Has anyone been to The Equinox Grill in Natick? The online menu looks ambitious. Any feedback appreciated.
I went to the Equinox Grill several months ago. As you say, its an ambitious, serious restaurant; in many ways it meets its ambitions well. Almost everything is impeccably prepared, prettily presented. But the meals were not thoughtfully put together, and that made everything less than it should have been. I kept thinking that my quarrel with the food wasnt with the preparation, but with its concept.
I had the Marinated wood grilled leg of lamb served with a hot red pepper relish, sauteed broccoli and red pepper polenta. The lamb was beautiful, perfectly done and lamb-y as anything; the polenta was a wonderful foil. The relish, however, although superb in itself, was much hotter than the lamb or polenta could stand up to. It sabotaged everything else on the plate.
The broccoli took up good deal of real estate for something cut into such ungainly hunks. I had thought it was just steamed I see by the online menu that it was sautéed, but it might as well have been steamed. It was the kind of ultra-simple preparation that lets a fabulous vegetable glow, but this seemed like plain old supermarket broccoli. Eh.
My daughter had the Crispy roasted half duck finished with balsamic Vidalia jam. Served with caramelized onion mashed potatoes and sugar snap peas.
The duck was incredibly good. The skin was crispy and light, the flesh moist and tasty. One of those peak concoctions you just want to eat forever. The potatoes were wonderful, too, but much too rich and heavy for the duck. It almost made both seem greasy, although tasted separately, they werent at all.
In fact, I realized, my daughters sugar snap peas and onion mashed potatoes would have been really terrific with my lamb, and my hot red pepper relish would have been just the thing with my daughters duck.
On the whole, I wish the place well, and it does a much better job than 99% of the area restaurants. Its not a Hamersleys-quality dining experience, but on the other hand, its not a Hamersleys-quantity paying experience either.
Let us know what you think if you go.