Thanks for the pointer to El Huipil in Maynard; I'm not a fan of restaurant Mexican food in general b/c it mostly tends towards cheese-covered glop (in New England anyway), but I always like to try a place that could change my mind.
Fugakyu is our go-to for sushi, for sure. We like it better than Oishi, but I guess that's largely just a matter of opinion as both are high-quality.
Went to Coach Grill in Wayland for the first time (we've lived in Sudbury 7 years!) a few weeks back and found it a great (special occasion) steakhouse - loud and boisterous, but terrific bread, steaks, desserts - a solid choice if you want a red wine & beef night out, which we did. We compare it to Maxwell's 148 who also does a terrific steak; their ambience is much quieter and less "old school"ish...both are great places for a special night out. (Special meaning worth getting a sitter for a few hours and having a couple glasses of wine and dessert, to this parent of a toddler).
J's at Nashoba is nice and fun, great place to take out of towners to experience quaint New Englandiness.
Tomasso's in Southborough has been a disappointment twice, so I skip it now.
I will have to try Madrid Bakery, sounds intriguing!
Paani Pure Indian in Sudbury is really nice Indian, very fresh and family owned.
Tomasso is, IMO, way overrated and overpriced. Sel de la Terre, meh. That location is really inconsistent. Maxwell's 148 in Natick can be very good, and they have excellent Boston-caliber service and atmosphere, but is very pricey. The weird thing out here (I live in Sudbury) is that there are a number of really good/great ethnic eateries but very few new/ American/"regular" fare. Oishi and Fugakyu both have great sushi; Lotus Blossom has very good, fresh & healthful Chinese; Paani Pure Indian Cuisine is an excellent mom & pop (literally) place...but while Bullfinch's is a nice place and serves a good jazz brunch, it's pretty conservative old-school New England cookery - as is Coach Grille, Wayside Inn etc.
The Met Bar at the Natick Collection is good for a drink and a hunk of meat, on a bun or otherwise. Lately that's been a default meeting spot when not in the mood for sushi et al. Natick used to have some good Brazilian holes-in-the-wall but they don't seem to stay open long.
Cast Iron Kitchen in Maynard does good things to short ribs and other comfort dishes.
Some of us moved here just thinking we'd found house to fix up, stay in a few years and then move on. Sigh. Does anyone want to buy a nicely reno'd ranch in a burb with great schools? ;)
Cast Iron Kitchen
Sel de la Terre
We've been to Chili Basil in Sudbury twice now - very good; better than the Thai restaurant it replaced. The entrees we've tried have all been fresh and tasty, and spicy actually means spicy! Nicer ambience too. The apps are probably the low point; your basic fried rice wrappers with various contents. Good but nothing special. Chicken Gaprow (minced chicken w/chiles & Thai basil) is a favorite, as is the Duck Basil. Excellent Pad Thai. A nice lunch choice too.
Searched here for a brunch rec in Worcester for last weekend and found this post, so decided to give Armsby Abbey a try...really wanted to love it, but wow - I haven't encountered service that bad in - well, maybe ever. The menu looked really interesting and all the dishes highlighted local ingredients, so that was cool and I was looking forward to it. Well.
Lackadaisical "just hang out and wait for a table to open up" approach, but that's fine; it's a casual place. 6 or 7 minute wait to get a look in our direction for a drink, even with 2 bartenders and the place was not full. Table opens up, we grab it, menus come quick enough, maybe 15 min more until waitress comes back for our order. Good thing we weren't in a rush, but hey, it was Sunday, so we didn't mind. The breakfast slate mentioned above was a nice mix of breads, cheeses, fruit and spreads - good to share. Some of the bread was stale, it had probably been cut hours before. The veggie quiche with greens was yummy. Ordered the breakfast calzone; they brought us french toast instead; waited a good 20 minutes for the calzone to come out. Again, not that big a deal, we were sharing the plates we had and enjoying a lazy Sunday. Calzone was described as eggs, sausage and cheese on the menu; unfortunately it didn't specify that the egg was (barely) poached, tucked inside the calzone crust so that it spurted runny yolk when cut into - not my cup of tea, so asked for it to be cooked more. Told no, couldn't be done since I had cut into it. I started blankly, said, just slide it onto a pan or a sheet of foil or something and bake it a little more, I don't care if it looks messy - "no, we can't, it gets cooked in the pizza oven, there's no way to cook it any more." Um, what? I jokingly said "Throw it in the microwave!" and the waitress very seriously replied "We don't have a microwave," and just stood there, as though waiting for me to think of something else to suggest that she could shoot down. My friends wanted to ask for something else, but I didn't want to wait another 20 min. Decided they would eat it and I would finish the other stuff - we were all sharing and they like runny yolk, so fine, whatever. Waitress came back a bit later to confirm that the cook (I guess) had confirmed her suspicion that there was indeed, no possible way to cook the calzone any more. Um, how about offering me a new one, perhaps with the egg scrambled a bit before being put inside the calzone? My point is that the answer to "can you cook this a little more" is never "no." Don't make me give you ideas on how to fix it - just fix it. It was very obvious that I was disgusted by the runny yolk - wouldn't you want to replace the "Ugh!" look on your customer's face with something a bit more positive? Jeez.
Later, ordered coffee and Bailey's; told there was no more coffee because "brunch was over" (it was 3:30 and brunch was described as 11:30-4), and "even if we had it we don't have coffee liqueur anyway." Wow. Well, Bailey's isn't coffee liqueur, that's Kahlua. They have 8 flavors of vodka on the extensive brunch cocktail menu, but no Bailey's? And you can't make a pot of coffee - are you kidding me?? Especially after it was very apparent that I'd been dissapointed earlier? It wasn't even the fact of it as much as the way the information was presented - cheerfully. "Nope! You can't have what you're asking for! And I don't care one bit! Will that be all?"
Sorry, I just haven't encountered service this openly hostile to patrons in eons. It reminds me of those places that like to inform you when you sit down at the table "how things work" there....as though it's your job as the customer to adapt your behavior to the needs and customs of the restaurant, instead of the other way around.
This place popped up within the past few months, in the space where Siam Garden used to be, across the road from Sky in Sudbury. The full name is Grille 103 on the Post Road. I've driven past it a few times but can't tell what type of place it's supposed to be - there's a sign that says "Dine in or Take Out" and I can see ketchup bottles on the table, so odds are it's not any type of asian or particularly ethnic cuisine (which is fine with me, there already being more of those than any other type of place in Sudbury). Just wondering if anyone has been there or has any info.