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Puritan and Co.

We did as well, and like MC Slim, we found it dry. A nice thought, at least.

Dec 20, 2012
natecsd in Greater Boston Area

Puritan and Co.

I was at P&C last night with 3 friends, and I'd offer a bit of a counterpoint to the buzz here. The food was - on the whole - quite good, but the experience as a whole was frustrating to say the least. First things first, the food:

Things that were great: the lamb chop and sausage - perfectly cooked w. a lot of flavor. The chicken - as described by others - yum! And the scallop appetizer - incredible, and I didn't think the portion was terribly undersized. And the swordfish pastrami was likely great, but I didn't get to taste it... Finally, as others mentioned, the rolls are out of this world good.

Things that were good: the baby kale salad - Nicely plated, not overdressed, but lacking that bit of pizazz (or perhaps the foie of the frisee!) The chicken soup - Doubleman got it pretty much perfect. Good for a cold night.

Things that were fine: the gougeres, and the grilled oysters. Neither were amazing.

If I stopped here, you'd think - why the trepidation? The trouble was the timing. We sat and looked at the menus, got our drinks (it really is an excellent and interesting wine list), and waited. And waited. This isn't so much a knock on the service, which was very competent most of the time, but on the kitchen. It took probably 25 minutes for our first round of dishes to arrive, and then somewhere between 45 minutes and an hour - literally - for our mains to come out. They came around with little cups of the cauliflower soup after about 40 minutes as we must have begun to look desperate. That helped, but only barely. We love a leisurely meal, but we had two courses and didn't linger, and we were there for 3 hours.

I know they've been open only three weeks and these sorts of things happen. We usually try to stay away for the first month or so, but this time it didn't happen. I'd definitely try it again, but perhaps not for a little while...

Dec 19, 2012
natecsd in Greater Boston Area

Local Asparagus

City Feed on Centre St. in JP has had it (on and off, in their way) for the last few days. I bought a bunch earlier this afternoon. $7 a lb.

Apr 25, 2012
natecsd in Greater Boston Area

experiences with Sofra catering? other good caterers with Middle Eastern menus?

I encountered catered food from Sofra at a party a couple weekends ago - it was mighty tasty. Don't remember what exactly there was, but it was quite a spread and nothing was less than very good.

1 Belmont St, Cambridge, MA 02138

Oct 13, 2011
natecsd in Greater Boston Area

One Day, 7 pizzas

I third - I just ate dinner and now I want pizza... excellent adventure.

May 18, 2011
natecsd in Greater Boston Area

Looking for Rittenhouse 100

Blanchards JP had 5 bottles left this afternoon...

Dec 06, 2010
natecsd in Greater Boston Area

Looking for Rittenhouse 100

Resurrecting an earlier question, anyone seen any Rittenhouse 100 recently around town? Thanks!

Sep 11, 2010
natecsd in Greater Boston Area

Cheap Beers in the South End

The last few times I've been to Toro (a few months ago, so perhaps this is again out of date), the PBR was something like $3 or $4, definitely not $1. This resulted in a very disappointed DC, who promptly forgot about sadness with a great cocktail (also not $1)

Dec 11, 2009
natecsd in Greater Boston Area

PDX - what stores carry "hard-to-find" cocktail ingredients


Nov 22, 2009
natecsd in Metro Portland

PDX - what stores carry "hard-to-find" cocktail ingredients

I'm visiting PDX for a week and would love to find a store (or several) that carry harder to find cocktail ingredients. By this I mean bitters (from Regan's orange to the Bitter Truth), the full Luxardo line, etc. I'm staying in the Pearl/Downtown, though willing to travel a bit. Any help is much appreciated - thanks!

Nov 19, 2009
natecsd in Metro Portland

Chia Seeds in Boston (or Cambridge)

They have them at Harvest (in JP, but likely in Cambridge too) in slick packaging for what seems like too much money (26.95 for maybe 1lb, don't quite remember)

Oct 13, 2009
natecsd in Greater Boston Area

The Reagle Beagle!

From one of those "green" staff (who isn't really so much, but beside the point), hopeful opening date is this coming Monday or Tuesday. But we all know how easily hopes are dashed (see Hobo, Lord)...

Oct 09, 2009
natecsd in Greater Boston Area

Dorado opens tomorrow! (7/29)

DC and I ate our way through the 3 fish and 1 chorizo taco this afternoon and were very pleased with the meal. Fresh flavors, tortillas not rubbery (though could probably be warmer/more cooked), and the 2 fresh juices (hibiscus, watermelon) outstanding. While the location isn't particularly convenient for me, I'd definitely stop in again if I were in/near Coolidge Corner.

