Restaurants & Bars

Boston Area Dinner

dinner at Sel de la Terre

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Restaurants & Bars

dinner at Sel de la Terre

MC Slim JB | Jun 16, 2005 10:51 AM

Brought a few friends for dinner the other night, when it was as packed as a busy weekend night, something I've never seen there on a weeknight. I'm pleased to see the fixed-price menu format still in place (all apps $10, all entrees $24), and I thought the food was very good if not extraordinary.

My usual reliance on soup was rewarded: a beautiful, velvety puree of Vidalia onions and potatoes with a generous floating island of lobster, avocado and tarragon. An entree of braised beef shortribs (I shouldn't be ordering this dish in mid-June, but it was chilly out) sat in a puddle of a rather similar onion/potato puree; fresh fava beans and cherry tomatoes added some much-needed piquancy. I kill for short ribs, but this dish was something short of transporting.

Kitchen pacing was a concern; we'd barely gotten halfway through our first round of cocktails when appetizers came slamming onto our table. I started to worry that the place is popular enough now that it has developed a table-churning mentality. But there was a more suitable pause before the main course, and they seemed to have no problem letting us linger over a cheese plate (which they do a really nice job of, with a good dozen options to choose from) and glasses of port.

Service did not always hit its marks, alternating between cloyingly attentive and MIA when we needed a glass of wine. Overall acceptable. Not the best experience I've had here, though my crew was pretty happy with their meals, and the check wasn't shocking. I suspect my next few meals here will be brunch, when the place seems less hectic.

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