Wicked a Boston Bistro- Sharon, MA
Went last night- thought it was going to be the next Sky or Stoneforge of the area. Not so. Hardwood floors and bare walls made the place seem cold. We asked to sit at the bar, but learned they have no "bar," but a lounge area where you can sit in big leather chairs near a gas fireplace. At first glance the room seemed warm, welcoming, relaxing, stylish etc. We sat next to the fireplace but it gave off no heat, which was unfortunate considering the horrible draft from the fire escape door. I think I put on and took off my jacket at least 5 times. Eventually we asked to move seats because it was so cold. The room was also noisy despite the small number of people present.
We ordered the calamari ($8) and the pizza of the day ($12). The calamari was horrible. Probably the worst I have ever had. The batter fell off when you touched it, and the consistency was like large thick tough rubber bands. We sent it back. The pizza had chicken, spinach and alfredo sauce and was quite plain.
I was very dissapointed- I walked in with high expectations and left thinking it was one of the worst meals I have had in a long time! :(
That's too bad, b/c we LOVED it! Perfect antidote to lack of decent priced, cool venue restaurants in local area. HATE Sky and Stoneforge--both serve fairly eh-eh food and Sky is overpriced (but does have a good atmosphere). We had salads, vinegar fries, steak-bomb sandwhich, and delicious baked bread. Great tastes--mind you, this not Coriander or Bon Caldo--but it is open during lunch, and one can make a meal from apps alone. So glad this place arrived. But maybe I WILL wait to try the calamari, lol!
I would have to disagree with misslorelle, but do feel you have made a few solid points.
I enjoy SKY, but find the waterfall and dining hall atmosphere to be a bit cheesy, despite what has been quality food each time I've been. I prefer the Wayland SKY to Norwood. I haven't met anyone who enjoys Stoneforge, but I have not been yet so I can't comment. I thought the redesign was spare and pleasant...white table cloths, understated, but interesting decor, nothing busy or complicated. Wine glasses were not light and upscale, but also were not short, heavy and stout banquet style...somewhere in between. The dining room was intimate and the bar/lounge looked beautiful, but I would agree that sound control may pose a problem for him. There seemed to be stools and a small flat screen at the bar, so perhaps he will add that feature later. He is redesigning the deck for the warm weather and will be redoing the outside of the building and ther parking area soon. I'd like to see him look for ways to hide the high tension wires and highway...window boxes would work in the warm weather. Sadly, window boxes will not hide the flea bag motel that surrounds the spot.
We went for lunch and it may have been some of the best sandwhiches I have had in quite sometime. I was disappointed at the small menu and lack of creative offerings, however. When I inquired, I was told that the philosophy of the chef is to make it simple and understated so that people can know what they want easily. That is not a bad philosophy in the age of glutony, but still no reason not to add some options and sides. Chicken as an add to a salad, for example.
So, to keep it simple, I had their cheese-burger ($9) and my wife the chicken salad ($8?). I was expecting something a bit more gourmet on the menu, but both were superior to any we have had in the area. Right taste, right temp, great wine pairing, and perfect amount of food. Both came with toasted bread/buns and tremendous fries (again, nothing unique here, but great tasting) The waitstaff was polite, friendly, but not as fast as you may expect with the small lunch crowd. If the owner was doing the seating, he looked like he was on his way to work as a landscaper and not hosting what he is trying to sell as a slightly upscale Bistro. As some of the first people in, it would have been great for him to introduce himself, even if briefly. Part of Zebra's (Medfield) charm is the accessibility of the owner.
I have to agree with you about the cold. We commented on the chill in the room and were told that they find certain spots colder than others. If this is so, then why seat us in that spot in what a mostly empty bistro. I will give them the chance to figure that out, but I never remember being in Bickfords (which was rare) and feeling cold.
My opinion was much better than misslorelle and as I am pleased to see something other than an Applebees, Pizza Hut, or (gast) another pancake house move into the spot, I think the place may have legs if he is open to hear from guests in the beginning. Lunch came to $30 (before tip), however, so price may slow him down at the start. While that isn't so much today, considering that we had nothing but two sandwiches and one glass of red wine, it is more than most area restaurants. Parents be warned: There did not appear to be any child-specific menu options, so he is making a statement up front who he wishes his clientele to be.
My only other suggestion to him is to take down the sign on the front of the building that looks like a 12 year old made it in shop class and replace it with something classier. To be honest, I wouldn't be suprised if the Broadway show doesn't find its way to him sooner or later and ask for a name change, but that has nothing to do with what was (mostly) a pleasant lunch at a spot far better than most small towns are offering.
re: Be Better
"Sadly, window boxes will not hide the flea bag motel that surrounds the spot."
Sadly the new owners are not like the owners of the Sharon Motel. They actually did some nice landscaping around the pool which was pleasant in the midst of a truckstop breakfast joint.
I didn't have high hopes, but agree, thank heavens it's not another Applebee's! LOL! From what I've read here, there is nothing "bistro" about this newcomer to the neighborhood. My momentary dream of steak frittes and mussels has diminished. I do look forward to stopping by soon for a real opinion.
We went for the fourth time last night and very very happy to see that they have worked out the kinks. All four of us enjoyed our meals immensely. The herb chicken, the crab cake with portabella mushroom and the hamburger were all perfect! The bread is delish and the drinks were great. The dining room is pretty and unlike many restaurants today, it is quiet enough that you can actually carry on a conversation in there. Outside dining opened today and it will be a nice option for warm days and nights - more screening to try to block route 1 would help though. They have come a long way already.
Haven't been there yet but plan to go w/ the visiting reletives this month. Looks like they do have a kids menu (ceasar salad starter little one?). We will take the 5 yr old and 18 month old! Here's the full menu link.
Just moved to Sharon from (gulp!) the heart of Los Angeles and are very happy w/ Alice's for take out one/month. Apparently, Alice is the niece of the famous Asian chef/cookbook author Joyce Chen and lives up to the legend. All the shrimp dishes are awesome & I'm sure there's a thread for Alice's here. And Corriander???? Wow, ranked #1 French bistro in Boston Zagat?!?! Not sure we'll be there anytime soon (not fond of the food + need babysitter...) but I never would of thought a place like that would end up in Sharon. Guess I'll have to get into the city for my Sushi Nozawa fix though.