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.



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!!




oysters at Neptune

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


oysters 1




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



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.


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



 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.



 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.



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.

Bernard’s – Chestnut Hill

Thanks to a friend of mine, we went to Bernard’s as a “known quantity.” It is not 100% authentic Chinese but that’s not what its supposed to be. It is Americanized Chinese, using very good ingredients and cooked well. It is surprising that it is located in a mall, but once inside the restaurant, you lose the mall immediately. For some reason, I lost my notes so the photos will have to tell the story.

Bernard was so genial and so gracious. I basically let him choose our menu.

Chicken and Ginger served in lettuce leaves


Some type of Fried Spring Roll


Peking Duck – our server was terrific and prepared the duck for us – delicious


Shrimp with roasted black bean, garlic and shallots and sautéed String Beans

Don’t have a clue.

Tapioca Custard

An absolutely welcome addition to my dining adventures in Chestnut Hill. I would go back in a heartbeat

Clio and Uni – Boston

We were staying at the Eliot Hotel so it seemed like a no brainer to either eat at Clio or Uni. Unfortunately when we went down for dinner, there were no seats at the bar at Uni (only 6 seats total) so we kept our reservation at Clio.

 We ordered champagne and decided to order splits – one for two.


 Amuse  – Tomato water martini, diced cucumber, basil oil, caperberry, huckleberry, tomato popsicle – OK


Taylor Bay Scallops, Winterberrry verjus, fresh wasabi, oscetra caviar – this was served family style, but with no extra plates. We asked for small plates so we didn’t spill the verjus all over the table. Excellent

Now we waited and waited for food.

 Marinated Yellowtail and Yellow Fin Tuna with Opal Basil, Ginger and Garlic – Again this was served family style with no extra plates – we again asked for extra plates plus some silverware.

After finishing the above dish, the busser scrapes our plates at the table – table side service? – fine dining??

Now our server pours more champagne for me and manages to spill champagne all over the table as she overfilled the glass. She immediately leaves to wipe her hands, but forgets about the mess on the table and my wet slippery glass.

I could see that this was becoming a disastrous dining experience. I left the table, went to Uni, saw 2 empty seats at the bar at Uni and begged those already at the bar to save those seats.  I ran back to John, said meet me at Uni and quickly claimed our seats. John told the maitre d’ we were leaving to go eat at Uni. He said nothing, just shrugged his shoulders.

What followed was a very good meal with great service and equally great company.

My notes are a mess – it has been some time since this meal and we were both deep in conversation with our tablemates. We asked the chef to just do omakase – his choice. Some photos are missing so even letting the photos tell the story is incomplete. I apologize in advance for any and all mistakes.


Sushi Guy


Uni spoon with quail egg, oscetra caviar, chives- delicious

Toro, soy, yuzu, pluot


Hamachi, Ginger Mignonette, Green Apple, Swish of Cassis


Saba ???


Columbia River salmon


Smoked Chutoro, Porcini mushrooms, Wagyu Steak, Soy, Wagyu beef fat


Amaidai, Spicy Vinaigrette, Chardonnay gelee


Homemade Tofu, Uni, Oscetra Caviar


Uni, Chilled Gazpacho and…


Torched Tomato, Clam, Cauliflower Puree, Celery, Crunchy shallots and garlic, Togarashi



Spicy Lobster Salad, Orange, Shiso

This was an excellent meal and compared to Clio wondrous. It is not Urasawa and the quality of the fish is definitely not like Hiro’s, but it was a fun evening with wonderful company on either side of us. It also is quite expensive, about $300 for the two of us. 

As we were paying, the maitre d’ from Clio came to Uni and presented us with our check from Clio. The next morning, John complained to the GM of the hotel, a wonderful woman, Pascale Schlaefli, who upon hearing of our experience at Clio deducted that amount from our bill.