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Recommendations for Tasting Menu

For the past five years, my husband and I have enjoyed our anniversary dinner in Boston. This year, we will be spending our anniversary in Las Vegas, and we are looking for something similar.

We are looking for a restaurant that offers a nice tasting menu, good wine pairing, and great service (good view is a plus). At our usual place, we received ~13-15 courses of modern French cuisine with a thoughtful wine pairing. I like having many courses since I like tasting small amounts of many different dishes, but I could also do less. We are not so particular about types of cuisine, and we are adventurous diners.

We are hoping to keep the bill at ~$300-350 per person with drinks. btw, we will be dining on a Monday in October.

Are there restaurants like this on/near the strip? Do we need to rethink our budget?

Thank you so much!

Sep 19, 2012
samsoon in Las Vegas

wedding rehearsal dinner in Morgan Hill/San Martin/Gilroy/even San Jose area

Bay area chowhounds, I desperately need help with a place for wedding rehearsal dinner. I am getting married next month in San Martin, and I am looking for a casual comfy place for early dinner (4 or 5) in the area.

I was initially looking at Italian, and the following places in Morgan Hill were suggested to me:

Mamma Mia (Morgan Hill)
Sicilia in Bocca

The restaurant would need to accommodate ~35 people.

I am not particularly attached to Italian menu but looking for more of an overall feeling of coziness and good food on a reasonable budget (hoping for $15-25 pp). What are your suggestions?

Thank you in advance!

Mamma Mia
1553 S Novato Blvd, Novato, CA 94947

RW service? Miel. Ruth's Chris. Anywhere?

Actually the service was fine, but the food was not for us. Medium rare came out medium well, and rare was too rare. We were in a time crunch, so I ended up not commenting on it, but I was seriously debating sending my dish back. It was very surprising. Oh, and the filet was noticeably smaller than previous restaurant weeks. Guess it was not sustainable?

Mar 19, 2011
samsoon in Greater Boston Area

Where can I get retail Soju?

I have seen it at Reliable in union square. It is on the right side of the counter.

Feb 21, 2011
samsoon in Greater Boston Area

Dinner at Oleana on Friday--how many meze should we order?

When we went the first time, we each ordered a mezz as well as an entree, and we were able to finish all of it as well as a dessert each. The second time we went, we each got the vegetarian tasting and two or three extra meat mezzes, and we wished that we had not ordered the extra mezzes, because we were so full that we could not enjoy the last couple mezzes as well as we could have on a less full stomach. We also appreciated that they gave us different tastings, i.e. Two different mezzes each course. Now that I have tried many of the mezzes, I would probably order a la cart next time I visit.

Feb 12, 2011
samsoon in Greater Boston Area

H-Mart Burlington!!!

I usually pick up potato-based pancake mix. I like it better than the normal mixes because it is slightly more chewy (less falling apart feeling). I like mine with a defrosted package of seafood and scallions or kimchee. I like varying the greens I put in depending on what is fresh.

Jan 28, 2011
samsoon in Greater Boston Area

H-Mart Burlington!!!

It might be that the kimchee has gone "sour". My experiences from non-Korean markets are that most places keep kimchee way past when they should be sold that it has over-matured. Sometimes you can smell it through the packaging.
Hmart really has a decent selection of kimchee. They have freshly packed kind as well as pre-packed kind. I also like the cubes radish kimchee (ggakdoogi) that comes in plastic bags. Does not look as nice as the ones that are packaged in pastic boxes, but very yummy and the radish kindness tend to keep better than the napa cabbage ones. Just wish they had cucumber kimchee (sobaegi). I had not been able to pick up one there.

Jan 28, 2011
samsoon in Greater Boston Area

your favorite????

Maybe he means gimmicky? ?
Had tasting there once. There were certainly hits and some misses but the conversation never got dull thanks to food.

Jan 26, 2011
samsoon in Greater Boston Area

Visiting for the first time... where are the best places to hit up for...

Second craigie and also no 9 for drinks. Don't know if you would be interested, but craigie has drink whim, a flight of mini cocktails. It is adorable. Also, Sierra madre at no9 is quite amazing

Jan 26, 2011
samsoon in Greater Boston Area

Bergamot - outstanding!

Had a meal there last weekend, and my bf and I both really enjoyed it. I had the daily 3 course special and he ordered off the menu.

App: I had the beet salad with avocado mousse garnished by grapefruits, cilantro, and onion jam. He had the quail app. I like the combination of beets, avocado, and grapefruit, but his app definitely trumped over mine.

Entree: I had the skate wing with nicoise olive beurre blanc with polenta (I think?) and broccoli rabe, and he had the scallops. I LOVED my entree. I like skate wing to begin with, and it was cooked very nicely. The addition of roasted tomato added the much needed acidity to the dish. A tad heavy but delicious nonetheless.

Dessert: I had the passion fruit profiterole, and he had the meyer lemon beignets with tequila ice cream. Both were very nice; I really appreciated that they were not overly sweet. I hate it when the dessert makes you want to sink into your chair and never get up (unless it is a fantastic chocolate cake).

