Eating in Boston: An Update

With two dear friends from Switzerland in for 10 days, it was a welcome opportunity to explore the city and see it afresh and through their eyes.

This led to a lovely lunch at Haley House, in Dudley Square, Roxbury, where the gals feasted on salads and I had a perfectly textured and spiced black bean soup.

Each day, F &S, aka Fiona and Stephanie, indulged themselves at Hi-Rise where high ratings were given to blueberry scones and the breads.  They would stop by Cardullo’s for wine and cheese, mixing it up one afternoon at Wine & Cheese Cask in Somerville.

We enjoyed the dogs at Sully’s in Southie: The place is epic and as synonymous with Boston as Pat’s is to Philly.  They urged us later to go to the North End: Caffe dello Sport, $2 coffees and ringside seats.

We didn’t eat out much, not for dinner, what with fresh fish available from Sakanaya, which I grilled, and killer grass-fed Archer beef, from Maine, available at Savenor’s.

When we did go, it was to Craigie on Main & then to Darryl’s.   Hard to be objective about C on M as I’m writing the book, but you can’t argue with taste: The burger, which I’d not had before was pretty spectacular.  The pasta, the fish, the pork.  All just plain wonderful.  At Darryl’s?  We’re talking live jazz and fried chicken and waffles and a sassy, tatted waitress.  I wish there were 10 more of each of these restaurants in the city.

One thought on “Eating in Boston: An Update

  1. My name’s Rob, I’m 29, I live in JP. I eat out a couple times a month and have never worked in anything resembling the restaurant industry.

    I occasionally browse Chowhound, where I was struck by the incredible condescension in your posts, which seem to be based on ten-to-twenty-year-old data. I followed you here, where you occasionally give me much to disagree with.

    Oringer may have been right that there was nothing to eat here years ago, but I didn’t live here then, and things change quickly. But you’re so trapped in amber and clinging to your anti-Bostonian thesis like a puppy with a chew toy that Thomas Keller could shave truffles onto your plate on Boylston St. and you’d find a way to dismiss it.

    Response: If saying your name is “Rob,” that you’re 29, and you live in “JP” is your idea of transparency, you are mistaken. That’s like saying, you’re, “Mike, calling in from Phoenix, Arizona.” No, I think you’re someone else and work in the industry. It just doesn’t gibe: I mean, a 29 year old living in JP who writes with passion and knowledge about eating at three of Boston’s expensive restaurants–Bondir, Craigie, and o ya? Doesn’t make sense. Most 29-year old’s can’t drop those kind of bucks; these are elite and expensive restaurants, deservedly so. So until you actually decide to have a straightforward, open and honest discussion about dining, I think I’ll keep you from posting on this site. Don’t you think you’d be happier on a site more concordant with your views? But say you are 29, live in JP, are Rob, can afford high end dining, and have never worked in the industry. You say that I’m trapped in amber. Clearly, you don’t read what’s written or you have difficulty identifying and responding appropriately to cues. Of the six restaurants I go to regularly–Galleria Umberto, Craigie, Market, Scampo, Flour, and Hi-Rise–all but Galleria Umberto, which opened in 1983, are new. Craigie on Main opened in 2009; Market in 2010; Scampo in 2009; Flour in 2007; and, Hi-Rise in 1997. It’s not an anti-Boston thesis here, but a recognition, shared by many of us in the industry, that Boston could do better with its pool of talent, its ability to attract talent currently going to other cities, its access to the East Coast’s largest fruit and vegetable market, the fleets of fishing boats in our region, and the growing diversity of Bostonians. If you are satisfied with the level of cooking here, congrats! That’s fine, really, but why go wild when others disagree with you? That you agree with Oringer says a lot: Arrogantly, when he arrived here, he said there was no place to eat; that’s when Hamersley, White, English, Schlow, Lynch, and Adams all had restaurants that were pretty darn good and still are. You note that you didn’t live here then: As we say in Boston, “Where are you from?”

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