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My (Pseudo) Bucket List

So, I'm moving to Taiwan in late January and I don't know when (or if) I will return to Boston. Before I go, there are some things I feel compelled to do now for fear of never having the chance again. They all have to do with food.

Here's my list for the next 6 months...
1) Omakase at O YA. (Or carte blanche at the bar)
2) The boneless whole roast duck for two at Salts (with my sweetie, of course.)
3) The roast chicken with lemon and garlic and Hammersy Bistro.
4) Tasting at Clio.
5) An all-out dim sum meal with well-seasoned chowhounders.
6) Jose Andres' minibar in DC.
7) A weekday breakfast at Shopsin's in New York.
8) Oysters, fried clams, and lobster roll lunch at Neptune Oyster.
9) Barbara Lynch's prune-stuffed gnocchi w/foie gras.

Of course, I'll have to sell my car, and anything I have worth something, and then work any odd job I can find to finance it all.

Runners up:
Dinner at Hungry Mother
Tapas w/friends at Toro.
Oleana tasting menu.
Get stuffed at JoJo Taipei then karaoke at DoReMi.

So, chowhounds:
ONE: I'd love to get feedback on my list.
TWO: Would any well-seasoned chowhounders like to join/guide me for dim sum? I'd welcome up to 6.

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  1. if you are moving to taiwan, i would skip the dim sum. not that taipei beats out hong kong or vancouver or shanghai for dim sum, but i'm pretty sure it beats boston. with the exception of gitlos, which i have learned has lost its star chef, i have never been in the least bit impressed with dim sum in boston. (though i have yet to make it to hei la moon.)

    chef's whim at craigie street would probably be on my short list. also cuisines that i recall being poorly represented in taipei, though this may have changed: angelas, rincon limeno, habesha, cafe baraka, tacos lupita come to mind. i'm sure there are others.

    lobster roll: for the experiential quality of it, i would skip neptune and go out to the cape and eat a lobster roll outside a lobster shack. i had a good one at friendly fisherman in eastham (a chowhound rec). then go get some ice cream. then come back to boston and eat a regular meal at neptune.

    also, if the idea is "fear of never having the chance again," jo jo taipei seems kind of odd. i mean, given that you're moving to taiwan.

    1 Reply
    1. re: autopi

      Totally relevant points, autopi. Thanks for the feedback!

      Parts of the list are more social or experiential than really totally about the food. The thing about the dim sum is because I've come to be in awe of some Boston chowhounders and developed this fantasy of dining out with these experienced diners. I want to chat and learn and judge and share. Its a fantasy in the least-perverted sense of the word. And the idea about Jo Jo Taipei/karaoke was like a farewell celebration with my friends.

      I will definitely add chef's whim at Craigie to runner's up. Doesn't mean they can't happen too. Also, there's no saying I won't continue on to Peru or Tunisia after Taiwan. Its really more of the dishes/meals/restaurants/experiences that I might miss. Or just things I've been dying to do for a while.

    2. nice list-- i would add, flaming tiki drink by Tom at Craigie (also braised beef short rib at 9 Park, but unfortunately it's out of season)...and since you're going to NYC, chef's omakase (not to be confused with the "menu" omakase) at Sushi of Gari, and the pasta tasting at Babbo

      1 Reply
      1. re: barleywino

        Uh-oh, there's no way I can fit that in to my 6-mo timeline/budget but, good god, you have me drooling! They won't be ruled out.

      2. Not for nothing...but I would throw at least one Italian food option on there.
        I guarantee you will not find anything remotely resembling Santarpio's or Vinny's at Night in Taiwan (or Prezza if you want to keep it all high end.) You may want to consider omitting say a Clio tasting for 3-4 lower priced chow meals. Just think of all the Speed's dogs you can have instead of one measly meal at Clio. ;)

        2 Replies
        1. re: Bob Dobalina

          I know what you mean about Clio, Doba! But I have keep these guilty pleasures anyway.

          I think I should definitely make an Italian place my tenth on the list. I've come to keep away from Italian places in general because so many times before I find myself thinking "I could make this at home." But I think that's just proof that I haven't ever had really spectacular, Italian, right? So my problem becomes: choose ONE. Just one? Prezza has been on my radar for a while...

          1. re: globalgourmand

            Personally, I would go lowbrow and pick Santarpio's. Grilled lamb kebobs, ice cold Budweiser and garlic and sausage pizza. Or any number of fine options in Eastie - Rincon Limeno's ceviche comes to mind as well.

            I have not been to Prezza but it is reflexive choice of many esteemed chowhounds.

        2. Great bucket list, many are on mine as well, including Oleana, prune stuffed gnocchi and the duck at Salts - all still on my to do list.

          The roast chicken at Hammersley's would be my top recommendation of the ones on your list I have sampled. You will never think of roast chicken in the same way after you have tried it!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Northender

            Yesss, affirmation! See, I pretty much NEVER get chicken when dining out and rarely cook it at home. I find it SO boring most of the time next to lamb or duck or scallops, you know? Tofu is more interesting to me! But the way people rave about that chicken... it just has to go on the list!

          2. Oh, your list is making me drool. Not a good thing for electronics, this drool...
            I would agree with several others in adding Craigie to your list. They just do such a nice job for any sort of celebrations- extra tastes or amuses or even (on an anniversary visit) a tiny goblet of a champagne cocktail. I just can't stop celebrating things there. The only subpar visit we had was a chef's whimsy, and it was mainly because the courses were really all offal. A little offal I can take; all offal is not my cup of tea. Even given that, we recognized it was masterfully prepared offal. But depending on your tastes you may want to order off the menu rather than be at anyone's whim. And may I highly recommend the octopus appetizer?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Parsnipity

              Yes! Recommend away! Love octopus. Love most things. Offal is good at times. A whole tasting of offal would be tiring though, I think.

              Still, three cheers for Craigie, its definitely on the list a must.

              10) Craigie on Main.

              You know, I use a bib for my drool :P