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It's my birthday and I'll eat if I want to...give me your best reccys!

Wow, thanks everybody. I've been working in Cambridge this week without much time to look at the board.

I ate at Hamersley's last night -- the food was wonderful. Started with a pumpkin soup with a dollop of blue cheese in the middle (a pairing that never occurred to me), had ossu buco that was falling off the bone for a main and then had an apple tart for dinner. Waddled out the door after!

We ate lunch today the Flour Bakery and Cafe near Central Square. Ok salad and a very good choc chip cookie.

Tonight we are definitely on for Island Creek. I had seen Mike and Patty's and thought we might go there for lunch tomorrow. Scampo is looking like a good choice for dinner tomorrow night!

Thanks again for the suggestions, I know my post duplicates others so your time is most appreciated. I'll let you know about tomorrow night!

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Flour Bakery + Cafe
12 Farnsworth St, Boston, MA

Scampo
215 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114

Nov 19, 2010
NCetr in Greater Boston Area

It's my birthday and I'll eat if I want to...give me your best reccys!

For dinner Friday night, was originally leaning toward Legal Seafood, since it is a Boston institution and my husband hasn't eaten there. The, I saw the many posts for Island Creek Oyster Bar and thought we'd go there instead.

For Saturday night, have looked at No. 9, Clio and Craigie, and just looked at Sorellina and L'Espalier. Am leaning toward No 9/Sorellina based on menus but honestly they all look tempting.

I haven't even contemplated lunch Fri-Sat and breakfast Sat. morning.

Any discussion on the above?

Thanks.

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L'Espalier
774 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

Sorellina
1 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02116

Island Creek Oyster Bar
500 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

Nov 14, 2010
NCetr in Greater Boston Area

It's my birthday and I'll eat if I want to...give me your best reccys!

Fyi we are staying at The Lenox Hotel.

Nov 13, 2010
NCetr in Greater Boston Area

It's my birthday and I'll eat if I want to...give me your best reccys!

Hello hounds,

Hubby and I are headed for your fair city next weekend to celebrate my XXth birthday. I'd love to spend Friday night at a fun and fabulous Boston restaurant and Saturday night doing a bit more fine dining. During the day Friday and Saturday we are open to all tastes.

We like all kinds of food and we aren't restricted by budget.

I know this is a pretty typical question so thanks for your patience. I am going through old posts trying to get your best suggestions.

Many thanks,

Durham (NC) girl aka NCetr

Nov 13, 2010
NCetr in Greater Boston Area

2008 Holiday Dinner Hits and Misses

Christmas hits: the cinammon-pecan pull-apart bread that is super easy and assembled the night before in a Bundt pan; scalloped potatoes with three cheeses (epicurious) and creamed spinach. Misses: beef tenderloin with port sauce (epicurious). This recipe calls for a 24 to 36 hour "brining" in the refrigerator, basically covering the meat with kosher salt. You then rub the meat with oil and press on peppercorns and roast. Despite the hype about the brining, we didn't find the meat especially moist and tender and it was actually a tad too salty. Plus I overcooked it for my taste (I like it to moo) but my DH loved it. Also a miss: cinammon caramel bread puddings (epicurious). Made with cinnamon raisin bread, they were too bready and sweet. Using prepared caramel sauce didn't add anything to this combination! Having said all that, it was still a pretty darn good meal.

Dec 26, 2008
NCetr in Home Cooking

Xmas Gifts

I would give a hearty second to Kitchen Kapers. A few weeks ago when I was in town for business, I bought my sister in law her Xmas gift there, and they wrapped it and shipped it for a very reasonable price. They've got a great selection of small gadgets and unusual items there. I filled my husband's stocking with fun, small things last year. A great place to shop and convenient if you're staying in Center City.

Nov 30, 2007
NCetr in Pennsylvania

Starlu in durham

My husband and I ate there about a month ago, I'd been given a gift cert and so we went with high hopes. That was my third visit. The first two, both a year or two ago, were very good. A month ago -- not great. Food was "ok" and service so-so. I got a flounder dish that was so salty that neither of us could eat it. Tried in vain to get our server's attention but she was flat out and never checked back with us. When she finally came to the table and asked how everything was and we gave her the almost full dish, she said, "I wish you had told me." No offer to bring back another dish or to make an adjustment of any sort. And while we probably should have protested harder, by then we were not wowed and wanted to get on to dessert. Two apps, two entrees, two desserts and two glasses of wine was about $130. Not worth that, IMHO.

Sep 07, 2007
NCetr in General South Archive

Wild women need food

Thanks for the recs -- took a look at the Pastis website and agree it seems like the right choice! Am also considering Vento, but I think the Meathpacking District is the ticket. I'll let you know how we fare.

Jun 14, 2007
NCetr in Manhattan

Wild women need food

My friends would probably cringe if they knew they were being described as only meat and potato eaters! I am probably underestimating them. Amalia sounds quite nice. I tried to get reservations at Babbo with no luck (because everyone likes Italian, right?), but how 'bout the wine bar there?

