there was an hour wait, and it was full of families with little kids--not a terrible thing, but it was LOUD. By 8:15 it was a third empty (clearly families are the main clientele despite the "sophisticated" decor and the extensive cocktail list). We had a Caesar salad which was gross and overdressed with a gloppy, yellowish, mayonnaisey dressing, unbearably sharp-tasting with too much garlic. It's supposed to be a steakhouse so we each had steak a NY sirloin and a tenderloin; both of them were underseasoned and the meat itself tasted like nothing. The "country-style potatoes" that come with the steaks were dry and weird, and the mashed potatoes I got as an additional side were also bland. And our waiter seemed exhausted and distracted despite the relatively early hour. Generally I would give Sel de la Terre in the Natick Collection a B to a B+, but the Met Bar was a D for sure.

Sel de la Terre
1245 Worcester Street, Natick, MA 01760

Framingham Center Restaurants?

Ditto on the neighborhood-name correction. It doesn't make sense but there it is. Limey's Pub is very enjoyable. Not superb quality, but fine. It's very close to Amazing Things, and is the only even vaguely chowish place downtown, as far as I am aware. The real chow mecca of Framingham is Sichuan Gourmet on Rt.9, an authentic Szechuan paradise and all-around excellent Chinese restaurant. If you opt for Rt. 30, right by the Aegean is also Big Fresh, which is a healthy/natural foods cafe, with wraps, stir-fries, etc. They source a lot of their ingredients locally.

Big Fresh Cafe
341 Cochituate Rd Ste 3, Framingham, MA 01701

Sichuan Gourmet
1004 Beacon St, Brookline, MA 02446

Chickpeas with Date Masala (from NYTimes): rave report

In the Nov. 7 Times magazine, there was an article by Sam Sifton about an Indian fusion restaurant in Vancouver that featured two vegetarian recipes, Chickpeas with Date Masala and Grilled Coconut Kale, that sounded so good I wanted to make them immediately.

I ended up making both recipes as Thanksgiving sides. The chickpeas were FANTASTIC but the kale was yucky.

The chickpeas were a win-win-win: easy, delicious, and using only pantry ingredients. I am going to be making these a lot. I started with dried beans, but I don't think the recipe would suffer with canned beans.

The kale--I followed the recipe exactly, and the end result looked pretty much just like the picture, but bleah. I usually like coconut milk, especially in Asian-flavor contexts, but this tasted like drinking a bottle of Hawaiian Tropic suntan lotion. It also left my cast-iron grill pan with a lovely burned-on coating of coconut goo. I feel like the "grilling" was a doomed technique--you were supposed to take these kale leaves, dripping with coconut milk marinade, and throw them on the grill or a grill pan. But you can't exactly grill something that's so wet--it just turned into sauteed kale leaves, in the grill pan anyway, with a sticky, sickly coconut sauce.

But I highly recommend the chickpeas! Yum!

Nov 26, 2010
veryveryrosalind in Home Cooking

Help--lost 2002 Cook's Illustrated recipe

Thanks so much, everyone!! It was, in fact, the Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse Cake from Nov/Dec 2002 that I was thinking of; I remember the orange variation and the recommendation to use Hershey's Special Dark (although I've always used Ghirardelli instead). I don't know why I remembered that it didn't contain any butter--very strange. Maybe that was just a lie I told myself as I consumed a third piece. :) In any case, THANK YOU, I am thrilled to have the recipe back and will be making it for my mom's 62nd birthday this weekend!!!

Nov 18, 2010
veryveryrosalind in Home Cooking

Help--lost 2002 Cook's Illustrated recipe

On several occasions I have made a fantastic flourless chocolate cake that I found in a Cook's Illustrated issue from summer or fall 2002. I want to make it again but can't find the issue. I own "The New Best Recipe," but I'm sure the flourless chocolate cake recipe in that book isn't the same--I recall that the one I used to make didn't include any butter, just many eggs and many ounces of high-quality semisweet chocolate. Maybe the one I want wasn't called "flourless"--maybe it was a "dark chocolate torte." Does anybody happen to have this recipe? Thanks!!!

Nov 15, 2010
veryveryrosalind in Home Cooking

Good Chinese *delivery* to Framingham?

Thanks, hounds, these are good tips! Does Red Pepper deliver? I have heard it is good, but their website doesn't mention delivery.

Red Pepper
122 White St, Haverhill, MA 01830

Best Boston Cream Pie?

I really like Rosie's BCP, but it's a really dense, super-sweet version. The cream filling is as firm as a panna cotta (and, IMHO, it's ambrosial), the cake is almost pound cake-like in its dense crumb, and the chocolate "glaze" is really a thick layer of fudge-like ganache. It comes in a small (7"?) size that 2 people can finish before it gets stale.

