Monday, April 21, 2008

4 Quick and Dirty Reviews

Since moving to Bean-town we have started going out to dinner significantly less. I think this is in part because it’s so easy to cook in our kitchen that I want to do it all the time. I also think it’s because the restaurants aren’t quite as accessible as in NYC. In Boston you can go out to eat at very nice places, you just have to think about it in advance. In NYC we would walk out our door and find a place down the street, and it wasn’t always great, but there were so many of them to choose from.

With that said, we have gone out a couple of times to a couple different places that I though I would tell you about.

Sibling Rivalry
We went to Sibling Rivalry with TC and JW for dinner after going to see some art in the South End. The restaurant has two Chefs and two menus. The Chefs are brothers and they pick ingredients and then each do a menu item based on that ingredient. It’s a unique approach that lends to a lot of sharing. We had fantastic service and the food was amazing. The only critique is that we had a reservation but were not seated until 25 minutes after. It seemed from the crowd in the bar that this was standard and they wanted to ensure you had just enough time for a couple drinks before being seated.

I met EB for lunch at Rangzen one Saturday morning. I wasn’t sure what to expect because I had never tried Tibetian food before. Someone had said to me “it’s a cross between Chinese and Indian” which made a lot of sense and sounded good. The restaurant is very cozy and off to one side had a fairly large buffet. We grabbed our plates and started filling them up. There was lots of fruit and salads, some tempura vegetables, a great chicken curry with rice and a Tofu and broccoli dish that I loved. There was also some excellent chai tea with milk. We had 3 or 4 plates of food and stayed 3 hours until they shut down all for 8$ a piece. All in all, a great place to grab lunch.

Harvest was written up in Food & Wine’s 2008 Go List. It’s a large restaurant in Harvard square with a beautiful back patio. JR and I went there to celebrate my birthday last week and of all the places I have gone in Boston, this was probably the biggest disappointment. Don’t get me wrong, we had some great food. My salad was excellent and JR had an excellent pork entrée, but the service was so-so and they sat us in the crowded bar although there were seats in the dining room. I would probably give it another shot except it was awfully expensive for what it was.

Gaslight Brasserie du Coin
Gaslight made me decide to give French Bistros another shot. We went here with a group of friends to celebrate my birthday. The choice was made by JR and my friends and was a surprise to me, and boy did they do a good job. We had a wonderful table that wasn’t too big for 7, but also wasn’t too small. Our waitress was the perfect combination of attentive but not pushy and she was super helpful answering our questions. I ordered a steak with caramelized shallots which was served with a side of fries. After making a comment about not liking fries, I wolfed down the whole thing, including every single little skinny perfectly salted fry. The steak was the best I have had in a long time and the caramelized shallots were perfection. The price was totally reasonable and I would go back in a heart beat.

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