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How do I replace Hamersley's as my "go to" special occasion restaurant? (Very detailed list of criteria inside!)

How about No.9 Park? That seems to fit a large majority of your criteria

Best Vegetarian Dish at a non-Vegetarian Restaurant

Second the Oleana rec - they do an outstanding vegetarian tasting menu. We ordered the tasting for the table once when out with a vegetarian family member and I would order again even though I am not a vegetarian.

Best Whole Foods in Boston Area

Dedham also does in-house smoked fish. I used to not like the Dedham store - when it first opened, it had a food court vibe to me and it seemed like a lot of people weren't in there to shop, but to stroll around and sight see - but now that some of the Legacy Place hoopla has died down, I like their perishables selections and variety a lot. I don't shop the middle aisles very much, so can't comment intelligently about the variety there. The store closest to me is JP and it is unfortunately a huge disappointment in size, product variety, and staff friendliness/helpfulness (except the fish guys - they are all well-informed and approachable).

July 2013 Openings and Closings

Simpli Bar & Bites opened at 3840 Washington Street near Forest Hills (technically JP, but may as well be Rosi) across from the new Harvest Co-op. Seems like they have breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a full liquor license.

March 2013 Openings and Closings

Spoke Wine Bar in Somerville should open in the next week or two.

January 2013 Openings and Closings

There's a vacant space tucked in there. I haven't walked by in about a month, but there was a sign on one of the doors, but I can't remember exactly how it was laid out. I do know I was leaving West Bridge when I saw it and was surprised because I thought it was going in on the Think Tank level.

Hot Cocktails in Boston

Will at Drink has been making delicious Hot Toddy's. Just don't order a Blue Blazer - the flame show is great (and sometimes is worth just ordering for the entertainment if you can drop the $$ knowing it's undrinkable), but even the bartenders will tell you it is not worth drinking. Pure sterno in taste.

Japanese Noodle Knife

Thanks!

January 2013 Openings and Closings

Pretty much right next to West Bridge, above the old Think Tank space.

Japanese Noodle Knife

Does anyone know of someplace in or around Boston that sells Japanese noodle Knives? I'm looking for a decent quality version. Most of my Chinatown time is spent eating, so not sure if there is a knife shop in that area that has escaped my notice.

The Flying Dutchman is back at ESK (I don't know for how long)

If you could "Like" something on Chowhound, this post would qualify. This is a great cocktail.

Tom and Jerry - holiday cocktail

Drink makes them whenever it snows.

September 2012 Openings and Closings

After your review, I was was excited to go. Got a little delayed by summer vacations and such, and the next thing I knew, gone. Very sad. Or maybe it's better never to have gone since whatever was interesting about was already on the way out.

Second Zo location

This is great news. I was very sad when Mediterraneo was taken away from me and the first Zo is just a little bit too far, especially when the weather turns nasty. Thanks for the tip!

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Mediterraneo
134 Atwells Ave, Providence, RI 02903

South End/Back Bay Top 10?

I had one of my single-worst dining experiences at Towne. Lydia was even in the house that night, which made it that much more upsetting. Rubbery razor clams, poorly executed mains, terrible bartending (although, to be fair on that one, my friend tried to order a craft cocktail off menu; they tried, they just failed horribly, even though the ration was 1:1:1:1), and the service was only okay. I've heard they may have since revamped the entirely-too-large menu, but I'd have to have every CH'er tell me this place was the second coming before I gave them more money.

Would agree with others that Coppa, Toro, Estragon, Butcher Shop / B&G, Masa, the Gallows are all good choices.

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Toro
1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

Masa
439 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116

Coppa
253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

fregola, where to buy

I've seen it at a couple of the North End markets

Scholars

Tried a veggie wrap - it was disappointing. Fries were curly fries that were not impressive in any way. Tried a couple of the cocktails, but again, nothing stood out. It's large, I can say that. Waitstaff are of the "I might be too cool to wait on you" variety. Afterwork spot for beers if you need a place not to be too cramped in is where I would rate it.

