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All-time best dessert?

Don't you love auto-correct?

about 13 hours ago
MaxEntropy in Greater Boston Area

All-time best dessert?

I'll bite - what's "Au Jus Dui"?

about 19 hours ago
MaxEntropy in Greater Boston Area

All-time best dessert?

Al Forno is always worth the drive. Now another reason to go.

All-time best dessert?

Wow - now I'm excited by my meeting in Storrs next week.

All-time best dessert?

Noshing on the beignet at Sycamore the other night got my SO and me thinking about our all-time favorite desserts. Here's the short list we came up with.

Key-lime baked Alaska, Pacific Time (Miami Beach). Alas, PT closed.

Butterscotch pudding, Great Bay. Although GB has closed, my understanding is the pudding lives on at Lineage, but have yet to try it. Any reports on how it stands up to the original?

Beignet, Sycamore.

Grilled banana split, East Coast Grill.

What else should be on the list? Especially interested in those still extant in Boston!

How do I replace Hamersley's as my "go to" special occasion restaurant? (Very detailed list of criteria inside!)

It's been an interesting discussion to follow, and really drives home the point that restaurants are a bit like snow flakes - no two every exactly alike. My SO concurs with the proponents of No. 9 Park.

How do I replace Hamersley's as my "go to" special occasion restaurant? (Very detailed list of criteria inside!)

Thanks for initiating this thread - many of us face the same dilemma. My two cents, based on the thread so far:

Meritage deserves more love. Excellent wine program, many options by the glass. The attention Frankel lavishes on small plates means you can always construct a lovely tasting menu. The room is very pleasant - tables generously spaced, wall of glass overlooking Boston Harbor, and you won't feel out of place wearing a tie.

Harvest, too. Park at University Place. Though it is owned by Grill 23 folk, so I understand, they seem to appreciate the legacy they inherited. Mary Dumont is a credible heir. Cambridge, yes, but the flavor-of-the-month crowd doesn't frequent Harvest.

Sycamore deserves serious consideration. The room is small, but the mix of diners is eclectic enough that a jacket won't seem out-of-place. As idiosyncratic as you find the wine program, I find it expands my horizon. Trust the staff for suggestions. The cocktails deserve mention - Scott invented Ghost of Mary while at Great Bay, and brought it with him to Sycamore. The rotating "boards" will keep you coming back - inventive riffs in the snout-to-tail vein, they can be as thought-provoking as they are savory.

Good luck, and keep posting your thoughts as the quest continues.

Anywhere Similar to Rendezvous?

Really since Steve Johnson left the Blue Room has been in a long slow decline. I haven't seen Nick Z. in the place in ages, which is a contributing factor.

Anywhere Similar to Rendezvous?

The tables inside are crowded, but their terrace is very pleasant on a nice day.

Anywhere Similar to Rendezvous?

Perhaps I'm overly sentimental about ECG (my first/blind date with my wife was there), but I still get a thrill out of the tuna taco. And the grilled banana sundae with mango ice cream and caramel. And the kitschy light-up lava in the Tiki Room. And a better than decent Margarita.

Anywhere Similar to Rendezvous?

What about East Coast Grill? They have a lot across the street for night/weekend parking. Although Chris Schlesinger is out of the picture, it still resonates with his vibe, and some of the menu classics. The grilled white pepper-crusted tuna remains outstanding.

With Hilltop almost gone, what is now the most Iconic Boston Area Restaurant?

Hard to believe, it has been such a stalwart.

Fond memories of the last night at the old location: second of two seatings, Julia Child had my table for the first seating, chatted at the cross over. I imagine the last week will be a similar party.

Merci Gordon, et bonne chance!

The Best of the Best: An Ongoing Thread

best kale salads: West Bridge and Cook. Both outstanding, And I'm not even a kale fan.

With Hilltop almost gone, what is now the most Iconic Boston Area Restaurant?

My SO is similarly tired of the Kendall location, near her work, but we've been enjoying Legal Harborside (1st floor). The service seems a bit more attentive (and expert) than the typical Legal outpost. The menu is certainly more interesting. We are addicted to the tuna crudo and maple-cured salmon bruschetti, and others that rotate. In a dozen or more visits I can't recall any missteps by the kitchen. Have only been to the 2nd floor once, and can't draw any deep conclusions, but I was impressed by some unique specials (a swordfish bone-in "tomahawk" steak - only one per fish - a sight to behold).

Let us now praise Harvest

OC, where could we find old Harvest menus?

Let us now praise Harvest

Couldn't agree with you more about the lost and sorely missed DR influences at Harvest. The current dark "clubbiness" is handsome in a very different way, and you can see the Grill 23 bloodlines. Of course Ben Thompson founded both Harvest and DR, so no surprise that my Danish friend found Harvest so comforting.

Another reminiscence was the Sunday sermon by the late-great Peter Gomes (Plummer Professor of Christian Morals, no less!) suggesting that those in the pews were believers, else they would be at Harvest noshing on their croissants. At this point count me among the latter, rather than the former.

