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kimfair1's Profile

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Abe & Louie's or Grill 23

I am one who's not a huge fan of Grill 23. I suggest you try Bogie's Place (inside JM Curley's). They are my favorite Boston steakhouse at the moment.

VInland - Portland

The wife and I ate at Vinland for the first time this past Saturday. We did the 5 course make your own tasting menu (any 5 courses for $60) and had cocktails (neither of us was in the mood for paired wines).

The Good: Chicken with Crispy Skin. Quite possibly the best chicken I've ever eaten in a restaurant. Juicy, flavorful, varying textures. Phenomenal.
Pork Capocollo Also wonderful, juicy and flavorful
Herb Soup: wonderful flavors
Monkfish with kale, confit potato, and chard perfectly cooked fish, with excellent veggies
Cocktails: All inventively made, of course using local ingredients. The Gunsmoke was particularly good, with just the right amount of smoke. The Half Moon, while delicious didn't warrant it's $20 price tag. I also had the special cocktail, which used house made Cherry Heering and VERY boozy cherry garnish.

The OK: Oat and corn polenta with accompaniments. Perfectly fine, but a bit flat tasting

Beef Chuck Tender - not bad, but needed a bit more of the Maine sea salt

Raw beef. a decent form of beef tartare, but needed a pinch of sae salt, and was crying out for some fresh black pepper (which you are NOT going to get there-I wish I'd brought my own!).

The Meh: desserts, I had the Maine blueberries with anise hysop custard, the wife the buckwheat sandwich cookie. Both were Meh, I'd skip the dessert course next time, and just get 5 savory courses.

The weird - I "get" the whole idea of using only local ingredients, though man that tartare needed pepper, but it seems antithetical to their ethos to change out the silverware with each course. Seems like they'll use a lot more water that way. We'll return, but we won't rush back.

Blackstrap BBQ

When they first opened, the portions were quite small for the price. Since those days, they have increased the sizes of the portions, without raising the price. It's still pricey for BBQ, but most BBQ restaurants don't use heritage pork, etc. I like their BBQ for Boston, though if I'm anywhere near central MA, I'm going to BT's. Sweet Cheeks biscuits, however, are the best I've ever eaten, and I've eaten my share of Southern biscuits.

Best restaurants in Portland, Maine

Yeah, that really must be it, as the descriptions of other people's meals at 555 sound wonderful, nothing like the fairly poor meal we had. We also had a 3 course prix fixe, and didn't order off the menu, not sure if that was an issue, either. I didn't comment on your Otto Brookline experience on the Boston board, but I like the other posters, have never had anything but excellent pizza at that outpost (especially that bacon scallion), so your idea has much merit. We're trying Vinland this weekend, but I'll keep working on my wife to give 555 another chance some time, as we are in Portland at least once a month to visit my mother-in-law.

Sep 11, 2014
kimfair1 in Northern New England

Best restaurants in Portland, Maine

Why is it that every review of this restaurant sounds like a completely different place than we experienced? It's frustrating, as our meal at 555 was so poor, my wife says she's sworn off it. I've tried yo get her to give it another chance, but she's not budging. Somewhere on CH is my detailed review, but the thing that sticks out the most in my mind was the "famous" donut that tasted of nothing but old past it's prime grease, and was so greasy and leaden, I barely had 2 bites (and I love me some donuts!).

Sep 11, 2014
kimfair1 in Northern New England

Boston Itinerary in October? Help for our researched trip appreciated!

+1 on Finz, nothing earthshattering, but solid, and do not miss the Yin Yu House, an amazing exhibit!

September 2014 Openings and Closings

I read this asking myself why I wrote it, then I remembered it was at Hops and Scotch that I had those great chorizo Scotch eggs, not Wink and Nod.

Sep 09, 2014
kimfair1 in Greater Boston Area

Sausage Bloody Mary?

Not sure I'd use the abbreviation BM for Bloody Mary, but that's just me. ;~) I would use a nice spicy sausage like a chorizo, or Portuguese Linguica.

Sep 06, 2014
kimfair1 in Spirits

New Strip T's Thread for 2013:Excellence and Innovation Continue

Look on the top of the menu linked above, it quite clearly states that there are dinner specials available after 5pm. They had so many people wanting the grilled romaine salad, the burger, or the sandwiches at dinner time that they relented, and have them all day now, but they still do have dinner only plates as well.

Sep 06, 2014
kimfair1 in Greater Boston Area

Our 4 Days/3 Nights of Enjoyment in Boston

Thanks so much for the detailed report, and I'm glad you enjoyed your stay, and had some great food. I love Coppa, even though I don't get there as often as I should, but that beef heart pastrami is to die for!

Sep 03, 2014
kimfair1 in Greater Boston Area

Best food in Boston with kids?

Be sure to stop by Gallaria Umberto for lunch (closed Sundays and Holidays). Great pizza, arancini, and calzones, great for kids, and cheap, cheap, cheap!

Sep 02, 2014
kimfair1 in Greater Boston Area

Best Chicken parm sub in Boston

Nope, they are closed.

Sep 02, 2014
kimfair1 in Greater Boston Area

September 2014 Openings and Closings

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

Aug 30, 2014
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.

Aug 30, 2014
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