Last Saturday, a friend and I decided to catch up over dinner at the Blue Room, in Kendall Square. When we arrived for our 8PM reservation, we found the restaurant bustling in a sort of rumbling, understated manner.
We were seated promptly and given menus. When we placed our drink orders, we were carded, which hasn't happened to me in a restaurant in... forever. Sure, I look somewhat young, but really. In a nice restaurant? If I were underage, I'd have attempted somewhere else to drink.. then again, perhaps it does make sense. Getting carded in restaurants is rarer - at least, when I was under 21, I always had greater success (ahem, I assume I'd have greater success) in nice dining establishments as opposed to bars. Sorry for the digression. Oh yes, she got a glass of the cotes du rhone and I had a vodka-cassis lime rickey, in which I could detect no cassis flavour but there was an awful lot of lime.
Everything looked good, but we ordered light as we'd been rather indulgent with the advent of the holiday season. To start, I had the chicken liver pate - a nice little terrine served with four slices of brioche toast, sweet onion jam and brandied prunes. The pate was smooth as silk - or perhaps more accurately, pannacotta. The bread wasn't very brioche-like to me - a little too airy - and it was buttered as well, which just made it greasy. Plus, who needs it to be buttered when it's about to be spread with pate? The onions were a nice contrast to the pate, and I didn't have the prunes because I don't like prunes. For my entree, I had the rock shrimp salad - large leaves of uncut boston bibb lettuce, drizzled with a citrus vinaigrette and accompanied by some avocado and plantain chips. It was good - reminded me of fancy spa food - but definitely hit the spot as I was looking for something lighter (which I realise is hypocritical since I did order the pate - but normally, really, I'd have ordered the duck, which was so tempting).
My friend got the rock shrimp salad to start, and then for her entree had the wood-grilled pizza, which I didn't taste as I was full. The pizza was flatbread-style, and had various vegetable toppings.
For dessert, we split a quince tarte tatin with apple sorbet, which was simply delightful. The crust was nice and buttery, and the sorbet balanced out the sweetness of the quince.
It's a rather dim place, and seating is rather close together. Service was prompt (and we were asked at the beginning of the meal if there was a show or somewhere else we had to be at a certain time, which is a nice touch).
The bill came to under $40/person for 1 drink, 1 glass of wine, 2 salads and 2 appetizer-sized dishes. True, we didn't eat a lot - had we ordered true entrees, the bill would have undoubtedly been more. But we weren't in the mood for that, and this fit the bill quite nicely. I'd gladly return - perhaps when I'm in a more indulgent mood so I can eat more.