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New Strip T's Thread for 2013:Excellence and Innovation Continue

opinionatedchef Apr 11, 2013 05:50 PM

Had the good fortune to snag the only unreserved table at 5PM today(!) I was really hoping to have a repeat of the phenomenal shaved whey- cured foie gras, but that was gone. This menu has a LOT of new items. Except for the Fish and Chips, Moxie wings, and the Wicked Small Caesar,I don't think I saw any items from the 370 posts thread begun in July 2011.
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/795745
Highlights tonight:
- Bluefish w/ Labne and Carrot Jam
It's interesting when a dish is revelatory but not because it is complex or sophisticated. This bluefish was like that for me because I saw how special was the combination of rich meaty bluefish with creamy tart labne. I usually just bake my bluefish w/ a red wine dijon vinaigrette but from now on I'm going to include labne with that.Yay!
- Skate Wing with an Italian Andouille stuffing and butter, on a bed of sauteed leeks with chard. Sister to the classic cod with chorizo pairing, this lovely silky white fish is accented with considerable punch. While I have always prepared my skate 'off the bone', this was sauteed 'on the bone' , and it holds together much better that way. The top and bottom layer of fish separates so easily from the central 'wing' of cartilage, that I'm going to prepare it that way in the future.
- Chicken under a brick with fig and ricotta and a stellar side of roasted marinated parsnips with cumin spiced chard and walnuts.
- A fascinating flavor punch of beet and ginger sorbet

They've had their first Pastry Chef for a little while now: Jake, from Clearflour and other.
He will serve both Strip T's and their new spot in Brookline when it is up and running.
Jake seems an adventurous chef so I am looking forward to the day when (I hope) the brownies and choc. cake take a dive and his innovative talents are seen through the whole dessert menu.

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  1. v
    valcfield Apr 12, 2013 05:40 AM

    Went to strip T's last Sat-

    I'd highlight that the crust is excellent on the bluefish. One of the best prepared cooked fish I've had in a while. Also, just a note for others, the amount of carrot jam and labne is tiny- you can get a bit with each bite but this is very much a dish about the fish with a bit of accent.

    last saturday they had a snail with polenta special that was rocking. polenta was a mix of white and yellow corn, and done to a soupy consistency- i'd never had polenta quite like that, but but Broccoli rabe put in some nice bitterness and crunch for balance (some chopped up, crisped ham never hurt any dish either).

    The skate is awesome- only thing i'd add is that this not a spanish/coarse style chorizo, its creamy to the point of having a rillette consistency.

    Veal breast- barley, hay yogurt, pistachio. Exceedingly earthy dish- something in the barley gave it a smoky taste, though this may also have been a bit of psychological trickery because the veal is quite pink in color (which makes me think smoked meat). The breast itself is great, nice layer of fat that makes it reminiscent of the few times i've had lamb belly- bit more chew, less decadence than pork belly. I feel like (and others are welcome to confirm/say this is not new) that oats are popping up increasingly as the starch to pair with red meats; I'm definitely a fan of this combo.

    We also got a wicked small caesar (nothing new, but the gf loves her some caesar, and this is a fine rendition) as well as the sauteed cabbage with maple and cheddar. I'd seen that side before but hadn't ordered. It is delicious- the maple balances out the acidic/fermenty notes of the cabbage really nicely, and the cheddar crackers are a fun way to add some crunch, and umami depth, to a vegetable side. ftr, the maple is basically syrup, with a pool leftover at the end... we may have just mixed it up with the remaining crackers/croutons from caesar to sop it up........

    dessert!

    lemon steamed cake with ginger, beet sorbet- I'm sure i'm missing a component here, for which i apologize (there's a crunch element as well that i can't quite remember). This is a light, herbaceous dessert (no shock given the ingredients, i'm aware) that comes off as a really sophisticated version of a lemon tart. This was my second time ordering it, I'm a fan.

    'memories of a candy bar' the main component was a white cake with some chocolate chips (and apologies if i'm forgetting a more exotic ingredient), which was impressively dense and moist. this was a theme from all the desserts, every cake we had was really well executed, nothing dry. It was paired with a thick chocolate spread that had thai basil, and black sesame meringue. The last was my favorite component- this was meringue like on a meringue pie, moist, fluffy, and great to spread on the cake.

    We also grabbed a mocha cake (the gf wanted something more chocolatey), and while it is, as we were warned, of the 'old strip t's', they apparently have been tweaking the recipe, and it fell in line with the rest as being a well made, if less complex, moist, dense, cake.

    ---
    Last notes: service, as always, was fun and friendly; I hope they can keep that vibe when they open up their second bigger space.

    Overall experience made me with I were going there more often.

    I've been really happy that the menu is updated frequently online now, one thing to note, however, is that the dessert section has not been updated for some time and does not reflect what was on the menu the night we went.

    Photos (which I hope are *appetizing* not *offputting*, per other thread ;) represent all but sides, and memories of a candybar.

     
     
     
     
     
     
    16 Replies
    1. re: valcfield
      v
      valcfield Apr 12, 2013 05:48 AM

      Picture of memories of a candy bar, found it. (also, apologies if there's a way to add the photo to the original post, could not for the life of me figure it out.

       
      1. re: valcfield
        MC Slim JB Apr 12, 2013 06:32 AM

        I believe your only opportunity to add a photo is prior to posting it for the very first time. You can edit the title and text for a while afterward, but not add photos.

        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

        1. re: MC Slim JB
          v
          valcfield Apr 12, 2013 07:07 AM

          Ah, ok. I'll make sure to be more careful next time I decide to add photos to a post. Appreciate the response!

        2. re: valcfield
          Boston_Otter Apr 12, 2013 07:43 AM

          I have to be honest, I'm not jazzed by this.

