GretchenS's Profile

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Best Transparent Restaurants in Boston?

Love those EVOO high tops and watching the kitchen work.

about 23 hours ago
GretchenS in Greater Boston Area

Nice birthday lunch in Salem, MA?

... except it is not open for lunch.

I had a good lunch on my birthday last year at Scratch Kitchen after a visit to the PEM but it is not a special occasion place, just one with really good food (at least based on one visit). Short walk from the PEM. Also just want to point out there is a cute and well-stocked Polish market very near the PEM if that interests you.

Dec 12, 2014
GretchenS in Greater Boston Area

real sheppards pie

Not a very chowish place (I get dragged there for work functions) but Waxy O'Connors in Lexington has a surprisingly good lamb shepherds pie (not ground lamb).

Dec 08, 2014
GretchenS in Greater Boston Area

Need a dish for holiday tea

Yes! BLT cherry tomatoes are a great idea!

Dec 04, 2014
GretchenS in Home Cooking

Need a dish for holiday tea

Deviled eggs may not be original but they sure are popular. You could gussy them up with some smoked salmon or salmon roe if you wanted to make them feel more special.

Home Cooking Dish of the Month (December 2014) Voting

Just bumping this so people see it. Voting has been extended till early morning (7am EST) on Dec. 3rd.

Dec 01, 2014
GretchenS in Home Cooking

Individual stand alone baked ricotta??

This is definitely not the question you asked, but you mentioned the ricotta you are going to use is $$$. I learned recently how stupid easy it is to make your own ricotta and it is AMAZING for the first day or two (not longer, after that it is just ricotta). We followed this recipe exactly, using white balsamic (against my better judgment) and I could not believe how easy and how good it was. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in... We did use good, organic milk and cream although she doesn't call for it and for all I know it makes no difference.

Nov 29, 2014
GretchenS in Home Cooking

culinary ventures in hotel kitchenettes

I stay at a similar place for 2 weeks 3 or 4x a year and have made all sorts of things. A lemon will substitute for vinegar in many applications. You can grab a little package of sugar from work if you need a bit of sugar. You said you had fish sauce, soy and capers. So you could make a Thai curry with some store-bought sauce, tweaking with fish sauce and a lime; stir fry wth Asian veggies, whatever protien you like, ginger, garlic and soy (and maybe worth investing in a small bottle of sesame oil); a nice chicken or fish piccata with lemon juice and capers. Rice works with all of these and you can probably get it inexpensively at the Asian market. And don't forget how yummy a baked potato (white or sweet) with toppings can be, even simple toppings -- a small container of chili from the store or a soup/sandwich place can top both your potatoes with a bit of cheese, and dinner is served with a bagged salad on the side.

Nov 29, 2014
GretchenS in Home Cooking

Gustazo Cuban Restaurant and Cafe, Waltham

Gustazo has finally reopened on Main Street in Waltham, opposite Waltham Common. It is probably 3 times the size of the old Belmont location although still not big. It has the same attractive pressed copper ceiling, beautiful light fixtures and murals of Cuba. And as my waiter said, "you could get lost in the bathrooms here" in contrast to the smaller-than-a-phone-booth bathroom at the old location. The food, I am delighted to report, is as good as always. I had a cup of the marvelous black bean soup, the fabulous cubano and a new (to me) menu item, house made paprika potato chips (which is an enormous portion). Half the sandwich and probably 2/3 of the chips came home with me. Can't wait to go back for dinner -- I think their steak is one of the best around and love the slow-roasted pork. They can no longer permit BYOB sadly -- they have applied for a liquor license so BYOB is against the rules.

Best North End Restaurant for Family

A third vote for L'Osteria. Tasty, unpretentious, nice folks, won't break the bank. I love the deep-fried artichoke hearts.

Erbaluce (long)

Very nice review, makes me want to go there as soon as I possibly can!

Nov 18, 2014
GretchenS in Greater Boston Area

October 2014 Openings and Closings

I was in over the weekend just to poke around, I really didn't need anything. They have some house-made prepared foods and some items from decent vendors -- real Scottish smoked salmon (St James Reserve) and like that. They are also very happy and proud to be on their own and excited to expand what they offer. Nice folks.

Oct 27, 2014
GretchenS in Greater Boston Area

5 best dishes in Allston

Also at Boston Kabob, their Foul Mudammes is spectacular. http://bostonkabobbrighton.com/

Oct 27, 2014
GretchenS in Greater Boston Area
1

Strip T's Jared Forman leaving Oct. 26

Well, Jared and the team outdid themselves last night. A number of staff who worked there in the past and have moved on, either to Ribelle, other restaurants or other phases of life, came back to work the event -- Tierney, Gabriel, Sean, Jonathan, Kerri, many others -- and they were all having fun with each other, with Jared and with all the regulars who were there. The place was packed and really buzzed with excitement. Oh and the food was great too! I had pressed gravlax sushi; the best pasta carbonara I have ever had (with a poached egg on top); a wonderful duck breast with "turnip cake" which was rich with duck confit and accented with cranberry mostarda, crispy Brussels sprouts and maitake mushrooms (main picture); and goat milk panna cotta. Jared does not know (or at least is not saying) where he will land next but I know I speak for many when I say I can hardly wait.

