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BISq Inman Sq. Update?

I guess we should take bets on whether they or Tacobellum, er... Lone Star II opens first! Things are looking up for East Cambridge!

BISq Inman Sq. Update?

While the space looks pretty much built out and ready to go from what I could see through the window last week, they only posted a call for servers on the BostonChef's job board on the April 22nd. Looks like the tail end of May from the wording:

"Just a handful of weeks from now the Bergamot team will be opening BISq, a small and lively wine bar and restaurant in Cambridge’s Inman Square. They are very proud to be a part of the exciting restaurant scene emerging in this part of Cambridge."

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1 day ago
yarm in Greater Boston Area

William Tell Cocktail, at Eastern Standard, by Kevin Martin

The Drink & Tell book came out Fall 2012 and all of the recipes were locked in by May or June. I don't remember this one on the ESKD menu, but I just messaged Kevin Martin to see if he can recall the drink specs.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

2 days ago
yarm in Spirits

Loyal Nine, Cambridge

The caviar was moved off of the veggie roast and moved to another dish (in smaller amounts), so the roast price dropped to $17 (about half of what it was before). Without the bonito butter and clams, it is vegetarian. And when I had it that way, they gussied it up with seasonal vegetables instead.

Apr 17, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

April 2015 Openings and Closings

Made it into Tasty Mo:Mo two days ago after they were open/not open a few days before (they seem to have an irregular schedule -- they were there and prepping but not opening for food sales until 2pm that day instead of noon. And the day I was in they were talking about not opening until 4 the next day). If you ignore their deer in the headlights approach to food service (I could continue with examples, but just know in advance to approach the place with a smile), those MoMos and the two sauces were top notch! Both sauces were a bit spicy; at Rangzen, I am used to one being spicy and the other begin more savory. Having no problem with spice, I was quite pleased and paced myself well to make them last until the last Momo. Definitely will be back. And glad they're in my neighborhood!

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Apr 16, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Pure Vegetarian/Vegan Indian Restaurant

I do miss the Udupi Bhavan that was in Framingham in an old train station. Great aesthetics and hospitality -- it was a destination. The one in Lowell still has great food, but decor and server politeness are not their strengths.

Masao's Kitchen in Waltham is Asian in style

The Loving Hut chain (there's one in Worcester and I think it was the same chain as I ate in Portland, OR)

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Apr 16, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Loyal Nine, Cambridge

Other veggie items besides removing the turkey neck from the pondomnast and the sallet are the Harvard beets, the parsnips, the vegetable roast without clams and caviar and bonito butter (unfortunately not a great value at that price point after the removals, but rather well prepared), chips without the dip, and fried beans.

Apr 12, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Loyal Nine, Cambridge

I understand that the periwinkles were not for you, but the emotional connection to the periwinkles has been rather great. I remember my wife telling me after the soft open about how she used to gather them in a pail as a kid in Fall River. She would take them home, boil them, and pick the meat out with a pin. And I hear similar stories from my bar guests every second or third shift. It has become one of the 3 biggest bar snacks (the chips and the fried beans being the other two). And the people ordering them are not the highfalutin chefs (who zoom in on other items like the matelote).

The food section "with hands" does try to connote that you will be getting in there. The sticky fingers aspect has been remedied (or a first swing at a remedy) before the end of our first week of service, but the way you need to eat periwinkles is just how periwinkles are.

Apr 12, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Loyal Nine, Cambridge

I understand, for I will rule out restaurants under the thought that if the chef wanted to do something for me, he'd put it on the menu. At least there are some vegetarian options on the menu (without modification) at Loyal Nine and piecing those together tapas style would make for a decent meal. And a lot of the menu is meant as a conversation piece, such as "what is a savory supper?" to "can I get this done without dairy?" Chef has put a lot of thought in it to make things highly adaptable by making many of the parts easily assembled in a variety of ways, and the two vegetarian staff members put them to the test for mock service (what precedes a soft opening), and they passed quite well. But I understand your frustrations having been there in many instances myself in not wanting to need to ask for something special.

