First of all, thank you to everyone who gave alternate recommendations to places near Boylston Street for dinner. In the end, we ended up sticking with Vinalia because the online menu looked so tempting, and they took reservations.
The address given for Vinalia is 101 Arch Street - but the real entrance is on Summer Street, facing Macy's. This was a touch confusing. Second story of an office building, the space is rather weird as the restaurant is bisected by the escalator which takes you there. One half is more of a bar, the other a restaurant. Dim blue lighting gives it a sort of funky feel.
We got there at around 7PM on Friday night, and the bar was packed (with a birthday party, I think), but the restaurant side was rather emptyish. (It did fill up later on.) We were promptly seated and given our menus. But wait! The menus weren't the same as the one online! This was really disappointing, as I had really wanted the steak frites with foie gras butter. Alas. Also on their website, there is a note saying that all entrees are priced under $20. This is not the case anymore, as most of the entrees are in the $20-$30 range. Also, the tasting menu with wine pairing (mentioned on Citysearch) is only offered on Wednesday nights, according to our waitress.
Well, fine. So we placed our orders anyway. We started with fried goat cheese and avocado ravioli - four large ravioli, drizzled with balsalmic vinegar and topped with wilted spinach and grapefruit sections. Good, but slightly greasy. Foccacia was also placed on our bread plates, a crock of butter for the table.
As an entree, I got the sea scallops with a butternut squash risotto. The scallops were at that fine border between perfection and being over-seared - thankfully, a border they did not cross. The risotto was disappointing though - it did not have very much flavour, and the consistency was very mushy. It too was topped with some wilted spinach - apparently popular in the restaurant. My friend got the chicken, and I'm not too sure how it was served. I got the impression that while it was fine, it wasn't anything special - which was the overarching theme of the meal.
We did not end up ordering dessert, as the offerings looked very blah ("pedestrian" was how my friend described them - the ubiqutious creme brulee, flourless chocolate cake, etcetc). Service was fine, nothing to complain about.
The tab ended up being around $40-some/person, for 1 appetizer, 2 entrees and 1 bottle of wine. Not horribly expensive, but it was overall a very lackluster and disappointing meal.
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