Aug 15, 2009
natecsd in Greater Boston Area

sandwiches to go in JP

Another option is Canto 6, a bakery/cafe on Washington Street less than a mile from the Arboretum. IMHO, it and City Feed offer the best sandwiches in JP, and you'd be unlikely to be disappointed by either.

May 15, 2009
natecsd in Greater Boston Area

Craigie on Main - Cocktails

Had a great time last night at the bar at Craigie, sharing small plates and some fantastic drink-making from Tom. Eats were grilled shrimp with some sort of yogurt foam sauce that tasted a bit like curry (yum), mussels, and the roast chicken. We drank our way through the whiskey dept; my highlight, which was the best drink I've had this year was a bourbon, cynar, and walnut liquor cocktail in a glass rinsed in mezcal and then flamed.

I love that most of the drinks at Craigie are only $10, though I hate that I always end up having more of them then I think...

Apr 30, 2009
natecsd in Greater Boston Area

What you drank at "Drink"

I think you're right - that Mezcal-based drink Ben made you looked pretty darn good.

Mar 01, 2009
natecsd in Greater Boston Area

What you drank at "Drink"

We went Friday night and had a couple stunning cocktails made by Ben - one with Cognac, ginger demerara syrup, sparkling wine and a twist of lime - and a second courtesy of Don Lee from PDT named the DLB (Don's Little Bitter). Peychauds, Angostura (orange and regular), lemon, SS, Fernet, and Barbancourt 8. Yum.

Topping it off was a Folia Noche - calvados, walnut liquer, and fee's whiskey bitters. Also delicious.

Feb 28, 2009
natecsd in Greater Boston Area

Any early risers on Sundays?

I'm pretty certain that Centre Street Cafe in JP opens at 9am for brunch - definitely casual enough for kids.

Feb 21, 2009
natecsd in Greater Boston Area

Lost Favorite Entrees

Evidently (I haven't been back to verify) the bar menu is back at No. 9. But it doesn't seem like they restored that version of the gnocchi...

Feb 19, 2009
natecsd in Greater Boston Area

Gargoyle's new menu?

With JP and 2 others, we had a fantastic dinner at Gargoyles last night. Wow. To answer the OP's question, the new menus are finally up on their website. To be honest, while the revised dinner (and new bisto - read less adventurous and slightly less expensive) looked less interesting than the last iteration, the food was both interesting and awesome.

Drinks: figitini was terrible (medicinal and too alcoholic), asian pear "martini" was great if you like those sorts of drinks, vesper and rob roy were well made, if not up to ES, Craigie, Drink standards.

Appetizers: lobster tacos, scallops, and a special "buffalo shrimp". All were excellent. Of the three, the scallops were probably the best, with a heavenly and hefty slice of slab bacon in the middle. The tacos were good, strangely not as flavorful as expected, and the shrimp, which were tempura fried and then lightly covered in seemingly house-made buffalo seasoning, were not particularly crispy but the seasoning was delicious (vinegary/spicy).

Entrees: grilled salmon over celeriac puree and calamri butter - this was off the bistro menu, and while not as creative as the other entrees, one of the best salmon entrees I've seen in a while. black truffle arancini over cauliflower puree - perfectly fried arancini that were rich, tempered by slightly pickled veggies and a yummy puree. Rainbow trout picatta with overlooked veggies - this was simply awesome, with some crazy veggies (sunchokes, squash, and crosnes, pronounced crone(s) and a great sauce/broth. And 1/2 chicken over preserved lemon polenta with a wealth of mushrooms, which was also fabulous. These were substantial portions, with nary an off-note. Probably the best table of entrees I've had in the Boston area in a while (allowing for a superstar entree here and there), and for an average of $20 per entree, an amazing value.

Desserts: butterscotch fondant with black truffle ice cream - wow. The waitress warned us we had to like both butterscotch and savory desserts, which was a fair warning. But a simply awesome dessert. Also, the Italian3 - meyer limoncello, a gelato/sorbet/ice cream, and what appeared to be beignets - this was good, not stunning. Finally, Finally, a cheese plate that was simply enormous - 2 cheeses, a pile of poached, jammy figs, a large portion of candied nuts (cashews, almonds, hazelnuts), a larger portion of grapes, and a very yummy dish of truffled honey. This plate alone would have fed our entire table.

Service was slow but we were enjoying our food enough that it wasn't particularly noticable, and the server was very familiar with the menu, which was helpful. The place was pretty packed while we were there (730-1030), so understandable.

