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edamame's Profile

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New York style bagels

yes. amazing. there is a story on them in the current edible boston.

Nov 19, 2013
edamame in Greater Boston Area

4 days in boston with adventurous chow kids.

Cutty's! DDD and they have t-shirts. And more importantly, they are awesome.

Mar 06, 2013
edamame in Greater Boston Area

L'espalier Review

Finally got to try the "new" location on Friday night. I had been to the Gloucester St. version once, and ranked it as best vegetarian meal in Boston by far. Years later we've got a new location and feel for L'Espalier - as well as more competition for high-end vegetarian.

Started off a little worrisome when I was presented with a raw fish amuse just minutes after ordering the vegetable degustation (and telling our server I was pregnant.) Mine was whisked away while my husband enjoyed his. Then the hors d'oeuvres - 2 each of three kinds, one of which was non-veg again, so lucky husband got 4 bites to my 2. Then they brought my amuse. None of this really matters at all - all in all we were very well fed and cared for - but I immediately got the impression that this wasn't the olden days of absolutely impeccable service.

First course a lovely carrot soup over some roasted veg. 2nd course an assiete of vegetables (let's call it a salad - a good one) from Chef McClelland's farm. Our waiter had an unfortunate tendency to point his finger perilously close to the food while describing it. And for some reason all of the servers who described dishes seemed to avoid enunciation - they were hard to understand. 3rd course was my favorite - cauliflower 3 ways. Roasted, steamed into a sort of dumpling/mash, pickled, all with a brown butter foamy sauce. And one delicious, small ravioli, filled with maybe sweet potato or squash. It wasn't mentioned/jabbed at by the waiter, nor did it involve cauliflower, so maybe it fell in from another dish. Anyway, I'm not describing it beautifully, but this felt like the most unique dish of the meal. Next was a mushroom risotto. A very good mushroom risotto, if a bit salty. It's just that the token vegetarian entree at every "nice" restaurant is a mushroom risotto, and I had better memories of L'espalier. I love me a good risotto, but if we are going to be in Italian territory I will always be more impressed by perfect homemade pasta.

This is out of order, but the bread service was nice. Pretzel roll lacked the characteristic bite of pretzel skin but maybe they weren't going for that. The holiday stollen they came around with was actually one of the best bites of the whole night. They're selling whole loaves for 20 or 25$ at the door.

Cheese course. Solid, and accompaniments lovely - but unlike at Menton, I didn't come away scribbling the names down of things I MUST buy look for next time I'm at Formaggio. And some surprisingly similar flavor profiles amidst the selection of 5. Maybe it's because I required pasteurized cheese this visit.

Small palate cleanser dessert was great - the most molecular of the night - gelee, pop rocks, sorbet, celery. Fun and indeed palate cleansing.

Full dessert was ginger ice cream, saffron mousse, a sphere of white chocolate, a tube of milk chocolate and tube of dark chocolate. The elements were all good, but my husband especially was experiencing horizontal plating overload at this point. Have we come too far from 90s sky-high verticality? A blob here, a dab there - it can be tiring to attempt to optimize each bite, to have to think about how to combine the myriad flavors and textures you're presented with. Sometimes, especially at the end of the long meal, you want the chef to take care of that for you.

Also, with two degustations ordered I would consider giving the couple two different desserts.

Despite having a beautiful bouquet with me (go husband!), we weren't asked by our server this time, unlike last, whether we were celebrating a special occasion. A wee bit sad to see them coming by with candles for other anniversary couples. I guess if we really cared about our candles we should have put it in the reservation.

Mignardises good. Best was a white chocolate passion fruit caramel. Others were prettier than they tasted.

In reading this through it makes the experience sound more negative than it was, but that's what sky-high expectations will do, I suppose. For me, Menton now wins best of Boston service and TW Food best of Boston veg tasting menu. L'Espalier is still a total gem, just perhaps not as sparkling as it once was...

774 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

Dec 12, 2011
edamame in Greater Boston Area

ISO Boston Shave Ice

Someone told me about this place in East Boston today:
Frio Rico
He said the shave ice is great. (And also the pastries, alfajores and the like.)
Anyone tried it?

Aug 01, 2011
edamame in Greater Boston Area

A Post-Thanksgiving Review of Boston Area Pies

Joanne Chang brought slices of the pumpkin pie to the Brookline Booksmith book signing this past weekend. I agree - best pumpkin pie ever. I was happy to see that the recipe is in her cookbook.

Dec 02, 2010
edamame in Greater Boston Area

Vietnamese in Chinatown....

Agreed - Xinh Xinh is not the same. I don't recognize any of the staff, and the food is not as good as I remember. Bummer.

