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Mussels in Cambrigde/Brookline area

seedove17 Mar 10, 2008 01:01 PM

Any suggestions on mussels in the Cambridge-Brookline area. I know there are some good places in the North end but I was hoping to find a closer place (I live in on Harvard in Allston). I specifically am looking for a white wine broth, but any help would be great.

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  1. BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: seedove17 Mar 10, 2008 01:04 PM

    With the caveat that I have not made it over there myself yet, I have consistently heard that the moules are the best thing on the menu at the Publick House, and I'm very interested in trying them. Can anyone confirm or deny?

    4 Replies
    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
      digga RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Mar 10, 2008 07:54 PM

      The last time I had them at Publick House, the mussels were on the small, dried out side, but normally, they are delicious. I also took issue with the sad, soggy fries.

      I actually have had a good version at the Thirsty Scholar.

      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
        Dr.Jimbob RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Mar 10, 2008 08:49 PM

        I tried the moules frites at the Publick House a few months ago, and noted this distinct sour sharp note that detracted from the full experience. Frites were also a little short in supply. For good mussles in a wine broth, I'd run not walk to La Voile in Back Bay, which I realize is not in Cambridge or Brookline but sort of splits the difference in between. Accept no substitutes.

        La Voile
        261 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116

        1. re: Dr.Jimbob
          seedove17 RE: Dr.Jimbob Mar 11, 2008 11:32 AM

          I went to Publick House last night and completely agree with what you said. The mussels themselves were good, but I tried 2 different broths and they both had a burnt, almost astringent taste. I wasn't expecting amazing, but these were pretty nasty. On a positive note, the beer was great.

          1. re: seedove17
            LStaff RE: seedove17 Mar 11, 2008 01:26 PM

            Don't know about the burnt flavor, but the mussel broth they make with Mojo IPA totally ruins the mussels. Bitter beer should not be used to make mussels imo, since it turns the mussels bitter - even a moderate level of bitterness in a beer can do it too. And since the Amarillo hops used in Mojo give the beer itself a sharp bitterness, its easy to see why they can be astringent.

      2. finlero RE: seedove17 Mar 10, 2008 02:09 PM

        Gran Gusto in Huron Village does this as an appetizer. Come for the mussels, stay for the superb pizza margherita.

        1 Reply
        1. re: finlero
          monicall RE: finlero Mar 10, 2008 04:40 PM

          When I saw the subject line, I immediately thought of Gran Gusto as well. Delicious!

        2. PaulB RE: seedove17 Mar 10, 2008 04:10 PM

          Publick House Brookline but note they serve them in beer based broths, no white wine versions IIRC.

          1. k
            katielp RE: seedove17 Mar 10, 2008 04:23 PM

            Central Kitchen. Best I've had.

            1. z
              Zatan RE: seedove17 Mar 10, 2008 04:47 PM

              I recently had the mussels at Khao Sarn in Brookline, really wonderful aromatic broth with lemongrass and other Thai herbs. Also no white wine but worth a try for sure.

              1. litchick RE: seedove17 Mar 10, 2008 06:19 PM

                Well it might be a little out of the area, but Scutra in Arlington is running a March mussels special: $17.75 for 1.5 lb of mussels, clam chowder or salad, and frites.

                1 Reply
                1. re: litchick
                  litchick RE: litchick Mar 11, 2008 05:30 AM

                  Oh, I forgot to mention: Scutra is Belgian, so the preparation is in the fairly traditional moules et frites style.

                2. teaTomE RE: seedove17 Mar 10, 2008 08:03 PM

                  I prefer Green Streets' mussels dish to that served at Central Kitchen. The sauce is finer and less overwhelming. Enjoy it there with one of their great selections of bottled Belgian beers and a side of sauteed chard.

                  1. Joanie RE: seedove17 Mar 11, 2008 05:17 AM

                    I'd either go into the south end or take the 60 bus or D line out to Chestnut Hill and hit Aquitaine for those amazing garlicky mussels in a broth that's totally addictive. The best in town I think and worth going slightly out of your way for. I also like the mussels at Taranta in the north end.

                    1. Small Plates RE: seedove17 Mar 11, 2008 07:11 AM

                      You know where I always order the mussels - The Thirsty Scholar - which is on Beacon Street - near the intersection of Kirkland and Washington Streets (the intersection that is also home to Dali and Evoo - not to mention Savenors and The Wine Cask) - not too far from Harvard Square. They have a smoky chili broth (I forget exactly what the flavoring is), and the portion is ample. Very good. Always fresh and plump. Delicious. Nice bread to sop up sauce. Add the Scholar's delicious bangers and mashed and you have my favorite extra indulgent Sunday supper!

                      1. r
                        RandyL RE: seedove17 Mar 11, 2008 08:59 AM

                        The mussels at Central Kitchen in Cambridge are BY FAR the best mussels I have ever had in a restaurant. Moulles frites I think they are called and the frite on top of the mussels that are covered with a squirt of some sort of sauce (can't figure it out) create a divine mussels appetizer. Be sure to get some crusty bread to dip in the sauce.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: RandyL
                          BostonZest RE: RandyL Mar 11, 2008 07:35 PM

                          I'll second that opinion but I have them made without the aiole sauce. I dip my frite into the sauce.

                        2. e
                          emilief RE: seedove17 Mar 11, 2008 09:06 AM

                          Eastern Standard has moule frites.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: emilief
                            RandyL RE: emilief Mar 11, 2008 02:47 PM

                            Moules mariniere is what they are called at Central Kitchen. I stand corrected.

                          2. s
                            sonicchef RE: seedove17 Mar 11, 2008 02:57 PM

                            Though I haven't had it in awhile, I recall the Fireplace in Brookline (Washington St. and Beacon) having a good mussel appetizer. Convenient for your location too.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: sonicchef
                              teezeetoo RE: sonicchef Mar 11, 2008 05:49 PM

                              Fireplace is good value and good mussels if you go for lunch. Also depends on what you want to spend. Pomodoro might be another good location call for you.

                            2. w
                              whops RE: seedove17 Mar 12, 2008 04:49 PM

                              I have enjoyed superb mussels atop perfectly cooked pasta at Delfino's on South St in Roslindale. They will prepare them in white wine sauce or red as you wish. I had the white.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: whops
                                TheTrout RE: whops Mar 14, 2008 05:38 AM

                                Another vote for Delfino! Just about everthing they do is a homerun.

                              2. s
                                Snowflake RE: seedove17 Mar 14, 2008 05:15 AM

                                The Mussel appetizer at Gran Gusto is fantastic. I just went there for the first time and I am still on cloud nine from the whole experience.

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