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full dinner at Sibling Rivalry

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full dinner at Sibling Rivalry

MC Slim JB | Nov 23, 2004 08:06 AM

Finally got a sit-down meal in the dining room here, after a couple of snack and dessert visits. Short version: very respectable food, with emphasis on pretty platings, at the high end of the South End fine-dining price spectrum. Many more hits than misses. Standouts at our table: apps -- pumpkin ravioli in brown butter and fried sage, a Mexican-style tuna soup (sounds odd, but was extraordinary); entrees -- a veal chop, a cylinder of boned short ribs; sides -- a gratin of flageolets with sausage (a $6 mini-cassoulet).

Foie gras terrine app was pretty good; composed salad with roasted pear just so-so. Wine list has the increasingly typical and annoying high-end tilt: most are in the $70-to-$90 range, but we found some bargains at >$40, notably a $40 Oregon pinot noir, a much better value than the $32 Italian Barbera. Desserts are good but not swoony; I'm learning to expect homemade ice creams to be outstanding, and they're merely very good here.

At this price point, I find two things rather odd. The dining room is pedestrian verging on ugly, with a seafoam and autumn pastel palette that sreams "businessman's hotel dining room" to me. Service is young, attractive, and somewhat unpolished; pleasant and attentive on a busy night, but obviously not very seasoned. How many wine bottles must you open before it looks like it's not a puzzle, or pour before you can hit the glass with accuracy? (Good stemware, though.)

The crowd is odd for the neighborhood, too (or maybe just represents the new South End): older, suburban-looking, decidedly unfunky.

Soup to nuts with about four glasses of modestly-priced wine, tax and tip works out to about $80/person. Neither a steal nor a swindle for a celebratory meal; we're all pretty happy with the experience. I doubt if any of us could recall or care which brother's side of the menu (chef Bob vs. chef Dave) our dishes came from.

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