My husband also always wants a BCP for his birthday, and one year I made one out of "The Best Recipe" cookbook--it was my first try and it actually turned out great. But, in fact, I almost always get him a Rosie's one.

Good Chinese *delivery* to Framingham?

For Chinese in Framingham full stop, of course there are great choices on Rt 9--Sichuan Gourmet, Uncle Cheung's. But sometimes a person needs it brought to the door (especially when one is a Hound with an infant pup). I've given Three Gorges two chances to be good, and it's not even decent. Is there a good Chinese place in Natick/Fram-ham/Ashland that delivers?

(For another day: Why is it so hard to get good delivery of practically anything--pizza, Chinese, Thai--in Metrowest?)


Uncle Cheung's Restaurant
266 Worcester Rd, Framingham, MA 01702

Where can I buy an excellent Boston Cream Pie

I really like Rosie's BCP, and I don't like any of Rosie's other cakes. You can probably walk in and buy one, but you should call ahead to make sure.

Let's talk Cambridge

I love the Somerville Market Basket too, for produce and staples. Keep an eye on your stuff as it goes from your cart into your bags, though--I've had selected craveable items (big bars of Cadbury's chocolate, etc) disappear between the register and my shopping bags. The management was super-nice about replacing them when I went back with my receipt.

Gelato in Boston area?

I've been to the new gelato place in Wellesley (I think it's called the Gelato Cafe) twice. In addition to gelato, they have coffee and fancy hot chocolates. The first time I had the pistachio, which is a reassuring greyish (that is, natural) green, and it was pretty good but not outstanding. The second time I had "bacio" (chocolate-hazelnut) and was less impressed--it was just bland and not very nutty or rich-tasting. Furthermore, it's really expensive. My brother-in-law, who is a huge fan of Burdick's white hot chocolate, pronounced their white hot chocolate bad, with an artificial aftertaste. (I'm also disturbed that they have no apparent facilities for recycling the Italian-style plastic coppas that the gelato comes in--hundreds and hundreds of them must get thrown away every day.)

Wellesley dining

Unfortunately, the Cottage is really not very interesting. They have a full bar, which is welcome in dry Wellesley, but the food has low ambitions and a dull execution. It's like Applebee's with higher ceilings and better lighting. Masala Art in Needham is much better at that price level. Blue Ginger is the only really good restaurant in Wellesley, but even though it's good, it's so expensive that it's not really a good value.

KO Prime last weekend--review

My husband wanted to go to a Steakhouse (capital S intended) for his birthday, so after detailed consultation of past posts on this board and scrutiny of the menus of KO Prime and Grill 23 & Bar, we went to KO Prime, and turned out to be, on the whole, very satisfied.

What was truly great about it was the steak. He had the New York Strip with Maldon sea salt, and it was, he said, the best steak of his life. It was incredibly beefy-flavorful and tender, and, like my skirt steak with blue cheese, was utterly perfectly cooked--every millimeter, down to the skinny tail end of the steak, was exactly medium-rare.

The service was also good, in that they responded to my OpenTable "special instruction" note that it was a birthday by giving us a great table (with a view of the Old Granary Burying Ground), and birthday-ified the dessert we chose (candle, "Happy Birthday" in chocolate on the plate) without being reminded. However, the servers were also too attentive with trying to take away plates, especially between the app. and main, so that we ended up feeling rushed. The room was by no means packed at any point, so I don't think they were trying to turn our table; it was just their style.

The atmosphere was pretty good. The bar was hopping when we got there (7:30), but the dining room was pleasantly quiet. The colors and fabrics are rich and subdued, kind of metrosexual rather than steak-house masculine, which I mean as a compliment. I wish the background music hadn't been techno--I wanted relaxation, not energy-energy, but oh well.

The "ceviche-style shrimp cocktail" app was okay but was perhaps too cold--the shrimp, rather than being tender, were so firm they were almost crunchy. The plantain chips that came with it were very salty and very good. Our sides, Brussels sprouts with bacon and frites with ricotta salata and rosemary, were both very good. Dessert, a frozen mint mousse with a molten chocolate center, was yummy, like a haute version of Baskin-Robbins mint chocolate chip. The texture of the mousse was a tiny bit icy, but the flavor was great.

Also, important to note: the menu is significantly reduced from what is shown on their website--there are about a third fewer cocktails and sides, and some reductions have been made in the mains and apps. The entire "Mushrooms" section of the sides menu on the website, featuring various exotic mushrooms available a la carte, has been cut and replaced by a single side dish called "mixed mushrooms," and the "Charcuterie and Offal" section has been slashed--no more brains or tripe. None of the steaks on the actual menu advertise themselves as being dry-aged, although the NY Strip tasted aged, as the website says it is.

