We still you pix and stories from the trip the cinetrix and the Cod got to take to Island Creek Oysters. Long/short: a) these folks are not messing around (read Shucked, if you want to know where your oysters come from b) I'm sure the oysters they raise special for Thomas Keller taste nice at Per Se, but not as good as they taste coming right out of the water on a boat, in August, in Duxbury Harbor. c) If I get to pick, I am coming back as an oyster dog. See right.
And now they are hosting a Thing. If you can manage to gag down short plates from Rialto, Mary's Fish Camp, Formaggio, Gramercy Tavern and a host of other spots at either end of the Fung Wah corridor, and bear up under the burden of unlimited oysters, you could console yourself with knowing you are supporting aquaculture in Haiti. You can read about the bigger picture hurr. Were the Cod not previously committed to a Tiger v. Cardinal contest, would be there w/ bells on fins.
Not much time in TLOTB&TC for the Cod this summer, but a quick trip to cinetrix' homefolks was parleyed into a trip to Island Creek Oysters and Coppa Boston. Been wanting to try Coppa Boston since being seated w/ co-proprietor Jamie Bisonnette during last year's epic Maws/Brock dinner, part II. Food was great, FOH folks, esp Amy were great, and they took good care of us - charuterie highlights included the tongue and a ridiculous beef tongue pastrami, and unlike most such plates there was not a clear last place finisher. The bone marrow and beef heart pastrami pizza was one of the best things I've tasted in a long time - an unholy alliance of pizza and smoked meat flavors, without seeming like it was trying to do too much all at once. Of the food, more soon.
As it happened, we were in for lunch before this evening's Bisonnette/Marcus Samuellson dinner. In all of what I experienced, however, the most impressive thing may have been by accident - I happened to peek into the kitchen, and there was Bisonnette, the owner of Coppa (and Toro), Food and Wine's best new chef, etc, shucking corn. The main dude was doing a task that home cooks usually delegate to small children. It was like watching Tom Brady throw a block on a halfback option, and it said a lot about the ethos that makes a good kitchen work.
It's been a rough week or two for the student newspaper at the Cod's day job. First, reactionary sexism only a Roiphe could love, then a shockingly dimwitted ant-abortion piece that mixed slut-shaming and some sort of delusional sperm rights argument. But! Critiqing student journalism is like shooting fish in a barrel, and hey! they're just kids, right? Anyway, the Cod is on the record as enjoying the genre of the college newspaper review, such as this Bob Jones University review of noted oriental restaurant PF Chang's. But! The good news is that the bad news goes further than one would imagine. Even the World's Greatest University's student paper of record can produce this:
FOC TWM passed along news of a new BBQ joint coming to TLOTB&TC, called The Bearded Pig. For when you get tired of the bean and the cod, BBQ is a nice change of pace, but in Greater Boston, they still talk about long-departed Jake & Earl's like they talk about Gretzky in Edmonton. (Redbones is fine, but let's be real here.) As mentioned previously, Somerville struggles with swine, the jury is out (place has not opened for eat-in yet) but there are some reasons for concern. The menu offers eight meats and five sauces, which is at least six more meats and three more sauces than one would like to see. More alarming are the sides, as in "all our sides are vegetarian, except for Brunswick Stew." I asked, and yes, the baked beans and the collards are somehow, mysterously, prepared without meat. I hope this place does well -- it's a good location, and a great name, and I hope they have the best pulled pork north of Lexington, NC. However, lapses like these w/ the sides are why it remains difficult for people to take northeast BBQ seriously.
Sounds interesting, maybe, though a New Yorker will be wondering if Bostonians are plugging the dates into their Palm Pilots and riding Razr scooters to these events. The bigger news is that you can get a bowl of ramen at Clio for $10:
The article mentions another spot that does ramen on the reg, but quotes one of its principals saying "Ramen is the new black." Unfortunate, but given that they describe their spot as "A funky indie diner setting," maybe not a surprise.
1) W/ some help from my brothers-in-law, checked out the $16 hot dog at The Butcher Shop. Mad respect for Barbara Lynch, but it's not 10x as good as the $1.60 dog at Skins. Just a little bit de trop. Or maybe just too big to handle dogwise. Also, the Butcher Shop vibe is a little untz, untz, untz. (Yes, the Cod did eat a $16 hot dog in the South End, and now complains that the dog was over the top, and the atmosphere a mite too Night At the Roxbury.
2) Comparatively, the $12 veau chaud is a bargain, but it sounds a lot more like a tube of tete de veau than a real hot dog.
3) Elsewhere, some shifts for Spotted Trotter mean more hot dogs for ATLiens. Right now, Spotted Trotter is my favorite restaurant/purveyor I've never been to, and they appear to be at the forefront of the hotdogaissance I'm predicting as the burger thing starts to go into a strong fade.
4) Speaking of the hotdogaissance, when will Tony Maws burst free from his mind-forged Craigie on MainBurger manacles, and drop the Maws Dog on us? Play us off, Zep:
The Eater empire thrusts a tentacle north to Boston. As a native expat, it is an experience for the Cod to see coverage of TLOTB&TC through the familiar Eater lens. Long story short? Some things change, some things never change. Evidently, MIT has had enough of the All Asia Cafe, and the demise of institutions has been a speciality of Boston institutions since the Half-Way Covenant dropped. On the things changing front, this lede: "The most anticipated barbecue restaurant in Boston history somehow managed a very quiet soft opening" Anticipated BBQ restos in Boston? With soft openings? We're not in Somerville any more, for reals.
No time to locate the actual quotation, but George V. Higgins, a Boston writer, had a line about how NYC is the big leagues. As far as restaurant criticism goes, seems to be true, as far as the lead critic for the Boston Globe is concerned. It's been a while since I read a Globe review, and Devra First is, I will wager, safe from any offers of Sifton's old gig:
In a way hard to describe to those not familiar with the genre, the review reads like a college newspaper resto critic with a deeper expense account. True, it does not help that Forum is evidently exactly the assy kind of spot you would expect in the 700 block of Boylston, but still. So, welcome Eater Boston, but please: