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Craigie on Main- Recent Faves?

May finally be going here this Sunday night. Anyone been recently and have food recs? Thnx v much.

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  1. Had some squid ink pasta at the bar a few weeks back that was delicious. Seemingly simple preparation, but hit on all the right notes for me.

    1. amazingly, the seafood is always good there. I think that sunday nights are a good time to enjoy craigie, busy but not crazy.

      1. The crispy fried pig tails are always a fave. he also generally does a ragout of veggies/mushrooms/sometimes cocks comb/some sort of meat/soft coddled egg that's generally quite good. Also I like when he does tempura cod cheeks. I find the best way to eat there is either do a tasting, or eat a few small plates that appeal.

        1. Second the pig tails. We always get the bone marrow too when we go. If going early enough I'd get the burger.

          I also agree with the tasting menu though. Monkfish liver and salmon collar was on the menu last time we got the tasting and were both amazing.

          Once with a large group we ordered the pig's head. I enjoyed it, especially the cheek, but some people are put off with their food looking right back at you.

          1. Dear OpinionatedChef,
            Look forward to hearing what your meal is like. I haven't been since they moved and am hoping to treat my BFF to a birthday meal in June. Maybe the six course tasting.

            1. we didn't go but will post report when we do.

              1. pigs tails and grilled octopus were the food highlights for me. Especially the pigs tails. I didn't find the burger over-the-top special, although it gets much love by folks here. I had a Ron Zacapa 23yr rum old fashioned with some kind of chocolate bitters...very very good with giant ice cube. I really loved that cocktail.

                1. Crispy fried Maine clams -- the best fried clams I've ever eaten.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: celestialmundane

                    I too had the squid ink pasta a few weeks ago and it was excellent. It had tiny clams, mussels, and a few shrimp IIRC.

                  2. Going for the first time tommorow (last on my Boston "bucket list" of restaurants), so I thought I'd bump this thread. Any recommendations, particularly anything seen there recently, would be much appreciated

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ScotchandSirloin

                      We ate there last week. I've never had a bad meal at Craigie, but I have to say the pork three ways was outstanding - spice-crusted rib, grilled belly and suckling confit, just wow.

                      Another in our party raved about the striped bass, which is currently in its (short) local season. Poached in pork fat and served with clams and bacon jam, it was another lo-cal winner.

                      I've heard great things about the crispy fried pigs tails but decided this time that getting a pig appetizer followed by a triple pig entree would be a bit much, so I opted for the spicy tuna sashimi to start. It was very good but it's the pork (especially the belly, which was slightly crisp, perfectly seasoned and not overly fatty) that sticks in my mind.

                    2. Went on Friday night with my brother and our wives. I try to eat every new burger at McDonalds and my brother won't eat anything unless it is fairly traded, organic, extra virgin and from small farmers, in Palestine, so I thought we had a good diversity of views despite the fact our DC's aren't much into food. Overall, loved the vibe, great service, great menu, only pretty good execution. As always, one bad dish can really skew a great meal, and we had that, but let me start from the begining. For amuses the ladies were given a really yummy crab mush (I only got a tiny taste as it was an amuse) and the men were given fried pig ear (which I will call pork first way). Pig ears were great, thinner and crispier than you see at some places, so not at all tough and a nice (mustard based?) sauce to go with. Not knowing that we were going to be given pig ears we had ordered fried pigs tails for the table (pork second way). These were probably the highlight of the meal, hot bacony goodness offset with a flavorful cilatnro relish. Even my wife liked them and I'm sure she would have told you that she would go her entire life without ever eating a pig's tail. Apps were only ok: best was the grilled octopus. It's hard to do a big octopus tentacle well and they nailed it. Not too chewy and held the flavor well. The sausage app was fine. Honestly, I can get a sausage I love on many street corners, so I was looking for something spectacular. It was generally bland and mushy. Vegetable noodle thing looked boring (didn't try), but bad idea to order vegtable noodle things outside of Chinatown in the first place. Fried clams were only OK, the breading was dissapointing, but also a bad idea to order fried clams from anywhere other than a clam shack (or ICOB). Mains: Salmon was the best main and just perfect. No one can cook salmon well in this country, except Craigie apparently. I think it was poached in pork fat. which helps. I thought the swordfish was great, no metallic swordfish flavor. Unfortuantely my wife thinks the metallic flavor is the best part about swordfish, who knew? Pork three ways (i.e pork third, forth and fifth way, unless you count the porky salmon) was all good, but not varied enough. Tasted like pork belly, pork belly and pork belly on a bone. At least I was able to break all that fat up with... 3 huge bones of beef marrow (not pork, but really honorary pork). Lastly was the steak. They were pushing this rib-eye for 2 that looked wonderful, but we wanted to try more dishes, so we got the hanger steak on the menu which was prepared the same way. They were out of hanger steak so they said we would get some sort of sirloin. Unfortunately it was a terrible piece of meat. Cooked to medium rare, but tough and bland. Kind of like my mother would have made, but with even less steaky flavor. This piece of meat would never be served at L'espailer, Menton, No. 9, the chain steakhouses, etc. After the main courses, I let the waitress know, and she responded correctly, "you ate it all." Maybe we shouldn't have eaten it all, but it wasn't overcooked and it really would have put an even bigger damper on the meal for one dish to come back out after everything else was done (and it's not like we put down some 18oz steak we hated, there was probably 4oz total on the plate). Desserts were very good. The one that tasted like Whoppers was a big hit, although Whoppers are very good and cheaper than the dessert was. Overall I give Craigie an A-. Probably a top 5 restaurant in Boston, just a bad piece of meat and some bad ordering of appetizers on our part away from being an A.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: ScotchandSirloin

                        steak is never great at craigies; i feel that i can do better at home.

                        I have not had the fried clams, but i am usually happy with whatever seafood i order there.

                        1. re: ScotchandSirloin

                          sands, i gotta thank you for my (our) guffaws of the day here. I was reading this aloud to My Love and when I got to the marrow, we both broke down. i hope you write or do stand up for a living, because the talent is sooo there! thx again.