          One thing I love about Strip-T's is that they broke from the 'New American' fine-dining mold and went more in the Momofuku direction: simple, hearty, unpretentious dishes with innovative, interesting flavors and unique ideas: a plate of amazing locally-harvested roasted mushrooms, Moxie wings, oxtail-romaine salad. Deserts and dishes like 'memories of a candy bar' are playful, but are more in the Alinea / WD-50 / Blue Ink vein. Little bits of deconstructed dishes with smears of sauce on a plate arranged delicately, with a precocious name... not sure if that really fits Strip-Ts.

        3. re: valcfield
          j
          Jenny Ondioline Apr 12, 2013 12:39 PM

          There is absolutely nothing wrong with that mocha cake, which is outstanding. I'm sorry to hear they're going in the pretentious desserts direction: that's never a good thing, and I concur with Boston Otter that it doesn't bode well.

          1. re: Jenny Ondioline
            v
            valcfield Apr 12, 2013 12:50 PM

            i certainly have no problem with disliking some of the tacks of modernist cuisine, and do myself tend to prefer food that feels more substantial.

            but i do think there's a difference between being playful, or whimsical, or simply not adhering to traditional flavor profiles, from being 'pretentious', and to the extent that my description made that seem appropriate, i apologize.

            as already noted, both cakes were, moist, substantial, and quite in line with what i would think are conventional desserts. The flavors they were paired with were certainly out of the ordinary, but nothing about it suffered from preciousness or feeling like it was done for the sake of doing it as opposed to for the sake of flavor.

            in any event, of course you're welcome to dislike a style of dessert, or this particular one, but i wanted to say i think you'd be missing out to dismiss either the steamed cake or memories of a candy bar out of hand.

            also, @boston_otter, to be admittedly nitpicky on facts, the comparison to momofuku is an odd one- i think your description of the savory courses is apt, but the first dessert i can remember having at ssam, back in early 2010, was their malted chocolate/quark ice cream/beet sorbet dessert... which had powders, meringue, and smears... if anything, that's quite similar to the desserts here.

            1. re: valcfield
              opinionatedchef Apr 12, 2013 02:18 PM

              valc, your CH presence is new to me, but I have to say I am wicked happy to read your well observed and articulate posts.
              Whoever suggested 'pretentious' for a Strip T's dessert- clearly has not SEEN it. They are the opposite of pretentious. If anything, they look like somebody's been playing in the sandbox.
              While the only thing on that 'candy bar' dish that had my taste buds grinning- was the caramelized white choco, puffed rice sesame 'brittle', it was enough of a revelation to make my whole night, so I don't regret it. I felt ditto for My Love's dish of brick chicken . He loved the chicken; it did nothing for me, BUT the accompanying pickled and roasted parsnips, kale and walnuts(with cumin, coriander and anise)- was the best side I may have ever eaten (along with, lucky me, the artichoke and leek fricassee on the Lamb Board at Sycamore last week.) Taste Revelations are so rare; they keep me high for weeks, as the other food memories fade away.

              1. re: opinionatedchef
                v
                valcfield Apr 12, 2013 02:48 PM

                Much appreciated! I certainly could see where the concern came from, which is why i wanted to clarify... like i said, certainly ok not to like those desserts (the gf may have pushed most of them both on me which was a-ok in my book)... but at least when i'm recommending a dish i do want to my best to accurately represent it.

                We all take pride in our work, and just as I'd hate to have my own product misrepresented, I'd hate to think I didn't do someone else's product justice :)

                1. re: opinionatedchef
                  Boston_Otter Apr 12, 2013 03:46 PM

                  I'm only basing my "modernist/deconstructed desert" comment on the photos, descriptions, and names posted here; it's true that I haven't eaten them in person.

                2. re: valcfield
                  Boston_Otter Apr 12, 2013 05:24 PM

                  Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm still eager to try it, despite the name/photos that sort of make me want to roll my eyes :) I brought up Momofuku because of the chef's connection to Ssam Bar, and because the deserts there under Christina Tosi have been fun, playful and surprising while still hearty and substantial -- like the crack pie, the cereal milks, etc. No smears to be found :)

                  1. re: Boston_Otter
                    v
                    valcfield Apr 12, 2013 05:30 PM

                    hehe well glad you'd still try it! I will say I hope the donut theme makes a reappareance at some point too, i did *love* the blueberry lemon donut (if i'm remember correctly) as well as that apple donut with the insane amount of cheese grated on top. but i'm a sucker for the ole apple cheese combo

                    1. re: valcfield
                      m
                      mrtan Jun 6, 2013 06:19 PM

                      The brioche donut is back with a rhubarb compote variation.

                    2. re: Boston_Otter
                      k
                      kathryn Jun 26, 2013 08:25 PM

                      > I brought up Momofuku because of the chef's connection to Ssam Bar, and because the deserts there under Christina Tosi have been fun, playful and surprising while still hearty and substantial -- like the crack pie, the cereal milks, etc. No smears to be found :)

                      That's not exactly correct. Tosi was the head of pastry at Ssam and Noodle Bar first, then Ko, and Milk Bar wasn't added to the mix ~2 years later. The cakes, pies, cookies, cake balls, etc. you're referring to didn't really exist as products as part of the Momofuku Milk Bar name until Dec 2009.

                      Tosi came on board to Momofuku in the fall of 2007 and instituted a "real" dessert program at Ssam Bar, which had previously only been serving ice cream mochi for dessert. It was a big deal when she came on!

                      Her plated desserts at Momo have often used a deconstructed approach; Tosi came to Momofuku from WD-50, after all.

                      My favorite Tosi dessert of all time is a deconstructed PB&J with saltines, maybe 2nd to the Amish cheddar shortcake served with whipped cream infused with ham (that nobody else but us seemed to like). It doesn't surprise me that a Momofuku alum would go in a similar direction with their pastry program.

