Archive for the ‘Boston’s Best Dishes’ Category

Alden & Harlow: The Secret Burger

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Location: Cambridge, MA

The Foodie: Recommends

Dutifully, I fulfill my role as a local burger forager – digging through menus and spelunking into restaurant dining rooms to report back on the state of the meat patty around Boston.

With the annual refresh of my Top 10 Burgers in Boston List fast approaching this Fall, I have been picking up the pace of discovery.

* Alden & Harlow has been at the forefront of my hunt for the area’s best burgers for a while now. *

So, follow me fellow foodies, as I put on my meat helmet, flip on my headlamp, and apply my beef gloves…

I’m going in.


  • Sun Brunch…..10:30AM-2:30PM (until they run out)
  • Sun – Wed…..5PM – 1AM (until they run out)
  • Thu – Sat…..5PM – 2AM (until they run out)


One has to be willing to organize their mealtime around the availability of Secret Burger if one wishes to eat Secret Burger. I have been told that only 3 dozen are prepared per night, and have been denied access on one occasion. Here are a few tips on getting some:

  • Arrive right when they open for dinner – that means around 5PM or 5:30.  They informed me over the phone that I would “definitely get the burger” arriving around that timeframe. You just need to be willing to hang with the early bird special crowd.
  • Come to brunch – You are probably more likely to access the burger during a time when people are lured to breakfast-like things….or who said a burger couldn’t be for breakfast – particularly if you add a 60-degree egg on top.


SECRET BURGER* (limited availability)

Our 8oz House Creekstone Grind, Your Faith, House Made Roll – 15


From Above

From Above


Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 12.02.57 PM




 Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 12.06.21 PM


We live in a world where hamburgers are agonized over for years before hitting restaurant menus. The art of burger-making has become akin to hand-crafting a fine timepiece or weaving an Afghan carpet.

Alden & Harlow’s sandwich is no exception. Make no mistake – each component of the Secret Burger is agonizingly thought-through. Apparently, Scelfo and team tinkered with the burger grind for a year-and-a-half until they arrived at what goes into your mouth today.

Highlights of eating the Secret Burger:

  • House-Made Bun: Hats off to whoever is responsible for creating these on a daily basis in the A&H kitchen. This is about as close to perfection as a burger bun can be.  Soft yet sturdy, this bun is the perfect instrument through which to cradle the meat.
  • Burger Patty: The most stand-out aspect of the meat patty is the signature smokiness that Alden & Harlow injects into it. I will not speculate further as to how they do it – but Chef Scelfo says it’s a closely guarded secret. The meat comes from Creekstone Farms which is a producer of Black Angus cattle that emphasizes humane treatment of the animals. I also respect the fact that the patty is minimally-seasoned to allow the beefy-ness to shine through as the main event of any burger. I was unsure of how I felt about the seasoning issue at first, but have come around to appreciate Alden’s perspective.
  • The Sauce: A wonderful mixture that leans towards the thousand-island profile, the sauce incorporates things like ketchup, aioli, pecorino cheese, and anchovy. I like.


  • The Cabot Cheese Tuile: Though inventive and flavorful in it’s own right, my personal preference is for melty cheese on my burger. Call me a purist…


This burger is true to its roots yet inventive in all the right ways.  A pleasure to eat and an excellent addition to the Boston-area burger scene. A “must” for local burger enthusiasts, food writers/bloggers, and any carnivore. Yelpers – stay away and stick to reviewing your local shoe cobbler, gas station or McDonald’s.

Other Opinions:

Boston Magazine“Anatomy of a secret burger” 

Josh Ozersky“More than lived up to its reputation”

Boston Burger Blog “New favorite burger in town”

Top 10 Worthy?  Yes

Santarpio’s – Yah Dude, the Pizza is Really that Dahn Good

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

The Santarpio's Pie

Location: East Boston, MA

The Foodie: Strongly Recommends

I’m actually pretty ashamed that I claim to run a Boston-themed food blog and have never tried Santarpio’s….until now, dear readers – until now.

