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going to Craigie tonight ,11/22

If you've been recently, what's particularly good?

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  1. Don't miss the pig tails.

    1. If they still offer the salad of hiramasa sashimi (an appetizer), that dish is divine!

      1. You may know this already but on Sunday nights they offer a prix fixe dinner. Supposed to be a good deal.
        I agree on the pigs tails..i'm not big on pork but even I have to admit these were good...

        1. The menu changes near-daily, so it is hard to give menu "must haves."

          Appetizers: hiramasa sashimi, pâté plate, grilled veal sweetbread with pomegranate, grilled octopus, and scallop & beat sashimi are all excellent.

          Mains: Veal two-ways, guanciale-wrapped sword fish, and steak with bone marrow are equally excellent. My biggest smile came from the scallops and razor claims with curry oil, which had intense layers of flavor and perfectly-cooked scallops.

          yumyum's recommendation for the pigtails is spot-on, although those are on the bar menu and not the main menu. Don't be shy in ordering them if you are sitting at the bar; they aren't the pig's little squiggly tail, but the tailbone, with deep, intense porky meat.

          Cocktails are all excellent.

          I'd recommend ordering off the market menu, or even getting the Craigie Experience (tasting menu). If you go late enough (after 9PM) you can get the Chef's Whim, which is offered at a nice price point: $39 for 4 courses, $55 for 6.

          Whatever you get, enjoy! Craigie on Main is among my favorite restaurants, anywhere.

          3 Replies
          1. re: rlove

            Just looked this up as we have a reservation for tomorrow. One question: can my husband wear black jeans and a nice shirt / leather jacket? We're just coming into town for a meeting and don't feel like packing.
            And can you, should you eat at the bar - we're big fans of eating at the bar, but I see there's a different menu.
            I have to add, we're ex-New Yorkers and we've had to come into Boston several times recently for a project and are really enjoying your city, dining and otherwise! This will be our first time staying in Cambridge, so I'm really looking forward to it.

            1. re: onthelam

              Dark jeans and a nice shirt are a perfect fit. While nice, the restaurant is laid back.

              I highly recommend sitting at the bar, particularly if you intend to enjoy the bar staff's' excellent cocktails. You can order off of the regular menu and the bar menu, so do not worry about that.

          2. crispy smelts, nantucket bay scallops, pigs head

            1. Has Craigie changed at all since it moved?

              21 Replies
              1. re: observor

                Highly recommend the side order of bone marrow served with toast and sea salt. Also anything with sweetbreads.

                As for wine, they have a great 1/2 bottle of sancerre by Henri Bourgeois for 20 dollars that is great with appetizers.

                And if you're in the bar, the burger is wonderful.

                1. re: chocojosh

                  Bone marrow with toast and sea salt? WTF! (I'm sure it's goof)

                  EDIT: I mean "good"

                  1. re: observor

                    not a goof, try it sometime, it's good

                    1. re: barleywino

                      I meant to type "good" but I goofed! :)

                      1. re: observor

                        The bone marrow with toast and sea salt is one of my favorites - so luxurious.

                        1. re: Otm_Shank

                          Do you spread the marrow on the toast and sprinkle it with salt?

                          1. re: observor

                            To get the full effect, I just eat it out of the bone with a spoon, with an occasional bite of toast on the side

                2. re: observor

                  they have a full bar now, with tremedous bartender Tom in charge, as well as an expanded bar menu. The regular menu is similar to what was served at the old location. The new spot has an ope kitchen to watch the chefs. I recommend sitting in the bar section or at the bar. That way you can order from either the bar menu or the regular menu. Bar menu is not available in the resturant proper.

                  1. re: kimfair1

                    I am curious, have you ever gone to a place that didn't serve the full menu in the bar?

                    1. re: observor

                      I can't remember the place, but years ago I went to a place that had distinct bar/restaurant menus. Actually, some one may correct me, but I think that at Chez Henri, you can only order the bar menu at the bar.

                      1. re: kimfair1

                        Correct, at least historically, Chez Henri only served their bar menu at the bar. No delicious cuban for dining room guests!

                        1. re: rlove

                          Yeah, but can you get the restaurant menu at the bar?

                          1. re: kimfair1

                            Yes, you can order the restaurant AND bar menu at the Chez Henri bar but only the restaurant menu in the dining room.

                            1. re: heathermb

                              That's not quite correct. Although they don't advertise it, you can get nearly all of the bar menu at CH in the dining room--the exception, of course, is the Cuban. That is only available in the bar area.

                    2. re: kimfair1

                      I can't believe there are any, or many, places that don't offer their restaurant menu in the bar.

                      1. re: observor

                        I believe 9 Park does not offer their restaurant menu in the floor area of the bar, although I think it is available at the bar proper

                        1. re: StriperGuy

                          Tom, the great bartender, left? When and where did he go? Apparently, I've been in more of a fog than I thought.

