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Nov 12, 2008 03:14 AM

A Question for Food Lovers: Big Night and Babette's Feast

A question to folks who appreciate and identify with the spirit of films like Big Night and Babette's Feast.

Which New England restaurants have you found (if any) that exemplify love and passion for food?

Remember, this isn't about decor, location, reviews or price. It's about fresh ingredients, timing, preparation, and pride.

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  1. Grotto actually has a Big Night Feast/ Celebration a few times a year. It's a great time at a reasonable price, but I would recommend fasting for about 3 days in order to make it all the way to the Timpano.

    1. I haven't gotten to try any of these yet, but from what I've read on this board, I imagine that Trattoria Toscana, Ten Tables, Benatti and maybe Gran Gusto exemplify what you describe.

      2 Replies
      1. re: pollystyrene

        Yes, I agree - Ten Tables is all about "fresh ingredients, timing, preparation, and pride."

        By the way - note that this was posted on the Boston Area board. If you really want to throw your question New England-wide (see the VT recommendations below), the thread should get moved to the New England board.

        1. re: pollystyrene

          I look forward to trying ten tables but I have to disagree on Toscana.

        2. Any of the New England Culinary Institute restaurants in Vermont.
          (OK, I AM biased, since I used to work for them)
          The students take great pride in their work and I think you can have some simply fabulous meals... I know I have!

          2 Replies
          1. re: LaCheshireChat

            I'd agree they're passionate, and I believe they work with local ingredients. I'm not sure I'd agree they're good. I've found most of these restaurants to be so unreliable that I stopped going simply because I couldn't count on getting a good meal for the price I was paying. They weren't -bad- meals, just not worth the high price tag.

            1. re: LaCheshireChat

              It's a great training ground for the students but you have to know that when you eat there. I go there occasionally to support them but the food tastes like it was prepared by students. And the last time I was there, the vegetables and salad tasted like they came from Costco, not the farm.

            2. Trattoria Delia, L'Amante, Single Pebble (all in Burlington, VT) Hen of the Woods (Waterbury, VT)

              All these strike me as very passionate and precise about their food a la those films. :) I love Big Night...

              2 Replies
              1. re: Morganna

                I don't know about the others but I have to disagree on the Single Pebble. Not too good.

                1. re: beetlejuice

                  I loved it when they were in the Barre area, but I haven't had a chance to visit them in Burlington, but by most reports they're still really good and fairly consistent. What didn't you like about your experience there?

              2. Great question. I'm looking forward to seeing the other posts. Kitchen on the Common in Belmont does it for me. Family run, simple, fresh and homemade.