Unums? has anyone been?
- edinaeats Oct 25, 2007 07:50 AM
What did you order?
We finally made it to Unums and it did not live up to its hype. We should have been warned by the visual clues—the place is a décor horror, with Fortuny lamps competing with bookcases filled with ugly ceramic fishes and giant cans of tomato sauce. Did I mention the plastic grapes and twinkle lights? This provides an insight into the food—too much happening on the plate, and no strong vision or concept.
The martinis were fabulous and the ciabbatta bread with herbed olive oil was tasty - but it went downhill from there. We started out with a beef carpaccio and a swordfish/tuna/meat "napoleon.” It took over 30 minutes before the carpaccio finally arrived at the table, and it took another ten minutes for the napoleon to show up. The carpaccio was more like a deviled egg salad with the beef at the bottom of the plate, smothered with a vinagrette, deviled eggs and roasted pepper strips. The carpaccio got lost in that melange. The napoleon was an assortment of grilled meats and fish stacked about 6 inches high with a balsamic vinegar reduction. The swordfish and meat were quite tasty, but when we got to the tuna layer, it tasted so off we spit it out. The term “napoleon” is a misnomer—this is actually a grilled meat kebab.
Our entrees arrived almost immediately after we finished the appetizers. The kitchen’s timing could definitely be improved. The roasted chicken Dijon was properly cooked and delicious, but the roasted vegetable accompaniments smothered the chicken. The “roast duck” was in fact seared duck breast, smothered in an extremely sweet sauce that partially concealed a crepe stuffed with…???. I think it was duck sausage, but the sticky sauce made it mystery meat. We decided to cut our losses at this point and not order dessert.
-- The music was too loud and seemed more appropriate for a pub, not for a fine dining experience. Did not need to listen to a drunken patron doing karaoke.
--Owners wandering around like idiots, never engaging their guests.
-- How do restaurants in Nashua get away charging Boston prices – a steak entree cost $42! It is simply not worth the price.
again whs - your review alone makes it not even worth a try as far as I'm concerned. I loathe loud music in a restaurant and singing that is spontaneously rendered to music that is so loud that it inspires / encourages patrons singing - yuck. One has to wonder - is it loud because it is covering up something suspect like yelling / swearing in the kitchen? On a par with the "extremely sweet sauce that partially concealed a crepe stuffed with…???" that you mention above? Food for thought. And why didn't the owners notice this?
Last night (a Saturday night) me and my two best friends went to Unum's for Dinner. We were celebrating their June birthdays. We arrived at 7:30 and started with one of their specialty martinis. They were very tasty and original. We nibbled on some foccacia bread that was served at the table and it was just ok. It tasted a bit stale. We spilt two salads: the wedge and the roasted vegtable salad. Both salads were well prepared, great combos of flavors and had the appropriate-flavored vinegrettes paired with them. At that point we were sure to experience a great main course. Alas, we were wrong.
As we were just finishing the salads (that we split - so you can imagine it did not take that long to eat) and I was still working on mine (and there was more salad on the main plates), the main courses arrived. The wait staff were standing there waiting for me to finish. I felt that I had no choice to but give up the salad to the main course.
I ordered the pecan crusted salmon on a wild mushroom goat cheese bilini with berry-shallot compote. It was dreadful and did not appear to fit the description on the menu. The salmon did not have any pecan crust - their were no pecans to be found on the plate. The bilini was burnt to a crisp on the edges (charred) and the inner part was more like oatmeal or porridge and there was no flavor of goat cheese to be found. But the worst part was the salmon. It was bad, and I mean rank - it smelled bad and tasted bad. I eat salmon ALL the time and know the difference. My friend tried a piece and said the same thing. The berry compote was more like blackberry syrup and would have been better on a pancake.
The only reason I ordered this was because practically everything else on the menu came with artichokes and I am not a huge fan of artichokes. I only eat chicken and fish and the chicken dishes on the menu all came with beef or pork as well.
The dishes my two freinds ordered did not fare that much better. One got the trio of mushroom pasta with a bacon cream: not many mushrooms and very rubbery peices of unedible bacon - and she did not enjoy it. Another friend got the chestnut ravioli which she did enjoy, however I also tried and found the sweet flavors overpowering. Their dishes were more edible and they managed to eat a good portion of their dinners. I could not eat mine. I did tell the waitress and they comped my meal. They (the waitress and I think the owner) were very nice and aplogetic about it.
I really doubt that any half-decent chef would prepare and send something out of their kitchen like that. It almost leads me to beleive there is no "executive chef" preparing (or at least overseeing the preparation of) the dishes.
We also ordered a bottle of wine that did not come until half way through our meal.
Dessert was not bad - the tirimi su was actually pretty good. But they served with melted white chocolate which was unecessary.
The overall problem with Unums is that the dishes are too complicated. They try to include way too many flavors into a dish. Like my salmon dish. It would have been better with just a citrus roasted piece of salmon with a fresh berry salsa instead.
It's sad to say that after two years of edineats post, I have the very same complaints about the restaurant: bad fish, inappropriate music and entertainment during dinner, complicated dishes, etc.. I love the bar at Unums and would drink and hang out there any time but I won't drop a dime to eat there - until I hear reports that they have changed - which I really hope I do.