57M. traveling 9+ months a year as an international piano bar headliner.

Joined Aug 2009

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10 Loved Places


  • Club Cafe Back Bay, Boston



    BARRYfromBOSTON reviewed Hot Mess! Sundays at UnderBar Over a year ago
    Hates it

    UnderBar: Oh, is THAT what it's called this week?!
    First of all, if you go to the UnderBar website, you won't even see the tiniest SUGGESTION of anything gay. They don't even mention being OPEN on Sunday nights. Are we supposed to supposed to spend our money there once a week, and hush up about being their dirty little Sunday Secret? It's the club in the closet! I like a gay bar where I can know the staff, and pop in any time, not be shunned for not being on the Thursday guest list or the Saturday guest list, each held by a separate promoter, depending on the night. Yuk.

    BARRYfromBOSTON reviewed Michy's Over a year ago
    Loves it

    My favorite foodie experience (EVER!!) in Miami
    Critics of the arts (be they visual, performing or culinary) get a bit miffed when something they are sent to review is so flawless, they have nothing to sling clever barbs at. Can you even remember a meal anywhere during which everything was absolutely spot on? If not, let me answer your first question first: YES, you should (and indeed MUST) dine at Michy’s on Biscayne Blvd, Miami. I will take you through this amazing foodie adventure. Michy’s was participating in Miami Spice, a prix fixe $35 3-course menu. But, we choose to order a tasting menu for our party of 4, with continuous advice from our spectacular server, Jason. Indeed, not only did we sample 11 plates, but where we skipped something Jason felt the adventure wasn’t complete without, it showed up anyhow. We never told him which to bring half orders for, and which to serve full orders. We told him what we were most enthused about, and he ran the show from there. The house sent out two apps before we could order. A ham and cheese croquette and a ceviche were already on the way. The croquettes (served with a fig jam) went over well, but with the ceviche, I was already in foodie nirvana. The punchy, citrus-filled tilapia was served in a bowl (thank God it wasn’t yet another dull ceviche in a martini glass!), with corn “three ways”, i.e, popcorn, niblets on the cob, and corn nuts. The fish was fantastic. Next came 3 more plates, 2 of which we didn’t order, but “the journey wouldn’t be complete without”. We ordered a Greek salad with watermelon. The feta was unlike any I had ever had, soft, fresh, not salty. This was exceptional. Duck confit (baked 5 hours than quick fried before serving) over a bed of mandolin-sliced brussel sprouts, and Sweetbreads over fava bean pesto plated over a sauce accented by fennel seeds, orange peel and a few mandarin orange segments were presented “for the adventurous”. We tried the sweetbreads, & mostly found it to be tasty, and not dissimilar from particularly well prepared, lightly-fried chicken. The duck lovers among us went wild for that dish, as did the “Duckless Diner”, who marveled at the brussel sprouts “slaw”. Favorite Dish: Then the fettucini carbonara with crispy prosciutto arrived, along with short ribs (with oven roasted tomatoes) , Malaysian curried yellowtail snapper, and truffled creamy polenta with a truffled poached egg, which we were encourage to mix in to the polenta. Huge kudos on all. The meat from the short ribs may have been some of the most tender bites of meat I have ever known. The complex Thai flavor in the yellowtail snapper sauce (served over a hearts of palm salad and rice) had me scraping at the plate to savor. We were far too stuffed for dessert & declined, so naturally, 2 desserts for sampling arrived anyhow. One was their signature baked Alaska (referred to as the “Sarah Palin” dessert) & a bread pudding with vanilla ice cream, raisins and chocolate chunks. The baked Alaska was visually fantastic, but not terribly exciting on the palette. The bread pudding could have used stronger notes of rum & raisin, and came across as not dramatic enough to cap off so fantastic a meal. But, as these were comped, we could hardly complain. (We had noted that had we ordered dessert, the chocolate brownie with salty caramel & seasonal fruits or the nightly Granita with basil & mint would have been the way we went.) We had no clue how Jason would go about pricing all this, but was beyond reasonable for such an outstanding feast, coming in at about $58/person (with a nice gratuity), with two of us having a glass of wine, & two of us having an espresso. When I think of how two of us had atrocious food on Lincoln Road (one split appetizer, two dull-to-unacceptable entrees, one of which made me sick from bad fish, and cocktails that were supposed to be comped and weren’t at Aura), this amazing culinary event was an absolute bargain. The simple synopsis is that you should absolutely go and dine at Michy’s… ASAP, and then undoubtedly often thereafter.