Indeed, Santarpio’s has to rank up there among the most Bostonian things about Boston…such as:

  • The Sawx/Fenway Pahk
  • Mayah Menino
  • The “T”
  • Fanieul Hall
  • The Chah-les
  • Aerosmith
  • The Marathawn

It took me well over 100 years to get my ass over to Eastie and order a few slices since these guys opened in 1903.

I think the main reason that kept me away was the fear of long, winding hoards of people and the maddening maze of Red, Green, and Blue subway switches to get over to a station appropriately named “Maverick” given the fact that it is so seemingly removed from the rest of the city.

Turns out that by car, it ain’t that big a deal. Parking was plentiful, and there was no line at all at 6pm on a summer Saturday eve.

Stepping inside, the place looks like the kind of spot where they would have found Whitey Bulger holed up – basically just simple wooden booths, a bar, dim lighting, and an intimidating large guy manning the door.

But I don’t want to spend too much time setting the stage for what was without question the best traditional, “pizza-parlor-style” slices to be found in Boston.

Upon reflection, I was having difficulty classifying the style of pie that Santarpio’s serves…but stumbled upon a great article on “Slice” – a cyber-column hosted by the Serious Eats family of websites.

Amongst a long list pizza styles found across the US of A, “pizza-parlor” was defined by Serious Eats writer Adam Kuban as:

“any place that has been opened since the ’50s, still has the same family running it, and hasn’t really changed much since then”

Well, given the fact that Santarpio’s has been open since the ‘00s and is family-owned, I’d say they basically fit this description.


Yup. We ordered a “half ‘n half” pie that was split between plain cheese and homemade sausage and garlic. Here is a slice centerfold:

Uhhhhhhh, Nah Nah Nah Na

  • The first thing you notice is that this has gotta be one of the juiciest slices of pizza ever created. The first bite you take literally catapults wave after wave of oozy, cheezy, tomatoe-y goodness forcibly upon every single taste follicle within one’s mouth.
  • The next thing you notice is that the ingredients are pretty damn good quality – the cheese, tomatoes, dough, and oil employed in the creation of this pizza have gotta be of a certain caliber to pack such flavor.
  • Speaking of the dough…the crust is this delightful chewy-crunchy texture and has to be some of the best I’ve ever had.
  • The sausage slice has the same ability to launch flavor missiles at close range onto your taste buds.
  • Those from the New York/New Jersey area – easily the snobbiest bunch when it comes to pizza – will give Santarpio’s the props they deserve. To prove it, I took a Jersey girl here for verification. It was so good, she gained 5 pounds in one sitting, folks. Definitely her favorite slice in Boston.
  • As mentioned previously, the type of pizza is traditional in that they are not touting gourmet flatbread or Neapolitan-style with thin slices of mozz. This is a family-owned, local spot that is Italian-American in technique and could best be described as ‘pizza-parlor’ in design.

When you encounter moments in life that can change your entire worldview, you need to pay attention. I’ve been talking some smack lately about the pizza scene in Boston, and a trip to Santarpio’s was exactly what I needed to shatter my preconceived notions and conditioned responses.

Thank you, Santarpios – you’ve made me a better man, and a better Bostonian.

Tupelo – Southern Roots Planted in a Northern City

Monday, July 15th, 2013

Location: Cambridge, MA

The Foodie: Recommends

Like Northeastern college kids pre-gaming on a Saturday night, New Englanders have always been into southern comfort.

For as long as I can remember, restaurants in the Boston area have been pounding out grits, smoking BBQ, and mixing up gumbos trying to introduce a little drawl into the dining scene around here.

Some have tried (and in my opinion) failed, while the successful few have lived on as beloved neighborhood staples that inspire the hearts and minds of local occupants.

Tupelo is one of the latter, y’all.

Over the years I’ve had my fair share of dry and burnt fried chicken, bland attempts at roasted trout from out the ‘crick, and bad deep-fried things of all sorts (with the gut to prove it).

