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Gujarati food in Boston area?

A vegetarian Indian restaurant in Lowell, Udupi Bhavan features a Gujarati and Rajastani buffet every Friday night that is always very good.

Jul 01, 2015
RoyRon in Greater Boston Area

5 yr anniversary 4th of July

My wife and I have been to Liquid Art House on Arlington St. several times now. We went again last night and had a wonderful experience. The restaurant is quite large and the table are fairly wide spaced so you can carry on a conversation with each other without shouting. They have a very creative menu and because the restaurant is also an art gallery the presentations are very artistic too. Along with the food menu you are also given an "art menu" that shows all the artwork around the restaurant. Although many of the items are quite creative they also offer several simple items such as a range of grilled steaks. Last evening we started by sharing an order of the Beet Dumplings with sour cream and a bit of caviar. These and other dumplings are one of the signature items of the restaurant. For mains we had the scallops and flounder, both of which were excellent. For dessert we shared the coconut semi freddo, which, if you are a coconut fan, is absolutely heaven. The service is always friendly and professional and they have an excellent bar staff as well. For a special occasion like yours I don't think you would be disappointed with Liquid Art House.

Jun 28, 2015
RoyRon in Greater Boston Area

Revisiting Lumiere in West Newton

After reading this post a few weeks it reminded me that I have always wanted to give this restaurant a try so last night I booked a table at 7:45. I have to say that we were extremely pleased with the entire experience at Lumiere. The room has a very nice feeling to it and the tables are well spaced. The acoustics are good so you can carry on a conversation without shouting at your dining companion across the table. My only suggestion would be that they use tablecloths which I think would make the room a bit more elegant and give it a warmer feeling.

I started with a nicely made Rye Manhattan and followed it a glass of of a very nice French Rose. My companion stayed with mineral water.

For a first course I ordered the Barnegat Light Sea Scallops
Spring Pea Salad, Ginger-Horseradish Vinaigrette. This was a perfect Spring dish. Two perfectly cooked sea scallops with a very light dressing and fresh peas. It was a great way to start. I followed with Slow Roasted Maine Halibut with
Spring Vegetables, Hot & Sour Broth, Thai Basil and Kaffir Lime Leaf Oil. Once again a perfectly cooked Halibut filet in a very light broth. The Kaffir Lime Leaf gave the dish a distinctly Thai flavor but it was not at all spicy. It was excellent. My companion, who is a vegetarian, ordered the Roasted Spring Vegetables with Four Star Farms Rye Berry Pilaf and Aged Balsamic Vinegar. So many restaurants seems to have a token vegetarian dish on their menus that are often not very good but that was certainly not the case with this dish. The vegetables were roasted to perfection and were hot when served and the Rye Berry pilaf contributed a delicious nutty flavor to the overall dish.

We decided to share a dessert and after a recommendation from our server we chose the Dark Chocolate Crémeux Coconut Cream, Toasted Coconut, Candied Almonds & Salted Caramel Sauce. Very decadent and heavenly for chocolate/coconut lover. I finished with a espresso. The check before gratuity was $130.00 which I felt was reasonable for the dinner we enjoyed.

Our server was professional and friendly and the time between each course gave us an opportunity to enjoy the food and converse.

Overall I would give Lumiere very high marks on every aspect of dinner. I just wish it was a bit more accessible to where we live.

Jun 21, 2015
RoyRon in Greater Boston Area

Big Platter 'o LOX? -- quantity as well as quality

I would suggest you consider Barry's Deli in Waban. I've always had good luck with their Lox.

