One more little service note about bee and my dinner at Dante. When I ordered the kingfish carapaccio, the waitress made sure to tell me that it was one of the lighter appetizers, to make sure that was OK. It was, but I appreciated the unstuffy forthrightness, since we had each ordered an appetizer and a "small" pasta.
The carapaccio was one of the more inventively presented things I've had in a non-sushi restaurant: five individual wide spoons, each with a thin disk of fish over a sort of jelly of yuzu, with strands of herbs threaded over the top (and some drops of something over that, but I forget what). A really nice, subtle mix of flavors, and the deliberate separation of it into self-contained bites felt appropriate and kind of inspiring: "here, TASTE this!".
The bread pudding had whipped cream and some sour cherries along with the prune armagnac ice cream. Yummy.
We tried Dante this past week, and were really surprised at how great our meal was after the somewhat lukewarm tales here on CH. It was part of our pre-baby chowing tour, and we were not drinking and were also subsidized by a gift certificate this time.
We began with a little amuse bouche of shrmp with speck and little mini black tipped chives that looked like tiny sprouts.
Glenn had the Kingfish appetizer which was delightful on five different spoons and I had the hubbard squash soup which was poured at the table over goat cheese "pebbles" and house-made pancetta. It was wonderful, with the not-too-thick richness of the squash, the tang of the cheese and the smokiness of the fatty bits.
He then had spaghetti a la chitarra -- rock shrimp, pancetta, oyster mushrooms, and lemon and loved it. I had the gnocchi which I thought was some of the best I've had in ages. We both had the small plates of pasta.
We then had eaten plenty with just the app and small pasta and added dessert. He had the vanilla chai bread pudding with prune ice cream, etc. which we both thought was quite wonderful. I had a pear and berry crumble which was fine, but served with a juniper berry ice cream that made it perfect on a winter night. It was like eating a bite of pie by the fire in a cabin then opening the door and breathing in snowy, piney, cold air. It so easily could have tasted like a Yankee Candle or Old Spice or something, but it was just right.
We were really pleased with our night there: we had excellent service, a nice view, the acoustics are good, we each tried three different things and were plenty sated, and the whole bill was about $75.
My wife and I went last night for a last minute dinner. We had gone once before last summer and had a very memorable lunch on the patio.
To start, she had the wild mushroom tart with goat cheese, frisee and age balsamic and I had the potato gnocchi with duck ragu, sour cherries, ricotta salata, heirloom carrots & duck fat frites. Her tart was delicate and full of wonderful flavors. My gnocchi were perfect and the rich duck ragu complemented them perfectly. Dante's is IMHO definitely the place for Gnocchi based on our two visits.
We both had coffee bean crusted veal t-bone with wilted arugula, flash sauteed tiny tomatoes, vinegar peppers and talaggio. Each item was well prepared and delicious in their own right, but we both felt that combined, it didn't work for us. The arugula and vinegar peppers were providing a bit too much pepper. Also, we felt the need for a starch to offset the intensity of the flavors.
For dessert, she had the brioche bread pudding and I had the Fritelle (Venetian Fried Dough) with four sauces which I have been regularlly dreaming about since last summer. Her bread pudding was unremarkable and I did not care for the overall texture. My Fritelle were delicious although I though the dough needed a tad more salt.
The service was great and the wine recomendation (Girad Petit Syrah) by the waiter was right on the money for our meal.
Overall a delicous meal, but not quite as memorable as our previous lunch.
My wife and I had an impromptu dinner there this past Friday (no reservations). Excellent experience. The food was pricey for sure and the alcohol made a dent in the wallet too but it's expected. Everything was well prepared and the view was very pleasant. I had the wild mushroom tart app (very savory), mustard glazed Canadian salmon entree, and drinks. My wife had the simple seasonal greens salad and grilled beef tenderloin. Sure, there are other restaurants in and around Boston for this kind of $$ but we've never had a bad experience at Dante's. If you haven't been since it first opened you should give it another try.
We had a corporate holiday dinner for about 40 there, so I don't know if it reflects the personal dining experience accurately, but it was simply a compenently-prepared and served corporate crowd-pleasing, Italian-influenced meal -- nothing really memorable or offensive about it.
We will most likely not return since they didn't actually have the private room planned and sitting in a section of the dining room by the bar was really noisy.
I would not choose to spend my own dining budget there either -- at this price point, there are so, so many other appealing Italian options and (non-hotel) locations to me.
I too had a small holiday lunch there. The food was excellent, though pricey. The service was competent. You do pay for the view, which is worth it. One thing worth mentioning. I ordered the spaghetti 'a la guitarra' (Maine crab, sweet peas and lemony crumbs and pancetta) as an app. It was in fact a meal. I had a few bites and packed up the rest for a later treat.