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Bergamot - outstanding!

  • BobB May 3, 2010 07:04 AM

Friends and I decided to check out Bergamot Saturday night, the new restaurant in the old EVOO space in Somerville. What a delight! The food was uniformly well done - I had the quail appetizer, which was one of the most tender, juicy versions I've had in a while (and you quail lovers know how easy it is to overcook this delicate little bird), prepared with slivers of meaty bacon, grapes, walnuts, and tiny, tasty mushrooms (honshimeji, says the menu).

For a main I had the braised rabbit leg, which turned out to be parsley-flecked pappardelle served with a rabbit ragu, the savory shredded meat mixed with fresh peas and carrots. The sauce was delicious and the pasta perfectly chewy.

For dessert, the chili-chocolate pave was a winner - a dense, rich rectangle of smooth fudge-like dark chocolate, with just enough guajillo chile to add a nice zing, without becoming overwhelmingly fiery.

And the best part - the portions were sized such that I could enjoy all three courses and leave comfortably satisfied, not overstuffed. What a treat!

My dining companions were equally pleased with their choices. The standouts were a lobster sunchoke bisque, fresh sardines (one of my wife's favorites, not an easy dish to find around here), grilled flatiron steak, and seared scallops (so fresh and sweet!).

Service was friendly and professional. The chef and co-owner, Keith Pooler, has worked at Scampo and Harvest., and is thrilled to be running his own kitchen. Both he and his partner/manager Servio Garcia came out to chat with us toward the end of the evening.

The tab, including cocktails, plenty of wine, after-dinner drinks, tax & tip, came to about $110 per person - very reasonable for a meal of this caliber. Plus - they offer a $39 three-course special, available 5:30 to 7 most nights, all evening on Sunday and Monday.

We can't wait to come back!

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Bergamot
118 Beacon St, Somerville, MA 02143

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  1. I too just had a fabulous meal at Bergamot. Both the food and the service were outstanding.
    I often find dining out to be rather perilous as I have very sensitive celiac disease. The staff at Bergamot were very accommodating and reassuring, and many items on the menu were gluten-free already. As far as I know, no substitutions needed to be made on the dishes I ordered and if there were it was seamless.
    We started the meal off with cocktails, which were nicely balanced. I especially enjoyed the tart freshness of the Cooperstown.
    The duck, duck, duck and the quail appetizers were both perfectly cooked, moist and flavorful, as was my entree of Halibut, and nicely garnished. For dessert we split the almond milk panna cotta with rhubarb. Delicious.
    As mentioned in the first review, the portions are for savoring not stuffing. Classy joint.

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    Bergamot
    118 Beacon St, Somerville, MA 02143

    22 Replies
    1. re: caserole

      I like that turn of phrase - "the portions are for savoring not stuffing." If only more places took that approach!

      1. re: BobB

        If only more customers shared your attitude...

        1. re: almansa

          Alas, we ate at Bergamot again a few days ago (this is rapidly becoming one of my favorite restaurants in town) and the entree portions were noticeably larger - still not huge, but enough that I had to leave some incredibly succulent duck-fat-confited pork loin on my plate in order to save room for dessert.

          I asked the server about it and she said that they'd had to increase the size, particularly on the meat entrees, due to customer complaints. Damn gluttonous Americans!

          At least the quality remains high. The sweetbreads starter was one of the best sweetbreads preparations I've ever tasted - panko-crusted, served with slices of preserved squash, honshimeiji mushrooms (seems to be a theme ingredient for the chef), and some sort of tiny diced vegetables. Utter savory goodness!

          1. re: BobB

            I'm sure if you requested reduced portion size for your meal, they would be happy to accomodate you!

            1. re: barleywino

              But that would only work if I knew in advance exactly what to expect. The couple sitting next to us got their entrees while we were still perusing the menu and they looked more reasonable - but they were scallops. She did say it was mainly the meat ones that had grown.

              It's not that big a deal, I only mentioned it because we had this earlier discussion (above) about how nice it was to get portions suitable for three-course dining.

              Where I'd REALLY like to be able to order smaller portions is at high-end steak houses, where I often find myself for business dinners. Often the only steak available under 16 ounces is a filet mignon, which I find a particularly boring and bland cut.

              1. re: BobB

                yes i would much rather have 4 oz of Kobe beef than 16 oz of filet or even ribeye!

                1. re: BobB

                  does it make me a cretin that i had 3 courses there and didn't feel it was too much? :)

                  1. re: jgg13

                    Had three courses per person and I thought the portion sizes were perfect here for the duck and the fish entrees about a month ago... I wonder if that was before or after the change. Anyhow, it was the first visit to this great, great restaurant. The lobster corn soup was out of this world, sardine appetizer was OK but still satisfying, and both the duck and cod entrees were fantastic, especially the cod which came with fava beans and had a sweet and light buttery sauce that made it sing.

