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Roasted steamed turkey from Jacques Pepin

I made this today and it was downright awful. Tasteless. This was the only unsuccessful turkey I have made in years. Next year I am returning to the tried and true brining process. I can't believe how bad this was -- no one enjoyed it. A real disappointment.

Nov 22, 2012
avass in Home Cooking

Foodies with kids need recommendations near zoo


We are two families visiting DC for a weekend. Big foodies BUT have four kids on tow ranging in age from age 2-6. Staying near zoo and also planning to visit National Building Museum. We love all food, except for very hot and spicy such as Indian. Foods utilizing local ingredients are favorites. Also love truly local and unique joints--doesn't need to be upscale. The neighborhood gems are always great. But most important is kid friendly!! And recommendations near the zoo or museum?

Looking for outdoor eating, wine & salads

After a few days of burgers, I'm looking for a refreshing light al fresco dinner, preferably outdoor seating with a great wine list and light dinner like salads or small plates. Anywhere Boston/Cambridge area or Metrowest. Quality of food is key, but doesn't have to be expensive.

May 31, 2010
avass in Greater Boston Area

What's the best Irish Breakfast around?

I'm looking for 'hounds favorite Irish Breakfast in the Greater Boston area...I live west of Boston but will happily travel into Boston or elsewhere for a truly authentic and delicious Irish Breakfast.

Mar 02, 2010
avass in Greater Boston Area

seeking casual but delicious lunch near rockefeller ctr

I'm in NYC Wednesday for a meeting near rockefeller center. Before the meeting I'd like to find a great lunch spot in the area, casual & cozy but delicious, not terribly expensive. I prefer mediterranean/middle eastern cuisines (e.g. italian, greek, french bistro, spanish, turkish, lebanese). To give you an idea of what I am looking for, I really like 'Inoteca, but the LES is too far from midtown for lunch.

Feb 06, 2010
avass in Manhattan

Creamy Carrot Casserole

I was really excited for this. After I made it I could tell that it could have been a good dish, but I think the 1 TBSP kosher salt must be a mistake ... should be 1 TSP. It was SOOO oversalted. I'll try it again with less salt but it was close to inedible with that much salt.

Nov 28, 2009
avass in Recipes

Dinner Suggestion -- walking distance to Sofitel Water Tower hotel

Curious if there are any Polish places in walking distance that anyone recommends?

Oct 10, 2009
avass in Chicago Area

Dinner Suggestion -- walking distance to Sofitel Water Tower hotel

I will be in chicago for one night staying at the Sofitel Water Tower hotel. I'm looking for dinner recommendations walking distance from the hotel. Prefer fun, relaxed atmosphere but more importantly delicious food. Prefer entrees less than $20 each. Favorite cuisines include mediterranean, middle eastern, tapas, italian, comfort food...basically wide-ranging as long as it's memorable. If it's a unique Chicago experience even better.

Oct 08, 2009
avass in Chicago Area

Dinner near 56th & 7th


Flying in for quick NYC trip and looking for dinner walking distance to hotel. Nothing fancy, just really delicious and relatively fast (not take-out but want to be in and out in an hour). Top eats are middle eastern, tapas, greek, turkish, sushi, chinese.

Was thinking of Azuri cafe but haven't been there in 10 years so not sure if it's still good.

Oct 05, 2009
avass in Manhattan

Dordogne with kids

I'll be spending one week in September in Dordogne, near to Daglan. Because I will have two small children with me, restaurants can be a challenge.

Are there any recommendations for cant miss bakeries, charcuteries, ice cream shops, markets basically all manner of take out? Also, if there are any excellent child-friendly restaurant recommendations that would be appreciated as well -- both kids have reasonably adventurous palates.

One place I found so far is Le Petit Paris in Daglan ... any experience out there with this place?

Sep 07, 2009
avass in France

10th wedding anniversary: is Oleana the best choice?

