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bostonman's Profile

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KO/eastern standard...

Doug is now manager at Audobon Circle down the street...i don't know if he's taking any bar shifts, or not....hopefully he will!

Apr 27, 2007
bostonman in Greater Boston Area

Bouchee on Newbury Street

oh, you got me there. I have too, and a few terrific brunches. Maybe i overgeneralized a bit.............

Apr 26, 2007
bostonman in Greater Boston Area

Bouchee on Newbury Street

I've been to both in the last two weeks, and I for one have permantently crossed Bouchee off my list. I also have heard rumblings of change afoot at ESK, but my experiences at the bar could not have been light years apart.

We were flat out ignored at the bar at Bouchee for a solid five minutes, not even the curtesy "Be right with you!" with a smile (the service bartender in front of us would not make eye contact at all --- I used to work for the back bay restaurant group, and I assumed they told him not to help bar customers or he'd be immediately fired! ha!...have 100s of stories from working for them....another post...back to topic). The bartender gave incorrect drinks to one of my party, did the wine upsell to the most expensive glass (didn't fall for that one), neglected to tell the vegetarian (who had introduced herself as such) that there was BACON in their soup ("I had no idea!" he stated), we never got water, never got the 3rd round of drinks, etc. 2/3 of us are old restaurant people (both bartenders for years) and are very forgiving for mistakes...but...when the line is finally crossed, forget it. We both counted numerous missteps which were amateurish on one end to flat-out rude on the other. For some of you, these may be little things, but for $10+ glasses of wine, we demand more. Too old for that nonsense.

Then, again, why were we surprised?? it reeks of back bay restaurant group...and, clearly when we left our seats, three other unsuspecting people quickly snapped them up. As with all of their restaurants, it's about getting the people in and out....cultivating relationships was never a priority (obviously there are many hard working staff members who try very hard...but IMO most do not)

Whereas, on the other end of the spectrum, i've been batting 100% (yup, not one misstep) at ESK for the last 2 years. The service could not be better -- even with them being slammed busy. This is the difference from professional servers (most of them have been part of the No. 9 park/Chez Henri/B Side families) and people who have moved up from waiting tables for their first shot at bartending (which is notoriously what the BBRG does).

I have heard the food is good --- (the duck confit salad being one), but it's a no brainer for us between it and ESK.

Apr 26, 2007
bostonman in Greater Boston Area

Z in Manchester?

Hey all --- I haven't been able to get up there for dinner yet, but friends are going to be in town. Any thoughts on what's good on the menu? Any interesting cocktail? Thanks!

24 hours in Portland, 24 in Portsmouth

have you heard of the Green Monkey in Portsmouth? it's where we always go when we are up there. GREAT cocktails and vibe...franklin cafe-ish? (Actually, i have heard an old franklin bartender is now mixing some great ones up there!)

http://www.thegreenmonkey.net/

anyway..sounds like a fun weekend!!

Wagamama open today?

that's disappointing. There was a very brief mention of the chain in this month's bon appetit, and it got me excited that we were their first US venture.

Does anyone know where they're going into Harvard Sq? Is it where the old structure/limited space (underneath the empty HMV) is being renovated?

Apr 23, 2007
bostonman in Greater Boston Area

Franklin Cafe?!??!!

don't worry --- just a renovation! Word on the street is that since they're not moving to harrison or upstairs, they've decided to redo the current location. New bar, tables, lighting, fresh coat of paint, etc. I think other than minor changes behind the bar, and the big shift in paint from green to maroon, this is the first major renovation in 11 years.

Apr 23, 2007
bostonman in Greater Boston Area

Franklin Cafe, again

no, it's a dead deal. The neighborhood was very opposed to the expansion upstairs.

