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Restaurants & Bars Greater Boston Area

good review of Metro

Peter Moskos | | Nov 26, 2001 05:06 PM

I was a bit apprehensive after reading mostly negative reviews of Metro here. But, having worked in new restaurants, I also believe it's worth waiting a month or two to let a place get it’s kinks worked out. Granted, if their doors are open and they charge full price, all complaints are justified. But it doesn’t make much sense to damn an establishment too early.
I went on a rainy Sunday night after Thanksgiving. The place wasn’t busy. I also agree with others that it is easy to imagine the place too loud on a busy night; there are few soft surfaces to be seen anyway. But I thought the décor was beautiful. There is some incredible tile work. It's a class act. Granted, the place looks new and could perhaps benefit from a few years of wear and tear. But that’s better than a place striving for a fake old look from day one. I also think the décor should be a bit darker (perhaps to compensate for the fact that nicotine-stained walls will never develop), and the lights a bit brighter.
Others have commented on the tables. They are a little tight for the feet, but there is a real plus side: those are the most stable tables I have ever seen in a restaurant! It’s nice to have a table that can support a lot of weight and not wobble or lean. I like them.
On to the important issue: food. We had a salad, oysters, and lamb. That’s not a lot to judge the kitchen on, but everything was excellent. That salad of mixed greens was fresh and well balanced. I liked the light citrus is the dressing. Pine nuts and goat cheese went very well with it.
I had a variety of oysters, and it was nice to compare the differences. I don’t know oysters that well, so I enjoyed tasting the subtle nuances. I got one of each of four they had that night. $1.75 each seems quite reasonable. It would have been nice to know which was which on my plate. Still, at some level I didn’t really care. I was happy to slurp them all. And the vinegar sauce served with the oysters was delicious enough just to dip bread in (both breads--light and dark--were excellent).
The lamb was really outstanding. Slow cooked and very tender. Not at all mushy. A nice blend of spices brought out the natural meatiness of the lamb, but wasn’t overpowering. That excellent sauce was partially soaked up by a small amount of cous-cous served on the plate. Delicious. Any good dish is worth commenting about, but I always feel lamb deserves special attention because it’s still somewhat rare as too many people still consider it an exotic meat.
We didn’t eat desert, but enjoyed two of their fruit brandies. The plumb brandy (something I associate with cheap booze and bad hangovers) was outstanding. The raspberry brandy had only the slightest hint of raspberry. I wouldn’t have known it was raspberry if I wasn’t told. But that may be for the better, as who wants perfumy brandy anyway?
They also have Leffe beer on tap. Which is truly one of the world’s great beers. Not at all easy to find draft.
Service was both friendly and professional. No problems there.
Overall, the prices seem par for the course. Personally, I can’t afford going too often, but if you can, it seems like the ideal warm spot to become a regular. And even I can feel like I'm splurging if I sit at the long bar and down an appetizer with a cool Leffe or two.