Jean Georges

Overall taste: 7/10 | 2016 | 1 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023

Jean Georges is a 3-michelin starred restaurant in New York as well as the most disappointing restaurant we’ve been to. We spent over $300 here (with no alcohol), and we expect the taste rating to be at least a 8/10 for this kind of price.

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

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– – – Amuse bouche

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+++ Toasted egg yolk, caviar and herbs ($69) [We felt that this was the only amazing dish. It literally tasted perfect; the salty caviar went really well with the  lightly-seasoned soft yolk and buttered toast…. but look at the price for a two-bite appetizer.]
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Sea trout & oyster tartar, chive, lemon, horseradish ($29) [Lynn liked it but Jeff found the oyster to be too fishy]
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Yellowfin tuna ribbons, avocado and spicy radish, ginger marinade ($29) [Average. The sauce was on the sour side.]
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– – – Foie Gras terrine, strawberry granola, aged balsamic ($37) [We are huge foie gras fans and this is the worst foie gras dish we’ve had. Every part of it is infused with sweet strawberry.  If you like your foie gras as a dessert, this might be for you.]
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+++ Diver scallops, caramelized cauliflower, caper-raisin emulsion ($37) [This was great, and is what we expect from a 3-michelin starred restaurant. The scallops had a crispy golden crust. The caramelized cauliflower was delicious and didn’t have much of a burnt taste.]
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– – – Tenderloin of beef, heirloom carrots and fingerling potatoes, hibiscus mustard ($54) [We’re trying not to exaggerate here, but we believe most people that cook at home can make better steak than this. It’s ironic how chewy this tenderloin was and the flavour was simply not there. The steak also wasn’t meaty enough and tasted like those cheap $10 steak diners serve.]
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Salt and pepper sweetbreads, sweet chili emulsion, pea shoots, golden garlic ($29) [This was well fried, but we prefer our sweetbreads pan-fried so that we can actually taste it.]
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Chocolate – dark chocolate mousse, milk chocolate ganache, passion fruit gelee, mini chocolate cake, hibiscus sorbet, crystallized rose, peanut caramel, olive oil powder, fraises des bois and macadamia nut milk ($12) [Average]
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– – – Strawberry – vanilla tapioca pudding, strawberry sorbet, enchanced strawberries, gelee and crisps ($12) [This is undoubtedly one of the prettiest desserts we’ve had, but also one of the worst in terms of taste. The so-called “enhanced strawberries” were soaked in sauces that simply do not go well with strawberries, unless black pepper strawberry is your thing.]
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Complimentary chocolate [Average]
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Complimentary desserts [Average]

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.]

Little Donkey

Overall taste: 7.25/10 | 2017 | 505 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

We only ordered from their raw bar menu (scroll down for menus) and the ingredients they used were extremely fresh! However, we felt that the seasonings and sauces were overpowering. We’re more of a purist when it comes to raw seafood.

If you’ve never tried raw scallops, uni or ikura, for, example, this is definitely a good place to start since their seasoning completely covers the fishy taste. Also, we tried barnacles for the first time today! Read on to find out more.

