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Boston Area

Great Bay report (long and positive)


Restaurants & Bars

Great Bay report (long and positive)

rlh | Nov 10, 2005 10:02 AM

I had a friend from Baltimore in town last night for his first adult visit to Boston -- he wanted lobster and was staying in Back Bay. Legal was not considered -- even for a second. We initially went to Summer Shack, but it was closed for a private party (and they apologetically gave us a gift card to use on another future visit -- great and gracious idea! Kudos to Summer Shack -- I'll be back!).

We decided to take a chance with (and considering the cold rain, a taxi to) Great Bay, which I had never been to -- and what a stroke of luck it turned out to be (in stark contrast to the recent posting linked below)! This report should all be considered with the caveat that it was an expense account meal (and I don't know the total, but would guess on the order of $150 in total for the two meals).

It was prime time and no tables were available last night, but we were offered seats that were open in the lounge area or "island". Opting for the island was great. The service there was outstanding -- quick, friendly, well-informed, and opinionated -- from both the waitress and the island chef.

We had the always-great Duxbury Oysters and simply OK halibut tacos to start -- as well as a truly spectacular Jonah Crab and wild mushroom salad the island chef created (and comped to us!) based on overhearing some of our trash-talking about NE crab vs. MD Blues. WOW! -- it was amazing and my mid-Altantic friend leaves with a far better impression of our non-lobster crustacean offerings as a result.

The waitress white wine recommendations by the glass (Chard and an Austrian) were excellent as well.

The bread was meager(no more than a small,single roll each was ever offered) and it VERY ordinary but served with good butter, by the way.

Based on lengthy and pretty educational consultation with the island chef, we ordered the halibut poached in olive oil and the grilled sturgeon -- both perfectly cooked and served. The glass of (red) burgundy recommended with the sturgeon I had was also spot on.

It's true, the lobster offered on the menu was not chosen by my Baltimore visitor, but that's what the Barking Crab is for today at lunch...

It was such a welcoming, professional, and delicious experience. The island bar and main dining room are also really great-looking as well. Great Bay is now on my "short list" (along with Via Matta, Radius, Mistral, East Coast Grill, Chez Henri, Oishii Too, Upstairs on the Square, The Helmand, and Central Kitchen), especially for business meals and maybe for personal special occassions as well. I look forward to returning there -- and hope they will hold on to that highly-talented and personable island chef!


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