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Koi Japanese Cuisine in Westerly

Normally I don't write in to plug a restaurant I've just been to, but every business that's tried to make it in this venue for the last few years has failed (some for good reason), and I don't want this one to based on our dinner last night. Because of the previous Thai/Sushi places that have occupied this space, we went in with somewhat low expectations. The interior of the restaurant is as cold as it ever was decor-wise, but the service and the food were entirely different. The menu is an extensive multi-page affair with a full page of Thai and Japanese appetizers, a full page of traditional sushi rolls, another whole page of specialty rolls, and then another two pages dedicated to entrees - mostly Japanese and a couple of Thai. We ordered two unexceptional appetizers - the gyoza seemed a little Trader Joe-ish, but were still tasty. The Age tofu was comprised of pieces that were a little too big - I liked them, but the tofu-batter ratio kind of icked my daughter out. On the other hand, we ordered 4 of the specialty rolls and some sashimi and were totally impressed. The rolls were delicious - creative, well assembled, and substantial. The fish was fresh, but more importantly, they don't go crazy with the rice - so that most of the roll is actually the fish and not a big glutinous mass. They have a liquor license and the beer and sake are very reasonable - in fact all of their prices are. The wait staff was attentive and friendly as well. Honestly, there are very few restaurants where I feel I can't wait to go back - but I really do in this case. So many more delicious sounding things to try . . .

Dec 08, 2013
ThomShap in Southern New England

pepe's "sorry no clams" question

Agreed. Modern, though just as crowded, has comparable or better pies and plenty of clams.

Jan 30, 2013
ThomShap in Southern New England

Attleboro MA recommendations

Mmm. Love Wendell's wings.

Jan 30, 2013
ThomShap in Southern New England

where do PVD folks go for dinner on just an "average night out?"

Oh my gosh - I love this place - really on Public St, yes? Been going there since I was in college (which is a really long time) and have always had extremely delicious food. When I go, I wish I was with, like 30 other people because there are so many things there I like. BYOB.

Jan 30, 2013
ThomShap in Southern New England

Markos: Westerly, RI

Markos has closed in Westerly - they are back in Narragansett.

Jan 30, 2013
ThomShap in Southern New England

Twisted Vine, Westerly, RI

Hubby and I ate there last weekend, and I agree with much of what you say here. The staff was warm and attentive, and they did a great job with the decor and atmosphere. I was surprised, however, that the regular menu wasn't more interesting. Usually small plates intrigues me, but I was disappointed in their rather pedestrian cheeses and meats offered (edam was about the most exciting one they had for cheese, and soupy for meat). It seems like this is a place where they could really offer interesting items that really complement the extensive wine list. Similarly, the grilled cheeses, which could be cool, were a little bland - although we did sample one tasty combination. We also had a wagyu burger special that was very good, but not part of the normal menu. Each of their other tapas-type offerings had something that went with them that made them less appealing. We will go back, but I'd like to see them step up their attempt to please the palate for eating as well as drinking. There are just too many other places in Westerly now for them not to excel (and gourmet or not, the stuffed pretzels across the street at the Malted Barley are darn good).

Jan 30, 2013
ThomShap in Southern New England

Need (ok, want) Info on new and newish restaurants in Westerly area

Well, I have my own update - we went to Longos last night around nine, and it was mobbed (no pun intended). We waited about 25 minutes for a table with a lot of really loud drunk people around - the focus definitely seems to be more on the martinis and less on the meatballs. That being said, the meatball WAS delicious, as was the lasagna and calamari. We'll go back, just probably not that late on a Saturday night.

Also, I haven't had a problem with Bridge being dirty either (although I did feel that way the one time I ate at Dylan's and also at Prime Time, where I haven't been in years and has - or used to, at least - the slowest kitchen I've ever encountered).

Oct 14, 2012
ThomShap in Southern New England

Need (ok, want) Info on new and newish restaurants in Westerly area

Yeah, I agree about Bridge - I wanted them to be great and liked the two previous restaurants in that location (though 3 Fish was my favorite). It such a nice space, but the menu is a little weird and unfocused, and the service is meh at best and atrocious at worst. I forget about Cooked Goose, but we love it for lunch as well - I think they have the best burger in the area, but will definitely try Oak St. I wonder why 84 High is moving. It doesn't seem like upward mobility - no parking, not as nice a bar area, and currently equal or less seating.

Oct 13, 2012
ThomShap in Southern New England

Need (ok, want) Info on new and newish restaurants in Westerly area

With quite a few places opening or just ones I have yet to try, I was wondering if anyone has been and what they think?

Twisted Vine - new wine bar downtown w/small plates. Beautiful architecture, but is the food good?

Longos Trattoria - where Bruna's was. Reviews written by friends make it seem extraordinary, others not so good.

Mermaid Cafe - I know it's been here for a while, but I always forget about it and haven't been

Oak Street BnB - never been on my radar, but I just saw an article in SO magazine that mentioned it

Markos - near 7 Ply - also not that new, but haven't been

Dylan's - always thought it was yucky, but they say they have a new chef

Or if there is any place else in town that seems noteworthy (besides the usual suspects of 84 High, Bridge, the various Thai places, and Ella's) I'd love to know about it.

Oct 11, 2012
ThomShap in Southern New England

New London and / or Mystic .....Where do locals eat????

