ChinaCat's Profile

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Lamb chops?

I bought some really nice rib chops at Whole Foods Framingham yesterday. They had some that came from a farm in Maine, and they were very good. They were also cut doublethick which was nice...easier to get the right cooking temp when they are thick like that.

Apr 11, 2014
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Lunch on Rte. 20 in Northboro MA area

I like Yama Zakura, if sushi/japanese interests you.
Linguini's is very good food, but the ambiance doesn't lend itself to being called fabulous.

there's a little place near Northborough center called Specialteas which is totally a place for "ladies who lunch". They have a wonderful selection of teas, and light lunches including soups, salads and open face sandwiches. It might be just the thing for meeting one's mother for lunch.

I haven't tried Zem Ham. If you go there, please report back I'd love to know how it is.

Apr 09, 2014
ChinaCat in Southern New England

Any recent Switzerland recs?

I've done a search, but it doesn't seem anyone has talked about Switzerland in nearly a year. And even then, not too much.

We will be spending time in Lucerne, and in Montreux, plus we will have one night in Zurich where it would be nice to have a nice meal to end our trip.

Can anyone make some recommendations? We are interested in most any type of food, but would lean towards local specialties. Places with good wine lists always a plus. Our hotels are near the main train stations in each of those cities, so places nearby is also a plus.

Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

Apr 09, 2014
ChinaCat in Europe

Lunch near the Peabody Essex Museum?

I enjoyed Scratch Kitchen a couple months ago. Its very casual but probably fits your requirements for quick. I loved that they made everything in house...the bacon, the potato chips, even the mayo...all made from scratch. Its very tasty. Nice set of microbrews available too.

Mar 31, 2014
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

ISO: Butcher or Meat Shop in Metrowest For BBQ Season

The Chestnut Farms folks (who do a meat CSA) are usually found at the Natick Farmers market. I like their chickens quite a lot, and also the lamb. Not as crazy about the beef, though it is grass fed and decent quality.

The only place I've found venison locally is at Wegman's out in Northboro, which carries some of the D'Artagnan products.

Mar 12, 2014
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Boston weekend dining with 72 year old parents

its funny, how adventuresome is in the eye of the beholder. My mom (in her 70's) would not find Oleana challenging at all. But she wouldn't like Clio one bit. Too much Asian influence, and the food too precious. At least that was my feeling about it.

Deuxave is not quite as spendy as the others on your list, but its very nice, the room is quiet and pretty, and I have been twice and found the food excellent. Wine list is great too.

Of course, L'Espalier is probably even better.

Mar 10, 2014
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Acton Area , Help!! Finding Large Private Room or Function Hall

what's the range? we've done events at Fireflies in Marlboro...they will book the entire back room (Dante's) with pool tables and tvs, and set up a buffet. We've had several work events there and its been decent. I'm sure it handles 100 people.

Mar 03, 2014
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Opinions for Chef's Tasting

We had the tasting at Westbridge just this past weekend, and enjoyed it quite a lot.

Feb 26, 2014
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

James Beard Semifinalists

I don;t see how Ana Sortun doesn;t get nominated for "Best Chef Northeast". Is there a rule against overlap?

Feb 21, 2014
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

New York-Boston...where else??

Take the pretty drive from New York on the Taconic and then visit the Berkshires. There is good food to be found around Great Barrington and Lenox, a few nice museums to visit, and I'm pretty sure there are places where you could go tubing. there's been quite a bit of snow of late.

Feb 06, 2014
ChinaCat in Southern New England

Best Dessert In the City / neighboring towns

The profiteroles at Brasserie Jo. The chocolate sauce they pour over the top is so yummy, and they keep pouring it until you say when.

I agree with the warm chocolate cake at Lumiere too.

And I miss the butterscotch pudding from Great Bay. I may have to go to Lineage to try theirs and see how it compares.

Jan 14, 2014
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Best steak in Boston area?

What about Eastern Standard? They do a very nice steak frites, and the price is not so bad compared to the big steak houses. Plus you have lots of other options if others don't want to eat steak.

Dec 30, 2013
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Help us plan our First Anniversary Saturday!

Hey Patrick...yes, I recognized this screen name right away. Hi :)

That was my thinking about the Modern..not so romantic or Valentine's like. But the food is so good. And I think they deal with crowds on a daily basis, so the service wouldn't suffer too much if they are busy.

We are going to see the Magritte exhibit before it closes, then have lunch at the Bar room, before heading to the Frick to see the Vermeer. And then on to an evening performance of "Gentlemen's Guide to Love and Murder". It will be a very busy day :_

Dec 30, 2013
ChinaCat in Manhattan

Help us plan our First Anniversary Saturday!

I'm going to the same opera a couple weeks before you, patash. I'm glad I opened this thread, because I've just booked brunch at Bar Boulud too. It looks yummy.

As for your Friday night dinner, what about the Bar Room at the Modern? Is that too far from your hotel? I've eaten there just once but thought the food was excellent. I'm going again for lunch in a couple weeks. You could do the Dining Room at the Modern, of course, but I really like the Bar Room a lot.

Dec 30, 2013
ChinaCat in Manhattan

Scratch Kitchen and Comida Mexicana in Salem?

