Restaurants & Bars

White Barn Inn

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White Barn Inn

nomadfromcincy | Sep 1, 2004 04:47 PM

This isn't an undiscovered gem by any means, but it was one of my best dining experiences I've ever had. Someone on the Boston board introduced a ratings scheme that I liked -- based on how often you'd visit a restaurant -- the White Barn is the type of place I will visit once a year even though I can't afford it.

We ate from the restaurant two nights. The first night, they were kind enough to do room service. I have to say that the service we received on our room surpassed the service I usually receive in nice restaurants. We shared a salad and the lobster spring roll, followed by beef tenderloin with roquefort/potato gratin and the pan seared salmon. Everything was perfect and seemed like it had been carried directly from the kitchen -- in fact, they served each course separately. Very impressive. Specifically, the salmon was truly crisp on the outside with a nice taste of butter. I consider myself a pretty good cook, but I can never duplicate that in my kitchen. The lobster spring roll was delicious -- nice chunks of fresh lobster with a crunchy spring roll wrap, and small pieces of vegetables.

The next night, we ate in the restaurant and it is as romantic as people say. We arrived while it was still daylight, but as the sun went down, the restaurant became lit up by candles. Next time, I think we will eat later, just to enjoy that aspect of the meal.

I had the 6-course meal, while my wife had 4 courses. After the amuse-bouche, I started with a "tian" of crab, tomato, and fennel. Not an overwhelming dish, and maybe not enough emphasis on the crab...fortunately, it was light and it only got better. The next course was lamb, and it was very different -- house smoked, accompanied by aubergine puree and asparagus salad. I thought the next course would be the highlight - scallops on a lobster and corn stew...and it was delicious, but the next dish blew it away. Duck was prepared in multiple ways -- a breast, leg confit, and foie gras. The sauce was rhubard based, and everything was perfect. I am not a big fan of foie gras, but when a good chef gets ahold of it...it is almost always worth ordering. Of course, there was a cheese course with generous portions of many types of cheeses. I focused on the local cheeses, which were mostly good. To be honest, at this point, dinner got a little hazy due to the vino...

My wife ordered some wonderful dishes as well, including the highlight of the meal - their signature steamed maine lobster. Now, usually, I do not order lobster from nice restaurant because they jack up the prices for seemingly no reason...but this was amazing. It is served with something they call the "cognac coral butter sauce" -- if anyone has the white barn cookbook, and the recipe is in there...please send it to me!

I would be doing a disservice if I did not mention the service. Confident, unobtrusive, and helpful -- just like it should be.

A wonderful evening all around.

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