Archive for the 'Massachusetts' Category

Clio – Boston

On recent trips to Boston, we have found the Eliot Hotel a great location and very pleasant set up.

Nov. 7 your roving reporter wanted to “do dinner” with father-in-law [93] and brother-in-law and another charming guest.
Clio in the hotel seemed to be the perfect location, especially after spending all day traveling from LA through Detroit.
Jimmy, brother-in-law and I got together early. While enjoying a cocktail in Clio’s very nice lounge, we met Michael Brafman the GM. Mike is a real restaurant pro out of NY.   We had a great visit.  I explained the nature of our evening and he obviously took careful note, because he selected Jonathan as our waiter. Lots of patience and a clear understanding of the elderly resulted in a very pleasant evening.
The food was absolutely tops. The service was perfect. I will certainly make a point to catch up with Michael and enjoy Clio on up coming visits to Bean Town. Not all photos have complete descriptions as Liz, my official note-taker wasn’t with us.

Almond & Foie Gras Financier with quince jam and fennel foam – nice amuse from the chef.

Lobster & Uni Cassolette, parsnip foam, chili threads, fried shallots –  Absolutely superb…wonderful flavor. Reminded this reporter of a soup years ago at Le Bernadin…heavenly flavor. Wished Lizzie the Uni freak could have been here for this one.

Close-up of the uni soup

Squash Soup, pistachio croquet, balck truffle—very nice extra from the chef

Beet salad with????

Don’t have a clue!

Asiette of Porcelet (Cheek, Belly, Loin) Sparrow free cider, granola

Buttermilk Braised Chicken, Gnocchi

Jimmy’s main – he said great flavors, nice combination…the cous cous really added to the flavors.

All in all, it was a wonderful evening.

Aquitaine Bis- Chestnut Hill

Aquitaine Bis is a French bistro type restaurant in the suburbs of Boston – Chestnut Hill.  Is it chef driven cuisine – no.  Is it fine dining – no.  Is it on a par with Church and State in Los Angeles – no. But, it is safe, bistro food and for the most part executed well.

Sunday Brunch:

eggs benedict

Eggs Benedict with Canadian bacon, hollandaise & fines herbes, lyonnaise potatoes – I didn’t taste this, but this is my Dad’s favorite and he loved it.

 

omelet

Omelette Alsacienne - with mushrooms, leeks & chevre, lyonnaise potatoes and toast – the eggs were a bit dry, but OK.

 

As Boston was packed during this time period (graduation time all over the city), we were relegated to where my Dad was a regular. So back to Aquitaine Bis for dinner on Tuesday.

Belgian Endive Salade with apple, roquefort, walnuts & watercress – not pictured

 I will have to let the photos tell the story as I didn’t taste the food from our dining companions.  I am assuming they liked what they had as each dish was completely eaten. I also didn’t take notes as this was a strictly social evening.

fish - aquitaine

Lemon Sole Meunière with pommes purée and diced tomatoes 

 

another fish - aquitaine

Potato Crusted Atlantic Salmon with butter poached asparagus, mango & papaya chutney and beurre rouge 

 

scallops - aquitainee

Seared Dayboat Scallops with spring vegetable succotash, sweet corn beurre blanc 

 

soft shells - aquitaine

Crispy buttermilk soft shell crabs – I am guessing that the saucing was the same as the scallops – a sweet corn beurre blanc. Also I have a vague recollection that the waiter said the soft shells were coated in panko – it did have a tempura quality.

No cheese and no desserts – an adequate meal with good service.

Capital Grille – Boston

Capital Grille is essentially a chain restaurant – they work on a formula, strive to use quality ingredients and basically do straight forward food and work on the theory of not messing it up. This was not a food trip; it was a reconnect with my Dad trip so  food was secondary. 

 

bread capital

Bread Basket

 

Caesar - capital

Caesar Salad | $9

 

oysters- capital

Wellfleet Oysters on the Half Shell (6) | $15

 

steak -0 capital

*Dry Aged Sirloin Steak 14 oz | $40 – split to share

 

steak 1 - capital

Close-up of steak

 

onion rings - capital

Vidalia Onion Rings | $8

 

This is not fine dining – it is safe dining.

Neptune’s Oyster – Boston

One of my favorite restaurants in Boston is Neptune’s Oyster in the North End. I have a weird way of ordering the fried Ipswich clams with the bellies. I order a half order at a time so the second batch is as hot as the first batch. This time I ordered  1 1/2 orders and got an half order first and then a full order second. Vinny pictured below was terrific and when I gave him the order he asked if I was lizziee from LA. I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but I certainly have a reputation.

Neptune is a small restaurant with most of the seats at the bar. As they take no reservations, I usually plan my flight from LA to land on the early side so I can have a late lunch at Neptune and not be stuck in a long line waiting to be seated. What a girl will do for fried clams with the bellies!!

vinny

Vinny

 

oysters at Neptune

The oysters at Neptune are terrific and you check off from the list what you want.

 

oysters 1

Oysters

 

clams

My first order of fried clams were stupendous – lush bellies, juicy, just perfect.

 

lobster

My Dad ordered the Maine Lobster Roll with fries

 

close-up of lobster

Just see those beautiful chunks of lobster, perfectly cooked.

 

clams 1

Unfortunately my second order of fried clams had been overcooked – a couple in front were OK, but most were dry and shriveled. To Vinny’s credit, it was taken off the bill.

Now, I did a sort of no no and decided to take a photo of what our neighbors were eating as most of my photos from Neptune are nothing but fried clams. Descriptions are edited versions from the on-line menu.

 

closde-up of lobster next table

Maine Lobster pan roast, grilled corn, chorizo-spring onion, littlenecks, blueberries

 

scallops next table

Seared Georges Bank Scallops, Israeli cous cous, English peas, Littlenecks

 
This is essentially a gastropub version of a clam shack – fun, casual, very busy, great service with a very friendly neighborhood vibe.

Metropolitan Club, Chestnut Hill

I hate panning restaurants. I honestly try to find the best in a restaurant, not the worst. However, there are certain restaurants that just disappoint. My father lives in Boston so when I visit him we generally go to neighborhood restaurants. He decided that the Metropolitan Club would be perfect for a quiet dinner. Quiet it isn’t. We were definitely the oldest table in the restaurant. This is a “yuppie” hang-out with a major bar scene. Wine is definitely not the favored beverage – cocktails in various hues is the preference for the 30 something crowd.

http://www.metclubandbar.com/menu/dining/


caesar-met-club

 My brother and his wife split the traditional Caesar as an appetizer – a wedge of Romaine with crispy onion “strings” and fried croutons.


 duck-confit-met-club1

 Duck Confit Spring Rolls pear duck sauce – this wasn’t awful, but it was more about the wrapper and the vegetables than the duck confit.

 

tuna-met-club

 My brother had the Pan Seared Prime Yellow Fin Tuna Steak pickled Asian vegetables, maple soy pepper glaze.  They got a plus for serving the tuna rare, but a minus for the “stringiest” piece of tuna I have ever tasted.

 

fiush-met-club

 My sister-in-law had some type of fish (don’t have a clue what it was) with artichoke, a spicy tomato sauce and some yogurt based sauce.

 

 steak-met-club

My dad and I split their 38 ounce bone-in Rib Eye – the potato sides with this were greasy and just plain horrible, the Yorkshire Pudding Roll – stale and dry. The steak, fatty and basically tasteless.

Over-all recommendation – don’t bother.


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