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Bergamot Report

Bergamot just opened (last week, I think) in the space formerly occupied by Evoo, which has moved to Kendall Square. I was hoping for good things since Evoo was a nice standby in the neighborhood and I was not disappointed. You'd never know they had only been open for a week -- the food was great and the service was excellent. We'll definitely be going back.

The space is little changed from the Evoo days and the restaurant projects the same kind of sophistication and attention to good food. It's a lot nicer and less casual than the whimsical website and logo would suggest; I was expecting something more along the lines of Hungry Mother, but it was closer to Rendezvous (both places I like a lot). The menu has a focus on seasonal and local ingredients - green peas, fiddleheads, and green garlic abound.

We all agreed that the appetizers were good but not great; but the entrees we tried (roast lamb loin with black trumpet mushrooms and stinging nettle sauce; halibut with fava beans; seared scallops with asparagus) were all excellent. Desserts were a real highlight; we loved the guajillo chili chocolate pavé with milk stout ice cream. They have a strong wine list heavily leaning towards French and a focus on chenin blanc and bandol. Good craft cocktails too.

Only downside was that service was a little slow at times, but heck, they've only been open a week, so I give them a pass. And it was not that slow. The service was extremely friendly and knowledgeable, and very attentive. My only other complaint is what is the deal with giving each diner a tiny stale slice of bread? Second time in as many weeks this has happened to me (the other being at Pigalle) -- leave enough bread for the table, thank you.

I was not expecting much from a first visit, but the place seems to be hitting most of the right notes so far. Worth checking out.

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Pigalle
75 Charles Street South, Boston, MA 02116

EVOO Restaurant
350 Third Street, Cambridge, MA 02143

Hungry Mother
Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

Bergamot
118 Beacon St, Somerville, MA 02143

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  1. thanks so much. we have long been evoo fans and we shall follow them to kendall sq. of course, but a new good place is always a treat.

    1. After lunch with friends around the corner at Kebab Factory (that place was HOPPING and delicious as always) we were looking in the window at Bergamot just now and a nice man invited us in to look around and gave us menus to look at. Pretty much everything on the menu looked yummy. Right now it's dinner only but they will start doing brunch at some point and they'll be doing a 6-course prix fixe all day (12 to 8) on Mother's Day. We asked if they'd have wheelbarrows to trundle Mom out to the car, and he didn't miss a beat: "Oh yes, and some nice strong young men to wheel them." Pretty spot, good-looking menu, it's definitely on the list to try.

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      The Kebab Factory
      414 Washington St, Somerville, MA 02143

      1. Thanks for the early report. I'm very interested in this place ... the menu looks great.

        1. I often wonder if some locals might hear this as "Burger Mart."

          1 Reply
          1. Great report. We went last Saturday, and found the food quite good but the kitchen very slow. Like you, we gave them a pass because they're so new. (Also they comped us a round of drinks.)
            We will definitely be back soon.

            1. Which apps did you have? Ours were wonderful. I had Dick, Duck, Duck and was utterly charmed - mostly by the duck cracklins - it was an ample portion, the duck paillard was beautifully cooked and seasoned, the cured duck was perfect, and oh, those crunchy fat bits were delicious! But my husband's app - the tuna carpaccio was unreal. it had every taste and texture element, each delicious in its own right, but magnificent taken together - the mango, the cashews, the green curry sauce - and don't forget the perfect, fresh, ultra thin slices of tuna. I will go back just to have a double order of this. My main was the halibut with the favas. I loved every bite. Our DCs had the scallops, the chicken and the port - each loved their dish. We were in on the first Saturday - service was unbelievably spot on for an opening weekend. Bar Manager Kai selected a beautiful Chenin Blanc for us and we recevied a coupon for a free drink on our next time in. Can't wait!

              6 Replies
              1. re: Small Plates

                Freudian slip??

                Seriously though, very much looking to trying Bergamot. Have heard nothing but good reviews fro friends so far. It is nice to have another place for dinner that is walkable (in the warm weather).

                  1. re: Gabatta

                    Sounds more like a Jamie Bissonnette preparation.

                    1. re: almansa

                      I wonder how many male ducks it takes to make a proper Dick Duck Duck. Pekin duck sexing: one of the least glamorous jobs in the poultry business.

                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                        My favorite case to cite in my line of work was in re American Chick Sexing Ass'n.

                        Lung gunner's a pretty gross one, too. Love the Dictionary of Occupational Titles as a diet aid.

                1. Thanks for the review... it is definitely on my to-try list.

                    1. Great meal. Prix fixe was $39 until 7pm. App was Manila clams with capers, tomato, and god knows what else, main was skate with some tiny veggies (interesting fungus, tiny potatoes, carrots, leek), dessert was a panna cotta (almond link) on some rhubarb with crunchy nuts. Delicious. We also had a pea green salad with a "fried egg' (deep friend, soft center). Fabulous. Monk fish was great. Choc chilli dessert mentioned above was great.

