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Debunking Boston restaurant myths

All restaurants charge too much for wine.

Truth: While most do, there are some trend setters trying to change that. Silvertone, Legal (Park Square) and Troquet are just a few attempting to debunk this.

Nov 16, 2013
csammy in Greater Boston Area

Would any Boston restaurants get any Michelin stars?

Michelin is looking for the total package. A three star restaurant needs great food, great service and a great wine/beverage program. Here in Boston no place comes close in all three aspects. Both Menton and L'Espalier have great service, neither have great/consistent food or a great wine program with the depth that Michelin is looking for. O Ya has great food but both the service and the wine/beverage program are not even close. Craigie fails in all three categories, while the food is very good and "Fit for Foodies" it lacks some of the luxury items you would want to see on a three star Michelin menu (Foie Gras, Prime Meats etc.). A three star restaurant would have to be a combination of Menton (for service), O Ya (for food) and Troquet (for wine). If we could get these three together we would have it! That being said, I think only Menton, L'Espalier and O Ya would deserve one star.

Oct 30, 2013
csammy in Greater Boston Area

Troquet wine sale!

Another great night at Troquet! The wine was flowing....
We started with a 1971 German auslese $30(I forgot the producer) which was not as sweet as I thought it would be but had beautiful acid and mouth watering green apple notes. It worked out as great appertif. Next we had a 2000 Bouchard Meursault Perrieres white Burgundy $25, it was rich with just the right amount of oak and paired nicely with my Lobster and corn soup. With our main course we had three wines from the 1985 vintage. A Louis Jadot Gevery Chambertin Clos St. Jacques ($45), it was a very pretty and elegant red Burgundy from one of the legendary vintages. The second wine was the 1985 Gaja Barbaresco $40 which was drinking outstanding, it was rustic but had the telltale tar and leather nuances that you would expect. The last dinner wine was a 1985 Chateau Lynch Bages $50, it was surprisingly youthful with sweet black currant fruit and toasty oak. While each wine was very different they went well with all of our entree's, especially the ribeye of buffulo and the lamb. We finished the night with cheese and a half bottle of 1959 Suduiraut Sauternes $25.
When I look around the dinning room at Troquet it never ceases to amaze me the amount of great wine I see on every table. A true indication that they are in a class of their own in Boston.

Jul 18, 2013
csammy in Greater Boston Area

Troquet wine sale!

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Troquet had started their annual cellar wine sale when I arrived for dinner last night, I did not think it started until late July. I had a hard time choosing from the 40-50 bottles offered but decided on one white and two reds. A $20 1996 Baumard Clos Pappillon from the Loire Valley was outstanding, with hints of pear and apricot without being sweet, we paired that with the Foie Gras and Corn and lobster soup. both were outstanding as expected.
The next wine was a half bottle of 1983 Guigal Cote Rotie for $30, what a steal, it was fresh and meaty with hints of bacon and brininess and it paired perfectly with the cavetelli pasta with mushrooms. The last bottle was a 1981 Chateau Margaux $75 (slightly low fill), yes that's right a first growth Bordeaux for $75 bucks, it was beautifully elegant with nuances of cassis and violets and it went beautifully with our perfectly cooked lamb and cheese plate.
Overall a spectacular meal with outstanding wines. I can't wait to go back in the coming weeks to enjoy the food and the wine deals.

Jun 28, 2013
csammy in Greater Boston Area

Deauxave

After seeing the discussion last week regarding Deauxave vs. Troquet, I decided to give Deauxave a try. The room/ambiance was great but the service was cold with long lags between courses, I know this is not always the waiters fault but an update would have been appreciated. Our meals, when we received them, were good but not special. The best of the eight dishes was the ricotta pasta with morels.
I fancy myself as wine knowledgeable but was hard pressed to find anything on the list that was exciting, sure there was a lot wines that I did not recognize but that usually means that they are overpriced as well. We settled on a few glasses of red wine that were past room temperature (why do restaurants take the care of chilling their beer glasses but won't serve red wine at the proper temperature?). All in all, not a great experience and I can't recommend Deauxave.

Jun 26, 2013
csammy in Greater Boston Area

O Ya… Consistency whittled down to the dull art of repetition; or One and Done

The JBAs are a joke, case in point, #9 Park wins this year for "Outstanding Wine Program". Does anyone believe that they have the best wine program in Boston let alone the country!