Oct 27, 2014
GretchenS in Greater Boston Area

Roasting Beef Tenderloin

This. Tenderloin is great at room temp so you can do it ahead and have one less thing to fuss about the last hour or so.

Oct 19, 2014
GretchenS in Home Cooking

best deli corned beef and pastrami

Both the corned beef and the pastrami at Moody's Deli in Waltham are available by the pound and both are absolute knock-outs. They really are in a different league than commercially prepared deli meats. The fact that it is a 30 minute drive for me is the only reason I have not gained a million pounds since they opened as I have zero self-control around their corned beef and pastrami. Everything else I have tried there has also been top-notch.

Oct 16, 2014
GretchenS in Greater Boston Area

Christmas Dinner 2014 reservations

wow, good to know, glad to have that reality check

Oct 15, 2014
GretchenS in Greater Boston Area

Christmas Dinner 2014 reservations

You might consider Eastern Standard in Kenmore Square. I am not sure what they do for Christmas but the food is always good, the service is lovely and they are excellent at dealing with dietary restrictions.

QUICK BREADS! Home Cooking Dish of the Month (October 2014)

That looks incredible! I am picturing it with minestrone and drooling....

Oct 13, 2014
GretchenS in Home Cooking

Strip T's Jared Forman leaving Oct. 26

Well it makes sense to me, he is far too talented to want to make sandwiches for dinner. Will be interested to see where he ends up going.

Oct 13, 2014
GretchenS in Greater Boston Area
1

Nduja in Boston??

I have seen it at Moody's Deli in Waltham.

Oct 13, 2014
GretchenS in Greater Boston Area

Jamming, canning and preserving 2014

I want to try this recipe -- it looks fantastic!-- but not sure I want to make 10 pints. How has it held up for you??

Oct 09, 2014
GretchenS in Home Cooking

October 2014 Openings and Closings

Prime "Your Trusted Butcher" in Arlington has a big sign saying Grand Opening October 18 but they are in fact open for business already, I do not think they ever closed.

Oct 09, 2014
GretchenS in Greater Boston Area

What's for Dinner #328 - The It's Fall Edition! [through October 3, 2014]

So sorry to hear that news, bz. Glad he has your company and is still enjoying food.

Oct 01, 2014
GretchenS in Home Cooking
1

Home Cooking Dish of the Month (October 2014) Nominations

How about FALL VEGETABLE (AUTUMN) MINESTRONE? Then we could use squash, dark leafy greens, leeks, parsnips, all kinds of yummy fall veggies. There are loads of recipes out there if you google Autumn Minestrone. And that kind of soup freezes well so we can stock up for winter...

New Strip T's Thread for 2013:Excellence and Innovation Continue

I completely agree with everything everyone has expressed about disappointment with a lunch-for-dinner menu. I too had been a frequent visitor (until recently for reasons other than anything to do with Strip-T's) but with the change to sandwiches for dinner will no longer be. Sandwiches are not what I generally what I want for dinner.

Sep 22, 2014
GretchenS in Greater Boston Area

Sushi Sam's - My First Time, But Not My Last [San Mateo]

I went back last night (sadly without CH mariacarmen who is travelling in Europe, lucky thing). Once again the omakase was outstanding. No ankimo this time (I believe it is out of season) but had amberjack, butterfish, artic char, bonito and torched toro, among other things I have forgotten. Sat at the sushi bar and both the sushi chefs and the waiters were friendly and welcoming. I feel very lucky to be out here in business 4 times a year and able to get to Sushi Sam's every time. What a fabulous place!

Sono Asian Cuisine, Arlington. Continues to improve

471 Summer Street, Arlington http://arlingtonsono.com/

Sep 14, 2014
GretchenS in Greater Boston Area

New Strip T's Thread for 2013:Excellence and Innovation Continue

They told me that they are playing around with it. My guess is that if dinner business drops off they will revamp again, but as kimfair1 says, this was at least in part in response to customer demand for the iconic romaine salad, burger and fried chicken to be available all the time. Another change is that they are now open straight through from 11 to 9.

Sep 08, 2014
GretchenS in Greater Boston Area

Moody's 1st Impressions

Thanks to the MC Slim JB rec upthread I tried the Moody's corned beef this weekend and it might be the best thing I have ever put between two slices of bread. Seriously. Not for the fatphobe, what makes it great is the marbling, but holy cow! That corned beef is amazing. Also worthy of note is their chicken liver mousse, which may well be the best exemplar of that item I have ever had.

Aug 31, 2014
GretchenS in Greater Boston Area