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What cookbooks have you bought recently, or are you lusting after? February 2014 edition! [Through February 28, 2014]

Simply New England --
Chef Daniel Bruce of Meritage at Boston Harbor Hotel & Chef of the Boston Wine Festival dinner series. Interesting recipes that are straightforward in execution.

Pok Pok -
Andy Ricker chef of Pok Pok restaurant in NY/Portland
A very interesting read about getting real, truly authentic thai flavors, but requires a lot of special ingredients and many of the recipes are quite a lot of work

Feb 14, 2014
jody in Home Cooking

August 2013 Openings and Closings

Five Horses Tavern is now open in the South End.
Soft opening was last night. Open for regular business today.
Menu looks quite similar to the menu online for their Somerville location -- a nice variety including many vegetarian options.

The pea diddy salad was a real stand-out -- a large salad with english peas, avocado, basil puree, mozzarella and greens.

I was happy to see a variety of affordable wine options, given the focus on beer.

They've flipped the layout relative to the old Columbus Cafe space. Large bar and bar seating on the left, tables on the right space. They had all the windows open to the outside last night and also outdoor seating.

Looks like a nice addition to the neighborhood.

Aug 16, 2013
jody in Greater Boston Area

Summer rooftop dining WITH RESERVATIONS?

Great question -- is there anywhere that you can confirm that you will be seated outside when they take your reservation.

Jun 20, 2013
jody in Greater Boston Area

Which restaurants are on your "to do" list right now?

I just knocked Bondir off my to-do list, but booked about a month in advance for a Thursday night. (It was worth it)

Jun 11, 2013
jody in Greater Boston Area

Which restaurants are on your "to do" list right now?

Puritan & Co
Tavern Road
Chacarero in the Pru
Mana Escondido Cafe
Sweet Cheeks

Jun 10, 2013
jody in Greater Boston Area


Stopped by on Monday.
Very comfortable space and friendly staff.
about a dozen bar spaces were full at around 7:30.
Tried a few items.
- Sausage and chicken gumbo. an excellent rendition. smoky flavor. quite spicy
- watermelon radish salad (actually watermelon, radish and onion). really fresh and bright tasting
- buttermilk fried pickles. large plate of a variety of veggies. The cucumbers were sweeter, bread and butter style, but the other veggies -- carrots, onions, peppers, seemed like were brined in a different, not sweet brine (and i liked them better). the breading was very light (almost tempura like)
- chicken liver deviled eggs (3 halves) rich tasting. liver was not heavy handed
- fried chicken with bacon mac and cheese and kale. good fried chicken, though the gravy made the chicken crust less crispy. very large portion of mac an cheese. kale was a nice surprise -- very lightly cooked rather than heavily sauteed.
large beer selection, no liquor. i was interested in wine. wine list was inexpensive, but fairly limited. about a 1/2 dozen each red and white, all available by the glass or bottle. glasses range around $7-9.

Interesting menu, though on the heavy side, the kale and watermelon salad were a light, bright and pleasant surprise.

Dec 05, 2012
jody in Greater Boston Area

Paris -Where to find Steak Tartar aller-retour (seared)

Thanks for all the info. I'll report back on my experience and if I track down the resto...somewhere near Pl. Victor Hugo in Courbevoie...

Sep 18, 2012
jody in France

Paris -Where to find Steak Tartar aller-retour (seared)

I'll admit, it was a business lunch, where I was offered not alternatives.
"alller retour", I believe, from some searching is how to refer to this seared preparation.

Sep 17, 2012
jody in France

Paris -Where to find Steak Tartar aller-retour (seared)

On my last trip to Paris I had a wonderful lunch in La Defense of steak tartare, frites and salad.
The steak tartar was in the shape of a hamburger patty and had been slightly seared. I think it is called aller-retour.

Can anyone recommend a place to get this in Paris, ideally in or near the Marais?

Sep 16, 2012
jody in France

Best Inexpensive Sushi in Boston Area

That's a reasonable question, but I've had good luck. Perhaps the fact that you are specifying sashimi means that you are really going to be tasting it?

Sep 14, 2012
jody in Greater Boston Area

Best Inexpensive Sushi in Boston Area

When dining at an inexpensive sushi place, I've devised a question that works well. I ask the waiter to ask the sushi chef to recommend his favorite choice for sashimi that night. That usually results in good, fresh fish. (because of course if you ask what is fresh, the response will be that its all fresh).

Sep 14, 2012
jody in Greater Boston Area

Best restaurants in Newport, Rhode Island

I have had excellent meals at Muse, Fluke and Tallulah. The Mooring is also solid, though maybe not as creative.
If you time it right, the roof deck at Muse offers a great sunset view. They'll let you take drinks from the bar up to the roof. The dining room is the only real formal dining room of your list.
Castle Hill is good for the view. Pick brunch or afternoon cocktails.
Never been to TSK.
41 North is fun in the evenings, though it can get crowded. It is a nice place to go for late afternoon glass of wine and a snack.
Agree with others that Black Pearl is a fun place for lunch. You will likely have to wait for a table if you hit it at peak lunchtime.

