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kimfair1's Profile

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September 2014 Openings and Closings

I hope they still do the chorizo scotch eggs, those things rock.

9 minutes ago
kimfair1 in Greater Boston Area

trying to remember a pizza place

We went to Bel Canto quite a few times over the years, though I remember a pretty precipitous decline in quality on our last visit. It closed a year or two later. If I remember correctly, the business was being taken over by a younger generation, and they screwed the pooch.

17 minutes ago
kimfair1 in Greater Boston Area

Looking For A Good Beginner's Cocktail Kit

I agree that it is much cheaper to buy the items individually rather than in a kit. Instead of a set of jiggers, you could go with this Oxo 2 oz measuring cup, which is graded in 1/2 oz increments inside. This allows you to have one "jigger" rather than several sizes.
http://www.amazon.com/OXO-Steel-Angle...

I also would get a heavy glass pint glass and a stainless shaker (collectively known as a Boston shaker) for shaken drinks, and a nice glass vessel for stirred drinks. You'll also need a julep strainer as well as a Hawthorne strainer. The Boston Shaker, a great store here in the Boston area, has great stuff, though they are a bit pricey. You can use their tool section on their website to see the different types of tools you'll need. Page 2 of their tools section has a gorgeous glass mixing vessel, that will not only work wonderfully for stirring your martinis, but is beautiful to boot.

http://www.thebostonshaker.com/

Aug 26, 2014
kimfair1 in Spirits

Bar & food in Cambridge/Boston?

I too found the food at Wink & Nod very expensive. Especially the $17 3oz steak frites, that came on an 8 inch by 2 inch plate. I found the cocktails fine, but after enjoying bar service at most of Boston's best craft cocktail bars, I found the actual bartenders to be free of any personality or obvious enjoyment of what they were doing.

Aug 26, 2014
kimfair1 in Greater Boston Area

ISO Juanita's Tortilla Chips

I've never had Juanita's tortilla chips, but the in-house made tortilla chips at Star Markets, of all places, are the best I've ever had. Certainly better than any commercial brand I've tried. The stock them near the deli in my local Star.

Aug 25, 2014
kimfair1 in Greater Boston Area

How do I replace Hamersley's as my "go to" special occasion restaurant? (Very detailed list of criteria inside!)

I agree about Somerville. I hate having to go there to eat!

Aug 25, 2014
kimfair1 in Greater Boston Area

Row 34

I am very sensitive to "fishiness" in any seafood, but have never felt that way about the Kumamotos. Don't get me wrong, I love east coast oysters, but have had some great ones from the west coast as well. The only east coast oyster I don't care for are Maine Belons, just because they are so big, they are hard to eat raw. I would probably like them better in some cooked preparation.

Aug 24, 2014
kimfair1 in Greater Boston Area

Row 34

Have you had Kumamotos? Phenomenal. I also had some great west coast oysters at ICOB once (don't remember the name) that were grown where they are in fresh water for half the day, and salt water the other half. They had such a unique flavor, less salinity than in most oysters, and a nice minerality to them.

Aug 24, 2014
kimfair1 in Greater Boston Area

What do you think about 'mandatory' Valet Parking?

I work at a major Boston hospital, and we have optional free valet (valet is free, you still pay your parking fee, just to the valet, and not the garage). There is a restaurant nearby that had a very small front parking lot, and a larger back one, and they used to make you valet. It was free, but you were encouraged to tip. I never did, as it was only 20 or so feet from the entrance. It has changed hands, so I don't know if the new owners continued that policy. At my doctors office they have a lot and a garage. You self park in the lot, but if it's full (which it usually is by 9 am), then you must use the valet to park in the garage. Again, it's a free service, but they encourage tipping, which I usually do as it's a very busy office and those guys are running around moving cars all day.

Aug 23, 2014
kimfair1 in Not About Food

$1000 mandatory minimum bill for a large group?

I agree with Slim. At $12 per drink and the bar snacks being $8-15 each, $50 per person seems fine. Also, if it is The Hawthorne, they usually open at 5 pm, so for a 3-4 pm party they would have to get the bar ready earlier (which is normally happening during that hour), and they'd probably have to have staff come in earlier as well.

Aug 23, 2014
kimfair1 in Greater Boston Area

1970s cocktail?

You knew you had drank too much when the little rebus on the back of the cap made absolutely no sense at all!

Aug 23, 2014
kimfair1 in Spirits

August 2014 Openings and Closings

I think we use the same dentist! ;~)

Aug 22, 2014
kimfair1 in Greater Boston Area

Restaurant Week Starts Tonight

Boston Chops is one of my favorite RW meals. We aren't doing it this year, but I do like it there very much (especially those yummy popovers!).

Aug 22, 2014
kimfair1 in Greater Boston Area

1970s cocktail?

In my neck of the woods (Boston area), we always called Hafenreffer "The Green Death". The only beer one could hallucinate on!

Aug 19, 2014
kimfair1 in Spirits

Shaw's > Star

Those tortilla chips are fabulous! I do think things have improved at Packard's Corner and at Brighton Landing since the re-branding.

