Last night Julie and I went to the second restaurant in our food tour of Boston, stopping at Menton. This is the sister restaurant to No. 9 Park, where we ate at last night.
When we got to the restaurant, we noticed that the interior was a little more spacious and comfortable than the night before, which was nice. We were seated, spoke to the waiter about including a non-alcoholic drink pairing menu, and we were off!
We’re finding our iPhone cameras don’t do the best in low light, so sorry for the slightly blurry pictures.
The amuse bouche was a tiny little serving of oyster mushroom, micro greens, a marigold petal and a touch of a spicy sauce. Nice, clean, and a good way to start.
The first course was a Langoustine Crudo, with apple, creme fraiches and sturgeon caviar. The langoustine had a great texture and paired really well with the sweetness of the apple and creme fraiche. The first drink they brought us was pretty much exactly the same as the night before at No. 9 Park – a light grapefruit and elderberry syrup concoction. Very good and heavier on the elderberry syrup, which I liked better. Julie liked it better yesterday. They also brought out the most amazing croissants to go with this one – super flaky, buttery, and sweet. They obviously had someone making those that knew what they were doing.
The second course was skate, with lettuce, sour dough croutons and a caper sauce. The skate had a flat bone in it that had to be removed first, and true to form, Julie removed hers in one clean piece and I had some additional issues, basically butchering the dumb thing. The dish worked well, but it didn’t quite have the punch of later dishes.
With this dish they paired a really nice cocktail of cucumber, lime, simple syrup, and mint, with a forest of mint leaves in the top.
The third course was two different types of shrimp, over a tomato sauce, and puffed wild rice. There was a perfectly cooked large shrimp, covered in a bunch of tiny, tiny other shrimp, over the puffed rice. The shrimp and tiny shrimp worked surprisingly well together, although I did think of the King’s and their turtle treats when I was eating the tiny shrimp. The puffed rice was slightly crunchy and added a good additional texture to balance out the soft texture of the shrimp.
The fourth course was where things really started to take off. This course was easily one of the two favorites of the night: a stinging nettle “nudi”, with a brown butter sauce. These were 3 perfect little spheres of a stinging nettle ravioli filling, just without the actual pasta, covered in an amazing sauce. There were piping hot and just melted in our mouths as we ate them, and they went amazingly well with a ridiculously good sauce. This was just an “extra” course for the night, not on the menu, but it easily should be a regular dish.
The fifth course was foie gras. Julie’s was a seared piece, with pear and pecans and and mine was a cold rabbit and foie gras terrine, with a caramelized fig and some raisin toast to eat with the terrine slice. Both were amazing. The terrine was my favorite of the night and it worked really well with a bite of toast, a slice of fig and a piece of the terrine. Julie’s seared piece was also excellent – cooked to the perfect melt-in-your-mouth doneness, and went really well with the pear and pecans. Paired with this course was a maple, apple beer. It was maple syrup and an apple reduction mixed with some non-alcoholic beer. The beer flavor was subtle, letting the richness of the maple and apple through. A really good fall drink.
The sixth course was the infamous pigeon. It was pigeon 4 ways – a seared breast, confit’ed leg, one I can’t remember, and the head. It was served with a bit of blood sausage and some roast onions. I didn’t notice the split pigeon head right away, but in the picture below, I’ve highlighted the little beak sticking up. I asked the server what we were supposed to do with the head, and they explained that we were to take a tiny spoon they provided and scoop out the insides and eat it. It was a tiny bit that had a really good flavor. It had a creamy texture, but without the oiliness of bone marrow. Definitely not something I would normally order, but that’s the genius of a chef’s tasting menu – you’re going to get what they bring out, whether or not you think you’re ready for it
It was paired with a sweet julep with a pickled onion syrup. I didn’t care for the drink – the pickled flavor didn’t really agree with me, but Julie liked hers a lot, so she graciously finished mine.
The seventh course was lamb, with a chestnut puree and cauliflower. I thought it was really good – perfectly cooked lamb that went really well with the chestnut, but Julie didn’t care for it. I finished hers for her. It was paired with an orange, ginger, spice drink with a whipped egg foam on top. This was my favorite drink of the night. It had a really good spicy citrus flavor and the creaminess of the egg foam went really well with it. I could have chugged a Big Gulp full of it.
Finally, we hit the dessert stage, starting with the “intermezzo” of a mango, mojito sorbet, over a graham crumble, topped with lime pearls. This was a really nice palette cleanser, but with a little more flavor than usual. Julie had tea and I had an espresso. (Don’t tell any of my coffee drinking friends, but I have been known to enjoy an espresso with dessert at nice restaurants)
The final drink was a sweet, citrusy, foamy concoction. It had egg whites whipped through it – giving the whole drink a silky texture. It was sweet and not too overpowering, going well with the dessert course.
The final large course was the dessert of a warm apple cider donut, Earl Gray ice cream and a cheddar crisp. Julie and I can be pretty discerning when it comes to high end desserts, and this one was easily one of the best we’ve ever had. The warm donut was amazing flavorful, and they obviously didn’t skimp on the cinnamon used – it had a great full flavor that paired well with everything on the plate. This one was gone far too quickly.
With they check, they brought out this little dish full of teeny, tiny macarons. Each was smaller than a dime, and there were four flavors – coffe, apple crisp, pumpkin pie, and basil. Each tasted exactly as advertised, and we can only imagine the hard work that went into making them. Regular macarons are hard enough, but to make and fill them when they are that small, without collapsing them has got to be tough.
The food tour continues tonight…