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Boston restaurants with no/low salt offerings

Hello All,

This is a part two of a question I asked in the home cooking area. In addition to learning about controlling sodium in my diet, I would like to ask whether anyone knows of restaurants in Boston that are better than others at reducing or eliminating salt in their dishes, or whether certain restaurants have a wider selection available to those of us on restricted diets. This change comes to me rather suddenly and after three weeks in the hospital, I can't think of anything I would like less than to pass on a night out to dinner with family or friends!

Cheers

Oct 17, 2009
vonwotan in Greater Boston Area

Any thoughts on how to make an extremely low salt low fluid diet interesting?

Thanks all for all of the suggestions. I generally make my own foods with fresh ingredients so there is still a lot I can do. I do however have small amounts of added salt in many of my recipies and I like to use salt in the water for my pasta. Some of it will simply be an adjustment, some will mean experimenting, usually pleasant, with the other ingredients and additional spices. The vitamin K piece is only temporary, and includes many of my favorite foods so I just need to make sure that the rough amount of vitamin K remains the same each day.

As one person commented below, many of the low-salt items avaialble these days aren't that low or contain other types of sodium that have to be included in the day's total.

Happiest news of all, my cardiologist said that if I still want to have one, normal sized, glass of wine with my meal it would be ok but to keep it minimal and somewhat consistent so it doesn't throw off the dosing for some of my meds.

My cubbards are nearly bare at the moment thanks to my brother and sister so I can just focus on buying those things I can easily fit in to my diet. Over time I guess I'll re-learn how to make some dishes. My challenge is that I have spent a lifetime collecting recipes and cookbooks and studying many different cuisines - and I'm really a fan of nose to tail eating. Certain favorites like marrow bones with a little sea salt and parsley on toast just won't be the same...

lgss - I'm trying to balance the vitamin K for a different reason - I'm very sensitive even to small doses of Coumadin so keeping vitamin K in my diet and trying to get that balance (INRs between 2-3) is proving difficult. They have held up my discharge for nearly a week now, until they get it right.

Thanks again everyone!

Oct 15, 2009
vonwotan in Home Cooking

Any thoughts on how to make an extremely low salt low fluid diet interesting?

After recent adventures I am limited to 2 grams of sodium and 1500cc of fluids per day (fluid = anything that is liquid at room temperature). I also have to try and maintain a steady level of vitamin K (from some of my favourite vegetables) each day for at least three months. I already have some ideas and I know how I can do it if I want to be bored stiff with my diet. I am wondering if any other folks on the board have experienced similar restriction or know any creative cooks who have managed to produce decent eats.

Cheers

Oct 14, 2009
vonwotan in Home Cooking

Thoughts on Prezza's latest menu

We just came back from a wonderful meal at Prezza. The service and the food were execellent and the wine list had just what the doctor ordered. I was getting nervous because I had seen several very negative reviews on various web sites - mostly panning the service but a few harshly criticizing the food. When we lived in the North End we ate at Prezza several times per month and loved it. This was the first time we were back in almost a year and we were afraid that something had happened. Fortunately, the service and food were as good or better - attentive but unobtrusive service from our waitress, the Maitre d' and the chef who remembered our dogs from the Prado and our talks about upland game hunting. This evening's meal only reinforced my opinion that Prezza is one of the finest restaurants in Boston.

Jul 11, 2009
vonwotan in Greater Boston Area

Thoughts on Prezza's latest menu

We don't get to the North End or to Prezza as often as we used to. What does everyone think of their current menu?

Jul 11, 2009
vonwotan in Greater Boston Area

New England Anchovies for 100 Mile Diet?

Thanks all for the suggestions. Maybe this is an opportunity to preserve some sardines for myself and to try my hand at garum again.

To think that the New England coast used to be full of canneries in the late nineteenth century. Perhaps, like American caviar, we will also see a renaissance of "sardine" fishing and canning in the US?

Oct 05, 2008
vonwotan in Greater Boston Area

New England Anchovies for 100 Mile Diet?

Are there any local ancovies or sardines for those of us testing the waters of the 100 Mile Diet? I shop primarily in downtown Boston.

We recently realized that we use a lot of anchovies in some of our favourite recipes, this is particularly true of some fall and winter recipes.

I do like the various anchovies sold by La Tienda but alas, for the moment, they are off the menu.

Oct 04, 2008
vonwotan in Greater Boston Area

Selection and quality in Peapod deliveries

Has anyone else noticed Peapod stepping up their efforts to replace products with their store brand or with Nature's Promise. Increasingly, items I had ordered from them in the past are no longer available and the listings for new arrivals all seem to be their own brands. I had already stopped ordering meats from Peapod and I find that produce is very variable in quality.

