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going to Craigie tonight ,11/22

newhound Nov 22, 2009 07:19 AM

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

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  1. yumyum RE: newhound Nov 22, 2009 10:43 AM

    Don't miss the pig tails.

    1. kobuta RE: newhound Nov 22, 2009 10:46 AM

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

      1. t
        twentyoystahs RE: newhound Nov 22, 2009 12:09 PM

        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. rlove RE: newhound Nov 22, 2009 12:12 PM

          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
            onthelam RE: rlove Nov 23, 2009 04:35 PM

            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
              rlove RE: onthelam Nov 23, 2009 06:02 PM

              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.

              1. re: rlove
                onthelam RE: rlove Nov 24, 2009 04:36 AM

                Thanks! Will report back!

          2. barleywino RE: newhound Nov 22, 2009 06:49 PM

            crispy smelts, nantucket bay scallops, pigs head

            1. o
              observor RE: newhound Nov 25, 2009 06:28 AM

              Has Craigie changed at all since it moved?

              21 Replies
              1. re: observor
                chocojosh RE: observor Nov 25, 2009 06:48 AM

                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
                  observor RE: chocojosh Nov 25, 2009 08:40 AM

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

                  EDIT: I mean "good"

                  1. re: observor
                    barleywino RE: observor Nov 25, 2009 08:48 AM

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

                    1. re: barleywino
                      observor RE: barleywino Nov 25, 2009 08:54 AM

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

                      1. re: observor
                        Otm_Shank RE: observor Nov 25, 2009 06:11 PM

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

                        1. re: Otm_Shank
                          observor RE: Otm_Shank Nov 28, 2009 06:05 AM

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

                          1. re: observor
                            barleywino RE: observor Nov 28, 2009 06:10 AM

                            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
                  kimfair1 RE: observor Nov 25, 2009 07:01 AM

                  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
                    observor RE: kimfair1 Nov 25, 2009 08:37 AM

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

                    1. re: observor
                      kimfair1 RE: observor Nov 25, 2009 09:04 AM

                      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
                        rlove RE: kimfair1 Nov 25, 2009 09:11 AM

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

                        1. re: rlove
                          kimfair1 RE: rlove Nov 25, 2009 09:18 AM

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

                          1. re: kimfair1
                            heathermb RE: kimfair1 Nov 25, 2009 10:55 AM

                            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
                              dashrashi RE: heathermb Nov 30, 2009 06:14 PM

                              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
                      observor RE: kimfair1 Nov 25, 2009 12:10 PM

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

                      1. re: observor
                        barleywino RE: observor Nov 25, 2009 04:45 PM

                        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

                      2. re: kimfair1
                        StriperGuy RE: kimfair1 Dec 1, 2009 01:50 AM

                        Tom left.

                        1. re: StriperGuy
                          beetlebug RE: StriperGuy Dec 1, 2009 05:04 AM

                          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
                            StriperGuy RE: beetlebug Dec 1, 2009 05:26 AM

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

                            1. re: StriperGuy
                              yumyum RE: StriperGuy Dec 1, 2009 05:30 AM

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

                            2. re: beetlebug
                              barleywino RE: beetlebug Dec 1, 2009 06:14 AM

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

                      3. o
                        observor RE: newhound Nov 29, 2009 05:28 PM

                        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
                          kimfair1 RE: observor Nov 29, 2009 05:47 PM

                          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
                            observor RE: kimfair1 Nov 29, 2009 05:54 PM

                            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
                            barleywino RE: observor Nov 30, 2009 02:34 AM

                            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
                              observor RE: barleywino Nov 30, 2009 03:01 AM

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

                              1. re: observor
                                rlove RE: observor Nov 30, 2009 03:40 AM

                                Likely those are tasting menu courses, then.

                            2. re: observor
                              Parsnipity RE: observor Nov 30, 2009 05:03 AM

                              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
                                observor RE: Parsnipity Nov 30, 2009 07:02 AM

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

                                1. re: Parsnipity
                                  nsenada RE: Parsnipity Nov 30, 2009 08:36 AM

                                  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: nsenada
                                    observor RE: nsenada Nov 30, 2009 01:12 PM

                                    Uh-oh...they are a foam place?

                                    1. re: observor
                                      StriperGuy RE: observor Dec 1, 2009 01:53 AM

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

                                    2. re: nsenada
                                      twentyoystahs RE: nsenada Nov 30, 2009 02:06 PM

                                      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: twentyoystahs
                                        observor RE: twentyoystahs Nov 30, 2009 02:18 PM

                                        What are the fries like?

                                        1. re: observor
                                          twentyoystahs RE: observor Nov 30, 2009 04:34 PM

                                          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
                                            barleywino RE: twentyoystahs Nov 30, 2009 05:58 PM

                                            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
                                              twentyoystahs RE: barleywino Dec 1, 2009 04:45 AM

                                              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
                                                nsenada RE: twentyoystahs Dec 1, 2009 05:00 AM

                                                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
                                                  observor RE: nsenada Dec 1, 2009 06:45 AM

                                                  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
                                                    barleywino RE: observor Dec 1, 2009 06:53 AM

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

                                                    1. re: observor
                                                      nsenada RE: observor Dec 1, 2009 06:59 AM

                                                      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
                                                        observor RE: nsenada Dec 1, 2009 07:21 AM

                                                        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
                                                          barleywino RE: observor Dec 1, 2009 07:30 AM

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

                                            2. re: observor
                                              Gabatta RE: observor Dec 1, 2009 06:31 AM

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

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