May 08, 2012
csammy in Greater Boston Area

Menton, Clio, or Craigie? Tasting menu blow-out for family. Recent expeiences?

If wine and food is that important, I think Troquet is your best choice. The tasting menu is outstanding and nobody in the city can touch their wine list.

Mar 29, 2012
csammy in Greater Boston Area

Craigie on Main vs. Troquet

I think 3-4 times is no longer average, I think 2 times is average and acceptable.
We definitely disagree, all I know is when I go to Craigie I order cocktails or beer but when I go Troquet I order wine.

Jan 03, 2012
csammy in Greater Boston Area

Craigie on Main vs. Troquet

I am sorry but I feel 3-4 times retail is gouging the customer. I hope that your not suggesting that Craigie's wine list is better then Troquet's? Craigie's is not even in the same league, not only is Troquet's better then anything in the Boston area but better then most on the east coast.

Jan 03, 2012
csammy in Greater Boston Area

Craigie on Main vs. Troquet

You can't go wrong with either but if wine is a priority Troquet is hands down better. Craigie has a list of mostly esoteric wines that 99.9% of us have never heard of let alone should know the correct price of. I think that gives them license to over charge for there wine. Troquet on the other hand has great value although mostly on the higher end of the list.

Jan 03, 2012
csammy in Greater Boston Area

Jacky's Table Renamed

I think that location is cursed, how many different entities has it been. No one can seem to make it work.

Jul 15, 2011
csammy in Greater Boston Area

Troquet Wine Sale

I had my usual great meal t Troquet last night, suckling pig, but the surprise was the wine sale that they are having. They had a table of about 4 dozen bottles at ridiculous prices, we started with a bottle of 1979 Mouton Rothschild for $35 and ended with a half bottle of 2002 Zind Humbrecht Clos Winsbuhl ($20). Not bad for a Tuesday night!

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Troquet
140 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

Jul 06, 2011
csammy in Greater Boston Area

Bondir Reservation Issue

Exactly! Sunday should not be a problem. BMMOMMY, you should try for night other then Saturday. You will more likely get better food and service as well.

Apr 26, 2011
csammy in Greater Boston Area

Munch Madness 2011 (Boston.com)

Some omissions!
No Michael Schlow restaurants: Tico, Radius, Via Matta?
No China town restaurants?
No Columbus Group restaurants Mistral Teatro Mooo…L’Andana
Abe & Louis
Pigalle
Troquet
Oishii

I understand that they don't want all high end restaurants or all low end restaurants but why include Deuxave and Linage over any of the above and why do we need 11 "Gastropubs"?

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Teatro
177 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02111

Pigalle
75 Charles Street South, Boston, MA 02116

Troquet
140 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

Via Matta
79 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116

Tico
222 Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02116

Mar 22, 2011
csammy in Greater Boston Area

Groupon discounts that include alcohol violate ABCC rules [moved from Boston]

It really has nothing to do with the tax. I think it falls under the "Happy Hour" law. You cannot discount booze for some people and not others, or you have to maintain the same price for 7 consecutive days.

Mar 15, 2011
csammy in Not About Food

BYOB

I think you mean "Corkage Fee".

Feb 25, 2011
csammy in Greater Boston Area

Local James Beard discussion

Also nominated was Troquet and Chris Campbell for "Outstanding Wine Service". It has always been my go to place for wine, well deserved!

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Troquet
140 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

Feb 18, 2011
csammy in Greater Boston Area

Where can I have a dinner for 50-60 people?

Check in too a buyout of a smaller restaurant ie; Erbaluce, Pigalle, Troquet or Salts? Depending on the month of the year it may work out.

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Pigalle
75 Charles Street South, Boston, MA 02116

Troquet
140 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

Erbaluce
69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

Jan 26, 2011
csammy in Greater Boston Area

Vintage Scotch

It is my understanding that most of the wine and liquor was sold at auction.

Jan 04, 2011
csammy in Greater Boston Area

Deuxave NYE

Interesting! I called Menton three weeks ago and they were only offering the 8 course tasting menu @ $375. Now on their website they will be offering a 5 course ($195) and the 8 course ($350). Maybe the demand was not what they were thinking?