Jun 12, 2007
NCetr in Manhattan

Wild women need food

Thanks Ineedit -- my girls are more into beer and burgers (American food, in otherwords) and I'm willing to go along with that for a night (although a solid wine list would make me happy). Price really isn't an issue. I think we'll do people watching in Times Square but agree with you that we aren't all that hot to dine there. Thanks for your good wishes!

Jun 12, 2007
NCetr in Manhattan

Wild women need food

Three of us are heading to the city Friday to celebrate recent birthdays that end in "0."

Where do hip, happening women (over 40) go for a lively dining experience and then, where to after dinner? We're staying near Times Square but location is not an issue.

My friends wouldn't be classified as foodies so the mood is probably more important than fine dining.

Thanks!

Jun 12, 2007
NCetr in Manhattan

best sandwich at reading terminal market

Had a peppered turkey with sharp cheddar on whole wheat last Friday at Hatville's, it was so good I bought some sliced turkey and cheese to take home, with a loaf of fresh bread from the Amish bakery. Grilled, with a little mayo and mustard...can't beat it.

Apr 18, 2007
NCetr in Pennsylvania

Philly street food -- what and where?

Hi all,

Every day I walk past the shiny silver vendor carts (that's probably not the appropriate term, set me straight) and most seem to have good smells coming from inside and lines of patrons waiting at the window.

Does the food vary a lot from place to place? Any street food you think is especially good? Would appreciate any history on these meals on wheels and recs on which ones to try.

Apr 17, 2007
NCetr in Pennsylvania

Anyone eaten at Mission Grill?

It's only a couple of blocks from my apartment so I'm destined to try it eventually!

Apr 12, 2007
NCetr in Pennsylvania

Great food, great view in SEA?

After all of the anticipation and great tips from Seattle hounds, my trip was cancelled! So instead of being enroute at this moment, I'm still in North Carolina. Thanks again for all the suggestions, I hope I will be able to reschedule soon and report back.

Apr 06, 2007
NCetr in Pacific Northwest

Durham Alivia's Bistro

My husband and I took our moms to Alivia's one of the first weekends they opened. We loved the interior, the big garage doors are cool and I can totally see sitting out on the patio after work. Unfortunately, our experience was similar to that of many other posters. We had to constantly chase servers to get drinks, the check etc. But the biggest disappointment was that all of the food that finally did get delivered to our table was cold. In some cases, ice cold. Eating cold eggs Benedict and grits just doesn't make for a great dining experience. My husband had a burger and fries, they had forgotten to put it with our order so it came after all of the rest of us started eating. Server didn't bring any condiments, etc. We really, really want these new places to succeed! But it seems they've now been open long enough to have some of these problems solved. We'll try again, but hope they are reading these posts!

Apr 06, 2007
NCetr in General South Archive

A six-restaurant weekend

Hi all,

Two of my girlfriends from NC came up last weekend and eating featured prominently. Here's our dining sampler:

1. While I was at the office, they ducked into Liberty Place and found a popcorn store (sorry don't remember the name!). The chocolate covered popcorn was wonderful and we at it off and on all weekend.

2. First night dinner at Amada. We had a friendly, knowledgeable waiter and he helped make this one of the best meals I've had in Philly since moving here last November. Highlights include the selection of three cheeses (aged manchego with truffled lavender honey, cana de cabra with fig and cherry marmalade and gallego with white sangria and cherry honey); spanish octopus; lamb meatballs with shaved manchego; serano ham and fig salad with cabrales and spiced almonds; and two kinds of flatbread, including one with short ribs (sounds weird but tastes great). We were stuffed and actually took a few bites home. The advice of three plates per person was too much for us! We waddled back to my place.

3. Lunch at Reading Terminal. Two of us split the roast pork with sharp provie from DiNic's and one had salmon with curry sauce from the Thai Market (I get this for take-out dinner many evenings, only $7 for a huge piece of salmon, broccoli, rice and a coconut milk curry sauce). We ended on a sweet note with an almond cookie and pecan bar from Termini's.

4. Dinner at Buddakan. I know it's probably over-hyped but it's got a nice buzz about it and both girls had heard about it. We again ordered two much food. One order of angry lobster was more than enough for the three of us. The lobster sits on top of a mess of mashed potatoes and lots of veggies in a sweetish curry sauce. The asian barbecue pork had the best flavor and an onion ring on top the size of a '45 (that's a small vinyl record for you younger folks). We were pretty ticked off that they were out of one of the nightly fish specials -- our reservation was at 6:30pm, for cryin' out loud, why offer a special if you run out that early?! We had sea bass instead, it was good but not outstanding. Oh, and we started with an order of steamed dumplings (to die for) and a caesar salad. Instead of getting dessert there, we went over to Naked Chocolate, where we had lattes and shared an oreo cookie tart. Another "full" day!

5. Saturday brunch at Marathon Grill on 17th. Baked eggs (watery), granola with yogurt and poached eggs with turkey sausage. Just what we needed after what was consumed the day before.

