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KingCarnivore's Profile

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Like Bondir?

Gang - great reccos, thanks! Now we have some tough decisions betw journeyman bergamot and tw food! A good problem to have....

Like Bondir?

Hi hounds - planning a nice dinner for my wife's b-day. Bondir is the perfect spot for us - but alas, they're closed on Sat Jun 30 (?!). So, I'm plumbing the group for other similar suggestions? Her ideal cuisine is light on the meat, heavy on vegetables and locally sourced ingredients. eg. Bondir

As you might guess from my nick, I'm more of the snout to tail type - craigie, coppa, etc are in my bullseye but not so much hers. We range from high end L'espalier outings to super 88 - but for this evening, looking for a nice place thats neither too fancy nor too basic, yet feels like a special night out . Again, Bondir seemed to fit the bill perfectly. Strip-Ts, much written about, and near our home, would be too casual, lespalier or similar too much.

We've been to Oleana a bunch which we both adore, also we find ourselves at Scampo too often for various comforty foods. Looking for something different that our semi-regular haunts. We live in Belmont (il Casale great, but we go all the time), any place Cambridge, back bay/south end, downtown/north end is in range.

Any thoughts?

Appreciate your collective wisdom.

Del Posto Vs. SD 26

thanks guys, went to scarpetta about a year ago when in town for our anniversary and our general reaction was 'meh' (our second night that trip was tasting menu at wd-50 which was unbelievable, but that's a different story).

I tried both maialino and babbo but struck out. maybe will keep pinging them. What about Casa Mono for something a little different?

Dec 08, 2011
KingCarnivore in Manhattan

Del Posto Vs. SD 26

Hi gang - a Boston hound here coming to NYC on short notice for business next week. Going to dinner with a colleague and our wives. I don't know much about their food interests except that he enjoys nice wine and she is Italian. I've managed to secure reservations at Del Posto (on the early side) and SD26 for the moment. Looking for a fun and not overly fancy atmosphere. My mouth is watering at the thought of the uovo at SD26 (there's a resto here in boston that does one thats to die for...) but Del Posto gets great reviews on the board here. Would you guys steer us one way or the other?

Thanks!
King Carnivore

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Del Posto
85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

SD26
19 East 26th Street, New York, NY 10010

Dec 07, 2011
KingCarnivore in Manhattan

Fun restaurant near Fenway

Audubon Circle is my go to place for exactly this purpose. Great pub grub in a fun place thats not too much of a nut house. On comm ave just past the mass pike overpass.

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Audubon Circle Restaurant Bar
838 Beacon Street, Boston, MA

Lupa V. Crispo V. Scarpetta

we are coming to NYC for a special weekend - its not like we can come a week later if we cant get into a restaurant we want to go to. yes, of course we'll cancel the one we don't use. We will cancel it at least 2 weeks in advance, I'm positive the spare table won't go to waste...

Oct 22, 2010
KingCarnivore in Manhattan

Lupa V. Crispo V. Scarpetta

Hi All - Thanks for your great comments. After checking out the menus we are holding resys at both convivio and SD26...my mouth is watering

Oct 22, 2010
KingCarnivore in Manhattan

Lupa V. Crispo V. Scarpetta

Hi Hounds,
We will be visiting from Boston for several days in November. We are laying out a dining plan for 3 nights in town, but on our first night we'd like to do Italian. We don't want to go to a 'shmancy' place - we care mostly about delicious food and a fun and reasonably laid back atmosphere.

Currently debating between Lupa, Crispo and Scarpetta. Is there a strong leaning one way or the other? Is Lupa more of a tourist joint due to batali fame? What is the one thing that stands out at each place?

Thoughts appreciated.

Thanks!
David

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Lupa
170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

Crispo
240 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011

Scarpetta
355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

Oct 15, 2010
KingCarnivore in Manhattan

Good soft serve ice cream?

I think I'm blessed with good soft serve location karma - I live near Celebrity in Watertown and work near Dairy Freeze on Adams st in Quincy. Both are among the best I've had - but now I have to say not the best - Today I found a place that tops both. Its not really in easy driving distance but I had to post about it - anyone been to Finbar's in Orleans? We're down on the cape for vacation, and went today. Finbar's is in the site of a former Dairy Queen, just off the Rt 6 Rotary on Rt. 28 in orleans.

It was a slightly bad sign when we drove up and saw the Taylor service truck there (Taylor is the company that makes the softserve machines) - so no chocolate vanilla twist for me, but we still were able to get a Vanilla cone. It was super rich and creamy and tasted like real vanilla. Clearly made with real ice cream base. mmmmmmmm!

