Ten Tables 10/3
We've been together for a while and you know how much I love you. Sometimes though, a girl needs to check out the cute neighbor down the block. I'm not leaving you for Ten Tables permanently, but the tryst last night was truly something special. Rachel and Krista are total pros at the FOH and even with a change in the kitchen from the last time I was there, David Punch is creating food completely up to Krista's high standards.
Wednesday night is "pick your three for $26" and each choice was better than the last. We each had the house made charcuterie plate to start - pork rillettes and a pork pâté with cornichons, vinegared grapes and grainy mustard along with toasted, butter B&R bread. Rillettes was highly spiced, fatty goodness. The pâté was refined and elegant. With a glass of cava, I could not have been happier. Second course: gnocchi for friend, pork tenderloin over apples, grapes and cabbage for me. After a bad encounter with some gnocchi at Rocca on Friday, these were a savior for potatoes everywhere - slightly smoky and served with kale and shallots (I think?). The tenderloin was tender, per its name, with the sweetness of the apples and grapes playing nicely with the slightly bitter, crunchy cabbage. Dessert: bay-infused creme caramel for friend, chocolate cake with pepper ice cream for me. The black pepper ice cream had an excellent kick to it and was set on top of pieces of caramel. Some sort of berry coulis was also on the plate and completely unneeded since all I could focus on were the cake and ice cream. Creme caramel had a subtle herb-ed flavor and a wonderful consistency.
Grotto, all I'm sayin' is that for $26, this is one heck of a deal. Rustic, delicious cooking in a warm and inviting atmosphere. And just like your place, I had to walk through the kitchen to get to the restrooms. I'll be back soon, I promise, but for now I can't stop talking about Ten Tables.
While I'd personally rather eat at McDonald's than Grotto -- and I mean, like, a really nasty McDonald's like that one in Davis Square -- I absolutely concur that Ten Tables is currently about as good as restaurants get in Boston right now. We've got reservations for the next German wine dinner and I can't wait.
the chocolate cake with black pepper ice cream is awesome. the ice cream is sweet, but with a pronounced kick afterwards--a fantastic accompaniment to the super rich, super dense chocolate cake. i agree about the coulis--nice, but unnecessary.
their rice pudding is also an exceptional dessert, though i know some who claim it was best with the first chef they had (i think then it came with macerated cherries or some such thing.)
i recently had their housemade chorizo with white beans app--very, very well done. the beans were soft and cooked through, but with enough bite to keep them from being mushy, the sausage had a good amount of spice and flavor (could have used a touch more fieriness, perhaps.)
i want to try their $40/4 course prix fixe, and perhaps that thing they do with formaggio kitchen. but i have said many times that the wed. prix fixe is the best deal i've seen in boston--and by a country mile.
the back-stairwell passageway to the bathrooms at ten tables is awesomely treacherous! i feel like a shipcrew going into the galley :)
last time i was there on a wed prix-fixe, the blue fish was cooked so deliciously i could probably have eaten it 'til i bust. can't wait to see what will be going on the menu as we continue into autumn....