Xinh Xinh
7 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

Aug 26, 2010
edamame in Greater Boston Area

Visiting Boston -- 5-year Anniversary Dinner

You might want to consider Troquet - it fits your criteria nicely. Happy anniversary!

140 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

Nov 09, 2009
edamame in Greater Boston Area

What are you having/did you have for lunch today?

This soup, made last night with sweet potatoes from last week's Prudential Center farmers' market:

Supplemented with a multigrain roll from Flour, sugar snap peas from Trader Joe's and Halloween candy from my secretary.

Nov 03, 2009
edamame in Greater Boston Area

EVOO and Za in Kendall Square

As a Kendall Squareian, I am thrilled to learn that the EVOO/Za folks are planning to open 2 restaurants in the neighborhood. - scroll down to page 54.

Oct 20, 2009
edamame in Greater Boston Area

High End Vegan recommendation

Grezzo, in the North End:
It's vegan and high end...and it is also raw. I don't know whether that's a plus or minus in the eyes of your associate. I went soon after it opened, and found it more "interesting, how'd they do that" than "delicious." But I'm a vegetarian, not a vegan, and was fantasizing about the smell of melted cheese wafting through the North End air.

Aug 28, 2009
edamame in Greater Boston Area

"Meet the parents" dinner in Cambridge or suburbs

Garden at the Cellar?

No reservations, so it may not be ideal for this occasion. It meets all your criteria, though.

Aug 17, 2009
edamame in Greater Boston Area

Casual, low-key spot for group birthday dinner in S'ville / Cambridge?

Sad but true - there is no longer a Toscanini's in Harvard Square. But there is Herrell's, JP Licks, B&J, Lizzy's, Berryline and probably others I'm forgetting. I think kids especially love Herrell's. It's fun to sit in the old bank vault.

Jul 23, 2009
edamame in Greater Boston Area

Jack and the Bean Bowl - Copley Sq

Thanks for the info. Sad news.

Jul 22, 2009
edamame in Greater Boston Area

Jack and the Bean Bowl - Copley Sq

Anyone happen to know where Jack and the Bean Bowl is? They haven't been in Copley for several weeks. No update on their blog.

Jul 22, 2009
edamame in Greater Boston Area

Weekend visit

There are lots of places besides Locke Over that are anniversary-worthy.
Some options:

-No.9 Park
-Troquet (especially if you love wine, but even if you don't)
-O Ya (not a white tablecloth atmosphere, but absolutely delicious food)

Agree with Craigie for brunch.

Jun 08, 2009
edamame in Greater Boston Area

Board favorite restaurant veggie burgers?

Flour in the South End has a housemade one available this week as a take-away dinner option. I tried it last night - really delicious.

Jun 04, 2009
edamame in Greater Boston Area

Searching for Chile Relleno Burritos

if memory serves, La Verdad has them

May 28, 2009
edamame in Greater Boston Area

21st birthday dinner for a foodie/wine family

Given your criteria, I would have a cocktail at No.9 (agree on the Palmyra!) and then walk over to Troquet for dinner and wine.

I would cross off Radius and Rendezvous - both good, but not as tasty as others on your list. I would also eliminate O Ya. It's absolutely delicious, but the atmosphere is almost casual, not fancy-schmancy celebratory. Same with Ten Tables - more of a cozy neighborhood feel than a best of Boston blow-out. Only turn 21 once!
p.s. despite great longing, I have not yet tried Craigie at dinner - that sounds like a great choice, too

May 27, 2009
edamame in Greater Boston Area

Looking for special lunch spot near Albany St. hospitals

Toro, a tapas spot, has great sandwiches for lunch. It's on Washington Street, very close to BMC.

May 22, 2009
edamame in Greater Boston Area

Lunch for Trendologist

Is Chacarero too casual? I thought it was an interesting mini-trend when other places started serving their own versions. I remember reading that ZSquare had one (before they closed), and I think ABP as well? Trend aside, it makes for a delicious lunch.

Mar 20, 2009
edamame in Greater Boston Area

Must-try restaurants near Omni Parker House?

Chacarero would be a most excellent place to pick up sandwiches to eat outside!

I've been working on a map to help guide me when I have a location-based inquiry such as yours: (In truth, I'm trying to make some room in my brain by clearing out the section that is stuffed with restaurant ideas.


It's still in progress, and I haven't had time to put in many descriptions, but I hope it will help with your research. Another caveat: I'm a vegetarian, so have for the most part avoided including steakhouses and the like.

Mar 17, 2009
edamame in Greater Boston Area

A Satisfying Pasta Dish

Excellent! Happy to hear it.

Mar 05, 2009
edamame in Home Cooking

Jean Georges, Kefi, Scarpetta or Blue Hill?