Aug 19, 2014
kimfair1 in Greater Boston Area

Restaurant Week Starts Tonight

Not Back Bay Harry's in the South End? ;~)

Good luck with all your meals, let us know which were good/great/or indifferent.

Aug 18, 2014
kimfair1 in Greater Boston Area

Shaw's > Star

Allstonian is correct, it's now 5 per chain, increasing a few a year for 2-3 years. Don't remember what the final maximum will be.

Aug 18, 2014
kimfair1 in Greater Boston Area

August 2014 Openings and Closings

Didn't remember reading this in this thread, but I have no intention of checking it all now. On our way to Umberto's for lunch today on the T, we noticed that Bagel Rising in Allston near Comm ave and Harvard was closed. On the way back we could read a sign that said closed, but not what else it said. I'm thinking an untenable rent hike.

Aug 16, 2014
kimfair1 in Greater Boston Area

Is Seigle D'Or bakery actually open?

I've been by twice, both late, b ut during hours they are "open" without luck. Maybe I'll try early one day when I can.

Aug 12, 2014
kimfair1 in Greater Boston Area

Best restaurants in Portland, Maine

There's plenty on Portland if you do a search, but some of my favorites are:

Duckfat - I love the house made sodas, and paninis as well as the fries.

Eventide Oyster - small place, with great oysters and seafood

Hugo's - while I don't like as much as I did before the renovation (I don't love sitting at a bar, but having everything be served from behind you, not across the bar), but the food is still great $$$

Central Provisions - great food and drinks bread butter and egg sabayon is not to be missed

Caiola's - just outside of downtown, great Italian

Miyake - innovative sushi, I had Gulf of Maine uni right out of the shell there as a special, it was phenomenal, as was the duck tataki.

Grace - love the room, an old church, and generally enjoy the food, though not as much as the others on this list.

I've read some interesting reports on Vinland, but we haven't tried it yet. Many folks like 555, but I was underwhelmed on my one meal there. I really should give it another chance, but with so many places in Portland I love, I'm not rushing to re-try something that I might not enjoy as much as proven favorites.

Aug 08, 2014
kimfair1 in Northern New England

Kickass Cupcakes Is Closed

Yeah, I had them twice, and hey were kinda stale, and pretty dull in flavor. They won't be missed.

Are there brandies/cognacs/armagnacs as good as French ones made elsewhere?

Man, I love Delamain. we don't drink a ton of brandy, but we keep a bottle of that for when we want to. It's phenomenal.

Aug 06, 2014
kimfair1 in Spirits

Deuxave or Puritan and Company?

The Hawthorne is also an excellent idea, though they don't really have desserts. The desserts at Deuxave were quite good, though.

Aug 06, 2014
kimfair1 in Greater Boston Area

Upscale Dinners in Boston

Ribelle in Brookline is about 3 miles away from the Mandarin Oriental on the C subway line, about the same distance from the Lower East Side to Central Park (according to Google maps). If you don't want to travel that far on the subway, the other suggestions are all closer to your hotel and are excellent suggestions.

Aug 06, 2014
kimfair1 in Greater Boston Area

Upscale Dinners in Boston

I would plus one on any of the places that CportJ or pemma recommended. Not sure when you are coming but all can be a tough reservation. If there are no OPen Table reservations for any of them, call the restaurants, most will have non-Open Table reservations. o ya, Menton, and L'Espalier are the most expensive on those lists @ about $250-400+ per couple depending on what you order and drinks. The others should all be less than $250/couple unless you order expensive wine.

Aug 06, 2014
kimfair1 in Greater Boston Area

Deuxave or Puritan and Company?

I've not been to Puritan and Co, but I enjoyed my one meal at Deuxave very much, and the cocktails at Clio should still be good, even though Todd Maul left (or is leaving- not sure if that's happened yet, or not).

Aug 06, 2014
kimfair1 in Greater Boston Area

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

I've only asked twice, at PDT, and at The Hawthorne in Boston, but they know me quite well there. They will give anyone the recipe if asked, however. They even have them on computer, so that they can print out a small copy and not have to worry about writing it out. At PDT, the bartender told me the recipe and I wrote it down myself.

Aug 05, 2014
kimfair1 in Spirits

Better Quality Jordan Almonds in Boston?

I have had them from Fastichi, and they do have a thinner shell. My wife used to buy French imported Jordan almonds for me at Christmas time (not sure where she got them, but it was obviously online), and those were the best I've ever had, but they were really expensive, and the ones at Fastichi are just a small step down in quality.

Aug 05, 2014
kimfair1 in Greater Boston Area

Free Pour Vs. Jigger Method

All the drinks I had at PDT 2 years ago were $15 each, and they were all spectacular, especially the Flower Power with whiskey, kumquats, and muddled green pepper. I had the bartender give me the recipe, and I've made them at home.

Aug 04, 2014
kimfair1 in Spirits

Liquid Art House

I didn't have a huge issue with the serving size of my bass (though it was slightly smaller than I've had in other establishments), just that it had a huge blood line in it, again, something I don't expect when I'm paying $35 for an fish entree. The Buerre Blanc sauce was truly amazing, though. I can't imagine being full after having 2 dumplings and that fish dish, however, glad you did!

Aug 04, 2014
kimfair1 in Greater Boston Area