Okay, I agree about the location for both S & P and the DPI. And to be fair, I used to love the DPI, I just think the food has gone downhill over the last few years. It always used to be our special occasion place. I do still like the bar there, though. As for S & P, I think they have a great menu with a lot of potential, but I have been unimpressed with the food. Maybe I've just been on off nights.

Meanwhile, I'm not surprised about all of the negative comments about 84 High, but I still am pretty fond of it. I think the quality slipped when they changed hands a couple of years ago, but it is back to being consistent.

As far as the New Orleans or NYC stuff, I think we have a handful of restaurants here that can give those towns a run for their money, not to mention great food just a stone's throw away in Providence.

Mar 24, 2012
ThomShap in Southern New England

New London and / or Mystic .....Where do locals eat????

I'm sort of icked out by some of the suggestions here - you are being steered towards lower end food that is somewhat touristy. Paul's Pasta used to be good - they make their own pasta, but the sauces are heavy and unimaginatively seasoned. You get a lot of food for little money, but that's their selling point these days. In Mystic, the recommendations for Daniel Packer and S & P Oyster are out of line. These are tourist destinations with mediocre, starchy food for overly high prices for what you get. The bar downstairs at the Daniel Packer is okay, but don't eat in the restaurant.

In Mystic, get sushi (but not much else) at Go Fish. Azu and Bravo, owned by the same restaurant group have decent but overpriced food. Anthony Js used to be good, but I haven't been there in several years, and my last memory is of very salty red sauce. Riverwalk is okay, but inconsistent. We are trying Oyster Club tonight for the first time.

If you venture further into Stonington Village, your choices improved. Noah's has great seafood, but Water Street Cafe has the best overall menu and always has excellent food. It gets very crowded on the weekends because a lot of locals like it, from the fisherman crowd to the NYC transplants. Milagro's offers fantastic Mexican food - not tex-mex, more authentic upscale, but is tiny; plan to wait, and have one of their amazing margaritas while you do. Water Street and Milagro's are our go-to places. People always recommend Dog Watch, but I can't figure out why. Their food is typical bar food, but the atmosphere is good if you like a loud bar on the water.

Venture ten minutes further east to Westerly, RI, and you have 84 High Street (our other go-to place); Bridge: scenic, but weird menu, stick to burgers and chowder; and Bruna's Table: seasonal slow-food type Italian; have always had good meals there.

Back in New London, Dev's has interesting tapas and good drinks (where we usually go) and Tony Ds has classic Italian menu that is pretty good. Stay away from Indian and Thai in New London (even though you may hear it is good) - there is much better to be had in Mystic and Westerly.

Agree that breakfast at Somewhere in Time is good - Kitchen Little is the famous Mystic place, but the food quality has steadily gone down over the years. Lunch is okay there though.

Good luck.

Mar 23, 2012
ThomShap in Southern New England

Romantic Anniversary Dinner in Providence

Agreed - we had an unbelievably good meal there last winter. I still dream about their pate selections . . .

Sep 10, 2011
ThomShap in Southern New England

St. Thomas USVI Recap (long)

If you go back, try Craig and Sally's in Frenchtown. We had a killer meal there.

Mar 24, 2011
ThomShap in Latin America & Caribbean

Dinner near Kendall Square?

I think we are going to try Think Tank -- I'll let you know how it is . . . I've eaten at Central Kitchen before and liked it, but this sounds like a fun place with an easy menu for everyone to find something. For Chinese, I would have gone to Mary Chung's in Central Square. I haven't been in years, but I remember it as being sooo good. Is it still? If so, I might zip over there on Friday night.

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Mary Chung Restaurant
460 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

Central Kitchen
567 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

Think Tank
1 Kendall Square, lower level, Cambridge, MA 02139

Nov 18, 2010
ThomShap in Greater Boston Area

Dinner near Kendall Square?

I am going to be at a conference at MIT this weekend and was wondering about suggestions for dinner that are in walking distance -- anything Kendall or Central Squarish. There will be 6 of us, and we are looking for something (ethnic or not) in the sort of moderate price range -- that is, not $30 entrees. We are willing to eat on the early side, but don't want to wait hours to get in someplace.

Nov 18, 2010
ThomShap in Greater Boston Area

Ancient Mariner - Mystic, CT

Yeah, a nice selection of cheeses too -- not like Mystic Market, but several that I haven't seen elsewhere.

Oct 02, 2008
ThomShap in All New England Archive

South County, Rhode Island / Mystic, CT

I've had inconsistent food and service at Kitchen Little for several years. For that reason, I prefer Somewhere in time -- not as quaint a locale but really good breakfast and lunch.

Oct 02, 2008
ThomShap in All New England Archive

Chinese food in Southeastern CT/RI Border

There is also a Golden Chopsticks (unrelated to other post) in Westerly, RI that has a lot of authentic food, more traditional American-Chinese food which is also tasty, a Chinese market next door (go on Thursdays and get their roast pork to take home, mmm), and dim sum all day. Across the street from that is China Pavilion which also has good food and now has sushi as well.

Oct 02, 2008
ThomShap in All New England Archive

Best Thai in Manhattan?

I went there with my daughter in June for lunch. It was absolutely the best Thai I've ever had (and it's my favourite cuisine, so that's saying something). If you are caucasian, they put something red in the Pad Thai that they don't seem to do for asians. It changes the flavour so that it isn't quite as nice, so make sure you get the pale one. Very reasonably priced, great specials.

Oct 02, 2008
ThomShap in Manhattan