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finally going to No 9 park... what to have?

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After years of almost but not quite going, we're headed to No 9 Park tonight for our wedding anniversary-- with a hefty gift certificate-- so we can order with liberty.

What are your recommendations?

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  1. The tasting menu is where they put their best foot forward..

    1. The staff is great and will guide you thru the "must haves". Say hello to Ryan or John on the bar. One of my favorite dishes is the truffled lobster gnocci w/peas and mushrooms. Split an appetizer portion to save room for more decadent offerings. Have a great night.

      1. Yum! I've only been there once during a trip to Boston, and I highly recommend the Prune Stuffed Gnocchi with the Foie Gras and Vin Santo Glaze...absolutely fabulous...it is a signature dish and I have never had anything like it elsewhere.

        Actually I went in there by myself, no reservation and they were very gracious and hospitable and accommodating...so kudoes to them on that end!

        9 Replies
        1. re: Cat Chow

          PS- Could you please report back on what you eat and how your night goes? Thank you.

          1. re: BostonBarGuy

            It was a great meal. Started with a No 10 cocktail (Tanq 10, Campari, fresh grapefuit juice with lime) and glass of Muscadet-- both refreshing and easy to drink. The room was pretty light-- only 1/3 full when we arrived for our 6:30 reservation. Server spent lots of time with us, made rec's in a very easygoing and well-informed way.

            Amusee was a jellied consomme with lobster knuckle and a wafer-thin slice of lobster tail-- on first sight I thought it was actually a wafer of radish. My wife had a simple mesclun salad, which had a few leaves in it that you don't often see, and made it a bit different--lightly and perfectly dressed. I had the prune stuffed gnocchi, which are justly famous. The gnocchi themselves are so smooth, with hardly a texture difference between the dumpling and the filling. The savory sauce contrasts just enough, and there were tiny cubes of what I presumed were a super-dried prunes (run through a dehydrater, perhaps?) that were very chewy and balanced out the textures.

            For entrees, my wife had the scallops-- 3 large ones, from a day boat-- and they were very, very nice-- seared and then roasted to finish, with a fine angel hair flecked with nori to the side and sea urchin roe. My duet of Berkshire pork was superb--a tightly packed disc of braised cheeks, with a rich and gamey flavor, next to a small slow-roasted tenderloin, sliced and bedded on roasted cippolini onions and a highlight of the night-- a porcini puree. I was convinced that this incredibly smooth mixture had marrow or something similar in it, but we were told it was only porcini, chicken stock and shallots. The only draw back on this dish were the three sweet potato tortellini-- very nice flavor but they needed another minute or so in the pot. We had with our entrees a bottle of Sancerre.

            I had 5 cheeses for dessert, and they were all well-tended. Despite a rapidly filling dining room, our waiter spent ten minutes going over choices, combinations, etc. Highlights were a Bayley Hazen Blue from Vermont and a great bottom-of-the-dumpster-looking Robiola Castagna that had about twelve different wonderful things going on in it. We closed out sharing the trio of ice creams-- an unusual vanilla, a very complex and smooth chocolate,and a coffee caramel with a tasty and very subtle burn to the sugar.

            All in all, excellent. Next time we won't have a gift certificate, but there definitely will be a next time.

            1. re: newhound

              Thank you for a great report. Sounds like a tremendous evening.

              1. re: newhound

                That sounds like a lovely evening: thanks for the report! If you don't mind, what was the final bill?

                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  260 plus tip. Thank god for the gift certificate...

                  1. re: newhound

                    I've paid more for worse...like a $300 valentine's day disaster at Meritage.

                2. re: newhound

                  Thanks for the great review! That due of pork sounds absolutely amazing.

                  1. re: newhound

                    Thanks for reporting back in full glorioius and tantatlizing detail...now I've got the craving for the gnocchi...BAD!!! I'm glad to hear it was a memorable night...$260 actually not that outlandish for a restaurant of that calibre, (including wine/drinks). Certainly that would be a tab I would expect to see at a comparable San Francisco restaurant (if not 15-20% more). If I recall correctly they actually had some nice wines by the glass that were easy on the wallet. Sounds like the service continues to be first class.

                    Boston is a total foodie town, I have loved going out there when on business...can't wait until my girls are old enough to do a proper visit...and by proper I mean doing the Freedom Trail with all the necessary "hounding" stops to try the bounty of local delicacies!

                3. re: Cat Chow

                  Ditto the gnocchi; on the bar menu, the lamb fondue rocks too.

                4. Go early enough to sit at the bar and have a cocktail, or a flight of short cocktails. You might even just let them suggest something for you. Amazing talents back there.

                  On the appetizer menu, the prune gnocchi is justly famous; they also do a very nice seared foie gras, though I'm horrified to note it's now $27. They'll certainly have the right dessert wine to go with that.

                  There's not much among current entrees that I can recall trying lately. The tasting menu looks nice, but the prices ($90, $150 with wine) are deceptive; many of those courses require hefty supplements (e.g., $14, $26 with wine, for the gnocchi, same again for the foie, more for the cheese course).

                  In all, a good place to be going with a hefty gift certificate.

                  1. I was in a similar situation and finally went a few weeks ago for my own anniversary. We had the tasting menu (including an addition of the gnocchi for me and the seared fois gras for my husband) and split the wine pairing (they actually poured a tiny bit into a separate glass for me - since I had a cocktail and was going to eat so much food I figured I would feel much better if I only had a sip with each course rather than the 2oz pours). It was fantastic - I think in part because there were so many different things to try. One course was the duet of duck from menu (only smaller) - the breast from that was my single favorite taste of the evening. It was amazingly juicy and had olives, pistachios and a bit of grapefruit. The cod cheeks and the prune stuffed gnocchi were the other highlights (if you want fois gras - I would choose these over the seared preparation based on a comparison of our two dishes).