Some Terrific Sushi and Other Good Eats

toro truffle maki oishii

Here’s another installment of my Good Eats series, where I share some of the great foods I’ve enjoyed but were previously undocumented. I’ve been going out a lot more often lately so this one is all about Boston restaurants – some are new, some are old favorites, all are delicious.

Let’s start with some terrific sushi. I love sushi (some would call it an obsession), and I thought that after going to Japan last year that I would be a sushi snob and only eat only the super high quality, extremely well-prepared stuff. In reality I don’t discriminate and I still eat grocery store sushi every now and then (and order sushi pretty regularly). But I also have been eating some amazing pieces of sushi, sashimi, and maki rolls lately.

The rolls above are from my new favorite sushi restaurant, Oishii Boston. This is just a block away from my office in the South End, so my co-workers and I have been frequent lunch customers. Oishii is an expensive restaurant (but not as expensive as O Ya) but absolutely worth it. Pictured above are a few of their specialty rolls: toro truffle maki (seared toro, or fatty tuna, white truffle, and caviar), crispy salmon maki, and the rock shrimp explosion maki. These are my 3 favorite rolls at Oishii, but I also like their appetizers (flaming salmon and tuna tartare) and the sea bass entree.

Oishii Boston on Urbanspoon

salmon belly cafe sushi

This is the salmon aburri (seared salmon belly) from Cafe Sushi in Cambridge. These nigiri pieces were part of their signature creations (you order per piece) and they are exquisite. The texture of the salmon was like butter and my friend Tyler and I both oohed and ahhed after our first taste. I live just a few blocks away in Harvard Square but it was my first time going there – it certainly won’t be my last! In addition to the nigiri, we also ordered a couple of rolls to share, as well as the salmon kama (broiled fish collar). Next time I want to try the omakase, or chef’s tasting menu.

Cafe Sushi on Urbanspoon

pan perdue alden and harlow

This is the pain perdue (french toast) from Alden & Harlow. I think Alden & Harlow has one of the best burgers in the city and I love going there for dinner and ordering different things to share, or just sitting at the bar with drinks and apps. But I also really like their brunch. The brunch servings are generous and there are classic brunch dishes (frittata, thick cut bacon, etc) and also some innovative dishes like hickory smoked pig tails in grits. The pain perdue is a classic dish and it’s pretty perfect. I liked the thick pieces of bread, the caramelized fruit, the lemon curd.

Alden & Harlow on Urbanspoon

pig's ears chilaquiles naco taco

These are crispy pigs’ ear chilaquiles from the HOT and newly opened Naco Taco in Central Square. Michael Scelfo, chef/owner of Alden & Harlow, is also the man behind Naco. I went there just a couple of days after it opened and there were already long lines of people hungry for tacos and more. We tried a bunch of different tacos, the chips and dips, and a couple of the house sangrias. All were good but for me, the scene stealer was the pigs ear chilaquiles. Crispy, chewy, and topped with guajillo chilies, cotija cheese, and cilantro, this really reminds me of pulutan fare from the Philippines, a type of cuisine that’s served exclusively with alcohol/beer – essentially bar snacks but almost always fried and fatty. This plate of chilaquiles from Naco was just perfect for noshing on while drinking sangria or micheladas.

Click to add a blog post for Naco Taco on Zomato

 

 

mortedella pimento coppa

This is the mortadella pimento formaggio from Coppa. Every single dish that I’ve eaten at Coppa has been spot on, from the charcuterie, pizzas, pastas, and various small plates; this cheese spread is no exception. I love pimento cheese and I also love any sort of cured meat, and I can’t believe I’ve never mixed them together (the closest I did was make a pimento BLT sandwich). Coppa’s version has chopped up mortadella mixed right in with the creamy and tangy cheese spread, served with grilled toast. It’s a pretty simple dish and if you want to make it at home, my friend Dan re-created this on The Food in My Beard.

