Sprigs in Acton
Ate there this evening and was really impressed. I'd been to the previous incarnation a few times and No. 5 had always been disapointing. Things have changed for the better! They've got an interesting and creative menu and a very decent wine list. Granted, it was a slow Sunday, but service was great and the food interesting and well put together. After being unimpressed at Christopher's (now defunct) and Serafina, this was a welcome step up.
We tried it for a birthday dinner, and will NEVER go back. The food is only ok for the price, but nothing you will remember, and the service is atrocious. We asked to have a steak that was supposed to be medium rare cooked a little more because it was practically cold in the middle, and the manager/owner was surly and insulting. She may be the the most obnoxious woman I've ever met. Do yourself a favor and go somewhere else.
We had dinner there with another couple last night, and our only complaint was the service - pleasant and helpful, but on the slow side and unsophisticated, as in "...I hear the foie gras is very good but I couldn't possibly eat that myself."
However, the food was very nice. Three of the four of us had the foie gras special appetizer and the slice, while thin, was perfectly done (something I almost never find out here in the burbs), and accompanied by a small poached pear and a thin slice of candied orange peel in a pear-citrus reduction.
For appetizers, we had the rib eye, the filet, the roast cod and the swordfish special. There were no complaints from the meat-eaters, although one said the ribeye, which was accompanied only by some homemade garlic potato chips, could have used a more substantial side dish. The filet was accompanied by potato/sweet potato gratin, and even though that person doesn't like sweet potatoes, he scarfed the gratin.
I had the roast cod wrapped in proscuitto, accompanied by clam chowder. The presentation was a bit different, as the fish was placed in a soup bowl, the chowder was poured around it so it came about halfway up the fish, and three littlenecks on the half shell were floated on the chowder. I dumped the clams into the chowder and proceeded to eat the fish with my soup spoon, and it worked fine. I don't have a lot of experience with cod; it certainly wasn't overcooked but could probably have been a tad less cooked, and it didn't seem to have a lot of flavor. The thinly-applied proscuitto had been roasted on the fish, not laid on after, so it had a nice texture and flavor. The clam chowder was thick with potatoes and bacon, and was quite good. The other entree was the swordfish special, which was pronounced perfect and every last bit eaten off the plate.
Finally, we split some desserts - the bread pudding and the hazelnut butter crunch cake with fig ice cream. The bread pudding eaters liked it, although said it was more cake-y than they expected. The butter crunch cake was just odd. It was presented biscuit-shaped, cut in half with some kind of filling that tasted mostly of pastry cream and didn't work well with the cake. The fig ice cream was yummy though.
It was a Saturday night and the place was packed. We couldn't get a reservation the time we wanted, and once we got in, we understood why. We'll go back, as it's close to where we live and certainly better than most of the other 'upscale' restaurants in the area.
Awful, Worse than it was when it was 5 Strawberry hill. We gave it a shot as we thought it might be different with "New Owners". Its close by and its a nice setting. Slow service, overpriced, never made it to the entree it took to long. 1.5 hours for seared scallops, a salad and a bowl of pasta for our young son.
We will never return, even if the name changes for the 4th time.
Haven't been yet - I agree about the predecessor (No. 5 Strawberry Hill) being mediocre for the price (and very trad French with too much cream and butter, etc.). But I'm excited about the possibility that this will be good (the desperation of one living in the Culinary Wasteland). We'll be trying it out Nov 7 - a bit of a birthday/election celebration (I hope!). Will report back, and especially about the vegetarian-friendliness of the place.