Dea's Profile

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March 2013 Openings and Closings

They were training waiters last night in the new Toscano in Harvard Square, so I'm thinking they're days away from opening at this point. The bar area in particular is looking mighty appealing.

Mar 06, 2013
Dea in Greater Boston Area

So a Panera is coming to the Fresh Pond plaza (Whole Foods side)...

The Casbah closed near the end of last summer. I am a member of the health club adjacent to it, and never saw a soul eating there on my trips back and forth. It was a venture by the owner of the recently-closed Casablanca, as I understand it. Terrible location - not terribly surprised it failed.

Feb 25, 2013
Dea in Greater Boston Area

Purple Taro in Somville/Camb/Boston?

You might try the Somerville Winter Market at the Armory on Saturdays. They have a number of vendors selling produce including one that specializes in root vegetables.

Dec 06, 2012
Dea in Greater Boston Area

Gustazo Belmont - One of the Finest Latino Meals I've Had...

We walked to Gustazo last Sat eve after taking in the grand tasting at the Sprited Gourmet (long walk was beneficial after tasting a bunch of wine). Dinner was great (I had the slow roasted pork) but we learned the hard way to not accept seating in the back "room", which appears to actually be tented space outside the restaurant walls. They did have a patio heater back there, but it was COLD. It's a good problem to have, I guess, having more customers than seats in the restaurant proper, but that space is just too cold this time of year. That said, the food was great, and most of our co-patio patrons were taking the situation is as good humor as we endeavored to. I'll definitely return but will wait for seating inside the next time!

Nov 12, 2012
Dea in Greater Boston Area

Thanksgiving Sandwich/Wrap in Cambridge Area?

I haven't tried it, but recently got an email from BoLoCo annoucing the return of their Thanksgiving wrap. I already deleted the email, and the wrap isn't on their website as far as I can tell, but if you're near a Boloco it might be worth checking into.

Nov 06, 2012
Dea in Greater Boston Area

Davis Sq ?

Don't bother with the Armory - that's a winter farmer's market and doesn't start until December 1. Three Little Figs is awesome though - highly recommend!

Oct 26, 2012
Dea in Greater Boston Area

Cured meats - particularly (but not exclusively) Italian

Also in Davis, you can find a small but well-curated (heh) selection of cured meats at Dave's Fresh Pasta. I recall they stock La Quercia in particular.

Oct 23, 2012
Dea in Greater Boston Area

November 2012 Openings and Closings

I was driving too fast to catch the particulars, but there was a sign on the sidewalk yesterday offering a free slice.

Oct 22, 2012
Dea in Greater Boston Area

Help! Best takeout soup or other spicy stewish thing to defy a monster cold??

I try to keep the Hot and Sour Won Ton soup from Chinatown in Stoughton MA in my freezer for cold treatment. I generally buy two quarts and then cut them with some chicken broth, as their broth tends to be too spicy for me. Definitely opens up my sinuses when they're clogged though!

Sep 17, 2012
Dea in Greater Boston Area

Globe reports Whole Foods looking to buy chunk of Johnnie's Foodmaster stores

Same here. I've made my peace with the tracking stuff - I accept that we now live in the age of Big Brother. Still annoying though!

Aug 31, 2012
Dea in Greater Boston Area

August 2012 Openings and Closings

And delicious.

Aug 31, 2012
Dea in Greater Boston Area

7/2/12, Park Restaurant In Harvard Square- A Most Satisfying Neighborhood Gem

I also got a chance to finally try this place earlier this week, and loved it. I love the space. It's hard to believe this was the Redline, which always felt dark and dingy to me. We started with the confit chicken wings, which were incredibly tasty, and my DC did the RW menu so she got the pork belly app, which was also very good. Large piece of pork belly on a bed of cheesy grits. Now, I don't like grits, but I liked these. Smoother than other versions I've tried and excellent flavor.

DC's RW entree was pan-fried cod on succotash - again very good. The cod was perfectly cooked, which was a nice contrast to the overcooked fish I'd had last week at Orinoco (which I love but won't order fish there again), and the succotash was delicious. There was an unusual spice there that I couldn't put my finger on. I had the patty melt, which was delicious, and came with a mountain of thin fries that were crispy and salty. I brought home half of the burger which I ate for dinner last night, and most of the wings (large order!) and fries. So I'm getting three meals out of one.

