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So-so at Metro

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Since I had fulfilled my civic (read: jury) duty without being called, I decided to celebrate by taking myself to lunch at Metro, the Porter Square french "bistrot". I had read on this board and elsewhere to stick to the standards, so I ordered Steak Frites and a glass of Bordeaux. While waiting for my meal, I had ample time to check out the place -- it was pretty busy for a Tuesday at 1:30 and had a pleasant bustling atmosphere, and good jazz in the background. The decor has every french cliche you can think of, from faux-Zinc bar to red leather banquettes. Huge picture windows look out onto a grim parking lot -- I think it would be preferable to put shutters on the windows than look at that view, or paint the window with a trompe l'oeil Moulin Rouge, in keeping with the Amelie theme. Oh well. And still I waited. My red wine came and I asked for some bread to nibble -- research purposes again. Sadly it was terrible wine and even worse bread. The baguette was no more like a real baguette than is my left shin, and the wine had an unpleasant cheap tang and an unfortunate tail (that lingering taste in your throat you want when the wine is good, but not when it's bad.) Finally finally my steak came and I was initially sad to see they had cut up the meat for me -- I generally prefer to cut my own food as I am no longer a baby, but in fact it was useful to be able to see right away that the skirt steak was cooked to a perfect medium-rare, as I had misgivings at this point. It was described as being served with garlic butter but I didn't taste much, if any garlic. The steak was really nicely prepared -- flavorful enough without condiments, even better with a smear of Dijon. The frites were great -- stick thin, sprinkled with sel de terre and perfectly cooked. The little pot of mustard was left on the table and I was set. The wine was better with the meal and I lingered over my plate for a while -- only managing to eat about half the portion of frites, but all of the steak. The tab, with tip, was $25. I'd go back to Metro to try the open-faced sandwiches (tartines) and the crepes. But not soon.

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  1. I was surprized when the Phoenix critic gave it a decent review. Other critics, chowhounds and reviews I've heard/read have not been as kind. Robert Nadeau also mentions that Amanda Lydon recently announced she's leaving Metro.

    Link: http://www.bostonphoenix.com/boston/f...

    1. I had the salmon (at dinner) and loved it. One of the best dinners I've had recently, although a little pricey. The room worked well for a dinner where you could talk and have some privacy.