Let us now praise Harvest

OK, if we are going to broach the "H" word, here's two of my stories. The Chemistry Department had a tradition of assigning a handful of graduate students to take visiting seminar speakers to lunch. The students would choose, and typically it would be someplace like Grendel's Den or Iruna. My turn came up, and we went to Harvest (and had a very nice lunch). The department didn't complain when we turned in the receipt, but the grad student lunch tradition went on hiatus after that - at least for the duration of my time at Harvard, and perhaps to this day.

My introduction to Harvest came via a Danish postdoc in the lab. He was on a Carlsberg Fellowship, at a time when the exchange rate (from Danish Kroner to US$) was very favorable. So favorable that he was being paid more than the head of the lab. I gained a deeper appreciation of his affinity for Harvest after spending time in Copenhagen.

Let us now praise Harvest

I must confess I was dubious when the owners of Grill 23 took over, and put in that high-tech ventilation system for smokers at the bar (now unnecessary due to the smoking ban) as part of their make-over. But they have won me over, and the sunlight still filters through the thornless honey locusts on the terrace.

Let us now praise Harvest

Father's Day brunch at Harvest, with spouse and daughter on a perfect day on the terrace, was the best gift I could imagine. Also a chance to reflect on 37 or so years of dining at Harvest. Modern-day Hounds may not appreciate the role that Harvest played in the local and national food scene. It really was our Chez Panisse. Alumni of the kitchen include Lydia Shire, Chris Schlessinger, and Barbara Lynch, to name just a few.

Mary Dumont is proving to be a worthy steward of the tradition. Scottish salmon with a perfectly crisped and savory skin, plated with lemony cous cous and asparagus evoked spring as well as any dish from the storied past. Remember when house-made sorbets were unusual? A tart lemon-basil sorbet evoked the fruit/herb sorbets I remember from the late 70's.
Crostini with a generous portion of Jonah crab to start and a glass of crisp Grüner Veltliner....heaven.

Where do you shop for under-the-radar wines?

Web site shows the brut but no extended tirage. If they did have it, expect to pay $60+. Of course the stuff in the bin-end cart is unlikely to how up on the web site.

Where do you shop for under-the-radar wines?

Be sure to check the bin-end cart near the entrance of Gordon's Waltham. I picked up an Argyle Extended Tirage for $15 the other day.

Also keep an eye on the NH liquor outlets - easy to do via their web site. They list real-time inventory by location, and their power buys can be amazing.

I make an annual pilgrimage to Joyal's Liquors in West Warick, RI to stock up. Web site is minimalist but gives you an inkling of what you'll find.

Which Boston-Cambridge restaurants have been around since the 1980s?

I think the restaurant name may actually have been "The Warehouse".

Which Boston-Cambridge restaurants have been around since the 1980s?

Location sounds reasonable, it was a large "warehousey" building. However the service was formal (suited waiters) and chateubriand presentation was classically French - table side service including slicing and plating the meat. IIRC Victoria Station was not as formal.

Which Boston-Cambridge restaurants have been around since the 1980s?

There was a place in the late 70's that had funky seating. An old convertible car, a caboose, all indoors. Food was high end - only went once but recall chateaubriand and my first Saint-Emilion.

I don't recall the name or where it was located. Ring a bell with anyone?

Which Boston-Cambridge restaurants have been around since the 1980s?

Although I can't say the food was memorable, I have fond memories of Pier Four. We held the rehearsal dinner for my wedding in 1977 at Pier Four. Lot's of guests from the midwest, Indiana and Ohio, found it a magical introduction to Boston. They were all staying at a hotel in Harvard Square, and thought we had arranged the piano player (baby grand) in the middle of a traffic island in the Square for their amusement. We didn't dispute the notion...

Which Boston-Cambridge restaurants have been around since the 1980s?

I recall a very decent Sacher Torte...

Which Boston-Cambridge restaurants have been around since the 1980s?

I concur, Cajun Yankee was excellent!

Also the original Legal Seafood, of course. Loved the little hand-written numbers on pieces of cut-up index card they assigned you before sending you to the bar upstairs. The player piano, and for some reason the Bloody Mary's made indelible impressions. Curious, isn't it, that the Park Plaza Legal opened just days after the fire at the Inman Square location, with the entire staff from Inman Square. Hmmm.

And Ryles used to serve a mean Boursin-stuffed burger.

Which Boston-Cambridge restaurants have been around since the 1980s?

George Howell is back to roasting and brewing - check out George Howell Coffee on Walnut Street in Newtonville. I guess the non-compete agreement he signed with Starbucks when he sold Coffee Connection has expired.

Which Boston-Cambridge restaurants have been around since the 1980s?

Before Himmel there I think there was a triumvirate that owned Grill 23? I recall a very dapper GM who moved on before they were linked with Harvest, but can't recall a name.

Which Boston-Cambridge restaurants have been around since the 1980s?

Started in 1981, IIRC. I have a cookbook signed by Chris Schlesinger where he noted 1980, but I recall pointing out to him the year was 1981.