                      Examples of Tosi's deconstructed desserts pre-Milk Bar:
                      http://www.flickr.com/photos/kathryn/3521229772/
                      http://www.flickr.com/photos/kathryn/4061178176/
                      http://www.flickr.com/photos/kathryn/4108726714/
                      http://www.flickr.com/photos/kathryn/...

                3. re: valcfield
                  opinionatedchef Apr 13, 2013 12:34 AM

                  valc, didn't know if you saw this piece on chef Tim and some of his tools and essential house-made components. He talks about that spicy sausage in item #7:

                  http://www.bostonmagazine.com/restaur...

                  1. re: opinionatedchef
                    v
                    valcfield Apr 13, 2013 04:49 AM

                    I had seen that article but did not recall it explaining how he made it! Also a big fan of this piece with some great chefs asking tech questions when Nathan Myrhvold was in town for the harvard food and science lectures:

                    http://www.bostonmagazine.com/restaur...

                    1. re: valcfield
                      opinionatedchef Apr 13, 2013 03:22 PM

                      thanks so much for that, val. Ironically it comes on the same day I discovered that Rich Chudy, whose Boston Burger Blog I admire, writes for the same Boston mag blog . His column Man Food , which he's been doing the last 1 1/2 yrs, is well done but i am so embarassed to say I just discovered it. Looks like I have a lot of reading-through-the-archive to do!

                4. k
                  kimfair1 Apr 12, 2013 07:29 AM

                  We went for lunch (first time for lunch) on a whim last Saturday (about 2:30) the place was still busy, but we got seated right away. I hadn't had the amazing grilled Romaine lettuce with braised oxtail and egg since my first dinner there and had to order it. Still a phenomenal dish. I also had to have the lunch only burger (excellent with very good fries), and the wife had the Pho sandwich. I tasted it and it was really good, though I only got one bite as my wife really loved it. We decided that since we live so close that lunch has to be on our radar more often. I need to try the eggplant Bahn Mi next!

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: kimfair1
                    opinionatedchef Apr 12, 2013 01:46 PM

                    EXCellent decision! I forgot to mention in the OP that many of the Dinner original favs are on the current lunch menu: burger, eggplant banh mi, fried chicken hailing a cab, oxtail/grilled romaine etc.
                    http://www.stripts.com/menu/lunch

                    1. re: kimfair1
                      Boston_Otter May 22, 2013 02:07 PM

                      The eggplant banh mi is excellent, a really brilliant sandwich.

                      I went for lunch today and tried the fried cauliflower sandwich, which sounded almost healthy: cauliflower and broccoli rabe with fresh bell pepper slivers. It's delicious, but it's astoundingly heavy, dripping with garlic butter and melted cheese and grease. Easily the richest, butteriest, greasiest thing I've had there.

                      1. re: Boston_Otter
                        g
                        Gabatta May 22, 2013 02:58 PM

                        I like Strip T's, but haven't had anything there I would describe as healthy. I was there today as well and enjoyed the roast beef sandwich with horseradish and Moxie sauce.

                        1. re: Gabatta
                          f
                          Foodie_BBQ May 23, 2013 05:38 AM

                          Speaking of unhealth-i-ly delicious... When I ordered the Moxie wings the server described them as confit then grilled. I can't think of a less healthy way to cook them. First time having them, and they were tasty as hell.

                          1. re: Foodie_BBQ
                            StriperGuy May 23, 2013 06:35 AM

                            Huh, I was underwhelmed by the Moxie wings myself. Had them last week and can think of a dozen wing preps I prefer, including versions at Buff's, Shangri-La, and Golden Garden.

                            1. re: Foodie_BBQ
                              MC Slim JB May 23, 2013 09:46 AM

                              I liked the wings, but they're a rare Strip-T's dish I probably wouldn't order again.

                              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                            2. re: Gabatta
                              Boston_Otter May 23, 2013 06:11 AM

                              Oh, I totally agree. But there's also a difference between eating something decadent and awesome like the Moxie wings (or the oxtail salad, or the gravy fries...) and something so fatty and over-the-top that you'll swear to never eat it again and warn your friends about it :)

                              1. re: Boston_Otter
                                f
                                Foodie_BBQ May 23, 2013 06:50 AM

                                To me, they are a different dish than Buffs wings, which I also enjoy. If I were meeting up with old friends and wanted to have a couple of beers while licking honey-hot sauce off my fingers, I would go to Buffs. If I wanted to try something unique and see a chef cook a traditional dish in a new way, I would order Moxie Wings.

                                1. re: Foodie_BBQ
                                  StriperGuy May 23, 2013 08:01 AM

                                  Guess I just did not feel that any real Moxie flavor came through and did not really add anything to the wings. Just tasted sweet and gooey.

                        2. StriperGuy Apr 12, 2013 12:21 PM

                          Just had a killer coconut macaroon likely made by the new pastry chef. Awesome with a slight hint of orange.

                          1. maillard Apr 12, 2013 12:27 PM

                            I feel like I might be the only person to ever have had a bad experience at Strip T's. :( I've only been once, because it's tricky to get to for me, and I don't know that I'll bother trying to get back.

                            I got the tofu eggplant banh mi and it was pretty gross. I think part of the problem was that they were out of the usual bread. My fault, I guess, I should've changed my order, but I love tofu, eggplant, and vietnamese food, and just really wanted to try it. They served it on this greasy grilled whole grain bread. So the whole thing was just this soggy, greasy, awful mess. Service was also not great, though not terrible.

                            12 Replies
                            1. re: maillard
                              Allstonian Apr 12, 2013 12:53 PM

                              I have to say that our one experience there, while overall excellent as a meal, was marred by mediocre service, and since we can only get there by Zipcar and the price point is at the high end of our dining-out budget, I doubt we'll go again.

