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Boston Restaurants 20 years ago

k
kremati May 3, 2012 06:33 AM

Anyone remember Cornucopia? I was there one night when Julia Child called to speak to the Japanese Cordon Bleu chef. Where is Masau Nagasawa now?

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  1. Bob Dobalina May 3, 2012 06:46 AM

    Google points to a restaurant in Des Moines, WA back in 2000....happy hunting.

    1. 9
      9lives May 3, 2012 07:33 AM

      I remember Cornucopia well. They were on West St where Max & Dylan's is now. They moved to the space that is now Joe's on the Waterfront and West St Grill took their space on West. I remember a great salmon dish with black bean sauce over bok choy.

      No idea where the chef or owners went.

      eta There is a Masao Nagasawa on Facebook but I can't access it now.

      2 Replies
      1. re: 9lives
        d
        devilham May 3, 2012 07:56 AM

        I worked with the boyfriend of one of the bartenders there......sadly (the one I worked with) has passed away from AIDS, which happened alot to the young gay men of that generation....very sad, he was the first gay person I had met (I was seventeen), and he really humanized what being a gay person was for me.....any prior (in my defense, immature) prejudicial attitudes I had about gay people were shattered......the bartender was a great guy, and very funny, I hope he survived that epidemic, but can't say for sure as I lost touch with him after Mark died.

        eeek, that veered darkly off topic, sorry people

        1. re: devilham
          opinionatedchef May 3, 2012 09:13 PM

          posts like this make CH much more human, imo. th you.

      2. c
        carneyvore May 3, 2012 08:41 AM

        Cornucopia was probably the best of several restaurants that have been in that West St. spot over the years, though it, too, could be inconsistent. West St. Grill was mediocre and not sure M & D is much more than a pickup bar with culinary pretensions.

        8 Replies
        1. re: carneyvore
          9
          9lives May 3, 2012 11:02 AM

          I disagree re Max & Dylans's. I find it has reasonably good burgers/pub type food. I don't see any pretention. Very good mac n cheese and a friendly staff. They get more of a neighborhood or theater going crowd than a "pick up" crowd. They offer discounted meals to theatre goers. They know their niche. West St was a neighborhood bar..M-W; pickup Thurs-Sat.

          1. re: 9lives
            Small Plates May 3, 2012 11:33 AM

            It was actually not a pick-up scene at all. As a founding, card-carrying member of the gang that called West Street Home in the early to mid 90s, West Street was a clubhouse where several hundred of our closest friends gathered every week - yes, mostly on Thursday nights (and often Friday and Saturday nights). We'd start out with dinner and proceed to festivities through til closing. The food was always OK. Not great - but really good. We had many occasion dinners there, and it marks an era that I miss a lot in Boston (even though I am now married and do not hang out like I used to). It is also where many of us came to know Josh Childs, Cedric Adams, Jon Fagin etc. and became great friends with them.

            1. re: Small Plates
              9
              9lives May 3, 2012 11:45 AM

              I stand corrected. ..eta..and Ms 9 just confirmed your version...dinner with a bunch of friends on Thurs night. Funny how different people walk into the same place and com away with different impressions.

              I've lived in the area for many years and knew that I'd generally find a neighbor to enjoy a beer and a burger at West St. I knew Josh and Cedric well..no longer...though we'd chat if we bumped into each other. West St WAS like my second den in that time; and maybe i just saw the crowd differently. We never started with dinner on Thurs-Sat and rarely got to it.

              Bob...Biba combined chowishness and pickup for the 35+ set in it's day.

          2. re: carneyvore
            Bob Dobalina May 3, 2012 11:16 AM

            That raises a valid, current question: Where are the current "pickup" bars that are chowish and where one might find pickup-able 'hounds?

            Are pickup and chowish mutually exclusive?

            1. re: Bob Dobalina
              nsenada May 4, 2012 11:39 AM

              Yes, where might one hear a pickup line like "I find pastrami to be the most sensual of the salted cured meats"?

              1. re: nsenada
                Bob Dobalina May 4, 2012 12:07 PM

                That made my afternoon.

                1. re: nsenada
                  d
                  devilham May 4, 2012 01:15 PM

                  you had me at pastrami

                  1. re: nsenada
                    9
                    9lives May 4, 2012 03:05 PM

                    Would you care for for a slice of my lobster pizza often led into more at Biba. Just saying..:)

              2. Karl S May 3, 2012 11:42 AM

                Many fond memories of Cornucopia before it moved out of what is now called the Ladder District; I didn't care for it once it moved to the waterfront.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Karl S
                  w
                  Weiszguy May 3, 2012 11:59 AM

                  I had the best chocolate bread pudding I've ever eaten (and that says a lot, because I order or make it every chance I get) at the Waterfront location. My mouth is watering just thinking about it...

                  1. re: Karl S
                    MC Slim JB May 3, 2012 12:47 PM

                    Agreed: Cornucopia was an intimate, romantic spot with good food on West Street; a big, soulless space with uninteresting food once it moved over near Commercial Wharf. A shame, but I was hardly surprised when it imploded.

                    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                    1. re: MC Slim JB
                      Karl S May 3, 2012 01:53 PM

                      Yeah, it was the classic bad move in local restaurant history.

                      1. re: Karl S
                        9
                        9lives May 3, 2012 02:37 PM

                        It was worse than you even thought. I don't know the owners and have no ax to grind.; but I live at 1 the few hi rises that was a block away from original Cornucopia. Every time there was a community meeting, they trashed the community for not supporting them...yet they did nothing to promote biz with the few locals,

                        When they moved to the WF, they complained that the Big Dig negatively impacted their business...and again, the neighborhood didn't support them.. Meanwhile, their successors had great success in the same spot.

                        The WF spot was way too big for their cuisine. I remember my bro and I taking a cab to Biba from Corcnucpia cuz it just seemed too creepy to be eating there, big empty room..with faux parachutes hanging from the ceiling.

                        Good cooking with innovative dishes; I still remember the salmon dish, but poor management.

                        1. re: 9lives
                          s
                          southie_chick May 3, 2012 07:06 PM

                          LOVED the caesar sald with the smoked bluefish. Haven't found anyone who makes it that way since they closed. : (

                  2. trufflehound May 3, 2012 09:08 PM

                    I remember having a great monkfish marsala there.

                    1. trufflehound May 4, 2012 10:52 AM

                      This reminded me of the Downtown Cafe on Lagrange. Yum

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