Forage – Cambridge, MA in my overalls… #fobstyle

Oh hai!  It’s been awhile since Yeah I wore overalls, made me feel like a forager lol jk… totally didn’t do it just to dress for the restaurant.

So the night of the big fight on Saturday… Mayweather vs McGregor (FYI where was Bieber? Ha!) I first headed to Forage in Cambridge to grab a quick snack to eat… I say snack because we all know that house parties and any sports game will be plenty of beer, booze, and of course delicious fat-inducing food… which sadly I didn’t take any pictures of. But let’s just say I was pupu-sa’d out from ha! Pupu was, fried shrimp and wings, chicken and beef tacos, etc… the list goes on.

So first off.. Forage is hidden in the middle of a residential area in Harvard Sq. You have to walk down into the basement of what looks to be an apartment complex. The interior is very homey and it looks pretty much like it was an apartment turned restaurant. An inviting bar as soon as you walk in, they have a crazy cocktail list…. but Narrow ways to walk through to get to the bathroom and kitchen…. I was bumping into people just to go pee.

They had gorgeous mushroom artwork like this, which was next to our table, all over.  Wait for staff was a little slow… but being for a Saturday night at least we were seated immediately with no reservations. We were finally given two cherry tomatoes, one each… and salt to dip it in.

I felt like Oliver Twist but I found myself wanting to ask for more. Hungry. Slow wait staff. Waa. When are you gonna take our order?

When we finally got our order taken, btw, not hating, they were super gracious and even apologized straight off for being slow….. we got the bread!!!  They had amazing fresh baked bread… screw my gluten allergy. I eat what I want. They, also simply, just serve it with some delicious extra virgin olive oil… poured right in front of you. Crunchy crust (my favorite!) and a fluffy soft interior… yummy.

We finally got our orders in and the food came out really fast. We ordered three appetizers to share… didn’t realize the portions. “This is what he feeds me when he takes me out on a date!” Haha jk! But I joked about instagram-ing that phrase so I figure better here than nowhere.

This was actually a pretty tasty dish. But the name is definitely not what I thought I’d get. “Cured Fish Plate”

Cured Fish Plate
Cured Trout, Lacto Carrots, Clam Ice Cream, Whipped Brookford Cottage Cheese and Scented Geranium

What made me want this dish was the clam ice cream [duh!] you guys know me too well!  And it was AMAZING!!!!…  I was also curious about what was “lacto carrots” because I just think of lactose, am I right?!?!?!… But seriously. It was ONE piece of trout.  And it didn’t taste like anything, let alone fish or smoked.  Fail.

Anyways next up was the highly antisipating “Confit Lobster Mushrooms”  I love mushrooms… remember when I went on that rage and just ate as many different mushrooms as I possibly could from the farmers market?!…. It was like like 30+ kinds but still :]  So here it is……

DUN DUN DUN *cue music* — oh wait I already started it

Confit Lobster Mushrooms
Cantalope, Blackberries, Salt Brittle

Concept was good.  Execution, not so much.  First of all, the mushrooms were overpowered by everything else, and everything was overpowered by the brittle [which was, btw, not salted]  I felt like this needed some green and some acid to really round up the dish.  Each part on it’s own was great – but come on, it was cut up cantaloupe and blackberries on plate.  Not sure how they did the mushrooms, but definitely not the taste of lobster mushrooms when I’ve cooked it myself.  The texture was meaty but it needed a mushroom taste.. I say add some lemon-y herbs and have a variety of mushrooms to amp up the plate.

And here it comes, what D was coming for — the “Cured Beef Plate”

Cured Beef Plate
Jerky, Biltong, Bresaola, Dried Liver, Mustard, Pickles & Toast

The Biltong was definitely missing from this dish but instead we had a delicious Beef sort of Paté with a big thick disc of beet in it [didn’t really have much taste to it though…. so definitely not pickled].  Yeah I suck at descriptions about this because I couldn’t hear the waiter well.  The Bresaola was tasty, a bit too salty for me, but tasty…. and the Jerky was chewy and full of that good packed in beef condensed flavor.  Gnaw gnaw gnaw.