We ended up at TW Food and I was quite happy with the choice. The morcilla was excellent, although the pate was just OK. What really impressed me was the service. My husband was struggling between ordering the beef tenderloin and the mushroom quiche. He chose the beef, but a few minutes later the waitress came back and said that she thought it was the wild mushrooms that were drawing him to the Quiche, so would he like the chef to add some to his beef dish? Of course this was exactly what the issue was, and he was so happy to get everything he wanted.
The beef itself was fabulous, extremely tender and flavorful. I had a white carrot soup with maple cream - yum - and for an entree chicken breast on top of eggplant with heirloom cherry tomatoes.

Everything was incredibly fresh, and I appreciated that they didn't salt the food to death as I find many of the restaurants tend to do. Even tho Oleana is still my favorite, I plan to go back to TW Food.

Sep 07, 2009
avass in Greater Boston Area

10th wedding anniversary: is Oleana the best choice?


I have never had an issue with portion size at Oleana. Typically we get appetizers before the main and I often feel stuffed before the appetizers arrive. Actually I think the appetizers are my favorite part of the menu, and one of these days I'll remember to order a series of apps and forgo the entree!!

Aug 25, 2009
avass in Greater Boston Area

10th wedding anniversary: is Oleana the best choice?

I have a 10th wedding anniversary coming up soon and am struggling with the dinner decision. Oleana is our favorite restaurant -- we go there for every birthday and anniversary. I love it but feel we should branch out for the 10th. Any suggestions? Food quality is the number one consideration, we like Mediterranean cuisines, and we prefer an atmosphere that isn't too formal (thus Oleana).

I was thinking possibly Toro, altho it looks like it doesn't take reservations. Also Craigie on Main, but wondering if it's just the same as Craigie Bistro which I wasn't a huge fan of because the food was so rich it gave me a stomachache. I also considered no9 park, but they don't have reservations available the day we need it.

Thanks for your help

Aug 21, 2009
avass in Greater Boston Area

Anniversary Dinner near Guerneville

My husband and I will be staying in Guerneville during our 10th wedding anniversary. Any suggestions for a great anniversary dinner? Most important is quality of food. We prefer a nice atmosphere but not too formal.

Aug 11, 2009
avass in San Francisco Bay Area

Oishii II in Sudbury

I actually prefer the Sudbury location to the Chestnut Hill location. It's been a long time since I went to chestnut hill, but my recollection is that they don't have a liquor license and Sudbury does! Plus, the family at Oishii II is so kind.

May 19, 2009
avass in Greater Boston Area

Providence birthday dinner?

Looking for a chow-worthy spot in Providence. We'll probably be staying at the Biltmore. No specific cuisine requirements as long as it's delicious, although generally find mediterranean, middle eastern most appealing.

May 17, 2009
avass in All New England Archive

Help! Need child friendly brunch spot close to Atlantic Ave

My friends are staying at the Intercontinental on Atlantic Ave. I am driving into town to meet them for brunch, bringing my 2 kids, ages 4 and 2. Any good recommendations? Friend is gearing up to run the marathon so I bet he wants to carbo-load.

Apr 18, 2009
avass in Greater Boston Area

Spanish Grocery

I made the trip to Despana and it was well worth it. I ended up flying home with 3 lbs of various sausages. I mashed and sauteed the morcilla with raisins and pinenuts to spread on bread. The chorizo I sauteed with pimientos, garlic, parsley and red wine. I made three tortillas: one espanola, one potato jamon & pimiento, and one tuna and potato. Oh, I also bought some torta del casar and tupi del sort cheeses. And, because I was so hungry from shopping there, I had a bocadillo de tortilla which I found very authentic ... really crusty bread that ends up all over you just like in Spain. Thank you!

Apr 18, 2009
avass in Manhattan

Spanish Grocery

I'm participating in a dinner party and the theme is Spain. I have several tapas I plan on making, but also wondered if anyone could recommend a shop that sells Spanish goods. Here's the thing, I'm in NYC one day only on Friday, flying back to Boston that night. Party is on Saturday. So it has to be items that can keep for a day and survive a plane ride.

