TheTrout's Profile

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Best in Boston if hubs does NOT have a jacket

I'm in complete agreement. There's casual, and there's casual..... Lately, I've found that in many of Boston's better mid/upper level restaurants, many of the patrons look like they're dressed to eat in a college cafeteria. It's a sad state of affairs when a restaurant goes to the "trouble" of having an elegant, welcoming and nicely designed space ( read: table linens, flowers, nice lighting ) and you look over at the next table and she's wearing a t-shirt and her companion is wearing a hoody.

There's a huge sartorial distance between a tuxedo and a t-shirt. I just wish that people would realize that what's comfortable to wear hanging around the house, doesn't fly when you're dining in public, at a nice restaurant.

Mar 04, 2009
TheTrout in Greater Boston Area

Where to eat in Waltham or Newton

Another strong vote for La Campania.

What is your definition of "killer prices"? For 4 people, with a bottle or two of wine, you'll be looking at a tab of $325-400.

Feb 27, 2009
TheTrout in Greater Boston Area

What is the price for lobsters these days?

Simply being alive is not the best rule of thumb for buying a lobster.
One thing that you'll notice at most lobster pounds is the constant changing & circulation of the water. Fresh, clean water keeps the lobsters healthier. The water quality, or lack of, in most grocery stores & many fish markets is distressing. Some of the problems you'll encounter are: shell diseases, fungal & bacterial infections.

Feb 25, 2009
TheTrout in Greater Boston Area

What is the price for lobsters these days?

Don't buy lobster on price alone. Buy from someplace with a lot of inventory turnover - Capt. Marden's in Wellesley or James Hook in Boston. Prices lately have been in the $7.99 - $10.99 per lb. for 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 lb. lobsters.

Feb 24, 2009
TheTrout in Greater Boston Area

Best in Boston if hubs does NOT have a jacket

If you're coming up from Florida, why not pack a jacket ( and maybe a tie ) for hubs?

Feb 23, 2009
TheTrout in Greater Boston Area

Kouzina

Bob, I agree. Truly Kouzina is under-rated.
My wife & I love Kouzina. Probably eat there once a month, last time about 2 weeks ago. They are what a great neighborhood place should be - tasty, interesting food, friendly staff & good service. Last & not least: reasonable prices.
Another under-rated spot in the western suburbs is Sweet Basil in Needham. To give you an idea of how much people like this place, last weekend there were approx. 15-20 people waiting OUTSIDE* for a table at 7pm on a Sat. evening !!! That's true love. They offer hearty & tasty food that is priced right. And they are a BYOB.

* they don't accept reservations, it's strictly first come, first served. And by the way, no credit cards.

Feb 23, 2009
TheTrout in Greater Boston Area

What's the word on Kouzina Estiatorio in Dedham?

Another huge fan of Kouzina in Waban. It's everything a perfect "neighborhood" restaurant should be - interesting & well prepared food, good service & reasonable prices. The one good thing that might come out of our current economic downturn - places like Kouzina will prosper & thrive because they're delivering value for your dining dollars.

Feb 19, 2009
TheTrout in Greater Boston Area

Any suggestions for an an informal biz dinner in Waltham ?

If price is no object, La Campania or Il Capriccio are both truly superb. Both offer excellent food & wonderful service.

The best bang for your buck, my choice would be Elephant Walk. In addition to good/very good Cambodian, you can actually have a conversation during dinner, ambient noise there is not too bad.

At so many places today, it's like eating in a bus station, too noisy !

Feb 15, 2009
TheTrout in Greater Boston Area

Excelsior is Closed

Icarus is for sale.

I'm not sure Excelsior can/should be dubbed an "institution". They were only around for five years. In many places, it takes longer than that to establish a reputation, then you work your way towards becoming an institution. Excelsior, to my way of thinking, was never anything more than a "comet" on the local food scene. They burned bright for a short time, and then disappeared.

Feb 04, 2009
TheTrout in Greater Boston Area

Any word on Restaurant L?

When was the last time a retail store decided to '"take a break" and not be open during their regular retail hours? I know, it's a commentary on the current economy. But rather than simply close, it would be wiser to reduce hours and/or staffing.
Regarding Marc & Restaurant L, I hope that this venture does not spread him any thinner. The chatter on this board recently has talked about Pigalle starting to lose focus, which usually means chefs/owners have too many balls in the air ( can you say Todd )?
Also, given how much time/energy/money it takes to get a place going, why start up Restaurant L at its current location, only to close next year when Louis moves?