                              1. re: Allstonian
                                o
                                owades Apr 12, 2013 01:01 PM

                                For future reference, Strip-T's can be reached by two MBTA bus lines: the #70 from Central Square, Cambridge to Waltham (which runs along Arsenal street and stops about 0.2 miles from Strip-T's) and the #71 from Harvard Square, Cambridge to Watertown Square (which runs along Mt. Auburn Street and stops about 0.3 miles from Strip-T's). It's not necessary to rent a Zipcar to get there.

                                1. re: owades
                                  Allstonian Apr 12, 2013 01:23 PM

                                  You are right. Although...2 buses each way with potential waits of up to 20 minutes for connections on the way home after dinner. (I'm very familiar with getting from Watertown/Belmont to Allston in the evening on the 71 or 73, and it was not uncommon for the trip to take nearly 90 minutes.) That's a big investment of time for a spendy meal with iffy service.

                                2. re: Allstonian
                                  v
                                  VintageMolly Apr 12, 2013 02:12 PM

                                  When was your visit that had poor service? When they first made the transition (Summer 2011?), the original wait staff stayed on, and the service was pretty comical at first. They hired a new service manager mid-Fall of 2011 and the service improved dramatically. The difference between our visits in August of 2011 and November of 2011 was night and day, and the service has been fine to great every time we've been since.

                                  1. re: VintageMolly
                                    j
                                    Jenny Ondioline Apr 12, 2013 02:54 PM

                                    May 4, 2012, so well after the full changeover.

                                    What was so irritating about the bad service is that the tables on either side of us were both getting fully schmoozed by various members of the wait staff while we were being fully ignored. It was particularly irritating to have our original waitress whisk away our plates without even giving me a second to point out the rather serious flaw with my meal, which was that the fries served with my burger had been sitting in the pass so long that they were stone cold and inedible. I mean, she literally walked away with the plates *while* I was trying to tell her there was a problem.

                                    You would think the fact that every other dish had been practically licked clean and maybe two of the fries had been eaten would attest to the idea of "hey, maybe something was wrong with the fries and I should try to engage with the customer long enough to find out if everything was okay." It was very hard not to feel rather specifically dissed.

                                3. re: maillard
                                  k
                                  katzzz Apr 12, 2013 01:20 PM

                                  You're not alone, Maillard. I've had some standout chow at Strip-T's, but last week I had a truly mediocre turkey reuben at lunch. Kind of like a very ordinary grilled cheese sandwich with some deli turkey added. The "house everything" condiments were barely present. And for $10, it was on the small side. Like the old joke goes, not only was the food not very good, there wasn't enough of it.

                                  1. re: maillard
                                    opinionatedchef Apr 12, 2013 01:56 PM

                                    maillard, I sympathize entirely. The very first time we went,
                                    around 2 yrs ago, I was going because the fried baby octopus dish had been raved. Well, needless to say, whoever was manning that station that night must have been called away on some emergency because I tucked into a plate that had me looking (and feeling) like Charlie Chaplin eating that shoe in the gold rush movie. yuckOla. As I recall, I complained loudly on CH.

                                    My single piece of advice is- Send It Back. These talented folks are so overworked they just cannot make every right decision and sometimes you need to make it for them in return. In our experience, your wake up call will be appreciated and credited and replaced with your choosing.
                                    I did not follow this advice on that first visit, but I have since learned. I do hope you will try it again and be delighted.

                                    1. re: maillard
                                      f
                                      FeeFiPho May 21, 2013 08:55 AM

                                      This thread has almost always shown unanimous love and praise for Strip T's ever since Tim reinvented the menu- and deservedly so. It is creative,tasty and affordable. I have dined there on numerous occasions and watched as the crowds and media embraced its inventive fare and shouted its praises.This has created not only buzz but unfortunately an attitude shift that I sense by some members of the waitstaff. I now tend to go later in the afternoon when it is relatively quiet. This is not the first time I experienced this, so I found it disconcerting but still not enough to bring to Tim's attention. The dining room was half empty and my party of 4 was directed to a four top which was attended to by a member of the waitstaff who greeted us with a perfunctory greeting and a "we just got slammed for lunch". She was curt and impatient particularly when we couldn't decide definitively and immediately what we wanted to share( as they were out of several of the daily specials)-she then inquired if we were at least ready to give our drink order- we asked for a few beers to share- but her impatience continued and when water was requested, she answered- "they always come with the beer". A request to change a plate that was not clean was met with a dismissive look and perceived disdain. Yikes. I will reiterate -the food was delicious but this attitudinal shift that I have now experienced twice, needs to change or it may need at least a sitdown by the waitstaff with Tim or whoever manages this otherwise fine eating establishment.

                                      1. re: FeeFiPho
                                        k
                                        Klunco May 23, 2013 09:42 AM

                                        Interesting, I had the exact same experience two times ago when we went. Every other time service has been fine, and last time it was great. But the waitress we had two times ago seemed to make it clear that everything we were doing, whether it was needing an extra minute to look at the menu because they were sold out of something we tried to order or asking about a prep, was annoying to her.

                                        It's funny because no matter how many hipster places I've been to in brooklyn or portland where I've been warned of this, I'd never actually experienced it until I ate in Watertown. Irony.

                                        That said, food was great, and as I said the other times we've gone service has been great.

                                        1. re: Klunco
                                          Boston_Otter May 23, 2013 11:31 AM

                                          The only time I've had any service issues -- and they weren't a big deal, just sort of weird -- were my last few visits to Strip-T's.

                                          On one visit, my group decided to get one of the sandwiches and split it four ways. We mentioned this and our waitress looked really uncomfortable and said that she'd bring us a knife so that we could cut it up, but "The kitchen doesn't want anything leaving it without being perfect, and they won't cut it for you, but you can do it yourself."

                                          1. re: Boston_Otter
                                            GretchenS May 23, 2013 12:13 PM

                                            They are insanely (in a good way) particular about plating. I was in for lunch recently (got the divine burger) and someone wanted a lentil salad that was on the specials board to go, and they wouldn't do it because it couldn't be plated properly. She ended up eating it in and it looked FANTASTIC!!

