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Boston clam chowder with no pork?

Champions, at the Copley Marriott is meat-less---and delicious. Their recipe is an award winner. And as a chowder fan, it's my favorite. I believe the attractive flavor in this creation comes from a hint of cummin. Stephanies on Newbury Street said that they no longer put bacon in it so that its safe for "pescaterians."

Sep 23, 2010
lorpa in Greater Boston Area

Lunch on Saturday - Copley Square?

All of the above sound good. For lunch, it'd be fun to wonder around the North End. My picks are Rabia's, 73 Salem st., and Limoncello, 190 North st. For dinner, directly across from your hotel, is Sorellina, up-scale Italian: pretty dining room, wonderful food, seamless sevice.

Nov 09, 2007
lorpa in Greater Boston Area

La Voile---magnifique!

RE, lunch: there are plans for lunch sometime soon. At this time it's open for dinner only. FYI: phone # is 617-587-4200, 261 Newbury st.

Nov 07, 2007
lorpa in Greater Boston Area

La Voile---magnifique!

"La Voile Brasserie, one of the oldest and most appreciated restaurants in Cannes, France has sailed and anchored lock, stock and barrel in Boston." La Voile: [Fr. vwal]- noun, the sail.

Dinner, Sunday evening: A short flight of steps leads down to the entrance of this new brasserie below the Newbury Guest House. Passing through the door, I was honored with a friendly greeting by hostess, Stephanie, lovely blond wife of owner, Stephane Santos. At 6:15pm I was the first to arrive. I stepped over to the small bar and lounge/waiting area. Behind the bar is a majestic, shiny chrome expresso machine. I was able to chat with Stephane, Stephanie and manager, Philippe Canton-Lamousse about their new adventure in Boston.

I know next to nothing about French wines and Phillipe was delighted to tell me about the wines of Southern France. He's created an extensive French wine menu with several from each category of reds and whites available by the glass. He was offering a special this evening, that I tried, Chateau Malartic-Lagraviere blanc Pessac Leagnan, '03. Wow! [92.00 by the bottle, this evening [only] by the glass, 18.00]

At this time, La Voile has a license for wine and beer.

Wood paneled walls, pictures of sailboats: a nautical theme prevails. To add to the pleasing ambience, soft french ballads waft over the music system. The dining room is divided into two sections, set up bistro-style, with 2-tops covered with white table cloths. Waiters look smart in their white jackets, black aprons and pants. I could be in France: the owners have brought over with them their restaurant, their chef, Sam, and two of their waiters.

The menu that they offer is much the same as they served in Cannes.

LES HORS D'OEUVRE: fish soup, soupe du jour, bone marrow, endive salad, ravioli, leeks, fois gras, roasted lobster, scallop salad, cold cut selection, and cheese platter. Prices range from 8.00 to 20.00.

LES TERRINES MAISON: duck fois gras, country pate, chicken liver mousse, muscat veal. Prices from 15.00 to 43.00.

LE POISSON: mussels, baby squid, halibut, seabass, dover sole, and bouillabaisse. Prices from 15.00 to 43.00.
LA VIANDE: chicken, sweet bread, filet mignon, beef fondue, veal steak frites, veal and lamb. Prices from 18.00 to 38.00.

DESSERT: There are about 10 selections---sorry I don't have the particulars. They're all 7.00.

The menu is in French with the English immediately below in bold type.

My dinner for one: The meal begins with slices of Iggy's French sourdough contained in a warm, cloth sack and a butter pat. [The bread, it 's claimed, is the only thing not made in the restaurant.] I chose the sparkling mineral water, Badoit, "Frances' Favorite." I selected, for hors d'oeuvre, Les Petites Ravioles de Romans au Pesto/ French Mini Cheese-Filled Ravioli in a Pesto. This is a generous portion of ravioli served in a soup plate in a creamy sauce, subtly seasoned and yummy: French comfort food. [12.00]
My main course was La Marmite a la Marseillaise preparee en Bouillabaisse/ Fish Stew "Bouillabaisse" in a Saffron Broth: large, tender peices of halibut, seabass, shrimp, and mussels in a thick broth. Small slices of grilled bread along with 3 sauces accompanied this. It was superb. [29.00]

I was full and content. Philippe recommended a small dessert, L'Expresso Gourmand. This is a tiny cup of chocolate mousse, and one of creme brulee, along with 2 mini cookie-bars. Perfect. I substituted the expresso with a pot of camomile tea.[7.00]