Since one of the items I'm making is dates wrapped in bacon stuffed with chorizo, I would love to find somewhere that sells authentic Spain-style chorizo.

I can go anywhere in Manhattan, altho I'll be in the Rockefeller Ctr area most of the day.

Apr 15, 2009
avass in Manhattan

Private Party for 12-15, Low Key, Downtown?

Yes, it could have been $60pp without the wine. Actually since we had a 5 course meal it was very reasonable. Looking at their a la carte menu if you add up all the items it works out about right. Certainly it was a LOT of food, more than I would have ordered for myself as a single meal, but I guess that having us commit to large multi-course meal with prix fixe at that rate is what allows them to avoid charging a room fee. That works for me because I would rather pay for food than for the room.

Apr 07, 2009
avass in Manhattan

Private Party for 12-15, Low Key, Downtown?

Thanks for all the advice. In the end we went to Supper.

Before choosing Supper I visited Alta, Pylos, Txikito, 'Inoteca, and Sala.

Sala was the only one I ate at. I found the atmosphere to look run down. But since I was there in the middle of the day I think the natural light didn't do much for the place. The food was good, but only OK. I'd say the quality of the tapas there were pretty middle of the road. So I passed on this one.

I visited Alta and loved the space. I was thinking I was going to go with this place but I either had to pay $1800 for a room fee for the private area, or find space in the restaurant. I was perfectly happy to have us seated in the regular restaurant, but they won't take a reservation for more than 12 people! So I passed on this too.

'Inoteca seemed like a great option but another place that wanted $1800 for a room fee. I want to spend money on food, not the room.

Pylos' menu was very appealing but the layout of the restaurant didn't lend itself too well to a party (long, narrow place)

Txikito in a totally different area of the city but description in NYMag caught my eye so I checked it out. The food looked great but its a very informal space with almost cafeteria style seating so it didn't work.

Then I went to Supper. The back room is absolutely perfect! Very cozy space, you have to walk thru the wine storage to get to it, has its own stereo system and own bathroom, and even a little mini bar. PERFECT setting for a party. And no room fee! Just commit to prix fixe per head beforehand, which was $75pp, included unlimited house red & white wines -- which were actually quite good! The menu initially didn't excite me, seemed very typical red sauce Italian, but reasonably priced. In actuality, the food was very good and got a lot of good compliments from the guests. It certainly was ridiculously plentiful, served family style.

Specifically, really delicious:
veal meatballs (appetizer) -- I could have eaten a dozen of these
burrata mozzarella -- best, stringy/creamy mozzarella I have had

Very good:
roasted beet salad
prosciutto & pear
pastas (we had wild mushroom, gnocchi, and bacon/tomato)
risotto w/ gorgonzola & pear
salmon with fresh peas

not so good
Veal scallopini -- a little bland. But this isn't my favorite dish in general.

The manager was very helpful and accommodating in customizing the menu to my tastes. We had to pay cash, which just took some advance planning.

Also, I had read reviews on this site criticizing the service there. I had a wonderful experience. Everyone was very nice, helpful, and they were there when we needed them but also left us alone to enjoy the party most of the time.

All in all, very pleased with this choice and would highly recommend to others for parties.

Apr 05, 2009
avass in Manhattan

24 hours in LES, East Village

Reporting on the trip:

Shopsin's: totally worth it on spectacle alone. How do they offer so many items out of such a small space? I had the Ova (two poached eggs over bacon cheese grits), served in a skillet. This actually sounds much better than it was; it was pretty bland. On the other had, my friend had a cuban sandwich which was porky and delicious.

Formaggio Essex: being that I am from Boston I couldn't resist visiting the NYC outpost of the cheese shop. The NYC location is much smaller than the Cambridge MA location but also has the same enthusiasm and knowledge for cheese.

