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3/2/13 Sycamore : 'Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky


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3/2/13 Sycamore : 'Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky

opinionatedchef | | Apr 2, 2013 11:15 PM

My Love asked me a question. I looked at him. He asked it again.I looked at him, but this time i LOOKED at him, made a "shooing" motion and pointed at my mouth. Translation:
< Don't ask me to talk! I'm EATing here!>

This was the situation I found myself in earlier tonight, as we took our first few tastes of our first dinner at Sycamore in Newton Centre. WOW. Just Wow.

I'm tempted to leave it at that, because it does sum up the dinner with accuracy. But then again, i wouldn't be passing along the details to my sister CHs. We arrived at 5PM and we were the second table seated in the long room lined on each side with a continuous banquette and a number of tables for larger parties. It was pretty quiet.And when we left at 7:30 it was full,the bar as well, with 2+ parties waiting, and alot of noise.

I get the feeling that this very new Sycamore was hopping right out of the gate.And why not? These Newtonians have been waiting for a place this good for a very long time.
I cannot remember Newton Centre having a destination dining spot since Madeleine Kamman's day. Our experience with something like that was Susan Regis' brief turn at that clothing store adjunct.....
We have not tried Famstead yet, but Sycamore is the place to beat.

I just cannot remember the last time I had seven dishes (really ten; see description) and had a smile on my face through every one. What we sampled tonight:
Little Bites:
- Chorizo Croquettas w/ romesco sauce. Utter perfection- both parts.
- Salt cured Foie gras w/ blood orange marmalade on toast

- Cobia with Chermoula and Black Olive puree
- Braised Kale

Main for 2:
- The Lamb Board

- Creme Fraiche Sorbet w/ candied kumquat
This foie dish is a true contender for a last meal request. Unfortunately, like David Chang's Strip T's-interpreted Whey- cured Foie( frozen and grated in a sawdust-looking pile over toast cubes) this gets the award for Lowest Eye Appeal. When it arrived, we thought it was an open faced white tuna crostini (it's the curing that drains it of color. ) But what it is is Big Creamy salty flakes of foie over Iggy's toasted sourdough w/ orange marmalade.

The cobia was a neat surprise- a very flavorful white fish with meaty texture. I hope alot more places start serving this.

They do a Daily Board, meant to be shared by 2. It does come on a wooden board/ carving board and I would describe it as 4 protein near-entree portions with an accompanying starch or veg or sauce/compote. Ours was:
- Lamb Bacon Roulades , fried in a crisp bread crumb coating, on a bed of summer-canned Tomato Jam.
- Herb marinated Lamb chops(3, good size) cooked medium rare ,on a bed of creamy Red Camargue Rice
- Merguez sausage (is that redundant?) amazingly moist and soft and not over-spiced, on a cucumber mint feta salad. Only merguez i've ever liked.
- Lamb Confit (long braised lamb, saute/fried crispy) over unctuous ragout of baby artichoke bottoms and green chickpeas. I can't stop; hands down the most heavenly chickpeas (and side dish) i may ever eat.

The creme fraiche sorbet w/ kumquat was a light clean luscious ending.

My only complaint is that it's just not fair that the head chef who had this much talent (Lydia, last from Bergamot) is also beautiful, a young lithe Meryl Streep, eagerly asking how we liked her creation- The Lamb Board. David Punch , Sycamore's owner/chef, was off tonight but boy has he hired well here, both in the kitchen and out front. All three of our servers were authentically friendly, welcoming and professional. Both my cosmo and our reds by the glass were excellent.
I think we kind of floated home. What a great night.

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