                    1. re: jgg13

                      depends what you ordered to drink ;)

                      1. re: barleywino

                        I usually drink to cretin levels anyways, so ... :)

                      2. re: jgg13

                        Helps me if you're one of those hypermetabolic people who can eat a lot...I'm trying to get a sense of whether I'd be hungry after eating here but it sounds good enough to try ;-)
                        I'm not interested in Barbara Lynch style appetizer sized entrees unless they're on a decent sized tasting menu...

                        1. re: Spike

                          I went in late spring, which I'm guessing is pre-change. They certainly were not teensy little portions - I was sated, I'm just saying that I wasn't waddling around afterwards saying, "owwwwww i'm soooo full" which I am sometimes wont to do.

                          1. re: jgg13

                            That's how I was last summer - the change is more recent.

                            1. re: jgg13

                              LOL...I've found that the waddling thing happens if I eat too fast so my stomach doesn't get a chance to tell me it's full until 1/2 later :-)
                              Good to know you hit it before the portion sizes increased a little...I'm looking forward to hitting it...will report back when I do...

                    2. re: BobB

                      Happens to the best of them, to my similar dismay. I remember when Prezza had sensible portions sizes: now everything is North End huge, and I really don't care for that. We deal with it there by sharing one antipasto, primo, and secondo between two people. I blame the Cheesecake Factories of the world.

                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                      -----
                      Prezza
                      24 Fleet St., Boston, MA 02113

                      1. re: BobB

                        ditto! we ate there on Tuesday night and I also noticed the portions sizes had increased from a few weeks ago - makes me quite sad as it was just perfect before...
                        Still my utterly favorite place to eat though....

                        1. re: BobB

                          I went to Bergamot again last night. I concur they are serving bigger mains and that's alright with me!

                          Had the sweetbreads appetizer which was great -- nicely cooked (not overdone) and those slightly chewy mushrooms were a lovely foil for the creamy nuggets of sweetbreads. A toasted shiso pepper on top made for a lovely contrast and pretty plate.

                          I had the scallops for my main, and there were 7 or 8 medium sized scallops (not those huge guys). Perfectly seared and served over sunchoke puree that was luscious. Lots of tangles of fresh chervil, which I loved. My friend had the gnocchi, which I didn't think was very good. A bit heavy and floury tasting for me, although she liked it a lot and finished the quite large portion. We shared a chocolate pave for dessert.

                          Funny thing was we were offered the "before 7 p.m. blackboard special" at 7:30. When my DC inquired if we could still order it, the waiter said he doesn't have a watch and as far as he knew, it was still 6:30. Not sure how the kitchen would have liked that, but maybe they do extend the specials as long as they have the goods. Last night's goods included skate, but sadly not on the bone and the choice of sides didn't appeal (a red cabbage dish that was described as a slightly sweet cole slaw. I'll pass.) I like my skate on the bone and recently had a lovely version at Gaslight so I was happy to skip it.

                          The place was packed at 7:15 and even more packed by 9:30 when we rolled out. I'd like to go back and sit at the bar one night .. looks like a cozy spot to take advantage of their early bird special ... such a deal.

                          1. re: yumyum

                            My only gripe is they don't update their menu on the website. They do a great job with Twitter, tweeting the nightly specials, but I like to peruse a menu and drool over a meal before I get to the place -- anticipation is a great appetizer. For a place that changes things up regularly, maybe it's too much to ask, but the current online menu is definitely from summer 2010 and nothing on it is currently on offer.

                            1. re: yumyum

                              I'm with you on that. I also will sometimes check a restaurant's menu online after I've eaten there and before I post about it to make sure I list the ingredients of a dish correctly, especially if they included something I'm not that familiar with - like honshimeiji mushrooms, the first time I had them here.

                              1. re: BobB

                                Exactly. I'm sure I'm not remembering every item in the dishes I had. Wish I could reference something online. I think I might be old-fashioned. Twitter is where it's AT.

                                1. re: yumyum

                                  I felt similarly about my dinner at Bergamot. I got really excited about the Duck, Duck, Duck appetizer and the Grapefruit dessert thing after looking at the website, but then we got there and I felt very sad for 3 seconds. Then I saw all the other delicious-sounding things that weren't on the website menu and my sadness went away.

                            2. re: yumyum

                              I really enjoyed the blackboard special of cod in brown butter, mustard and fried capers. The drinks I've had there have been well-balanced too and Paul from Craigie is a welcome addition to their bar staff.