Jan 31, 2009
TheTrout in Greater Boston Area

Need a Apricot Brandy sauce recipe.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

My wife and I have used this recipe with chicken/duck/turkey with success. Our version, after some trial & error: we leave out the tawny port & increase the (apricot ) brandy to approx. 1/4 cup, 1-2 Tbs. of finely chopped dried apricot, 2 Tbs. of balsamic.

Give it a try ! It may take 2-3 attempts to get the flavor to your taste.

Jan 26, 2009
TheTrout in Home Cooking

Mexican restaurant on River St. in Waltham ?

Keno sound like a holdover from the previous Chinese regime.

Jan 26, 2009
TheTrout in Greater Boston Area

Mexican restaurant on River St. in Waltham ?

Any specific dishes you'd like to recommend? Some of my favorite food is Mexican, Central & South American - all three cuisines are available on a "limited" basis in the Boston area.

Jan 26, 2009
TheTrout in Greater Boston Area

Mexican restaurant on River St. in Waltham ?

MC Slim JB, that may be it ! Thanks. When I googled their name, it came up as a listing for their second Waltham location. The building they are in ( 154 River St. ) used to be a Chinese place.

Jan 25, 2009
TheTrout in Greater Boston Area

Mexican restaurant on River St. in Waltham ?

My wife and I were heading west on River St. ( between Newton & Elm I think ) and we passed what I think is a new Mexican restaurant. Didn't get the name; we were driving in the middle of the last big snowstorm and slowing down or stopping was not an option. Any 'hounds know the place ? If so, is it any good? One hint: my wife thought it was "Guadalajara", but we didn't find a listing under that name. She was sure that it began with Guad............

Jan 25, 2009
TheTrout in Greater Boston Area

lunch in newton

Kouzina, 1649 Beacon St. in Waban. Some of the best and most reasonbaly priced
food in Newton.

Jan 09, 2009
TheTrout in Greater Boston Area

Rolls/bread/spreads...the best

The always warm, fresh baked Afghan flatbread ( noni ) at The Helmand, spread with some of the (salty) yogurt & cucumber dip is wonderful.

Jan 07, 2009
TheTrout in Greater Boston Area

My daily double: Chacarero for lunch; Farm Grill gyro for dinner

Pssst: don't tell too many people about The Farm Grille. It's already way too crowded at lunch. It's a real treat to patronize a place like this: good food, delivered by people who take pride in what they're doing and maintain one of the cleanest eating establishments this side of the operating rooms at Newton Wellesley Hospital.

Some food writers have poo-pooed the decor, to them I say, "go eat someplace else!"

Jan 02, 2009
TheTrout in Greater Boston Area

Affordable anniversary dinner unique to Boston?

Another vote for Lala Rokh. Interesting & tasty food, wonderful service*, lovely location & the final tab won't break the bank. After dinner ( as long as you're dressed warmly ) a walk around Beacon Hill is about as uniquely Boston as it gets. Pretty romantic too!

* the waitstaff is some of the best in Boston, regardless of how much $ you spend. They know the menu, take time to explain it to you & suggest combinations that highlight the many flavors of Persian cuisine.

Jan 02, 2009
TheTrout in Greater Boston Area

Aujourd'hui or L'Espalier?

A strong vote for L'Espalier !

A quick story about Aujourd'hui, and why my wife and I will never go back: we went there for a "special dinner" a few years ago. Upon arriving, we were greeted with " You're late, did you get lost?" No other salutation. In fact, valet parking was busy that evening and we arrived about 5 minutes after our reservation time. We had requested a window table, but were told none were available. For the 3.5 hours we were there, 2 window tables sat unused. My wife's entree arrived cold, the waiter scowled when she asked to have the lamb warmed. His only comment, "you asked for it to be rare." The same plate returned a few minutes later and it was almost glowing from the heat. They must have put it in a 500 degree oven to "warm it". Yes, the meat was warmer, but everthing else on the plate had been zapped by the extreme heat - veggies were limp and the potatoes were a dried out mass. Dessert was a blur, we just wanted out. Never to return.

Jan 01, 2009
TheTrout in Greater Boston Area

Lumiere, Il Capriccio, La Campania, or Boston for birthday dinner

My wife and I have been to all three of your western 'burbs restaurants, I think we'd probably choose La Campania for a "special dinner". If you're going with a small group, I think the minimum is six, you can reserve the wine cellar, which is actually in the rear, on the first floor, not in the basement. It's a great spot! We have found the combination of food & service hard to beat at La Campania. Wherever you go - Enjoy !