But one brave pastry chef-cum-genius, the owner behind Petsi Pies, decided a few years ago to open a spot that proudly served the food of ‘Nawlins and the deep south with an eye for authenticity and quality.

This is a review of her flagship Cajun-seasoned enterprise a few years into operation.

HINT: Oh, it’s still on in the Tupelo kitchen.

They’ve kept the core menu items basically the same, but added some twists over time along with nightly specials that’ll make you want to say “I wish I was born in the Bayou.”

Here’s a run-down of some of my favorite dishes here:

  • Pan-fried catfish – a well-seasoned cut of meow-steak over creamy grits and accompaniments that I’ve ordered many a time and always enjoyed thoroughly
  • Fried oysters – the perfect snack to enjoy with an Abita brew while waiting for them to clear your table and seat you.
  • Pork belly corn-dog – Dear arteries, I’m sorry for accelerating the process through which you will eventually clog up and writhe in pain, however, the organ further south in my abdomen (belly) and taste buds up north schemed with my brain to order this amazing creation. My taste buds said that the slab of pork belly was ever-so-tender on the inside and coated with sweet, soft goodness on the outside with a l’ull kick added by some nice spicy aioli. My stomach willingly received the calorie-laden treat and broke down the glutens and proteins with glee. Yes, it’s true, one Guy Fieri was right when he dubbed this bad boy a “Perfect Storm” on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.

Corn Dog of the Future...

  • Crawfish etouffee – A more recent add’y to the menu, this deep rich stew is jumping with the slightly meatier, smaller cousin of the shrimp. This dish is complex, spicy, and a joy to eat.

Remember those things you kept as pets in 4th grade science block?

  • Cajun gumbo – Have I mentioned that Tupelo is best enjoyed with an appetite? If your pork belly corn-dog appetizer isn’t enough, the etouffee and gumbo will offer generous bowls of goodness that will warm your soul. Tupelo’s gumbo includes pulled chicken, Andouille sausage, and okra.
  • Desserts – This is one joint where you will not want to skip the sweets…the post-dinner treats here usually feature goods from Petsi Pies and local ice-creameries.

For my money, Southern-inspired food doesn’t get much better than this in the metro Beantown arena.

So as freshmen hammer down shots of  SoCo in their dorm rooms across the river, I’m digging in to my version of down-home comfort – at Tupelo.

Tavern Road – Animals of the Day, Lardo, and (Drum Roll) Porchetta

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Location: Boston, MA (See on Map)

The Foodie: Recommends

The Brothers DiBiccari just nailed a medium-rare skirt steak in the ground on Congress Street in the burgeoning Fort Point ‘hood.

It tastes good.

THE LOOK: I don’t usually dwell on the décor or ambiance of my chosen feasting grounds, but Tavern Road sports a ‘smart,’ ‘modern,’ ‘clean,’ ‘stylish,’ joint with a l’ull artistic flair.

THE COOK: Louis DiBiccari has an impressive resume that includes L’Espalier, Sel de la Terre, and the Herb Lyceum. He is also the secretive mastermind behind the infamous “Chef Louie Nights” that are one part Iron Chef, one part Pop-Up, and one part Awesome.

THE FOOD: My friends, the menu here reads like a carnivorous foodie’s last meal.  There are small tasting dishes of charcuterie items that include lardo, duck prosciutto, and smoked ham. The “first courses” take on the small plate format and feature pork, lamb meatballs, steak tartare, and smoked fish belly. There are a few dainty greens thrown in here and there as well.


A feature called “Today’s Animal” includes one meaty dish ginned-up on the chef’s whim. When we ate here, said animal was a house-made sausage of duck, veal, and pork that made my heart skip a few beats (now and when I turn 65).

The main events include duck legs with lavender and honey, beef short rib with cinnamon and cashew, and one particular item that holds a special little space in my heart: porchetta.

