EVOO Report 9/22/06;Somerville: Consistently Terrific
I have posted many times about EVOO; one of our favorite places since it opened years ago.Comfortable, attractive room, easy parking, warm, friendly service and a talented 'yes' kitchen all combine to make it feel like home.The menu is unusually large for a small restaurant; there are always daily specials as well.Emphasis is on local produce , seafood and meats. Excellent wines by the glass. Portions are good to generous, presentation lovely and pricing reasonable.The highlights tonight were the:
Corn and Poblano Chile Chowder
Escargots and Chanterelle Ragout
Scallops with Porcini Flan on Demiglace(just a KILLER dish; sweet succulent scallops perfectly complemented with the smoky/woodsy creamy porcini flan; set off with the demiglace.)We were so glad to see this back on the menu after a long hiatus.
(The roast cod w/ white wine broth , sausage and kale- was a bit tame for us, but still a nice plate)
Not-to-forget: We cannot eat at EVOO without having that amazing Rabbit confit salad with dried cherries, mesclun, shaved cheddar, port syrup, pecans.It has never been other than amazing.
Our only problem with them is that they're not open on Sundays.
So, after a long hard Sunday in the garden, we often end up at Gargoyles or Tremont 647 or Chez Henri.
We went to EVOO for Saturday. It is strange to say, but for a meal where we both inhaled every bit of food (and enjoyed most of it), we probably wont be rushing back.
To begin, perhaps we hit an off night, but I found the bar service to be rather poor. We had a reservation, but decided to come about an hour early for some drinks. We got the impression that the bartender was not pleased that we were taking up 25% of the seats at the bar, but not eating there. The first round of drinks were martinis and they came in warm glasses. We watched mixed drink after mixed drink go out very weak. Therefore when I ordered a vodka and soda, I specified with a splash of soda. The drink was barely a shot of vodka, and more the 2/3 soda. The atmosphere at the bar was not overly comfortable either, a sub par bar experience all in all
When we sat down, the table was lovely (right by the window), and the service friendly and prompt. There were some more beverage issues though. I was set to order a bottle of wine off the wine list with which I was familir, but the server highly recommended a special wine (Cab blend). I should have known better, but I tried the suggested wine. It was not very enjoyable at all.
Luckily, the food was excellent. We started with the Cornmeal Fried Oysters with Goat Cheese Fondue and Apple-Bacon Salsa, and the salad special. Both were delicious. We cleaned the plates. For entrees, we had the Duck, Duck, Goose, and Beef Tenderloin. The Beef was mouth watering, though we found the sour cream whipped potatoes quite underseasoned. The Duck Confit and Foie Gras were outstanding, I wished for more of both of these. The Foie portion in particular was very stingy. The goose breast was undercooked, a bit tough and not overall enjoyable.
We skipped desert and stopped at Christina's for pumpkin ice cream on the way home.
The food at EVOO was quite good, however there is some work to be done otherwise.
I used to live nearby and like to dine at the bar from time to time. At each visit I am often wowed by at least one dish but I find that they also tend to underseason many of their dishes. That said, EVOO is an excellent value, certainly. It's probably about time I get back in there...
re: MC Slim JB
I can't speak for the restaurant, but we sat at the bar last night and the service was incredibly pleasant, helpful and professional but also very slow. We ordered a variety of appetizers as well as one of the $30 prix-fixe menus, and they did a very good job of bringing out things in the right order, recommeding drinks, replacing cocktails with wine etc. It just took rather a long time for a casual Friday night meal at the bar.
I also had the rabbit confit salad, btw, and found it very good but just a little too cloyingly rich to finish. Something about the thickish lumps of cheddar, along with caramelized port syrup and the salty richness of the meat made it one of those dishes where the first three or four bites were best.
The bread basket and olive oil dip, however, were absolutely terrific.
re: MC Slim JB
I actually like to patronize places that are closed on Sundays. It's the day of the week most distant from fresh deliveries, and a good place should rest from work at least one day a week; Sunday food in restaurants tends to be weak anyway (because food is staler, and the second string is often on to give the first string a rest).