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Ginger beer

I've seen them serve alcoholic ginger beer on occasion at both Publick House and Matt Murphy's in Brookline

May 17, 2008
wags in Greater Boston Area

Help me choose places for group dinners (~50 people)

Hi all --

I'm planning several group dinners for work, and was hoping for some ideas for places.

The first is for a series of three relatively fancy dinners for approximately 50 people at a cost of less than $65 per person (or so). We will have a speaker, so a private room would be important. Ideally some alcohol would be included. A fixed menu would be fine, but not essential. Some ideas I had (though I haven't fully looked into price or the presence of a private room for all of these): Tapeo, Metropolitan Club, Fugakyu, Oishii Boston, East Coast Grill, Stella, Legal Seafoo, Rocca, Hammersly's, Pho Republique, Duozo, Eastern Standard.

The second is for a series of many (>12) more casual dinners over the winter for approximately 50 people at a cost of $40-45 per person. A private room is less important, but would be nice. A fixed menu would be fine, but open menu or limited menu would work too. Some ideas: Jae's in Brookline, Public House, Elephant Walk, La Morra, Rocca, PF Changs, Eastern Standard, Gaslight, Pho Republique, Petit Robert, Duozo

Proximity to Longwood/Fenway for all the dinners is a plus, but not essential.

Thanks!!

Nov 06, 2007
wags in Greater Boston Area

Le Voile on Newbury Street

From yesterday's ZagatBuzz:

What sets La Voile, a charming brasserie in the tony Back Bay, apart from the others around town is its genuine connection to France, from its owners operating an eatery with the same name in Cannes to its imported decor (1920s zinc bar, red velvet banquettes, nautical lighting); with a focus on Mediterranean cuisine, its moderately priced menu offers all the classics. - 261 Newbury St.; 617-587-4200

Nov 01, 2007
wags in Greater Boston Area

Autumn Tasting Menu at Bouley - Report

Yes, that's right -- $95 plus tax/tip for the tasting menu without wine. There was a $45 supplement for the Nebraska beef (which we didn't get)

Oct 27, 2007
wags in Manhattan

Autumn Tasting Menu at Bouley - Report

Went to Bouley last night for the first time and had their Autumn Tasting Menu. My first CH report follows...

Even as we walked in, the autumn theme struck us. The entraceway was filled with apples -- there were 3 baskets full of the fruit lining the entrance as well as a large floor-to-ceiling display along one wall that was filled with apples as well. The smell of apples washed over us as we walked in, giving the place a homey, almost casual feel. This, of course, changed when we sat down in the beautiful lamp- and candle-lit room, with it's romantic red walls and luxurious seating. The room was warm and comfortable and immediately inviting -- it made you feel both regal and pampered without being stuffy or formal.

We ordered the 5 course tasting menu, and for everything but the main course (where we both ordered the lamb), my DC and I ordered different things. Of note, the menu was somewhat different that what is listed on the website (and was priced slightly higher as well). Here goes:
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Chef's Canape -- a lovely tomato sorbet served with tomato chunks, tomato-flavored broth, and a tomato gelatin. Several interesting and very complementary textures with intense tomato flavor that was both fresh and refreshing -- and an excellent way to start the meal
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Phylo crusted shrimp, Cape Cod baby squid, and scuba dived sea scallop in an ocean herbal broth -- I think this is one of Bouley's signature dishes, and I can understand why. Simply a wonderful combination of seafood. The scallop was the standout -- sweet, tender, extremely fresh, perfectly complemented by the broth
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Sashimi Quality Tuna with Shaved Fennel Dressed in Herb Oils and a Spicy Marinade -- a bit standard and boring, but very fresh and delicious nonetheless. The dressed fennel was the best part.
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Potato Crusted Rouget -- I can't quite remember how this was plated, but it was simple and somewhat plain, though again very fresh and quite tasty
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Wild King Salmon with mung beans and morels -- one of the standout dishes of the night. The fish melted in your mouth, the skin was perfectly crispy, the mushrooms were tender and very flavorful, and the beans and foam added a perfect amount of character to the dish. Delicious!
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Colorado Rack of Lamb with fresh ricotta gnocci -- tender lamb served medium rare with some green beans and deliciously soft, light gnocci. The lamb was wonderful, but the ricotta gnocci was the standout in this dish. Of note, they accidentally brought me the lobster by mistake, which I immediately pointed out (though it looked so good I almost asked them to leave it instead). Within one minute, the correct dish was in front of me (making me think they just mixed up tables or something). I'm not sure if this was because of the mixup, but two minutes later, they brought out some fresh whipped potatoes for us to share -- sweet, buttery, and piping hot, they were absolutely delicious. The delivery of the potatos was so subtle and seamless, that if it was to make up for the mistake, it was very classy indeed.
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Concord Grape soup - technically to cleanse the palate, but was good enough to have been the dessert course
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Hot Valrhona Chocolate Soufflé, Vermont Maple Ice Cream, Vanilla Ice Cream, and Chocolate Sorbet- very choclately, decadent, and delicious, though almost a bit too rich and also somewhat standard
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Bluberry Meringue -- this, on the other hand, was not standard, and possibly the single best thing we ate (and this is coming from someone who doesn't like desserts!). I can't remember the details of the dish, but it was unbelievably soft and light, filled with fresh blueberries and accompanied by a delicious ice cream.

