Went to the private opening of 53 South last night to benefit the Hingham Conservatory. $50 for an app, entrée and desert. Booze extra. It has moved from its old location to 42 Washington St, closer to Queen Annes Corner. It is next door to a taco bell in an old Pizza Hut.
Construction/landscaping were still apparent from the outside but inside was beautiful albeit very stark. You walk into a bar area which I predict will be very crowded and difficult to move around in as the layout is small and you have to walk thru it to get to the dining area. The take back the bar people should avoid this place! ;)
The dining area is again beautiful yet stark with deep red walls (no art work at all) and lots of modern details right down to the black (plastic/foam?) straight back chairs. There is one banquet wall similar to their old location with lots of pillows and room for maybe 5-6 two-tops or 3-4 four-tops. One corner has a built in sofa style seating we could be romantic for 2 or coze and private for 4. There is a large picture window over looking a gorgeous koi pond with plenty of plantings and low lighting so you dont even see the highway which was a very nice touch. The acoustics however are terrible, we practically had to shout. I would not take my mom here for just that reason. Maybe if the hang some art work it could help absorb the noise but it was very loud.
Now the food:
2 of us had the pear salad which was pears sliced over mixed green with blue cheese, walnuts (not sweetened) and lardons of bacon. It was wonderful. The other 2 were an Asian inspired egg roll and a caeser salad. I didnt try either but no complaints and the egg roll declared delicious.
For entrée I had the filet which came with mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus. Filet was perfect and expertly cooked to my very rare liking. Potatoes were piped which I hate since I think it makes them overly thick and gummy and these were no exception but the asparagus was again cooked just right, still slightly crisp. The plate was so hot that I suspect some time under heat lamp so that might also be the reason for the potatoes. The others had halibut (she wanted to lick her plate clean it was so good), swordfish over butter poached lobster risotto which I could have made meal of it was so good and the last was the veal loin over some kind of whole grain I cant remember. The loin was excellent, moist and flavorful but not well trimmed with a huge band of fat around the side.
Desserts were lavender infused crème caramel, ice cream puffs, some kind of chocolate decadence thing and crème brule. All were great my favorite being the crème caramel.
Wince list was quite good (except for the hokey titles) and we had 2 bottles of modestly price California Cab. There were lots of choices by the glass and believe it or not ½ glasses.
Our waiter was fabulous and he handled the large crowd very well and took very good care of us. Any regular at Saporitos will also recognize that the singing waiter who was there for 13+ years has jumped ship and joined 53 South,
Overall my rating is B+ but think most of the quirks (long delays, etc) will be worked out once they officially open. I think this place will be a great addition to the South Shore.
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