Tale of Three Restaurants
- Cathy in Boston
We have tried three new (new to us) restaurants the last three weekends.
Jae's Grill, Brookline - Absolutely wonderful cocktails (the "Luxury" Cosmopolitan and the "Luxury" Apple Martini). Great dishes as well - husband had Korean beef dish, I had scallop and shrimp dish. Service was wonderful.
Blue Room, Cambridge - What exactly is all the fuss about? This was by far the least impressive of the three. We had a seared scallop appetizer, truly forgettable Cosmopolitan, husband got the Rosemary Chicken and I don't even recall what I had! Service was good, though.
EVOO, Somerville - This one is a WOW. Really great cocktails (another Cosmopolitan and an EVOO specialty called a "Citrus Drop" - both were fantastic). Excellent appetizer of three different type spring rolls with 2 really good dipping sauces. Husband had the Duck Duck Goose, which he raved about. I had the Chinese Box, which is a layered dish, served inside of a Chinese takeout box turned upside down on the plate. When the waiter served it, he pulled the box off to reveal shrimp on top, a salad with cashews for the second layer, third layer of pulled braised beef, and bottom layer of rice. Wonderful!! We could not choose a dessert so gave him three we liked and asked him to pick one for us to share. He chose the chocolate and butterscotch creme brulee, which was very good.
Will definitely be returning to both Jae's and EVOO.
Cathy in Boston
Sorry to here you didn't like the Blue Room. It is one of my favorite restaurants. Maybe you caught them on a bad night, but I have never been disappointed by any dish I have had there. Seems you put a lot of weight on a restaurant's ability to make a good Cosmopolitan. The Blue Room does a great job with wine recommendations, but I can't speak to their mixed drinks. Personally, while I like Jae's I think they are kind of pricey for their mixed-Asian fare which has become very widely available all over the Boston area.
Blue Room was always one of my favorites, too, but the past 2 times I've been there I've been disappointed. Grilled trout was totally dried out (a dish that used to be wonderful) and swordfish on 2nd recent visit was so oversalted I had to send it back. I'm wondering what's going on.
re: Sue Johnson
My husband and I also had a bad experience there. There was a long wait - we had a martini (very good). As far as the service, it was extremely slow. The management new it as well and we were given desserts for free which we had to bring home because we just had to get out of there.
I really like Evoo also, it's one of those places I don't get to very often, but always say "I love this place" (and they always have Toscannini's ice cream on the dessert menu!)
I've had the same experience at Blue Room. So many people whose taste I respect love the place so I keep going back - four times now. It's always been very good, but I've never LOVED it. We went with another couple the second time, and they had the same reaction as we did. Every time I hear an accolade, I wonder if maybe we just coincidentally hit it on off nights all four times. Oh well, I won't give up yet.
I'm a huge fan of the Blue Room and our recent meal (a week ago) was as good as always -- I can see that it may be a YMMV place, however. I DO find that I enjoy the appetizers more than the entrees, so I often make a meal of 2 or 3 of them.
I used to adore EVOO but had a horrendous service experience there a few years ago (2 maybe?). My most common dinner companions were with me at the time and absolutely refused to return. I finally convinced two folks who weren't there for the bad experience to go with me -- and had great appetizers, so-so entrees and sluggish service. This was more than a year ago, though, and your review makes it seem as though I should contemplate a return visit yet again.