Had one of the most enjoyable food weekends I ever had in Boston.
Dinner Friday at Sibling Rivalry -
Excellent service, lucked out when someone cancelled a reservation so my group of 4 could get in. The room is very nice, lively but not overbearingly loud or overbearingly pseudo-hip. Excellent specialty bar drinks; I had a citron vodka mixed with pulverized watermelon, shaken with ice into a martini glass.
We shared an assortment of appetizers, including grilled oysters, tuna tartare and a foie gras preparation. My entree was a lamb shank. Everything was top notch and interesting. The menu presention is a little annoying and gimmicky, with Chef Dave's dishes in one column and Chef Bob's in the other, with the common ingredient in between. Appetizers vs. entrees are color-coded. The desserts were quite good; I particularly enjoyed the blueberry cobbler with fromage blanc ice cream and my wife went wild over the Mexican chocolate pot de creme.
Service was outstanding; I know they were packed for the night, but we never felt rushed as we lingered and spent nearly 3 hours at the table. Our waiter was extremely knowledgeable about both food and wine (he said he was studying to be a sommelier), and personable.
My only criticism was the after-dinner drink menu: no vintage ports, a very disappointing Sauterne, and no sherries of note that I can remember. Very much not up to the quality of the rest of the experience. Not cheap -- ended up being about $100/person including appetizers, drinks, 2 bottles of wine (oops, I guess that was 1/2 our cost -- great bottle of Muira pinot noir), but it was definitely worth it.
On the other end of the spectrum, this morning my family of 4 went for dim sum at Hei La Moon (the one under the parking garage on Beach street across the way from the Chinatown arch). We have long been fans of Chau Chow City, but Hei La Moon won us over. First off, vs. Chau Chow, the restaurant and bathrooms are much cleaner, which is certainly a good start. In general, I thought the choices were broader than most dim sum places, and the flavors noticeably fresher -- just plain better food. Only issue to beware -- father's day seemed to have generated extra crowds and the restaurant is relatively small compared to the typical dim sum place -- arriveing at 10:00 a.m., we had to wait for 45 minutes. I'm told that normally we would have avoided a crowd at that hour, but forewarned is forearmed.
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