                                            1. re: GretchenS
                                              Boston_Otter May 23, 2013 02:50 PM

                                              I'm all for classy plating, but when we're talking about nothing more than a sandwich on a plate, with no garnishes at all, refusing to cut a sandwich for a customer because it'd "ruin the plating" verges on insanity, yes.

                                    2. Bob Dobalina Apr 13, 2013 03:56 AM

                                      Great reviews all around.

                                      I would also point out that on a recent visit, after indicating we had no reservation, we were immediately told that it would be an x minute wait or we could have two seats at the bar near the front if that wasn't a problem - the point being that we were made to felt welcome and that every effort would be made to make a place for us.

                                      It was a pleasant and slightly surprising contrast to the reception we got days before at Puritan and Co., where we were made to feel a bit embarrassed by not having reservations and seated accordingly.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: Bob Dobalina
                                        f
                                        Foodie_BBQ May 21, 2013 01:28 PM

                                        On a related note, I heard them offer diners a table with a one hour timer on it last week. Never seen that before. The couple was also offered seats at the bar, but chose the hour long table instead. The host was professional in delivering the option, and the couple took him up on it. Good service in a non-obvious way.

                                        1. re: Foodie_BBQ
                                          MC Slim JB May 22, 2013 03:11 PM

                                          There wasn't a literal timer involved, was there? That would be something new. As a walk-in, I've accepted tables at other places with the understanding that we'd have to be out by a certain time, but rarely for less than ninety minutes, and never with a draining hourglass in front of us.

                                          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                          1. re: MC Slim JB
                                            f
                                            Foodie_BBQ May 23, 2013 05:34 AM

                                            No literal timer. Just a well delivered comment that they had to be out by 7PM to free up a reserved table.

                                      2. t
                                        taterjane Apr 15, 2013 07:45 PM

                                        I finally got to Strip-Ts tonight for the first time. I had japanese sweet potato wedges (YUM, not too sweet) and the roast chicken. Chicken was delicious - very moist. I just wish they had about twice the amount of apple butter on it. That apple butter was so good. Heck, just cover the whole chicken with it!

                                        Dessert was the lemon steamed cake with graham cracker, a really interesting/not something I would willing eat again ginger/miso cracker, beet sorbet. My stomach felt rather uncertain about this mix of flavors. It was delightful to look at and amusing to taste but overall, I don't think I actually would order this again. My dining companions settled for the mocha chocolate cake which the waiter described as, "Just a cake." He really undersold it, but both of them were quite happy with it as it was not too sweet.

                                        We also received little samples of a hazelnut cake with a dot of blueberry on it - had this been on the menu, I think I would have liked it much more as a dessert than the lemon steamed cake. There was way too much going on with the lemon cake.

                                        I would definitely go again but I don't think I'd bother with dessert next time.

                                        Does anyone know if the sandwich menu by the bar is available only at lunch/at the bar? It looked better than some of the dinner menu options.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: taterjane
                                          opinionatedchef Apr 15, 2013 08:22 PM

                                          the lunch menu is only available at lunch, and lunch seating is the whole space- both rooms.

                                        2. m
                                          mrtan May 16, 2013 01:42 PM

                                          Jake does a mean blueberry buttermilk aigre doux pie. Almost tapioca-like in texture. Definitely has the sweet and sour thing going on.

                                           
                                          11 Replies
                                          1. re: mrtan
                                            AnjLM Jun 10, 2013 04:30 PM

                                            That pie was delicious!!!!

                                            1. re: AnjLM
                                              m
                                              mrtan Jun 12, 2013 11:52 AM

                                              Had a different rendition of the pie today: pistachio & sorghum. It was like a slightly more bitter pecan pie-- I think it could have used a fruit component to offset the very sweet and somewhat salty combination.

                                              Seared scallops was one of today's specials with turnip ragu, snap peas and spicy sausage. There was a tad too much heat in the sauce for my liking, but the snap peas added a nice crunch to the perfectly seared scallops.

                                               
                                               
                                              1. re: mrtan
                                                MC Slim JB Jun 12, 2013 03:39 PM

                                                Man, I am so sick of the sorghum trend already! When will chefs stop leaning on this crutch?

                                                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                  opinionatedchef Jun 12, 2013 07:02 PM

                                                  ? Is that saying that they don't need sorghum to fly, and they would be better off (and you better served) if they went back to brown sugar, molasses, corn syrup, etc.?

                                                  1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                    MC Slim JB Jun 12, 2013 07:08 PM

                                                    I'm saying sorghum is the beet and goat cheese salad of 2013; it's only June, and it's already done to death. Next up: sorghum at The Cheesecake Factory. It's inevitable.

                                                    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                    1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                      opinionatedchef Jun 13, 2013 09:09 PM

                                                      yeah, i got that, that you're bored w/ it already. but i'm more interested in your reaction to sorghum itself: is it a great taste that really adds something to the sweets scene, certain to become a permanent menu fixture (like beet and chevre salad) or is it a fad and an unworthy one at that? And,though it doesn't sound like it, does the pastry chef at ST's use it in a particularly unique and/or successful way compared to the myriad other sorghum ventures you have sampled.....?

                                                      p.s.EXTRA EXTRA!Read all about it!
                                                      Cronuts filled with Sorghum de Leche Cream!

                                                      1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                        MC Slim JB Jun 14, 2013 04:35 AM

                                                        I'm joking. I've never seen sorghum anywhere outside of a burgoo, and that dish is not so common in these parts. (I had a burgoo of sorts at jm Curley's a few months ago, but I believe it had neither squirrel nor sorghum.)

                                                        The actual inescapable restaurant ingredient of the last twelve months is probably kale. I'm going to start a franchise called KaleBurgers: gonna be *huge*.

