We were looking for something different so three of us went to Time Out Market for lunch. First up the good! The uni arancini from Saltie Girl was decadent and just a small bite was oh so satisfying. After lunch, we purchased my favorite vegan donuts from Union Square Donuts before leaving. I do not like cranberries and somehow they have me enjoying their cranberry donuts!
Next up the okay! The spicy tuna sushi tacos from Gogo Ya were for the most part good. The textures were great and the tuna fresh but spicy mayo could have just a little more depth.
Finally the bad, We have dined at and loved Tasting Counter in Somerville before but the smoky Shishito peppers were inedible. The smoke flavor was overpowering and tasted more like a heavy dose of liquid smoke.
December 2019 I had such high hopes for our New Years Eve dinner at Kamakura but I left with mixed feelings. We were seated at the Chef's counter right away (no coat check, unfortunately). Our server greeted us and along with our Kaiseki 10 dinner, we upgraded our Wagyu as well as added the beverage pairing. There was a long wait from when we placed our order and when our beverages and amuse-bouche arrived. This would be the theme for the night. Throughout the night our server was also the sommelier and he would bounce between the 4 of us at the counter and the 6 other guests at tables across the room. We would either be waiting for our beverage or looking at our food and waiting for it to be brought to us all night long. I would suggest the restaurant to either let the chefs serve the food to the counter or higher a sommelier.
The food itself was for the most part good. I feel that some of the dishes would have been better if they were served at the temperature the chefs plated it (you could see the frustration on the chef's faces as well. The Wagyu could have used more color on it, the chawanmushi was overly flavored with orange, and the burgundy truffles with the cod were bland. My favorite dishes were the sushi selection. The accompaniments to the fish were outstanding. I also loved the fish cake dish which completely surprised me.
What truly disappointed me was the way the restaurant ended the night. During our meal (probably around our cod course) the staff starting putting away clean dishes on the counter in front of us as well as the shelves behind their station. Next came the washing of dishes and the grill area while we are still eating. Having the noise of dishes being stacked in front of you, the sink running, and the chef scrubbing a grill a foot away from you during a $$$$ meal isn't acceptable. I have dined at several chefs counter and been there late at night (Tasting Counter, Morimoto, O Ya, etc) and have never had this occur.
December 2019 Before heading to a show in Salem we decided to have dinner at Ledger. Our reserved table wasn't ready yet so we sat at the bar for a cocktail.
After a while, we decided to just dine at the bar. We never mind sitting side by side and sometimes the atmosphere at the bar is a lot more fun for dinner.
I personally like steak tartare chopped a little more but the dish was good. A little more horseradish cream and finer cut would have made it great. I will forever want Ledger's smoked cocktail sauce that accompanied our oysters. It was incredibly flavorful.
Our last dish was the spicy pork belly. We both loved the flavor of the dish and appreciated the crunch of the vegetables against the melt in your pork.
Our party of 4 made dinner reservations at Mystique inside Encore Casino. We were seated right away and welcomed by our server.
While perusing the menu we ordered cocktails. The menu is intriguing and it enticed into order 3 appetizers. The warm Uni toast was buttery but I would have loved some fresh herbs with it. The chicken skin from the Robata Grill was outstanding. It was crispy and a touch salty. The pork belly was good but not memorable.
We splurged and ordered the dry-aged Wagyu tomahawk. There was a little too much fat left on the steak for our group but this was a delicious entree. Throughout our meal, we kept seeing desserts go past our table. The desserts looked whimsical and definitely creatively plated. Unfortunately, the desserts ended up being more style than substance. The flavors and textures of the desserts could have been a lot better.
After dinner and before gambling could commence we enjoyed the beautiful weather by walking outside along the river. Inside the casino, I ended up have some luck. It was a terrific end to our night.