Coppa on Urbanspoon

meat and cheese plate aragosta

And speaking of cured meats, this is the meat and cheese plate from Aragosta Bar + Bistro (chef’s choice of 3 meats and 2 cheeses). My friend Laura and I ordered this as our appetizer and after we polished it off, we both agreed that it could easily have been a light meal! Aragosta is located at the beautiful Battery Wharf, and it’s so lovely going there for dinner or brunch, sitting at the terrace, and enjoying the views of the Boston Harbor.

aragosta boston view

Just looking out at the water makes me feel so calm and peaceful. Of course it doesn’t hurt that the food at Aragosta is modern New England cuisine with a Mediterranean twist. It also doesn’t hurt that they have an outdoor urban campfire and you can make your own s’mores. S’mores by the harbor in an urban campfire (think patio-style) is definitely going to happen this summer. Another thing that’s extra appealing to me?

aragosta lobster ravioli

Aragosta’s lobster ravioli. (No other words needed).

Disclosure: Aragosta provided me and a guest with a complimentary meal. The lobster ravioli photo is taken from their website.

Aragosta Bar + Bistro on Urbanspoon

beef tartare townsmanpistachio rhubarb white chocolate terrine

And last but not least, these are just two of the many fantastic dishes I’ve had at Townsman. I’ve been there a few times already, have tried multiple things from the menu, and to borrow some baseball analogy, every meal I’ve had has been a grandslam. Worthy of a standing ovation, especially if it begins with an outrageous appetizer like the beef tartare with an egg poached in bone marrow (!) and it ends with the most whimsical desserts like this pistachio, rhubarb, and white chocolate terrine, with pistachio ice cream. I especially like the sweets there as I’ve been a fan of the pastry chef, Meghan Thompson, for years (I dubbed her as a genius dessert magician the first time I tried her desserts). On my last visit, I also tried the biscuit and ham sliders. I don’t think I will ever be happy with “regular” sliders again.

Townsman on Urbanspoon

Whew that was a lot of good eats! I’m full just reading through all of this. Just kidding, I’m hungry.

Tell me about your latest good eats! I’ll be back next week with a new recipe.

   

7 Responses to “Some Terrific Sushi and Other Good Eats”

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    Sues posted May 21, 2015 at 8:42 am

    Ahhh I need to go to Naco Taco ASAP! I also love Oishii, but it’s probably a good thing I don’t work or live any closer :)

    • Bianca Garcia replied May 21st, 2015 at 11:35 am

      I will go with you to either of those restaurants anytime :)

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    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert posted May 21, 2015 at 11:05 am

    Ahh you have eaten well my friend! Love, love, love sushi and have very limited experience with it. I found a place I love and stick with it. Also a big fan of Korean food – yum! Love the meat and cheese appetizers – perfect! Have a great long weekend

    • Bianca Garcia replied May 21st, 2015 at 11:48 am

      Thank you , Tricia! Good sushi is addicting :) Have a great holiday weekend!

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    Caitlin posted May 21, 2015 at 11:33 am

    This post made me so happy. You know I love a good restaurant post! So I’ve had Alden and Harlow’s food at events but have never actually been there, AND I have a $15 gift card to use. I know, I’m nuts, how have I not gone! And of course Naco is high on my list. I just don’t get over to Cambridge much!
    I LOVE TOWNSMAN. I’m going there on Wed for dinner and absolutely can’t WAIT! I’ve never had their steak tartare but OMG seeing it with t he egg, slays me!
    Coppa is awesome. I’ve only been once but tried a TON of stuff and was pleased with every last bite.
    And finally, I have never heard of Aragosta, what is this! I must go.
    Ah Boston so many restaurants to try, so little time (and money and stomach space, though the last one isn’t much of a problem ;) haha)
    Hope to dine with you soon! XO

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    Christina posted May 21, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    can we have a sushi date pleeeease!?!? i haven’t seen you in so long and would love to catch up!! shoot me a text so we can plan. :)

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    Daisy posted May 22, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Awesome post! I’ve been meaning to get one like this up for quite sometime….

    The sushi looks fabulous. I can’t wait to visit Naco. I also went to Aragosta a couple weeks ago – and I am somewhat perplexed as my lobster ravioli did NOT look like that. It was a very weird rendition where the dish was coated in a heavy red sauce – it really overwhelmed and took away from the lobster :(

    I’ve enjoyed meals recently at Shijo in Chinatown and the new Select Oyster Bar. Both are worth a visit!

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