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August " Wow!" Dishes?

opinionatedchef Aug 5, 2012 02:06 PM

Sometimes a great restaurant dish is just a Nightly Special and sometimes it's on the menu for many months (or, in the case of a chef's 'signature' dish, it might be a menu's permanent fixture). Whatever its endurance, it seems like the 'Wow!' food experiences are the ones we love to share w/ friends and like minded CHs. The August heat has us eating out a bit more than usual , and my August 'Wow!' dish came from East by Northeast the other evening. It was served as an amuse bouche but it only took that one little sip to have me pleading for more. 'A bowl?' she asked, as I nodded firmly. And lucky for me, the talented Phillip Tang, chef/owner, said 'sure.'
Cue Biiiiig smiley face.

The dish in question was a Corn and Tofu Soup. A thick creamy cold refreshing liquid , like sweet sunshine, given a subtle layering of flavor by the pureed tofu, and sparked by the earthy touch of charred puffed rice, with its contrasting crunchy texture. Sublime !

http://exnecambridge.com/menu/

p.s. East by Northeast will be on vacation 8/20 through 8/27

  1. galangatron Aug 27, 2012 08:49 AM

    sach ko ang (grilled beef sticks) from a no name cambodian booth at the water festival in lowell. the perfect cut of meat, homemade kroeung (cambodian lemongrass paste), and an excellent grill job. best sach ko ang ever

    1. k
      kimfair1 Aug 27, 2012 05:13 AM

      As part of our very good restaurant week meal at Bistro du Midi the other evening, we had a delicious dish which was braised lamb shank meat, combined with goat cheese, and baked into a tiny round green squash. The combination of flavors was wonderful.

      1. l
        lovejoyeater Aug 25, 2012 08:38 AM

        We went to Strip Ts last night and shared an appetizer special of fried green tomatoes, smoked fish head meat, and softboiled egg served with regular tomatoes and chopped sorrel. It was eyes-rolling-back-to-your-head delicious. It made me wish they served some kind of bread, I would have happily used it to sop up the delicious droppings left at the bottom of the plate.

        2 Replies
        1. re: lovejoyeater
          opinionatedchef Aug 25, 2012 11:19 AM

          love, they don't advertise this but they do have Iggy's bread in the kitchen(that they put on some of the brothy dishes) and will happily bring you some if you ask (but so far, ya gotta ask!)

          1. re: opinionatedchef
            GretchenS Aug 27, 2012 08:22 AM

            Friday night Strip Ts had a special of mixed heirloom tomatoes and cherry tomatoes with opal basil, housemade watermelon pickle, lardons and a huge puddle of pigs' head vinaigrette (so much they gave me a soup spoon which I happily employed) that was similarly eyes-rolling-back-in-head amazing and delicious. Just incredible and by far the best showcase of fabulous August tomatoes I have had this year.

        2. maillard Aug 17, 2012 01:41 PM

          This is maybe a little silly, but I think the best thing I've had in August (at least outside of my house) is the special lattes from Voltage. I'm usually not a big fan of milky coffee or sweets, but these things are seriously delicious. And the 8 oz size is the perfect balance of milk and coffee.

          So far I've tried the Atticus Finch (vanilla and burnt sugar), the Madame X (early grey white chocolate), and the Thieving Magpie (almond). All super tasty, although the almond one was a bit dull. I should've tried a more interesting one (like the molasses and lemon zest).

          3 Replies
          1. re: maillard
            Luther Aug 25, 2012 08:00 AM

            Highly highly recommend the Eclipse (coconut-ginger). Combined with the coffee and milk flavors it adds up to something really unexpected, almost alcoholic in a way.

            1. re: Luther
              maillard Aug 25, 2012 09:03 AM

              Ooh, thanks for the tip! I will definitely try that one next.

            2. re: maillard
              l
              lovejoyeater Aug 25, 2012 09:24 AM

              Those lattes sound so interesting, definitely something to try. Thanks for sharing.

            3. c
              CookieLee Aug 17, 2012 11:37 AM

              Sophia's Grotto in Roslindale Sq. Mr. Cookie had the lobster ravioli, came with shrimp and greens, and mushrooms, I don't know what kind, in the most amazing cream based sauce. It was a special. I had the scallops and risotto small plate. Just wonderful flavors.