                                                        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                        1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                          l
                                                          LeoLioness Jun 14, 2013 06:52 AM

                                                          I'll see your kale burger and raise you a kale doughnut (with bacon of course. Have you heard the news? Bacon is very tasty).

                                                          1. re: LeoLioness
                                                            MC Slim JB Jun 14, 2013 08:18 AM

                                                            I totally predict bacon is going to be a thing.

                                                            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                            1. re: LeoLioness
                                                              opinionatedchef Jun 15, 2013 01:37 PM

                                                              from the nuts.com catalogue. i kid you not:

                                                              <Coconut Cacao Kale Granola>

                                                            2. re: MC Slim JB
                                                              jgg13 Sep 6, 2013 05:13 PM

                                                              Not enough road kill in the city for proper burgoo!

                                                              I've seen sorghum used at hungry mother

                                              2. threedogs May 23, 2013 04:36 PM

                                                Went there for the first time for lunch today!! (I know - finally!!) Son was taking a break from dieting & celebrating his 40 lb loss. He had the burger, I had the bahn mi - OMG, that bahn mi was divine! The combination of flavors was amazing. Son loved the burger - I was tempted, but lately I get sick whenever I have red meat - but I was elated with my choice.

                                                We both had the blueberry custard pie, which was, again, delicious. Just light enough after that meal so we didn't feel bloated, too.

                                                I forgot to ask the name of our waitress - we were chatting a bit, and she mentioned she had an operation a few wks ago. Wonder if this is why some people had a bit of a hard time with service... it would make sense, if one of their regular staff was out, and they had to hire someone to temp. Don't know - the service she gave was fantastic. No complaints - can't wait to go back.

                                                Edit: They had lobster on the menu today "1 1/4 lb of Snappy's Scituate Lobster" in a roll. Needless to say, it took me a LONG time to decide what to order...

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: threedogs
                                                  MC Slim JB May 23, 2013 07:21 PM

                                                  I think it's a very, very good burger in a town that now has a few of them, but I wouldn't risk "red meat poisoning" for it. I believe in the notion that the GI tract loses its way around beef with extended unfamiliarity, presumably a gut flora issue.

                                                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                  1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                    Boston_Otter May 24, 2013 07:19 AM

                                                    Having done a 15-year stint as a vegetarian before slooowly getting back into the world of red meat, I very much agree. Your body literally forgets how to deal with digesting it; it doesn't have the bacteria to process the stuff. I'll always remember a trip to Morimoto when I ordered their wagu beef and made an offhand comment about 'breaking my vegetarianism' for it. The waiter asked how long it'd been since I'd had beef, and then firmly told me that he wouldn't serve it to me because "I don't want to sell you food that will make you ill." He was right, of couse.

                                                  2. re: threedogs
                                                    m
                                                    mrtan May 24, 2013 08:45 AM

                                                    Was surprised that the lobster roll made it past 12:30pm yesterday. Luckily had one of the last few remaining orders. Celery leaves were a nice touch.

                                                  3. TrishUntrapped May 25, 2013 08:35 AM

                                                    In Boston to see the Red Sox this soggy Memorial Day weekend and decided to see if I could snag a last minute rezzie at Strip T's. Yes, at 5 p.m. on a Friday night they could take our party of three. Off to a good start.

                                                    Our meal was mostly excellent but with a couple dessert misses.

                                                    Moxie Chicken Wings: Thick, sweet, gooey Moxie sauce on well-cooked wings. I could taste the Moxie. Tasty.

                                                    Roasted Chicken a la Mattone, parsnips, swiss chard, walnut, ricotta. Excellent dish. Perfect moist chicken with all kinds of razzle dazzle flavors going on with the various components. My husband said it was "soul satisfying."

                                                    Grilled Bavette Steak, Creekstone Farms, KS, beets, sea island red peas, carrots, basil. Like the chicken dish, the steak was cooked a perfectly and the side flavor components added complexity making it a little party in your mouth. My daughter is not a huge beef eater, but she ate every bite.

                                                    Desserts:

                                                    Get the Blueberry Buttermilk Pie!!! This is what pie should be! Perfect crust, creamy buttermilk cream dotted with fresh blueberries. Tasted like Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes. Complemented beautifully by a quenelle of Lemon Verbena Ice Cream.

                                                    Two dessert misses:

                                                    “Memories of a Candy Bar,”caramelized white chocolate, black sesame, thai basil. While we appreciated the concept, the three of us didn't find this delicious. The white chocolate cake crumbs were very dry and filled with black sesame seeds that got stuck in our teeth. The Thai basil marshmallow/cream component was okay. Not great, not bad, just creaminess with a hint of basil. Overall not worth the calories, and those seeds...oh.

                                                    The real dessert miss though was the Coconut Suman, champagne mangoes, pandan, crunchy wild rice. A plate of thin little sticky rice jelled squares which were supposed to be infused with coconut milk but just tasted like flavorless paste. The few bits of mango were fine, but couldn't save it. Our server (who was lovely, very nice) saw we didn't eact much of the Suman asked if there was a problem, and I told her about the flavorless jell. She apologized, and when she brought our check said the dessert had been taken off the bill.

                                                    So it wasn't a perfect meal, but it was a perfectly good experience. I appreciate how the chefs at Strip T's take chances combining different herbs, spices and vegetables to create flavor sensations. Sometimes it's a hit, sometimes it's a miss, but if you never try new things you go nowhere. Every time I visit Boston I want to eat here and enjoy a new experience.

                                                    A word to the wise. Instead of little homemade marshmallows at the very end, like they served on our last visit, now they are offering little bits of pine nut brittle. I ate a tiny little piece the size of my pinky's fingernail, and man was it HOT! Really hot! Not spicy, just hot! Now that was a surprise!

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: TrishUntrapped
                                                      opinionatedchef May 25, 2013 03:08 PM

                                                      Very good comment encouraging adventurousness there.
                                                      and thx for the detailed report.