Cocktail: I had le quebecois, and he had elixir d'auge. I generally don't like whisky-based drinks, but the server highly recommended the drink, and it turned out to be surprisingly well-balanced. Elixir was interesting--it's served warm for one. The kind of drink I imagine having on a snowy night, kind of like "adult/light/refined" apple cider atmostphere.

Overall great. The only complaint was that the pacing was a little slow, but our server was uber friendly, so it made up for it a little bit.

Jan 17, 2011
samsoon in Greater Boston Area

What should I order at Market?

I like their rice cracker crusted tuna and black truffle pizza apps as well as their chocolate cake. The entrees were good but did not stand out (which explains why i cant recall what i had), but I remember the meal as a whole being lovely.

Jan 17, 2011
samsoon in Greater Boston Area

The Daily Catch

I like their fish and mussels better than the pasta. I prefer trattoria Toscana for pasta.

Jan 10, 2011
samsoon in Greater Boston Area

Best Deliveries in Cambridge

When I do delivery, I usually order from pepper sky's for Thai, cafe kiraz for sandwich/calzone with soft mix yogurt, wings over somerville for wings/ribs/Cajun fries, tsunami or genki ya for sushi, Indian samraat or kebab factory for Indian. May not be necessarily the best but acceptable and super convenient.

Dec 10, 2010
samsoon in Greater Boston Area

Downtown/Chinatown/Theater District dinner?

I was looking through the refs and thought they were all good choices until I read pemma's post. I have been there only twice but thought Market were really good.

Personally prefer Troquet over Teatro.

Dec 06, 2010
samsoon in Greater Boston Area

Does this kind of place exist?

I am looking for a quiet place in Cambridge or Boston where I can work but also can have good food.

A mash up of Starbucks and a bistro-ish restaurant perhaps--a place where I can work on a laptop and sip coffee and eat food leisurely and also won't feel like I need to eat and vacate my table. I guess another way to put it is a place with library-like atmosphere that serves delicious food. Is there such a place or is it just my wishful thinking?

Nov 10, 2010
samsoon in Greater Boston Area

Pacing of Tasting Dinners

I have done a few tasting menus - Clio, Troquet, Oya, Oishii, L'Espalier to name a few. It varied from 2.5 to 3.5 hours depending on the restaurant and the number of courses. Our most recent one was at L'Espalier for a 13 course with wine pairing, and that took about 3 hours and we loved the pacing - not so long between courses that we felt neglected or bored and just enough to get ready for the next course (and it also took longer toward the end which we also appreciated).

Btw,on a separate note, it is our anniversary tradition to go back to L'Espalier and sit at the same table each year, and we were really impressed by the food this year as well as their attentiveness to notice that it was our anniversary based on our last year's reservation and to print out our anniversary menu with wine pairing at the end of the meal.

774 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

140 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

Nov 04, 2010
samsoon in Greater Boston Area

Sichuan Cuisine at Thailand Cafe near MIT

I have had quite a few meals here due to the fact that my bf appears to want to have every other meal here. My favorite hands down is the family style Sichuan fish.other things we consistently order are dry hot chicken (which i think is better elsewhere like Sichuan Garden in Brookline), Sichuan noodle soup, and beef tripe appetizer.

Sichuan Garden
295 Washington St, Brookline, MA 02445

Sep 16, 2010
samsoon in Greater Boston Area

Ma Po Tofu (Dofu) adventures

Second the suggestion. It is fairly spicy though. Especially with the peppercorns but that is part of the yumminess.

Sep 12, 2010
samsoon in Greater Boston Area

Bon chon

Does anybody know what happened to bon chon chicken? When Privus closed, i read that the franchise will be moved to a different restaurant in harvard square. From what I gather online, that restaurant appears to be Bull, but I have not heard if it has opened or if they carry bon chon chicken.

Sep 02, 2010
samsoon in Greater Boston Area

dinner for a very large group

I am trying to coordinate a going-away dinner for a friend, and I have many restrictions....

1. Indian or Italian (dietary restrictions)
2. can accommodate 20+ people (and takes reservation for this number)
3. reasonably priced (~$15 for entree)
4. walkable distance from the T (preferably red line) or from MIT

I would really appreciate any recommendations. Thanks!

May 11, 2010
samsoon in Greater Boston Area

Roppongi: question re: chicken

You can see the menu here:
It's at the very end.

Roppongi and Bon Chon are very different styles though. Roppongi's style (their chain is Cheo got jib) is closer to what I grew up with in Korea (~10-15 years ago), but it is heavier than Bon Chon style because of the sticky gooey spicy garlicky sauce poured on top. I personally prefer Bon Chon style frying and Cheo got jib sauce (it's spicier).

1243 Commonwealth Ave, Allston, MA 02134

May 11, 2010
samsoon in Greater Boston Area

Zen 320, best sushi for your buck

The sushi's cheap. I tend to go for Mexican roll/Taekwondo roll type than fish at Zen though. The service is probably slow, because they only have one chef (sometimes his daughter helps out). I tend to order in advance and then go pick it up.