              1. Prav Aug 15, 2012 01:47 PM

                An old favorite to some, but hopefully a new favorite to those seeing this for the first time:

                Russell House Tavern's crispy poached Chip-In Farms egg. Unbelievable. A little breaded, fried pocket of goodness that, when punctured, oozes rich yolk onto a crisp toast bed, with a pile of greens. So good, you could eat two.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Prav
                  opinionatedchef Aug 15, 2012 02:03 PM

                  oooh! geev me some bacon and i be happpy! gotta try it!

                  1. re: Prav
                    jgg13 Aug 17, 2012 12:14 PM

                    As you say it is an old favorite but it is still one of my favorite things around. Phenomenal.

                    1. re: Prav
                      l
                      lovejoyeater Aug 25, 2012 08:42 AM

                      That sounds amazing. Something to put on my "to try" list for sure. Thanks for sharing!

                    2. t
                      Taralli Aug 15, 2012 06:04 AM

                      From Posto: Carbonara w/pork belly, English peas, parmesian, egg crema, thyme & orecchiette.
                      From Strip T's: Grilled romaine w/oxtail, poached egg & chili vin.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Taralli
                        m
                        mkfisher Aug 15, 2012 06:14 AM

                        We had that Carbonara on Saturday. It was pretty spectacular.

                        1. re: Taralli
                          opinionatedchef Aug 15, 2012 01:25 PM

                          that Strip T's dish is just the killer of killers, isn't it?! certainly my own personal benchmark for "wow! "

                          1. re: opinionatedchef
                            maillard Aug 17, 2012 01:32 PM

                            I have really got to get over there to try this.

                        2. MC Slim JB Aug 14, 2012 09:34 PM

                          Salad of heirloom tomatoes with some herbs and a little green goddess dressing at Coppa. August tomatoes, say no more.

                          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: MC Slim JB
                            s
                            shaebones Aug 14, 2012 11:21 PM

                            Tell me about it. I have 35 tomato plants in my backyard. :)

                            1. re: MC Slim JB
                              g
                              Gabatta Aug 15, 2012 04:39 AM

                              I was going to list a non restaurant dish as my favorite. Burrata from Monica's Mercato (best I have found), with my homegrown heirlooms, fleur de sel, and a drizzle of good olive oil and balsamic. I've yet to have a restaurant dish in this area which approaches my own dishes this month (at least not around these parts). Of course I did pick up an italian sub while at Monica's and it was outstanding as always.

                              1. re: Gabatta
                                opinionatedchef Aug 15, 2012 01:30 PM

                                gab, i didn't know about monica's before your post; must go there. I am far from a burrata expert- can you describe what makes Monica's your preferred?thx

                                Monica's Mercato
                                130 Salem Street, Boston, MA
                                (617) 742-4101 ‎ · monicasboston.com

                                1. re: opinionatedchef
                                  g
                                  Gabatta Aug 15, 2012 01:45 PM

                                  I'll give it a shot. Monica's burrata is incredibly fresh. The thin outer layer of mozzarella? is incredibly supple and yielding, and as usable as the inner burrata (I sometimes discard the outside). The consistency is perfect and the flavor is incomparable to other burrata's I've purchased locally. I have regularly used the burrata from Mozzerella House or Fiore di Nonno in the past. While they are both pretty decent burratas, the imported (Puglia) burrata from Monica's really stands head and shoulders above from a flavor perspective.

                                  If you haven't been to Monica's, the italian food supplies there beyond the burrata are incredible as well (meats, pasta, cheeses), and you have to get one of their italian subs while you are there.

                            2. opinionatedchef Aug 14, 2012 07:44 PM

                              This time the Wow was from My Love. We had a many-dish dinner at Myers+Chang tonight> The Corn Coconut Soup was the killer- thick creamy rich . (But I missed the topping texture of the ground charred puff rice from East by Northeast.) Also new for us, and really luscious, were the Grilled Corn w/ Sriracha Butter and the Beef Shanghai Noodles w/ hot and lime.

                              1. Bob Dobalina Aug 5, 2012 03:55 PM

                                Crab and pea ravioli in a cognac corn reduction - Highland Kitchen
                                The ravioli are deep fried - basically the best crab rangoons ever.

                                1. c
                                  cherrytomato Aug 5, 2012 02:24 PM

                                  Tomato salad and honeyloupe sorbet served at Island Creek Oyster Bar. Refreshingly delicious.

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