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Where to take four young kids in Cambridge/Somerville

PS - and our 11-year-old said "no more"

Where to take four young kids in Cambridge/Somerville

Have to agree, I was in the camp holding out hope for ECG, but a visit Friday night revealed that it is a ghost of its former self. Some things "appear" to be unchanged, but they've strangely deteriorated. Tuna taco used to be a perennial, but something has changed - balance of ingredients, change to the sauce, hard to tell, but it's just slightly "off". What was once "Martin's Magnificent Margarita" is now nearly indistinguishable from lemonade. The grilled banana split was "improved" by adding a raspberry sauce, pushing it over the top in sweetness. Can't fault the wait staff, they were attentive and earnest. Time to surrender the name, though.

The Backroom (Moody's in Waltham)

I wish you the best of luck. I'm especially looking forward to details on your wine program - there really is a dearth of places in the Boston area that feature tightly allocated domestic wines, no doubt because the "value proposition" is more challenging. Perhaps new technologies and a loyal clientele will make it feasible to make these wines a bit more accessible.

Neapolitan style pizza in Boston/Cambridge/Somerville/...

Post a report! Buon appetito

Frank Pepe's coming to Chestnut Hill

That would certainly kick it up a notch...

Best ice cream in Boston is..

Caffe dello Sport in the North End? Haven't been in years, and was never a fan.

The Backroom (Moody's in Waltham)

the Boston Mag article says $300 for a glass of that Harlan Estate. What's the point, trust-fund bait? Between that and the food prices, I'm not optimistic.

Best ice cream in Boston is..

Look promising - thanks!

Best ice cream in Boston is..

If you like Toscanini's, you have to consider Rancatore's, by one of the founders of Toscanini's. Locations in Belmont and Newtonville that I know of.

My lament is the dearth of good gelato. Lots of places sell it, but few have the mouth feel of Italian gelato. There was a place called Nudo that had a very brief run in Newton, selling very good gelato from a supplier in CT. Don't know the supplier or whether Nudo has reincarnated somewhere.

Frank Pepe's coming to Chestnut Hill

Used a trip to Storrs for the NCAA Women's basketball tournament to finally try out Pepe's, the Manchester location. Of course I had to try the clam pie. It arrives at the table seemingly surfing on a cloud of garlic vapor. Decorated lightly (though I would hesitate to say stingily, you wouldn't say generously) with tender clams, the combination of garlic, clams, a hint of cheese and perfect crust is certainly very tasty, though it wasn't the life changing experience I was hoping for and expecting. Good as it was, a version I had at Legal Seafoods (harbor side, floor 1) was better. My CT-based colleagues went for a sausage and roasted red pepper pie, and they were on to something. Same awesome crust, a tomato sauce with hints of crushed tomato, piquant sausage, and a generous layer of roasted peppers made a winning combination.

The beer selection was surprisingly pedestrian - a handful of beers on tap, with Sam's Summer Ale the closest thing to a craft brew. We went with Peroni on tap, which is a perfectly fine accompaniment for pizza, but in this day and age it seems a bit...lame?

We had no trouble getting a table for 4 waltzing in a 6:15, but the place seems designed to handle crowds - separate entrance and exit lanes, with metal railing separating the lanes. With a seat-yourself policy, I presume this is to keep the lines orderly. I'm curious if this is the approach they'll use in Chestnut Hill. Certainly looking forward to having Pepe's in the neighborhood.

If You Could Clone a Boston Area Restaurant Space, Which Would It Be?

I love that space too, and only hesitated to mention it because Legal Seafood can be such a contentious topic.

Always loved your CH handle - is it a homage to M.F.K. Fisher????

If You Could Clone a Boston Area Restaurant Space, Which Would It Be?

Of course, Biba. That was a special room - loved the pickled hardwood floors and the hand railing going up the stairs. And a +1 for the little terrace at the original Upstairs at the Pudding.

If You Could Clone a Boston Area Restaurant Space, Which Would It Be?

And the original Hammersley's spot, across and slightly up the street from final spot. Fond memories of the two small rooms. Intimate in a way the larger Hammersley's never felt. The last night before they closed the old place in preparation for the move there was a blowout dinner, two seatings. One room had a single 4-top in the center, ringed by tables along the windows and walls. I had the late seating at that table; Julia and company had it for the first seating, and she chatted with us for close to 10 minutes at the hand-over. Julia was also a neighbor for a number of years and I have a handful of Julia stories to pass on, perhaps in another thread.

If You Could Clone a Boston Area Restaurant Space, Which Would It Be?

Another "me too" for the Bay Tower Room. It felt like you could touch the clock on the Custom House Tower. Anyone take advantage of the dance floor?

The Backroom (Moody's in Waltham)

Wow. Any sign of an initial wine list?

If You Could Clone a Boston Area Restaurant Space, Which Would It Be?

