Morse Fish Company

Overall taste: 7.5/10 | 2017 | 1401 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

We walked by this place by chance. We didn’t actually try any of their hot food and only bought some stuff from their market section. It has a huge seafood selection (mainly deep-fried). We’d love to come back to order from their restaurant menu in the future.

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Lobster ($16 each; 3 for $45) [It’s a generous amount for $16 and it was fresh. This doesn’t come with seasoning but it’s already salty due to sea water. We mainly bought it for the convenience factor.]
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Crab cake ($2.25) [We can’t taste any crab in this, it was more like a potato croquette. However we still found it delicious]
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Stuffed clams ($2.25) [It is on the salty side, but there is a generous amount of clams in this. Jeff found it so-so, but Lynn really liked it.]

Biagio Ristorante & Bar

Overall taste: 7.75/10 | 2017 | 123 Moody St, Waltham, MA 02453

+++ = highly recommend | – – – = do not recommend

We received a $100 gift certificate for this restaurant, but we remain objective in our review.

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Mussels Dijon – white wine, dijon mustard, garlic, butter, tomatoes & rosemary, served w/ grilled bread ($14.95) [The mussels were fresh and well-cooked but they were on the small side. Lynn would prefer it without mustard but Jeff liked it.]
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– – – Mini beef wellington – w/ truffle demi-glaze ($14.95) [We both did not like their beef wellington. The meat was tough and not meaty enough. The crust wasn’t good as well.]
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+++ Seared jumbo sea scallops – w/ lemon, white belgian chocolate risotto & grilled asparagus ($26.95) [These scallops were seared to perfection! The white chocolate risotto was weird but good at the same time.]
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+++ Lobster ravioli – homemade ravioli filled w/ plump maine lobster in a lobster sherry cream sauce ($27.95) [This is on the heavy and creamy side but if you like lobster bisque, you’d like this. We thought that their ravioli wrapping could be thinner. However, we really enjoyed this overall.]
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Grand marnier creme brulee – vanilla custard, grand marnier and crystallised sugar ($9.75) [This tasted like regular creme brulee with a hint of orange taste, presumably from the grand marnier.]
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Tiramisu – espresso soaked biscotti layered with mascarpone cream and cocoa ($9.75) [We really liked the taste of their mascarpone cream but there wasn’t enough of it. You can tell from the picture that it’s mainly filled with biscotti.]
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Cioccolato – warm molten lava cake with vanilla bean gelato and rasberry puree ($9.75) [We felt that this was closer to a moist sponge cake than a lava cake. We would definitely have liked it more if the interior was more molten.]

L’Espalier

Overall taste: 9/10 | 2017 | 774 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

+++ = highly recommend | – – – = do not recommend

We really like L’Espalier and would probably go more often if it’s cheaper. We got their 3-course brunch for $65pp (served on Saturdays and Sundays). On Wednesday to Friday, they serve their 5-course lunch for $68pp and you also have the option of ordering from their a la carte menu. If you ever go, remember to take their 20% off coupon on your way out for your next visit.

We find a lot of food (especially in the U.S.) to be either too salty or sweet to the extent that we can’t appreciate the taste of the dish. This is one of the rare places where we find food seasoned to our liking, which is why we gave it such a high rating. We generally liked all their dishes except one of the desserts (see below).

Brunch:
Amuse Bouche, Chef Jacob’s smoothe, First, Main, Dessert ($65pp. some selections require a $10 supplement)

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Flavoured butter (amuse-bouche) [The flavour was extremely subtle and it tasted like regular butter.]
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Cranberry muffin & thyme scone (amuse-bouche) [We liked both their muffin and scone. Jeff prefers the muffin while Lynn prefers the scone. We weren’t sure if the butter (above) was meant for these since they were already quite buttery.]
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Chef Jacob’s smoothie – banana, pineapple & clementine [Jeff found it a little weird while Lynn liked it. We are not sure what they put in it but Lynn tasted a cheesy flavour while Jeff tasted some sort of herb.]
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+++ Lobster bisque – maine lobster / melted leeks [It was on the sour side, but it tasted really good. Jeff’s only complaint is that there was too little lobster meat.]
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+++ Roasted hudson valley foie gras – bitter almond pancake / roasted pear ($10 supplement) [We are both big foie gras fans and we really liked everything about this dish. The pancake and pear were not overly sweet or strong and they complemented the perfectly seared foie gras really well.]
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+++ Roasted loch etive trout – spring peas / fried capers / asparagus [If you’ve never had trout, it tastes and look very similar to salmon. The trout was cooked to our preference where the middle was a little rare. It also went extremely well with their sauce.] 
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+++ Ribeye – truffled eggs / sunchoke / roasted salsify ($10 supplement) [Our favourite part of ribeye is actually the ribeye cap, but this ribeye didn’t have a cap.. Apart from that, everything tasted really good. It almost seemed like the chef made sure every single ingredient was there for a reason, and at the perfect proportion.]
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– – – Jelly donut – filled cranberry-orange jam / ricotta ice-cream [The ricotta icecream was good, but their donut was a huge disappointment. It tasted like donut that was fried and left out on the table for 2 days. The exterior was not crispy and the dough was hard. We noticed several people who also did not finish their donuts.]
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Chocolate pot de creme – shortbread cookie / vanilla ice cream [We requested to have their chai spice icecream substituted with something else. We forgot to confirm what they substitute it with but we think it’s vanilla. We have to say this is a very unique chocolate pot de creme. It was more savoury than sweet. Jeff liked it but Lynn prefers her chocolate sweet.]
 

