Sunday, November 9, 2014

Back after a Long Break! Quick Boston Trip.

After a long hiatus, I wanted to get back into posting about travel, restaurants and other fun things. I thought I would start with my recent trip to Boston. I was there mostly for a work conference, but was able to try out three impressive restaurants. First was Deuxave, a new-ish restaurant not far from Fenway Park, at the corner of Mass Ave and Commonwealth Ave. The room is swanky and beautiful, but still warm and inviting, and the service was perfect. I have to say, for a restaurant that nice, I thought the wine list was pretty well priced. We stuck to French wines, a Sancerre and then a Burgundy from Cote de Nuits. The stand out dishes were the seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras (being from California where this delicious item is banned, I order it as much as possible when I travel), and the Fall Harvest Trio of Pork.

The next restaurant that we tried on this trip was Petit Robert Bistro in Kenmore Square. The restaurant is cozy and narrow, but very welcoming. The menu was quite varied but we stuck to classic bistro dishes, and were so glad we did. The french onion soup, boeuf bourguignon, coq au vin, and tarte tatin were all excellent examples of what these favorites should be. I was very impressed with the deep luscious sauces, incredible flavor, and excellent technique that was evident in every dish. The wine list, as well as the menu prices for the food, was so reasonable. This place would be my weekly date night place if I lived in the neighborhood, no question.

The last place we tried of note was a brand new restaurant called Bastille Kitchen in the Fort Point neighborhood. It was an easy walk for me from my hotel near the Children's Museum to get to this very cute neighborhood. The restaurant was on a quiet side street, just past a small bridge that you walk under where the underside of the bridge is lit up with thousands of tiny blue lights (see picture below). What a nice surprise while walking to dinner! The restaurant is meant to look like a old brick warehouse, and the effect is quite good. We had drinks in the bar to start, and the cocktails are interesting. I think my drink was called St. Germaine and it was excellent.
Since I was there with 10 people, we had a private room with a set menu. The host of the dinner asked me to pick the wine, which I was happy to do. We did a few bottles of Sancerre to start, a Burgundy from Pommard, and then a magnum of an incredible Chateauneuf du Pape that was recommended to me by our very friendly and efficient server. The menu had two options for a starter (beet salad or lobster bisque; I got the bisque which was very tasty), three options for an entree (salmon, chicken or beef short rib wellington; I got the wellington, which was incredible, especially the sauce) and two options for dessert (apple tarte tatin or chocolate mousse tart; I got the apple, but was so stuffed I only had a few very delicious bites). The host also had them bring us several servings of their ghnocci a la parisienne along with our soup or salad, which was the star of the night. Seriously, this dish was so amazingly good, I couldn't stop eating it (hence my inability to eat very much of my dessert later)! It is a close call, but I have to say Bastille Kitchen was the best meal of the trip. If I only have one night in Boston in the future, this is where I would go. Especially so I can try more things from the regular menu!

One final note, but not about food. We haven't stayed very many places in Boston over the 5 or 6 times we have been there in the last 10 years or so, mostly because we absolutely love the Boston Harbor Hotel. Yes, it is pretty pricy, but the level of service, the beautiful rooms and comfort level of all of the public spaces as well as the guests rooms, make us return again and again. We tried another hotel just down the street from the Boston Harbor hotel this time because I was there for a work conference and the hotel we stayed at had a conference rate. I figured since I wasn't paying, I couldn't justify the additional cost of going to the Boston Harbor again. That was a mistake. From the moment we arrived at the other hotel, we regretted not going with our favorite place. Next time, I would just book the Boston Harbor and pay the difference!

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