The Usual Suspects [Greater Boston, MA]


Thanks for the report.

To (not-)answer your question on `go-to “usual suspects”’ (man, the problem with nesting quotes), we have several: we’ve taken people to Oleana and/or Neptune if we feel it’s warranted, or to Shangri La, and to much lesser places otherwise. For the most part, if it’s a group of people, I cook. (Suffice it to say, they never complain, but never return – a win-win for me.)


Great report. We describe Eastern Standard as one of the places with “adults in charge”. Though for classic bistro fare Aquitaine competes for our affections.

Usual suspects? Babbo Enoteca e Pizzeria, Legal Harborside, Yvonne’s, Salty Pig, Row 34, Island Creek, Sycamore. Depends on where we are and our mood, of course.


I have boldfaced and italicized, what I now know is the key element of your post (although I do sympathize with your eating limitations, and celebrate your love for your cousins).

Damn! You make your own “pork, duck liver and lamb paté?” What does it take ($$$, or $$$$$$, or otherwise) to get to know you? (Not just for the joy of it – exhilarating though I’m sure it is – but to eat your livers.)


My livers are valuable to me so you may not eat them! :slight_smile:

A rough country-style pate is no harder than meatloaf. I have made them with various different meats including venison (but never lamb, that was intriguing). I know I posted my recipe somewhere, I will look for it and link it if you like.

Chicken or duck liver mousse is also fairly straightforward, I have used recipes from James Peterson, Delia Smith and Penelope Casas. Having cleaned livers 10 pounds at a time back in my restaurant days* they do not intimidate me.

*I was a waitress but at one amazing place I worked I traded free prep work for cooking lessons from the chef and she naturally gave me the worst jobs, such as cleaning 10 pounds of livers at a time. Totally worth it.


Insert your Hannibal Lector joke here, folks.


My livers are valuable to me so you may not eat them!

Really? I don’t understand your reluctance. It’s all good (food).

I will look for it and link it if you like.

Yes, I like very much.

Having cleaned livers 10 pounds at a time back in my restaurant days*
they do not intimidate me.

*I was a waitress but at one amazing place I worked I traded free prep
work for cooking lessons from the chef and she naturally gave me the worst j
obs, such as cleaning 10 pounds of livers at a time. Totally worth it.

This is fascinating, You, must start a new thread “The early life and times of GretchenS”.

Otherwise I shall have to ask one of the mods of this group.


The key question is, does GretchenS eat fava beans and drink chianti?
If she does, her liver covers all bases.

Man, what are the penalties for suggesting you eat the liver of a mod?
A whipping from a mod (he asked eagerly)?


Link to pate recipe: Hungry Onion Recipe Collection
I have made a venison version as noted in the linked recipe. I am going to try lamb sometime soon, inspired by Eastern Standard, using some thyme for flavoring.

Maybe we should start a “Checkered Pasts” thread… Remember the old IHOP on Concord Ave by Fresh Pond? Yeah, I worked there.


Thanks. I was salivating as I read the recipe.

(Denise) #150

That is a blast from the past. Sometimes I think that most of my restaurant knowledge is about places that are but memories at this point. :wink:


My husband and I stopped at Revival, Chef Nookie Postal’s newish cafe in the office park/condo development on Alewife Park Dr. behind Alewife Station in Cambridge MA. The George Howell Kenya varietal drip coffee was really good, as were the mini carrot cake and the apple hand pie, which had an excellent pastry enclosing a tasty filling. The croissants and other pastries looked terrific, and the sandwich/bowls menu sounded promising. All the breads and the English muffins are made in-house.

Weekend parking is easy behind the cafe. I’m not sure how weekday parking is but will check the next time we stop in. It’s a really convenient location for us to grab a snack/coffee drink or a breakfast sandwich.


@bear Thanks for posting about Revival. Had read about it several times and when I go into the office, I bike to Alewife and I have seen the sandwich board sign pointing in the direction of the café but I never seem to have time to make a detour. I need to reprioritize!


