I had heard great things about Lumiere in Newton. Happily, restaurant week coincided with our second anniversary, and we headed over there for dinner last night. Dinner was good, but I don't think we'll go back.
The regular dinner is $30.04, like all the restaurants during RW. For $45, you can get the dinner with wine pairings, which is what we did.
Appetizer choices - Mesclun salad, mussels in broth, or chilled corn soup with peppers. Last night they also had a special, $3 extra, of sauteed chanterelle mushrooms.
I had the corn soup, which basically tasted like pureed corn. And it was cold, and the restaurant was cold, and I wasn't very happy. The accompanying wine was extremely sweet, but went fine with the corn. My husband had the mussels, which were very good -- it was a generous serving without shells, in a broth with chopped tomatoes and parsley. They were perfectly paired with a beer. (Sorry, don't remember any liquor details.)
Main course choices - Hangar steak with frites, pan-roasted chicken with panzanella, cod with bacon ragout
I had the steak, he had the chicken. Both were good, but nothing too special. The steak was buttery and had a nice crust, but was a little chewy. Frites were yummy. It was nicely paired with a thick, oaky red wine. The chicken tasted exactly like the chicken shwarma at my favorite falafel place, except that it was perfectly cooked. The panzanella was fine and had the same Middle Eastern-ish mix of spices. This was paired with a lighter red wine.
Dessert choices - Blueberry crisp with ginger ice cream, chocolate mousse, watermelon sorbet. Last night they also had a special of peach pound cake or shortcake, don't remember which.
They messed up a little here. I ordered the chocolate mousse, and was later told they were out. They were also out of my second choice, the peach cake. So we both asked for the crisp. We got one crisp and one sorbet. I didn't feel like complaining and figured I would just eat the sorbet (I soon realized that I should have sent it back, since it belonged to the next table over). I did not like the sorbet at all -- something about the combination of watermelon, mint, and what tasted like a sugary citrus syrup just rubbed me the wrong way. Steve liked it. The crisp was good, with a thick crumbly topping. They didn't bring out the wines that were supposed to go with dessert, but didn't charge us for them either, so I guess that was okay.
Overall, we had a good meal but I wasn't terribly impressed. The wine pairings were very good. Somebody posted on the General Topics a little while ago about whether it's really worth it to go to expensive restaurants, especially if you're a decent home cook. I think I'm becoming convinced that it's usually not.
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