The service was incredibly attentive, friendly, and not the slightist overbearing. We also received periodic visits from the bread cart, serving such delicious varieties as apple, pistacchio, black olive, garlic, raisin, and walnut/saffron (we tried many)

All in all, it was a wonderful dining experience. My only complaint, if any, would be that it was not the most *interesting* of meals, with several dishes that were somewhat traditional or even tired, but the food was executed exceptionally well and we enjoyed every minute of it.

My brief trip from Boston also included a visit to Yasuda the night before for the Omakase, which was incredible, but I'll save that for another report...

Oct 27, 2007
wags in Manhattan

Outdoor Seating in Boston - help add to my list

Agreed -- I put some places on there (Stephanie's, Armani, Garden of Eden) more for the outdoor "scene" rather than food or service.

Jul 29, 2007
wags in Greater Boston Area

Recommendations for Peach Farm

My favorites: the salt and pepper squid, the scallion pancake, the hot and sour soup, the pea pod stems, and the szechuan string beans. haven't tried the lobster yet, but it's next on my list. They also do incredible things with fresh king crab, in season.

Jul 29, 2007
wags in Greater Boston Area

Outdoor Seating in Boston - help add to my list

I'm making a list of good places with outdoor seating in Boston for some friends. Anyone have any good additions to the list?

SOUTH END: Masa, B&G, 28 Degrees, POPS, Garden of Eden, Rocca, Toro, Tremont 647, orinoco, Hammersley's, Beehive

BACK BAY: Sonsie, Parrish, Bouchee, Stephanies, Armani Cafe, (others)

KENMORE SQAURE/FENWAY: Eastern Standard, La Verdad, Lower Depths, El Pelon, Rod Dee, Thorntons, Brown Sugar

BROOKLINE: Audobon Circle, Beacon Street, Public House, Fireplace

CAMBRIDGE: Oleana, Highrise, Dante

JP: Jamesgate

OTHER: Kelly's Roast Beef

Jul 29, 2007
wags in Greater Boston Area

Harvard Med School Area?

Right in the area of Harvard Medical School and the dorm, there are a few good places for lunch or dinner -- The Mission Bar and Grille (Brigham Circle), The Squealing Pig, Sami's cart, the chinese food truck (across from Sami's), as well as a Bertucci's and Boloco. Fenway/Kenmore's is probably the next best bet, with, as mentioned by others, Eastern Standard, India Quality, Petit Robert, U-burger, Trattoria Toscana, El Pelon, Brown Sugar, Rod Dee, Thornton's, Cambridge 1, La Verdad, and Popeyes. Also nearby are places on Beacon street, like Audobon, Beacon Street Tavern, Taberna de Haro, and then all the places up in Coolidge Corner.

Jul 29, 2007
wags in Greater Boston Area

Looking for pick for work dinner near Longwood Area for group of 60

Thanks for all the suggestions. Tapeo sounded like they had a great package, but was a little out of our price range. Washington Square Tavern will rent out the entire space, but it was too small for us. We ended up going with La Morra in Brookline Village -- they can accomodate our group on the top floor and have a number of nice prix fixe and catering options.