Oh, and I forgot to mention the cheese and crackers they serve at the beginning of the meal. The cheese was a house-made blend of cheeses (I can't remember which) along with homemade crackers which were between papadum and pita chips in taste and texture. So nice.

Finally, we each had a glass of white wine, a reisling and a sauvignon blanc. Nice pour, and well chilled - hard to mess up wine though. My DC also had a cup of tea with her RW dessert, a blueberry and lemon napoleon layered on shortbread. Very fresh and not too sweet. We both can't wait to go back to try some cocktails and more food! I'm very happy this took the place of Redline!

Aug 30, 2012
Dea in Greater Boston Area

Globe reports Whole Foods looking to buy chunk of Johnnie's Foodmaster stores

Totally agree. I won't shop at Shaw's (not a fan of loyalty cards), so if that is what happens to Alewife I'll be stuck schlepping out to MB in Somerville or up in Burlington. BAH!

Aug 30, 2012
Dea in Greater Boston Area

Globe reports Whole Foods looking to buy chunk of Johnnie's Foodmaster stores

Indeed! It's not on the list of those that WF is buying / converting, so I'm not sure what its fate will be. Bah.

Aug 30, 2012
Dea in Greater Boston Area

Globe reports Whole Foods looking to buy chunk of Johnnie's Foodmaster stores

Yeah, I can't fathom why WF would want to open another outlet on Beacon when the Prospect St outlet is so close. I'm also concerned about the Alewife Parkway Johnnie's which is my closest supermarket. So convenient for picking up that one ingredient I forgot to buy for a recipe, and stuff like that. I am not thrilled with this development at all.

Aug 30, 2012
Dea in Greater Boston Area

Best Lobster Roll in Maine South Of Bangor?

While I'm not a lobster fan myself, I bring guests seeking a lobstor Road to Shore Road Market at the apex between Shore Road and Route 1A in York Maine. Very plain - lobster meat on a toasted hot dog roll, served with drawn butter. Last time I went it was $8.95 which makes it one of the cheaper lobster rolls in the area as well.

Aug 28, 2012
Dea in Northern New England

Restaurants that AREN'T doing Restaurant Week?

Orinoco in Harvard Square is not participating. I took an out-of-town visitor there for dinner last Thursday. It was remarkably quiet, and the food was mostly good. The bacon-wrapped dates were excellent as always, and we tried a fried oyster app which was very good as well. We both ordered fish dishes (mahi mahi and a salmon special) which, while nicely seasoned and composed, were both over-cooked. The salmon filet was smallish as well. Still, a pleasant dinner overall, with great service and ambiance. Oh, and unusually spiced but very tasty sangria!

Aug 27, 2012
Dea in Greater Boston Area

July 2012 Openings and Closings

There was a sign up on the space that used to house Cafe of India and a small clothing boutique on Brattle Street by Story Street in Harvard Square this morning. Apparently, Toscano is opening a second location there. The sign said they're planning to open this fall. This is a relief to me, as I was expecting more Harvard offices to take the space.

Jul 24, 2012
Dea in Greater Boston Area

Cafe Sushi Cambridge

Heh. Looks like Morimoto agrees with you too, JPB and Uncle Yabai: http://www.thebraiser.com/sushi-myths...

I might have blushed a bit that day, at Cafe Sushi, but once one of my chopsticks rolled under the table, I forged on with my fingers. I'll remember the tip about eating the rolls last, though!

Jul 24, 2012
Dea in Greater Boston Area

ISO Pretzel bread, anybody doing this?

Crema Cafe in Harvard Square sells them, both as sandwiches and as rolls.

Jul 24, 2012
Dea in Greater Boston Area

Cafe Sushi Cambridge

That is excellent news. Thanks JBP!

Jul 20, 2012
Dea in Greater Boston Area

Best Farmer's Market open on Saturday?

The Union Square market is excellent. A large variety of vendors, local restaurants participate, and there's usually some live music going on. The one downside is parking can be tricky if you drive over. The Central Square T stop is less than a mile away though, and several bus lines service the neighborhood as well. Check out Union Square Main Street's website for a listing of vendors for this Sat.

