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Mar 19, 2008 06:15 AM

RW - Dante - woohoo!

Checked out dante last night with a friend - overall this was one of the most enjoyable RW experiences I've had in the past few years. Service was tops, unobtrusive, and knowledgeable and the food was pretty great too.

We both had the antipasto mixto to start. A large square plate with small portions of prosciutto, arancini in honey (possibly the least successful taste of the evening), ceviche (lime, cilantro, shrimp), bresaola wrapped around parsley and drizzled with olive oil, mozzarella di buffalo on arugula, winter melon, peppers agro e dolce (sweet and sour). The flavors weren't particularly cohesive, but each taste was lovely.

DC opted for the salmon with soft polenta, winter mushrooms, brown butter, horseradish, sorrel, and grapefruit. The flavors complimented each other perfectly.

Grilled hanger steak, herb frites, grilled lemon thyme aioli, garlic butter, truffled watercress for me. The hanger was cooked perfectly rare and was very tasty having basted in the garlic butter on the way to the table. The truffled watercress was the most interesting flavor of the night and completely addictive. My only complaint on this dish is that the fries were really stumpy, but the fry job was right on as was the aioli.

We tried both desserts, though the straciatelle panna cotta, fritelle, chocolate hazelnut sauce was clearly the winner. A fried donut in a pool of chocolate hazelnut sauce? Please, you had me at fried. And chocolate. The panna cotta was right up there with my favorite version at Craigie Street Bistrot. Olive oil cake, limoncello zabaglione, vanilla citrus was also well done, perhaps a bit dry, but that's quibbling. Only misstep was an incredibly medicinal hibiscus soda served with the dessert course.

Go dante! Doin' restaurant week proud.

A big shout out also to our CH lurker dining neighbors R&D! You should post about that soup and duck ragu - they both looked fabulous.

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  1. That's too bad about the hibiscus soda, I had a small cup when they first finished brewing it before they threw the yeast in and it was well balanced.

    1. Wasn't it great? It is DEFINITELY one of the greatest values for RW. It's usually beyond my budget but I loved it here. I had the exact same thing for lunch only $20.08. I also like the chic sort of euro vibe in this place. Last year we did Henrietta's Table for RW also a great bargain as you order off the regular menu (no prix fixe deal) BUT you pay the RW price!! That was an awesome buy-three courses off the regular menu for $33.08!! Not sure about this year though.

      1. Yum - that was indeed a delicious meal. Great waiter, helpful and knowledgeable.

        I thought the arancini would have been nice on their own - the taste was quite yummy, but completely out of line with the rest of the antipasto. Bresaola - mmmm, delicious.

        The salmon came with (unannounced) pancetta - I loved it, but non-pork people would probably have wanted to be warned. Very good dish.

        Desserts were fine - I wasn't blown away by either, but also wasn't disappointed. I wish I could have substituted a 2nd app for dessert - I really wanted to try the cauliflower/smoked scallop soup!

        Overall dante did a fantastic execution of the RW standard steak-salmon-chicken. I love this place. And the free and plentiful parking just makes it that much better.

        1. I'm heading to Dantes for RW lunch today and am so excited now that I read your review!

          1. I’ll do the best I can with this review. I can’t remember everything as vividly as I usually do because of all the chit-chat with the adjoining table.

            This was my first visit to dante. I liked the space very much, particularly for a hotel restaurant. Of course restaurants of that ilk in and around Boston have vastly improved over the years. The service overall was very good. We had to request the side dish we had ordered, but that was a small blemish. Major props for describing the dishes as they were served. I can always remember that I ordered Arctic char, but sometimes forget that it’s beluga lentil that is nestled upon, but that’s another restaurant.

            I started with the gnocchi with duck ragu, sour cherries, ricotta salata and duck fat frites (sic). If you compartmentalize the gnocchis themselves, they were decent, but a far cry from what I enjoyed at Sage the week previous. Overall the dish was a hit, thanks to a healthy dose of duck and one (thus the ‘sic’) glorious duck fat frite.

            Like laura jean, I opted for the salmon, to keep my concentration on fish entrees during RW intact. The accompaniments and the polenta in particular melded nicely with the fish. I would have enjoyed it a tad more if the salmon had been cooked about two minutes more, but that’s just a thing I have with salmon.

            I opted for the ‘ciocolato’ dolce and had to look up stracciatella to find out what they were saying about my panna cotta. I’m still not clear on how it applied but suffice it to day it was simple, but tasty. And then there was –as gini pointed out -- the donut. Kind of a delightful little beignet. Not a profiterole, mind you, but at least in the same zip code!

            I’d also like to give a nod to Waiter B for recommending a really nice Madeira as an after dinner drink. It’s one of the two or three alcoholic beverages I haven’t previously tried and it was very nice.

            Sorry I can’t provide feedback on the soup, we were too busy studying the demographics of the clientele to share opinions. A lurker no more, now you have to deal with my strange and sometimes flippant commentary. But it’s always in good fun!