BillieJean's Profile

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ISO Great/Local Produce-Manchester NH south to Andover

Hello, fellow Chowhounds. I live in the Andover, Mass. area and commute to Manchester, NH each day for work. I am in search of really good quality fruits and vegetables. Places like Wilson Farms in Litchfield, NH (not yet open for the year) or other places with nice offerings of produce, including local when it is ready. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. I will even take good produce from supermarkets, as long as the quality and offerings are good and fresh. Many thanks!

Apr 29, 2010
BillieJean in Northern New England

GQ article: "20 best burgers in America"

There are only two from New England: one in CT and one in RI. New York and New Jersey are definitely NOT in New England!

Mar 08, 2010
BillieJean in Food Media & News

Great chicken parm--N. Shore or N. End?

Having a serious chicken parm craving. Any Chow suggestions for good offerings on the North Shore or North End?

Feb 28, 2010
BillieJean in Greater Boston Area

Five Favorite Places to Eat Among Frequent/Veteran CH Posters?

I am not a frequent poster (but frequent reader for sure!), but here are my 5 tops:

1. Hamersley's
2. Prezza (egg ravioli is worth the trip!)
3. La Campania, Waltham
4. Pellana Steak House, Davners
5. Michael's, Newburyport (decent food, nice water view)

Jan 22, 2010
BillieJean in Greater Boston Area

Nothing 'Wow's" me lately..how about you?

What is S&I?

Jan 20, 2010
BillieJean in Greater Boston Area

Can You Recommend Nice Restaurant near Mass General Hospital?

Did you mean inexpensive? I recall lunch being very reasonable and dinners not so bad either--pasta anywhere from $10 to meat entress being $14.

I agree with the Scampo recommendation. It is a lovely spot and right next to Mass. General.

Jan 20, 2010
BillieJean in Greater Boston Area

Pellana Restaurant Peabody...

I would agree with marilu. We are regulars as well. They have a very nice private dining room for small parties, but any space there is good. We tend to sit at the bar.

The steaks are like the major players in Boston--Grille 23, Capitol Grill, etc. And yes, for us while they are Boston prices, it's worth it not to have to drive into the city, pay for parking and then have the hour-long ride home.

Wine list is great but pricey.

My beef mirror's marilu's but pertaining to the sides. They never change, in spite of our suggestions/pleas/requests to the owner. He is not attuned to the locavore/seasonal thing at all when it comes to his sides. Once in January I asked about having a squash dish on the menu, and he replied that they have zucchini. There's always osso bucco on the menu in the summer. I would go far more often if the sides were more interesting.

The swordfish is always great. I used to get it butterflied, but was convinced by Nick the bar manager to keep it whole and it always comes out perfectly cooked.

We hardly get desserts there. The ice cream flavors change on occasion.

Let us know what you think, OP.

Nov 24, 2009
BillieJean in Greater Boston Area

Burrata in Boston?

Formaggio Cheese shoppe in South End sells Burrata made in Somerville, of all places!

Aug 20, 2009
BillieJean in Greater Boston Area

Non-chain chow in Danvers/Peabody area

If you're looking for a nice steakhouse experience try Pellana's steakhouse is on Silvan St. right off 114 in Peabody. Sit at the bar, which is very nice, and enjoy a great, if not pricey, piece of steak. Also try the wedge salad, the oysters, and the ice cream for dessert, which is locally made at Captain Dusty's. Also try the bread--it comes out hot and crustry and I can never pass it up.

I also enjoy Donatello's as mentioned below. It can be a scene at night, but the food is consistently good.

I agree on the Orzo comments, although the North Andover location is always much better and packed. Have fun, and don't work too hard!

Feb 19, 2008
BillieJean in Greater Boston Area

Cape Ann? Gloucester?

I think Alchemy is closed for the month for renovations to the kitchen. I was there on 1/30/07 and they were closing the next day, reportedly for a month, but what with the usual construction delays, maybe more. I would definitely call. The food choices are broad, and usually range from good to extraordinary.

Jan 16, 2008
BillieJean in Greater Boston Area

Good food AND watch the game?

Intercontinental on waterfront. Good food, two flat screens, lots of room. Last time I was there it was very quiet--no loud fans, etc. Kobe burgers, great fried clams, raw bar--something for everyone. Pricey, yes, but a great spot.

Jan 11, 2008
BillieJean in Greater Boston Area

Sorellina's next Fri. night, what to wear?

I have felt perfectly comfortable in great jeans and great shoes--usually, though when I've had dinner at the bar. But people really run the gamut--from suits (men and women) to dressier cocktail dresses to more casual, but still a little-dressed up jeans and shirts. If you're into dressing up a little it presents the perfect opportunity to do so, but really it's very accommodating. Have a great meal and let us know what you tried and how you liked it, psaint!

Jan 03, 2008
BillieJean in Greater Boston Area

Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello?

I love you, Jfood. You never let me down in the smile department! I do the same thing on my treadmill too! People at my gym hate me for it!

Jan 03, 2008
BillieJean in Food Media & News

Bon Appetit or Gourmet Magazine Subscription?

I TOTALLY agree. I get all the magazines, but at the end of the day, the recipes and articles folded over in Fine Cooking, Cooks, and Cooking LIght far exceed those in Gourmet and Bon Appetit. I read Gourmet for Ruth Reichl. The rest I read simply to be up to speed and not miss trends.

