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Gitana - Bread & Salt

Food was rather well prepared and seasoned. A bit pricy for the portion size though. Shared between two of us the mushrooms ($5 for "snack" sized portion of marinated mushrooms), a bowl of white and a bowl of tomato gazpacho ($9/$8 respectively for what turned out to be a cup size), and a tortilla ($11). Quite satisfied with the food quality, but left hungry. We weren't going in for dinner but my portion expectations were set by tapas places like Estragon, Taberno de Haro, Dali, etc. With two drinks total (a cocktail & a beer) and the tip, it was $60.

The people next to us probably got an awesome deal as they had 2 rounds of 10 $1 oysters.

Unlike the second commenter, we had proper silverware. We were not told about how the tip worked (this was during their dinner hours) and were presented with a screen of tipping options. I tipped.

about 19 hours ago
yarm in Greater Boston Area

The Townshend, Quincy

Also, only about a 3 minute walk from the Quincy Center subway stop on the Red Line!

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Jun 25, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

The Townshend, Quincy

Indeed! Also, Gary Regan's Mindful Bartending focuses on why "should" be replaced "you might want to consider."

Also, one thing that people seem to forget is that while the bartender is right in front of you, they might be focusing on drink tickets for the floor, drinks and other needs of the bar patrons, and the like, and sometimes answers are shorter than others due to needing to focus on the to-do list. This also includes throwing your drink order on top of the rest (despite it pushing a bartender's ability to remember multiple drink orders correctly) when he/she is in front of you working away.

No clue if the above incident occurred during one of these moments or something more relaxed where a detailed explanation about the dynamics of opening a restaurant, the triage list, and the difficulty of rushing web developers to work (and how an in-house site would look rather unprofessional) could have been achieved.

Jun 25, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

The Townshend, Quincy

I had a great time at the bar when I went (about 2 weeks after open). Rather enjoyed my fresh beets with ricotta-like cheese, and my gnocchi was some of the best I've had this year. The cocktail I had was well made and attractively garnished, and after that, I moved on to beer because their drink list was still rather small (the restaurant that I helped open had a 6 drink list to start, so I understand). While attitude isn't welcome, I do understand a bartender getting frustrated because the management hasn't put in a website (and he is the one to hear that a few times each day). And I also understand that it took about a month for the restaurant that I helped open to put up a sample menu (although others appeared on the web on Yelp or Eater earlier than that); keep in mind that most websites are not done inhouse and web developers have their own schedules. I think in the first month or so of opening the restaurant, I was offered suggestions and critiques from everyone from online presence to a certain wall needing artwork.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Jun 25, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

‘Directionless’ Bacardi heading for a cliff, writes former exec

Doubtful with all that doom and gloom. While there are better rums out there, Bacardi has a great ad campaign and good bartender relationships. They did release a lot of their good sales force (and perhaps a good deal of menu items that way), but their price points and name recognition are solid.

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Jun 22, 2015
yarm in Spirits

Zagat's top 50

Zagat has always seemed to be the agent of restaurant P.R. folks.

Interesting that they list Sportello and Vinny's in East Somerville to have the same level of food and service.

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Jun 18, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Genever to bring back from Amsterdam?

I know that you can get Bols corenwyn (not sure which age statement) in the Amsterdam airport. I got it on a business trip that merely used Schipol as a flight hub.

Also, everything I have tasted from Wynand Fockink (see Chefj's post below) has been top notch!

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Jun 09, 2015
yarm in Spirits

Loyal Nine, Cambridge

Baby Bird, indeed. Like a Jungle Bird but Chinaco Blanco for dark rum, pineapple shrub for pineapple juice, Aperol for Campari with lime juice and simple held constant.

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Jun 03, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

B&G Lobster Rolls = Pricey

That is market price for pour over coffee when done right though (perhaps on the low end of market price). Correct is freshly ground and weighed out beans, digital water kettle, weighed out water dispense, etc. Not for everyone especially those drinking coffee for medicinal value, but beans used in their optimal time after roasting and prepared properly will show a lot of great flavors in the coffee. Many people are happy paying $3 for 12 to 16oz of drip coffee that was brewed an hour or two ago (at many restaurants $3 is standard and it could have been brewed and kept heated for hours).

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Jun 01, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area
1

help me name a drink

The Hollywood Highball after candy and cola making me think of movies. Perhaps sneaking into rated R movies underage.

May 28, 2015
yarm in Spirits

Loyal Nine, Cambridge

Some of the staff are Puritan alum including one of the owners and a few of the servers. I am unaware of any ill will and there is a good report with Puritan to this day. In fact, the attitude is supportive of other establishments near and far (such as hoping that Lone Star II opens up soon). Perhaps I have missed something, but it seems to be one of the least catty and competitive places around.

