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This week in Kendall Square Dining...

thegforceny | Nov 2, 201802:20 PM

This visit included some nice eating, aside from the in-office catering.

Sunday night, Nashville Hot chicken at State Park. Do not like the concept of the place. Ironic hipster circa 2005. Dumpy basement bar with games. Low, red-hued lighting. Had nice chats with the bar staff and guests: all nerdy guys. Guided me to a drink which was pretty good - the mezcal one. That chicken is very hot. I was warned too. And asked if I wanted a side of blue cheese dressing. Sure. Later saw that little paper cup of dressing was something like $1.50 on the bill. I like it hot but this chicken could've been 1/2 a notch tamer. The flavor was complex and delicious but kicked my ass. I'd take a break to let my mouth and lips cool off, and crave more. Eat, start sweating, eyes watering, panting, but go back in. Then regret it. And the cycle repeated itself. Greens served with it were too garlicky. Pickles good. (I love vinegar.) Couldn't finish the 3 pieces of chicken and sides. Chyrsanthemum shot cooled my mouth down.

Tuesday lunch at Dumpling Daughters. Really nice, bright, welcoming faster food concept! Ordered the pork belly fried rice bowl. Pork was very fatty (of course, it's belly) and had a great taste. Marinated? Added a splash of black vinegar and sriracha. And cucumber salad. Just sliced cucumber in a vinaigrette so delicious I drank it from the take-out container. (I love vinegar.) Will totally return. Kinda pricey. I think that meal was like $18.

After a long two days I felt like a martini and oysters at the bar, maybe a salad. Headed to Legal Seafood and immediately got depressed. Looks like a third-tier city airport bar. Just ugly, ugly, ugly. Sat at the bar where a paid tab and crumpled napkins were. Bartender set down the menus and welcomed me without cleaning up the bar first. I asked if he’d do that, please. Thank God they took their sweet time to take my order. It gave me enough time to respect my authentic self, get up, and LEAVE.

Stumbled upon Catalyst. Now that's more like it! Half dozen Falmouth oysters with great mignonette (I love vinegar) and martini. Pretty crowded for a Tuesday. I wasn't that hungry so had the cheeseboard Average. Three American soft cheeses, including two goat. Could have offered more variety.Good grilled bread though. They have 4 wines on the Coravin, including a Pouilly Fume that was delicious, at $25 per. The wine list is great. Some real gems. I had a nice chat with the sommelier and she offered me a few tastes. Settled on a cognac aged in sherry barrel.

Back Monday for the entire week. Craigie on Main and Cafe Sushi on m'radar.

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