Restaurants & Bars 3

Dinner at Cake

kagoo | Mar 3, 200808:19 AM

My husband and I had dinner at Cake in Chestnut Hill on Thursday. I think I'm the first to report on dinner, so here goes...

We arrived at 7 and had to wait just a few minutes for our table. The restaurant was full, but there were not the long lines you find during the day.

Our waitress was very young and very sweet and a bit nervous, and tried very hard to be professional and helpful. No complaints there.

Now, the food. First, let me emphasize that we're fans from 'way back when Cake was at the top of the Hill: we've had breakfast and lunch at the new location several times, and loved everything (as have the various people we've been with).

So, there's hope. We hope. Because dinner was...well, not so good. My husband started with mussels in a white sauce. Mussels perfectly cooked, but sauce underseasoned and bland. I started with a salad: spinach, endive, toasted walnuts, apples, and -- on the menu -- bacon. I asked if I could get it without the bacon, and the waitress said that was no problem. When it arrrived, there was the bacon -- which, to her credit, the waitress noticed as she set it down and said she'd take it back and get me another. She did. I ate several bites of the replacement salad, when I discovered... bacon. They had clearly not made a new salad; they'd just removed (they thought) the bacon. This time I fished out the bacon and ate most of the salad. When I pointed out the bacon to the waitress, she was most apologetic, and aplogized twice more during the evening. I do think that was a sloppy move on the kitchen's part. (Too bad, because the salad would have been the high point: the greens were very fresh and the creamy dressing was light and tasty.)

Entrees: Steak for husband; that was just OK. Accompanying roasted broccoli fine; mac 'n' cheese hard and crusty (all crust). I had gnocci, which I realize is a big test. It was not the lightest I've ever had, but not at all heavy; very nicely made. But the tomato sauce was bland and a tad bitter, and the dish was not hot.

It would be difficult for any dish to stay hot on a cold evening at Cake because, as those who have been there know, it's in a converted greenhouse. The space is lovely at night (as it is during the day), but woo-eee is it nippy, especially if you are -- as we were -- seated by the window.

So, overall, a disappointment. Price for two apps and two entrees, $53. This would be a wonderful thing if the food were wonderful; we live a block away and would love to count this as a favorite. But not yet. We're hoping the kitchen gets its act together -- it just needs a little thought and a little tweaking. We'll wait a while and give them another chance. Our fingers are crossed.

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