Thanks for the opinions so far! I have eliminated Jean Georges and Scarpetta because the vegetarian options don't look as appealing. I'm also throwing Perilla into the mix. Anybody out there with a strong opinion?
My sense is these are all winners, just wondering if one of Blue Hill, Kefi or Perilla is more guaranteed for deliciousness.

Mar 05, 2009
edamame in Manhattan

Jean Georges, Kefi, Scarpetta or Blue Hill?

I know these are all wildly different - which one should I pick for my mom's birthday? She's happy at a fancy place or a more casual one. What I'm looking for is the most delicious meal possible at a place that feels celebratory. Warm and gracious service is a plus. And if the vegetarian options are as tasty as the non-veg ones, all the better. If we go to one of the more expensive places, we can't go wild with the tasting menus, will have to be a la carte.

Thoughts? Thanks!

Mar 02, 2009
edamame in Manhattan

A Satisfying Pasta Dish

This is a great recipe:

Easy, and more than the sum of its parts.

Feb 26, 2009
edamame in Home Cooking

Dining at Ten Tables -- Recommendations?

Chef's whim, but in my experience you can predict what you will have based on the regular menu. E.g., if the regular menu is what's online now, I would guess that the tasting menu is: beet salad, garlic soup, ricotta cavatelli minus the lamb ragu plus some sort of vegetable sauce, dessert. I think the portions of the soup course, and maybe the salad, might be a little smaller than what you would get if you ordered a la carte. Still a steal. Love this place.

Feb 20, 2009
edamame in Greater Boston Area

Dining at Ten Tables -- Recommendations?

The vegetarian tasting menu is terrific and a great value. I think a carnivore could certainly enjoy it if not in the mood for meat.

Only thing I don't like about it is not getting to choose my dessert - for some reason there's always something on the regular menu that sounds much better than what they choose to give for the tasting. (Their creme brulee is blah.)

Feb 19, 2009
edamame in Greater Boston Area

Just One Indian Cookbook

An excellent beginner's Indian cookbook is 5 Spices, 50 Dishes, by Ruta Kahate. Not comprehensive like what you're looking for, though.

Jan 27, 2009
edamame in Home Cooking

Garden at the Cellar, really?

This thread bums me out! Haven't been there for a few months, but this is one of my favorite places in Boston for a not-too-expensive dinner on a Friday or Saturday night (except for the long waits/no reservations - I try to get there on the early side.) Love the local/seasonal take on bar food and thankful for the many vegetarian options. (It's still surprising to me how many nice places give me exactly one option for dinner.) Always feels so cozy and welcoming. Chef Gilson usually delivers one course to the table and asks how the meal is going. Hope the food and/or service is not suffering as a result of the economy. I'll have to get there soon to give my support, hope I'm not disappointed too!

Jan 20, 2009
edamame in Greater Boston Area

planning a chow weekend in Portland, ME

Reporting back! Portland treated us great. Friday dinner at Yosaku. To my mind, this is the ideal sushi restaurant. We sat at the bar and loved interacting with the friendly chefs. Fresh and delicious sushi and an extensive menu that made us contemplate coming back again in the same short weekend. Saturday morning at the Good Egg. Nice place, would definitely have cozy brunches here if I lived in Portland, food is nothing revelatory (not that it should be for cheap breakfast.) Saturday lunch at Duckfat. Loved it, loved the truffle ketchup especially. For me, fries and a salad were an ideal lunch. For Mr. Edamame, the duck confit sandwich and fries were swoon-worthy. And Mainegal, thank you so much for the instructions to look around the neighborhood. Wow! Chocolate covered macaroon from Two Fat Cats, admired the atmosphere and selection at CBD, browsed forever in Rabelais, the incredible bookstore, watched pizza being made at Miccuci's (and am kicking self for not buying a slice for later - bought a portion of the baked pizza dough that they sell and it was truly awesome.) Dinner at Hugo's was super. I got all the vegetarian choices on the prix fixe - the deconstructed potato salad with transcendent deviled egg (really!) and beet and horseradish risotto with tempura grapefuit and goat cheese were two of the best things i've eaten in a long while. The mushroom meatloaf fell flat, but if I'd eaten the whole thing along with the other courses I would have burst. I also adored what came with my husband's smoked haddock appetizer: pickled cuke, fresh blini and sour cream pannacotta. On Sunday we had lunch at 555. Eschewing the brunch options, which did look fab, I had great parsnip soup with port reduction and he enjoyed a tremendously juicy burger with lavender catsup. Then we picked up some bread to take home from Standard Baking Co. You folks are lucky. Thanks again for the wonderful suggestions.