Ho-hum, yet another quietly spectacular meal at Sage, making me wonder why we don't go here more often.
A rabi and peccorino strudel with porcini cream to start, with a phyllo-like feathery pastry and finely-chopped filling. Light yet packed with flavor. They've run out of duck for the lamb/duck cassoulet, alas, so I settle for the short ribs, which are barely richer than the aligot potatoes, a whipped-creamy potato-and-Cantal-cheese puree served in a tall cylinder of fried shoestring potatoes. Pfwhoah!
My beloved gets the chestnut-apple soup, another reminder why somebody in the party should always order soup at Sage. Gnocchi with intensely-flavored smoked tomatoes are also a wonder, though the gnocchi aren't the airy pillows I remember from multiple prior orders here: they're a wee bit denser and chewier.
A really superb Amarone washes this all down. Desserts remain exceptional here (esp. for the North End): warm chocolate cake isn't the now-cliched Vong-style "chocolate splooge", merely fudgey-moist inside with a perfectly light vanilla creme Anglaise. A Cynar settles it.
Service is the perfect, unobtrusive joy we've come to expect, with a late-evening reservation making the place quieter than usual. All that's about $75 not counting the wine, tax, and tip. Simply amazing.
Final note: a source at the restaurant tells us not to expect the second Sage (in the old Grillfish space) to happen real soon, almost making it sound like the project is on hold. As long as the original holds up its remarkable quality/value ratio the way it consistently has over the years, I can wait.