Doughnut Plant: This was the highlight. The doughnuts were so outrageously delicious I was just beside myself. Went there twice in 24 hours, and also bought 1/2 dozen to take home. The Creme Brulee donut with the carmelized sugar on top and creamy custard in the middle -- oh my! Also the black out and tres leches donuts were fabulous ... both had pudding in the middle of cake style donut.

'Inoteca -- didn't get to eat here but had a mid afternoon drink. Great atmosphere, loved that they let me test several wines before committing. Friends that ate here the night before enjoyed in quite a bit.

Dim Sum Go Go -- this was good, but didn't blow me away. And honestly I missed the not having carts pushed around -- part of the thrill is seeing what is going to be on the next cart. That said, there were some dumplings I haven't had before: snow pea leaf was especially memorable. Their roast pork buns were better than most since they were fresh (OK, an advantage of the non-cart system). All in all even though it was good this isn't a place I would recommend going out of the way for.

Not enough time to go to the other places ... will have to make another trip!

Thanks for the advice.

Apr 05, 2009
avass in Manhattan

24 hours in LES, East Village

Thanks all. I only wish I had more time...there is a lot of eating to do!

Mar 04, 2009
avass in Manhattan

Campo de Fiore - anything similar?

I used to love the pizza from Campo de Fiore. I live in the Metrowest so I would drive to the Weston location. I was very sad when they closed. Can anyone recommend somewhere with similar style pizza...flat bread, no/little sauce. I especially loved the rosemary olive oil bread!

Mar 02, 2009
avass in Greater Boston Area

First time in Boston...give me Top 5 must eat at restaurants

I have to recommend Oleana. The food there is truly unique. If you are staying in Boston then it's a bit out of the way in Cambridge near Central Square.

Another thing I recommend to all Boston visitors is an ice cream tour of all the great ice cream places here...Toscanini's, JP Licks, Christina's.

Mar 02, 2009
avass in Greater Boston Area

24 hours in LES, East Village

I'll be staying in the LES/East Village area for 24 hours ... thurs afternoon to friday afternoon.

I'm looking for best options in walking distance for:

-- falafel
-- dim sum (serving on a friday)
-- wine bar
-- any other bests/can't miss you might recommend!

I prefer inexpensive, especially when it comes to breakfast & lunch options ($20 or less p.p.)


Mar 02, 2009
avass in Manhattan

Private Party for 12-15, Low Key, Downtown?

I went to visit many of the places suggested. I loved the atmosphere at Alta and the menu looked good, but they won't take a reservation for more than 14 unless you commit to a $2000 room fee which I don't want to do (I'd rather spend money on food, not on booking fee). I loved the space at Supper, they don't charge fees for the space, but am a little nervous because reviews of food on other sites are pretty mixed. Any thoughts on the food there?

Feb 27, 2009
avass in Manhattan

Lunch spot near 43rd & 6th

I'm going to be in NYC for one day, at 43rd & 6th. Looking for a good lunch spot to catch up with 2 old friends. Prefer cheap, tasty ... falafel is a big favorite, but open to other cuisines too. Everyone is short on time so we can't stray too far.

Feb 23, 2009
avass in Manhattan

Birthday Party for 15, Prospect Hghts or closeby

I'm looking for fun, relaxed but excellent food and wine place for 40th birthday party, approx. 15 people. Private or semi private a plus.

Ideally $25-$30 pp (not including the wine)

Favorite cuisines: Middle Eastern, Tapas, Mediterranean

I live in Boston but planning in Brooklyn ... most attendees live around Prospect Heights and a few coming from Manhattan, so somewhere close to Prospect Heights but also convenient to subway.

Feb 22, 2009
avass in Outer Boroughs

Private Party for 12-15, Low Key, Downtown?

I am thinking no more than $20-$25 for entrees

Feb 21, 2009
avass in Manhattan