Food, Beer, and Travel

a dump from the mind of Jon Piper

Posts Tagged ‘Boston’

Boston – Ten Tables

Posted by jwpiper on January 29, 2009

Whenever I need to be in Boston on a Tuesday night, Ten Tables in Jamaica Plain is the first place I call. I think I first found out about it more or less simultaneously through Zagat and a friend who lives in Jamaica Plain. Generally, I’m relegated to 9:30 or 10pm seatings, as the restaurant has a strong local following and is limited to 10 tables. It is truly a neighborhood restaurant while simultaneously offering some of the best fine dining in Boston – and certainly at the best prices. The Tuesday 4-course wine pairing menu is a paltry $42.

The chef, David Punch, specializes in good, clean food made with local ingredients. Some of the plates are familiar and homey and others are combinations which wouldn’t necessarily have crossed my mind. All are well considered and executed – I’ve yet to have a course which didn’t impress. Stan Hilbert is a refreshing sommelier – passionate, real, and unhaughty. His pairings are always equally well considered, and the two along with the rest of the team create a unique experience which I look forward to on my currently frequent trips to Boston.

This Tuesday started with moules mariniéres, mussels in a crème fraîche with taragon, shallots, parsley, and wine, paired with a 2006 Muscadet Sevre et Maine Domaine de la Batardiere. The mussels were huge and succulent and the wine bright and minerally. The second course was a garbanzo bean and chorizo ragout paired with 2005 Ad Libitum, Domaine la Grange Tiphaine. The stew was fresh with a rich earthiness and spice lended by the spanish chorizo and begs me to attempt it at home. The third course was an herb roasted all natural culotte steak, escarole potato cake, and fourme d’amber butter paired with 2003 Saumur, “les Vigneaux”, Chateau la Tour Grise. The pair was perfect, and the wine gives an extreme IPA a run for its money alongisde a blue cheese. I’ll be seeking it out in the near future. The final course was a cheese, Ste. Maure de Touraine, paired with a 2003 Vouvray Moelleux, Domaine Lemaire Fournier which was a nice clean way to end the evening.

Between this location in Jamaica Plain and the new restaurant to be opened in Cambridge in a matter of weeks, I think David is building a reputation for excellent food. And atmosphere they’ve created results in a memorable dining experience. If I were local, it would be tempting to make it a weekly ritual.

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Boston – Green Dragon Tavern

Posted by jwpiper on January 27, 2009

Most of my trips (even before I realized it) to Boston include a visit to the Green Dragon Tavern. Its proximity to The Union Oyster House and North End paired with cheap lobster make it a must visit. The beer isn’t much to speak of, but usually, there are specials for 1.25lb lobster for $13/14 or if not lobster rolls for $13. I usually opt for the steamed lobster, but today I had to keep my fancy clothes on, so I went for the less-likely-to-make-a-mess lobster roll. Lots of prime lobster meat just barely held together by mayonnaise with just enough celery for crunch in the nook of a tosted roll. Pretty delicious.

The space is cozy, the service fast and curt. With the money you save, get some pricey oysters next door at the Union Oyster House or finish your meal with a half mile walk to Mike’s Pastries in North End for some delicious cannoli and coffee.

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