                    3. You guys beat me to it! I was there last Friday and we also had an excellent meal and beyond just the meal, a really excellent experience. My DC was delayed by the volcanic ash over Spain, and when the other 3 in our party arrived for our reservation we let them know that he'd be joining us midstream and was in a cab en route from Logan. I only mentioned this to the hostess, but this information was quickly dispersed to the server and manager and at least 3 people welcomed him when he finally arrived and asked about his flight and whether he needed a drink immediately. I just can't say enough about the service-- our waiter was also super-accomodating of my request for a preggertini and the bartender made an excellent mocktail for me. (Our first choice for dinner that night had been Oleana, and last time we were there, my request for something non-alcoholic using some of their bar mixers and soda water was declined by the bartender with the explanation that "we're short on ingredients." I mean, it's not like I asked for a free drink...I found that pretty off-putting and surprising at Oleana which is usually known for fantastic service)

                      Briefly on food- everyone was very happy with their meals. I loved the salad with pea shoots and poached egg on top-- beautifully dressed and seasoned. The other standout for me was the grapefruit thing dessert- really interesting flavors, and for someone who usually defines dessert as "chocolate," I would order this again. I thought their prices were right on target.

                      I hope they do well, and we'll definitely be back. I just saw they were the featured diner for a day spot on NECN's TV diner (no, I don't usually watch this- was just looking to check the weather...) and also got great press, so I'm guessing they're going to get busier fast.

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                      Oleana
                      134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Parsnipity

                        As much as I normally loathe the -tini names, I *love* the term 'preggertini', too funny.

                        1. re: jgg13

                          Agreed. I can't claim to have come up with it. I was at Gargoyles asking for anything in a cocktail glass that a pregnant lady could drink so as to feel included and the waiter was like "oh, you mean a 'preggertini'" I hope it comes into wider parlance and I'll do my best over the next 6 mos.

                          1. re: jgg13

                            http://www.preggatinis.com/index.php?...

                          2. re: Parsnipity

                            Can't be caught watching TV Diner, what would Chowhound think?

                            1. re: Joanie

                              I don't watch a lot of food TV -- dreading having to put some time in on Hell's Kitchen with two Boston chefs on the next round -- but I do watch TV Diner and the Phantom Gourmet every week. I would be happier if someone on staff was eager to pitch in on Billy's food-word pronunciations (there's a howler or two every week: he said "carno asada" the other day), and more Phantom shows were as interesting and non-whoring as the recent one where the behind-the-scenes staffers got to air their favorite picks.

                              It was pretty entertaining watching Barbara Lynch on TV Diner this week. They visited every one of her restaurants: it must have taken a day or two to tape the whole thing, and she was smiling and friendly through the early going, but you could tell she was increasingly bored, distracted and fed up with the whole thing by the end of it.

                              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                          3. Just remembered one other nice touch - instead of the usual butter or EVOO (or my personal restaurant pet peeve, crappy olive oil loaded with a mishmash of herbs and seasonings), the bread was served with a small dish of beet and chevre puree. Most unusual and really tasty, the sweetness of the beets perfectly balancing the tartness of the fresh goat cheese.

                            1. We have eaten at Bergamot three times now, and it has been near perfect each time. The only disappointment I have experienced is that they have already taken the tuna carpaccio off the menu. The reason we were given is that they could not source the quality they wanted (?). Otherwise fantastic. We've had almost everything on the menu. Standouts for me are the Duck app, the halibut with favas, the beet salad, the scallops - the desserts are wonderful (and I am not a sweet person). i particularly like that grapefruit dessert. We have had Danny as our server each time. He and the rest of the staff are great. Servio is hands on and it shows - the restaurant benefits from his graciousness and care.

                              1. I agree, we also had a great dinner there last weekend! Had (between two) the quail, pea shoots, lamb, halibut, and chocolate dessert. My only complaint was with the ratio of ice cream to dense chocolate slab, and that it was so busy it was a little stressful watching everyone race frantically around! (We were sitting at the bar.) They took the dessert off the bill because they had just run out of several dishes we tried to order, which seemed completely unnecessary and nice. The halibut was REALLY good--the sauce made from onions or something? Mmmmm. We had some fiddleheads, too.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: BostonCookieMonster

                                  Oh that's right - those fiddleheads!! We received a complimentary portion last time we were in. Those were fantastic. Simple and delicious! ALSO - because we had two complimentary drink certificates from an earlier visit, my husband had two delicious cocktails - wish I could say what they were - I forget. But he likes a good cocktail and not a cloying booze-light drink. He said both of these were fantastic and that the bartender had a deft hand. FWIW.