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Menton
354 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

Dec 29, 2010
csammy in Greater Boston Area

NEW YEARS EVE DINNER

I have been doing some research on this subject but have not decided which direction I am going. I think it all depends on your budget and if you don't mind paying up for this "Special Night". This is what I have found:
1. Clio: Prix Fixe only, 5 course $125, 7 course $175.
2. Menton: Prix Fixe only, 8 course $375!!!
3. Mistral: Did not Check
4. Cragie On Main: Prix Fixe only, 5 course $125, 6 course $160.
5. L'Espliar:Prix Fixe only, 7 course $195.
6. Troquet: A la Carte (entrees $35-40) or Chef's Tasting (5 course $95)
7. #9: Prix Fixe only, 4course $145, 6 course $175, 10 course $210.
Hope this helps.

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Troquet
140 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

Menton
354 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

Dec 03, 2010
csammy in Greater Boston Area

Pigalle changing concepts?

I heard a rumor that they are going more casual with tapas style food, can anyone confirm this?

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Pigalle
75 Charles Street South, Boston, MA 02116

Nov 19, 2010
csammy in Greater Boston Area

Michelin Boston

Michelin is looking for the total package, food, wine, service and decor. Unfortunatly Boston does not have a restaurant that reaches all these standards.
The closest would be:
L'Espalier:
Very good food (Although some say it is slipping)
Very good wine program (over priced, but Michelin does not care)
Excellent Service
Very nice decor (some people preferred the old location)
I would say barely two stars (could slip quickly if the food does not become more consistent)

Menton
Excellent food
Good wine program (they need some aged wine to be taken seriously)
Excellent service
Nice decor
I would say barely two stars (the wine program hurts them but it could be fixed)

Troquet
Very good food (always consistent)
Excellent wine program
Very good service
Average room but a nice view
I would say barely two stars (the room really hurts them)

O Ya
Excellent food
Poor wine program (sake list is nice but not that special)
Good service
Average room (no table cloths, lacks elegance)
I think one star

No. 9
Very good food
Average wine program (nothing with age)
Excellent Service
Average room (very low ceiling)
I think one star

Clio
Good food(silly small portions and lacks consistency)
Average wine program (nothing with age)
Good service
Very nice room
Barely one star

I would leave Craigie off (very good food, horrible wine program, average service and a loud chaotic dining room.

I don't think anything else comes close.

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L'Espalier
774 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

O Ya
9 East Street, Boston, MA 02111

Troquet
140 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

Menton
354 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

Oct 26, 2010
csammy in Greater Boston Area

Rez for Prezza, did I make a mistake?

Who do you think dines (especially fine dining) on the weekends in Boston? People from the suburbs!

Sep 15, 2010
csammy in Greater Boston Area

Rez for Prezza, did I make a mistake?

I am guessing that most restaurants in Boston will be fairly quite this weekend with the start of Yow Kippur being Friday at sundown. I would hope this would this would mean great service for everyone who choose dine out this weekend.

Sep 15, 2010
csammy in Greater Boston Area

September Openings and Closings

Bouchee on Newbury is now closed and Papa Razzi is moving in according to Open Table.

Sep 07, 2010
csammy in Greater Boston Area

Barbara Lynch Group- divergence in price on same items at different restaurants

"Menton has some uniquely cool, fancy stemware; I think that's worth a certain premium, though I wouldn't want to quantify it."

The last time I dined at Troquet, the Red Burgundy I ordered was served was in Riedel Sommeliers stems (they retail for $125 each).

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Troquet
140 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

Aug 22, 2010
csammy in Greater Boston Area

Front of house issues at Craigie on Main along with meal review (long)

The Chef runs the show. It's his way or the highway!

Aug 21, 2010
csammy in Greater Boston Area

These restaurants will not be participating in "Restaurant Week"

Braised short rib can be great in the Fall or Winter but not exactly what I am looking for in August!

Aug 06, 2010
csammy in Greater Boston Area

These restaurants will not be participating in "Restaurant Week"

I will be making a reservation at one or two of these restaurants to avoid the chaos.

Clio
Craigie on Main
Hamersley's
Prezza
Troquet

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Prezza
24 Fleet St., Boston, MA 02113

Troquet
140 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

Craigie on Main
853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

Aug 04, 2010
csammy in Greater Boston Area