I’m drafting this a fortnight into a three week holiday to new England and suspect that this dinner will prove to be the most enjoyable of the whole trip. Not the most upscale restaurant, nor the most inventive cooking but most enjoyable in eating three courses prepared by a chef who knows exactly what’s what by way of delivering bang-on flavours.
The room is light and bright with modern furnishings. Our server was excellent and a real credit to her employer – knowledgable, engaging, efficient. The menu has a mainly Italian thrust to it but occasionally darts off to grab other Mediterranean flavours – as in a charcuterie plate which included sobrasada (something we’re never seen outside of Mallorca).
There were some nibbles to start – good olives, some oil for dipping and an excellent red pepper dip, tasting very much of itself.
A pate was on the specials – a smooth rich chicken liver one – the serving pot topped with fig vinegar – similarish to an aged balsamic, cutting through the richness. The other starter brought a small portion of fettucine topped with a very unctuous pulled pork. They really should think about offering this as a main course – it really was excellent.
There was fettucine in a main course of lobster, scallops, mussels and asparagus. Real care had been taken in cooking the various elements with none of them overdone. It was bound in a creamy lobster and chive sauce that was perfect for taste and texture.
Lobster and asparagus were also the centrepieces of a risotto. It was well made texture-wise but the was an over-dominance of cheese which tended to mask the flavour of the champagne used in cooking. And, of course, it also tended to mask the subtle flavours of the lobster and asparagus. But, otherwise, it was a really good dish.
For desserts, tiramisu was OK – as good as some you come across, better than many, but to hit the high notes of tiramisu making you need a punch from strong coffee and booze – and both were lacking. Better was a simple chocolate cake, served warm with chocolate sauce and ice cream.