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Sandrine's excellent!

v
vozick Dec 30, 2010 05:22 AM

We ate a beautiful, well appointed white table clothed, QUIET restaurant last night called Sandrine's in 8 Holyoke Street, a small side street off of Harvard Square. Delicious food in the French and Alsatian style, well prepared and beautifully presented. WE had lamb and sea bass- all very tasty.This is a restaurant that is romantic, and encourages conversation. It is very pretty, refined, and the service is excellent. I am so glad we four went there after many years of overlooking it.

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Sandrine's
8 Holyoke St., Cambridge, MA 02138

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  1. s
    scotty27 Dec 30, 2010 05:32 AM

    I'm glad you enjoyed it. I haven't been in years. The chef-owner, Raymond Ost, an Alsatian, is talented, but very bad experiences--unctious food, feckless service--kept me away. OK, I'll try it again.
    www.shrinkinthekitchen.com

    8 Replies
    1. re: scotty27
      c
      cambridgedoctpr Dec 31, 2010 10:58 AM

      sandrine's is ok; do not get your hopes up. i think that brasserie jo is better; the everest room much better still.

      1. re: cambridgedoctpr
        s
        scotty27 Dec 31, 2010 11:19 AM

        I agree. I wouldn't go to either again, nor PR Bistro nor Aquitaine, but for sure Brasserie Jo is better than Sandrine's.

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        Sandrine's
        8 Holyoke St., Cambridge, MA 02138

        Brasserie Jo
        120 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02116

        1. re: scotty27
          r
          Ricardo Malocchio Dec 31, 2010 01:21 PM

          I've had good experiences at Brasserie Jo, but went with my wife two weeks ago ... does no one in that restaurant know their own wine list? Or wine in general?

          For our first two selections, the server returned with bottles of subsequent vintages. The server didn't point it out, and moved to open the first bottle without showing it to me. This problem of incorrect vintages listed on the menus, frequent at low-end restaurants, bespeaks one unfortunate truth: this is a distributor's wine list, not a sommelier's (or anyone else who might care). The distributor returns with the subsequent vintage. No one notices or cares to change the menu.

          After two unsuccessful attempts - each bottle of incorrect, subsequent vintage - a gentleman other than the server approached to assist (a manager? certainly not a sommelier). Hoping to keep things simple, I inquired which of the cru beaujolais were IN FACT of the 2007 vintage (a good year that's drinking quite well right now). He explained that he did not believe they had any Beaujolais Nouveau. I replied that while not stocking such swill is a very good thing, I was inquiring about the crus. He looked at my uncertainly, and I pointed to the list "these 4 bottles are crus - the Fleurie, the Brouilly, etc. - whereas this first one is a village level bottling". More confused looks.

          And so we moved on to the Burgundies, and repeated this farce one more time to the growing consternation of my wife. At this point, I had found the humor in the situation and decided that an acceptable bottle of wine was unlikely to be had: "That one," I said pointing. "By the glass."

          I haven't been to Sandrine's in years - but I bet they know their Trimbach from their Humbrecht. And, no small point, PR-Bistro stocks appropriately priced wines for a bistro without the huge markups. And their servers... actually know the wines!

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          Sandrine's
          8 Holyoke St., Cambridge, MA 02138

          Brasserie Jo
          120 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02116

        2. re: cambridgedoctpr
          g
          Gabatta Dec 31, 2010 01:08 PM

          Sandrine's style of cooking is quite different from Brasserie Jo. Neither are cutting edge, and I enjoy different things at both places, but I do enjoy them both. Having a casual spot like Sanrdine's closeby in the neighborhood is very nice. The flammekuche is a unique treat.

          Everest isn't in Boston or close to it, so how is that relevant?

          1. re: Gabatta
            s
            scotty27 Dec 31, 2010 01:21 PM

            Good Q re Everest; maybe he mentioned it because it's owned by the chef behind Brasserie Jo.

            Both Jo & Sandrine's are owned by Alsatian born chefs.

            www.shrinkinthekitchen.com

            -----
            Sandrine's
            8 Holyoke St., Cambridge, MA 02138

            Brasserie Jo
            120 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02116

            1. re: scotty27
              g
              Gabatta Dec 31, 2010 01:25 PM

              Interesting. Regardless of the chef's heritage, the menus cuisine is not really overly similar at the two restaurants (at least in my experience).

              Anyway, Happy New Year all. Be safe tonight and enjoy good health, friendship and family in 2011.

              1. re: scotty27
                n
                nasilemak Jan 1, 2011 06:02 AM

                FYI the original Brasserie Jo in chicago closed.

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                Brasserie Jo
                120 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02116

            2. re: cambridgedoctpr
              hotoynoodle Dec 31, 2010 08:00 PM

              everest is in chicago, and while also owned by joho, is a whole other ballgame.

              it's a member of relais & chateaux/relais gourmand,Qualité, academie culinaire de france, and maitre cuisiniers de france, for starters.

          2. hotoynoodle Dec 31, 2010 07:55 PM

            while the sandrine's room is quite pretty, i have been underwhelmed by the food and embarrassed by the amateurish, bumbling service. any time i have been it has been mostly empty too which leads me to wonder how he stays in business. do that many harvard profs eat lunch there everyday?

            1 Reply
            1. re: hotoynoodle
              s
              scotty27 Jan 1, 2011 06:06 AM

              I agree with you. It's a wonder, really, as Ost can cook. I stopped going years ago for reasons you note. The last time I was there it was to interview Ost and his guest, Andre Soltner, and that was work.
              www.shrinkinthekitchen.com

            2. lipoff Dec 31, 2010 08:56 PM

              I'm surprised to hear that it was excellent --- I thought Sandrines was often excellent when it first opened, but since then has regrettably slid downhill more and more. I think the location is just too good, and no incentive for them to improve or even maintain the standards they once set. It's very sad to me when that happens to a restaurant, but I haven't had a good meal at Sandrines since 2002. I don't know how many Harvard faculty dine there everyday, but I seem to be brought there for a Harvard related event once or twice a year. I can't be the only one who realizes that they're not so good anymore --- many more of those events are at Harvest these days.

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              Sandrine's
              8 Holyoke St., Cambridge, MA 02138

              1 Reply
              1. re: lipoff
                s
                scotty27 Jan 1, 2011 06:08 AM

                Harvest is for sure the better restaurant, which says a lot. I mean: Harvest is reliable, unfussy, great service, good rooms since the renovation, but kind of dull. It's a Ken Himmel production and it's what he thinks--he's right--works well in Cambridge.
                www.shrinkinthekitchen.com

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