Apr 11, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Loyal Nine, Cambridge

I forgot to add last night, I will pass on the comment to chef. I know that he loves to cook with what is local and in season, so perhaps there will be a bigger vegetable-driven aspect as things become more available.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Apr 11, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Loyal Nine, Cambridge

I understand, speaking as a vegetarian as of 22 years who makes dining choices as you describe. My biggest concern was when one of my friends who is vegan showed up and what we could do for him, and when he sat at a table last week (so I wasn't even serving him), he was treated just fine and left quite happy. A lot of the dishes are built to order so various allergens and animal products can be left out. An entree like the pondemnast (grain-based Algonquin one pot stew) can be made vegetarian if you leave out the shredded confit turkey neck, and made vegan minus that and the egg yolk added at the end to add richness. Another example is the vegetable roast can also be adapted quite well if you leave out the fish/shellfish elements.

Keep in mind that the chef won my respect (and the reason I joined his team) was one of his Brass Tacks events back in 2011 that was completely vegetarian. Photos via facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?s...

Apr 11, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area
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April 2015 Openings and Closings

Closed only 2 weeks after I said to my wife (as we drove by) how great it was that they survived after such a long chain of owners/name changes. Can't name them all, but they were the Grateful Deli at one point and probably 2-3 other names in the last decade or so.

Apr 10, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

The strange saga of UpperWest

Do not look at the liqueur bottles at the bar downstairs though -- horrific fruit fly morgues. Their beer still pours well and relatively cheaply for the area.

Apr 09, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Mandatory 20% at Select?

And by his discretion, the owners and investors can take all, some, or none of it as well. There is nothing tying the service charge to paying the waitstaff.

Erick Castro said it best here: http://www.eater.com/drinks/2015/3/3/...

While it isn't fair that the back of the house doesn't get paid enough, the front of the house won't stay on if they're not getting as well paid overall as the place they just left or the place they can go next. End result could be utopia or a back of the house that gets paid a bit extra and a front of the house that doesn't care to give you good service due to the fixed rate.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Apr 07, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area
1

April 2015 Openings and Closings

According to their latest job ad, they plan on opening on 4/13.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Apr 05, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Loyal Nine, Cambridge

Just a note about the periwinkles, as of Friday, they are served with rolled up housemade fingerwipes. The management does indeed listen!

And yes, I would love a larger bar (considering I'm a bartender there) but it had to work well in the long-but-narrow space. But if you do sit there, you'll get all the more attention.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

April 2015 Openings and Closings

Tasty Momos is apparently opening this week on the 5th (although having just opened a restaurant last week that kept changing its open date, it could be next week).

Tried out the falafel place on Main Street in Somerville twice. Great falafel but they were 0 for 2 in making me "falefel no tomato" despite parroting it back both times. I guess autopilot or our way or no way.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Apr 01, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Drinks at Brick and Mortar for grown ladies (long)

There are at least two that have the Lion's Tail on the menu currently. Highland Kitchen has it (although the drink making can be variable due to their free pouring) and Green Street as well (but on their 6-sided menu that you have to ask for opposed to the half-sized sheet). Any of the Jackson Cannon trilogy (Eastern, Hawthorn, ICOB) and either of the two Lynchian establishments (Drink, No. 9) are safe bets regardless of who is working that night.

And any decent bar can make it if you show them the recipe off of your phone (most decent bars have allspice dram these days).

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Mar 25, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Best ice cream in Boston is..

Christina's Khulfi is one of my favorites. Runners up are probably Ginger Molasses and Gina's Mocha Explosion.

It's now between home and my new work spot so I've been stopping in at least once per week.

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Mar 25, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

fernet branca - love it or hate it?

That was before my time at Russell House Tavern when I wrote it -- I was merely a guest. The syrup was in two drinks I believe (definitely had it in another called the Kivik Apple Market), but after that run on the menu, they stopped making the syrup (it required kitchen time in reducing the apple juice/cider besides spicing it). During my tenure at RHT, the syrup was no more. I did have a few people request the Wigglesworth, so I would create other bourbon and spice creations as a next best offering.

