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Jun 28, 2006 04:23 AM

sage tonight - longish review

well, after much hemming and hawing we decided to have a celebratory dinner tonight at sage in the north end. we were a party of 5 and had every intention on spending lots of $$ to have a great meal and a great time! to preface, as i sit here at home, i have to say i am a bit disappointed.
our waiter was perfectly competent, but no personality whatsoever. i don't think he said any other words except "what will you have?" whatever, no big deal, it's all about the food, right?

we started with a nice bottle of prosecco, which we asked to have with our apps, but got it right away, which was fine, except that it forced us to order an additional bottle (a wonderful white burgundy) when our apps arrived. there were 5 appetizers on the menu, and 5 of us so we got one of each, and decided to share. they were all quite lovely.. crispy softshell crab was delicious, a deconstructed warm buffalo mozzarella BLT was a great idea, and very good. i was really looking forward to the fried sweetbreads with peas and morrel mushrooms, but the sweetbreads themselves were really tough, if you can believe it, kind of gross i have to say. the tablespoon of peas and morrels were delicious though. the butter poached lobster was good, but i guess not as decadant as we expected it to be, it was very tender, but not a whole lot of flavor. i guess there was another app, but i can't seem to remember it.

on to the entrees...
the birthday girl had striped bass, and wasn't thrilled with it. two of us had the sweet pea risotto. now, $28 for pea risotto, what would you expect? i have to say i would not expect LESS than a cup of risotto on a giant white plate. it was very tasty i have to say, but it was certainly not an entree sized portion by any means. the best entree was the braised chicken, perfectly cooked, wonderfully moist, if just a bit too salty (and i like things salty). we had a great pinot noir with the entrees.

the desserts were wonderful, we had one of each... a light airy, BOOZY rum cake with pistachio icecream, and a very rich and delicious ricotta cheesecake with fresh blueberries. we each got a glass of belle de brillet with dessert.

now the bill was $400 without tip ($80) - which i think was too generous for the very boring, uninspired service... so for almost $100, i had a bite of lobster, a bite of crab, a bite of buffalo mozzarella, one small slice of tomato, a tiny bite of sweetbreads, about 4 peas and two tiny morsels of morrels, a couple bites of salad, about 3/4 cup of risotto, 3 or 4 bites of dessert, 3 small glasses of wine and a cognac. it was fun and overall tasty, but i can't help feeling a bit ripped off.

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  1. $28 for a cup of rice sounds like a rip-off to me under any circumstances.

    1. That does not sound like a good deal at all (regarding the risotto). Their website indicates that the pea risotto was $21 in mid-April and must have gone up since then (or you had a different one), but that is still a lot for 3/4 a cup.

      Did you notice if this was still the gnocchi being offered?

      Hand Rolled Potato Gnocchi, Roasted Mushroom, Truffle Butter - $20.

      1. We were there for dinner too the other night, and I have been meaning to post about it.
        My experience was sort of similar. It was my first time there, and I thought it was a good meal, and nice atmosphere, but nothing really blew me away. Some of the dishes were very good, some just so-so. We had the soft shell crab as an appetizer, which was excellent. My companion ordered the striped bass (with a nudge or two from me, as I love striped bass but there was no way I was going to Sage without ordering the gnocchi.) It was just ok. Sort of bland actually, certainly not memorable. The gnocchi was excellent. Light delicate puffs of goodness --Dax, no, they are no longer serving the roasted mushroom truffle butter gnocchi but instead one with rabbit..and i think w/brown butter sage, and a sprinkle or two of reggiano...though now I can't remember the actual sauce. It was my first time trying rabbit and that's what i remember. It was ok, but honestly, I would have been happier without it --the sauce was delicious and the gnocchi perfect and as far as I'm concerned, the simpler the better. Anyway. Our server seemed fine, pretty cut-and-dry, which is fine, I suppose. But I didn't walk away thinking "I've GOT to get back here." Though, if I'm looking for a good plate of gnocchi, this would certainly be on my list.

        1. I'm sorry this was a bust, as I often recommend this place. I've never had a meal at Sage that disappointed like that one, nor personality-free service. (I also tend not to order fish here; I don't find many Italian restaurants doing fish dishes that wow me.)

          1 Reply
          1. re: MC Slim JB

            Maybe it's just a matter of knowing what to order there...
            the gnocchi...maybe the risotto as a starter (vs a main), some of the apps....

          2. I am also a big fan of Sage and have never had a bad meal there. I hope it was just an off night for the service. Saying that, it's hard to have an off night when it comes too pricing and portion sizes.