So, it seems they're going to close for a week or so within the next month to overhaul the restaurant, which hasn't had a fresh coat of paint in a few years. (Remember it was an olive green inside when it first opened??)

hands down, the franklin cafe rocks. Was, is, and probably will always be our #1 spot in the south end --- and for the most part -- the city itself

Apr 04, 2007
bostonman in Greater Boston Area

"Z" Restaurant (Manchester, NH) - Any info?

I'm from Manchester --- this sounds terrific and much needed, especially after Baldwin's closed.

there website is up now...the place looks great. One of you guys needs to check it out --
http://www.zfoodanddrink.com

Chorizo

Court House Seafood on Cambridge street in East Cambridge --- not only the freshest seafood around -- but spectacular portuguese chourico and linguica. Great for the grill or as an addition to any soup or red sauce

Mar 21, 2007
bostonman in Greater Boston Area

Baldwin's in Manchester?

hey all -- i'm going up to manchester this weekend...I know that baldwin's has closed, and heard that an italian place was going in? Does anyone know what's going on there?

Green Street Grill

Hmmm...I'm about 100% that is the old website from the previous incarnation. For one, the new owner has dropped the 'grill' from the official name (but everyone still adds it when it's referred), they do not offer live music anymore, and the food is more comfort/new england food with a slight upscale twist (mac & cheese with duck confit rocks!!!)

I'm surprised this website is till up, though. Weird. I'll mention that to them when I go in next and get the scoop.

Feb 20, 2007
bostonman in Greater Boston Area

Anyone been to Garden at the Cellar in Harvard Square?

definitely a solid 15 minute walk from regatta bar. I live around there...i wouldn't consider the Cellar/Garden 'harvard square'..it's between central and harvard..and my vote would be that it's slightly more on the central square side. (i live in central..it's 5 minutes away)

Regardless....we plan to go this friday night. Does anyone know if they take reservations? And no, they aren't open for lunch. I'm excited to to hear it could be a great neighborhood addition.

Feb 12, 2007
bostonman in Greater Boston Area

Brasseries v. bistros...what's the difference?

thanks guys --- it's never really been explained to me like that....and thank you for the links!

Feb 09, 2007
bostonman in General Topics

Brasseries v. bistros...what's the difference?

So, this thought came to me after reading the post on polidor/balzar, etc, and reading rjkaneda's well written response.

I suppose after being in paris pushing 10x, i'm not quite clear what defines a 'brasserie'. I had thought something like Le Select would be considered a traditional brasserie, but I can see how the response makes sense.

So, how would you guys differentiate between the two types of places? I think i thought it had to do with the size of the space....hours open, outdoor capacities, etc (as in le select!) and generally a higher quality of food than an average corner cafe... Or, are the words brasserie and cafe sort of interchangeable? Is Le Dome a brasserie? Closiers des lilas a large cafe?

I guess I understand a traditional 'bistro' (polidor)....not really any outdoor space in general? smaller space? more defined/smaller menu?

Here in the states, the words brasserie/bistro/cafe are thrown around very loosely...all claiming to have authenticity....i'd love to get on my high horse and tell them otherwise.....

thanks!

Feb 08, 2007
bostonman in General Topics

1st time in Paris: traditional brasserie (Balzar, Pied de Cochon, Polidor?)

Ån absolute tradition for me is to go to Le Select on Blvd Montparnasse the first evening I arrive in Paris for steak tartare and a glass of Sancerre that most likely unavailable here.

In fact, one of my favorite stories of how friendly parisiens actually are comes from my last experience there...I had been struggling over the word for 'wine key' in french, knowing that tire bouchon is the corkscrew. (I have since forgotten the word). After a broken conversation with our waiter who did not understand English, he walked back outside and handed me an extra wine key from the restaurant as a memento from Paris. Still waiting for the day when people can be that friendly here in boston.......(ok, ok, in general! ha!)

Classic, bustling, tradtional.

Lastly....i wouldn't consider Polidor a brasserie...more of a bistro, correct?