I went to Scratch for lunch about 3 months ago. I had a bacon quesadilla that was outstanding. Also, the basket of homemade potato chips they put on the table was so very tasty. I liked it very much. I was alone, and I will add that the service was very good, and friendly making it a pleasant stop for solo dining.

Dec 29, 2013
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Great Barrington: The 528 open! also, ANOTHER new restaurant in GB, and The Gypsy Joynt is opening a night club?

We were in Great Barrington for Christmas. Dinners at Cafe Adam and Prairie Whale, lunch at The Diner.

I love Cafe Adam. We had such a pleasant meal there. Good food, good service, warm atmosphere. the fried artichoke app is really tasty, if only they gave you a little bit more (a single heart, quartered and fried. I guess its fine for 1, but we wanted to share). The fried chickpeas were fun. My husband ordered the pork tenderloin and declared it the best pork dish he'd ever had.

Prairie whale was also really good. I liked the fried chicken, in particular. We enjoyed the variety of craft beer available. The service is a little bit spotty. Not bad enough to ruin the meal or anything, but felt very disorganized...bringing meals at different times, bringing the wrong beer, things like that. but we enjoyed it and will definitely go back.

We didn't get to the 528. My mom said she had lunch there and she said it wasn't great, but she would go back. She went very early, they weren't really up to speed yet and were missing things on the menu.

Dec 29, 2013
ChinaCat in Southern New England

Dinner for 15 in Framingham Need Advice

really? you are the first person I've heard say the food at Ken's was delicious. Its been years since we've been there though, because the food was so horrid. Perhaps it has finally improved. I hope that is true.

Dec 29, 2013
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Dinner for 15 in Framingham Need Advice

how's the food at the Framingham Beer Works? I haven't been there yet, curious about it.

Dec 20, 2013
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Dinner for 15 in Framingham Need Advice

John Harvard's does a decent job with groups. I think the food there is okay.

Stone's Public House (Ashland) might work. I think they have an upstairs room for groups.

Sichuan Gourmet would be an interesting choice. I've been to group dinners that big, and they do a great job. That would be the best food of the the options I've suggested, but perhaps challenging...depends on your group.

Dec 19, 2013
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Unique dining experience for 2 in Boston

well, not everybody feels like they do. I liked Bondir a lot. The food isn't elaborate, or highly sauced. But the flavor of the ingredients really shines through.

Dec 06, 2013
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Deuxave, Troquet or Ribelle for Milestone Birthday?

I took my husband to Deuxave for a recent birthday dinner. We both enjoyed it very much. He declared their duck confit the best he'd ever had.

I like Trouquet as well, though the ambiance is a little nicer at Deuxave.

I've not been to Ribelle yet. Definitely need to try it.

Dec 02, 2013
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Best "classic" martini

I think the Oak Bar makes excellent old-school martini's. I have not been there since they re-opened as Oak Long Bar, but I understand they still have the classic martinis, served in small carafes on ice.

they are pricey. But awfully good.

Nov 22, 2013
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

A good Coffee roaster in greater Boston area any suggestions?

I love Armeno's too. They have a terrific Maui grown coffee (Maui Mokka) that is expensive but so good. I also regularly by their Ethiopian Harrar.

Oct 30, 2013
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Best apple tasting event ever!

I love Tower Hill. Its a little gem of a botanical garden. and the view from up there is spectacular in the fall.

I didn't get to the fall fest this year, but we were tasting the heritage apples last year and had a great time.

Oct 14, 2013
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Thai Place in Framingham; we have a Thai place!

Thanks for the review galleygirl. That is not too far from me, I will definitely try it out. We really don't have good thai around here.

Oct 04, 2013
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Best Fried Chicken

I ate the fried chicken at Sweet Cheeks yesterday pregame (mmm....fried chicken, and AL East championship...tasty combo :) )I thought it was excellent. Very classic...crispy, slightly salty, and served piping hot.

Sep 21, 2013
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Orchards That Have Heirloom Apples?

On Columbus day weekend, Tower Hill Botanical Garden in Boylston holds their annual fall festival. They have a ton of local farmers with heirloom apples. It was a lot of fun last year, we tasted and bought quite a variety.

Aug 21, 2013
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Anniversary Dinner in Metrowest

I'm going to add a ditto on Lumiere. It's convenient and the food is terrific.

I was underwhelmed by Farmstead table. We had a nice meal, but the service was slow, and the food just didn't wow us.

Folks who are recommending Tomasso...I'm really curious, have you been there recently? I live very close to there, and have gone regularly ever since it opened. It has become extremely hit or miss...some things are good, some are bland and awful. The service can be okay, but it can be incredibly unprofessional (poor handling of some very nice wine). Its really quite pricy, and I think they ought to do better at that price point. So I'm genuinely interested to hear other experiences.

Aug 01, 2013
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area

Seafood near Maynard

Fishbones in Chelmsford wouldn't be too far, and has good seafood. Well, okay, I only went once and they did an excellent job with lazyman's lobster. It looked like they had lots of other good stuff as well.

Jul 26, 2013
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area


I'm sorry to hear this, as I know I was one of the folks singing its praises in that other thread. We had quite the opposite experience as far as service, it was so prompt and professional. I will admit, we drank white wine, by the glass, and it was served at the correct temp.

Jun 27, 2013
ChinaCat in Greater Boston Area