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Restaurants & Bars 7

Canteen AND Range

Frosty Melon | Oct 25, 2005 05:28 PM

A short time back I asked for opinions on Canteen and Range so I could choose between the two for my birthday dinner. As it turns out I was able to hit both within a week.

I went to Range early on a Saturday night (5:45-ish) and had no trouble (with no res) getting a table in the front bar section. I started with a mushroom ravioli in a light butter sauce -- a great autumn starter. Next I had the pork shoulder which was as good as everyone on the board said. Fatty, tender and delicious. Never had to use my knife. I liked the atmosphere at Range -- lively and convivial -- but that's something I do appreciate about a restaurant. And yes, it is loud.

Birthday dinner was at Canteen. We were seated promptly at our reservation time at 7:30. At first I was concerned as there was no sign of Dennis Leary, but he did appear a short while after we sat down. The menu here is very limited; only four choices each for appetizers, entrees and desserts. We had an amuse of a tiny shot of herb consomme. Delicious. I started with the seabass ceviche with cucumber, lime and (uncredited on the menu) avocado. This was very good; the fish tasted extremely fresh and the whole dish was so pleasantly cooling. My entree was the "pot au feu" of lamb with spinach, apple cider and mustard. I was presented with a deep plate, in the center of which were disks of house-made lamb sausage and various types of prepared lamb pieces, with some sauteed spinach. Over this was poured a thick but not heavy soup of apple cider with flecks of real mustard. Great presentation, great flavors. Overall, I really appreciated the feeling that each dish coming out of the kitchen was prepared by Dennis Leary. Service was spotty as there is a single server handling all 20 patrons. I started out wishing the atmosphere was a little more in-line with the prices, but I was so wowed once the food came it stopped bothering me.

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