What’s the fat content in your ground veal, pork? What do you use for weight? Last time I tried a country pate I got overzealous with the weight and it was dry as sawdust.


I try for fairly fatty on the ground pork and take what I can get on the ground veal which for me is increasingly hard to find. For a standard size loaf pan I use a foil-wrapped brick which I bought brand new for that purpose.


Some very fun and food-oriented colleagues who live in other parts of the country were in town last night and we went to Bambara. We were in a sort of oval high-backed booth in a corner which was just perfect as it cocooned us away from the rest of the room and was very comfortable – there were 5 of us but it would have fit 6 no problem. We started with well-made cocktails and an order of the decadent thick-cut fries. Then 3 folks had the wild mushroom soup which they all loved, another had the burrata with peppers and tapenade which was very tasty and I had the little gem salad with tahini Caesar dressing which was excellent as always. While we were eating these I was telling everyone how killer the dry-aged burger is there and the senior guy there (who would pick up the check, gotta love those expense accounts!) flagged our waiter down and said “we just heard how great your burger is and we all want to try it. Can you ask the kitchen to make us one and cut it up so we can all have some?” So after a bit out comes a burger, nicely cut up into 6 wedges, each wedge beautifully skewered with one of those long bamboo picks so it’s possible to pick it up and eat it – really nice job by the kitchen and everyone swooned over their bites of burger. And of course with it came more of those amazing fries. Luckily we’d all gone small with our mains: 2 of us had the small portion of cavatelli with spicy lamb ragu, feta and mint, 2 had the small portion of spinach and cheese ravioli with squash, sage and toasted hazelnuts and one had the warm hummus with fall vegetables. Both pastas were divine, didn’t taste the hummus. We had a nice bottle of Montepulciano. The online menu is not up to date and I have no sweet tooth so hazy on the desserts everyone else shared – there was a roasted apple tart, pumpkin crème brulee and beignets of some sort – and then I was a bad influence (again!) and we all ended up with glasses of nonino. Such a thoroughly pleasant evening!

Chickadee [Seaport, Boston, MA]

Just thought I’d give a shoutout to Area 4 Cafe in Kendall. We stopped in for a breakfast sandwich this morning and were reminded why they have our favorite. Our winning combo is egg, extra cheese, caramelized onions and banana peppers on a house-made English. Very satisfying. The baked goods are also top-notch. We split a buttery raspberry and cheese Danish for dessert and were quite happy. The Barrington coffee is also very good, but a bit weak for our tastes. I’ll stick with the excellent cappuccino next time. The young woman behind the counter was really warm and helpful and clearly a fan of the food. A nice and tasty way to spend a day off.


Edit: this is about the Davis location of Revival
Two pieces of info (probably need a new thread, mods)- Revival is now open til 5 weekdays! And they have free seltzer on tap! What’s not to love?!

I had the kale salad there the other day- very generous portion, lots of crunchy bits and add ins that make it eat like a lunch. I’m still undecided on the English muffin- maybe my memory is faulty, but it doesn’t seem quite up to the deliciousness standard of Crema’s homemade English muffins. It doesn’t have any cornmeal or obvious griddling.

Revival Cafe [Cambridge and Somerville, MA]

Figured I’d post a couple of pics from our Monday holiday breakfast sandwich at A4. It’s probably my favorite breakfast sandwich, although I do like Revival, and Flour’s is pretty delicious, too. It’s the usual extra cheese, caramelized onions and banana peppers. And, because that wasn’t rich enough, a strawberry cheese danish for dessert.


I was out and about at lunchtime today and stopped into Clover DTX. Had their Roman Tomato Soup, which is garnished with small housemade potato chips and grated Pecorino. Absolutely fantastic soup!


You’re a bad one Ms. GretchenS.

I’ve an antipathy to Clover, but so stratospheric is my regard for you that I’ve resolved to try this soup. If I stop posting after I’ve had it, the HO community will know whom to applaud.