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May 26, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

coppa,blue dragon, myers and chang

Why can't you have both? Coppa for charcuterie and a drink to begin. Myers & Chang around the corner for dinner; maybe a nightcap at the Franklin? I have enjoyed Blue Dragon but I would pair it with Tavern Road in a similar way to keep travel time and effort to a minimum.

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May 25, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Your cocktail of the year?

I think that we would charge about $20+ for a VEP-Chartreuse Last Word (as opposed to $12). A lot of the special care take in making the VEP product would be lost amidst the lime juice and other ingredients.

May 25, 2015
yarm in Spirits

Your cocktail of the year?

My main theory on the gin-heavy recipe is to cut costs on making the drink in bars (or at home). Green Chartreuse is about 4 times the cost of gin and Luxardo Maraschino is about double the cost of gin. My secondary theory is that the Last Word is rather sugary and upping the spirit does dry it out (but you seem to suggest that from your comment).

The Last Word for me is a great drink, but I don't crave one as much as I do a Manhattan, Old Fashioned, Negroni, Sazerac, Daiquiri, Pegu Club, or Martinez (or 50:50 sweet vermouth Martini).

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May 25, 2015
yarm in Spirits
1

Loyal Nine, Cambridge

That bar shot is a rather cool photo! While not the biggest bar out there, between it and the chef's counter, there's a lot of non-strictly table space to be had.

Coruba rum in the Boston area?

Coruba is definitely at Ball Square Fine Wines ($20/liter) the last I looked a week or two ago. It was below the tequilas for some reason. Still in their online inventory.

Lemonhart 151 hasn't come back, but Ed Hamilton's 151 Demerara Rum is supposed to be even better. I haven't tried that one but I have tried a few of his other rums. Top notch and great transparency on production. Haven't seen any on the shelves yet, but I know that certain bars like Baldwin Room @ Sichuan Garden 2 have it, so it's in state.

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May 15, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Anisette in a Tiki cocktail as a sub for Pernod?

While Pernod has a much rounder and more complex flavor, anisette will work in a pinch when used as accents in drinks (not as major ingredients).

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May 14, 2015
yarm in Spirits

May 2015 Openings and Closings

This is what I wrote in the April openings thread:

"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!"

Been in a few times since and just as good. Haven't strayed from the momos. Since then, they've lost their tables and chairs since they didn't apply for a restaurant license (just a common victualer one). Otherwise, everything is still cooked fresh, so heads up that there's a 12 minute or so lag time for said takeout food.

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May 06, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

William Tell Cocktail, at Eastern Standard, by Kevin Martin

Kevin Martin apologizes for the delay due to his busy schedule with Privateer Rum, but he did take the time to write me:

William Tell- a Swiss folk hero who was known for his marksmanship with a crossbow. One of William’s stories tells how he shot an apple off his son’s head with his bow. This cocktail has many flavors happening, but apple is most prevalent. The La Diablada Pisco has been infused with sour cherries and lime.
1 oz Pisco
3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 oz Falernum
1/2 Honey Syrup
Combine ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice, shake until properly diluted and chilled. Strain into a chilled pilsner, fill pilsner 2/3 with ice and top with 2-3oz of [Unibroue] Apple Ephemere.

Cheers,
http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

May 05, 2015
yarm in Spirits

How Much For A Shot Of Johnnie Walker Blue?

My last bar charged around $40/2oz ($35-43 in the 2 years I worked there). From what I recall, the bottle was always a gift of the distributor for the volume that we did with them (and they probably hoped that we would start carrying it regularly).

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May 04, 2015
yarm in Spirits

April 2015 Openings and Closings

Yes, just walked by. Sign on the door that soft opening tonight and Friday.

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Apr 30, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

How to make a proper Southsider?

My preferred Southside is:
• 2 oz Gin
• 1/2 oz Lime Juice
• 1/2 oz Simple Syrup (1:1 sugar to water)
• 6 Mint Leaves
Shake with ice and double strain (regular strainer plus a tea (or fine) strainer to remove the mint flecks) into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a floated small mint leaf.

There are plenty of people who prefer lemon juice over lime. I just like the combination of lime flavors with the mint more than what lemon brings to the table.

There are also some that prefer to add some soda water and serve it tall as a Southside Fizz.

Not sure of the use of rum -- yes, it would be tasty but it would be more of a Daiquiri variation or pretty much a Mojito (if you add soda water).

As for coloring, lime juice and mint will leave a green hue. Not a Midori-esque green, but plenty green for my tastes.

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Apr 30, 2015
yarm in Spirits

A little fancy, feels like a good value, veggie friendly?

VeeVee in Jamaica Plain. Always great comfortable service paired with wholesome flavorful food. They take their veggie seriously (besides doing non-vegetarian fair as well) with around 2 entree offerings per night and do a vegan tasting menu option on Wednesday nights.

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Apr 29, 2015
yarm in Greater Boston Area

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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Apr 25, 2015
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.

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Apr 25, 2015
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!

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

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