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Art House Grill in Framingham - A trip to the Caucasus

thanks for posting this. Now I'm really curious and will definitely check it out.

Aug 24, 2015
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Unexpected night out tonight -- where to try?

Sarma, if you can go early...won't get a reservation, but they do have room for walkins. I haven't been to Sofra so not sure if its too similar, but the food at Sarma was sooo good. And fun.

Aug 21, 2015
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

prime rib Marlboro area

I just noticed that Kennedy's has it on their menu on some days. In general, I think Kennedy's meat is pretty good, so while I can't specifically recommend it, it would be worth a shot.

http://www.kennedys-pub.com/dinner.html

Aug 21, 2015
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

prime rib Marlboro area

I'm having trouble thinking of anyplace....the only thing that comes to mind is the Old Timer in Clinton, which at one time was famous for their prime rib. But its not that close, and its been ages since I've been there.

Aug 21, 2015
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Local mail order sweets and treats?

I love Cocoapelli chocolates.
http://www.cocoapellichocolates.com/i...

But they don't ship in the summer.

Aug 20, 2015
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Godavari Vs. Ritu Ki Rasoi

For those of us not so familiar...where are these 2 places?

Aug 19, 2015
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Please recommend a hotel in Paris

We stayed at the Hotel Artus in St Germain. I love how central the area is. There are several metro stops, and a pile of bus stops in the immediate area, so easy access to public transit. Quite a few nice restaurants. Easy walk to some sights. And they have absolutely the best concierge around, will help with everything.

We had a good sized room, although with a strange layout (the bathroom was in a loft area above the sleeping area). I believe the price was in the $300/night range.

Aug 13, 2015
ChinaCat in France

Any place worth going to around Westford?

Pepper's Catering is not all that close, but perhaps close enough...they are in Northborough. We've had good results from them for in-home parties.

http://www.pepperscatering.com/

Aug 12, 2015
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Anybody sell REAL double cream?

I was in the Westborough (Lyman St) Stop&Shop yesterday and they were selling something that claimed to be double cream. If I recall, it was labeled as from "Brooklyn Creamery" No idea how this compares to Devon double cream, but it looked like the real thing.

Jul 27, 2015
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Waterfront table for 3 on a Friday evening in July?

It's kind of a mixed bag, but what about the Daily Catch? the one next to the courthouse. I think the food is just okay, and the service is decidedly mixed. On the other hand, that patio on the harbor is really, really nice.

Jul 23, 2015
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Need dinner suggestions for hearty eaters (my 3 sons) in Paris during August

I also did not leave Spring hungry, but my appetite does not match a 20 year old young man.

We had dinner one night at Semilla in the St Germain. I remember it vividly because I really couldn't finish my food, and it was all so good. Fois gras with artichoke puree, and then a lamb stew with cepes, it was so delicious! Its more of a contemporary French style, but lots of interesting dishes.

I should think Relais de L'Entrecote would be fun.

Jul 23, 2015
ChinaCat in France

New Yorkers Returning to Barcelona 7 Years Later...Looking for Some Recommendations

Actually, Tickets is closed for the last 2 weeks of August. So it depends on when "mid-August" is. (Says the happy holder of a reservation for the first week of September :) ).

Jul 13, 2015
ChinaCat in Spain/Portugal

Barcelona trip report

thanks so much for the detailed report. This is great info, very helpful.

Jul 02, 2015
ChinaCat in Spain/Portugal

Best place in Boston for lobster roll?

Have you tried FISH in Marlborough? I like their lobster salad blt...though my recollection is that it is served on a croissant. Not exactly a traditional lobster roll, but it was tasty and I thought the lobster-bread ratio was pretty good.

but then I like the Legal lobster roll, so perhaps our tastes differ too much.

May 21, 2015
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Best place in Boston for lobster roll?

there is always the Framingham Legal's. I think they do a pretty good one.

May 20, 2015
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Something Chowish near Marlborough?

FYI, Tomasso is actually in Southborough.

Is it really better again? we were really disapponted with this most recent chef and haven't gone for quite a while. But I may give them another try.

Apr 16, 2015
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Any favorite dishes at the following restaurants in Portland, ME?

We went to Fore St this past October, and I found it hugely disappointing. The food seemed uninspired, and the service was both bad and at times, kind of snooty. I really wished I'd picked one of the other terrific places around Portland.
Of course, this was a one-off, so maybe they were having a bad night.

The brown butter lobster roll at Eventide is wonderful.

Apr 12, 2015
ChinaCat in Northern New England

Metrowest restaurant with private room

Maybe John Harvard's in Framingham (Shopper's World). They do have a separate back room, but I think it holds more than 20 people, so its not clear they'd give you the whole room. You'd have to ask, I suspect it depends a little on what time/day it is. We've used it for parties on occasion and they do a good job with a crowd.

Apr 06, 2015
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Something Chowish near Marlborough?

I mostly agree with Hargau. The small Japanese place is called Japan One, and isn't bad for basic maki rolls. And Linguine's does very good pasta. I do think Fireflies is okay, but not as good as it once was. I wouldn't send a bbq afficianado there.

I think Allora is overpriced and mediocre.

I've been to La Tapatia, definitely a hole in the wall, but very good.

Of all the places mentioned, Rail Trail is probably my favorite. Very thin crispy crust pizza, good beer selection, also good salads.

Finally, Fish, in downtown Marlboro at the intersection of routes 85 and 20 is decent and a little nicer anmbiance than the other places mentioned.

Apr 05, 2015
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Local food scene on TV Thurs 2/19/15

there's French food in Natick? Did anyone watch, and can enlighten me??

