Last night's visit to OM left me with one impression pretentious mediocrity in Boston restaurants has reached a new level.
Truffle and parmesan pop corn was served instead of bread. Great flavor, but the popcorn itself was cold and by the time the food arrived, we wished they served floss with that pop corn.
Amuse-bouche of salmon mousse was creamy and delicate although served with overly salted toasts and lifeless asparagus.
We decided to go with the dishes recommended on this board to be on the safe side. Tomato consommé with vegetable and tapioca pearls turned out to be just a vegetable broth without even a hint of tomato and plain old carrots and turnips cut into little balls. I don't think their round shape did much for the taste, but I am sure some prep cook had to slave over them. Grilled cheese that was served with the soup was the best part of the meal -- very buttery and nicely crisped with very good cheese (I think cheddar).
Torched tuna tartar with currants and crème brûlée type crust was ok, but would have been better without the sugar coating. The hibiscus fizzy drink served with it did not taste good either by itself or with tuna. I think it's hard to ruin good raw tuna, but OM has succeeded admirably.
This gloomy looking situation did not improve with the entrees. Pork loin was very lean and even though it was still pink in the center and thinly sliced, it was a tad chewy and not very flavorful. Why would anyone choose to cook such a lean part of pork is a mystery to me. Pork belly was better -- tender and delicate, but not nearly as flavorful as this cut of pig can be. I mean, come on -- this is bacon we are talking about! It came with a teaspoon of some finely shredded
red cabbage that was kind of tasteless and a drizzle of very hot mustard.
Duck breast was cooked medium-rare as ordered, but under-seasoned. It was sliced very thick and tasted like bland rubber that you keep chewing and chewing, and can't seem to swallow. Bisteeya that came along with the duck breast was composed of fillo pastry filled with duck confit. It was better than the breast, but too dry and bland to make it enjoyable. Unfortunately, there was no sauce to remedy the situation, so my worries about the lack of bread to dip in the sauce or meat juices left on the plate were completely unfounded. A smear of some sweet puree (kind of like pumpkin butter), bland mustard greens, and a few chopped up dates did not exactly inspire me to wipe my plate.
It was a very quiet Sunday night and only 4 tables were full when we were in the restaurant, so there is no way our experience could be blamed on overwhelmed kitchen staff.
Throughout this drawn out torture of a meal, our solemn waitress floated to and from our table like a specter every time we took a sip of wine. She spent about a minute pouring one glass, slowly floating around the table, and pouring another glass. After being interrupted mid-sentence 3 times in 10 minutes, we asked if we could pour our own wine. She nodded and floated away. Judging from the sour expression on her face, she liked her job as much as we liked our dinner.