Saturday, February 16, 2008

small plates

I read about Small Plates in the February 2008 issue of Lola magazine, so when Renee and I went out for dinner yesterday I suggested that we tried it out. It's a good thing we did. The food is amazingly good, the atmosphere was nice and cozy, and the prices weren't outrageous. The waiter was very patient with our gazillion questions about ingredients in a lot of the dishes (Renee didn't want to make a trip to the E.R. due to an allergic reaction - LOL), and the chef was accomodating to my request to leave out a tomato ingredient. I definitely want to go back with Tony some time.

The entry way to the restaurant off of JFK Street.

This cracked us up!

They have these mini burgers (upper left) where they switch the ingredients inside them each night. This time they had black and regular sesame seeds inside them with tarragon, so I couldn't eat them but Renee said they were extremely yummy. We shared the scallops (upper right) which were served on top of black sticky rice, and mushrooms (bottom) which were served with roasted garlic and basil infused olive oil. All of it was so delicious!

This is the chicken confit dish which is served with roasted onion, goat cheese, and a tomato confit that I asked them to omit. Very tasty.

For dessert, we had the jasmine rice pudding which was served with a shot of Mexican hot chocolate. Wow.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

sage + daedalus

We've decided that we're not going to do Valentine's dinner at restaurants anymore. For one, they usually have a prix fixe menu which means you can't really try their usual dishes. Plus, they tend to charge you more than usual. So this year I got to pick the place (we alternate each year) and we went to Sage in the South End. We had been to their old location in the North End so I wanted to see what this new location was like, plus we know the chef/owner's sister, Rita.

Right away when we walked in, both Tony and I thought that we recognized the restaurant. Sure enough, it used to be Caffe Umbra. It has a nice atmosphere and seems like they did something to it to make it larger and roomier. Fun photos on one of the walls.

We enjoyed a half carafe of Bordeaux wine with warm bread and butter before our Kobe carpaccio with arugula, shaved parmesan, and truffle vinaigrette came out. It was absolutely delicious.

Tony had the rice smoked duck breast with sautéed spinach and squash puree. It was really good - probably the best duck he has ever had. It was that good.

I had the striped bass with grilled arugula, mashed potatoes, and a beet puree. Yum yum yum!

Sadly, the desserts disappointed us ... again, almost all of them had nuts in them. So we decided to skip out and drove over to Daedalus in Harvard Square. We had the Chocolate Explosion dessert - warm flourless chocolate cake with creme anglaise, chocolate sauce and then we substituted the vanilla bean ice cream for coconut ice cream. Wow. It totally hit the spot.


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