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Feb 21, 2009 08:21 AM

From a NYer: Craigie on Main is FABULOUS.

I'm picky about food. And judging by my other whiny posts here (i.e. regarding the lack of a good weekday brunch in Cambridge, or the lack of excellent delivery in Boston/Cambridge, etc.)., I give Bostonians a hard time about food. Especially since my old hood in Manhattan (West Village) had some of the most exquisite neighborhood establishments in the world (I'm speaking of Westville, The Little Owl, Markt Table, and Jane for their divine Sunday french toast).

For my 30th, we went to Craigie on Main (finally! others we've been meaning to try are Hungry Mother and Oleana).

I'm late to Sofra Bakery with a friend now, so I have to cut this review shorter than I would like, but all I can say is that this place was near PERFECT. We had the 6 course tasting menu which was more like a 10-course when all was said and done. We had each course paired with Mocktails since we don't drink, and we were expecting the usual "cranberry with a twist of lime and peligrino" sort of thing. No way. Tom, the indefatigable bartender, dazzled us with concoctions of avocado, rosemary, thyme, lime and homemade bitters, or freshly squeezed blood orange juice with cinnamon and cardamom, or pineapple crush with fermented mint acid and meyer lemons.

OK, onto the food. Remarkable. Monk fish cheek, trout belly sashimi with oroblanco, duck two ways, spanish octopus with chorizo (I would never order this dish, for example, but Tony Maws created something I was smitten with), (about 3 other savory dishes that escape me now), jasmine-tea infused panna cotta, a beautiful, amazing chocolate 5-ways plate, and finally their signature ancho chile hot chocolate.

The service was perfect, and if my only criticism is that the butter portions on the plate could have been bigger than the triangle provided to accompany the blissful bread, then you know this place is a winner.

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  1. You cut this review short?

    1. I'd love more info on the mocktails - I have a friend who doesn't drink and I'm looking to take her out for fanciness. Do they have ideas for you, or did you say "make me something good?" And what did they come up with?

      1 Reply
      1. re: enhF94

        I also second the mocktails. They were fantastic. We just told the bartender to make us something good and yummy. You can guide that if you want by saying you want something "fruity", "tart", "not too sweet", etc. Out of this world, not like anything you'd ever think of yourself.

      2. nice review.
        what was the cost pp?

        2 Replies
        1. re: ScubaSteve

          The six course tasting menu at Craigie on Main is $80pp and well worth it! The wife and I ate there on Christmas eve, and it was one of the finest meals of my life. They also have a 3 course prix fixe (app, entree, dessert paired with a dessert wine) for $75, but the only reason to order it instead of the 6 course is that you have your own choice of app, entree and dessert. I've done it both ways, and the six course is the way to go. We had smoked sablefish, scallop sashimi and sea bass sashimi, monkfish, root veggie soup with rabbit sausage, pork belly, venison, panna cotta, desserts, and the hot chocolate. Yum! Can't wait to go back!

        2. Just got put on my list to go. Great review!

          1. Thanks! The mocktails, again, were out of this world! Here's what I remember (sorry, I was in a daze from the scents, so I don't remember it all):

            1) blood orange w/cinnamon
            2) a "Tom-Tom" with meyer lemon, bitters, and probably 4 other ingredients
            3) Avocado w/thyme, rosemary, lime (my favorite)
            4) Something else with cardomam
            5) non-alc champagne with homemade bitters

            Sorry, that's all I remember!

            Oh, and Sofra was sort of disappointing, even if the spinach-potato-chickpea flatbread was excellence (who designed the seating and queue plans?!)