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Birthday dinner- Ribelle, Sarma, or Alden & Harlowe?

Thanks so much everyone for the tips! I went with the majority vote and ended up at Sarma, although I think Ribelle is ear-marked for our next celebration.

We had a great evening and really enjoyed Sarma. I loved having a chance to try some new/unusual dishes, and even the cocktail menu presented some flavor combo's I hadn't tried (I really enjoyed the Pugilist). We ended up getting the carrot fritters, brussel sprouts, lamb sliders, scallops, fried shrimp, and the fried chicken (we had to hold out and resist some other tempting dishes to get the fried chicken). Fried chicken was certainly good and that sauce was excellent, but I wasn't completely blown away by it --the scallops and the carrot fritters won the evening for me. My fiancee, on the other hand, was in absolute love with the lamb sliders. I don't think I've ever seen him so entranced by a dish.

I still feel like I need to go back with a bigger group of people. So many dishes I didn't get to try! But thanks everyone for your great input and helping make my birthday memorable!

Jun 11, 2014
eckbean8 in Greater Boston Area

Birthday dinner- Ribelle, Sarma, or Alden & Harlowe?


I am trying to decide on a restaurant for my birthday dinner next week, and I would love to try some place new. Ribelle, Sarma, and Alden & Harlowe are 3 places that have intrigued me, and any input would be greatly appreciated (and any alternate suggestions as well).

For frame of reference, I really enjoy Oleana, Westbridge, Craigie, Bondir, and any place with a well-balanced, unique cocktail (Green St., etc). I'm not really looking to spend as much as Menton or L'Espalier would require.

Thanks for your help!

Jun 02, 2014
eckbean8 in Greater Boston Area

Which whetstones to get for my Global knives?

Thanks so much for the advice!

I'm also getting another knife or two and I am considering going with Mac Pro or Masamoto instead of Global.

I have pretty small hands and like the handle and weight of Global. However, I've also heard great things about Mac Pro knives. Not sure if any of you have experience with these knives and have any advice.

Jan 09, 2014
eckbean8 in Cookware

Which whetstones to get for my Global knives?

I'm new to knife sharpening but really want to learn how to do it properly with whetstones. I'd like to be able to keep my Global knives in good shape, but I'd like to keep costs low and don't want to purchase superfluous stones.

I've been looking at the double sided, medium/rough (240 and 1000 grit) Global whetstone. What else would I need? A super fine stone (6000 grit)? Or would a honing rod suffice? The super fine stone is about the same price as the honing rod, so it would be nice to pick just one of them.

Thanks for your help! I also looked at the minosharp sharpening gadget, but don't want to scratch up the sides of my knives. I also just feel like this is a skill I should learn. I have a victorinox chef knife I can practice on before trying the global knives.

Jan 08, 2014
eckbean8 in Cookware

The Harvard Experience

I am a few years out, but as an undergrad we frequented Border Cafe and Cambridge 1 quite a lot, primarily because of the price and ambience, so that would give you a good feel. Daedalus is great for outdoor seating, but otherwise not worth going to. For late night eats, you can never go wrong with the Felipe's or Pinocchio's (Noch's). The Kong is also a college standby...but not as much so for those under 21.

There are certainly better restaurants than those mentioned above, either in the Square or in adjacent neighborhoods, but most college students don't go out to places like Craigie all the time.

May 29, 2013
eckbean8 in Greater Boston Area

Should I Cut My Steak Like a Brit?

Since when is dining about efficiency? If anything, isn't it a good thing that the American style might cause you to linger more over your food?

Oct 06, 2010
eckbean8 in Features

Where should I bring college girls on dates?

Cambridge 1 is a great date spot (at least i liked it when I was 19). really good food and not expensive at all. plus the restaurant feels a lot more expensive than the prices on the menu...decor and ambience is much better than comparably priced places. veggie friendly and carnivore friendly.

There's one in Harvard Sq. if you are sticking to the Red Line.

May 06, 2010
eckbean8 in Greater Boston Area

What happened to the chow article about building your own home bar?

There was an article about making your own home bar back in Dec. 2008 or so. It even had recommendations for different budget levels. However, despite searching via google and the site search engine, I can't find it. Does anyone have a link, or have they probably removed it?

Apr 21, 2010
eckbean8 in Site Talk

Restaurants near Longwood Medical?

Definitely go to Eastern Standard if you like cocktails. The Squealing Pig is fun on thursday nights...and the food is good pub grub. Not expensive or fancy, but good sandwiches, chili, etc. Other options are Audubon Circle (good burgers) or Cambridge 1.

If you are extra fond of cocktails, you should probably go to Drink. Not in LMA (bit of a hike) but definitely worth it.

Eastern Standard
528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

Squealing Pig
335 Commercial St, Provincetown, MA 02657

Mar 28, 2010
eckbean8 in Greater Boston Area

Crack Pie Recipe

Has anyone used a substitute for milk powder? I figure normal milk would have too much liquid. My grocery store only carries these huge boxes, and I don't want to buy one just to have a bunch of it taking up space.

Mar 05, 2010
eckbean8 in Home Cooking

College students . . . boston . . . one weekend . . . what to eat

Since they are by the same people (I believe) and have a very similar feel, I wouldn't do Audubon and Cambridge 1...pick just one. cambridge 1 has interesting pizzas, while audubon has a more varied menu. (there's also a cambridge 1 near fenway). near fenway, la verdad has decent margaritas (as well as mexican food). i'd also recommend orinoco (in brookline or the south end) for great venezuelan fare, which is not super pricey, but on the higher end for college budgets.

cocktails at drink or eastern standard are expensive but superb (so I'd say worth it). around central there's a lot of decent bars/lounges (enormous room, for example). it really depends on where you are staying though, regarding what i'd recommend for a bar. if you make it to the beach, kelly's supposedly has a great lobster roll.

as for museums, the Harvard Museum of Natural History has some interesting stuff, especially the glass flowers. on a lighter note, harpoon has a fun brewery tour on the weekend, which includes a sampling of all their beers.

Aug 25, 2009
eckbean8 in Greater Boston Area

Good soft serve ice cream?

i think berryline is better than pinkberry--they have more flavors than just green tea and original (they rotate them). banana yogurt with strawberries is amazing....

there is a second one opening on mass ave. near cambridge commons too! not sure when though.

as for soft serve, there is a great place by the T stop of the blue line at Revere Beach.

Apr 30, 2009
eckbean8 in Greater Boston Area