Saturday, June 27, 2015

Quick hits...

Some quick hits from the current Connoisseurs Corner run…heard daily on CBSBoston Radio, 1030am WBZ:

Waiter, more everything!

1.  The Street in Chestnut Hill

There’s a new dining destination, and you don’t have to head to downtown Boston to find a wide variety of choices.  “The Street” in Chestnut Hill is really gaining traction.

On the site of the former General Cinema and Macy’s at Chesnut Hill, you can choose from Bernards for upscale Asian cuisine, Legal Seafood, which speaks for itself, Davios, The Cottage, Del Frisco’s Grill, and for the burger fan, the more casual Shake Shack.

With a Showcase Superlux theatre, the developer has really made it a destination outside of Boston, with plenty of free parking and with none of the traffic problems.  Why run into Boston, when you can walk the Street in Chesnut Hill?

2.  Oga’s

I have never been a fan of sushi.  I wouldn’t know sashimi from a shimmy, or sushi from a shag rug…but I can’t be the Critical Palate without an expansive palate, so over the past year, I’ve been introducing more sushi in to my diet, and I’ve discovered a fabulous place.  Oga’s in Natick is a giant fish in a big ocean.

I tend to stay fairly mainstream with my fish choices.  The varieties of tuna and salmon, and veggies.  But Oga’s takes things to a new level…my kids really enjoy the miso soup and tuna sushi and sashimi, but the big winner for us is a special item on their appetizer menu-spicy tuna tostada.  It is described on their menu as Spicy tuna on a crisp tempura rice ‘tostada’ with nori topped with watercress, red onion, and red chili pepper.  I could eat this all day..

In addition, they served a variety of cooked food, as well as udon noodle soup and large custom sushi platters…do yourself a favor and try Oga’s in Natick…right on Route 9 West at the intersection of Route 27.

3.  El Recreo coffee

You people know I love my coffee, and I like it strong and rich (like my women…), and I’m pleased to talk about a great new coffee spot right on Centre Street in West Roxbury-El Recreo Estate Coffee.

We had the pleasure of having the owners, Miriam and Hector in studio, and this is not some ordinary coffee.  It is a company dedicated to bringing premium Nicaraguan coffee to the States while practicing social and environmental stewardship.  It’s a single origin coffee from a family farm in Nicaragua that’s Rainforest Alliance certified and you can find it at Market Basket and other local shops. But these just aren’t coffee growers,  roasters and brewers…they are teachers, inviting other farmers to the coffee plantation to teach them growing methods, while providing schooling and health care to them and their children while on the farm.  For the owners, it’s all about giving back to their community, while bringing delicious coffee that you can feel good about drinking.  I really encourage the listeners to stop in at El Recreo at 1876 Centre Street in West Roxbury, or visit them at