I have been anxiously waiting for some of our other area delivery services to add our neighborhood to their routes...

Aug 30, 2008
vonwotan in General Topics

Carbon Steel Knives -- Keep or Give Away?

I agree wholeheartedly with Professor Salt. Waterstones really are the best for shaprening - I have several japanese stones varying from corase to extra fine and use a holder for the stones. In between sharpenings I tend to rely on two ceramic sharpening 'steels' from Idahone.

Jul 31, 2008
vonwotan in Cookware

What is a French 75?

I have two recipes, some believe the brandy recipies are the orginal...

Juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon of fine granulated sugar
2 oz brandy
5 dashes bitters

Shake with ice and pour into highball glass. Fill with champagne and stir gently.

or,

2 oz of gin
1 teaspoon powdered sugar
Juice of one lime or one fourth lemon.

Shake well with ice. Pour into ten ounce glass and fill with champagne. Some add 5 dashes of bitters.

I wish I could remember where I first saw the drink mentioned, somehow MFK Fisher sticks out in my mind and it was described as a drink of cognac/brandy, champagne, lemon juice and sugar with the later addition of a few dashes of bitters. There was a story, perhaps apochryphal, that such a drink was served to the shell shocked gunners of the big French 75 guns.

Jul 31, 2008
vonwotan in Spirits

The Best Steak Tartare in Paris? - once and for all

Another vorte for au pied du cochon - it's been our family favourite for years.

Jul 31, 2008
vonwotan in France

Best French 75 in town?

I have always enjoyed the French 75s at the Oak Bar in the Fairmont Copely. The prices are not as bad as they seem since they serve the drinks in a carafe large enough for two + glasses.

Jul 30, 2008
vonwotan in Greater Boston Area

NY Times reviews Little Pearl of Sommerville

There was a brief review of Little Pearl in today's New York Times. Here is the link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/30/din...

The article caught my eye because I am awaiting a delivery from Little Pear for my birthday this evening.

Jul 30, 2008
vonwotan in Food Media & News

Vermont Butter & Cheese sources

Thank you! That's great to know. I used to live on Beacon Hill so this was my local market. Knowing that they offer the case discount I will certainly go back to stock up!!

Jul 30, 2008
vonwotan in Greater Boston Area

Vermont Butter & Cheese sources

Thanks all for the info. I have had no trouble finding the creme fraiche or the cheeses but it seems that the butter is available less often than the rest. Has that been your experience as well?

Jul 29, 2008
vonwotan in Greater Boston Area

Got Pegu Club?

Brix usually have a good selection of bitters.

Jul 29, 2008
vonwotan in Greater Boston Area

Carbon Steel Knives -- Keep or Give Away?

One note on my original post. If your blades are grey or grey-blue this is the protective tarnish that rockfish describes. I would only use the vinegar and salt if you have found rust other discoloration on knives that may have been left unused in less than optimal conditions - i.e. when I occasionally find them at yard sales or, in once case, a neighbors damp basement...

Jul 29, 2008
vonwotan in Cookware

Carbon Steel Knives -- Keep or Give Away?

IMHO I wouldn't worry so much about the discoloration and I would certainly keep the knives. This will happen to carbon steel blades but they are my preferred kitchen tools. I find that some discoloration is improved by cleaning with vinegar and salt - for soaking and as a scrub...

Jul 29, 2008
vonwotan in Cookware

Vermont Butter & Cheese sources

I would love to hear everyones thoughts on Vermont Butter & Chees Co.'s products and sources around downtown Boston.

Jul 29, 2008
vonwotan in Greater Boston Area

Got Pegu Club?

BTW - The important bit I nearly forgot - Johnnie's on the Side does what the call a Hendrick's Club coctail which is inspired by the Pegu Clubk cocktail.

A bit of an aside - we have been making what the Esquire Handbook for Hosts calls a 'Maiden's Prayer' but frequently substituting lime juice for lemon out of personal preference... 1/4 dry gin, 1/4 Cointreau, 1/4 lemon juice, dash of orange bitters, ice and shake well.

Who knew that we may have been craving a Pegu Club Cocktail all this time!?!

Jul 29, 2008
vonwotan in Greater Boston Area

what roses are you drinking?

Recently we have been tastinf the various Chateau d'Esclans Rosés. Their 'Whispering Angel' is only $17.95 per bottle the others range from $34-$100 per bottle for their Garrus. All are quite good and the Rose d'Esclans ($34/bottle) may be a new favorite. The 'Whispering Angel' will definitely be our "every day" and party rose.