Jun 08, 2015
RoyRon in Greater Boston Area

Fantasy Question for Boston Old Timers

My choices:

Biba: Original Lobster pizza and Brown Sugar Pie

Jasper's

Aigo Bistro, Concord. When Ana Sortun was there

Gyuhama. Very good sushi and "Rock n Roll" sushi after 11:00Pm on Fri & Sat

May 31, 2015
RoyRon in Greater Boston Area
1

Holi Indian Restaurant Bedford

I went last week with an Indian friend. It was good but IMHO not any better than any of the other Indian places around the area. I went on a Thursday at lunch and the place was very busy but they kept the buffet well stocked and clean. We liked the Samosas and the Chana dish but everything else was average. They have all the standard dishes you will find on any Indian lunch buffet. Tandoori Chicken, Chicken Tika Masala, a couple of veggie dishes and mango pudding for dessert. Nothing unique.
The service was very good and very friendly and we liked the freshly baked garlic or plain Naan. If you are in the mood for Indian and happen to be in Bedford Holi is a good choice but I wouldn't go out of my way to go there again. Ritu Ki Rasoi in Burlington remains my favorite

May 26, 2015
RoyRon in Greater Boston Area

When "the Best Steak Ever" Is Not an Exaggeration [moved from Boston board]

Hi O. C.

Have you heard that the Island Creek Oyster Bar/Row 34 group will be opening a new place in Portsmouth within the next month or so? I think its going to be called Row 34 too.

May 04, 2015
RoyRon in Northern New England

Japanese restaurant or cooking class

I am a lover of Japanese cuisine and a few months ago had the pleasure of spending a few days in S.D. The highlight of my visit was two dinners at Tadokoro Sushi in Old Town. This is one of the finest and most authentic Japanese restaurants I have ever been to in the USA. I lived in Japan for a long time and have been traveling there for over 25 years and each time I went to Tadokoro I was transported back to Tokyo. Although it is primarily a sushi restaurant they do offer a wide variety of other very traditional dishes. If your son loves Japanese food make a reservation to sit at the sushi bar. He will love it.

Apr 30, 2015
RoyRon in San Diego

Good and old school.

For old school Italian American drive out to Stoneham and try Felicia's Of The North End. They do all the Italian American favorites as well as some nice daily specials. Another bonus is they have what I would call one of the most "generous pours" in the Boston area when it comes to drinks. I really like their Zuppa Di Vongole (Steamed Littlenecks in your choice of red of white sauce. Delicious and you get a large bowl of freshly steamed clams with a nice chunk of Italian bread to mop up the sauce with for under $10.00.

Apr 13, 2015
RoyRon in Greater Boston Area

Best Boston restaurants that are also great for kids

The Liberty Hotel and Scampo might be a good choice too. The kids may like telling their friends they had dinner in an old jail. The food at Scampo is very good and there are some kid friendly menu choices (spaghetti with marinara sauce and various pizzas).

Apr 13, 2015
RoyRon in Greater Boston Area

Most elegant new restaurant

I would also suggest Bistro Du Midi. Very nice room and soon all the flowering trees in the Public Garden will be in bloom so if you arrive in the early evening when there is still daylight the view from the tables near the windows will be very, very nice. We have also found the food and the service to be very good and they have a very competent bar staff too. We've been to Deuxave and were not overly impressed. The food was okay but nothing I would make a return trip for.

Apr 11, 2015
RoyRon in Greater Boston Area

Mandatory 20% at Select?

I don't have any problem with it because I almost always add a 20% tip but I can see a lot of people being very opposed of it. As one of the other posters said, "if it is mandatory the service ought to be damn good". Also, with a mandatory 20% added to your bill some would say it doesn't give the servers much incentive to offer really good service.

Apr 06, 2015
RoyRon in Greater Boston Area

Top quality chinese restaurant in(near) Boston

I would add Sichuan Garden in Woburn to the suggestions. For very good Chinese seafood I would consider the Peach Farm and East Ocean City both in Chinatown.

Apr 06, 2015
RoyRon in Greater Boston Area

Any great Indian buffets on the North Shore?

I would suggest Ritu Ki Rasoi in Burlington for a really good all vegetarian buffet but its only served at lunch. On Wed nights they do a buffet that features vegetarian dishes from a specific region of India. I also like The Pongal on Rte 3A in Billerica. They do a very nice and varied lunch buffet every day.

Feb 03, 2015
RoyRon in Greater Boston Area

how would you describe the Boston restaurant scene to an out of towner?