All in all, one of the best meals I've had in Boston in a while.

Feb 08, 2009
natecsd in Greater Boston Area

Local source for Creme de Violette?

I just bought the last bottle at Gordon's (Watertown) - they said they already had more on order. Thanks for the tip!

Feb 06, 2009
natecsd in Greater Boston Area

Source for Luxardo Amaretto, Maraschino and other products?

Having never made the trip to the Newton Marty's, I took the plunge to grab the Maraschino deal. I also checked - they DO have Luxardo Amaretto on the shelf. And tons of other stuff - what a selection. And what high prices (compared with what Blanchards JP carries, at least...). Thanks for the tip!

Jan 08, 2009
natecsd in Greater Boston Area

PDT at Eastern Standard

Sorry - almansa is right. it's Please Don't Tell - a speakeasy style cocktail bar in Manhattan.

Sep 18, 2008
natecsd in Greater Boston Area

PDT at Eastern Standard

3 total:
the 19th century - bourbon, creme de cacao, lemon, and... i think lillet. a riff on the 20th century (which is made with gin). Better than it sounds, but the next 2 were better.
The professor - martinique rum, punt e mes, and tawny port (but he made it with the 6 grapes). and orange peel on the rim. This was unexpected, amazing, and well worth the trip all by itself. But the last...
the Dewey D - rye, Lusteau East Indian Solera Sherry, and aperol, with the same orange peel treatment. Wow.

Tonight is his last night, I think - worth the trip...

Sep 17, 2008
natecsd in Greater Boston Area

PDT at Eastern Standard

Following up on a drinkboston post on the bartender exchange between PDT in NYC and ES, we headed over to ES last night. In addition to some quality drink making from the ES crew, Daniel from PDT pulled out a couple of amazing cocktails for us, which went down very well with the Grilled Cheese and Nicoise salad. What a way to start the week.

Sep 16, 2008
natecsd in Greater Boston Area

Galway House or Jeanie Johnston?

While I can't vouch for the food at Galway, I was there last weekend and nary a smoky smell in sight (or, in olfactory range if you prefer). Crowd was definitely on the older side, but the TVs were plentiful and tuned to sports. Friends I was there with said they thought it had been redone in the last 6 months or so - probably why the smell has improved!

Sep 12, 2008
natecsd in Greater Boston Area

No more bar/cafe menu at No. 9 Park

We spent some quality at the bar with Ben this past Thursday - he told us that once the Fort Point outpost opens up, he'll be tending there full-time. Or, at least I think that's what he said...

Aug 12, 2008
natecsd in Greater Boston Area

Kingston Station

I second the sazerac recommendation, though if you're not a big absinthe fan I'd ask them to go light on it.

Does anyone know the details of their "happy hour" appetizer specials (e.g., exact hours, days, prices)? I went once, but strangely enough, I can't remember...

Also, can one get the $18 steak frites off the late night menu earlier than 9 or 10, when that menu comes into force?

Aug 06, 2008
natecsd in Greater Boston Area

Ten Tables: thank you

We were there this past Wednesday as well, and I completely concur on the food and overall experience - consistently amazing! To add one tidbit to your review above, the one dessert that you didn't try, the panna cotta with rhubarb compote, was also to die for. You have to love a prix-fixe where you can't go wrong with ANY of the choices! I heart Ten Tables.

Jul 18, 2008
natecsd in Greater Boston Area

Spring Menu at Vee Vee JP

Following the reports of the new chef and revamped spring menu at Vee Vee, my DC and I returned to Vee Vee on Tuesday for the first time since our visit just after it opened. I can't remember what we ate on the first trip, but suffice it to say that the memories were more "hmm" than "yum" and we didn't go back.

However, on Tuesday it was definitely the other way around. We shared the tonnato described above, and it was delicious - intriguing flavors all. For mains, we shared a deconstructed tuna nicoise, which was awesome - especially the seared tuna slices but even more so the fried bits of artichoke. Definitely order whatever comes with fried anything on the menu if you go. We also shared a special of black cod in a saffron broth with mussels and scallops. Supposedly there was lobster in the broth - I didn't taste it, but there was plenty going on without it. The fish was soft and flaky - perfectly cooked.

Too full for dessert. Not the cheapest meal in JP by any stretch, but we did get the most expensive entrees ($20) and bottle of wine off the more-than-decent wine list. DC noted that if Vee Vee is always that good, it's a great alternative to Ten Tables and definitely a place I'll be back to.

May 08, 2008
natecsd in Greater Boston Area