And then… ” Where is the liver?”

But alas, regretfully, I found it in the parsley and onion salad.  Super condensed, rich flavored liver, dried out and grated onto the salad.  It. Was. INTENSE.

I don’t like liver, aside from foie gras, so this was just eye-twitching for me.  Just a few small flakes packed SO MUCH PUNCH… Now I know why they paired it with the onions and parsley, the mellowed it out a ton — but once I had that liver taste in my mouth I couldn’t get it out.

It was all paired with a great fresh house-made mustard, tons of horseradish in it.  I liked it.  D, not so much haha. MORE FOR ME :]

And for dessert, we got complimentary Tomato Sorbet…. and then two savory ice creams.  A Gochuchang ice cream with Kimchi and a Cilantro ice cream, both with a sprinkling of black sesame seeds.  My taste buds were confused, but apparently the highlights of the night for me were all ice creams.  The sorbet

Me: So how does it taste?
D: Tomato-y
Me: Really? That’s a great description….
D: You try it…
Me: *takes a bite*
D: So how does it taste?
Me: Super tomato-y

This was literally a tomato bomb in your mouth!  Refreshing, smooth, and absolutely amazing!

I had a bite of the kimichi and it was a cauliflower.  They gave just the right amount to balance the sweetness… the gochuchang was seriously ridiculously mind-blowing MIND-F.  Like what is going on?!  Slightly spicy, salty and a good amount of sweetness.  The cilantro I loved… and actually would’ve paired great with the mushroom dish we had above.

So pretty.  All in all, it wasn’t a bad meal, it wasn’t a great meal.  Not sure whether or not I would go back, but then again I only had some appetizers.  XXXOOO

Craigie on Main – 8 Course Tasting Menu

The one and only Woo Bear, my favorite NYPD PoPo/Detective/Bodyguard/Bestie came to visit me in Boston and being so busy with work lately we FINALLY got a chance to meet up, rant, chat, laugh and just have a jolly awesome time.  I picked him up from his hotel and even though we got there early they had a table for us already set for us.

Woo Bear & Peep Peep unite!!!!!

AKA

He’s the Gru to my Agnes

I told him we had to go to Craigie on Main.. it’s farm to table and seasonal and just one of my favorite places MUST GO TO EAT AT places in Boston… well it’s in Cambridge but same difference. I adore their open kitchen. And everyone there is SO friendly and awesome. PLUS every time you get the tasting menu you get different and new things it’s NEVER the same.

After careful, not so careful thinking we decided to order the everything 8 course tasting menu.  We started off with a champagne for me and a “manly” scotch drink for him. I think the waitress said it was a scotch rimmed with absinthe?!… I thought it was delicious!!!!

We also ordered a bomb ass bottle of French Burgundy Pinot Noir – mad $$ but soooo worth it

I asked for them to write out the menu for us so I could have it when I went home… obviously so I could blog!!!

And then it began….. as we sipped our yummy drinks, the food started flowing….

Trio of Amuse Bouche

Citrus Cured Striped Bass, Avocado, Red Onion, Pickled Pine Nuts

This was Woo Bear’s favorite… mainly cuz of the avocado he said.  It was good and reminded me of tuna tartare, I think mainly cuz of the color, would’ve never thought it was striped bass – but I guess it was cuz of the citrus cure.  You couldn’t really taste the citrus but it was a good bite.

Razor Clams, Uni Vinaigrette

Texturally wise, this was my favorite of the three. It was obviously clams… and I LOOOOOVE razor clams.. I’ve never had it sliced before and it was amazing.  Need to start taking my razor clams not whole on a shell… hehe…

Smoked Bluefish Rillettes, Hackleback Roe

Taste-wise this was y favorite. It was a beautifully soaked fish… and with the caviar and everything it was pretty divine.

The waitress loved that I had a champagne glass tattooed on me haha..

