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Cuisine at Home--thoughts on subscribing?

The amateur writing in the editor's letter always makes me laugh, laugh, laugh. The recipes are usually fairly solid, though.

Jan 15, 2009
wittlejosh in Food Media & News

veal bones

I saw some right in the self-serve meat shelves at the Fenway Whole Foods today. Maybe check the River Street location?

Your favorite inexpensive, spicy meals?

The Steamed Szechuan Beef at FuLoon!

Cambridge 1

I really like it a lot.

Not good for takeout---the thin crust cools faaaaast.

Source for Luxardo Amaretto, Maraschino and other products?

I've seen some of that stuff at Brix in the South End

What was your favourite childhood concoction, which you now think is disgusting?

South Carolina: called suicides

Jan 02, 2009
wittlejosh in General Topics

Aujourd'hui or L'Espalier?

Much, much different, in my experience.

Aujourd'hui or L'Espalier?

I think you'll hear more L'Espalier on this board. but I'd actually steer you to Aujourd'hui. I think William Kovel, the young chef, is doing some really exciting food right now.

End of the year Dining Chat [moved from Boston Board]

In her Fuloon review, she mentioned that the Szechuan Steamed Beef was for serious chili-heads, but too spicy for her. Or some such.

Jan 01, 2009
wittlejosh in Food Media & News

Stones Public House in Ashland?

IMHO: Used to be way better when Matt Murphy was still cooking there. Now still OK, but not the same. Nice vibe, tho.


Either I'm on a string of bad luck, or I just don't like the food that much here. Gorgeous menu descriptions, interesting combinations, but...just don't like it. Dense gnocchi, abundance of bitter citrus peel (or oil) everywhere you bite, problematic temperature differentials with components in the same dish.

I have to give them credit for breaking the mold; I'm just not sure their nailing it.

Or maybe they see me coming?

Speaking of wine: I quite liked the Nebbiolo they sell by the glass.

Gourmet Dumpling House ChowDown, 12/27/2008

Some excellent dishes (IMO) to try next time at Gourmet Dumpling House:

Twice Cooked Pork
Beef with Ladies Fingers
Sauteed Chinese Lettuce
Julienne Pork with Bamboo Shoots

Jamaica: Should I leave my resort?

Staying in Riu Palace Tropical near Negril over the Christmas holidays. We've got the all-inclusive plan, but I'm wondering if it's worth making a trip outside the resort to sample some worthy chow.

Is there a Jamaican Meat Patty, Jerk Something, or Grilled Lobster worth escaping to find???

Taiwan Cafe renovations?

I just had the Shrimp with Yellow Chives, the Spicy Eggplant with Basil, and the Spicy Salt and Pepper Fried Chicken a few nights ago. Delicious as ever!

Bina Boston?

Boston magazine's blog mentions this Chowhound thread:

Phantom Gourmet and TV Diner

The way I understand it, from a (reliable) source inside the organization: "Restaurant Report Cards" are legit, with an unsteered reviewer (though, thanks to the scoring system, big portions and good value get factored in significantly to the overall score, as much as, say, appetizers).

The rest of the segments are decided topically (we're doing a BBQ show; we're doing a Comfort Food show, etc.), with preference given to sponsors and advertisers, as well as newbies (to encourage future advertisers), but not direct pay-for-play.

Agree that it muddies the waters, but they seem to be consistent with these divisions. Which the average viewer wouldn't know.

Dec 17, 2008
wittlejosh in Food Media & News

Christmas in Chinatown

I second East Ocean City for a big feast. The fried lobsters (with ginger and scallion). Dungeness crabs,m and steamed fish (as described above) are great, and the nonseafood dishes are solid as well.

Needed: Chicken Soup downtown (or Brookline)

The broth in the New England Soup Factory Matzoh Ball Soup is absolutely unbelievable. Likely same as chicken noodle?

Sea Scallops (not the brief, delicious Nantucket scallops)

It's funny---there aren't many things I'd go out of my way to got to Savenor's for, but dry-packed scallops are definitely one. They're always niucely sized and, IMO, have a better flavor than most I've seen around.

That said, the Beacon Hill WF had some gorgeous ones on Saturday. So I was tempted.

Grill 23 vs. Moo

Give Mooo a try, for a change.

I slightly prefer Grill 23, but I think Mooo does a great job and it's a gorgeous room. Splurge for the 21 Day Aged strip (sirloin?)----it was awesome. The sides may be even better than Grill 23's.

Nantucket Bay Scallops

I just had them at O Ya. A preparation I tried there almost exactly a year ago, too, and it's right up there with the Hamachi with Banana Pepper Mousse among my favorite dishes of all there.

Plump, sweet bay scallops, served sashimi style but whole, tossed with a creamt coconut nilk dressing heavy on line, green chile pepper, and (maybe) lemongrass and (even less maybe) yuzu.

It's absolutely beautiful.


Nadeau also gave Da Vinci and Sushi Teq four stars (wtf?), but point taken. I'll definitely head back soon.

Favorite Tasting Menu?

--The Aujourd'hui tasting menu has been stellar as of late
--The omakase at O Ya is phenomenal
--Agree with above on L'Espalier

--I always do better a la carte at No. 9, for some reason; Clio, too

Nantucket Bay Scallops

Last year, Barbara Lynch did them in a steel ramekin with lemon, cream, and buttered lemon-ized bread crumbs at B&G Oysters. @#$^@ incredible.


Lightened up considerably since Dedo, helped in part by opening up a second entrance to the "dining room" from the bar area, on the left side of the bar. It's still got only about the charm, decorwise, of Craigie Street. The bar area, once again, may be the best place to eat.

A few other tweaks here and there.


I'm glad to hear about the good experiences. I recently went and experienced nothing but screw-ups, including service and every one of the five dishes we tried.

I'll give it another couple of weeks and try again.

Is Anyone Else Aghast???

When did he say "Call me next year"?

Oct 26, 2008
wittlejosh in Food Media & News

Prezza Redux--what to get next?

Prezza's pork chop with vinegar-peppers is one of the best versions of the dish I ever had.

Private wine tasting in Paris

Traveling to Paris with my mother and my other half next week, and I'm interested in arranging some sort of nice private wine tasting. I'm a professional food journalist and do know a little bit about wine; my companions are fans of wine but are basically amateurs.

Any suggestions for good places to try to arrange a nice experience?

Oct 14, 2008
wittlejosh in France

Phantom Gourmet gift card. Where would you go?


Lot of clunkers, but these are my favorites.