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Words of solace for those suffering from loss and grief as a result of the events of the last week.
On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.
And when your eyes
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.
When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.
~ John O’Donohue ~
Well folks, it’s that time of year again. That’s right – it’s resolution time. But rather than join a gym to shed that extra 20 lbs of gut weight, resolve to stop eating baby animals (veal and cabri are too good to give up), or take up a diet of strictly flax and wheat germ – I am rolling out another list of restaurants in the area that I MUST try in the year ahead.
Admittedly, I made just an ‘OK’ dent in last year’s list, hitting six of the 16 spots that I pined for. The reason for that was my culinary attention being pulled in other directions as new openings kept hitting my radar throughout 2012. But in the end, I did sample awesome cuisine from Casa B, Journeyman, Marliave, Radius, The Gallows, and Gaslight Brasserie Du Coin. Not too bad.
Looking ahead to the year of the Water Snake – here’s my list of resolution restaurants. Hiss, Hiss, Yum, Yum.
- Cinquecento | This hotly-anticipated cavernous Italian joint from the Aquitaine Group has wild boar gnocchi. Gnocch-said.
- Giulia | A just-opened Porter Square newcomer serving more upscale Italian eats. Run by a former Via Matta chef.
- Tavern Road | Chef Louis DiBarcarri (Sel de la Terre, Storyville, Chef Louie Night) plans to open a space in Fort Point with the words Porchetta, Game Birds, and Rotisserie on the menu. P.S. They’ll have a street food window. Booyah.
- Blue Dragon | Celeb chef Ming Tsai is opening an Asian Fusion spot in Fort Point.
- Ribelle | Strip T’s chef Tim Maslow is coming to Brookline (Washington Sq) with a new spot next year. I’ll be there.
- Bronwyn | We will finally have a good German restaurant around Boston. Currywurst and Spaten anyone?
- Spoke Wine Bar | The guys behind Dave’s Fresh Pasta bring you a wine bar right next to their current venue.
- Erbaluce | This Bay Village upscale Italian hideaway will be a romantic gourmet date for me at some point in 2013
- Oishii | A carry-over from last year’s list, but I will make it this time around!
- East By Northeast | This Pan-Asian small plates resto in Inman Square has been open for a while and deserves my attention.
- Santarpio’s | Yes, someday I will hike over to Eastie and eat pizza. It will happen.
- Estelle’s | This is what you get when you combine the chefs of Poe’s Kitchen and East Coast Grill.
- Bon Me (the restaurant) | A popular Vietnamese food truck goes brick and mortar in Kendall.
- Belly Wine Bar | The owners of Blue Room and Central Bottle team up to deliver a nice wine bar concept in Kendall.
- Uni Sashimi Bar (and late night ramen) | More for the late-night ramen to get Oringer’s take on a dish that is all the rage right now.
- Lone Star Taco Bar | These guys hit the Allston scene big and then fell off my radar. They’re back on, and I WILL get their tacos in the year ahead.
So there it is. Another 16 places to run to in an effort to continue eating my way through all that Boston has to offer. In case you haven’t noticed, the restaurant scene in the area is bumpin’. Lots of these places haven’t even opened yet, but when they do it promises to be an exciting year. See you there…
Location: Watertown, MA
The Foodie: Strongly Recommends
This place is an enigma. A beautiful enigma. It’s also one of the most unique dining experiences you will have around Boston.
How do you manage to order at a restaurant that can be described by the following attributes?
- The name is Strip T’s, and the spot is located in a homely corner of Watertown.
- For 25 years, they were a friendly neighborhood shop serving a lunch menu of salads, sandwiches, and soups. Think Greek Salads, Po’Boys, etc.
- Recently the owner’s son returned from his gig as Chef de Cuisine at the one-and-only David Chang’s Momofuku Ssam Bar in NYC to take over the menu.
- The dinner has been revamped and includes an incredibly eclectic array of upscale Asian influences, down-home Amuuurican fare, and New England favorites. Now think things like haute burgers, fried chicken, banh mi, oxtail, maitake mushrooms, etc.
- An emphasis is now placed on locally-sourced ingredients – think chalkboard list of suppliers, fish caught by spear (seriously), farms incorporated into menu item descriptions.
As someone who usually makes a beeline to a singular menu item that sings straight to my foie-gras clogged heart, I was more stumped with my selection at Strip T’s than anywhere else in recent memory.
I mean – do I go with the traditional grub like a burger, thinking that the son added a little Momofuku magic dust to a classic dish?
Or, do I swing East, thinking that our new chef wields a Shun well and shuns the old Strip T’s food in favor of inventive Asian cooking?
Or, do I try something zany and not particularly in line with either of these lines of thinking – like smoked trout with corn, 5 minute egg, rye, and chanterelles; or creole boudin “etouffee” with shrimp, scallops, and root vegetables?
Really – it all sounded good.
