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Saturday, July 11, 2015

Why I eat out

Consistency is an interesting word and I used it deliberately. I love going to the places that know me and offer the best homey service accompanying great, creative food. It feels comforting to build relationships with people at restaurants and to be a regular. It adds a level of consistency to a fast paced world and life. Not to worry, I still love trying new places but below is a recap of some of my favorite consistent spots around Boston highlighting some excellent dishes and service. 

During the month of March, once it stopped snowing, I ate at Strip T's at least once a week (maybe more if you ask my boyfriend) and had a bowl of their smoked miso ramen and a small Caesar salad each time. There was something comforting about both of those things and the perfect service. I even have a spot at the bar that I usually sit. They know my voice when I call. That miso ramen is one of the best dishes I have had and coupled with the perfectly cooked noodles it was a nice hearty, flavorful warm dish to get out of the snow zone. The Caesar salad is truly one of a kind. After I eat it, I sweat garlic for 24 hours but it's worth it. Consistently perfection. Also in the month of March and related to Strip T's, I went to the BTG Boston's first series of events where I got to enjoy Tim Maslow's fine Ribelle food paired with some of the best of Boston's sommeliers' wine choices. I loved that it felt like one big giant family style meal-- put together by two of my favorites, Theresa Paopao and Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli.

Smoked Miso Ramen at Strip T's
Over the winter, I went to Lineage for burgers at the bar about once a week. It was nice to go out, get a great glass of wine, a phenomenal burger and speak with Brad, Amy, Matt or even Jeremy, at the bar. Anything Jeremy Sewall does is perfection and I think Lineage is one of his less written about "famous" restaurants, but it is the original and that burger is my "best of Boston." I'm not a big fan of fries generally, so I usually sub out fries for a side salad when I have a burger. When I go to Lineage, I eat the hand cut fries. If I really feel like splurging, I go for dessert with a tea pairing. My favorite of the winter was a brulee'd banana split. What can I say, I'm a sucker for red meat and any dessert that has bananas. I am also a huge fan of Island Creek, Eastern Standard and Row34, but those were a bit more of a trek this winter.

Bruleed Banana Split and Tea at Lineage
Another spot or series of spots I think of when discussing good service is anything Barbara Lynch. I love all of her spots that I've tried. I still have to try B&G, but if I want excellent food with perfect service, I go to any of her spots. My favorite for special occasions is Menton because I feel like I'm at dinner and a show. It's perfect food with the right choreography. I haven't been in a while but after I went to a few Full Plate lunches, I felt that the staff at the whole restaurant group got to know me. As I mentioned in previous posts anything at Drink is a good time-- they take the decision making out of the equation for you and the cocktails are perfect. I feel like my soul is being fed at Sportello-- through tagliatelle and coconut cake and at The Butcher Shop with the charcuterie platter and wine. The service is friendly and consistent at each place. I love the ability to go from formal at Menton to more casual at the other spots in terms of look and feel but to have the same great quality of food and service.

Charcuterie and wine at Butcher Shop
Service and consistency matters as does creativity. Sometimes in a super fast paced world, knowing what you're going to get from a service and food quality is all you need for a slice or a plate of happiness.

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