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Adult chocolate milk – old monk rum, chocolate, milk, cinnamon ($11) [This was extremely watered-down and definitely needs more rum, chocolate and milk. Look at the amount of ice.]
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Brewed awakening – rum, amaro di angostura, maple, cold brew ($13) [We don’t particularly like our drinks to be strong, but we felt that the alcohol content of this drink was insufficient. It tasted like sweet coffee and if you concentrate hard enough, you may be able to convince yourself that this is a cocktail.]
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Ikura – wasabi, garlic soy ($18) [Ikura in itself is extremely, extremely salty. It’s hard to describe the taste but it tastes like the ocean, is fishy, and has a little salmon flavour. Each egg is surrounded by a transparent sac and the contents burst into your mouth with each bite. The texture is similar to a runny yolk. What boggled us the most is that they would serve ikura with soy sauce that’s even saltier than the already salty ikura. We could barely taste the ikura, and we’re not sure if there was any wasabi in it]
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King crab – louis dressing ($19) [This was good, but not worth the price in our opinion.]
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Percebes (goose barnacles)  – old bay mayo ($19) [We’re so excited to introduce goose barnacles to you! Out server told us this was very hard to acquire. It’s like a combination of geoduck sashimi and surf clam in terms of taste and texture. We both loved it!]
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Tuna poke – gochujang, pickled bean sprouts ($14) [This was pretty good, except I think they should correct their menu description to “non-spicy gochujang”.]
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Scallop crudo – umeboshi, shiso, beech mushroom ($16) [We love the taste of raw scallops, but you can barely taste it here because the sauce was so sour.]
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Santa Barbara uni – dashi, yuzu, chicharron ($19) [Santa Barbara uni is one of best uni in the world. It’s more buttery than Maine uni. It’s sweeter and less fishy than Hokkaido uni. Unfortunately, you can barely appreciate how good this uni was with their sour and salty sauce.]
 

 

Click menus to enlarge.

Charcoal Guido’s

Overall taste: 7.5/10 | 2017 | 482 Moody St, Waltham, MA 02453

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

We were invited here for a complimentary meal, but we try to stay objective in your review.

To be honest, we didn’t think we’d come back to this restaurant again since it’s 40min away from where we live. BUT after trying their gnocchi pesto (which, at the moment, is our favourite gnocchi dish of all time), that 40min drive is totally worth it!

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+++ Espresso martini – stoli vanilla, kahlua, baileys, frangelico and espresso ($10) [This drink was perfect and there was nothing we would change about it!]
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– – – Breath of fresh pear – tito’s vodka, pear liqueur, pear puree and lemon topped with prosecco [We didn’t like the amount of sparkling wine they put in here; it almost felt like we were drinking soda.]
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Ultimate antipasto platter – parma prosciutto, speck, parmigiano, ricotta salata, grilled sausage, fig marmalde, olives, oil cured vegetables ($18) [This is not something we’d personally order since we only liked half of the stuff in the platter, namely their sausage, parmagiano, and ricotta salata. We are huge fans of prosciutto but felt that their prosciutto wasn’t meaty enough.]
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Arancine – fried risotto ball with mozzarella and parmigiano cheese served with marinara sauce ($10) [This was alright but would have prefer it if it was more cheesy and more moist on the inside.]
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 Meatballs – classic combination of beef, pork and veal served in marinara sauce with a sprinkle of parmigiano cheese ($8) [The meatballs were yummy! They were meaty, tender and juicy. We don’t like marinara sauce in general and would have preferred it without the sauce. We just think that it distracts us from tasting the meatball itself.] 
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+++ Gnocchi – with pesto ($18) [OMG WE LOVED THIS! The gnocchi was delicious and went so well with their pesto sauce! This is the dish that totally stole our hearts.]
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+++ Trofie & scallops – Tofie pasta with fresh scallops in pesto ($20) [This would be our 2nd favourite dish after their gnocchi with pesto (maybe we just really like their pesto!). This dish would have been better if the scallops had that crisp golden crust on the outside.]
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Gnocchi – with bolognese ($20) [This was alright. We liked it a lot more with their pesto.]
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Porcini pappardelle & chicken – pappardelle pasta in porcini sauce and grilled chicken breast. [The pappardelle pasta and porcini sauce were really good. We would have preferred it if they focused more on the flavor of mushroom, like using portobello instead of chicken breast.]
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+++ Sausage – tomato sauce, mozzarella, caramelized onion, sweet sausage, fresh ricotta cheese. ($16) [Our favourite pizza. It had a generous amount of ricotta cheese (looks like whipped cream in the picture) mozzarella and caramelized onion – everything that we love! We personally don’t care for the sweet sausage that much and would probably order it without the sausage in the future.]

