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southendchow's Profile

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4 nights in Napa - Should I do the Keller Trifecta?

4 nights in Napa and I was able to score reservations to the French Laundry. I also have reservations at Cafe la Haye, Ubuntu and Redd. The BF is pushing to have dinner at Ad Hoc and Bouchon which means Cafe la Haye and Ubuntu are on the chopping block. Its a little bit of Keller overkill for me but he's convinced its going to be the best food/wine/experience. Should I comply with the BF's request or keep the exsiting reservations?

The French Laundry
6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

Ad Hoc
6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599

6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599


There are restos. that are not certified Kosher but can be options for those who are observant of dietary laws. I have taken several friends that keep Kosher to sushi. Fugakyu or Tsunami are options in Brookline. Maybe try Grezzo (new Vegan place) in the North End?

Service Faux Pas at Vee Vee?

Thank you to everyone for the feedback. Very interesting points of view! I think the bar is ultimately a shared space and because of that there is an underlying expectation you may need to move over a seat to accommodate others. It’s quite unfair and rude to deny both the customer and the restaurant establishment a seat at the bar. In this particular instance, there were a total of 5 seats at the bar – the couple was in seat 2 and 3-- one seat on the left and 2 remaining seats on the right. As a result, the party of 2 was essentially "taking" 3 other seats (they were not aware of the situation and I'm sure would have moved if we asked however the host was not comfortable with us asking them). While I can certainly appreciate that it may be slightly inconvenient to move over a seat in the middle of your dinner what is wrong with a little goodwill all round to make everyone happy?

Mar 04, 2008
southendchow in Not About Food

Service Faux Pas at Vee Vee?

Yes - we debated if we should ask. We even said to the host that we would ask the party to move over. Noticing how uncomfortable he was with that prospect we refrained. As a service industry vet I do expect that the bar manager, host etc. would have "helped" the situation. I certainly would never go up to a table of seated people and ask them to move however, IMO when sitting at the bar you are somewhat in the bartenders territory - its their responsibility to manage the dynamic of the bar.

Feb 29, 2008
southendchow in Not About Food

Service Faux Pas at Vee Vee?

Walked into Vee Vee last night at 8:30 with my parents - all tables were full and a party of three was waiting for a table. We were greeted by the host who said there would be a 20-30 minute wait. Noticing that 4 of the 6 bar stools were open we asked if we could eat at the bar. In order to accommodate us they would have needed to ask the 2 people having their dinner at the bar to move over one seat. The host went back to the bar manager to inquire – after watching them whisper and debate for a minute the host came back and informed us that the couple was eating their dinner and they would not ask them to move and that the wait would be 20-30 minutes. Unfortunately, this was a very awkward exchange and I was disappointed they were not willing to accommodate.

When I sit at a bar – even if I’m in the middle of my dinner I would have no problem moving to accommodate another party. I did that at Grammercy Tavern in NYC only a few weeks ago and I was certainly not offended when the bartender politely asked me to move over one seat so he could seat another party. I have to ask my fellow Chowhounders – was this completely unprofessional of the host?

Feb 29, 2008
southendchow in Not About Food

cafeTeria on Newbury? anyone been?

Save your money and go somewhere else. Went for drinks and dinner last Thursday night. The Sangria looked and tasted like kool-aid that had been adulterated with a shot of peach schnapps. When we mentioned to the waitress that the sangria tasted overly sweet and seemed to have little to no wine in it she said she would ask the bartender -- she sweetly ignored our request and never came back with an answer or showed any concern as our glasses remained untouched. As for the food, I was completely under whelmed. The Carbonara, while tasty - consisted of exactly 4 bites of pasta and an overload of bacon. Bolognese was the same story. Thin crust pizza was just ok. The flourless chocolate cake was just - meh. Next time, I’ll take the $18 for the pasta and go to Via Matta for something decent. The only saving grace is the reasonably priced wines by the glass and bottle.

Xinh Xinh recommendations

I enjoy the clay pot dish -- it’s always listed on the specials board. You can choose any combo of meat, tofu or seafood. It’s a bit pricier than most of the dishes but well worth it. Lemongrass, garlic, a hint of ginger and fish sauce anoints the meat, veg and rice.

Rice Vermicelli (Bun) -- Need recs.

Thanks all for the recs! I just tried the beef vermicelli at Xinh Xihn and it was wonderful. A new favorite!