So, KO Prime turned out to be somewhat less interesting than I expected, but we came in large part for the steak, and in that we were absolutely not disappointed. Aside from the steak, the food was not mind-blowing but satisfying. I chose it hoping for a more date-y atmosphere than Grill 23, and I think that was also a good call. And! We had an app, two steaks (one in the $40 range), two sides, a dessert, a cocktail, and a glass of wine, and I was bracing myself for the check, but it was only $147 (including tax). So that was satisfying too.

Cold-smoked salmon freshness question

Thanks for your interest! Reader, I ate it. I decided to cook with it, just in case there was some bacterial growth, rather than eating it straight out of the fridge. I made a smoked salmon pizza with cream cheese, thinly sliced red onions, capers, and all 8oz of the suspect salmon, which smelled fine when I opened the package. That was Tuesday, I think, and my husband and I are still not poisoned, so it must have been okay.

This was naturally smoked salmon, BTW--no preservatives other than smoke and salt.

Cold-smoked salmon freshness question

I know, the adage is when in doubt, don't, but there's like $13 in salmon at stake here, and these are tough times. :)

A week ago today, I bought two vacuum-sealed packages of cold-smoked Atlantic salmon. They were in the refrigerated case at the store and the package says "Keep refrigerated below 38 degrees" but doesn't say anything about expiry. I brought them home from the store at about 4pm, and immediately began making canapes for a party. I ended up not opening the second package, but the party was starting and I forgot to put it away. At 2am I realized the second package, still unopened, was still out, and stuck it immediately in the fridge.

So the sealed package was out on the counter in my 65-70 degree kitchen for 10 hours. I thought I would eat it right away, but then the week got away from me, no time for a bagel brunch, and I still haven't. Is it now still okay, or would you toss it?

There was a related discussion on this board about a year ago about eating shelf-stable (hot-smoked) salmon after a year in the cupboard, but this is a different issue--cold-smoked, refrigerated salmon after 10 hours at 70 deg. and then a week at 38 deg.


Cambridge One (Harv Sq)--downhill?

I've been happily eating pizza at Cambridge One since they opened. When I lived in Cambridge I used to go at least twice a month. Now that I've moved westward I only go a few times a year. They've stuck, admirably or frustratingly, to essentially the same menu and beer/wine list all these years, but they've done what they do well.

I was there last night, however, and was really disappointed. The pizza crusts, instead of being light, oven-burnished, oil-kissed, and deliciously salty, were underbaked, underseasoned, and doughy. There were big chips of raw red onion on my mashed potato pizza. And the pizzas were only warm, not hot, when they came to the table.

Tragedy! I love the warm feeling of the room at C1, and I love the view over the cemetery, especially on a fall afternoon. I like their small-but-carefully-chosen wine list. I even like those baked cheese stalactites they offer at the bar.

Was it just an off night, or is the 'za not good any more?

Western suburbs of Boston

It's not new any more, but the Figs slot in Wellesley has been filled by Alta Strada, an Italian place featuring small plates (as well as regular big plates), owned by Michael Schlow of Radius and Via Matta in Boston. It's okay but not as good as it should be, like everything in Wellesley. The fresh ricotta small plate and the panna cotta dessert are the only things that stand out for me. Also in Wellesley, Cafe Mangal (corner of rts. 16 and 135) has good sandwiches and salads at lunch, but at dinner turns into a vastly overpriced and very pedestrian Middle Eastern/Mediterranean sit-down restaurant. There's also a newish place called the Cottage in Wellesley, on Linden St near the new Roche Bros., American food a la TGI Fridays, serviceable but nothing special. They have bar seating, good for lone diners.

All-natural soft serve (as in 7/23 NYT) in BOS?

Today's NYT Dining In had an article about a new wave of chef-made soft serve ice creams that use minimal artificial ingredients, going for the nostalgic Mister Softee texture but in nouveau flavors like hibiscus, balsamic Bing cherry, or horchata. (Also, double swirls of jasmine granita and white nectarine soft serve...ooooohhh.) Some kind of stabilizer like lecithin is usually used, but aside from that all ingredients are whole (milk, sugar, etc) and high-end. The article mentioned fine-dining and casual restaurants in NYC, CA, and Atlanta that make all-natural soft serve in-house, but nothing in Boston. Does anyone know whether such a dessert is on any menus in Boston?


Tofu Noodles

They are low-calorie, but they don't seem to have much protein, which is disappointing--they don't make a complete meal stir-fried with veggies. I really like them though.

Jul 22, 2008
veryveryrosalind in Home Cooking

Blue Ginger: must try dish?

Ditto the foie gras shumai starter. People who don't like foie gras can be converted with this. The best thing on the menu, I think.

Fage Greek Yoghurt

I have also noticed a grainer texture in the full-fat (the kind with a little side pot of jam), but not in the 2% or 0%.