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Margherita – tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil, extra virgin olive oil ($13)
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White Devil – hot salami, mozzarella, provolone, shaved parmigiano, extra virgin olive oil ($15)

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Figs and gorgonzola – figs, gorgonzola, caramelized onion, arugula ($16) [Lynn liked it but Jeff felt that the gorgonzola cheese was too strong for him.]
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+++ Nutella pizza – pizza dough filled with nutella and ricotta, finished in wood oven (Duo for $10. Family for $14 (pictured). Add fruit for $2) [This is their signature dessert. Jeff is crazy about nutella and likes anything with it. Lynn usually finds nutella to be too sweet but really liked this pizza because the ricotta cheese (which isn’t sweet) goes really well with the nutella.]
 

 

Tsukiji Fish Market

Overall taste: 8/10 | 2016 | 5 Chome-2-1 Tsukiji, Chuo, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan

If you visit Tokyo, you must go to Tsukiji Fish Market. We only went to the outside market of Tsukiji; it was really crowded even on a weekday. There were lots of small restaurants and stalls selling mouth-watering food (sushi, ramen, snacks, desserts). Definitely come on an empty stomach!

Note: This Tsukiji location will close and be moved to Toyosu sometime in 2017/2018.

For some of the food we got, we attached a picture of the stall next to it since we can’t read Japanese.

Tuna, ikura and uni don (900 yen) [The portion was smaller than we expected. We really loved the sushi rice and the freshness of their ingredients] 

Sushi shaped candy [We didn’t try this but we thought they were incredibly cute!]

Tamago (100 yen) [Look at the size of that tamago! This was on the sweet side but we liked that it was incredibly fluffy.]

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Matcha soft-serve (300 to 400 yen) [It was summer when we visited and this was perfect for a hot day! Good matcha flavour and not too sweet]
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Grilled scallops topped with crab and uni, then torched [We don’t remember the price of this. This was pretty good, all the ingredients were fresh but the uni tasted a little fishy]
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Grilled unagi (600 yen) [This tasted quite similar to regular frozen unagi]

Barcelona Wine Bar

Overall taste: 8/10 | 2016 | 525 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116

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

One of our favourite restaurants in Boston! For the last 2 dishes (paella mariscos, squid ink fideos), the menu indicates “To Share. Two or more”. However, you can actually order a one-person portion.

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Chicken liver mousse – blackberry compote ($5.50) [I prefer their foie gras torchon but this is only half the price and is really good as well]
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+++Foie gras torchon – rhubard preserves ($11.50)

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+++Seared scallops – mojo de cilantro ($13.50) [We are very picky about scallops and these were perfectly seared. Lynn loved every single drop of their cilantro sauce while Jeff is an avid hater of cilantro and believes it should disappear off the face of the Earth] 
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– – – Eva’s duck egg – gem lettuce, trout roe, crispy serrano ($8.50) [we ordered this because we never had duck eggs, but it tasted just like chicken egg. definitely not worth your $8.50.]
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Grilled hanger steak – truffle vinaigrette ($11.50) [we’ve ordered this 3 times and they don’t cook it very consistently; it ranges from medium rare to medium well. make sure to inform your server how you prefer your meat]
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– – – Grilled broccolini – truffle honey, chili flakes ($7.50) [the vegetable/honey combo is weird and unappetizing to us; not a fan]

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Cod a la plancha – salsa verde ($9.50)
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Steak tartare – fingerling chips, quail egg ($8.50)
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Grilled lamp chops – eva’s greens, mint chimichurri ($15)
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Paella mariscos – shrimps, mussels, clams, squid, saffron rice ($24.50 pp)

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+++ Squid ink fideos – calamari, garilic aioli, scallions ($14.50 pp) [this is our favourite dish in the restaurant. exercise caution ordering this if you’re dining with someone you don’t want to show your black teeth to.]
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Parrillada – ny strip, chicken, pork loin, caucho ($26.50 pp) [This was alright, a bit on the greasy side. Not something we’ll order again]

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.]