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Oct 8, 2007 12:42 PM

Limsterfest October 3-6, 2007

oh my oh my. windy came in from ny (originally flew in from sf) to eat for the weekend with limster, dchow, and myself, and oh boy did we ever. alright, let's start the chowtalk:

wednesday, october 3, dinner:

-o ya: sparkling sake, cold sake, aged sake. needlefish, prawn, daikon dumplings, foie gras dumplings, and hamachi.

-rainbow cafe: fried cuttlefish balls. hot and delicious.

unfortunately i had to work thursday, so dchow, windy, and limster will have to fill you in on what was had for lunch in the north end. i was barely awake enough to eat a bagel and apple until dinner...

thursday, october 4, dinner:

-island hopper: amuse buche of pie tee6 little pastry? cups filled with braised?/roasted?/delicious(yes) vegetables

-taranta: orcchiette con salssichia abruzzese - orcchiette with sausage, peas, tomato, and a little bit of spice. gnocchi di yuca al ragu verde stile secco peruviano - gnocchi with green lamb ragu. the gnocchi was a little soft but still good, and the sauce was delicious. costoletta di maiale con canna di zucchero e rocoto - brined double cut pock shop with sugar cane, a yucca cake patty, peruvian corn, and some amazing glaze/sauce. alfajores came with the check.

unfortunately limster flew to the west coast friday morning, but we kept marching (munching?) on without him.

friday, october 5, dinner: (windy, another dining companion, and myself)

-baraka cafe: started out with cherbat (rose lemonade), assorted appetizer platter, and couscous brochette. then we discovered their "specials" menu. from there we got a bowl of fish soup and a lamb shank entree. lamb dish was my favorite of them all.

-christina's: i had the creme fraiche and pumpkin, windy had the burnt sugar and ginger molasses, and dc had the chocolate mousse.

saturday, october 6, dinner: (windy, dc, dchow, and myself)

-o cantinho: appetizers of fava beans, chicken giblets, portuguese ham with fresh portuguese cheese (made in-house),and tomatoes, black-eyed pea salad. entrees were bacalao (salt cod) with fried potato slices and steak with a fried egg on top. my favorites were the fava beans, giblets, and steak. for dessert we sampled a slice of caramel cake (i thought this was just eh), pineapple-coconut cake, pastel de nata (portuguese custard tart), coconut custard tart, milk-vanilla custard tart (favorite), chocolate mousse, and flan.

we tried to hit toscanini's, but they closed at 11.

did i leave anything out?

due to a combination of dark lighting and my shaky hands, some of the pictures are fuzzy...

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    1. First, let me thank lschow, dchow, Limster, and Lisa for showing me the best Boston had to offer. I never imagined I'd have four dinners Wednesday when I got off the train. Okay, I did. And it was a picnic down to the last detour.

      Thursday, we had intended to have lobster rolls at Neptune Oyster bar at noon, but they were closed until dinner. So we had a roaming North End lunch of
      -eggplant parmigiana sandwich from ___
      -sopressata sandwich and fresh mozzarella from ___
      -chocolate chip cookies from ___ (Limster or dchow will have to fill in the blanks--I was too busy chowing to pay attention)
      -heavenly arancini from Umberto's Galleria

      We then headed across town to the Mapparium and got fine but unexceptional sorbet from Bon Bon, across the street. And we hit the lovely farmer's market in Brookline, where I picked up a fantastic selection of apples. We never see Mutsus or Macouns or Empires on the West Coast.

      Will add pics when I get a chance.

      1. Over the weekend, Lisa (aka dc) took me to Kimball Farms to continue to prove why Massachusetts has the best ice cream. Black Raspberry and a huge cup of sprinkles, big enough to wash your hair in.

        We devoured dinner #1 Saturday night at Brown's Lobster Pound in Seabrook Beach, NH. It was packed--glorious weather.

        A succulent 2-1/2 pound lobster cooked to order, a quart of steamers, excellent cole slaw, two sodas, and a small fried scallops set us back $65. The people next to us had brought wine, beer, a tablecloth, and stemware. I'm still working on getting the melted butter out, but it was worth it.

        Sunday, minus the rest of our entourage, we headed to Neighborhood Restaurant for another huge Portuguese meal: I got the waffle with fruit and eggs and ham (and OJ and coffee and toast); she had the Portuguese breakfast which comes with cod cakes, shrimp cakes, and linguisa. And those delectable little muffins. Yum. For $23, it was enough to feed 4. In San Francisco, it would cost $23 each and not be as good. I also loved the free coffee and muffins for people waiting in line to get a table.

        We then headed off to Southie and the airport. Liked ICA but had a little time to spare before my plane, so we went wandering around East Boston where we came upon Santarpio's. Barely got our pizza before we had to run, but was it ever worth it! (We tried the sausage pie for $10.50--also half the price and twice as good as anything I'd had elsewhere on my trip including a lovely heartfelt pie at Lucali in Brooklyn). Not a perfect crust--I wish the middle stood up--but lots of flavor, sweet, luscious tomato sauce, and such flavorful sausage. I was also conscious that the cheese tasted better than the much fancier simpler pies in style back home. More oil! More salt and pepper! Pizza is not a diet food.

        1. A few personal bests:

          I've hardly spent time in Boston, and while we had very few disappointments, the highlights were the things I can't get in San Francisco:
          -clams. Sweet razorbacks, fried clams, littlenecks on the half shell, steamers.
          -obscene amounts of fresh and otherwise unadorned lobster
          -Portuguese food (I loved O Cantinho, from the steak to the giblets to the 10 desserts)
          -the cherbat at Cafe Baraka, and that lamb shank, and the little boy in the kitchen, who I teased about being the chef
          -pizza on the way to the airport
          -ice cream, which was flavorful, freshly made, but not dominated by butterfat
          -Northeastern varieties of apples in apple season
          (did I mention clams? Haven't had this many since I was a little girl in NY.)

          Italian food was uniformly good, and I loved the charcuterie and pasta and wine list at Troquet and my cocktails and the cheese plate at No 9 Park. And the aged sake at Oya, which had the color and aroma of a sherry.

          Worth noting that my companions were not strangers at many of these restaurants, and past meals by my Boston hosts let us cherry pick the best dishes in a few cases.

          But the bottom line of my 96-hour wandering feast wasn't upscale so much as soulful. Enhanced by great company, game for any cuisine or animal part, at any hour, always ready to order one of everything and share.

          1. I really liked the needlefish/sayori at O-Ya, firm pieces of fish served with a segment of the fried bones for an excellent flavour and textural contrast.

            Lunch on Thurs was:
            eggplant parm from Mangia Mangia
            arancini di riso and panzarotti from Galleria Umberto
            a soppressata sandwich, fresh housemade mozzarella and a pizzelle from Tutto Italiano
            chocolate chip cookies form Volle Nolle

            And it really should be called Windyfest, since she was the guest of honor.