    BARRYfromBOSTON reviewed Cathedral Station Over a year ago
    Loves it

    All this, and a parking lot!
    With a great patio for outside seasonal dining, and its own free parking lot, The Red Fez is truly a hidden gem of Boston. This hip, ecclectic, exotic room features all the Syrian/Lebanese mezzes you'd come to expect and then some, with great touches like pomegranate vinaigrette, great dips and phyllo creations, and a menu that is perfect for sharing, and lingering with their creative cocktails. It's an excellent date restaurant, that demonstrates your Boston insider status and playfulness. Everything we've tasted from apps to lamb, fish, and grape leaves was excellently prepared. On Saturday nights, the meal is accented by live Arabic music. I've enjoyed the place with friends, on a date, or with a large group, each of which they handled with aplomb.

    BARRYfromBOSTON reviewed Erbaluce Over a year ago
    Hates it

    Big Expectations, but...
    I was very excited about the opening of Erbaluce, having been a fan of the chef in his former digs in the North End, many years ago. I found that the same palette of flavors showed up in dish after dish. Wine was poorly served, with enough sediment poured into my glass to make potpourri. We did 4 courses, and after finishing the first course, the pasta course took another 35 minutes to come out. There was some apology (from the hostess, not the waiter) about having to dump the water and start over, but how long does it take to boil water? I had high hopes, but in the end, felt that the best that I could say was that it was fair.

    BARRYfromBOSTON reviewed Eagle Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Tremont Street's Neighborhood Gay Bar
    The Eagle has remained, while the rest of the neighborhood has changed around it. Across from the Boston Center for the Arts, and upscale restaurants such as Sibling Rivalry and Hamersley's Bistro, the Eagle still serves cheap drinks in a relaxed setting. It's a neighborhood bar, and you'd be hard pressed to think of it as a leather or denim bar. If you conjure the Eagle in Amsterdam or other cities, this is certainly not their hard core brother. Mostly, it is a place for local tipplers, much easier to spend time in without burning eyes, now that smoking is outlawed. There's a pool table in the back, with the men's room (with no door and no way to stop anyone playing pool from seeing your junk at the urinal) just beyond it. Service can be friendly or surly, depending on the proprietor's mood. But, come closing time, the Eagle transforms. You see, South End men either don't drive, or won't dare lose their overnight parking space to pull their car out, once they are home from work. So, many who went somewhere in town that live in the South End pop their nose in, to "pick up a carry-out to take home". When they close at 2, the "Sidewalk Sale" is something to behold. We tend to pop into the Eagle before theater events across the street, for quick, cheap drinks. Sometimes we even slug one back at intermission. It's not a place to plan an evening around, or a tourist must-see. But, for a neighborhood watering hole, it's nice to know there's a place in an otherwise pricey neighborhood that is there for you, when you hair isn't perfect, and you're in your run-to-the-supermarket clothes.

    BARRYfromBOSTON reviewed Club Cafe Over a year ago
    Hates it

    A Boston legend
    Club Café has been fairly characterized by the other reviews here. Drink prices trend higher than most of the other gay bars listed here, but are on par with big city, posh nightspots that attract the deep pockets of the Euro crowd, in Boston's Theater District. Food seems to go in waves from very good to disappointing. Sunday brunches are a good bet. There's almost no way to guess how good the food will or won't be, at any time in history. But, in fairness, it's a very nice setting for a gay dinner date. Moving from the restaurant area, which sometimes has piano/vocal entertainment, there is the front bar, with a seating area. There are appetizer specials during happy hour, and sometimes even free apps. The next room has another bar and some flat screens. It opens into the back room, with more video screens, and a stage that makes it a popular spot for cabaret acts, fundraisers, and special events. Their idea of being able to text the DJ a message that plays on the screens throughout the room, which is also used for "dating" games is fun. Various VJ's (video jockey's) spin. The classic joke (which has your choice of punchlines) is "Club Café is Boston's S&M bar... Sneakers and Mascara. (Optional: Stand and Model.) Clientele trends towards well-dressed in gay-popular labels. Men over 35 need to be very fit, or they stick out in the crowd of Armani Exchange twinks. All that said, the club is well done, bar staff knows how to make drinks, and for boy watching, it's gay Boston's choice.