                      Cocktails were very good. I asked for something unusual and challenging, and "Ti" (guessing on the spelling) came us with a Martinez variation with gin, Punt e Mes, a touch of Campari, and "two bitters" (guessing Regan's and Peychards). I had a glass of Carpano Antica for dessert and the bartender made a "pink Pegu Club -- tinged with Campari" for my wife.

                      Very good experience. Fairly priced. Attentive service. It's an off-beat location, but with a trip.

                      1. Stopped in last night around 9:30 with a few friends for a drink and small bite. I had a Bergamot Martini and a Tarragoni, both inventive and flavorful reinventions of classic cocktails. I had sole escabeche, which was a delicious vinegary prep of the fish with a really excellent crispy bacon slice, a bit of egg salad, and fava beans. Very tasty, and a surprising (to me) flavor combo led by the vinegar. Friend had quail, which was equally delicious if more familiar. We'll definitely be back.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jajjguy

                          Finally got a chance to stop in with friends and try the food. We were dining early and the blackboard menu was generally appealing though several of the group tried some things from the regular menu, which was nice as it gave us a chance to explore some of the range. The amuse bouche was not a good start: a limp homemade potato chip with arctic char and guacamole mousse, no snap to the chip and not a particularly felicitous combination of flavors. The bread was good, but not generous. i really don't like being served a piece of bread and prefer a bread basket, particularly at a table of multiple diners. The Bandol rose we ordered was lovely, if overpriced, and beautifully chilled. The blackboard menu included a semi-boneless quail starter, scottish salmon for the main, and a passion fruit pudding for desert. The quail was beautifully cooked but I found the sauce on the insipid side. The salmon was very good: the potato dish on which it was served was excellent. Other diners had the arctic char which they loved and the roast lamb which was very good but not exceptional. Other starters included the sardines which were easily the most stellar dish. The deserts shone: the passion fruit pudding was exceptional, with a wonderful texture, coconut crunch and a buried nuggat of chocolate. Others at the table loved the chile chocolate desert. Service was attentive and knowledgeable and we'd return but I was hoping to be knocked out, given the general reviews of the place, and I was pleased but not wowed.

                        2. I went once when it first opened and enjoyed myself though wasn't blown away...I have a groupon to use so am going again tonight but I got mixed reviews from my friend who went last night...the menu has definitely changed based on what she said (apparently slightly overcooked arctic char, bland and oily steak, with a superb chowder and only okay tomato appetizer to start) and doesn't appear to be posted, are there any newer items to definitely try or avoid? We wont be eating until after 8 so I assume the blackboard menu wont be available... Thanks!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: shellicopter

                            the sardine appetizer was the big hit of the evening and the passion fruit pudding was the winning desert. unfortunately, while all three mains (scottish salmon, arctic char, and roast lamb) were ok, the general agreement was the accompaniments outshone the protein. The fish was a little overcooked, the lamb a little bland. The quail appetizer got raves from two diners, but two of us found the presentation bland.

                            1. re: teezeetoo

                              Thanks, I will be sure to try the Sardines...my experience was that the entrees were better than the apps when I went there when they first opened, maybe if I ask for the fish rare (I'm not shy about raw fish) it will be more properly cooked!

                          2. I ate there for the first time last night. The welcome and the service were friendly; our meals came almost too quickly, but some other aspects, like getting more bread and butter, we had to ask for more than once. I had the cod and the sweet corn ice cream. Everything was delicious, fresh and perfectly cooked, but I thought the portions were too small for the price. I shouldn't have had to fix myself a sandwich later in the evening! The fruit crisp that my friends ordered came in a darling little individual frying pan, but they split it, and for their $9 got two bites each. I would go back, but not if I were hungry.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: fantundo

                              So we went last night, it was completely packed at 8:15 and stayed that way until we left around 9:45, impressive for a Tues, according the our very friendly waiter, its been like that since the boston globe review came out. Anyways, we were relaxed so the slow start to the service didn't bother us, we ordered a wine and beer and the sardines to start...the amuse bouche was a nice touch but kind of weird, a cold piece of chard and ham fritatta...the sardines were good, didn't blow me away but enjoyably fishy and nice chickpea puree and chopped tomato and cucumber salad to go. For entrees I had the duck which was good but again, didn't blow me away...it was perhaps a bit more cooked than I like and sat on top of this "gastrique" which tasted too buttery to go with duck and bok choy, etc...but overall good and a larger portion than I would have normally finished had the waiter not left my plate in front of me so long. My boyfriend had the gnocchi which were again, okay, a little heavy on the butter, but overall pretty good. No dessert for us (both stuffed) save the little free "white chocolate cilantro Madeline" which was really just a small bite of lemony cake with some green bits in it...sounded more interesting than it tasted and was nothing special...all in all, we enjoyed the service, atmosphere, and care that went into the food...maybe just a few more tweaks to the menu to bring the taste up to the level of the care.