647 Tremont - anyone been there recently?
I was a big fan of 647 Tremont during the first few years it was open. I haven't been in quite a while and am considering it for dinner with a friend this Saturday - tomorrow. Gulp, waited to0 long to make a reservation. If 647 isn't a good idea, any other suggestions for a place in a similar vein where I might get in tomorrow for 4 people at 7:30.
i did long post on their tapas night of last month- or was it sept. another CH posted about it too. Very positive comments from both of us- search box 'tapas night tremont 647'and maybe it will come up. we used to be regulars, stopped going last few yrs; now it's back on top with andy focussing on it again and behind the grill. if you can't get in, what about union square bistro or cafe umbra?
People seem to have strong opinions about this restaurant - I happen to be one of the ones that likes it. But there was a period when it was hit or miss.
The owner closed a second restaurant last year and has concentrated much more of 647. The menu has gotten larger and more reasonably priced, with a combination of the favorites from Rouge (the restaurant that failed) and 647. It also seems like Andy's presence has made the kitchen more consistent.
As soon as the prices went down, it seems like the locals returned. So be prepared for a long wait.
I certainly agree that Rouge's closing has the chef/owner around much more at Tremont 647, and the kitchen has gotten much more consistent as a result. Dinner prices seem a bit more reasonable (though wines are still punishingly expensive for a mid-priced place like this). I like the current menu's combination of old favorites (momos, stinky cheese, grilled steak with truffle-scented tater tots, etc.) and interesting new dishes.
They continue to deliver some good vegetarian-friendly options: a recent dish of chile rellenos with quinoa and pumpkin had a lot of great flavors going on the plate, even if it didn't look that attractive. There's a small-plates appetizer section with some little gems: the tuna tartare-crusted deviled egg was especially nice. The fried chicken is an improvement on Rouge's version, which was wonderful in its first few months and mysteriously declined. I'd be happier if they fried a better part of the chicken (say, thighs instead of the boneless breast used here), but the batter is admirably crunchy, and the accompanying collards are fantastic.
Downside: bartending, long a strength here, has gotten a bit less consistent lately: I was ready to hand them my Margarita crown after a string of disappointments at ECG, but their usually-great ones have slipped lately as well. Dining room staff is equally variable: you get old pros one visit, ding-dongy, undertrained amateurs the next. And the dining room can get shouting-to-be-heard-loud at primetime on weekends.
Overall, I'm glad to see the place busy most nights, as they've made the most important changes (consistent kitchen work) to earn my steady custom. Not perfect, but much improved, and for the first time in a while, a relative value again for the South End.