                                                    2. m
                                                      marketpeach Jul 27, 2013 07:59 PM

                                                      Tonight was my first visit to Strip T's. We've only lived in Boston for about a month, but have been making a point of eating our way around the city. Tonight was definitely the best meal we've had in our time here (including ICOB, No. 9 Park, and Puritan and Co.) unpretentious, but everything was right on the mark.

                                                      Appetizers:

                                                      Oysters: East Beach Blonde RI Oyters with black trumpet mushrooms, shallots, and champagne gel. The accompaniments rally brought out the mineral qualities in the oysters. We didn't love them quite as much as the PEI Summerside oysters we just had at Puritan and Co a few weeks ago, but an excellent presentation.

                                                      Fried Green Tomatoes: These were listed as a side, but we had them as a second app. The came in a crab batter with walnut sauce and rhubarb mostarda. This was far and away the best thing of the evening. The crab didn't really come through,it it didn't matter. These were incredible.

                                                      Entrees:

                                                      Salmon Special: I ordered the salmon special. Salmon was smoked to order to about a med. rare temp. Served over a succotash of sorts... Sweet corn, cherry tomatoes, wild boar prosciutto (I think), with trout roe and farmers cheese.

                                                      Grilled Bavette Steak: My SO ordered this as his main. Came with potatoes, labne, pea shoots, and sesame. The flavors were excellent, but we found the beef a little tough and the potatoes a tad undercooked for our tastes. All of this is just nitpicking over a dish that was just fine.

                                                      Dessert:

                                                      Pie of the day: Buttermilk blueberry. This was outrageously good. The main flavor was blueberries, just barely held together with the buttermilk filling and a thin, buttery pie crust.

                                                      Overall, we loved this dinner. We're so excited for Ribelle to open in our neighborhood! Our waiter tonight seemed to think it would be in the next week on two!

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: marketpeach
                                                        Bob Dobalina Jul 27, 2013 10:37 PM

                                                        The fried green tomatoes also came with pickled green beans when I had them. Agree - just a fantastic dish.

                                                        1. re: marketpeach
                                                          GretchenS Jul 28, 2013 10:40 AM

                                                          Nice report and welcome to the area! I had the fried green tomatoes recently and adored them. They were kind enough to make a non-crab version as I am allergic to shellfish. Also had a bluefish special with the same accompaniments as your salmon. Fish was perfectly cooked and the succotash was so fresh-tasting and wonderful, as were the picked green beans Bob D mentioned. My DCs had the blueberry pie and really loved it. I had a yogurt-dill panna cotta with gooseberries, red currants, blueberries, sunflower seeds and tiny shards of sweet-spicy graham cracker that was the most unusual and possibly best dessert I have ever had. It was also absolutely gorgeous. Their new(ish) pastry chef has it all going on.

                                                        2. opinionatedchef Jul 31, 2013 09:29 PM

                                                          Stopped by for late lunch today. Happy to say Consistency is as dependable as ever. The Oxtail Grilled Romaine w/ Egg and Siracha was as Perfecto! as ever; same w/ that unusual terrific (3 cuts)burger w/ smoked miso and house pickled onions, the great ungreasy fries and the cuminy coleslaw. The blueberry buttermilk tart was a wonderful end.
                                                          Apparently the chef is really happy with their new local seafood vendor and their methods; says this continues to be an exc year for seafood.

                                                          Overheard trade talk about the new place.They are expecting Ribelle to open in around 2 wks; 65 seats.They want to open with about 1/2 their menu so they can better control all the craziness that comes with new highly anticipated openings. Brookline agencies have been very helpful to them (what a relief) and electricity is in the air.

                                                          I thought it was so interesting what Jon said when asked who was going with them to Ribelle. He said that Tim and he had worked so hard to get Strip T's to where it is- that they had no intention of messing with that success. So it's just Tim and Jon who are going to Ribelle from STs(and the pastry chef .)

                                                          1. opinionatedchef Sep 3, 2013 10:14 PM

                                                            wow, are we lucky campers or what. During dinner there tonight we both decided that the main problem with ST's menu is that the descriptions they use(or that anyone might use) just don't accurately describe what you experience. When ordering, you just have to remind yourself that what you will be served is very likely going to be so much better than how it reads.

                                                            Perfect app of Japanese Octopus yaki (fritters), moist and chewy w/ the crisp exterior; the napping of octopus jus mayo and plum sauce- accented the fritters brilliantly. Our entrees were Scallops with a curried rich chanterelle bisque-of-a-sauce, and Pork loin and belly over peach onion sautee w/ black trumpets. Moistest and best flavored local pork i've ever had. But beyond those dishes was my epiphany of the night> i requested a side dish of the set up on their hangar steak dish- a melange of summer squash and tiny tomatoes with a burnt eggplant puree(think flame roasted red peppers, all finely pureed) and red quinoa crunch (cooked quinoa pan roasted till dry and crunchy- what a textural revelation combined with that wheaty flavor!) I am always amazed by the inventiveness in Jared's accompaniments to his proteins. (If they have enough on hand when you ask, they might make you entree portions of those magnificently varied melanges!)
                                                            The Mexican grilled corn was delish- i loved the cilantro mayo topping, and My Love enjoyed the spicy pickled peanuts (i removed mine, though they'd be great on another dish.)

                                                            I admit that i've let myself be sucked into all the current donut hype, and in fact, it was this donut that seduced me into eating there tonight. Well, it was REAlly something. Big sugared Brioche round filled with Corn pastry cream and glazed w/bits of basil leaf and blackberry jam. Enough for 2. (longer description here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/912952

                                                            We arrived at 6:50 and this was the first time we've ever gone (that was not at opening) when there were many tables open (but it was completely full by 8.) so if you've been wanting to go , it might be easier to get in since Ribelle opened. Service as friendly and quick as ever. Get thee back to ST's!