Aug 13, 2012
jody in Southern New England

First Peek Oak Long Bar & Kitchen (FKA Oak Bar at Copley Plaza Hotel)

The menu is available online

Aug 08, 2012
jody in Greater Boston Area

First Peek Oak Long Bar & Kitchen (FKA Oak Bar at Copley Plaza Hotel)

Stopped by for a drink last night.
They have combined the spaces of the former bar and restaurant into one large room.
Although they have kept the beautiful architectural details, they have lighten the space considerably. There are now 3 entrances, much more light from the street, lightened up the wood paneling etc. I'm sure there will be some folks who will miss the coziness of the old space, but I found it to be attractive and comfortable.
The bar is much larger, stretching front to back, with sizable bar chairs , so you will not be crowded against the person next to you. The old bar area still has many seating areas for cocktails and the back half is set up for dining.
A new wood fired grill dominates the bar and produces flatbreads -- with toppings ordered off the menu, and as a cracker served with your drinks. The cracker snack is tasty, but a bit of a small snack compared to the nuts they used to bring you. As a menu item, it is a nice option for a light app with your cocktail. There were also charcuterie plates as a good snack option. As for the rest of the menu, it seems like they just slightly brightened up the old menu. There was a good looking beet salad, hearth roasted lobster seemed appealing. Many expected standards available as well -- burger, steak, lamb chop roast chicken. (menu is online)
The martini-styled cocktails are as large as ever and are still served with 1/2 of the drink in a carafe on the side. The only change is a more contemporary ice bucket. Wines by the glass are mostly in the $10-15 range.
Staff was extremely attentive. Referencing a recent thread, this IS definitely a place you can have a drink and not be pressured into eating dinner at the bar.
I'll definitely be back to try the food from the wood fired grill.

Aug 02, 2012
jody in Greater Boston Area

Tried Brian Poe's New Tip Tap Room on edge of Beacon Hill?

Salamander was also victim to the perfect storm. Plan to open an upscale restaurant right as the economy tanks, plus open several months late so you are already behind in your payments.
Too bad because nothing has replaced the Satay Bar at Salamanders.

Jul 18, 2012
jody in Greater Boston Area

(smithfield) kitchen menu or experiences?

Have not had dinner yet, but have stopped in for excellent cocktails and also a very good brunch, though a somewhat limited list of breakfast items . Omelet and scrambled eggs both very well made.
Bloody Mary was a contemporary spin (which was unexpected) using more of a tomato water, rather than tomato juice. it was quite refreshing.

Jul 16, 2012
jody in Greater Boston Area

July 2012 Openings and Closings

Columbus Cafe - restaurant is completely empty. No sign.

Jul 09, 2012
jody in Greater Boston Area

Awesome pizza at non-Italian, non-pizza places

Lobster Pizza at Scampo and Towne
Also - very creative lobster pizza at Market

Apr 17, 2012
jody in Greater Boston Area

Communal Tables in Boston?

Estragon - High Top communal tables
Post 390 - High top tables downstairs

Apr 16, 2012
jody in Greater Boston Area

Food Truck Season

I haven't tried it, but the Go Fish web site indicates you can order online

Apr 12, 2012
jody in Greater Boston Area

Pork belly

Yes, I've called Whole Foods looking for pork belly and been told no several times. I ended up buying some from the Butcher Shop in the South End, more expensive i'm sure, but I was desperate.

Feb 14, 2012
jody in Greater Boston Area

Great Moules Frites in Boston/Cambridge/Somerville?

I also agree. I searched Brussels for mussels that I liked as well as Central Kitchen's Mussels from Brussels.

Dec 06, 2011
jody in Greater Boston Area

Looking to buy good quality smoked salmon ( not cured salmon) in the greater boston area?

I think you are referring to Nantucket Wild Gourmet and Smokehouse. If so, it is very good. They have a store in Chatham MA. I sometimes see it at Foodies in the South End. They often have a guy selling it (and giving tastes) at the SOWA market on Harrison ave in the South End on Sundays.

Dec 05, 2011
jody in Greater Boston Area

Looking for a restaurant for a pre-interview dinner in South End

Estragon is definitely a short walk.
Stephie's on Tremont has a private room.
South End Buttery is divided up into several small rooms, so it will be pretty quiet - they can advise how to seat 12.
note - last time I was at Stella's it was really loud.

South End Buttery
314 Shawmut Avenue, Boston, MA 02118

Tremont Cafe
418 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116

Aug 02, 2011
jody in Greater Boston Area

Looking for a fun/tasty restaurant for me and my freinds to meet near the intersection of 128 and the mass pike, any ideas?

I had a very similar requirement with a group of friends. Bokx 109 works out very well. it is easy to get to and has parking. I wouldn't compare the food to top Boston restaurants, but everyone in our crowd was happy and returned for a subsequent gathering. On my visits it had a fairly lively atmosphere.

Jul 13, 2011
jody in Greater Boston Area

Boston Foodie Advice

You read my mind Madrid. Love East Coast Grill, but it will not be special to a southerner.

East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

Apr 19, 2011
jody in Greater Boston Area

I don't want my bday dinner to be a bust. I've eaten almost everywhere...Need new ideas.

when you mentioned offal, I thought of KO Prime. Although thought of as a steak place, the steaks are much more interesting than other places in Boston and they have many other options. http://www.koprimeboston.com/files/me...

That said, I'd second previous suggesting for Market. (also noting that sometimes the food is much more interesting in delivery than the description on the menu).

KO Prime
90 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02108

Jan 31, 2011
jody in Greater Boston Area

Fun SOBE spot for group to have heavy apps early evening??

I have a group of 15 people going to an event on a Friday night at the Wolfsonian.
We'll be somewhat dressed up and are looking for a fun place for cocktails and heavy apps. (basically a light dinner).
Ideally some place that does not require reservations for bar/lounge area that is likely not to be to crowded around 7:00 pm.

Nov 16, 2010
jody in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Hatachana (old train station ) in Tel Aviv?

Anyone been to any of the restaurants in the newly renovated Hatachana Complex (old train station), just north of Jaffa?

Nov 02, 2010
jody in Middle East & Africa

Deux Ave and Citizen Oyster Bar...Any news?

Drove by it yesterday and it was definitely open. Quite a few outdoor tables, but no one was eating outside, so the must not yet be seating out there.

Sep 10, 2010
jody in Greater Boston Area