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Attributing our less than stellar dining experience on our last visit to the confluence of a change in both seasonal menus and chefs, we decided to give this restaurant another chance. Reservations for 6PM on Thursday evening were held and upon entering we were offered a choice of seating, selecting a table for 4 next to a window overlooking State Street. The restaurant initially seemed less busy than on our earlier visit, but we subsequently noticed that 3 parties had chosen tables on the outside patio. We started off with glasses of the house red wine, a medium bodied cabernet sauvignon that we previously enjoyed. We were told the kitchen would be sending out dishes as prepared, yet we found the pacing throughout was on target. The first plate to arrive was an order of ham and cheese filled arancini, accompanied by a well balanced tomato sauce, that had a crunchy exterior while remaining moist inside. This was followed by a harvest salad, a bountiful helping of fresh mixed greens, carrots, and dried cranberries tossed with a tangy lemon vinaigrette and topped by an impressive portion of blue cheese crumbles. The next dishes to arrive were a large portion of mussels diablo (devil) and day boat scallops that were accompanied by a basket of bread. The mussels had been steamed in a spicy red wine and tomato sauce that I felt was a little too robust given the delicate flavor of the mussels, but your taste buds may disagree. Meanwhile the scallops, served over seasonal vegetables, were complimented by a bacon beurre blanc. Almost satiated at this point, I was prepared to toss in my napkin, but our exuberant server brought menus while highlighting the dessert section. My dining companion, aka The Queen of Creme Brulee, took one look and asked "would you" (that's me), "care to share one (that's creme brulee)"? Unwilling to risk neither life nor limb, I responded "of course my queenship". Neither of us noticed, or maybe it was not listed, but the crème brulee was prepared with porter beer and accompanied by a pair of cookies. This dessert, served in a tea cup, was both sizable and delicious while enjoyment of the cookies has been temporarily postponed. Overall, this evening's meal proved to be a delightful experience.
by Jen Wheeler | At Christmas time, there are cookies galore, but true dessert lovers still crave something more substantial...