Rice Vermicelli (Bun) -- Need recs.

I am completely obsessed with Rice Vermicelli (Bun) -- a tasty combo of grilled meat on top of slippery vermicelli noodles, shredded lettuce, fresh mint, bean sprouts and toasted peanuts.

I had an unfortunate experience at Pho Pasteur (Chinatown location) a few weeks ago when my vermicelli was topped with beef that was less than fresh (beyond slimy and utterly tasteless). I’m ready to venture out and try a new place in the Chinatown/Financial district area – any recs?

Where to dine deliciously near Babson College?

Put your name on the list at Sweet Basil (they dont take reservations), drop off your wine (they are BYOB) and head over to Masala Art for some cocktails while you wait. Sweet Basil has amazing bolognese (ask for it spicy), braised lamb shank, vegetarian options and lots of garlic in everything.

The Oceanaire Seafood Room [moved from Boston board]

I have been to their Seattle, Minneapolis and Baltimore locations and have always enjoyed the experience despite it being a chain. Its a "steak house" style/decor/service fish restaurant. Sides are served a la carte (they have amazing hash browns). Pricey but extensive wine list. Nice bar. Good for taking the business set out to dinner. I

Jul 31, 2007
southendchow in Chains

help! food late tonight

I believe Lucca in the North End has a late night menu. Pastas, braised short ribs, mussels...
Franklin Cafe in the South End serves nightly until 1:30 am

Best loaf of bread walking between North and South Station?

"When Pig's Fly" Bakery has a stand May through October at the little open air market a block away from south station...

Oringer's new Mexican place.

We must have been sitting next to you last night b/c we had the same experience...
i was just going to post a similar experience...
Went to La Verdad last night for a quick bite before the Sox game. This was my second experience...and im not sure I’ll be back anytime soon...

First experience was decent. A nice option to the burger joints on Landsdowne. Great tequila selection. Reasonable prices. I shared the signature grilled corn with mayonesa and cotija cheese, an order of guacamole and several tacos....everything was fresh and seasoned nicely. Guacamole was ok -- just mashed up avocado that needs a little umph. The carnitas and pescado tacos were also very good, with a close second for the shrimp taco in governor’s sauce.

Second visit was a disaster. Walked into the restaurant at 6:10 (it was busy, but not insanely so)...we sat down and ordered 2 beers, a specialty drink and some guacamole...20 minutes later only one beer and the wrong drink shows food, no waitress to be found. We locate the manager who sort of apologies and says he will locate our drinks etc....another 10 minutes pass and still no food or drink...finally, we get the tacos -- but 2 of the 4 we ordered were incorrect and still no guacamole! We explain to the waitress again what we want and 5 minutes later another set of tacos comes out....but of course they are incorrect. And still no guacamole!!!!!

I understand that it takes time to work out the kinks in a new restaurant but this was beyond belief. We watched as the wait staff milled about aimlessly....we could not tell if the bottleneck was in the kitchen or at the was clear though that no one was hustling or really cared about the customer. The manager didn’t come over again to check on anyone (most of the people around us had experienced the same problems) – in fact, Im not sure what the heck he was doing

The staff does not seem to have a clue what is on the menu or even at the bar – It is clear that our waitress didn’t understand what we were ordering. On my Saturday visit, the bartender asked another bartender if they had sangria -- and asked literally right in front of the vat of red wine and fruit.

I know it’s difficult to find good help but I’m a little surprised Mr. Oringer doesn’t have higher standards for management staff that understands how to treat customers. I wasn’t looking for freebies or special treatment – but a manager who could come in and take control of a situation to make the customer feel good – simply by executing it properly and getting it right. I have also had the same type of experience at Toro - inattentive wait staff, screwed up orders with little apology

Anyone been to Avila?

Its mom's b-day on Saturday and she requested Avila. Good stuff? or should I make reservations somewhere else...

Soggy Santarpio's

I also experienced some soggy pizza about 2 weeks ago. We even asked the waitress to make sure the pies were cooked "well done" when we ordered. Ill still continue to go back b/c when the pies are cooked properly there's nothing like em...

Great BYOB

Im visiting from Boston this weekend and have a nice bottle of wine i would like to crack open. I hear Philly has some great BYOB's. I have already done the Morimoto, Buddakan and Striped Bass thing and would like to try something new. Any recs??

Oct 05, 2006
southendchow in Pennsylvania