What a contrast. Wednesday night we ate at the Monday Club Bar of Upstairs on the Square, and couldn't have been more disappointed. 2 options each for app, entree and dessert, and of the 2 apps & entrees, there were 2 veggie, 1 pasta, and 1 fish, Haddock, to boot. To top it all off, nothing was particularly good, and the waiter, although attentive, certainly didn't seem to care that I hadn't finished but half of my meager entree. Talk about a restaurant that doesn't seem to understand what Restaurant Week is all about.
Now on the other hand, dinner last night at Azure was absolutely delightful. 5 choices each among the apps and entrees and 4 dessert choices. Ample portions, plus 2 amuse bouches, friendly service, and well executed dishes across the board. These guys knew what they were doing, and it was winning over a new customer. I will definitely return.
So, the food:
Amuse Bouche #1
Bite-sized Mozzarella & Tomato Salad Crostini. Simple, tasty, and a lovely surprise. We were all very pleasantly taken aback at the idea of being presented with an amuse bouche during Restaurant Week.
Steamed mussels with some kind of smoky tomato broth over grilled bread of some sort. Really tasty, and suprisingly interesting for a relatively common dish.
Salad of Mizuna Greens, Watermelon and Goat Cheese. Also very tasty, simple, interesting.
Thai-style corn & coconut soup. No one ordered it.
Beef Tartare, with tiny pomme frites and home-made ginger ketchup. Again, tasty, interesting, and a surprisingly generous portion.
Seafood platter, including one oyster, one giant shrimp, and a small pile of cockles or other such tiny clams, each with its own interesting sauce. I only had a small taste, but the dish looked lovely, and there were no leftovers.
Pan seared black sea bass. No one ordered. I think it came "cioppino style" or something like that. Clams, chorizo, etc.
Salmon something. Also not ordered. Don't remember how it was served.
Mystery entree. Maybe a pasta? Can't remember. Martini #2 must have been kicking in.
Chicken served three ways. Breast poached in olive oil, maybe a bit too simple, boring. Leg and thigh each very tasty, each in its own preparation.
Veal medallions wrapped in caul (sp?) and served with whipped garlic potatoes and a terrific reduction sauce. Maybe the best dish of the night. Really flavorful.
Amuse Bouche #2
Bite-sized dark-chocolate-covered rice krispy treat. Again, a lovely surprise, a tasty, simple little treat, with a sense of humor.
Super-rich chocolate cake of some sort.
Blueberry "dome" cake.
3 delicious sorbets (sherbets?)
All in all, a really exceptional meal, and a wonderful surprise.