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                              GretchenS Sep 4, 2013 05:59 PM

                                                              A friend and I went tonight and there were tables and counter seats available at 7 unexpectedly. We shared the fried green tomatoes and fried edamame, both delicious, and then we each had the pork special that opinionatedchef describes -- absolute heaven on a plate -- definitely not for fat-phobes, but agree with oc that is incredibly flavorful pork. Huge portion, we should have split one, but I am glad we didn't as my friend is going away tomorrow so I got all the leftovers...

                                                              1. re: GretchenS
                                                                opinionatedchef Sep 5, 2013 10:21 PM

                                                                gretchen, that' so cool! i'm actually asking this sincerely but i can't figure out how to do that w/o sounding sarcastic.....> Do you think most people actually eat all that pork fat? I didn't think i could handle it AND the brioche donut, so I brought mine home to render for masa dough ( though i did eat that amazng crispy skin !)

                                                                1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                  GretchenS Sep 6, 2013 11:26 AM

                                                                  I don't know if most people would, but Jarrett said they had had several plates sent back as being too fatty so that now they say up front that it has a large fat cap and that if you don't care for that you might prefer ordering something else. Hence my "not for fat-phobes" comment. :)

                                                                  1. re: GretchenS
                                                                    v
                                                                    valcfield Sep 6, 2013 11:38 AM

                                                                    sounds delicious- any idea what breed of pork? (and sorry if i missed that in the exchange). the fat cap makes it sound like it might be mangalitsa, which i've had cuts where its a good 2/3 or more fat to 1/3 or less meat ratio, and it is fricken amazing. either way hope it might still be around when i make it in...

                                                                    1. re: valcfield
                                                                      GretchenS Sep 6, 2013 11:43 AM

                                                                      If they told me what breed it was, I didn't retain the information, sorry!

                                                                      1. re: GretchenS
                                                                        opinionatedchef Sep 6, 2013 03:53 PM

                                                                        same here but that ratio seems like what i had. Give em a call and ask- around 3pm.

                                                            2. GretchenS Sep 13, 2013 09:15 AM

                                                              Went last night with a friend and had another phenomenal meal. She had the fried oysters to start and loved them. I just watched (shellfish allergy). Then we split the chicken under a brick (a la mattone) which was wonderful, served on a bed of yummy mixed vegetables (including chard, eggplant, broccoli and tasting so much better than "mixed vegetables" might connote), with ricotta and walnuts, plus a special of yellow fin tuna (which we were told had been caught that morning off Nantucket), cooked beautifully rare, on a bed of wild rice cooked in veggie stock and circled by a harissa-spiked celeriac puree that had me actually sticking my finger into the plate to get the last little bits of it, it was so good. I think there was preserved lemon in one of the dishes as well. It amazes me that they just seem to keep upping their game with the food. Also, at 6:30 there were many empty tables and stools although the place was nearly full when we left about 8.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: GretchenS
                                                                opinionatedchef Sep 13, 2013 02:27 PM

                                                                At ST's especially, an index finger is a girl's best friend :-}
                                                                i used to look around to make sure that no one was watching, but now i just go for it and figure if i don't see them seeing me, then they're not seeing me!

                                                                And the veggie melange- another stellar combo from the side dish wizard! For me lately, while the protein entrees are usually delicious, I would title a ST's review something like:
                                                                "Strip T's: Where the Side Dish is King." or "STs: Where the Supporting Cast Always Trumps the Lead." What really impresses me is that those side dishes that have MANY components- do not come out muddy; each component is discernable and plays well with its teammates, and there is a unifying sauce or spice that leaves a major impression!

                                                                1. re: GretchenS
                                                                  c
                                                                  Crazy Egg Sep 13, 2013 06:43 PM

                                                                  Great review! I cannot wait to return to Strip-T's. I have lunch there, but do not go often enough for dinner. Glad to hear more tables appear to be open for dinner. Could almost never get in there for dinner until Ribelle opened.

                                                                2. lipoff Sep 14, 2013 01:35 PM

                                                                  I had to go to the Registry of Motor Vehicles recently and decided to offset the experience by grabbing lunch at Strip T's first.

                                                                  I had the Pho Real a sandwich of chicken, Thai basil, avocado, bean sprouts and a tangy sauce on a crusty roll. What a terrific sandwich. Terrific grilled chicken, fresh vegetables, and a wonderful heat and depth of flavor. All served with a smile.

                                                                  And I was in and out of the registry in only fifteen minutes! I should have stayed at Strip-Ts for dessert.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: lipoff
                                                                    opinionatedchef Sep 14, 2013 10:37 PM

                                                                    yay, that's exactly the lunch dish i (have never had and )was wanting to order next time!

                                                                  2. opinionatedchef Oct 1, 2013 07:31 PM

                                                                    http://www.miserylovescovt.com/supper/

                                                                    As i considered posting this, i thought, "but no one's gonna beLIEVE me (that a Strip T's philosophical sibling exists in Northern VerMONT, 5 minutes from Burlington!") But then i remembered that this is Chowhound, where CHs LIVE to discover food gems in the alleyways and hinterlands around us.....

                                                                    Cut to the chase:
                                                                    if you ever find yourself up in that stunning corner of New England (3 hrs from Boston) and you are a fan of Strip T's, get yourself to Misery Loves Company.Many terrific lunch items but a larger and even more creative menu at dinner. (My fav dish tonight- a grilled octopus with heirloom legumes and smoked yoghurt.) So much in common w/ ST's; it feels almost like a Siamese twin: Asian, Turkish, French, Southern U.S., etc. influences, menus that do NOT adequately describe the dishes, a 'no food rules' kind of open culinary attitude,modest low-key chef/owners, good portioning and fair pricing, as well as the restaurant size, atmosphere, and casual informed welcoming service. What a thrill!

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