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Mar 24, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Pizza

Last memorable slice (technically a small pie for one) was at the Brewer's Fork in Charlestown. For familiarity, price, and convenience, Pinocchio's in Harvard Square has been getting my business for over 20 years.

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Best ice cream in Boston is..

Toscanini's in Central Square, Cambridge. Always fresh, flavorful, creative, and not too sweet.

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Drinks at Brick and Mortar for grown ladies (long)

If you ordered a menu item and it came out two different ways, that would be disturbing. If you ordered a drink like a Cosmo, there are dozens of variations with more or less of each of the ingredients (not to mention shooting for perceived sweetness desires versus an order for a Daiquiri where you assume the person wants it on the crisper side despite both being sours/daisies). I know that at my last job, we had a house list of recipes for many of the non-list drinks like Margaritas and Manhattans (but, for example, we didn't have a written Cosmo recipe which was bartender's interpretation).

Pricewise, Brick & Mortar is on the medium-high end of standard for craft cocktails in this town ($11-13) and pretty standard in size for build (3 oz of spirit and other ingredients before adding ice to mix is their modus operandi that is the same size as Eastern Standard, Drink, Backbar, and Green Street). Green Street is definitely a gem when it comes to prices.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Mar 24, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

March 2015 Openings and Closings

Perhaps ;)

And opening day is probably closer to the 27th due to inspection delays.

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Mar 24, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

April 2015 Openings and Closings

Haven't been over to Daddy Jones in a while (I arrived at the tale end of a Fernet-sponsored evening once); I ought to since I was given a gift card recently. Seems too close to my house to drink (when I have or can make better at my home bar). Old Magoun Saloon has decent beers but their hospitality game is lacking; rarely do they have a beer I can't get around the corner at Ball Square Fine Wines.

I found any hidden gems per se. I have heard good things about the falafel place that just opened right outside of Magoun on Main Street (near the Paul Revere park off of B'way). Haven't been lured into Pennypackers yet.

Mar 19, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Anyone make their own Peychaud's bitters?

The closest small batch option is Bitter Truth's Creole Bitters. Similar anise notes but with a bit more complexity. Not sure whether they use cochineal or food coloring to get their red hue.

Not a bitter but allegedly good for Sazeracs is Buttermilk's New Orleans Style Rouge Cocktail Mixer. The anise, bitter herbal complexity, red coloration from cochineal, and sugar. Basically, the bitters and sugar/syrup part of a Sazerac all in one. Just add absinthe rinse, spirits, and lemon oil. Haven't tried this yet, but it exists.

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Mar 17, 2015
yarm in Spirits

April 2015 Openings and Closings

I'm hoping that the stop work order pasted on their door that I spotted this morning won't delay them much. Looking forward to more exciting things in Magoun (when I moved here, there was nothing but Pini's Pizza and Wang's Chinese that I frequented (granted, I never went to Vinny's at Night)).

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Mar 17, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Barrel-Aged Peychaud's

Unless the charcoal or oxygen in the barrel is modifying the components in the bitters (like breaking down clove oil compounds), wouldn't most of the magic of barrel aged notes get lost in the drink (besides when using with barrel-aged spirits)?

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Mar 14, 2015
yarm in Spirits

Question about the bar at Sarma

Sarma is slammed even on regular weekdays. Seats at the bar begin to open up consistently after 9 or 10 even on the busiest of times I've been there. At 7 or so, the bar is full of people waiting for tables it seemed.

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Mar 10, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

March 2015 Openings and Closings

Spoke with Deep Ellum folk last night and they said that early summer (perhaps May?) might be a better idea of Lone Star 2's opening. They were a little vague on what the hold-ups were but that there were a few.

Still, it'll be great to have them in addition to Atwood's for beers on that neither Inman nor Lechmere stretch!

Mar 10, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area