w. roxbury: vintage or west on centre
i'll be in west roxbury tomorrow night and am thinking of going to either vintage or west on centre.
i've been to west on centre for brunch and wasn't wildly impressed, but maybe it's better for dinner? i haven't been to vintage but would welcome feedback (or any other suggestions in the area).
Nov 11 - Ate at West on Centre w. foodie friends. For a Saturday night, the place was oddly quiet. Had appetizers in the bar area....when we asked the waiter for the quesadilla to substiute vegetables for chicken....and he said that it wasn't possible, I knew that this place was not going to impress me.
The simple quessidilla was fine, not spectaular for $8 of tortilla and cheese. Others had a lamb-enrushted filo, -- again for $8 or $9..it was VERY small appetizer.
The dining room was full, ant it took a while for the waiter to take our order. Uninspired by the lack of veggie options on the menu, i ended up with the pizza. (the alternative was a mushroom ravioli in cream sauce...too rich for me tonight) Others at my table at burgers, and one had chicken. The Pizza was large, and certainly big enough for two to share. The burger people seemed happy with their burgers... the fries were very good. The chicken person was very happy with his meal, and it was nicely presented.
What kept us laughing was a very formal waiter, who was trying hard to please us. He gets a B+ for effort.
I'd say this is a decent comfortable nighborhood place. Its menu was a bit boring. Appetizers were not at all creative or substantial enough for real munching or sharing.
Tried out Vintage tonight and I have to say it was great. Fireplace was blazing next to the bar. Clam chowder was great, calamari even better. We saw a couple of great looking steaks being served to other patrons. I was quite impressed. You would never know it was the old "Fontaines". I am looking forward to going back which is more than I can say for a couple of places I've been to lately.
My wife and I were underwhelmed when we ate at West on Centre last fall. We sat at the bar and ordered martinis and calamari and stuffed quahogs. After an interminable wait, though the place was not busy, the calamari and the stuffed quahogs arrived. The quahogs were heavy and unpleasantly chewy but at least edible. The same cannot be said of the calamari. It arrived barely fried, i.e., having a thin crust on the outside covering a layer of liquidy raw flour paste. After about 15 minutes of trying to get the bartender's attention, we finally got him to send the calamari back. I expected to get a fresh batch back, one better acquainted with with the fryolator than its predecessor. Instead, the plate we'd sent back was returned to us having been reheated in an oven but otherwise in the same condition, i.e., still raw on the inside. When we complained, the bartender took the squid off the bill. We paid for the drinks and quahogs and left kicking ourselves for once again believing the hype that West Roxbury dining has climbed above pub food.
re: Paul Kinnucan
We ate at West On Centre tonight and had a fantastic meal. There is a noticable improvement from when they first opened. We started with the butternut squash soup which was perfect, and I had the special which was a filet stuffed with foie gras. It was remarkable. My wife had the chicken and she said it was the best she has had in a long time. The desserts were excellent, too. It turns out they have their own pastry chef. We split a pumkin cheesecake and got the carrot cake to go. The service we recieved was the best part...very attentive and warm. Vintage is very good, but you'll be missing something special if you pass on West on Centre.
I've been to each of them once, and probably preferred Vintage. I'd go to either again (and probably will go to both again, as my friends seem to be migrating to that area).
West on Centre has a slightly more diverse menu (and friends really like the bar menu--we ate in the dining room and it was of the "new American" variety). Vintage has a fairly classic steak/seafood menu. Prices are about equal, IIRC.
They had different vibes as well...West was more neighborhood, Vintage felt more "occasion." That might have had something to do with the service as well.