=======Dramatic Porchetta Monologue=========

Let me pause right there for a moment. Porchetta is a skin-on slab of pork belly wrapped around a trimmed center-cut pork loin and seasoned with herbs, fennel, and citrus. Done properly, this masterpiece is first assembled before resting 1-2 days in a fridge, and then slow-roasted in the oven. The beautiful porchetta served at Tavern is a generous round slab of herbed-crusted, crispy-skinned, tender-as-hell pig that will linger on your taste buds and strum on your soul strings for weeks (nay months) after entering your food zone.

Where Pork Belly Meets Pork Loin


Back to the menu. Innovatively, the main events are served without sides and the diners are left to choose between an assortment of dishes to share amongst the table. Sides include braised kale with raisins and pine nuts, spaetzle, and creamy grits with an egg on top (my favorite).

As if all that wasn’t enough, Eater Boston reports that Tavern Road will soon have a take-out operation hitched to the side of the restaurant that will be serving plates on the go that are inspired by street foods of the world.

MY MOOD: After enjoying a hearty man’s meal and washing that down with craft beers, I felt happiness, tightness in the stomach region, subtle glee, good cheer, and slight fogginess in the brain area at the hand of Pretty Things Baby Tree.

A nice addy to Fort Point as this corner of the city becomes more of a destination for food lovers. Come to Tavern Road for the porchetta, today’s animal, lardo, beer and creamy grits. Feel like I did.

Top 5 of ’12

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Yes, I will join the tide of food writers listing off their top meals and restaurants of the past year. Yes, I will continue a tradition I started last year. Yes, you will be happy eating at any of these five wonders of the local food scene – as selected by the Hiram Bingham of culinary exploration – which is of course, yours truly. I travel by “T” though rather than donkey.

Whereas the defining theme of last year’s Top 5 list was “Gimme Something New and Different,” 2012’s top eats were more balanced between zany new creations (i.e., grilled romaine and braised oxtail salad at Strip T’s, house-made XO sauce at Journeyman, lamb belly w/ orange and moxie at Puritan) and insanely good renditions of classic dishes (i.e., roasted bone marrow at Puritan, fenugreek-smoked duck at Herb Lyceum, the ramen at Yume).

Interestingly, this list seems to also touch upon Contemporary American, Farm-to-Table, Snout-to-Tail, Classic and Modern Asian cooking. These trends are already the zeitgeist in the food world, and I hope they do continue into 2013.

  1. The Herb Lyceum | I can’t keep a secret very long – the true identity of my recent “Mystery Review”
  2. Strip T’s | Three cheers for one the most eclectic restaurants I’ve ever eaten in.
  3. Puritan & Company | This newcomer to the food scene definitely makes my short list.
  4. Journeyman | One of the most inventive, creative, scrumptious meals you’ll have on either side of the Charles.
  5. Yume Wo Katare| One bowl of ramen was all it took to solidify their spot on this coveted list.

Puritan & Company – The Culinary History of New England, Rewritten

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

Location: Cambridge, MA

The Foodie: Strongly Recommends

–“Men of New England, I hold you to the doctrines of liberty which ye inherit from your Puritan forefathers.” —

The puritans left England to practice what they believed without persecution. Like the intense cult-prone adventurers who first developed the new world, Will Gilson has sailed out into uncharted culinary territory with his new restaurant to worship the demigods of lamb belly, jamon iberico, and bone marrow on his own terms.

I am here to tell his story.

While I’m pretending to be an historian, I’ll throw a little more history atch’ya – a local business called Puritan Cake Company once occupied the space that now houses this immaculate new temple of gourmet righteousness. In fact, the new owners will even present their interpretation of the cake once produced here in little bite-sized pieces at the end of your meal.

I open this review with a lesson of our past, for, in Churchill’s words: “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

Gilson, it appears, was paying attention during his “ye olde volume ‘o cooking history” class in culinary school. The menu at Puritan & Company shows deference and respect for rustic New England favorites while taking a few chances with cuisine from other regions and incorporating interesting twists on the foods of our forbearers. This is also a restaurant strongly grounded in the fat of Massachusetts soil – with goods sourced from Savenors and The Herb Lyceum (the Groton farmstead owned by Gilson’s family).

