I routinely laud this place, and tonight provides another reason to love it. Friends from the 'burbs who don't get out much want something that won't bust their budget, but will still give them that frisson of high-style city dining.
What do we get? Moules frites (good broth, no grit, great frites), root-vegetable-puree soup (simple and awesome, nice slice of roasted pear, some kind of excellent stock, chicken?), a shockingly rich beef short rib app (maybe the hit of the night), roasted beet salad with dressing served unrequested on the side (kind of Harry-Met-Sally, but it works), Provencale scallops, a roasted cod entree, the always-reliable maccheroni with veal.
One strong cocktail and a nice-priced bottle of red Valpolicella, fine French-press coffee, an amazing three-cheese plate, a just-okay rich-chocolate-cake dessert. Near-perfect service throughout.
$130 a couple, complete: a bargain, we think. One of the more reliable South End dining experiences, in my book.