And then the grand finale, a small glass of dessert wine, Cancaillau Cuvee Gourmandise Locarno, '95.[12.00]

Sunday was a slow night for La Voile, maybe 5 tables were occupied when I left. When word gets out, a crowd could be overwhelming for them. Because their challenge is to augment and train a proper wait-staff: a wonderful opportunity for the right person to work there.
This is an outstanding restaurant: impeccable service, delicious French-Mediterranean fare, a pleasing ambience, and the management and the crew who know how to be welcoming and pleasing. This is a restaurant that I'm excited about and I can't wait to go back.

Nov 06, 2007
lorpa in Greater Boston Area

Boston Seafood

Skipjack's in Boston is one of my favorites. It has an extensive menu and they are good with large groups. Anthony's Pier 4 has the best view of the harbor and is reasonably priced. However, the food is underwhelming---decent but ordinary. But you can't beat the view.

Aug 30, 2007
lorpa in Greater Boston Area

good food in back bay

second slim's southend suggestion. 11 people is a big group to move. here are some venues that are walkable, have decent food, and aren't too pricey: avila on charles st., rustic kitchen, in the radisson hotel on stuart st., mccormick & schmick's in the park plaza hotel, and maggiano's little italy on columbus ave. for more money, and good food, try grill -23, across the street from jury's: same price range as davio's.

Aug 26, 2007
lorpa in Greater Boston Area

Chai masala

Madras Masala, 191 Harvard st. in Brookline carries my favorite chai masala, "Everest." Call them to make sure that they have it in stock. 617-566-9943.

Mar 31, 2007
lorpa in Greater Boston Area

Suggestions for a good seafood restaurant in Boston

Mare, 135 Richmond st., in the NorthEnd.
Atlantic Fish Co., 761 Boylston st., in the BackBay.
Skipjack's, 199 Clarendon st., BackBay.
Jumbo Seafood, 7 Hudson st., Chinatown.

Feb 14, 2007
lorpa in Greater Boston Area

Anyone tried the Theater District Rustic Kitchen?

Went early on a Tuesday before the theatre. Had the Tuna Tartare ap and a pinot grigio. The beautiful tower of tuna and avacdo is spiked with hot sauce---lots of heat on this delicate dish. Home-baked bread with a delicious, warm, white bean spread along with some olives is served as part of the meal. Service was excellent on this slow night in the bar area. Tom Holloway, the exec chef, makes himself available and is friendly. He talked about the food show that will come out of the special kitchen designed for this purpose. They should do well in this beautiful new space near the theatre district. A big improvement over the old "57" steakhouse.

Feb 10, 2007
lorpa in Greater Boston Area

Good food near Marriott Copley Place?

The best approach, since you're staing at the Marriott, would be to talk to a concierge there.
They're well-versed on the restaurants in Boston, have menues available, and are happy to help you with reservations. Until then, I second the Skipjack's recommendation and would add Atlantic Fish Co. Kashmir is an excellent Indian restaurant. Stephanies has tasty American comfort food. Brasserie-jo has food available 'til 1 AM. And Boston is a "chowish" city with many great restaurants.

Feb 10, 2007
lorpa in Greater Boston Area


as concierge at a nearby hotel, we send many of our hungry guests there. feedback at first was that the portions seemed small. sasso people said that this would be taken care of. and we've had no negative comments since. my meal there, the night before it opened to the public was delicious. good food and wine list.

Feb 08, 2007
lorpa in Greater Boston Area

Fun restaurant experience with a different/funky atmosphere

all of the above sound good. my picks: Pho Republique in the south end. funky, bohemian ambiance with good food and drink---full bar.. Rabia's and Marco in the north end. quaint and impressive with excellent food--- beer & wine only. Orinico, a "latin kitchen" on shamut ave.---w/beer & wine.

Feb 04, 2007
lorpa in Greater Boston Area

Bostone Pizza!!!

This Sicilian style, thick crust pizza, is outstanding. And I usually stay away from the thick crust pan pizzas because they usually remind me of a soggy grilled cheese sandwich. Bostone turned me around with their crispy, crunchy crust. The tomato-basil was perfect, the spinach-cheese likewise. Their thin crust style is also delicious. As you can tell, I enjoyed 2 more slices than I needed. It's seductive. And no trans-fats, says Bostone partner/manager, Chris King.