Dec 19, 2007
BillieJean in Food Media & News

There's healthy eating, and then there's the Hungry Girl blog. Have you ever seen it?

I like the product reviews but the recipes are too fake and contrived. They require a lot of fake food stuff like Splenda and sugar-free flavorings and margarine that I don't use. I always wonder, though, when reading the blog, if somehow a large food company is behind it--all those product recommendations?

Dec 19, 2007
BillieJean in Food Media & News

Da Vinci: the silence is deafening

Yes, this is true, baudolino. Pepino was in fact the operating chef at La Camapania and John was more of the 'executive chef." While I haven't had a chance to try DaVinci, I always enjoyed Pepino's food at La Campania and will look forward to trying the new place.

Dec 18, 2007
BillieJean in Greater Boston Area

LaSumma?

My favorite La Summa story from a number of years ago (probably 15 -oh gawd!): At the bottom of the menu, it said something like: "Introduce yourself as an attorney and get the respect you deserve." I was with an attorney friend and she said she was a lawyer. At the end of the meal she got a free dessert-I think it was spumoni! I love that.

Dec 18, 2007
BillieJean in Greater Boston Area

Glory in Andover??

I agree with MC Slim JB. I was there last fall and was incredibly disappointed. The decor was lovely but the food was average at best. I will get my notes and revisit this site if there's something salient in terms of the details, but I recall thinking "faded Glory."

Dec 06, 2007
BillieJean in Greater Boston Area

Angela's Coal Fired Pizza

Just curious, what's a St. Anthony's pizza? Personally, I think Polcaris is pretty mediocre. Maybe Angela's will fill the N. Shore void. . .

Nov 19, 2007
BillieJean in Greater Boston Area

Angela's and Beto's

What towns are these places located in?

Nov 13, 2007
BillieJean in Greater Boston Area

Celtics on tv and good food?

I spent a very pleasant Sun. at the restaurant Miel at the Hotel Intercontinental, near S. Station. The food was quite good and they have two flat screens--presumably they'd put the Celts on.

Nov 09, 2007
BillieJean in Greater Boston Area

Alba Bar & Grill (Quincy)--Any good for a group?

Thanks, CocoDan. I heard the new place, called Bubbles, will be opening after the new year. But I do remember Leo from Grille 23, and I'll give him a call. I'm happy to hear both the food and vino are good. Take care.

Nov 01, 2007
BillieJean in Greater Boston Area

Alba Bar & Grill (Quincy)--Any good for a group?

They don't do lunch regularly, but might do one for the holidays. I'll give them a call. This is a great suggestion and I've heard good things about this place. Thanks!

Nov 01, 2007
BillieJean in Greater Boston Area

Alba Bar & Grill (Quincy)--Any good for a group?

We are trying to plan a holiday lunch for about 40 people in the Braintree/Quincy area. I had a great meal a while ago at Trattoria Alba, but it is now closed due to roadway construction. I was wondering if its sister restaurant, Alba Bar & Grill, would be a good substitute, as I've never been. We are looking for a place with very good food, reasonable prices, close to Braintree. A place that could offer 3 or 4 entrees, a nice bar, and parking. Thanks!

Oct 31, 2007
BillieJean in Greater Boston Area

Oysters and HDTV

What a great challenge to have! We spent an extremely pleasant Sunday afternoon watching the Patriots at the InterContinental Hotel on the waterfront, in the bar/bistro Miel. The flat screens are huge, they have a wonderful raw bar, and the other appetizers are amazing as well--try the fried clams, kobe burgers. And suprisingly, it was fairly empty. The bartender was happy to have us there for a couple of hours and we left quite happy with the whole event. It's quite nice, with not a hint of sawdust!

Oct 17, 2007
BillieJean in Greater Boston Area

Fall dining favorites?

Heartily second the cassoulet. It's so rich and the confit is perfection. I always take half of it home for later.

Sep 27, 2007
BillieJean in Greater Boston Area

Newburyport's best lunch and dinner recs please!!

That is what I heard from a longtime Newburyport resident, but I should check. They did renovate, including the menu, which I think is consistently good with a lot of choice and some very good salads and lighter things. And I'm glad someone else likes the Stripers LR. I have tried to get some friends to eat there with me, but the divey atmosphere, even from the outside, prevents them from even considering it. For some things like lobster, we forebear!

Sep 19, 2007
BillieJean in Greater Boston Area

Newburyport's best lunch and dinner recs please!!

Thanks. Despite the back and forth here, I've heard it's very good and will give it a try soon.

Sep 19, 2007
BillieJean in Greater Boston Area

Newburyport's best lunch and dinner recs please!!

No one has mentioned Michael's Harborside. They changed ownership and menu about a year or year and a half ago, and the food has been consistently good. You can eat outside on the roof, I believe. I still think the best lobster roll is right over the bridge at Stripers. It's really a dive in terms of inside decor, but there's outside eating on the second floor and the LRoll is fresh, not too much mayo or celery, good grilled, butter roll and homemade potato salad. I think it was $15.99 earlier this summer. I like to go and either sit outside or at the bar and read a book.

Sep 18, 2007
BillieJean in Greater Boston Area

Newburyport's best lunch and dinner recs please!!

I second the Black Cow opinion. It's just ok and pretty inconsistent. Is Glenn's open for lunch?

Sep 18, 2007
BillieJean in Greater Boston Area