Does the rotating lounge still exist? Another lovely room was the high-end Chinese restaurant just below the Spinnaker Lounge. I think it was called the Empress Room, and run by Sally Ling?

Mar 21, 2015
MaxEntropy in Greater Boston Area
1

Where to take four young kids in Cambridge/Somerville

Summer Shack near Fresh Pond was popular with our daughter and her friends at that age.

If You Could Clone a Boston Area Restaurant Space, Which Would It Be?

Along those lines I'd go with Maison Robert.

If You Could Clone a Boston Area Restaurant Space, Which Would It Be?

Hmmm. The terrace from Harvest. The light and harbor views from Sam's (above Louis Boston, which sadly will soon be lost to another building for Vertex Pharmaceuticals).

Thinking about it, let's have a half-dozen places overlooking the Charles River Basin. What other city with a river doesn't have any???

The Rise of Boston: America's Next Great Food Town

Wow - tough to justify the expense with those numbers. And points to the inelasticity of demand.

The Rise of Boston: America's Next Great Food Town

Why bother, then? If there's no upside for anyone, how does it survive? Presumably it brings in new diners, but are there data on the capture rate of turning these diners into repeat customers?

The Rise of Boston: America's Next Great Food Town

That seems right-on, and interesting questions are what determines the equilibrium value of restaurant prices in Boston and how elastic is demand (with respect to pricing)? It seemed that there were fewer restaurants participating in restaurant week (a/k/a Dine Boston) this year. A cost issue?

A wine bar focused on US and (and non old world in general) production?

Right you are, these wines are not to be found by the glass here. Why not? We are one of the tech capitals of the US, but where is the tech solution to this problem? For example, the WineStation system that preserves the unpoured portion and makes it possible to pour wines like these wines by the glass (see http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/03/nyr...). This could be the entree to out-of-reach old-world wines, too. I can't afford a bottle of Petrus, but if there was a place offering a 2-oz pour I'd be there.

The Rise of Boston: America's Next Great Food Town

Blumie, I think you've got something here. I'm an expatriot of northeast Ohio, and I vividly remember my folks telling me about a "really great" Italian place in Cleveland, Picolo Mondo. Sure...but then I saw the place mentioned in Newsweek. The name Michael Symon didn't mean anything to me at the time. Until Lola opened, and we experienced the wonderful cognitive dissonance of eating transcendent walleyed-pike with lobster pirogie - in a Berkeley-esque residential district of Cleveland (complete with streets named "Princeton" "Oxford" etc.) It wasn't long before Lola moved to the high-rent district in Celevland, but Lolita took over the old spot. Our first visit not long after the switch there was a laid-back, friendly bald-headed guy waxing poetic about his hand-cranked meat slicer as we sat at the bar. We've been experiencing the same dissonance - frisson? - ever since, all over the place. I can't believe I'm eating THIS MEAL, HERE! East Aurora (Roycroft Inn) , Finger Lakes (Danno's Heuriger), Lincoln Road on Miami Beach (touristy, right?- but there was Pacifc Time), Madison, WI (Opera Cafe, L'Etoile).

This list could get very long. Here's the point, two points really: (1) it seems you are right that the food revolution is happening all over, and (2) part of the excitement of discovery involves finding places at the vanguard where you least expect them.

A wine bar focused on US and (and non old world in general) production?

Certainly agree that we could use more and more varied wine bars, but let me put in a word of support for American wines. There are a lot of people making nuanced wines that are not oaky fruit bombs, that even Eric Asimov could love. Just to mention a few, the single vineyard zins from Ridge, pinots from Williams-Selyem, and a host of exciting wines from the Finger Lakes. We've been enjoying suprsingly steely dry rieslings and minerally chards from the FL.

Dinner for 4 Sat night, Framingham-Natick-Wellesley

Alda Strada is substantially less expensive than Blue Ginger. For lunch I find the atmosphere very pleasant, but at dinner the noise level can get severe..

Consider Papa razzi, also in Wellesley. The food may not measure up to the standards of Alta Strada, but they can turn out a decent pasta and have a nice selection of wines by the glass. And a full bar.

Boston restaurant for 21st birthday celebration

I second the Barcelona recommendation. Besito in Chestnut Hill also makes excellent sangria, and tableside guacamole (although without citrus, which some CH's dislike). Like Barcelona it's an outpust of a small CT-based chain, and fits the cost parameters.

Boston restaurant for 21st birthday celebration

Give us some additional parameters - open to any type of food? Neighborhood?

Off the top of my head, perhaps China Town (Shojo or East Ocean City), Salty Pig near Copley, Legal Seafood Harborside (1st floor).

Neapolitan style pizza in Boston/Cambridge/Somerville/...

Our one experience at Otto NYC was delightful.

Great Boston restaurants with my kids

Our 11 year old likes Salty Pig near Copley Place. Eastern Standard in Kenmore Square has worked too.