Greenway Names Dozen Vendors for 2011 (Food Trucks/Carts)

Has anyone seen the Dosa mobile? I thought it was supposed to be near the Clover truck, but I haven't been able to locate it and their website hasn't been helpful. What's up?

ISO Falernum

They have it downtown at the Boston Wine Exchange on Devonshire

Looking for Rittenhouse 100

The last time there was a Rittenhouse release, Joe said that to me for three weeks straight. Maybe he'll score this time, I'm just sayin.....

Good, inexpensive food in JP/Roxbury/Roslindale?

The Rox Diner in West Roxbury is really good for breakfast - delicious French toast. They have dinner -burgers and shakes, not sure what else, a couple of nights a week that I'm dying to try. They seem like they're really trying, so if you live in the area, give them a shot.

November Openings and Closings

Same here. I could have walked out with all of their merchandise with no one lifting a finger - maybe that's why they went of business. I was disappointed in the incredible lack of products anyway, so just as well no one showed up.

Eating Animals

You'll need to ask good questions of your butcher. Savenor's, which is pricy, has a lot of locally-sourced, small-ish farms they source. There's a small store on Tremont (used to be Lionette's, now its something like DeLeo's?, right near Stephanie's South End that also has options. For farms, Stillman's sells out of Farmer's markets and, at least last year, they had a stall in the Downtown Crossing XMas market. You can buy directly from farms without being in a CSA, such as Blood Farm in Groton.

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Tremont Cafe
418 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116

Towne Stove & Spirits soft open preview (opens July)

Had one of the worst meals I've had in a long time here on Saturday - surprising because I know Lydia was in the house (not cooking, but still). I'll start with my cocktail, from the list, being really unbalanced. It didn't have flavored vodka in it, but somehow they managed to make scotch nearly as bad. For an app, I had the razor clams. These were so rubbier and over-cooked, I would have sent them back if I hadn't been with 5 other people, one of whom was treating, so I just sucked it up. My husband's salad was super salty. The only good app I tried (not including the little bread basket with spreads), was my friend's broiled oysters. Those were good, not great, but solid.

Dinner - I had the cod "bullet". This is cod, wrapped in potatoes, with chowder sauces and tartar sauce. First of all, the potatoes wrapped aroud my cod were actually a thin layer of undercooked string hash browns on top. Second, the fish was smaller than a deck of cards, but I had a bowl nearly the size of a coffee cup full of tartar sauce. Then, there was the chowder sauce, with a few mini clams. This part was the best part of the dish, although not very clammy when not actually eating one of the clams, and not very chowder-y. But this just made the vat of tartar sauce even more confusing. Another friend had the brick chicken. It was an ENORMOUS piece of flat (yes, I know, bricked) brown chicken, nothing else. Soooo dry. And brown. And boring. I didn't try any of the other entrees.

Service was also not great. Not horrible, but the waitress wasn't able to answer a few basic questions about the menu and kept forgetting who ordered what.

Finally, that is the most bewildering menu I've seen in a long time. Not clear what were apps, what special items were available which days.

For the price and considering the pedigree, this was the most disappointing Boston dining experience I've had in quite a long time.

Zaya rum?

I think I saw sum at Marty's in Newton a couple of weeks ago. I'd give them a call.

Anyone been to the Haven?

No tartar sauce is fine, but was there malt vinegar?

Deux Ave and Citizen Oyster Bar...Any news?

Deuxave has had a "soft" opening; the Island Creek place is supposedly on track for October.

September Openings and Closings

The BBRG says "they hope to find a new Back Bay home for Bouchee very soon," whatever that means. Guess Papa Razzi just makes more $$$ for them.

Lobster Roll

My two favorites (neither of them cheap) are B&G Oysters in the South End and Neptune in the North End. Enjoy!

where do boston's chefs eat

Helps that they serve Industry Brunch on Monday's, but yes, even on weekend nights, I've run into tons of foh folks at Trina's.