Bullfinch's in Sudbury - is it just me?
This place got a great rating in Zagat's and above average comments on Chow but we had dinner tonight and boy were we disappointed! The room was nice for the western 'burbs - warm indirect lighting, flowing curtains here and there, really well done for a strip mall - but the noise was considerable due to the tile floors, the glass and mirrors on the walls and the reflective panels on the ceiling. A table of six innocently (and soberly) enjoying themselves next to us were deafening, but in a place with some cloth artwork, tapestries, upholstery or curtains, they would have been unremarkable.
And the food - where to start? The escargot were overcooked and buried under the multiple flavors of roasted tomatoes, scallions, garlic, lemon and mushrooms. The poor snails never had a chance. My companion's crab cake tasted deep-fried and the shredded crab meat was certainly not in Maryland-style chunks as advertised.
The filet had the texture of a sponge and the medium rare was more a medium. The bed of fried leeks were black and crispy and tasted of three-day old deep fryer fat. The many, many peppercorns in the mashed weren't even cracked, which mean an overpowering taste of pepper and possibly a cracked filling.
The only bright spot - the grilled rack of lamb, perfectly done. A bit fatty but really tasty, worth getting your fingers greasy. Too bad they were paired with overcooked vegetables, a "pommery mustard cream sauce" that tasted like it came from a powdered mix and a double-deep-fried home fries that would be better served with a big greasy burger.
Really, I'm not usually this hard on the suburban restaurants but I'm so tired of the bad food out here and the seemingly-happy acceptance of it (at Boston prices) by their customers who make enough money and should know better. Is it just me? Am I missing something?
My parents live in Sudbury, so I've done Bullfinch's a couple times over the years. Secret there is to go in with low expectations and order VERY selectively. When dragged, I typically do the French Onion Soup Gratinee and a Salad. Other than under/over seasoning, it's very hard to screw those up.
I do like their al fresco seating during the warmer months...
Bullfinches seemed good to me when I was a very sheltered 27 year-old and hadn't experienced really good restaurants. And, it opened at a time when there were very, very few upscale options in MetroWest, which endeared it to many people in the area. It was the kind of place where you could order rare tuna with sesame crust and wasabi cream, before it was on every menu.
It's been at least 12 years since I last ate there. Sadly, I remember my last meal very well. The filet was grainy. We had something with sandy cilantro, and the creme brulee was way overcooked. I remember the martini being good...
re: Eatin in Woostah
We just visited Bullfinches a few weekends ago. My husband and I both really enjoyed the ambiance. We sat at the bar and people were very friendly. We ordered the calamari, which was very tender. My husband ordered the scallops, which were fresh and came with fried spinach. He really enjoyed his meal . I ordered the filet with their crashed potatoes. I will agree that the filet tasted grainy, but that is due to the fact that their meat is grass-fed. Many of the items on the menu were naturally raised.
Overall, we really enjoyed Bullfinches. We look forward to returning!