6. Dinner at Cafe de Laos. Sound like a strange choice? Our waiter at Amada had recommended it so we decided to give it a go. It's in a quiet part of the city (I think 11th and Washington) but the food was excellent and all three of us ate for less than 50 bucks. We decided to order an appetizer (a Laotian sampler which was ok) and two mains. One was "burning girl," which was a guinea hen stuffed with rice and set on fire at the table (strange choice of description). Two of us drank wine we brought ourselves, one girl had a tea drink that was mixed with condensed milk and half and half. A real low-cal treat! We walked to South Street after that (a little scary, absolutely no people or signs of life on the way ther)

7. Brunch at the Continental in Center City. We were seated upstairs and the "groovy" bench seat was so worn out we were nearly leaning into the booth behind us. After getting re-seated, we shared a big asian chicken salad, lobster mac and cheese (good but way overpriced) and a bowl of miso soup (we had good, healthy intentions but didn't eat much of it). A decent nosh, the location is nearly better than the food.

8. A couple of stops at DiBrunos. One afternoon we shared a Toblerone Bar and nearly went into a sugar coma (that's a good thing) and the next day chocolate-covered biscotti.

I can't believe we ate all that! Tried to temper the caloric load with lots of walking, but I'm pretty sure we ended the weekend heavier than what we started. Another great eating weekend in Philadelphia.

Apr 05, 2007
NCetr in Pennsylvania

Great food, great view in SEA?

Thanks for great suggestions, all, I'll definitely report back on our stay.

Mar 28, 2007
NCetr in Pacific Northwest

Family Trip to Philly

I like the Marathon Grill a lot -- a great place to go when you want straight-forward food. My favorite is the grilled cheese sandwich! Although they have good breakfast food, too, blueberry pancakes are yummy.

Mar 28, 2007
NCetr in Pennsylvania

Favorite South Philly At Home Italian

We'll probably try to walk there. I'm near Arch/16th, once I'm on 9th, approx how far to Christian? Thanks.

Mar 28, 2007
NCetr in Pennsylvania

Favorite South Philly At Home Italian

Hi Ellen,

I'm new to Philly and don't have a car, so have mostly just explored Center City.

It's probably well known to locals, but can you tell me the streets where you were shopping?

Thanks!

Mar 26, 2007
NCetr in Pennsylvania

Anyone eaten at Mission Grill?

I've walked past it but haven't yet ventured in. Has anyone tried it?

Mar 26, 2007
NCetr in Pennsylvania

Great food, great view in SEA?

I'll have five days and nights in Seattle April 6-11 and am psyched to try many of your recommendations.

So far I have dinner reservations at Steelhead Diner and Union, am still trying to sketch out the rest of the visit. We're staying at the Fairmont.

My husband is a real water nut and I'd like to find a dining spot with great food and a great food.

Any suggestions?

Also, am happy to hear any other reccys for breakfast lunch and dinner while we're there.

Thanks!

North Carolina hound

Mar 26, 2007
NCetr in Pacific Northwest

First time at Matyson

Hi all,

First, let me say thanks for all of great recommendations I've gotten from you for Philly dining spots. I am living in center city for eight months, on loan to my business from North Carolina. I'm now starting to have lots of visitors and of course dining out is one of my favorite activities. At some point I'll try to chronicle my meals around town.

I took my Mom to Matyson on Friday night and I would say it's one of the best meals I've had since I moved here.

The restaurant was full but not overly loud. The waitress greeted us and immediately opened the bottle of wine we brought. We started with chewy sourdough and whole grain bread. We each ordered a salad with blood oranges and marinated red peppers with a vinaigrette dressing. It was served with a manchego fritter. Loved the fritter, could have eaten a basket of them! The salad was a bit of a miss for me, I didn't really like the combo of fruit and peppers together.

For entrees, I ordered the lamb loin with fig and raisin chutney on polenta. It was, hands down, one of the best main dishes I've ever eaten. The fruit was served warm, sort of like syrup, but didn't smother the meat. The lambl, served medium rare, was absolutely perfect. The polenta soaked up some of the sweetness of the fruit and the whole sweet/savory thing was working for me. I decided not to eat all of it and took a couple of slices home.

My mom had an enormous pork chop with carmelized apples and the menu saidit was served on spaetzle with a caramel ginger demi glace. I have to confess I was in such rapture over the lamb that I didn't taste her dish! There was plenty to take home, however, and so I ate some of her pork chop last night, it was extremely tender.

For dessert, I had the butterscotch pudding and it was so homey, smooth and creamy I nearly licked the bowl clean. Let's just say I cleaned my plate! Mom had a slice of coconut cream pie that had a layer of ganache on the bottom, just above a macadamia nut crust. The pie was very good, but the whipped cream on the pie was served without any sugar. I'm sure it was intended to cut the sweetness of the rest of the ingredients but to me it was bland and served as a distraction to the pie.

Service was efficient and not rushed, the bill with tip was about $100.

A friend of mine from work is coming to down Wednesday, I'm tempted to take her there just so I can eat the lamb and butterscotch pudding again.

Again, thanks to you all for your views!

NCetr (meant as North Carolina eater)

Mar 12, 2007
NCetr in Pennsylvania