Sea Trout Pastrami
Winter Chicories, Blood Orange, Pistachio Vinaigrette

I actually expected a smokier tasting salmon, from the looks of it, but the taste was impeccable.  The texture of the salmon was of smoked salmon but it definitely had that “pastrami” kick to it.  With the added crunch of the chicory and pistachio it was heaven in each bite.  It actually would’ve been an amazing salad with more chicory and pistachios but deeeeeelish!!!!!!!

Roasted Sturgeon à la Poêle
Camargue Red Rice, Red Onion Soubise, Beurre Rouge

When the last dish came out we finally finished our first drinks and got to get into the the wine, which paired PERFECTLY, as waitress said it would, with the food… It was salty was soooooo gooooood.  Not sure what the greens were but the rice was just barely el dente and chewy and amazing, I almost thought it was wheat berries…the surgeon [this was the first time Woo Bear ever had it, but I have] was soooo buttery and beautifully cooked.  Like I said, it was salty but it still tasted awesome….

Delicious wine with an amazing friend!!!

Spice-Crusted Striped Bass Kama

Wait. What? KAMA? UM, I LOVE YOU CRAIGIE.   I love Fish Collar Bone [aka Kama]

Even the waitress told me to make sure to take a pic – I think she saw me taking pictures before… and probably assumed since I was asian HAHA

It’s all about this:
the Tuscan Olive Oil, Citrus Vinaigrette

And cuz we were “her friends” she poured it on for us. AWWWWW I felt so loved….!!!! She even said “Of course Tiff, you’re my friend” hahahaha… maybe she remembers me from my past eatings there…. LOLOLOL… I always eat SO much here

This was my piece… Woo Bear and me both picked our pieces CLEAN!!!!!… We ASIAN YO.  We waste NOTHING!!!

House-Made Red Beet Conchiglie Pasta
Boudin Noir Ragoût, Fava Leaves

This was beautiful. Fucking beautiful. BEET PASTA? It’s like taking a veggie I love with a pasta I love and combining the two.  When I first looked at it, I was like UHHH.. meat? blah? WHAT? But it was delicious.   The sauce didn’t overwhelm the beet taste in the pasta and the lava leaves added a nice green freshness to it.   Will definitely try to make a beet pasta in the future… altho I’ll probably make pappardelle or gnocchi.

Slow-Roasted Veal Sweetbreads
Wild Mushrooms, Farm-Fresh Egg, Chorizo Sauce

This may have been my favorite dish of the night, minus the bone marrow later, but I can never not LOVEEEEEEEEEE and orgasm with bone marrow.  But the poached egg was SOOOO beautiful.  The sauce, the mushrooms and of course SWEETBREADS.  I really need to find a place that sells sweetbreads so I can start cooking them.  They’re one of my favorite delicacies.. even more than bone marrow and foie gras cuz I can never find them to cook them myself… and because of that, I ALWAYS ALWAYS have to order sweetbreads when it’s on the menu.. well I guess the same with the other two but still….

And then when we thought it was all over….

Axis Venison Two Ways: Spice-Crusted Leg, Crepinette
Mustard Spaetzle, Hakurei Turnips, Red Cabbage Purée

And obviously we got it with the BONE MARROW!!!!

Can you believe they asked us if we would rather have duck fat roasted carrots OR bone marrow? UMMM… we didn’t even look at each other and Woo Bear and I both screamed BONE MARROW!!!

It was all so freaking delicious….  the crepinette was SOOOOOOOO delicious. It was a yummy venison meatball!!!… and the venison leg, sliced and cooked rare was just SOOO tender and delicious.  I ended up eating the marrow on toast and then the rest of the marrow all over my veal dish and licking it up. The spaetzle was crunchy and divine and while it was from “mustard” it had almost a delicate “cheese” taste to it.  Definitely some of the yummiest spaetzle I’ve had.  The turnips were great.. I thought it was daikon – which I guess is basically a turnip/carrot – and just all of the items combined was ORGASMIC. We had SOOOOOO much bone marrow it could feed a family of 10.

