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Narrowing Down Boston Restaurant List

I would add the new Select Oyster on Gloucester St in the Back Bay. Excellent raw bar and Mediterranean style seafood cooked by a chef who was at the well known Neptune Oyster for many years. No reservations and quite small but I've never had a problem at lunch time.

Aug 29, 2015
RoyRon in Greater Boston Area

Chili Sea Bass at Sono in Arlington

I was in the mood for Japanese food last and hadn't been back to Sono Asian Cuisine in Arlington for quite awhile so decided to try it again. I have always enjoyed their sashimi. Especially the s specials of the day which last night included Jack Mackerel, one of my favorites. I also think that Sono does one of the best versions of Hamachi Kama in all of Boston. So last night I was prepared to order my usual assortment of sashimi to start followed by Hamachi Kama but Tom, the manager of Sono, suggested I try the Chili Sea Bass instead. I'm glad I took his suggestion because it was excellent. The perfectly cooked sea bass was topped with a crispy sort of paste that Tom said was made from dried shrimp and a bit of chili paste. It had an unbelievable umami flavor with just the right amount of spice. It was served over a medley of perfectly cooked fresh vegetables that included asparagus, green beans, broccoli and carrots. The presentation (see attached pic) and the taste were perfect. The restaurant was very slow for a Sat. night but I really hope they have better nights because I feel they are one of better choices in the area for top quality Japanese food.

Aug 23, 2015
RoyRon in Greater Boston Area

Grits. Where can I buy them?

I love a bowl of grits on weekend mornings but recently have been having a hard time finding anything but Quaker Oats Instant Grits in local supermarkets like Stop & Shop, Market Basket, etc. Even Whole Foods doesn't have them. I'm looking for the traditional grits that take 20 minutes or so to cook.

Aug 10, 2015
RoyRon in Greater Boston Area

The price of scallops

I'd make two comments. Many of the scallops hat are sold for low prices are injected with water which makes them weigh more of course but it also means they shrink a lot when you cook them. Whole Foods makes a point of saying the scallops they sell are "dry". One relatively easy way to check if you are even buying real scallops instead of something that punched out of Skate Wings or Shark is to look for the small muscle that is attached to the side of an authentic scallop. This is the muscle that attaches the scallop to its shell. It is usually present on some but maybe not all real scallops.

Aug 10, 2015
RoyRon in Greater Boston Area

Now: Good lunch in Back Bay?

I second Select Oyster. Been there several times and it's simply awesome.

Godavari Vs. Ritu Ki Rasoi

I am in complete agreement with Striper Guy. I've tried Godvari twice now and although I would rank it as very good I would give the edge to RKR unless you are someone that must have meat choices on the buffet. The dishes at RKR are more varied and just taste fresher to me. I also like the all the different freshly made breads that the waitstaff keeps passing around the room. The Dosas, the Chapatis and once in awhile the Poori's are all very good. Also agree that Fruit pudding was awful.

Jul 17, 2015
RoyRon in Greater Boston Area

Our New Favorite Fried Clams on the "North Shore": Funky Park Lunch in Glorious Newburyport!


After a morning out in the Merrimac River Striper fishing (the fish won this round, Zero fish caught) my fishing companion and I decided to try Park Lunch. We both totally agree on your recommendations of the Fried Clams. They small plate was a generous portion of perfectly fresh, medium belly clams that were fried to perfection. They were really excellent. We also ordered the soup du jour which was Fish Chowder. It was a very simple milk based soup with nice chunks of Haddock, potatoes and not much else. We both enjoyed it. We also tried an order of Fish and Chips which certainly okay but nothing out of the ordinary. This place is very popular with the locals and on Saturday afternoon at around 2:00Pm it was packed. It is worth the drive to go to Newburyport if you have a craving for excellent fried clams.

Jul 13, 2015
RoyRon in Greater Boston Area

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


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

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

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