I can't speak for the Korean food there, but the chef behind the sushi bar is Korean.

Jan 08, 2010
samsoon in Greater Boston Area

Visiting Boston for a Weekend + 1 day to Maine

oooh. If you're from LA, then you're going to have a hard time finding better food around (I lived in Orange County for a while).

I take my out-of-town visitors to Helmand (Afghan), which is close to the Cambridgeside Galleria. This is a nice restaurant without a huge sticker shock.

Frankly, around the MIT area, there aren't many stunning restaurants if you don't count upscale restaurants such as Craigie on Main or Salts. When I visited Boston for the first time, my friends took me to Legal Seafood, but it's a chain seafood restaurant (although based here). You might want to try Bartley's in Harvard Square for burgers. It's like an institution. Also, if you haven't had a great pizza, try Emma's. I swear by New Haven style pizza, and Emma's actually comes close to one of the places (not Pepe's or Sally's) with the interesting combination of toppings.

I also tend to just take people to the North End, which is basically a street lined with Italian restaurants. Most are good. I would recommend Daily Catch, but the place is tiny. Most people have Italian food and then grab a cannoli from Mike's Pastry. It's definitely a Boston destination.

If you like Guinness, try The Field in Central Square. According a friend from Ireland, that place serves the best Guinness in the area. However, beer from student-run MIT bars may be cheaper (Muddy or Thirsty).

Oct 15, 2009
samsoon in Greater Boston Area

2 weeks in Boston, Where to go?

Daily Catch is also another place in the North End. It looks like a hole in the wall, but I really love their mussel app. The broth is simple but delicious.

I would also second Helmand. That's where I take all my out-of-town guests.

Oct 15, 2009
samsoon in Greater Boston Area

Visiting Boston for a Weekend + 1 day to Maine

Where are you coming from and what kind of places are you looking at (e.g. casual/fancy)?

Oct 15, 2009
samsoon in Greater Boston Area

Blue Ginger, Lumiere, or L'Andana?

Has anyone been to these recently and can comment on the food? Thanks!

Sep 02, 2009
samsoon in Greater Boston Area

need suggestions for Sunday dinner

I need an advice for a place to have a nice birthday dinner for four people this Sunday. For this occasion, I will have a car! So I would prefer to take this opportunity to go to a good restaurant that I normally would have a hard time getting to without a car (but not too far away from Cambridge). One suggestion I got was Blue Ginger (is it good?). Either way, the restaurant needs to have parking (my mom has trouble walking far distances), and I don't particularly care what style of cuisine as long as it's good. Thanks!

Sep 01, 2009
samsoon in Greater Boston Area

RW at Meritage & Mistral

My bf and I went out to restaurant week dinners at Meritage and Mistral this week, and they were reasonably good.

We've had good meals at Meritage during RW in the past, but the menu doesn't seem to change much. We had Roasted Yellow Tomato Soup and Pan Fried Soft Shell Crab for apps (don't get Meritage Salad), and the crab was probably the better choice. For entree, we had Black Pepper Rolled Seared Rare Yellowfin Tuna and Wood grilled Filet Mignon. Previous 2 or 3 times, we loved the filet mignon. Not so great this time. Not cooked that well surprisingly. I would say the tuna was the most definitely the better dish. For dessert, we had the Chocolate Tasting Plate and Red Fruit Tasting Plate. Both were good. Strangely, the dessert sounded the same as the last time but tasted better than we remembered. Overall, it was just ok; disappointing considering we were expecting great.

Mistral was another surprise. I was there for RW a couple of years ago, and while the appetizer was phenomenal, the entree was terrible (the unchewable skirt steak). So it took a while to get around to it again. The appetizers were the best part of the meal again. We had Beef Sirloin Carpaccio and Native Corn Soup, both of which were outstanding. I looked at the Mistral Caesar Salad being served, and I thought, geez, if I were a vegetarian, I would still get the corn soup without the crab than the salad. For entrees, we had swordfish (not advertised but on their RW menu today instead of salmon) and Pan Roasted Sirloin. Both were good. I thought the swordfish tasted a bit bland until I tried it with all the components together. We asked sirloin to be rare, but it came out medium rare. I've read that they tend to overcook the meat, so I guess we were lucky to have asked it to be rare. The dessert was ok. Definitely Peach Tarte over Angel Food Cake. Let's say that the latter was "unfortunate."

Aug 19, 2009
samsoon in Greater Boston Area

Where to buy frozen udon?

You can find them in the frozen corner at Lotte, which is the Korean market on Mass Ave next to MIT museum of science.

Aug 11, 2009
samsoon in Greater Boston Area

Best Shabu Shabu

I've been to two places in Chinatown, but I've been making my own for the past year or so. It's really simple. I don't really "make" a broth; as I'm cooking the vegetables & meat, the broth gets made, and I use the leftover broth for noodle soup base.

May 27, 2009
samsoon in Greater Boston Area