Hi Slim

I agree with your analysis of Yakitori Zai. I eagerly awaited the opening because I love yakitori and it seemed like this place was going to do it correctly. Unfortunately the prices they had to charge were very high even compared to Japan where most offerings at a good yakitori-ya cost around 100 to 200 yen. I also found that on the two times I went there they didn't have some of the more exotic choices which, for me, are the best part of going to a good yakitori place.

Jan 30, 2015
RoyRon in Greater Boston Area

Sushi Tadokoro

You San Diego CH'ers are making me crazy. I'm sitting here in Boston, up to our asses in snow with temperatures in the teens dreaming about the two fantastic evenings I spent at Tadokoro in early December. We have a couple of good to very good Japanese places here but nothing that comes close to Tadokoro. I'd even stop griping about our weather if I knew there was a place like that here.

Jan 29, 2015
RoyRon in San Diego

how would you describe the Boston restaurant scene to an out of towner?

I am total agreement regarding your comments about the lack of variety available in Japanese restaurants in Boston. I would love to see a really good izakaya open up or, even better, a Kappo Ryori, style izakaya but that is probably too much to wish for. The specialty restaurants that exist in Japan are tough to find here in the US unless you are in NYC or LA. Others I'd like to see here would be an authentic Yakitori place, a dedicated Tonkatsu place, a dedicated Tempura place and a Unagi place but I guess to find any of these I will just need to keep finding reasons to go to Japan. Why can't someone open an authentic Teppanyaki restaurant that serves high quality beef and seafood without all the BS and theatrics that most Tepanyaki places here do?

Jan 29, 2015
RoyRon in Greater Boston Area
2

Chinese Tea in the 'burbs?

I would suggest Solana Garden Farm in Winchester. They have a very wide selection of loose teas that include may of the Chinese and Japanese favorites. I enjoy black teas and think their Solana blend is excellent. They sell their teas in small containers of various sizes but you can also just buy it in bulk. Most of the tea they sell is also organic if that is important to you. Solana also has a wide range of spices and some very unusual salts from around the world.

Jan 05, 2015
RoyRon in Greater Boston Area

What's your *favorite* restaurant in San Diego?

Hands down Sushi Tadokoro. And I don't even live in San Diego but dined there twice on a recent trip. I just wish Boston had a Japanese place this good and this authentic

Dec 30, 2014
RoyRon in San Diego

Sushi Tadokoro

Don't miss their house made Ankimo (Monkfish liver) or his house cured Salmon Eggs. I also loved his version of Hamachi Kama. I like it Shio Yaki style (Salt Broiled)

Dec 30, 2014
RoyRon in San Diego

Christmas Dinner Petit Robert

Many times on this board people ask about restaurants that are open on major holidays. Well, after checking out all the hotel restaurants for this year's Christmas Dinner we decided for the fourth year to go back to Petit Robert in Kenmore Sq. Each of the previous years were very good and we liked the fact that although they offered a special Christmas menu you could still order off their regular menu which was what we opted for. I stuck with the classics and ordered Onion Soup followed by Beef Bourguignon. My SO chose the Hearts of Romaine Salad and the Grilled Salmon with Ratatouille. Each of was very pleased with our choices. The portions were ample and the flavors and quality of each course was very, very good. We shared an order of the Tart Tatin for dessert topped off with a glass of Port and two espressos.

We were seated at a very nice table near the front window on the first floor. We like the ambiance of Petit Robert because it really does feel like a small bistro in France. The service was top notch and the prices are very reasonable.

I would recommend Petit Robert for any holiday dinner when the choices at many other restaurants around Boston are somewhat limited to over priced prixe fix menus.

Dec 26, 2014
RoyRon in Greater Boston Area

Tadokoro, Fantastic experience

I reiterate what I wrote in my post. It was fantastic and the Toro and Uni were both superb. I also really enjoyed the Mirugai (Giant Clam/Gooeyduck) which is very hard to get here in Boston for some reason. The chef also told me that they prepare their own Ankimo (Monkfish liver pate aka Japanese Foi Gras). We also tried their Hamachi Kama and had it prepared Shio Yaki (Salt Broiled) It too was excellent. Tadokoro is not inexpensive but I would go back in a minute if I had the chance.