Jul 28, 2008
vonwotan in Wine

Preserving and dehydrating garlic

I have found a local grower of German Red hardneck garlic and ordered a few pounds. I have been trying my hand and making various preserves and at lactofermentation (i.e. making my own sauerkraut). I bought enough garlic that I should be able to try several methods of preserving both fresh and roast garlic and would like to add dehydration to the list.

Does anyone have recommendations for dehydrators or any favorite recipes for preserving garlic for the winter? I like roast garlic in olive oil but wonder how others acidify the mix to make it safer? I suppose I can just add citric acid but always like to explore new / different recipes.

Jul 28, 2008
vonwotan in General Topics

Any New Orleans food in Boston ?

Not New Orleans food but Locke-Ober has the atmosphere of some of the older French restaurants in NOLA. The Art Nouveau main dining room is wonderful and they have several private dining rooms for groups of various sizes.

Jul 25, 2008
vonwotan in Greater Boston Area

Best risotto in the Boston area?

It has been a while but I have had good risotto at Prezza. I frequently pass on risotto or cous cous at restaurants because my favorite recipes take a bit longer to prepare than most restaurants can spend and I'm not certain many use anything but arborio rice. Not many use Carnaroli or Vialone Nano which I prefer - and I am particularly fond of Vialone Nano Pestelli which is corser and my favorite with dishes like Osso Bucco in bianco.

Jul 20, 2008
vonwotan in Greater Boston Area

Knives - how long should that puppy be?

After trying several knives of all shapes and sizes, and as much as I like some of the japanese knives I am determined to find someone to make me two heavy carbon steel chefs knives, one 10" and one 6". Does anyone have experience with custom bladesmiths for chef's knives? I have a few names but I don't know many people who have gone beyond the usual commercial producers.

Jul 20, 2008
vonwotan in Cookware

La Voile

We just returned from another wonderful meal at La Voile. The owner prepared my sole meuniere at tableside, my stepfather had a wonderful halibut with a shellfish reduction as the sauce and my mother loved her poached salmon - done with a bit of lavender. For appetizers we had the bone marrow, pan-seared fois gras and a salad of green beans and beets. The wines were wonderful - appetizers with a bottle of Pouilly Fuisse and with the mains we had a wonderful bottle of white Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Deserts were also excellent, my parents each loved the charlotte aux fraises and the kitchen threw together some wonderful berries for me to nibble with my Chateau Rieussec. Service was wonderful, the wait staff and owner were attentive but unobtrusive and I am quite convinced that this is the best French bistro we currently have in Boston.

Jul 19, 2008
vonwotan in Greater Boston Area

Yelpers making threats to get comped?

The following musings are an expression of my surprise, not criticism. And, as others have mentioned I don't know the context. I enjoy participating in the discussions on Chowhound and a few others and have received good advice. However, I have to wonder whether the commentary on any sites really have any influence? Especially the unmoderated commentary on some. Do they reach a wide enought audience that posters feel they can make such demands?

The death of politesse aside, I have trouble understanding how a poster to an open forum feels entitled to demand special consideration by virtue of their participation in that forum. Perhaps I am hopelessly shackled by my upbringing but nobody in our family ever really complains, especially is such an aggressive manner, in a restaurant. Asking that they correct an error or, once or twice politely asking whether they can replace a dish that really doesn't appeal. We just don't go back and, when asked, say that we tried a few dishes that we didn't love and move on to greener pastures.

Jul 19, 2008
vonwotan in Food Media & News

La Voile

Five of us were there not long ago with my two year old nephew who was quite restless. In addition to everyone really enjoying the food, our boy spent half the evening being entertained by the owner, his fiancee and the wait staff - he even had a few turns around the kitchen. We're headed back this Saturday to try some of the dishes we missed on earlier visits. I don't find the service slow but they do allow you the time to linger over a meal. Our waitier was quite attentive without intruding on our meal or our convsersation. This has become a favorite for several of our friends for both the food and the atmosphere.

One or two dishes we've had may not have been stellar but certainly nothing we would not try again.

Jul 13, 2008
vonwotan in Greater Boston Area

Are there Hounds out there that hunt and fish?

I used to fish a lot more but I do still hunt, mostly upland game. I particularly enjoy hunting upland game over my dogs, a large part of this is the training and working with the dogs. A day out in the field is always good and a few nice birds for the table is icing on the cake.

Some day I would like to move to an area where I can be a smallholder growing food for myself, with feed crops for deer and birds around the property so I can hunt or fish for some of our meat.

Jul 12, 2008
vonwotan in Not About Food

Hardest question in New York City - all time favorite restaurant that you hope will always be around.

Yes - Katz's is great in so many ways, the food, the service, the experience... Definitely one I would have on my list.

Jul 06, 2008
vonwotan in Manhattan