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Jun 1, 2008 09:42 AM

Sage: Everything was perfect until...

Four of us went to Sage last night to celebrate a birthday -- our first time at the South End location. First we had a drink at the bar (most memorable was a bitter campari drink on their cocktail menu) and shared a light, smoky, crisp pizza.

We moved to our table, and service started off impeccably. I ordered the soup and the fazoleti. Soup was a sunchoke puree with crabmeat; I don’t even know what a sunchoke is but it was scrumptious – a cross between artichoke and parsnip. The veal and spinach fazoleti was described by our server as a big ravioli but it more closely resembled crespelle, Italian crepes. So good, so good.

I tasted a bit of my DC’s gnocchi, and it continues to be the best in town. Not just light and airy, but imbued with all the surrounding flavors in the dish.

Then we ordered a cheese plate for dessert. And we waited. Twenty minutes passed and we finally managed to catch our server’s eye. When we told her our cheese plate was taking an inordinate time to come out, she scowled, said OK, and literally turned away from us without another word. No “sorry”; no “I’ll check on that for you”. The restaurant was packed by then and we understood that she was busy but we would have appreciated some simple courtesy.

After another 5 minutes the manager finally brought out the cheeses. When we commented that we had been waiting a long time, here was his reply: “It’s artisanal cheese; it takes time to slice it.” This was plainly an asinine remark, when a “sorry, we’re backed up” would have satisfied us.

The food was uniformly yummy. The first 2 courses were well paced. The new space is lovely. But Sage needs to work on the service and attitude.

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  1. That is actually hilarious. I would have laughed in his face. Time to slice it? Do you recall the types of cheese?

    3 Replies
    1. re: Dax

      It was clearly a slip of the tongue...he MEANT to say "it takes time to AGE it."

      1. re: Bob Dobalina

        Actually my first thought when reading this is they wanted to give the cheese time to come to room temp before serving it -- vastly improving the aroma and texture, etc.. But most places that offer a cheese course will have them out during the entire service, so resting the cheese wouldn't be necessary. I think they forgot, and instead of saying "we forgot, let us bring you a glass of wine" they were snarky. That's too bad.

      2. re: Dax

        I remember 2 of the 3: sottocenere al tartufo and roomano pradera.

        Our butter knives sliced right into them with little time or effort.

      3. Sunchoke is another name for Jerusalem artichoke, which is neither an artichoke nor from Jerusalem. It's the tuber of a species of sunflower from North America. They're easy to grow and you can find them in grocery stores.

        I wonder if they had to take time to hand-forge a knife to cut their artisanal cheese.

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            1. Oh, that's not so bad at all! I thought the post was going to go something like "Sage: Everything was perfect until... the explosive diarrhea" or something awful like that. Late cheese is nothing. :o)