I recently moved here from San Francisco and have been lamenting my favorite places. In an attempt to start trying to find new places to enjoy here, we decided to try Gargoyles on the Square last night.
I must say that everything was wonderful!
Our server warned us that the tasting menu still has its training wheels on, but we went for it anyway. $60 for 6 courses ($90 with wine pairing) seemed like a bargain here in Boston. And it was.
1) Hawaiian Poke paired with a Pinot Grigio. This dish was very good, and all of the flavors and textures played off each other well. I thought the Pinot Grigio was a bit buttery for the Poke, husband thought it was perfect.
2) Lamb Tartare: w/ anchovy paired with 5 Rivers Pinot Noir
This dish surprised me because I'm not a big fan of lamb and I loved it. My husband's favorite dish of the night although he thought the anchovy overwhelmed the lamb and gave most of his anchovy to me (who loved the pairing).
3) Black Grouper with chorizo, stuffed chile paired with a Riesling
This was my favorite and I thought it was a brilliant dish - one of those that shouldn't work but does. My only complaint was that the Grouper while beautifully done, complemented the chorizo and chile relleno, but did not really add to it. The Riesling with the chorizo was fantastic.
4) Scallops w/ black pepper, satsuma tangerine (they were out of the cod and substituted scallops) paired with a Sauvignon Blanc. I loved this dish- the subtlety was amazing- the tangerines were perfect with it. The Sauvignon Blanc matched perfectly
5) Signature Duck Confit paired with Casillero del Diablo Merlot: I was disappointed in this the signature dish. The duck was too salty. The salt clashed with the Merlot. The bites that were not so salty were divine - the texture of the duck was perfect and the coconut rice was creamy and the perfect sweetness. I overheard the man at the table next to me also comment that his duck was so salty he couldn't taste the dish, so it was not just me. My husband agreed that it was salty but thought it tasted good anyway.
6) Gingerbread with fruit and whipped cream: Gingerbread was nice and moist- good ending.
Our server was fantastic - friendly, down to earth, but knew each of the dishes and how the flavors and textures should work together (even though this was only the 2nd weekend of the spring menu). Also, the restaurant itself was nicely decorated and had a very nice atmosphere.
For a tasting menu with its training wheels on, it was almost perfectly done. Overall the portions were just right. The pace could have been slightly slower. Each glass of wine was a full pour, so we ended up sharing which worked out perfect. I wish that they would have allowed a foie gras supplement since personally I try to eat it at every opportunity. There were also none of the little extras which are typical in San Francisco with tasting menus - no Amuse Bouche, no little treats with the check, but in truth I didn't miss them.
Overall, we had a fantastic night and I have newfound hope for my restaurant experiences in Boston!