Restaurant Dump: 94 Mass Ave, La Voile, Martsa on Elm, PJ Ryan's, Precinct, Indo, Kickass, SuperFusion, Coppa, Gargoyles
Here are a couple of places I've been recently that I thought deserved a bit of fresh content.
94 Mass Ave: I love the fireplaces, and the vibe is at least slightly more sophisticated than Match. I was expecting this to be another awful American Tapas Bar (TM), but I was pleasantly surprised. We shared two dishes:
Braised duck spring rolls - reminded me of an excellent dish at Oxford House in Maine - lovely duck, delicious hoisin, scallions - they really nailed this dish.
Lobster grilled cheese and tomato bisque: a less perfectly nice grilled cheese sandwich; we could taste both the lobster and the tarragon, which I appreciated.
La Voile: this bar reminds me mightily of a bar I used to frequent in the 6eme. Once the charcuterie warmed to room temperature, this was a delightful experience. Excellent meats.
We shared: L'assiette de charcuterie: election of charcuterie, dry saucisson, Bayonne ham, garlic sausage & paté
Le Plateau de Fromage Français "devant vous": 3 cheeses: hard; goat; bleu.
Foie Gras en terrine.
PJ Ryan's: their food is (suddenly) good! We split a tomato bisque to start. I had a shepard's pie with lamb that was absolutely delicious. The fish and chips are still not as noteworthy as Druid's though.
Precinct: Friends got the potato leek soup, and two sandwiches. I had a burger and sweet potato fries. The fries weren't cooked and the burger was overcooked. Why ask how I want it cooked if it's just going to come out well done? Someone else had a wedge salad that was swimming in dressing. Glad I went so I can keep going to the Indo without wondering what's going on next door.
The Independent: The good: pork cheeks with spaghetti squash; pastrami sandwich; merguez sandwich; duck confit with pureed butternut squash. The bad: cheeseburger. The Foundry's burger is just flat out better. Too bad the beer list at the Indo is superior.
Martsa on Elm: we had momos to start (ours were fried, theirs were steamed vegetable. Guess whose was better?). House of Tibet Kitchen's Stir fried sliced tender beef with scallions is officially better; however the lamb and pumpkin in a cashew curry was to die for.
Kickass Cupcake: The deep fried cupcake sundae is officially the scariest thing I have ever attempted to eat.
Super Fusion III: seafood salad with avocado - mayonaisey, filled with Krab. Sashimi - thick pieces; roll: perfectly fine. Styrofoam plates and cups - weird and not so green.
Coppa is still completely fantastic (no kidding): beef tongue and anchovy crositini (amazing), tuna crudo with kimchi radishes (loved, but really, is there bad tuna crudo?), arancini (possibly fried a wee bit too much for me, but creamy), uni, bacon and pea carbonara and a pesto pasta with fingerling potatoes - both excellent!
Gargoyles: we shared the tuna tartare from the bar menu: basic tuna tartare in a soy type dressing over cabbage slaw, served with rice puffs for crackers. He had the steak, which had some sort of delicious sauce, yorkshire pudding, and an arugula and red pepper salad. He was very happy. I had the lamb porterhouse (which meant two lamb chops), over ratatouille and served with a goat cheese and pesto smear. God, I love Gargloyles. The bar menu right now is sort of boring, but I need to start going back there regularly.
690 Washington St, Brookline, MA 02446
378 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02144
261 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116
239 Holland St, Somerville, MA 02144
House of Tibet Kitchen
235 Holland St, Somerville, MA 02144
253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118
I was also unimpressed by my one visit to the Independent since their menu makeover after Cine took over. My friend has their vegetarian entree of the night and we were both amazed by how little food was on the plate. One of the veggies, winter squash, was essentially a dab of puree, and the rest seemed like a light appetizer in scale, regardless of the entree price. She's not a huge person and left starving. it was also the only meatless main dish on the menu, clearly he just doesn't get it, despite the earlier hullabaloo about the lack of veggie options. I also agree on the fries, which I used to like and seemed mediocre this time around.
Yet another witty post, gini! You eat/live so well, I love it!
We've been loving PJ's new menu...of course, we no longer live within stumbling distance! Karen, Christine, and Alan are all great.
I am bummed out to hear about Precinct. That was one of our favorite lunch places, particularly in combination with a Union Sq Farmers' Market visit. We used to love the steak salad and there was a salmon sandwich that was really good. Anything we had, really, was quite good, including a better-than-expected wine list. Did we benefit from going at quiet times? We haven't been in a long time, since we left the 'ville. We need to return to find out for ourselves.