Now, without much further ado, I present to you my analysis on my flavor fave dishes from Puritan that I had the joy of eating from our charcuterie table seats:

The softest, buttery brioche roll you will ever taste – topped with some amazing lightly-shaved sea salt. Washed down with a Peak Organic dark nut brew made specially for Puritan that involves a little ginger and honey from the Herb Lyceum.







Something called Gougeres. I’ve never seen these in France (assuming they’re a French dish), but wherever they hail from these things are awesome. Lightly-toasted warm balls of wonder stuffed with rosemary and cheddar mornay. Tasted like a gourmet cheez-it.

Cheez-its, Beware!

Rare Jamon Iberico freshly shaved from a $1,200 hock of cured ham sitting by the charcuterie station. Lightly nutty, smooth, and tender.

Fresh-Shaved from the Ham Hock

“Swordfish Pastrami.” One of the most unique and inventive plates on the menu, this dish incorporates spiced strips of smoked sword, cannelles of chilled mustard cream, brussels, and pumpernickel essence. Amazing.

Pastrami of the Sea

Bone Marrow Gratin. Easily one of the best dishes on the menu here, Puritan’s bone marrow is beautifully plated on a bed of hay and roasted with an array of herbs, butter (surely) and garlic. Spreading a little of this gelatinous goodness on a slice of torched duck fat brioche was literally one of the best things I’ve done all year.

Will You Marrow-Me?

Lamb Belly. Probably the other “must try” dish on the menu here in addition to the marrow, lamb belly is similar to pork belly in terms of the presentation and texture, however it comes with an added gaminess and earthiness that is matched wonderfully with an orange + moxie sauce. I’ve never had anything quite like it but I loved it.

Lamb - The Other Delicious Belly Meat

Clam Chowder. Pure genius. Your server will bring over a sexy-looking lineup of clams sharing their shells with a little friend named fried pork belly. A warm creamy broth will then be poured over the bowl from a pitcher. Totally creative.

Not-Your-Mother's Clam Chowda

Wood-Roasted Muscovy Duck – A solid classic bird paired with quinoa, wild mushrooms and thyme.

Order any of these dishes and your stomach will thank you like a pilgrim feasting on a freshly-cooked turkey.

A few words on a singular Puritan plate that, while risqué and interesting – misses the mark a bit. Lamb chop and lamb sausage. This ends up looking like a funny giant lamb lollipop. A bunch of ground lamb sausage is packed around the chop and just becomes overwhelming to eat (plus a little dry – it’s gotta be tough to cook right). If there is one dish on the menu I would replace – it would be this one. Instead – put a game bird, rabbit,  wild boar or some lobster on the table!

On the whole, Puritan & Company really nails it. The restaurant itself is beautiful and will surely be a success with an array of very well-executed dishes that are unrivaled elsewhere.

The first settlers of the new land knew that they were on to something when they laid the first foundations of a society free from sexual misconduct, blasphemous words, and witchcraft. I thank Chef Gilson for bringing a few spoonfuls of sin back onto New England soil.

Yume Wo Katare – I Dream of Ramen

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

The Hours

Location: Cambridge, MA

The Foodie: Strongly Recommends

If you’ve walked through Porter Square between the hours of 6 and 10pm recently, you may have noticed something different.

By day, an unassuming storefront with a foreign name – Yume Wo Katare lights up for a few hours five nights a week to shovel a delicacy beyond words into bowls for a line of hungry hungry hipsters that stretches to the door of Dunkin’ Donuts and can command over an hour long wait.

As you stand in said line, people will stop open-mouthed and stare at Yume not quite understanding what the hype is all about. They may even ask you what everyone is waiting for. You might say “Ramen” and receive a confused look.

Don’t worry – these misguided individuals just don’t understand.

