Greetings fellow Hounds.
I'm coming to the great city of Boston to visit the Brother and Sister-in-law next month and want to treat them to a blowout tasting menu dinner. They are both professional classical musicians, part time organic gardeners, with two little girls, so they don't get out much for things like this (although they are very well versed in the local restaurant scene and have excellent taste in food and wine). I realize these three restaurants are not the most imaginative choices, but hey, I'm trying to make a statement, and these seem to be the "big three" for this type of thing. Before you start yelling at me and posting links to older threads (most of which I've probably read) I'm wondering if anyone would be willing to offer some fresh insights before I make the reservation. I'm leaning towards cocktails at Drink followed by the full tasting menu with wine pairings at Menton, although I've read they can be a little stuffy (although that was not my experience at No. 9 when I dined there on my last trip). Never been to Clio, which looks really good on paper but I have read multiple times that service and execution of the dishes is fairly inconsistent. Loved my last dinner at Toro, however. Lastly, I've eaten great food at Craigie, even if a couple of the dishes seemed to lack a point of reference, however I was probably seated a bit to close to the kitchen-watching a commis and food runner have their asses handed to them by Chef in the middle of my meal was particularly unsettling, as I work in the hospitality industry myself. L'Espaulier was on the short list after having wonderful snacks in the Salon after passing my Sommelier cert a couple years back, but I've since gotten the impression that the shine is off that penny. Soooo, if anyone has recent experiences at any of these establishment or can provide any additional feedback, I would be very grateful.
A little about me so you know where I'm coming from: worked for that last ten years in the wine biz in Napa (so wine program is an important consideration), currently working as a waiter/som at a restaurant in southern California (so professional service without attitude is preferable) and goes without saying my expectations of the food is very high. Have dined at most of the major restaurants on the west coast multiple times (TFL, Clio, Provenance, Sirus, Campton Place when Daniel Humm was at the helm, etc.) and I recognize Boston takes it's food very seriously, so as I said, expectations are very high. As an aside, very much looking forward to meals at Salts and Bondir on this trip as well, maybe even more than the above, just so you know I'm not star-struck.
I apologize in advance for the length of this post. I look forward to hearing from you all.
p.s. Is Shad Roe still available in April???