Things to know about Arrows?

Thank you very much for the information about the 2 seatings and about how to try for a window table--that's extremely helpful. My information about the dress code is straight from the reservationist on the phone yesterday afternoon, who said, and I quote, "We do have a dress code, we request that gentlemen wear jacket and tie." He didn't say such attire was *required,* it's true, and as I say, maybe this was due to my young female voice--perhaps he thought my companion and I would show up in bathing suits if not warned--but all I know is what he said.

Things to know about Arrows?

I've just made a reservation for a mid-July Saturday at Arrows for my wedding anniversary. My husband is a devoted vegetable gardener, so I thought he would enjoy what I hear is the lush garden atmosphere, and I have heard many raves about the food from my co-workers in Boston. Since it is a special occasion and I want it to be a wonderful evening, I was wondering if there is anything I should know to request beforehand (place to sit, tasting menu, etc.).

I noticed that posters here have complained about a pretentious attitude there, and indeed in one 5-minute telephone call I have already observed it--I was surprised that 6pm was the only time slot they had for a reservation 5 weeks in the future (admittedly, it is a Saturday), and I was also surprised to hear they have a jacket-and-tie dress rural Maine? We've been to L'Espalier, Clio, No. 9 Park, etc., in Boston, and have never been instructed to dress up. I am happy to wear a skirt, but it felt oddly didactic. I have a somewhat young-sounding voice, although I am over 30; should I have said it was my wedding anniversary to get more respect and perhaps a later reservation?

Also, in terms of seating, is there a good location (esp. vis-a-vis views of the garden) and a Siberia? Is there a tasting menu that can only be ordered in advance that I should know about?

Thanks, and I promise to return with a review.

Help--what magazine was this recipe in (white choc. meringue)?

Thank you so much, that is exactly what I was looking for! How fantastic that you were able to remember it. Hooray!

Apr 14, 2008
veryveryrosalind in Home Cooking

favorite recipes with Spanish chorizo

This is so easy it isn't even a recipe, but it's really great. Soft polenta prepared with lots of a hard cheese like parmesan, a side of a sauteed, garlicky dark green like swiss chard, kale, or mature spinach (with a splash of sherry vinegar), and a split, grilled link of chorizo on top. Unctuous and creamy, bitter and tangy, and meaty, spicy, and chewy all on one plate. We had this about twice a week last summer when the chard was flourishing in our garden--always with chilled rose.

Apr 13, 2008
veryveryrosalind in Home Cooking

Help--what magazine was this recipe in (white choc. meringue)?

I was in my doctor's waiting room a few days ago and was reading an issue of a women's magazine, I *think* the April Good Housekeeping, and saw a recipe for a pavlova or dacquoise that involved a white chocolate meringue. I was kind of distracted, so I can't remember exactly what magazine or what month. It sounded great and I made a mental note to buy the magazine for myself, but the next time I was at a newsstand the April issues were gone and I couldn't find what I had seen in the May issue. Does anyone know what magazine and what issue I was actually looking at? Thanks!!

Apr 13, 2008
veryveryrosalind in Home Cooking

Lovely stop at Cuchi Cuchi last Sat.

My spouse and I were in Central Square pre-theater and decided to try sitting at the bar at Cuchi Cuchi, where we had never been. We arrived very early, at about 5:45, with no reservation, and we were almost the only people there--within 15 minutes, however, they were slammed and the party had started. We had glasses of the Quinta da Alorna Portuguese red, which was fantastic--we should have ordered a bottle, since it was only $27. We had four tapas: the St. Jacob's zucchini, the chicken Kiev (both deep-fried, melty, salty, and scrumptious--the apotheosis of comfort food), 3 "cornets" of tuna tartare/avocado mousse/sour cream (good, but needed a shot of acid, maybe; the tuna was a little dull and pulpy), and the scallop ceviche with mango and banana (good balance of sweet and acid). The servers who attended to us at the bar were terrific, making us feel taken care of even as they mixed endless blackberry Cosmos for the crowds that were gathering behind us (including at least two bachelorette parties). Spouse couldn't resist having a Manhattan for dessert after seeing all the cocktails going past, which he said was well-done. We were out, sated, happy, and buzzed by 6:45, deeply satisfied and only about $70 lighter. It was exactly the right atmosphere and a lot of the right food to combat an icy January evening, and I'll definitely be going back before winter is over.

JP delivery

Thanks for the link to the India Samraat thread--I had searched "Jamaica Plain delivery" with no success.

JP delivery

I'm housesitting in JP, not my usual 'hood, this weekend. What's good for delivery (to the Faulkner Hospital area)? I especially want Chinese, but Indian or anything else interesting would be fine. If there's no good delivery, what's very easy to find for takeout? Is Sichuan Garden in Brookline Village the closest good Chinese?