Anyone else been?

the friendly toast opening in cambridge!

anyone know what their hours are? are they open for dinner? breakfast for dinner...mmmmm...

Grilling/Barbque-ing Cookbook recs?

Hi everyone - thanks for your suggestions. I got a bunch out from the library, here are some of my thoughts so far:

Steve Raichlen - bbq bible: comprehensive and interesting world flavors. Give it an A (thanks turkishlamb!)

Mario Batali's Italian Grill - recipes sound delicious and look beautiful but many are not too practical - I'd give it a 'C'

Last night we cooked pizza on the grill - from Elizabeth Karmel's Pizza On the Grill - actually we cooked 4 different pizza's - all fantastically delicious. This one gets an A.

Elizabeth Karmel also has a book out called Taming The Flame - originally intended to help women learn to grill - hsa tons of tips and info and intersting looking recipes.

Lastly, there's Smoke and Spice by Bill and Cheryl Jamison. Haven't cooked anything out of it yet, but my mouth just waters after reading it.

King Carnivore

May 03, 2009
KingCarnivore in Home Cooking

Grilling/Barbque-ing Cookbook recs?

Hi Hounds -
My goal for the spring/summer is to acquire some grillin' n barbecue'n skills (I do know the difference between the two). I'm a longtime gas griller making the switch to charcoal.

Wondering if you fire-loving chowhounders have recommendations for great cookbooks that explain the art of grilling or barbecuing or have particularly great recipes. I own Chris Schlesinger's Thrill Of The Grill...

Thanks!
King Carnivore (Boston)

Apr 21, 2009
KingCarnivore in Home Cooking

boston hound needs your help

Hi Chicago Hounds -
I'm a Boston hound flying into your fair (and cold) city tomorrow for a day and a half of business meetings on short notice.

I'm looking for your recommendations on dinner spots for dinner tomorrow night (yes, tomorrow night) I'm sure there are a ton of ideas if I read the board, but I'll confess that I just don't have time. So - here's some guidelines and I'd truly appreciate your thoughts about where we might go.

1)office is on west monroe street. close by is good, but should be within no more than 10-15 min cab ride

2)not interested in chophouses - been to a ton of em. can find a good one or three in every big city.

2a)would love to go to a place that is uniquely chicago - that doesnt mean deep dish pizza, just a place that can only be found in chicago, by a favorite local chef or that focuses on local cuisine. creative, flavorful food, but doesnt need to be 'out there' - eg. molecular gastronomy would be too out there. The Frontera Grill comes to mind perhaps - but is it really all that?

3)they're paying, so cost isnt a huge issue ;)

4)not exactly sure how many will be dining - at least 4, likely 6.

5)dinner is tomorrow night, so it needs to be a place that we can get into midweek without reservations in advance

Thanks in advance for any suggestions (or pointers to good threads)!
KingCarnivore

Dec 15, 2008
KingCarnivore in Chicago Area

drinks b4 prezza?

I'm taking some business colleagues to dinner @ Prezza tomorrow night (lucky me!). I find the bar at prezza to be a bit dark and lacking energy - at least when I've been there. Wondering if the hounds have a suggestion for a more energetic place in the north end for drinks beforehand? I'm picking my guests up at the Marriott Longwharf and walking into the north end if that matters at all (hopefully it will be a little warmer tomorrow...)
Thanks!
King Carnivore

Providence - Anniversary Advice

Thanks for the ideas everyone. I've read great things about pastiche but it does seem more like a bakery than a place to go sit for a lounging dessert. Plan A will be to stay at Gracie's. I'll call to inquire about wine room and/or front booth. Saturday can't come soon enough!

Where are the great sit-down breakfast (not brunch) spots in Cambridge!?

Without the Greenhouse right in the middle of the square, there is really no good dinery option... perhaps the rents now preclude it.

Delux Town Diner in Watertown sells a 'diner experience' more than it does true, solid diner food. They try to do fancy diner food and in my opinion, fail. Also, its expensive. Aint no way that 2 people are dining there for under $20.

Down the street and around the corner on North Beacon St, you'll find what you're looking for - Victor's Diner. Great huge omelets, egg sandwiches, truck driver specials, all for under $10 with coffee. The staff there is salt of the earth. Fair disclosure: I take my 5 yr old daughter there every other saturday so I'm a little biased ;)

Will second two other mentions: Love, love, love The Neighborhood restaurant in Union Square in Somerville. Best bang for your breakfast buck no question - but bring your hunger. Definitely go for the specials. Also agree with a reec for The Breakfast Club on Western Ave behind Harvard stadium.