Feb 08, 2007
bostonman in France

bistro dining in the 6th or 7th

Hi all -

I'll be in Paris with my dad in two weeks, and would love some thoughts on places.
Thanks to your recommendations last time, I will be going back to Bastide Odeon, which was fabulous. We're staying right near there.

I usuallly am in the 6th, and venture to the 4th...but lately I see that a lot of your suggestions are in the 7th. So, i'm thinking it may be worth exploring? I've been to Fontaine de Mars, and the cassoulet was fanastic.

I've been to Le Comptoir, and plan to return for lunch. Excellent. Other than that, is there any place that i need to explore in the 6th? I've heard of Le Timbre and Chez George....thoughts? I've heard there are interesting bistros on the other side of the garden, but have not fully explored that area.

Now, for the 7th, Le Petit Troquet, chez l'ami jean, and au bon acceuil are the three that always come up. Should we stay with those three, or are there others in a similar vein in either arron.?

Also...what are your thoughts on Balzar? is it a beautiful space...or just a tourist trap a la les deux magots?

Thank you in advance! and if any of you come to boston....i can completely set you up.

Feb 06, 2007
bostonman in France

Where in the South End...?

funky & not over the top expensive? Run to the franklin cafe. Period. Has had some of the best, creative and most interesting food in boston for years. The Franklin is a Boston institution...end of sentence. Of course, others will disagree because it just isn't...well...fabulous anymore.

If busy, hit Tremont 647, Aquitaine or the Dish. If not, get in a cab and go to cambridge (central kitchen, b-side lounge, chez henri or others of the REAL true and tried in this city)

Avoid 28 degrees/Butcher Shop/B&G/Toro/Stella like the plague...all are the extremely-not-funky-cashed-in-on-the-late90s/early2000s-scene and way too expensive and very precious 'new' south end fabulousness...everything the south end wasn't not too long ago, when the the restaurant world was fresh and inventive (there was a day when a $25 entree in the south end actually meant fantastic food). These are the places most of us who actually used to live/play/work in that area for years now avoid at all costs (and laugh at)

Nov 30, 2006
bostonman in Greater Boston Area

upscale in manchester NH?

ha! being in boston, high prices are not shocking...I was just thinking more along the lines of better quality....not fried calamari or buffalo tenders. Both the BVI and Richard's look interesting...the rule of thumb here is that we will pay into the 30s for an entree if the food and service is terrific. I suppose from your persepctive that's outrageous....sort of how many of us feel now that entrees are starting to creep towards 50 in some places ("this isn't NYC!")

thanks!

upscale in manchester NH?

Hey all -- I'm heading up for the weekend. I've heard that the places for good chow are Cotton, Richard's Bistro and the Hanover St Chophouse. Has anyone been to these places? Are there others to keep a lookout for? I'm also interested in great wine and cocktails.

Thanks!!

A reasonably priced bistro in the 6th or the 13th?

excellent!

on the plane tonight -- going to go down the list to check them all out. Hope to have reservations at La bastide d'odeon tomorrow first.

I really appreciate the list --- will give an update!

Oct 19, 2006
bostonman in France

A reasonably priced bistro in the 6th or the 13th?

Hi all--

We're going to paris next week for a week. Now, we've been many times, and this time we're really trying to up the foodie experience without breaking the bank.

Do you have a few suggestions on some quality neighborhood places in the 6th? I've heard a lot about Chez George and Polidor, for two. I've had great lunch experiences at Les Editeurs and Le Comptoir in the past, and we're hooked on Le Petit Zinc also.

As for the 13th, Chez Paul? le temps des cerises? La Butte aux Cailles looks very interesting.

Finally --- any off the beated-path cafe for a great local feel and great glass of wine/cafe? We would like a change from the St Germain/Rue de Buci scene. I want to hit Le Tournon and Le Dix for sangria.

Any thoughts?

And....I will happily reciprocate when any of you visit Boston!

Thank you!!!

Oct 13, 2006
bostonman in France