Long time lurker; first time to post. :)
I am a huge fan of No. 9 Park, so I had to give B&G a try. We got in relatively early (around 6) and had no problems getting a table. A word of warning though... when 6:45-7:00 rolled around people were waiting for seats (all seats at both the bar and tables were taken). Those who were waiting for seating were waited on for drinks (nice touch). Barbara Lynch herself was behind the counter orchestrating the preparations.
First thing is first... I saw a les Fourneaux (premier cru) Chablis on the list from a producer I had never tried (something close to Gosset... forget exactly). I have enjoyed other Chablis from Fourneaux (Verget makes my favorite), so I decided to give this one a try. The price was right at $44. Golden straw in color; aromas of flint, minerals, with traces of lemon zest. Palate was buttressed by some nice acidity. A good chioce if oysters are to be consumed! I sent a glass back to the kitchen only to find out the Barbara was pregnant... so some sous chef got a treat for the night. I am a full-on wine geek and was impressed with the wine list. Some careful thought went into the selections (good breadth of wines that all compliment the menu well). The mark-up on the wines was a little on the high side, however. Don't expect the nice Troquet mark-ups here; however, most selections were below $50 nonetheless.
The first thing that struck me was the price of the oysters. Previous posts have mentioned and been critical of the $2.25/oyster prices. Now the price is down to $2.00/oyster. No matter. The following was availabel on the oyster list:
Cape Breton (Nova Scotia)
Hurricane Bay (Nova Scotia)
We order two of each so we could try the whole spectrum. All of them were delicious and fresh. My favorites of the night were the Hurricanes: they were simply a typhon of sweet brine and cream on the palate. I had never tried them, so they were a real treat. The Belons were massive. They were offering knives to cut them in two before eating (yes, they were that big!).
Next, I had to try this lobster roll everyone has raved about. Yes, it is $21, but it is... without a doubt... the BEST lobster roll I have ever eaten. It was comical when first presented... I would have liked to have seen the size of the lobster they killed to make this roll. There was so much lobster on the toasted split-top roll, I had to shovel some to the side in order to make it manageable for eating in a public forum. The roll was served with some delicious fries (yes, the same fries you can get at No. 9 Park bar). The waitress offered some ketchup and I accepted, but never used it. They are just too damn good alone! I was also served a dolop of what had the be the best cole slaw I have ever had in New England and a slew of pickle slices (tasted like the same ones they handed out to diners during restaurant week to promote the Butcher Shop). Simply magnificent! Not only were these accoutrements ambrosial in and of themselves, it was also obvious that they were placed on the dish to complement each other. Very nice!
My friend ordered the fried calamari. I was anxious to see what Barbara did with calamari since this seems to be one of the most abused dishes in town. She did not disappoint. Lightly battered in a tempura style, and fried wihtout being greasy, these guys were great! Served with an aioli and a side of pickled cucumber slices (or should I just say "pickle slices"?), both of which were outstanding and the perfect accompaniment to the calamari.
We didn't have time for dessert, but all three options sounded appealing. The one that interested me the most was the butterscotch pudding. Dang! When was the last time I had pudding? As I sit here writing this, I wish it was earlier tonight! :)
Barbara was nice enough to come over to the table and thank us for the wine. We talked for a moment. She was very nice. I told her that she needed to come to Southie (where I live) and be the first to open a NICE restaurant. She said she didn't think Southie was ready to support one... I think she may be right, but she may be wrong. I know if she opened one I would be there 3 nights/week!
The decor was modern with clean lines and a steel look throughout. The wait staff was very nice and the service was great (I don't think water glasses ever got less than a quarter empty).
I hate to gush on-and-on about the place, but it was a great experience. Two observations that may bother some: 1. It is a bit noisy. Don't come here during busy hours expecting a quiet dinner for two. I don't mind the noise... it is a happening place. 2. Every time a load of dishes was done and they opened the dishwasher, the entire place was awash with the odor of cascade. You know that awful chemical smell? Nice if you are cleaning a kitchen, but not so nice if you are trying to eat dinner and enjoy the aromas of your wine and food.
Anyway... sorry I rambled so much... I usually post a lot on wine boards, so this is my first stab at a food post. I knew it would happen eventually. :)
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