Providence - Anniversary Advice

Hi -
My wife and I are swinging down to Providence this weekend for our anniversary. After reading the posts here, we really wanted to go to Gracie's and were able to get an early table (hooray!). My mouth is watering just thinking about it! Our plan so far is:

Pre-dinner - wander westminster street shops
Dinner at Gracie's (6pm)
Dessert: ????

So - two questions for the Providence crowd on this board:
1)any don't miss items at Gracie's?

2)What should we do for dessert? Should we stay at Gracie's or go elsewhere? Since we'll be done earlyish, I figured maybe we'd go elsewhere. Thoughts and suggestions?

Thanks!
King Carnivore

First few dates...

how about a hot pot restaurant - if you're not familiar, these are restaurants that bring a pot of broth to your table, heat it up to a boil on a built in hot plate and you then cook your food in the broth at the table. You can get tofu and veggies and she can do pork or beef or whatever. You can also get split pots with a spicy broth and a non spicy broth if you have different tastes in that area. Its different, good on a budget, and coming into season now that there's a chill in the air. Shabu Zen has an original location in Chinatown and a new spot on Brighton Ave in Allston.

Good Luck!
KingCarnivore

Cambridge-based for 4 days with baby: Recs?

Strong recommendation for East Coast Grill in Inman - its casual and can get loud, bambino shouldnt be an issue. your choice of seafood or bbq - both are great there. Don't miss the wetribs appetizer. mmmmm. Go early, they get busy and don't take reservations.

If you can get a sitter, please don't miss Oleana. One of my all time fave's in Boston - very creative with a strong arabic/turkish influence. my wife says I make lots of 'happy snuffling noises' whenver I'm eating there...its a small and quiet room though, so I'd suggest going sans kid.

Also near kendall is the Helmand for Afghan food. Unique in Boston.

I second Cambridge 1 rec in harvard square - sophisticated but not fancy. Their sister restaurants - miracle of science on mass ave near MIT and Audubon Circle near Fenway Park have similar vibe and great food.(my fave of the 3 is audubon circle)

If you're up for a burger and shake, Mr. Bartleys in Harvard square has great, juicy handmade burgers and are a real institution. they had a fire recently, be sure they're open.

re. picnic idea, go first to darwin's on Mt. Auburn St. just outside of Harvard Square - upscale market with delish sandwiches and prepared foods, you can pick up everything you would want for a deluxe picnic. Then, hoof it to JFK park just in front of the Kennedy school on mem drive for your picnic. afterwards, you can take a stroll around the river if you want to stretch your legs. If you're in town on a Sunday, they close mem drive and you can stroll in the street with bikers and rollerbladers.

Lastly, if you want to venture out of cambridge, lots of great little restaurants in the south end - almost too many to list. a few of our faves our myers + chang (asian with modern twist); picco (pizza & ice cream!), franklin cafe (upscale comfort food) and orinoco (venezuelan/latin american). would recommend the early side with all of them.

Have fun!

Best BBQ pork buns?

Gansu Girl and I swung by Chinatown today for some goodies to take home - we got some delicious roast pork at vinh sun, my daughter got her candy from the shop next to eldo cake house and we stopped into ho yuen for some baked delights in between.

We came home and immediately pulled out the bbq pork buns from ho yuen and took eager bites. Then we both went kind of eeeewww...lots and lots of the very salty grey goopy filling, not much pork at all. very disappointing.

So - it leaves us wondering - which bakery is most renowned for their char siu bau (bbq pork buns)???

King Carnivore & GansuGirl

help for beantown hounds: w. vill faves?

Thanks misnatalie! We are thinking of dining at the bar at babbo - how early do we need to get there to get a table or seats at the bar for 2? can we go with nice jeans?

Other contenders are Perilla, Little Owl or Market Table (I know those last two are related) - no resy available for Little Owl - do they do walk ins and if we go early do we have a chance?

Oct 05, 2008
KingCarnivore in Manhattan

help for beantown hounds: w. vill faves?

We have pretty wide ranging tastes - we love interesting, creative and flavorful food of all types - probably easier to say what we're not interested in: not big fans of french; not interested in asian (planning a visit to chinatown) or sushi; Nothing too fancy - formal white tablecloth places are not what we're looking for on this trip.

