The other night I checked out Laura Brennan's new place in the South End, Caffe Umbra. She was most recently at Seasonal Table.
All three items we tried were good.
Cream of lettuce soup with lobster "butter". Not sure what lobster butter is, but it went perfectly with the warm lettuce soup. Lettuce may be just a bit too subtle a flavor for soup (and was not strong here) but the whole thing worked very well together. VERY good.
Skate with bacon and cauliflower puree. Skate is very tricky to get just right, and the preparation here erred (as it often can) just on the side of stringy, instead of pleasantly flaky. Nonetheless, the texture flaw was compensated for by the wonderful flavors. Again, well balanced. Pleasantly salty.
The lamb sausage with mascarpone ravioli was also delicious. The sausage, made in house, would have made a great meal on its own, but also did well with the house-made ravioli.
Wines are all french and italian. No american. Although, the chardonnay by the glass (I don't remember the name) had all the oak and butter of the classic California style.
Caffe Umbra is on Washington street in the "shadow" of the Holy Cross Cathedral.