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CALLING ALL HOUNDS!: Please Post ONE Chowish Review Here

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CALLING ALL HOUNDS!: Please Post ONE Chowish Review Here

C. Simon | Apr 28, 2003 01:53 PM

This is a request for all hounds to post ONE review of a chowish restaurant. Ideally, a discovery that doesn't get much press on this board. Or, perhaps, a new spin on an old favorite. Anything! Just some chow!

The recent thread regarding Bob's in Medford reminded me how few chowish reviews and discoveries there have been lately on this board. Bob's hasn't received much attention on this board, but from the sounds of the positive feedback, it may merit some serious attention. I know I'm heading there as soon as I can.

When threads digress (for example) into debates about what counts as good service, I am tempted to chime in with my own opinion. I am also tempted to chime in with a gentle reminder to get back to the chow. However, I generally resist those temptations, aware that further digressions will only multiply the problem.

This certainly isn't inteded as a criticism of anyone on this board. Rather, I am optimistically hoping to build some chow momentum. Perhaps if we all post just ONE chowish review in response to this post, we can build some momentum for an avalanche to follow.

In short, I'm here (as most of us are!) to find great food, AND to provide my own tips to people who are similarly passionate about food. So, let's get to it!

I'll start.

Blu
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I had dinner at Blu the other evening in the Ritz Carlton. While Blu is widely regarding as an excellent dining destination, so this hardly counts as news, my chow tip is this: By ordering carefully, a hound can escape with an inspiring meal without breaking the bank. The two of us shared four appetizers and four drinks for about $100. My wife said it was the best meal she had all year.

Dry pan seared calamari was my favorite. There was some definite fiery spice to the dish, but I don't recall the source. Something green. I do recall olives. I do recall loving it.

Braised rabbit with orechiette and caramelized onions (a dish that the chef warned us would soon be off the menu) was also delightful. At first taste, there is the fear that it's going to be all about caramelized onions, as they leap into the starring role. Quickly, however, the tastes of the supporting cast emerge, and the dish takes on a complexity that rewards scrutinizing tasting.

Spring pea soup blies that evening's cold weather and announces that spring is here. Bursting with pea flavor. The salty pancetta garnish is an unnecessary, but welcome, bonus.

An octopus terrine swimming in a lobster bisque is a divine combination that I had never seen before. The fennel-seeded crouton helped make things even more interesting. I would be happy to have this every day for the rest of my life.

All the wines were $8 a glass. Not bad for the Ritz.

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