Dec 02, 2014
RoyRon in San Diego

new yorkers annual trip to san diego

I just came back from a week in S.D. and I'm a huge sushi fan. I absolutely loved Tadokoro if you want a traditional Japanese sushi spot. It's small and Japanese owned and I found it to be fantastic.

Dec 01, 2014
RoyRon in San Diego

Tadokoro, Fantastic experience

On a trip to your fair city about a week ago I was fortunate to have an opportunity to dine at Tadokoro in Old Town. I now live in Boston but I also lived in Japan for about 7 years and have been traveling there for over 25 years and I love Japanese food. After researching Tadokoro on line and reading some very favorable reviews I decided to try it because it sounded like the traditional style Japanese place that seem harder and harder to find these days. I am a traditionalist when it comes to Japanese food and Tadokoro met my expectations on every count. So many Japanese places in the US now days focus on what I call "designer rolls or fusion sushi". I know this type of sushi is very popular here in the states but it is not my taste.

Me and my two companions sat at the sushi bar and ordered everything ala carte (okonomi de). We also took some of the Itamai-san's recommendations for what the best offerings were that day. I have to say that if I lived in San Diego a substantial portion of my income would be spent at Tadokoro. The quality and variety of the fish, the presentations and the exquisite attention to detail made for a memorable dining experience. They even had Shirako (fish sperm) which I have never seen in the USA. Our dining experience at Tadokoro was so good that we made plans to return again one night later.

There are a number of Japanese restaurants in Boston but very few are Japanese owned and operated and most of them focus more on fusion sushi. San Diegoans (sp?) are very fortunate to have a place like Tadokoro. I just wish they would open a branch in Boston. My only other choice is spending a lot of money on airfare traveling to San Diego.

Dec 01, 2014
RoyRon in San Diego

Broasted Chicken Anywhere?

I lked Eri's too because fried chicken is a guilty pleasure for me but the two times I tried it I found it to be incredibly salty and I love salt. I wonder if they brine the chicken to keep it very moist but don't rinse the brine off before they cook it.

Dec 01, 2014
RoyRon in Greater Boston Area

Polar Seltzer Limited Winter Edition 2014

Hi O.C.

Have you tried the HINT brand at Whole Foods? They are not carbonated but they have a wide range of interesting fruit flavors that, IMHO, are unique because they taste exactly like real fruit. No artificial taste at all and they are totally sugar free. My favorites are the pear and the orange.

Dec 01, 2014
RoyRon in Greater Boston Area

O Ya - guess we should have gone years ago (long...and sad...)

Amen and you are correct about SONO. Tom and his team do an excellent job as long as you stick to the traditional styles of sushi and sashimi. They offer the more creative "designer rolls" but that is not what I go there for. Put yourself in Tom's hands for a wonderful Omakase. You will be happy and it won't cost $150 per person.

Nov 18, 2014
RoyRon in Greater Boston Area

[UPDATE] Vote for your favorite restaurants in the Boston area for "Best of 2014."

SONO Asian Cuisine Arlington, MA www.sonoasian.com

Very good Japanese restaurant that focuses on serving high quality sushi and sashimi. SONO also has the best Hamachi Kama in Boston.

Nov 18, 2014
RoyRon in Greater Boston Area
1

O Ya - guess we should have gone years ago (long...and sad...)

This is indeed a very sad review. I went to O-Ya numerous times soon after it opened and although it was expensive each time was a memorable dining experience. I even had one European friend tell me that it was the most memorable meal he had ever had. It would really be a shame if O-Ya has started to slip. Although it is not a "traditional" Japanese restaurant the quality of the ingredients was always very high and the combinations were always unique and delicious. It would really be a shame if Boston lost a restaurant like O-Ya because they couldn't maintain the quality and consistency they have been known for.

Nov 18, 2014
RoyRon in Greater Boston Area

best bolognese in boston area?

I won't claim its the best but I like Davio's version quite a bit

Nov 13, 2014
RoyRon in Greater Boston Area