Thanks again.

Jul 29, 2007
wags in Greater Boston Area

Looking for pick for work dinner near Longwood Area for group of 60

Does anyone have any recommendations for a restaurant that can accomodate a group of 60 near the Longwood Area. Ideally we are looking for a private room. We were thinking of the private room at Jae's in Brookline, but that holds 50 so might be a bit tight. Other thoughts were Fugakyu, La Morra, Beacon Street, Washington Square Tavern. Any other recs? Thanks!

Jul 26, 2007
wags in Greater Boston Area

All Star Sandwich? Any new updates?

No -- actually, that's the biggest problem I have with the place. Last time, the two or three sandwiches I wanted were not available, and I ended up getting the Beef on Weck. I do wish they had the full menu every day, and ultimately the fact that they don't may prevent me from going as much as I might have.

Can't really comment on improvement, since the first time I went was about a month ago.

Jan 11, 2007
wags in Greater Boston Area

All Star Sandwich? Any new updates?

I've been 3 or 4 times in the past month, usually in the midafternoon on a weekday, and the service has been consistently excellent. Everyone inside is super friendly, and on all occasions the staff has been particularly attentive.

I've had the beef on weck a couple of times, which I love, but my favorite is the texas reuben. And I always get the chili and the sweet pickles, which are both always outstanding.

What strikes me about these sandwiches is that they actually taste BETTER with each bite -- and no matter how full you are at the end of the meal, the last few bites are somehow the best. There are few other sandwiches where I've had the same experience (Darwin's Story comes to mind).

Clearly, I'm still a fan of the place.

Jan 11, 2007
wags in Greater Boston Area

Lunch between Longwood and Brighton?

Quick and good places along the route from LMA to brighton:

- Michaels's
- Upper Crust
- Bottega Fiorentina
- Mr Sushi
- Rami's
- Rod Dee
- Anna's Taqueria
- Dok Bua
- Carlo's (if you get takeout)
- Rangoli
- Reef Cafe
- Shanghai Gate

Or, if you take a different route, you could swing through Fenway for El Pelon or Rod Dee...

-

Dec 19, 2006
wags in Greater Boston Area

Best Chinese in Brookline for Christmas Eve

It's true -- sichuan garden is my favorite, and I love the peking duck at chef chang's, but it's impossible to replicate good old bergen county fare like general TSO's chicken and those great pu-pu platters! every town in bergen county had at least one of those long chinese takeout places which was almost entirely kitchen, with just a counter and one table up front. I miss those places...

Dec 17, 2006
wags in Greater Boston Area

where can I get Bresaola?

Botegga Fiorentina in Coolidge Corner has it too

Nov 23, 2006
wags in Greater Boston Area

Help me, Italian aficianodos!

I haven't had Amatriciana in Italy, but two dishes that I like are the homemade fusili al'amatriciana at Carlo's in Allston (it's not on the menu anymore, but they'll still make it) and the penne (or ravioli) matriciana at Bottega Fiorentia in Coolidge corner.

Oct 26, 2006
wags in Greater Boston Area

Best new restaurants in Boston?

I've been meaning to try some of Boston's best new restaurants, but haven't been able to get out that much for awhile now...

In your opinion, what are the 5 best new restaurants that have opened in the past 6 months to 1 year?

Some names to get you started (some of these may be a bit older): ASSB, Zoes, Soulfire, Beacon Street Tavern, Sauciety, District, LTK, Avila, Eastern Standard, Neptune, Toro, Douzo, Oishii Boston, OM, Ten Tables, Butcher Shop, B&G, 28 degrees, Lineage, Great Bay, Ashmont grill, kolbeh of kabob, petit robert, green st, middlesex, stella, domani

Let the list-making begin.

Sep 10, 2006
wags in Greater Boston Area

Back Bay--is it hopeless?

How about the other side of back bay? Trident has good breakfast, soups, and sandwhiches. A short walk to Kenmore also gets you to Clio / Uni and Eastern Standard. It's just too bad the Deli Haus isn't still around...

Aug 28, 2006
wags in Greater Boston Area