This is my first review, so please be gentle! :-)
My boyfriend and I went to the Beacon Hill Bistro last night (for the first time ever), and after hearing some fairly good reviews from my boss, I was a bit disappointed. The Restaurant Week menu had three choices for appetizer and entree, and only one for dessert, but they also offered their regular menu. Here's a (very simplified) recap of the RW menu:
Tomato gazpacho w/ grilled shrimp
Steak tartare w/ some things I can't remember (sorry!)
Nicoise salad w/ anchovies, capers and haricot verts
Pan-seared cod w/ some kind of pea reduction
Herb-roasted rack of lamb w/ truffled potatoes and beets
Cavatappi w/ tomatoes, olives, mussels and chorizo
Cantaloupe and vanilla panna cotta
The server (who wasn't very nice, but more on that later) brought out some slices of a rustic sort of french bread which was typical, if not for the crust that was so chewy it made my jaw hurt!
Okay, we both started with the gazpacho, which tasted fine to us, but was nothing spectacular. I'll be honest, I've never had any sort of cold soup before (!), but this gazpacho tasted frighteningly like...salsa. Is that how it's supposed to taste? You'll all have to educate me on this. They were also a bit economical on the shrimp, since we each got only *half* a piece, and it wasn't even grilled. Actually, it seemed only barely cooked, but it was okay. For our entrees, I went with the lamb (with a glass on Pinot Noir), because I can never get enough lamb, and my bf ordered the cod (with a glass of Riesling). They were both quite good, but the portions were really very small. The cod, which was only about 3/4 the size of my palm, was cooked perfectly and garnished with a tasty, earthy reduction which was lovely and light, but really left my boyfriend wanting much more. My lamb was also cooked to my taste, and was served with a few spoonfuls of basic pureed potatoes and beets, but again, was too damn tiny. (It took everything I had in me to not suck on the little bones that were left on my plate.) It wouldn't have been so bad if the regular entrees were small, but from what we saw, they were MUCH larger. A plate of steak frites went by our table, and I swear I almost reached out and grabbed a few fries. Our dessert came soon after, and it turned out to be a kind of cantaloupe soup with a block (no other way to describe it) of cantaloupe sorbet and a *tiny* piece of panna cotta on top. I liked it a lot, but *again*, being a big fan of panna cotta, I would've preferred to have a bit more.
It would've been a better experience if the service was good, but unfortunately, it was not. Forgive me for my rant, but does anyone else here feel like they're treated differently (and not in a good way) just because they're younger? I'm a young-looking 23 years old, and I feel like a lot of servers "ignore" me because they don't think I know any better, or they don't think I'd give a big tip. Well let me tell you, if you don't give good service, you certainly won't be getting a big tip! Our server was an older woman, and the only time she spoke to us was when she came to take our order, and when she came to drop off the check. It also didn't particularly help to see her fawning over the older couple beside us.
All-in-all, a disappointing meal. I've been to other restaurants during RW both this year and the previous ones, and they all did a much better job at making me want to come back. We both felt a bit cheated by the portions of the RW offerings, and we both agreed that we should've just stuck to the regular menu. However, maybe it's just a RW fluke, so I would consider giving them (and their steak frites) another try, but only if we have a different server :-)