Palate Cleanser
House-made Lime Frozen Yogurt
Basil Seeds

Delicious. Refreshing. YUM.

We got this amazing Bourbon:
Michter’s 20yr Cask Strength Single Barrel 114.2°

At 67$ a glass it better be fucking amazing and it was… smelled like caramel and was soooooo tasty. Yeah disgustingly expensive but also disgustingly delicious.

Dessssert time.. so it was definitely more than just 8 courses….

Moroccan ‘Upside Down’ Carrot Cake
Goat Cheese Sorbet, Dates, Caramelized Almonds

I told them no goat cheese but they gave me some anyways.  I ate it anyways.  But the cake was super dry, even though I loved the look/concept of the cake.  Next time I make carrot cake I’ll have a beautiful slice of carrot on top.  It didn’t go with the goat cheese even tho I tried it together to make it “wetter” and neither did the sauce.  It was kinda sad to see such a fantastic meal end so badly.

Chocolate-Fernet Branca Crémeux
Roasted Lemon Puree, Tarragon Ice Cream

I don’t really think that was what we got… it tasted like mint ice cream on chocolate mousse and crunchy sticks hahahaha…. it was good but didn’t feel like a FULL dessert, like a side to a dessert…

BUT AT LEAST THIS SAVED THE NIGHT

We had a special complimentary Hot Cocoa to warm us up… there was definitely some chilies and cardamum in it <3

Everything was talked about, we definitely spent a good few hours there… and in the end we realized:

Love you Woo Bear. Can’t wait to play again soon!!!!! Miss you dearly already!!!!

The Spotted Pig

So ya’ll know about the book… WHICH IS AMAZING, I got it as soon as it got out. GET IT.

Now let’s talk about her food.. it was a beautiful Saturday so after walking all the way from the edge of FiDi…. all the way to almost Times Sq..

First by the waters… and then we decided to walk on the HighLine since I’ve never been…. We walked all the way to the end… and then went down to Gastro Market for a few beers. Ahhh beergardens.

I don’t remember what they were except they were in caskets and red ales.

We ended up walking to the The Spotted Pig RIGHT before the big dinner rush. Phew. Last two seats at the bar. Booyeah!

I was surprised at how little pork items were actually ON the menu. Come on.. Spotted Pig? We need a full on all out pigged out menu….

Pork Rillette with Pickles & Mustard

What could go wrong with pork topped off with lardo?!.. You don’t even need the grainy mustard on the side….. just a huge scoop of the lardo and pork from the rillette on top of the perfectly grilled crostini… toasty fresh… and you’re good.  The pickled gherkins and pearl onions were a nice touch…

Crispy Pig’s Ear Salad with Lemon Caper Dressing

This was the first thing I saw on the menu and I KNEW I had to get it.  I was surprised that it was a whole pig’s ear… unless it’s connected to the head still, I’m used to eating it cut into thin strips.  The pig’s ear was crispy, not greasy at all, and paired lovely with the refreshing salad of mixed greens, endive and italian parsley underneath.

Grilled Skirt Steak with Roasted Beets & Horseradish Cream

J shared this with me. AMAZING horseradish butter and simple braised beets and beet greens. Delicious. We weren’t asked how we wanted it to be cooked but it was cooked to a beautiful medium rare, on the rare side. YUM. Buttery meat.

Prosciutto & Ricotta Tart with Marjoram

This was an appetizer but I got it as my main to share with J.  A flakey crisp tart topped with prosciutto, risotto, greens and shavings of parm. DELICIOUS.

And of course, a very much needed – and always necessary side dish

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

These literally melted in your mouth.  Most definitely NOT good for you but sooooo delicious.

I kinda wish we got the burger as well, it’s supposed to be awesome and I saw a TON of people order it.

Afterwards we ended up at Proletariat for beers….. and PRETZEL BREAD

The stout cheese dip was meh….. it was all about the curry mustard sauce!!!!

Met up with a few friends and ended up at Dive Bar Lucy’s..

Great times.