Where Boston Chefs Go To Eat
Channel 5's Chronicle is running a special show tonight concerned with where a few of Boston's well known chefs go to eat on a night off. The time is 7:30 PM EDT and the show is repeated at 1:30 AM. Plenty of good visual stuff - possibly some new places and ---definitely some chowhound fun.
My wife and I had a birthday celebration for her among some Cape Verdean and Salvadorian friends in Cambridge last night --- all home cooked food -and very unique. I missed the early broadcast of the Chef's Night Out show on Chronicle -but caught the late version at 1:30 AM. Here is what they said.
First - I want to call attention to the fact that one of our favorite places - El Pelon in the Fenway section of Boston - was chosen as a top place. Seth's wife works there. The Burrito Grande looked fabulous, I've had one and it tastes better than it looks :- ) Be there -or be square.
Amanda Lydon - Chris Lydon's daughter - is the Head Chef at Truc on Tremont St in the South End. This is a modern French style place. Amada does dishes like a French Onion Soup with beef marrow meatballs. Amanda chose ---
Garden of Eden - across the street from Truc. Robert Lyonetti is the chef of this French influenced comfort food bistro with an attached market. He served Amanda a lunch consisting of a potato leek tarte, a salad of beets with blue cheese and a sandwich with a black olive tapinade, goat cheese and arugula. The market sells fresh breads, cheeses, pastries and prepared plates. Looks like a good place to sit down and enjoy life.
Anna's Taqueria in Brookline - a sort of Mexican fast Food place with burritos as hot as you like.
Kareem's in Watertown was last for Amada. This is Arabic food. He did a salmon with saffron and fresh rosemary - grilled with other spices. Along with the salmon was chicken done with many spices , honey, tomatoes, etc. Wonderful looking food.
Then we had Ken Oringer of Clio on Commonwealth Ave. in Boston. Ken has a sophisticated, up-scale restaurant in Clio. It was fun to see one source of his ingredients.
The Super 88 Market near Boston's Chinatown is where Ken shops. He loves the sea food and butcher's products. He took back to Clio a bag of pig's feet, Dungeoness crabs, Geoduck clams and other stuff. Ken claims that the pork is better here than any other place he can source. The Super 88 has an even larger version we have been talking about in Dorchester near the SE Express Way at the South Bay Center. They intend to open a huge food court very soon.
Blue Ginger in Wellesly is owned and cheffed by Ming Sai - Ken's former co-chef at Silk's in San Francisco. One thing that TV can do is give an impression of people's temperaments and personalities. The scene where Ken and Ming cook together side by side on the flaming wok stoves is a perfect communication of their relationship. It weas like a first quality fire dance. Ming has his own TV show called "Cooking - East Meets West." His Blue Ginger is focused on flavor.
Oishi Sushi on Hammond St. in Brookline is sushi at it's best. The chef, Ting San, made some "White Tiger" Seaweed Maki, Hamachi Tata and Murugai Sashimi for their lunch. The Murugai is what we call Goeduck clams. This small place is opening a branch in the suburbs this spring.
Chris Douglas of Icarus restaurant was last. Chris made a pan roasted lobster with fresh peas and chanterelles featuring a lobster rowe sauce. Impressive dish. The tape showed an beautiful piece of steak being prepared -- but said nothing about it :- (
El Pelon was Chris' first pick. The tape was fun - the owner/cook Loretta Uquez made an awesome Burrito Grande with steak and a host of additions including a stuffed Poblano chili with goat and other cheeses - all inside a wonderful tortilla package.
Marcuccio's on Salem St. in the North End was next. Chef Chuck Drayton was impressive and expounded on a philosophy of eating that would warm the heart of any chowhound. "Food is either good or bad - choose the good." Chuck makes his sauces without any cream or butter at all. His signature dish is Wild Bore which is anything but boring. If anything it is a sweet boring to the center of the taste of this dish. He uses a regular oven but throws in wood chips to add flavor. This was the Chronicle staff's favorite find.
Casa Blanca on Brattle St in Cambridge - an old favorite for Bergman and Bogie style lovers - was last but not least. The chef is Anna Sartune and the emphasis is on the tastes of Turkey and the Middle East. Besides the drinks there is something going on at Casa Blanca with the food that deserves a revisit.
So - there are the views about good food from three fine Boston chefs who have credentials for what they like. Chronicle gives us visual encouragement to go out and eat --- and that we will do. I hope that the Boston board will have reports on these restaurants in the near future.