Thanks for your thoughts!

Oct 05, 2008
KingCarnivore in Manhattan

help for beantown hounds: w. vill faves?

2 beantown hounds coming to new york in a couple of weeks to eat ourselves silly.

We're staying on Grove street just up from Bleeker in the West Village. We're busy planning our menu about town but we'd love to know what are your favorite spots in the West Village and why? What dish do you love there?

Thanks!
KingCarnivore and GansuGirl

Oct 04, 2008
KingCarnivore in Manhattan

doughnuts?

Kane's schmanes! I heart Linda's in Belmont!!! 7am is about the optimal time to get em still hot and have your pick of types. Honeydew (cake donut w/ glaze) and the jimmie donut (plain donut with choc frost and jimmies) are my faves. Be warned their coffee is horrible but the doughnuts are the best I've had - and believe me, I've had alot!!!

Eastern Standard - Recs?

Hi -
Just made a res at Eastern Standard for a business dinner (they're paying!) - any particular recommendations?
King Carnivore

Any Good Places for Grape Nut Ice Cream? (Besides Louie's)

some have mentioned Toscanini's but his brother who run's Rancatore's also has been doing grapenut raisin flavor for nearly 20 years. Belmont on the Watertown line (I live around the block - hooray for me ) and now also in lexington. they don't always have it though.

1 meal in chinatown - where?

Coming to NYC for the weekend with my wife and 5 yr old daughter (who was born in china) - we live in Boston and love authentic chinese food of all sorts but tend to prefer sichuan or northern dishes. Daughter loves tofu and noodles of all sorts :) Don't care so much about ambience - in fact prefer it to not be fancy - just care about delicious food.

We have time for one meal in Chinatown - either dinner Fri night or dim sum sat or sun.
So - if you could only do one meal, where would you go and what dishes would you order there?

Thanks!
David aka King Carnivore

Jun 17, 2008
KingCarnivore in Manhattan

Whole-Foods Substitutes in TO?

Hi -
My wife and I are considering relocating to Toronto from Boston - so far we're excited about the idea. However, we shop almost exclusively at a Whole Foods near our home. We feel strongly about eating Organic and relatively little processed foods. We can't live without a Whole Foods or similar substitute in some reasonable proximity to where we live. We've noticed the only Whole Foods in TO seems to be in Hazelton Lanes downtown. Are there 'Whole Foods -like' substitutes you would recommend?

Thanks!
King Carnivore

Marooned in Toronto, Help!

Update: First, a huge thank you, thank you, thank you to all of the toronto hounds who offered suggestions - you truly helped make it an enjoyable weekend..

Last night I went to JK Wine Bar, great upscale comfort food and the chefs bar was an entertaining way to pass a meal as a single diner. I had the flatbread w/ 3 dipping sauces, the pork poutine, gnocchi and a sausage & bean dish. My fav was the poutine - I've only had it when drunk in montreal, so it was a treat - and the pork made it a substantial dish. And being able to try/pair all sorts of different wines was a nice touch - I spent more on wine than the food, actually.

Nothing remarkable for breakfast/lunch today, but just returned home from dinner at Amaya on Bayview. It was FANTASTIC! Definitely my favorite of the weekend. really unique tastes, great textures, and strong but not overpowering spice - just the kind that lingers for a while - and attentive and friendly service. I ate so much my belly really hurts. Highly recommend the harra kabob (spinch and paneer, deep fried with a spicy sauce), the chicken chettinad and for the meat lovers - the lamb lollipos are divine - spiced with fenugreek, some mint and a number of other spices, it seems also cooked in the tandoor. The place was full at 7PM, so be sure to make a reservation.

King Carnivore

Marooned in Toronto, Help!

wow - everyone - thank you so much for your continued suggestions. Quick update: I decided to go to Lai Toh Heen for a bit of an adventure and fabulous dim sum. You're right - nothing like it in Boston. My favorite were the minced meat balls (so soft!) and their bbq pork buns (a healthy amount of yummy filling, not too much of the bread - as it should be). The only miss one of their specials - tofu skins in garlic w/vegetables. The skins were just chewy and while a little garlicky, mostly bland.

If I can get there, I'm off to the JK wine bar (thanks for the clarification) - and passionate1 - thanks for all the suggestions - American Airlines just told me I will be spending another day here in Toronto so I hope to check out some of your suggestions tomorrow - particularly the choc chip cookie and susur - I ran across that browsing some other posts.

Thanks again all - and have a good snowy night
King Carnivore