Restaurants & Bars

Greater Boston Area Tapas

GARDEN IN THE CELLAR 7/08: Tasty Tapas Indeed


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Restaurants & Bars Greater Boston Area Tapas

GARDEN IN THE CELLAR 7/08: Tasty Tapas Indeed

opinionatedchef | | Jul 27, 2008 10:47 PM

I was surprised and delighted that on a Friday night at 8:30, there were a few open tables, enabling us to dine here for the first time.

Cutting to the chase, we had excellent food, O.K. experience with ambience and service. I was a bit disappointed at the room. I guess I just thought, from the name, that it would be ‘gardeny’. Green, lush,comfy. Instead the room had a pretty basic, nondescript look. All banquettes, which is great, but no cushions. The chef, who was seating that night (“because I don’t have a GM right now”) explained later that the bar is owned and run by an unrelated entity. Too bad, because it is really sub par compared to the food.. It was a nasty hot night and I wanted a margherita, but they only use Rose’s lime juice, so that was a no-go. And they don’t serve iced tea (don’t have any tea in the house.)

From our experience that night, the chef and kitchen are very accomplished. I had all small plates and many fried items.They definitely excel at fried.Favorites: Fried green tomatoes in cornmeal crust, salt cod fritters, arancini, beet salad, caesar salad, watermelon gazpacho. Only the chicken croquettes were disappointing; well fried and creamy, but all beschamel and no chicken. Lovely presentation of all the dishes; robust flavorful sauces/aiolis/dressings. Generous portions; reasonable pricing.

The place really is a bit of an anomoly; the food preparation and presentation are definitely
high quality and elegant. But the room and the servers are what you'd experience in a local bar. I’m hoping that comfort and atractiveness and server appearance and proficiency will grow as the restaurant succeeds .

Look forward to our next visit.