Metro, Salts, Sage, Taco Lupitas... (long)
Just an update on some recent dining experiences.
I've been waiting with eager anticipation for Metro's opening and got a chance to go last weekend. On balance, a fine meal (if not the best value relative to other Cambridge spots like Salts, the Blue Room, etc.) though the restaurant definitely had some opening weekend jitters.
I started with the shrimp sausage. A very interesting presentation. The sausage was very airy and definitely the highlight of the meal. Other appetizer options included steak tartare (which the server claimed was wonderful), mussels and onion soup.
For entrees, I had cabbage stuffed with duck confit. This was good but not outstanding. The entree was a bit overpowered by a sweetish spice that I couldn't quite identify. More disappointing was a pasta with spinach and a truffle-butter sauce. The pasta was clearly homeade and quite good, but the sauce was watery and the truffle flavor was faint at best. Other interesting entrees I didn't try were a pot a feu (sp?), roast leg of lamb, etc.
The dessert was a very solid warm gooey chocolate souffle with a tasty ice cream. One appetizer, two entrees, dessert and wine was $90. A solid meal and ok value, but not absolutely spectacular.
The atmosphere of Salts is really wonderful and the meal was quite memorable. For an appetizer, I had the gypsy bundles (grape leaves wrapped around some type of sausage filling). We also had a mushroom salad, stacked on savory crisps. This was actually better than the gypsy bundles which were a bit greasy, but quite good in their own right. I had a salmon entree which was fine, but unremarkable. If you go to Salts, definitely focus on the meats. If my experience with the tenderloin was any example, they're flat out great. The tenderloin served with short ribs was a perfect mix of delicate and rich. Two appetizers, two entrees, and wine came to $120.
The pasta dishes at Sage were truly remarkable. I began with a half-portion of a crab, basil and tomato risotto. Among the best risottos I've ever had. The flavors were delicate but blended wonderfully. We also had a tart with brie, roasted onions and another ingredient that was quite good, if a bit heavy. The gnocchi in a brown butter sauce with prosciutto were out of this world. The best gnocchi I've ever had. I ordinarily would prefer a lighter sauce, but this dish simply worked. We also had a roast veal on pureed potatoes. This dish was quite good, but the pastas were truly incredible. I've read on some boards that the portion sizes at Sage are too small, but I thought that they were more than adequate. Left feeling quite full. Dinner for two with appetizers and entrees (no room for dessert) was around $100.
Finally, thanks for the recommendation on Tacos Lupitas. I went and tried the chicken and pork tacos. I found the pork a bit fatty and gristly, but the homeade corn tortillas and fresh salsa made the chicken one simply awesome.
i just went to salts thursday (10.11) night & as usual, it was superb. of the eight in the party, only i'd been there before. they'd just rolled out their fall menu (which seems much the same as last year's). every dish was excellent, but the standouts were the butternut squash soup (always a favorite) and the seared atlantic char. great cider sauce, a clear fruity note complimented well by smoky bits of bacon.
undoubtedly my favorite establishment in cambridge.