Went to 75 Chestnut on Beacon Hill last night, as they have extended the prixe fix menu another week. Overall, a very disappointing dining experience.
We had the clam and shrimp chowder, crab cakes, grilled wild salmon with creamed spinach, and passion fruit crème brulee and chocolate bread pudding for dessert.
The chowder was excellent, good bacon and clam flavors, but the shrimp added nothing but a little bit of texture. The stronger clam flavor completely overwhelmed the shrimp. The crab cakes were tasty, good lump meat, but nothing spectacular.
The salmon was excellent, with a great glaze of reduced apple jus. The spinach was too sweet, not balancing the sweetness of the fish, but rather making the entire dish seem like candy. By "creamed" they meant here that whole crunch spinach leaved had some cream poured on them. My dining companion liked it, I thought it was too much like candy and left almost all of it on the plate.
The dessert was the most problematic. The passion fruit crème brulee did have a wonderful passion fruit flavor, but it arrived HOT. Not the mild warming you get when the sugar is freshly bruleed, but out of the over hot. Instead of a cool, silky custard with a delicate fruit flavor, it was a hot, almost grainy mass with a fairly strong egg flavor. The waitress apologized, saying they just took it out of the oven, but didn't offer to give me anything else instead. The bread pudding, a signature dessert, was excellent.
A little on the ambiance - when I was there last summer, it was a really lovely romantic spot - warm dark colors, lots of fabrics, and a wall between the dining area and the bar. They have repainted the walls a much warmer color, removed the tablecloths and put open windows between the bar and the dining area. As a result, the restaurant was extremely loud, despite a small number of patrons. Also, I think the romantic standing will suffer, since you can now see the baseball game going on behind your partner's head. Overall, an letdown from what I experienced a year ago.
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