Jan 31, 2007
lorpa in Greater Boston Area

Restaurant that went into the old Ambrosia spot?

Sasso is outstanding ! The crew from Lucca know how to run a restaurant: delicious Northern Italian, gourmet cuisine, extensive wine list, good service, and welcoming dining and bar areas. The sole that I enjoyed was wrapped around a delicious puree, beautifully presented. I believe their aim is to go beyond Lucca, and as such, they'll be competing with the likes of Sorellina and Via Matta. The bill for the 3 of us---wine, apps, pasta, entree, and dessert, came to $218. They're taking reservations. They said that they'll settle in for a month or so before beating the drum for business.

Jan 16, 2007
lorpa in Greater Boston Area

Veggies in Boston?

As a rule of thumb [or spoon]: India is a vegetarian country [the muslims are an exception] so you can depend on Indian restaurants to have a good selection of vegetarian fare. Asian restaurants also will feature vegetarian. And of course the pastas, etc. at the Italian restaurants are a nice option. Chef's at the better Boston restaurants have told me that they enjoy the challenge to be creative if you don't find anything on the menu that works for you.

Jan 08, 2007
lorpa in Greater Boston Area

Legal Seafoods- So ever poor

Sorry to hear of the bad experience. I hope that you've conveyed this to Roger Berkowitz.
As concierge, we send guests to Legal. No complaints so far. But our favorites in the area are Skipjack's and Atlantic Fish Co. We get good reviews for these. SJ's has a professional wait-staff that makes a big difference. And my last visit to Legal--Park Sq---was decent food presented by a well-meaning, and obviously amature wait-staff.

Jan 08, 2007
lorpa in Greater Boston Area

Can any one remember this Afgan place..........

HELMAND, 143 1st street, near the CambridgeSide Galleria may be the one you saw. It's the best. ZAGAT rates it high,

Nov 09, 2006
lorpa in Greater Boston Area

Where to go to get a great steak in the middle of the day?

Two outstanding steak [and seafood] restaurants in Boston's Back Bay area are the Palm in the Westin Copley and Abe & Louie's on Boylston street. The Palm serves lunch M-F. A & L is open every day for lunch. Both are noted for their beef and the feedback that I've received has been positive. Both have a clubby ambiance and a proffesional wait staff. During the week they're popular with the movers and the shakers.

Nov 07, 2006
lorpa in Greater Boston Area

Dinner Near Hines Convention Center: Help!

Second critiques of SS. Stephanies is consistently good---as are Atlantic Fish Co, Sonsie, Tapeo, Bouche, Charlies, Joe's American. For upscale, Capital Grill is one of the best.

Nov 06, 2006
lorpa in Greater Boston Area

Wisteria House on Newbury st./Back Bay:

This Chinese/Taiwan style cafe is one that I've overlooked, as a concierge, for hotel guests looking for Chinese food. So I was pleasantly surprised yesterday when I attended their 12th year anniversary celebration. Owner/manager, Tina Peng, prepared traditional Taiwanese dishes and snacks that were delicious. I will go back. My question is, please, has anyone dined at Wisteria that will give a critique of food and service ? Because there are no other exclusively Chinese restaurants in this immediate area.

Nov 06, 2006
lorpa in Greater Boston Area

Good Eats in the North End

Bricco is one of my favorites for delicious, gourmet Italian cuisine. It remains outstanding even though the great chef, Maria Iosco, left several months ago. Their sister restaurant around the corner, called Mare, is one of the best gourmet seafood restaurants in Boston. Terramia is another excellent restaurant. Also Lucca. Rabia's is a good value with good food and reasonable prices.

Nov 03, 2006
lorpa in Greater Boston Area

Good nad cheap Italian (T accessible)

Add Rabia's to your list for delicious, inexpensive food. However it's more Mediterainian than Italian. Cantina Italiana is noted for its home-made pasta and reasonable prices. Saraceno is another good one, in my experience.

Nov 02, 2006
lorpa in Greater Boston Area

Ciao Bella, in Boston's Back Bay:

Please, would someone who's been there recently tell me about their experience. We used to send our Marriott guests their when Bret was manager. After he left several years ago, we received some negative feed-back about the food. And Zagat says "bland...uninspired." I want to know if it has turned around for the better before I try it again---or consider sending people there.

Nov 02, 2006
lorpa in Greater Boston Area