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Indigo in Needham: A report (long)

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Indigo in Needham: A report (long)

Sarah W-R | Jan 29, 2006 04:31 PM

We went to Indigo in Needham for the first time last night. When I searched this board for comments, all I could find were two lonely inquiries about it, neither of which had gotten a reply, so I thought someone should go on record about it. It's been around since at least 2003, and has been judged "Best of Greater Needham" (awww) three times, so it's slightly odd that it's never been discussed on this board. We are recent emigres to MetroWest from Cambridge, so we are always looking for good chow in the 'burbs.

We arrived on time for an 8:30 reservation, but our two friends were late. The long, narrow DR was packed, with a few people also eating at the small bar in the entryway. The crowd skewed older and well-dressed--my husband and I were the only people under 35 or wearing jeans in the room. The wait staff were younger than us, though, and very friendly, if a bit frazzled--we had time to sit down at the bar and drink a glass of wine before the host, who had been delivering plates to tables, got back to his station and noticed that we were there. We were seated at a cozy banquette next to a glass divider; walking through the room, the place had seemed loud, but the tables along the wall are separated into small sections by these dividers, so we could hear each other fine.

We had a bottle of NZ Sauvignon and a Trimbach Alsatian pinot gris from the short, fairly moderately-priced wine list. We shared two apps, shrimp with rosemary white bean crostini and aged balsamic (great) and a duck confit crepe with a "Brie sauce" (turned out to be de-rinded, pureed Brie, maybe thinned with cream--looked like hollandaise) and walnuts (as a whole, too unctuous, needed something sharp/tart/acidic).

For entrees: I had sundried-tomato-crusted wild cod (perfectly cooked, translucent, tender, delicious, and really interesting) atop "crab gnocchi" (actually lumps of crabmeat and gnocchis, separately, but wonderful, the gnocchi almost toasted on the outside and creamy-soft within); my husband and a friend each had grilled scallops (unfortunately overcooked to rubberiness) with a sweet potato gratin (an oval cake of souffle-like, pie-spiced potato, delicious if a bit sweet to go with already-sweet scallops); and the other friend had the lamb shank (advertised as "braised," so when my friend asked for "medium rare," the server should have explained that braised = well done, but did not, so the friend thought it was overdone) with truffled polenta (lovely, the best thing on the plate). Portions were medium-large, except for the scallop dish, which was more haute-skimpy.

Dessert: They have "dessert martinis" on the menu along with the desserts, which is cute (they have a long non-dessert martini menu as well), but we opted for non-liquid finales. We had a coconut creme brulee (really good, with true, rich, non-Malibu-like coconut flavor) and a white chocolate/raspberry cheesecake (which I honestly can't remember; this was the end of the evening and two bottles down).

As we were scraping the dessert plates clean at about 11:20, we realized that we were the only people left in the place and that the servers were visibly cleaning up. They hadn't actively tried to dislodge us, but nobody had said "Take your time," either, and they had dropped the check WITH the desserts. They probably wanted to get home, change, and go out in Boston. :) Total for four, with two apps, four entrees, two desserts, and two coffees: $130 (not including the two bottles of wine, which brought the whole tab up to $200). If my husband and I had been alone and not in such a gala mood, we probably would have spent more like $50 for the two of us, $80 including wine.

So, bottom line: some quite impressive and interesting hits, some misses, and good value for money, in a pretty, comfortable setting. The atmosphere is MetroWest (prosperous and middle-aged) but the food would be at home in the South End. Maybe not worth a trip from Boston, but if you live out here, I definitely recommend it.

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