Jul 20, 2012
Dea in Greater Boston Area

Cafe Sushi Cambridge

Interesting about the Tamago. I'll have to try it in a couple of other places for comparison, but I definitely enjoyed this version. Very light on the tongue, a little sweet, but not too cloying.

Re loose rice - I guess I need to learn how to better handle chopsticks and not depend on super sticky rice! I was not impressing anyone with my skills the other day!

Jul 20, 2012
Dea in Greater Boston Area

Cafe Sushi Cambridge

Thanks to both of you. Is Tamago supposed to be kind of sweet? Because theirs was. I was a bit surprised by it, but not put off. My maki was spicy so a bite of sweet was welcome, if unexpected.

Jul 19, 2012
Dea in Greater Boston Area

Cafe Sushi Cambridge

First, thanks to BarleyWino for pointing me in the direction of this thread. BW, I did manage to convince my colleagues to suffer the walk in this heat to try this place. Bottom line, I'm glad we did.

I'm not an adventurous sushi eater (yet), and neither were my DCs, so we stuck to standard fare, but the chalkboard list behind the chefs has me ready to branch out. In particular, "Massachusetts Sea Bass" sounded interesting, as did other bits I can't now recall.

That said, I got some edamame which were nicely steamed and salted, and the hamachi maki roll, which consisted of spicy tuna and asparagus on the inside, and seared yellowtail on the outside. The fish tasted fresh to me, and the flavors blended well. My only complaint is the rice and roll was kind of loose which made it a bit tricky to eat.

One DC got the sushi bento box, which was HUGE. She couldn't eat it all, so I benefited from some omelet (sorry I don't remember the Japanese word for it), and a shumai. The shumai was excellent - tender, and full of shrimp which tasted very fresh. The omelet was good too, but I'd never had that before so I have no idea if it was a proper version.

My other DC got the tempura roll which she enjoyed, and the... umi shiso? roll - cucumber and preserved plum. I tried a piece of the latter and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I'd been given a preserved plum to try years ago by a "friend" and nearly choked on it, so wasn't expecting to like this. Clearly preserved plum is better as an ingredient than a snack!

Two criticisms I'd read online were about the decor and service. Maybe it's my New England upbringing, but I didn't find the decor to be "cold" either in temperature or atmosphere. There were beautful black and white photos on the walls, and the ceiling is painted a calming dark blue, which made the environment feel calming to me. Our server was prompt and attentive without being overly friendly.

All in all, I am looking forward to returning. While I was there I saw some other dishes going out which looked good, and the Ginger Peach Sangria on the menu was tempting. Also, those blackboard specials beckon...

Jul 18, 2012
Dea in Greater Boston Area

O Ya… Consistency whittled down to the dull art of repetition; or One and Done

Thank you! Twas a search that brought me here. Don't know why that thread didn't show up in my results. Probably operator error...

Jul 18, 2012
Dea in Greater Boston Area

O Ya… Consistency whittled down to the dull art of repetition; or One and Done

So did you folks go?! We're having a debate at the office today, about where to get some decent sushi in Harvard Square. Majority favors heading to Shabu-Ya on JFK St (yecch) because it's close and it's a million degrees outside, and I'm losing my bid to try Cafe Sushi due to the longer walk. If I can report that reputable chowhounds gave this place two thumbs up recently, that might help my case. Help!

Jul 18, 2012
Dea in Greater Boston Area

Dinner/Drinks Out then Dancing in Harvard Square / Inman Square?

I had a ridiculously good time dancing at the Phoenix Landing one night about a month ago. It's a small place, and it was packed, but the vibe was friendly. It's not fancy at all, and different nights have different themes (I went on Reggae night) but it might fit the bill.

Jul 13, 2012
Dea in Greater Boston Area

Trata - Harvard Square

Looks interesting! I wish they were open for lunch.

Jun 06, 2012
Dea in Greater Boston Area

June Openings + Closings...Mostly Openings

I just noticed that last night, but was driving and it was dark so couldn't really focus. I was holding out hope (just a tiny bit) that Zing! might come back. Oh well. Best of luck to the new business there!

Jun 01, 2012
Dea in Greater Boston Area