During your experience in line – you are likely to bond with your fellow Ramenites, marvel at the popularity of Yume, and study the rulebook of eating here. A few tips for your first visit:

  1. Come hungry, and arrive at the beginning of the night (15 minutes before opening recommended)
  2. Bring no more than one other ravenous individual to ensure a small party
  3. Do not plan on takeout, for this is not an option
  4. Bring a wad of cash, for they do not take plastic
  5. Enjoy pork. Liking pork belly is better. Loving noodle soup also imperative. There is only one variety of Ramen served here and it involves loving spoonfuls of both.
  6. Read the helpful posters of information taped to the windows as you wait in line, for lots of useful information awaits you.
  7. Be prepared for whether you want Ramen ($12) or Buta Ramen ($14). The difference is the number of pork slices you receive – the regular ramen gets you two slices and the buta gets you a whopping five.
  8. Know the answer to the question: “Ninniku Iremasuka?” or “Do you want garlic?” This will be politely screamed at you after your order is taken at the register.
  9. Know that every minute of your wait will be worth it, and that the idiosyncrasies are a fun part of the experience of eating here – in other words, pick up your britches and get ready to eat!

Do you want garlic?

RAMEN REVIEW: Yume’s bowl of Ramen is a tantalizing creation that will hook you at the first slurp. It starts with a broth that is one part abura (pork fat), one part soy, and one part マジック  I’ve read that this broth is lovingly cared for over the course of 24 hours and simmered with pork bones. Then you’ve got cabbage and bean sprouts. Next, there’s a heaping ladle of thick house-made noodles boiled quickly in a huge wok. Finally, there’s the most succulent and tender pork you’ve ever tasted. They use a fattier, thick, pork-belly-like cut. I’m not exactly sure how they do it, but it’s gotta be marinated and slow-cooked for several hours at the very least. The Jiro-style of ramen served at Yume is the first of its kind in the U.S.

At the first bite the world around me melted away, downtempo started playing in my head, my eyelids grew heavy, and I uttered a slow food moan. I tasted this Ramen in my soul.

Waaay Tastier Than It Looks - Trust Me.

Now mind you, I wasn’t able to make it into the wildly popular Guchi’s Midnight events that sold out quicker than a U2 concert. I also haven’t tried the ramen at Uni. Sadly, I’ve never been to Japan either. So don’t consider me a ramen connoisseur. But I’d venture to say that this will rank up there with some of the better ramen you’ve ever sampled. It’s also probably authentic stuff.

I will end this synopsis with a short story to illustrate the uniqueness of Yume:

When we were seated and our ramen orders were ready, a server gingerly carried a bowl over to my dining chum and murmured something quickly in Japanese that I would assume was something like bon appétit. We slid the bowl down to me before our second bowl arrived and our server looked let down by the switcheroo. We wondered why. At the end of the meal I asked why each bowl of ramen is destined for a single individual and our server translated my question for the chef. He said “I connect to you.”

You connected to me Yume. You tickled my food gland. You spoke to my sinews. I will return.

Other views and information on Yume:

Boston Globe

Boston Phoenix

Japanese American in Boston

Yume Wo Katare Kyoto (the other location in Japan)

R.F.O’Sullivan & Son Pub – All Hail Boston’s Best Burger

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

Location: Somerville, MA

The Foodie: Strongly Recommends

Hey, you come here often?














Like political views, sexual fantasies, and spiritual orientations, burgers are a personal thing.

They mean something different to each individual, and one’s definition of the “best” is often a matter of debate. So let me tell you what a truly amazing burger means to me, and why RFO is in the know.

Hell, I definitely get hot for specialty gourmet balls of prime beef that sell for up to $20 – throw some marrow in your burger, top it with a fried oyster, kick it up with some nice aioli or unique sauce, rock the double-patty with slaw, or top it with VT Cheddar – and I’m game.

But in the world of burgers, the gourmet funky fling is my mistress and the down-home quality comfort is my life partner.

