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Menton Interior

Grub Street is up with a first look at the Menton interior.

http://boston.grubstreet.com/2010/03/...

Pretty underwhelming from the pics, imo. I thought this place was going to be all about luxury and glamour. Doesn't look that way to me. Maybe I'd just want a more comfortable looking chair if I'm paying $200+ per person and eating for 3 hours.

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  1. I imagine those few pics don't tell the whole story, but No. 9 has always struck me as under-designed for its price point, too. There's richly understated, and there's just plain dull. I am more dismayed to see the fake customers not wearing jackets.

    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

    6 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      Lynch always seems to talk a lot more than walk. Or at least present her restaurants as one thing, and then deliver something entirely different. I remember describing Drink as being a neighborhood bar before it opened.

      As for the pics, they aren't fake customers. It's the service staff doing a dry-run.

      1. re: ecwashere7

        haha right, it was going to be a place where a southie construction worker would feel right at home!

        1. re: ecwashere7

          Yes, obviously the fake customers are staff. Der.

          I can tell you that Lynch's South End neighbors have not been happy with how she pitched The Butcher Shop as one concept and swiftly made it into something rather different. That violation of the neighborhood's trust has since hurt her efforts to develop other concepts on that block.

          I'm not sure how that applies to the Drink / Sportello / Menton project, Unlike her South End venues, she seems to be keeping to her word on her plans there.

          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

          -----
          Sportello
          348 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02110

          1. re: MC Slim JB

            How did she initially pitch the butcher shop?

            1. re: jgg13

              I wasn't there, but as I understand it, it was supposed to be primarily retail, a much larger emphasis on the actual butcher shop aspect, serving just a few small plates, mainly charcuterie and cold cuts and wine, with relatively limited hours. It didn't take long for the revamped concept and hours and a very different menu to appear. The abutting neighborhood associations that gave assent to the beer/wine license and operating hours felt kind of badly used.

              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

        1. Totally underwhelmed.

          1. C'mon, it's three crappy photos. I'll be reserving judgment till I get an actual walk-through.

            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

            2 Replies
            1. re: MC Slim JB

              Exactly, three crappy photos and zero that look good so far. This is far from a final verdict and hopefully won't translation into a poor atmosphere when in the actual space, but it is all we have to go on thus far. If these photos are representative of the decor, it would be a disappointment to those of us who hoped that it might be the type of special occasion (food, service and setting) place to replace the old L'Espalier or Maison Robert. There is nothing wrong with having high expectations, particularly when considering the lofty goals that Lynch has set through her own PR.

            2. Haven't looked yet. Based on the photos, is it precious, or brilliant?

              1. Wish there was a photo of that special, huge imported oven that required a hole in the exterior wall to deliver....the main dining room does appear quite small and underwhelming for now, however, the private dining space they had open for New Year's Eve was intimate, elegant, and beautifully lit with a really nice silk wall covering - there are no photos of it.

                1 Reply
                1. re: rlh

                  It's in the first photo with pots hanging above. It's a Molteni suite that comes in one piece making it almost impossible to fit through a door frame, commercial or otherwise. I think it's very similar to the one at Craigie.

                  1. re: jk1002

                    It feels a bit like the new L'Espalier to me. Seems like there is a bit of a Lynch-watch going on here, but I'm with Slim, let's see what it's about before projecting our desires and judgement forth. It's not even open!

                    Kinda disappointed that all those pans aren't French copper tho. (Are they All-Clad Stainless? There are a few copper pans in the corner of one pic. ) Nothing beats Bourgeat!

                    -----
                    L'Espalier
                    774 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

                    1. re: tatsu

                      I have to agree with Tatsu and Slim. I read half of these posts yesterday and they didn't sit well with me. No respectable restaurant critic (even us amateurs) would comment on food we didn't taste. It seems that pictures of a restaurant we haven't actually experienced would be in the same category. There has also got to be some social commentary about the Lynch-watching going on. We all loved her first restaurant and her second. And even her third. But now she is no longer our foodie underdog and so it seems (in my humble opinion) that people hope she fails. Sorry to meander a little off topic, but my new years resolution was to be more optimistic and I thought it was worth mentoning (funny? Anyone?).

                        1. re: MParente

                          I think you are reading a bit much into the comments. Menton is a much anticipated restaurant, and people are interested in any available information. Just because some posters commented that the pics were disappointing, I wouldn't equate it with hoping the place fails.

                          I have always assumed that most posters here love to dine out in Boston and would welcome another high end option, and possibly truly excellent restaurant (of which we are in need of a few in Boston). This particular venture has set a high bar for itself, and will certainly be the subject of much debate and scrutiny on these boards.

                        2. re: tatsu

                          I suppose you could have some copper pots around for decorative purposes, but I believe Menton's ultra-modern kitchen is equipped mainly with induction cooktops, and you can't use copper pots on those.

                          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                            the maintenance copper pots require makes them completely impractical in a professional kitchen.

                            we didn't "all love" the 2nd and 3rd restaurants, btw, but i admire how lynch has built an empire and made herself what she is. i would very much like to see her succeed here, but her pr machine has set a very high bar.

                            i also feel like the slightest stumble on opening night will bring howls of derision and that will be very unfair.

                              1. re: pemma

                                gotta be fair, at least let a place open before we trash it...;)

                                1. re: 9lives

                                  So, does anyone have reservations for next week?

                                  1. re: MParente

                                    I have reservations for April 1st in the pre-launch and really looking forward to the experience. I am a fan of her food and restaurants though it has been years since I have been to No. 9 Park, but am a fan of B&G and TBS. I also buy duck, etc. from TBS on a regular basis so guess that I am a fan of Barbara Lynch.

                                    I was last at L'Espalier in December and while it was a weak start with the first course, it was a great meal and attentive service. Looking forward to Menton and while I tend to avoid restaurants in the first few weeks of its opening, I hope for a good experience.

                                    -----
                                    L'Espalier
                                    774 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

                                    1. re: MParente

                                      We have a 5:30 reservation for opening night! We spoke with the manager at Drink about Menton and his excitement over seeing it finally open has made my husband even more excited than we already were!

                            1. re: jk1002

                              I like it. It's stark but they did a good job with the lighting- gives it a warm feel. The subtle colors will be a nice backdrop for the food. The food wil stand out on the tables.