Jan 01, 2009
TheTrout in Greater Boston Area

Staying in Newton, restaurants to recommend?

Another vote for Kouzina in Waban. Best way to describe the food - Mediterranean. It's everything a great "neighborhood" restaurant should be - interesting food, moderate prices, kid friendly, nice folks who run it & work there!

Since you left Newton in '95, some wonderful places have opened here. Lumiere in West Newton & 51 Lincoln in Newton Highlands are both "new American" and Ariadne in Newtonville offers "Mediterranean" cuisine. All three rival some of the better " white tablecloth" downtown restaurants - with the added advantage of being nearby and easy to get to.

Dec 30, 2008
TheTrout in Greater Boston Area

Ten best things to eat in Boston

Gnocchi @ Sage

Chicken @ Hamersley's

Pizza @ Cafe Fiorella

Open face lobster ravioli @ Delfino's

Fried catfish sandwich, w/ side of onion strings @ Redbones

Tuna roll app @ Pigalle

Clam chowdah @ Legal Sea Foods

Tomatoes, in season @ La Campania

Donuts @ Ohlin's

Lobster roll @ Hook's

Dec 29, 2008
TheTrout in Greater Boston Area

Best authentic chinese food in the area?

On 2 visits to CK's, my wife and I were puzzled at how sweet the main dishes were, none of the food we ordered had pineapple, tangerine or mango. As a matter of fact, shrimp
with Yu Shiang garlic sauce tasted like it was swimming in a candy flavored syrup. What's up with that? Has their food been 'dumbed down" to American tastes? Given the positive hype we'd heard, CK's failed our test for good, authentic Chinese food.

Dec 23, 2008
TheTrout in Greater Boston Area

Best authentic chinese food in the area?

Sichuan Garden, 295 Wahington St. in Brookline gets my vote. I have taken colleagues from China to eat there, and they're thrilled to be handed a "Chinese" menu. No, not the English menu written in Chinese, but dishes geared towards the Sichuan Chinese palate. The staff is also very happy to help non Chinese speakers navigate that menu.

Dec 22, 2008
TheTrout in Greater Boston Area

Winter Greens Lasagna

At our house we have make a similar dish, but instead of kale & Swiss chard, we use broccoli rabe. It's a nice "bitter" counterpoint to the sweatness of the cream, creme fraiche & cheeses. Also have made it using mustard greens & cress or arugula & spinach.

Dec 22, 2008
TheTrout in Recipes
1

Fun christmas present dinner for two?

For very good tapas, ok beverages, fun atmosphere and located on Beacon St. in Brookline:

TABERNA de HARO

Dec 17, 2008
TheTrout in Greater Boston Area

Giant Bars of Toblerone?

Marty's Liquors & Gourmet Food on Washington St. in Newtonville might carry them.

Dec 17, 2008
TheTrout in Greater Boston Area

New Petit Robert Location ?

With the exception of Waltham, there is no concentration of good restaurants in any of the near west suburban towns. With PRB in now open, downtown Needham is quickly becomming a restaurant destination, great news!

Regarding your "well informed" waitress, who was a vegetarian and couldn't comment on the "most of the entrees"; this smacks of poor training on the restaurant's part. My experience in the past, at the PRB on Comm. Ave, is that the staff was well informed and was always willing/able to make suggestions. In most restaurants, it's incumbent on the waitstaff to either try most of the dishes, or speak with colleagues who have eaten dishes that they haven't sampled. This way, when asked, they can offer advice to the customer, simply by saying, " I haven't tried the chicken/beef/lamb dish, but in speaking with colleagues, the (fill in the blank) is excellent tonight. This waitress is working at a French restaurant, not Vegan Village, and she should be well informed about ALL the food.

Dec 08, 2008
TheTrout in Greater Boston Area

Louis of Boston - New Restaurant??

On Nov. 24, according to the website:

www.beantownbloggery.com

Marc will be reopening the restaurant at Louis. I'm not sure that in the current economy, hooking up with a high end clothier makes great sense. In addition, I think that Louis' lease only goes to 2010, then they're leaving the building. Why go to all of the trouble to start a restaurant, only to vacate the space a year or two down the line?

Dec 03, 2008
TheTrout in Greater Boston Area