For me – the truly transcendent burger is a simple thing. It is selfless, it is generous, it is kind. It is the Buggha.  The all-knowing, reincarnate, most comforting comfort food that holds the power to soothe and ease and make anything warm.

What R.F. O’Sullivan’s has that none other has matched for me is the feeling. There is something about their towering, ball-shaped, high-quality burgers that makes them a little more juicy, a little better seasoned, a little more comforting than any other. That secret lies with O’Sullivan himself (if there is such a man).

Walk into O’Sullivans and peruse a menu that is clearly focused on the art of the burger. A whole single page of variations on the theme screams out to you while a separate page of special renditions strikes your fancy. My ultimate favorite order is the Blackjack (a very well seasoned patty topped with a spicy Creole mojo sauce, cheese, and the usuals) cooked medium-rare with onion rings on the side and a good pint of Guinness….

Essentially the meaning of life boiled down to a bun. And that’s why RFOS is my top of the top in the Boston area. Anyone who says differently – read another blog.


O Ya – Straight-up Food Porn

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Location: Boston

The Foodie: Strongly Recommends

There’s every other sushi restaurant you’ve eaten at in your life, and then there’s O Ya.

Yeah, that’s right. This underground citizen food blogger just ate at a restaurant that received an unheard-of 29 Food Rating from Zagat, was named one of the Top 10 Sushi restaurants in the country by Bon Appétit, and frequently makes it into various “Best of Boston” rankings. New York Times food critic Frank Bruni himself gushed over these guys.

I’ve written in past food prose that sushi lends itself to being categorized in tiers. Well, O Ya just created their own freaking level of classification.

Given that the entire United States food rating machine has already raved about this spot since the five years after it opened, this humble critic will just describe it as food porn and let the following full-size pictures from my 16-course Omakase tasting menu tell the rest. After this I’ll have to purchase a “dot xxx” domain. Happy food lust:

View of the huge sauce line-up from the sushi bar


Fish is way more beautiful on a plate than in the sea...


Scottish salmon, spicy sesame ponzu, yuzu kosho, scallion oil


Fried kumamoto oyster + yuzu kosho aioli + squid ink bubbles = mouthgasm


Shima aji & santa barbara sea urchin, ceviche vinaigrette, cilantro


Real seared wagyu beef petit strip loin. Two words: life-changing.


Thank you. Come again.

Casa B – A Great New Somerville Food Story

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Location: Somerville, MA

The Foodie: Strongly Recommends


In a few words: Caribbean and Colombian tapas that may just change your life

Casa B is a story about Albert and Angelina.

It’s a story about two former architecture students who decided to design the structure of amazing cuisines instead.

It’s a story about a small catering business that was destined to become something so much more.

It’s a story about Puerto Rican and Colombian culinary influences inspiring small plates in three formats:

  • Pinchos (served on bread, sized to split amongst two)
  • Tapas (plates sized to split amongst two)
  • Tablas (larger portions sized to split with the whole table)

It’s  a story of a beautiful, modern restaurant on both street front and sub-levels.

It’s a story of simply astounding food that leans more towards the sea. Forget your Spanish tapas joint and travel to South America and the Caribbean with me for a moment:

  • Albondigas in amazing tomato-based sauce
  • Trio of fresh Ceviche that included lobster and salmon incorporated with peas and corn.
  • Seared sesame-crusted tuna “bites”
  • Cod fritters that were perfectly fried
  • Salted plantain chips and creamy asparagus spread
  • Jamon. Jamon. Jamon.
  • Crazy lightly-fried chorizo and melted goat cheese creation (the flavor overshadows the name in my memory)
  • More sliced chorizo with some nice yucca
  • Thin seared steak, sauce and caramelized onions on grilled toasts
  • Puerto Rican “doughnuts” – Mmmmmm.
  • Great bottles of Rioja that were reasonably-priced and most under $30
  • A proper Caipirinha.

It’s a story about one of the best meals I’ve eaten in the Boston area in 2011 and about a great new addition to Union Square.

It’s about you trying these guys out in the new year to contribute to the story. Enjoy.