                          1. re: beetlebug

                            From what I understand he really just joined them to get the place up and running during the first year.

                            1. re: StriperGuy

                              Tom's actually there through the end of the year. But yes, it's true he's moving on.

                            2. re: beetlebug

                              i heard he is moving to the W hotel...have not confirmed this with him though

                      2. I haven't been to Craigie but I must say the portions seem to be rather small, especially for the large number the dishes are described next to on the placard. :)

                        22 Replies
                        1. re: observor

                          Have you been to #9 Park? Craigie's portions are bigger than theirs. I find the best way to eat at Craigie is to either eat in the bar (so you can get the yummy crispy fried pig tails) or get the 6 course blind tasting. There's plenty of food in the tasting to satisfy all but the most gluttonous of people. Is it cheap? No. Is it worth it? In my opinion, quite certainly.

                          1. re: kimfair1

                            That's funny, I just began a thread about which is preferred, a la carte dining or tasting menus. I will take your advice, I will have to try it sometime, I must say I have never seen a more hard-to-decipher menu, but it does sound interesting.

                          2. re: observor

                            hard to say how you would come to that conclusion without having been to the restaurant. portion size varies, some items, designed as appetizers, might seem on the smaller side, but only because they are so tasty you wish they were larger (fried clams, sashimi, fish cheeks), others are quite ample (burger, galette, smelts, pig tails, fish entrees, hanger steak).

                            1. re: barleywino

                              It's not hard...I looked at the Web site.

                              1. re: observor

                                Likely those are tasting menu courses, then.

                            2. re: observor

                              A rather odd comment. I'm not sure I would attempt to comment on portion sizes based on an online menu description. I feel their portions are right along with the norm for fine dining. From the bar menu, their burger is quite large and served with about a bushel of shoestring fries.

                              1. re: Parsnipity

                                They were online photos, but I'll take your words on it. Will make an effort to dine there sometime.

                                1. re: Parsnipity

                                  I felt like Mr. Creosote after eating the burger and fries. On top of that, we had the complimentary panna cotta and rhubarb/yoghurt foam.

                                    1. re: observor

                                      They are only a little foamy. ;-) But it definitely is a bit on the fru fru side across the board.

                                    2. re: nsenada

                                      Burger and fries are plenty ample. Though they should be, for $18.00. ;)
                                      I did not notice small portions, either as appetizers or entrees, or desserts. In fact, I don't think the portions are any smaller or larger than any other restaurant of this same caliber.
                                      In my opinion, it is definitely one of the best restaurants in Boston right now...certainly worth checking out if you are at all interested in good food and drinks (prepared and served by folks who are passionate advocates...)

                                        1. re: observor

                                          They were good, as I recall...i think like thin, shoestring type...which i personally prefer over the thicker steak fry ones.... Though my ideal fry would be something a bit in btwn ---a hand cut one just a bit thicker... However, they were freshly made and piping hot, which made them ok in my book.

                                          1. re: twentyoystahs

                                            i think of their fries more as "matchstick" than "shoestring" (which I prefer over matchstick), still looking for great shoestring fries around here...suggestions?

                                            1. re: barleywino

                                              Yeah, maybe you are right. Probably more "matchstick" than shoestring. Either way, I like them a tad thicker, but they were good just the same.

                                              1. re: twentyoystahs

                                                I was surprised at how soft the center of the fries were given their thinness and the crispiness of the exterior. I was expecting them to crunch like those Durkee ones that come in a can.

                                                1. re: nsenada

                                                  I think that comes from double frying, and maybe soaking. Piping hot and tender is good, matchstick is not as good. I like on-the-thick-side shoestring. (There was an *excellent* batch of fries at Stephanie's on Newbury that was seasoned with something that was a distinct addition to the fries and not salty, even though the rest of their food seems to be touristy.)

                                                  1. re: observor

                                                    iirc Radius has decent shoestring fries but it's been a while...

                                                    1. re: observor

                                                      I think the matchstick style are probably more effort than they are worth. Interesting on the Stephanie's fries. I finally had the Neptune Oyster lobster roll, and the fries that came with that were really great - reminded me of Five Guys fries, but less greasy, a standard-sized dark golden fry with a bit of skin on either end.

                                                      1. re: nsenada

                                                        I don't even know the point of a matchstick fry, really, yet they seem to be the favored kind at higher scale places. It's such a hefty vegetable, it should be offered with a chance to savor it instead of munch into it, IMO. Often, I find they, or at least some of them, are overcooked also because of their small size.

                                                        1. re: observor

                                                          i agree...Lord Hobo does a good frites (as mentioned elsewhere) although they're not really shoestring...

                                            2. re: observor

                                              Too thin for my taste. More like potato sticks than a fry.