Feb 20, 2015
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Best southern-fried chicken in the Greater Boston area?

Loretta's Last Call, on Landsdowne, near Fenway Park, has very good southern fried chicken. I thought it was moist, crispy, and well seasoned.

Dec 29, 2014
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

real sheppards pie

I was going to mention Stone's too. My husband had their shepherd's pie just a few weeks ago, and it was excellent. Not ground lamb, but chunky lamb stew.

Dec 09, 2014
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Now that Hamersley's is gone, where is Boston's best chicken dish?

I'm not sure I've tried enough of the various chickens around Boston to say this is the best, but Lumiere in WNewton typically does a very good job with roast chicken. I've had it several times and think its lovely.

I also really, really liked the fried chicken at Loretta's Last Call. Not sure I'd do that for a birthday dinner, but if he's also a country music fan I suppose it would be perfect.

Nov 13, 2014
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Portland report

sadly, opinionated chef, both DH and I are on somewhat low-carb diets. We overdid as it is, particularly on beer, but had to just stay out of Holy Donuts and Standard Bakery, as much as I really, really wanted to go in.

I wish we had a place like Emilitsa close to home. I do so love Greek food. I guess it was a bit expensive, but the quality was so good I didn't mind. We spent just as much at Fore St and didn't enjoy it half as much.

Nov 11, 2014
ChinaCat in Northern New England

Sazerac rye

not sure how far west you mean, but Julio's in Westborough carries it.

Nov 11, 2014
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Portland report

Novare res is on a small alley, between fore st and middle st, off exchange. And In'finiti is right on commercial street near chandler wharf.

Oct 30, 2014
ChinaCat in Northern New England

Portland report

We're just back from a long weekend in Portland and I wanted to share some impressions. We did quite a lot of eating and drinking, and this city definitely lives up to its rep as a great food destination.

Emilitsa -- This was fantastic. Its surprisingly hard to find Greek food in my Boston area suburbs, and upscale Greek is almost unheard of. Emilitsa really delivers with tasty food that is both traditional but has some nice contemporary flourishes. For example the saganaki is very nice pan fried keflogravieri cheese, but it was made exceptional by the balsamic and black pepper marinated figs that were served with it. The braised rabbit with feta and spinach wrapped in phyllo was another excellent app. I loved the moussaka, and my husband thoroughly enjoyed the whole dorade, simply grilled with olive oil. Also very good bar, and exceptional service. We loved it.

Fore St -- I was really disappointed with Fore St. It did not live up to the hype or reputation. Service was poor, there's no excuse for a simple 3 course meal for 2 taking slightly over 3 hours. We sat with menus for 20 minutes before orders were taken (not even cocktails!), and we sat 25 minutes waiting for dessert. The food was all decent, but nothing that wowed me. And everything seemed to be drowning in sauce. The wood grilled mussels were okay, but nothing special. We both had whole sea bass, and the waiter did a poor job of filleting it, leaving us with shredded fish drowning in white wine butter sauce. Really, i feel like I missed something after reading all the good reviews. Maybe an off night, but not one I'm likely to repeat.

Empire Chinese -- conveniently located by the Portland Museum of Art, we had lunch here after touring the Winslow Homer studio. It was excellent. My husband declared their hot&sour soup some of the best he'd ever had. This was a very pleasant surprise.

East Ender -- we had brunch. I had the fried chicken and waffles which I thought was very good, although really too big. Wish they would offer it as a half order, or I had split it with my husband. He had the montreal brisket hash and said it was terrific. Only minor complaint...the bloody mary could really use a bit more spice. Not hot enough, and the hot sauce they brought was not really hot either.

Eventide Oyster Bar -- loved this place. Good oysters, good service. We didn't have to wait to sit on a Sunday evening. The brown butter lobster roll and the lobster stew were both excellent. I discovered cider vinegar mignonette goes great on littleneck clams. Yum!

Novare Res -- stopped in for a beer. Very nice. Great selection of unusual beers, comfortable bar stools, very good service considering they were mobbed.

Infiniti -- stopped in here Sunday afternoon and tried some of their house made spirits. Thought the drinks were okay, but not special. Still a nice place to enjoy a cocktail and watch the Patriots demolish the Bears.

All in all it was a terrific visit with only one dull spot in an otherwise bright lineup of dining. Thanks to all for the reviews and discussion it really helped us choose places to go.

Oct 30, 2014
ChinaCat in Northern New England

Wegmans Burlington... any reports?

I can't speak to the Burlington branch specifically, I've been shopping at the Northborough branch, and I imagine the comments will carry over somewhat. I find their baked goods superior to any of the other supermarkets in the area. Actually, I should say the sweets. They don't do as well on breads as, say, Whole Foods, but their pastries, cakes and cookies are really great. And their store made bagels compete with just about any I've had in Massachusetts.

I think the seafood is quite good, on a par with WF. Pricewise it can vary. I think the variety at Wegmans is better. I find things like whole flounder more regularly.

Oct 29, 2014
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Foodie Trip to Portland, ME

does one have to get reservations for Eventide? or can I walk in on a Friday night and find seats at the bar without too long of a wait (15-20 minutes, not a problem...an hour would be a pain).

Oct 01, 2014
ChinaCat in Northern New England

Heirloom apples, *not* PYO

Tower Hill Botanical Garden in West Boylston has a bunch of different heirloom types. I think the sale was this past weekend, but it looks like they have another sale in early October when they have a harvest festival. At least the calendar mentions a tasting.
http://www.towerhillbg.org/index.php/...

I went last year, and they had many, many heirloom varieties to try, it was quite interesting.

Sep 22, 2014
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area