We decided to eat at Todd English's, OLIVES, last night since i have never been there and it seems to be such a Boston Dining Staple.
We started by having a drink at the bar, where the bartender finally noticed us and promptly gave us our drinks. The space seem to be busy, the staff moving like a colony of ants, and for the most part the guest seem pleased. We were finally seated and waited to be attended by our server. The server was pleasant and seemed to know what was on the menu and how to describe each dish we asked about. We had some wine and snacked on the bread and olive trio. The bread was good, but a little too much olives. The green olive spread was way too salty, but the rest wasn't that bad.
We were suprised by the size of our first course! The carpaccio was so big, that it became unappitizing. We felt that more isn't always better, hense the side of beef on the plate garnished with a garden of large leaf lettuce and heavy handed balsamic dressing. The potatoes on the plate were delightful, i must say. Sadly, the rabbit cacciatore special failed to win our approval. Though the polenta was edible, it did not compensate for the lifeless "cacciatore"! Maybe if the tendon and bone i bit in to had not been present, i would have enjoyed it....probably not!! It was by far the worst thing i had during our dinner.
Overwhelmed by theTexas size apps, we were concerned with our maincourse. The duck al'orange was anything but what the name suggested. I'm all for the practice of fusion or the "new twist", but many times "fusion" seems more like "confusion". Though it did have an orange segment and some sort of orange sauce, the dish took on more of an asian feel than the more familar French dish. I'm ok with that, just don't serve it with some sort of carrot-rootveg-mashed potato!! The duck breast though tasty with its "hoisin jus" and toasted sesame seeds, was overcooked and dry. The cabbage and veggie garnish was underseasoned and BLAHHHH! DC had the pork dish, which suggested it came with an apple butter, yet it was served with diced apples. Also the waiter didn't suggest a temp the chef likes to serve the gigantic pork chop, so I as a cook myself assumed it would come mr or med, nope, med well to well......strange. It was tasty, but again the portion size was ridiculous.
This is too long, so I'll cut to the chase. Way to expensive for the quality of food, not quantity, shady service. Boston has some serious dining issues. Big attitudes by the chefs/owners, crappy food from what seems to be the big gun restaurants. We've given up on the Boston Dining Scene.