- First: Grilled romaine with succulent braised oxtail, perfectly poached egg, and a zingy chili ‘vin’ (which is apparently a cool way to say dressing). This dish really had a little bit of all the flavors and textures I most appreciate: meaty, smoky, charred, rich, spicy, complex, juicy, and crispy. Best dish of the night.
- Second: After much, much agonizing I settled on the creole boudin, which was an incredibly tender sausage stuffed with creole rice and split down the center with plump little scallops and shrimp perched atop. The sausage wonder was swimming in a light stew with finely julienned root veggies, and man did it all have a nice flavorful “kick” to it. In the end, I loved this deconstructed slice of Nawlins.
- Second (part deux): No, I did not gluttonously eat two mains. My dining chum ordered the much more dainty and Eastern-influenced roasted tautag, which was a spear-caught mild white fish in a bowl with kohlrabi “noodles,” lightly fried clams, eggplant and pistachio. Though a much different mouth-feel (yes I’m a fouchebag) than the boudin, it was sophisticated and well-executed (yes I watch too much Food Network).
- Third: We were treated to some sort of special ice cream with coconut cake and sweet cream topped with cacao nibs. Felt nice and cooling on my tongue after the whirlwind of flavors hitting my buds all night.
And you know, now that I mention it, there was a veritable whirlwind of flavors being served up at Strip T’s. Chef Tim appears to have the rare ability to magically transport his diners through the rustbelt, the deep south, and the Asian subcontinent while still weaving in a lil’ bit of Watertown, MA.
Is this the beginning of a new trend in the restaurant biz? Has the pop-up been replaced by the all-out takeover? Will our local Greek gyro joints, college pizza shops, and fried-rice-slinging Chinese buffets be reinvented by inspired chefs who add a bit of their own influence while staying true to the roots of the kitchen space they have now inhabited?
What should we call it? Burgers and macquisitions? Muncher capital? Perma Pop-Ups? Private Chef-quity?
Along with lots of other blogs, this website was recently hacked by an unhappy person from Poland. My heart goes out to people who choose to spend their days in a dark basement listening to techno and trying to wreak cyber-annoyance across the web. The problem hit many innocent bloggers. My sincere apologies if you tried to access the site from Facebook, Google Search results, or other search engines and were re-routed to bogus web pages.
I have been assured that all malicious code has been removed and we are continuously monitoring the site to ensure everything is secure. The problem now appears to be fixed but to avoid any potential issues please try to access the Foodie directly or using your bookmarks. Also make sure you have antivirus software installed.
Your regularly scheduled programming will resume shortly – I’ve got Italian food, pastries, sammiches, and fine dining reviews coming your way soon.
I see lots of food peeps rolling out their top picks for 2011 as they look back on eating through the last 365, but not many folks talking about their aspirations for the year ahead. Well, as your fearless eater continues to blaze new culinary trails – I present to you my “Resolution Restaurants” for Twenty Twelve.
These spots have either been around forever and just escaped my reach, or they’re relatively new establishments that are hot on the food scene. Either way, the dishes promise to be tasty. So here it is -16 places that will tickle your c-spot starting 1/1/12.
- Casa B | Yelp – 5 Stars | A new tapas joint in Union Square brings new spice to Somer-villains
- Journeyman | Yelp – 4 Stars | A coterie of chef “friends” have apparently been killing it since opening.
- Sportello | Yelp – 4 Stars | As the Barbara Lynch empire expands, so does the list of her restos that I’ve got to try.
- Marliave | Yelp – 4 Stars | A downtown mainstay and “hidden gem” with a great, diverse menu.
- Oishii | Yelp – 4 Stars | Routinely raved about for authentic sushi and my top sushi-spot-to-sample next year.
- Fuji at Kendall | Yelp – 4 Stars | New upscale sushi joint in Kendall that I’ve walked by for months watching take shape.
- Tasca | Yelp – 4 Stars | This local tapas treasure in Brighton (of all places) has hit my food-dar several times.
- Vee Vee | Yelp – 4 Stars | The food at this Jamaica Plain establishment is supposed to be as cool as the name.
- Radius | Yelp – 4 Stars | Burger. Burger. Burger. Will it make the Top 10 in Boston?
- Menton | Yelp – 4 1/2 Stars | Yes, Barbara again. When I’m in the mood to spend $100 on a prix fixe.
- The Gallows | Yelp – 4 Stars | One of the last remaining Gastropubs I’ve yet to try in the city.
- Gaslight Brasserie Du Coin | Yelp – 4 Stars | An enormously popular French spot that’s been on my list.
- Union Bar & Grille | Yelp – 4 Stars | Lots of good meat on the menu. Comfort meets haute cuisine. I’m sold.
- KO Pies | Yelp – 4 1/2 Stars | Australian Meat Pies and Sausages in Southie? Yes please!
- Santarpio’s | Yelp – 4 Stars | Ok, I’ve seen enough “Best Pizza in Boston” ads to finally trek to “Eastie” for a feastie
- Hammersley’s Bistro | Yelp – 4 Stars | A high-end south-end bistro beloved to Bostonians