RW at Lumiere
Seems like I can't escape going to at least one Restaurant Week meal every time it comes around, and this summer was no exception. (Of course, I think I've seen more positive RW reviews here this time around than usual.) I'm glad to report a very positive, high-value experience at Lumiere, replete with good service and a kitchen effort that seems close to its usual high standard, with four options for each course.
Starters of a tomato salad and corn soup, the latter especially wonderful, mainly a puree, and lovely, especially with local corn nearing its peak. Mains of roast chicken breast (with more corn) and bluefish with mustard sauce and a lot of chopped vegetables: both solid, good-sized, very tasty entrees. Blueberry crisp (I had the all-local RW meal, I guess) and a lovely dark chocolate "mousse terrine" with (!) malted vanilla ice cream, my favorite flavor combo at Christina's. Wicked.
Did not at all mind springing for a $36 Chinon rouge with this. A very enjoyable evening, with free parking out back. Bring a jacket, though: they seem to love to blast the AC here.
We just got back from Lumiere and echo all the good things you say about them. The food was splendid, service friendly and professional, environment as inviting as ever. We had the pork terrine and squid ragout as apps, breaded hake and flat iron steak as mains and the chocolate terrine and peach shortcake for dessert. The terrine and squid were simply fabulous. The hake which was my choice came with a wonderful eggplant side which complemented the lightly breaded fish beautifully. My husband's steak came with corn and a spicy sauce. He was delighted. The only weak point was the peach shortcake which was a little too sweet for me, but that's just my tastes. DH couldn't finish the terrine even though he loved the malted vanilla ice cream which came with it.
He had the wine accompaniment, a great deal for $15. Some coffee and herbal tea finished another great meal.
Lumiere is one of our favorite restaurants, I am so happy that they did their usual excellent job with RW. BTW they are continuing their RW menu through Labor Day for anyone who couldn't make it during the past 2 weeks.
Over dessert we ranked the places we've eaten at recently, both RW and summer prix fixe meals. We agreed that Lumiere and Icarus were the best. DH prefers the ambience of Lumiere so that's his number one choice. I'd rate them equally. A long way behind these two is Rialto which DH is more enthusiastic about than I. Fourth is Grotto which offers great value if not the same degree of polish as the other three.
We're very happy with the great summer eating we've enjoyed, we expect to be back at Lumiere and Icarus before long.
Your "all local" comment made me smile -- one thing I don't love about Summer RW is that everyone does tomato salad and something with local corn. I grow my own tomatoes thanks and am looking for something different when i eat out. I know I'm supposed to be excited about local produce and certainly it fits into the price-point the restaurants want to hit, but I wish there was less cliche in the menu choices. Just my rant, I guess.
I'm certainly envious of anyone with the space and means to grow their own tomatoes; I'm reliant on farmers' markets and a few friends with real garden plots for my supply of good local tomatoes. (Our 10x10' South End community garden plot is good for a few fresh herbs and some flowers.) The best tomato gardener I ever knew passed away last year, leaving a huge community of friends and relatives bereft in more ways than one.
I also miss the boss I had a couple of years ago with a North Shore home and real pride in the corn he grew, much of which he gave away at the office; it was awesome. My sister has a rule I try to follow whenever possible: "It's August in New England: eat local corn and tomatoes every day you can." My adjunct might be, "And add line-caught local bluefish if at all possible!"
I am usually disappointed by Restaurant Week, most recently by Meritage last summer, but the opportunity to try a new restaurant for a $33 meal was too tempting again.
This time, my husband and I went to Lumiere, which has received overall great reviews for RW and their regular dining experiences, and I am happy to report that it continues to uphold that reputation. The service was fantastic from the host to our waiter to our bus boy. Very friendly and very attentive. I was happy to note that much of the RW menu is from their regular menu. I'm no food critic, but I found the food to be very good (artichoke soup, brandade croquette, hake, hangar steak, panna cotta, chocolate souffle cake). The wine flights were served promptly. The white was chilled nicely, and the red and port others came out at room temperature.
It was negative degrees outside, and the restaurant was a tad on the cool side from the doors being opened. However, we were well-insulated in the small nook near the kitchen.
Overall, a great RW experience. Maybe one day when I have more money I'll come back during a regular week. Of note, Lumiere is service their RW menu until 3/16.