 

Russell House Tavern

Overall taste: 7.75/10 | 2017 | 14 John F. Kennedy St, Cambridge, MA 02138

+++ = highly recommend | – – – = do not recommend

Pictured above:  Lobster slider – pickled watermelon rind, arugula, buttered old bay brioche ($6) [lobster salad was good, but the buns could be more toasted and have more butter]

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Torchon of foie gras – boston brown bread, pickled sour cherries ($14) [we really liked the foie gras itself, but not a fan of the brown bread and pickled sour cherries]
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+++Steak tartare – crispy-fried egg, black garlic, truffle oil ($12) [The crispy-fried egg is really good. We recommend eating it by itself. We read a yelp review about the beef chunks being too chewy and we agree. It’s the chewiest beef tartare we had. While Lynn find this average, Jeff really likes it because there wasn’t much seasoning that would distract you from the taste of the beef.
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– – – Leek and mushroom pizza – melted leek, vermont goat cheese, wild mushroom, white truffle oil ($13) [This was extremely salty and greasy, and could definitely use more leek and mushrooms]
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+++Red wine-braised shortrib – oxtail pot au feu, roasted bone marrow ($28) [The shortrib was extremely tender. The oxtail was on the salty side, but it’s fine if you eat it with the potatoes and carrots. Overall, this is a very heavy dish. Jeff found it average but Lynn really liked it]
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Chocolate ganache tart – kumquat marmalade ($8) [this is probably one of the heaviest chocolate dessert out there; it was so chocolatey that it’s difficult to cut through it. We both really liked it but we recommend one portion for 2 people since it’s so thick]

Precinct Kitchen + Bar

Overall taste: 7.5 | 2016 | 154 Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02116

+++ = highly recommend | – – – = do not recommend

This was our to-go spot for $1 oysters (between 4-6pm), but they no longer have this deal. They have also modified their menu ever since we went. We don’t think we’ll come back to this restaurant since some of our favourite items are no longer available. We will indicate below which items are no longer in their current menu.

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Oysters – blue point [replaced by beau soleil], kayama bay, powder point, malpeque (used to be $1 each between 4-6. now $3 each). [Their oysters are really fresh, but now that it’s $3 each, we don’t think it’s worth it]
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+++Steak tartar – capers, shallots, cornichons, cage-free egg yolk, toasted croutons ($15) [This is one of our favourite items, but it is no longer in their menu]
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Tuna cruda – grilled hearts of palm, garlic chilli paste, green onion, lime, sea salt ($14) [The garlic chilli paste reminds me a lot of Chinese chilli oil, so it’s definitely a unique combination]
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+++Jumbo lump crab slider – with cajun, remoulade [no longer available]. Maine lobster slider – with citrus, tarragon, mayo [no longer available]

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Wild mushroom flatbread – roasted garlic, reading spring brook farm cheese ($16)

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– – – Pan seared black cod – garlic and herb puree, pan fried new potato ($29) [The fish was waaaay over-cooked and we didn’t enjoy it at all. However, the potatoes and puree were excellent; finished every drop of it]
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+++ Flourless chocolate lava cake – with a farm berry coulis ($10) [This is soooo good! You can’t tell it’s flourless at all. If you like your chocolate cake thick and heavy, this is for you.]
 

Row 34

Overall taste: 8.5/10 | 2016 | 383 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

+++ = highly recommend | – – – = do not recommend

Pictured above: Tuna crudo – black garlic, avocado ($15) [I saw a picture of this on yelp before going and I thought the white parts were fat. I love highly marbled tuna (e.g. blue fin toro) and is disappointed to find that this is actually extremely lean tuna. However, it is well seasoned with large grains of salt, avocado, oil, deep fried garlic and I would still recommend it!]

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Tuna Tartare – sesame, cucumber ($15) [in terms of taste, I prefer their tuna crudo more, but this has so much more tuna for the same price.]
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+++ Warm buttered lobster roll – slaw & chips ($27) [this is my favourite dish, and I’d come back just for it’s lobster roll!]

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Pan roasted bluefish – eggplant, summer beans ($26)

Brasserie Jo

Overall taste: 7/10 | 2016 | 120 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02116

We were invited to Brasserie Jo for a complementary meal, but we try to stay as objective as possible. There were some dishes we loved, and some, not so much.

+++ = highly recommend | – – – = do not recommend

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+++ Mussels Riesling Mariniere – pommes frites – mussels in white wine with fries ($25.95) [This is my favourite dish in the restaurant! I would rate its taste to be 9/10. The mussels were fresh, plump and cooked perfectly. The wine sauce was not over-powering and goes really well with the mussels.

Steak hash with quail egg – this item is not on their menu. Extremely cute presentation, but I found it to be too salty.

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Sea scallops provencal – peas, rice ($26.95) [the scallops were overcooked. I wasn’t a fan of the peas and rice underneath as well]

Escargotsen cocotte – garlic butter ($14.95) [I generally like food with less salt, so I do find a lot of food to be on the salty side. However, this dish is extremely salty.]

– – – Steak tartare – pommes frites, mustard butter, bearnaise ($19.95) [Steak tartare is a dish I will never fail to order if it’s in the restaurant menu. The ones I’ve had are usually chopped, which is the way I like it. This beef here was finely grounded; its almost as if it was blended]

+++ Eggs with lobster and creme fraiche – this item is not on their menu. [This would be my second favourite dish after their mussels! It’s lightly salted and there were at least 5 – 6 big chunks of succulent lobster meat in there.]