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Blue Ginger, Lumiere, or L'Andana?

Has anyone been to these recently and can comment on the food? Thanks!

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  1. I have. They're all pretty charming and have delicious food in their respective ways.

    Blue Ginger does a rather seafood-focused New American menu with strong Asian accents. It suffers the worst from inflated expectations. It's not really that extraordinary, but the hype and chef/owner's TV exposure might lead you to expect otherwise.

    Lumiere does refined, locally-sourced French/New American bistro fare in a pretty but rather understated setting. Service is quietly excellent.

    L'Andana looks like a big-box furniture store on the outside and a Martha Stewart-decorated barn on the inside, but does a very good suburban take on the high-style Italian fare of its downtown sibling Sorrelina. By suburban, I mean cruder service and bigger portions.

    On my dime, I'd choose Lumiere, then L'Andana, then Blue Ginger.

    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

    6 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      Wow. Blue Ginger must have really come down a bit then, since I ate there which admittedly was in 2007. We had a phenomenal dinner that night. I have always wanted to try Lumiere since moving here and now that I'm reading this, I shall go POSTHENCE!

      1. re: MC Slim JB

        Why so snotty to the burbs? I frequently dine in Boston and found L'Andana comparable to, or better than, some downtown destinations. Food and service were both good. Portions, however, were obscene.

        I haven't eaten at Lumiere but Blue Ginger did not knock my socks off given all the hype.

        1. re: MenuPorn

          I'm snotty to the burbs because most suburban Boston restaurants in my experience are inferior to their downtown counterparts. A few are competitive; most are not. I discuss the topic at length on my blog ("Evenfall Restaurant: 'Take that, you supercilious urban food snob!'").

          You hit it on the head with L'Andana, which I think is pretty much exactly what I said: it's mostly knocking off Sorellina (it has the same chef and many nearly-identical dishes), though its atmosphere and service are both steps down, in my view, and I dislike the huge portions.

          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

          1. re: MC Slim JB

            You're right on about L'Andana there, MSJ. I haven't been to the downtown Masa, but enjoyed the Woburn outpost. How does it compare?

            1. re: MC Slim JB

              Actually, you said the service was "crude" and I said it was good. Being located in Boston doesn't automatically make service impeccable.

              Does Boston have a superior dining scene? Absolutely. But there are a few gems to be found in the suburbs.

              1. re: MenuPorn

                I've only been to L'Andana half a dozen times, but they've managed to make some significant service error on every one of those visits. It's not Sorellina's equal on that score, in my experience.

                Who said being located in Boston automatically makes service impeccable? Once again, I think we're actually in agreement about suburban restaurants: some are indeed competitive with comparable in-town restaurants (that's the gist of my blog post on Evenfall), even if most are not.

                I haven't been to the Burlington Masa yet, but have heard good things. I like the South End original, though it was so loud on a recent weekend night that we had to flee to someplace where we could converse without shouting.

                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

        2. I have not been to Lumiere but have always heard good things with the exception of one friend who claimed to have a bad experience...however, it may have been more due to their dining inexperience than anything else.

          I have to agree that Blue Ginger has lost its golden touch...always went with very high expectations that the experience never matched...stopped going 3 or 4 years ago.

          And although I HATE to disagree with MCSJB...who's opinion I hold so high...I have had nothing but superior service at L'Andana...almost disarming in the suburbs... true, the portions are very large...I also like smaller plates and cocktails in the bar.

          I remember reading Slim's bit on Evenfall but I can't remember if service was part of the equation...food is interesting and I'm thrilled that someone is bringing an elevated palette to the area. However, ambiance is not great (unless they've remodeled since I last visited) and ...you can take the server out of the Merrimack Valley but you can't take the Merrimack Valley out of the server...as a former server from the Merrimack Valley I have no hesitation in making such a harsh, insensitive comment.

          Masa in Woburn is great ...it also gets very crowded and very loud!

          1 Reply
          1. re: merrvally

            Three of my bad experiences were at lunch; maybe that's the B Team, but three were at dinner. Pretty bad run of luck if that's all it is.

            I did cite some very fine (I'd say great) service at Evenfall, though admitting that "the dining room would hardly elicit gasps from your designer friends." Mainly it was the food that impressed me: it's an ambitious kitchen that executes really well across the board.

            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

          2. I've been to L'Andana a dozen times. It is outstanding. Never a miss on anything, service included.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Tir_na_nOg

              I think its unfair to Blue Ginger. I have eaten there a hand full of times and I have yet to be disappointed. The thing I think people forget is that it is 'bistro style'. The vibe is fast paced and highly energetic. Its loud and friendly, which works with its minimalistic charm.