                                2. My husband and I ate at Bergamot on Saturday night. It was fantastic! We ended up sitting at the bar because we liked the bartender so much (Amy?). We had the beet thing and the sardines for appetizers, the rabbit dish and the monkfish for entrees, and the carrot cake and the chocolate dessert. The rabbit dish was the star, in particular the parsley pasta. I loved that the portion sizes were completely reasonable. We were able to eat every bite of each course, not something I usually manage. I can't wait to go back there.

                                  1. Chiming in to say how much we enjoyed our meal. My husband, my (intensely picky) mother and myself went out Saturday night for my graduation dinner and we all enjoyed our meals. We had a lovely romesco sauce with bread rather than butter/oil, a yummy beet appetizer and three very nice mains. I think my lamb was the winner; my husband disagrees and says his monkfish was better. We were also pleased with our desserts. While my mother loved the grapefruit dessert, the chocolate chili pave was the clear favorite. We will be back.

                                    1. We went to Bergamot for Mothers Day after reading several reviews and looking at their menu. I was dying to try the duck,duck,duck and the fiddleheads. We arrived for an evening rez and found only four or five tables occupied. Most of their rush had been for brunch. More disappointing was a "special" Mothers Day menu -five courses for $ 60pp. None of the dishes I was hoping to try. The five course meal turned out to be a three-course with an amusee bouche of one cockel and small scoop of sorbet. There was no mention of a special menu when making the rez through Open Table and the web site had a note in small font at the bottom of the website saying Mothers Day menu.

                                      Everything we ordered was very good. A slow-roasted lamb leg was exceptional. My wife had the duck breast in an asian five-spice mix. There were five rather smallish slices. The service was more than one could ask for. Our waiter was friendly and knowledgeable and there was not a hint of being rushed. Servio both brought dishes to the table and came over to ask how everything was. Curiously, the bread service was one slice of very good (but I do not recall what type) freshly baked bread. We had to ask to for a second slice - come on, its bread, not caviar. I thought the price point of $ 60 was just a bit high for the value.

                                      We will come back. They are starting a Sunday brunch thing that sounds intriguing as well as the $ 39 three-course. Wish them the best - it looks as though they are off toa good start.

                                      -----
                                      Bergamot
                                      118 Beacon St, Somerville, MA 02143

                                      1. My husband and I went to Bergamot last night to celebrate my new job, and it was fantastic! I ordered the soft shell crab appetizer that was on the blackboard, roasted lamb loin for my entree, and we shared "That Grapefruit Dessert." My husband had the pea green salad and the monkfish medallions. Everything we ordered was delicious! I especially liked the soft shell crab which was full of flavor and the meaty chunks of bacon and frisee were excellent touches. My lamb loin came with what I think was fava risotto, shiitake mushrooms, and roasted onions, which were a perfect complement to the meaty lamb.

                                        As others are mentioning, the service was perfect. Any time we needed something, our server happened to be right there. Our server was also hilarious, friendly, professional and made us feel so welcome.

                                        Another thing I really appreciated about Bergmot was that even though it was a full house by the time we left, the volume of the chatting wasn't overwhelming, and my husband noticed the noise-absorbing tiles on the ceiling (I think??). I know there are a few CHers to whom noise is an issue, so I thought I'd throw that in there!

                                        One recommendation I have is to order all three courses. Like BobB said, the portions are not Cheesecake-Factory huge, and three courses are recommended, even for this diner with a bird's appetite (sometimes).

                                        Fantastic restaurant!

                                        1. Another rave for Bergamot. I didn't think I liked duck, having only tried it a couple of times in the past, but the amuse bouche really rocked my palate (tender duck with a gorgeous pesto - so good that I actually asked our waiter to ask the kitchen if I could have some to spread on my bread). My scallops were perfectly cooked and oh so flavorful, I had to restrain myself from licking the plate. Same deal with the Pea salad to start - great balance of flavors and textures, and that truffle vinagrette! Bartending was on the slow side of a relaxed pace, but definitely worth the wait. Absolutely worth every penny; I also echo the "just right" portions sentiment - I cleaned my plates for sure, and left feeling completely sated but not stuffed, still had enough room/energy for a cocktail at Trina's afterward :)

                                          -----
                                          Bergamot
                                          118 Beacon St, Somerville, MA 02143

                                          1. Thought people might be interested to know that the Boston coupon site, BuyWithMe, just posted a "$25 for $50 worth of food" coupon for Bergamot (the coupon is available for the next six days if it doesn't sell out). http://www.buywithme.com/boston/deals

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: javelina

                                              I jumped in on this after reading the good reviews. I can't wait to try it out!

                                            2. Thank you for your post - and all of those who seconded your opinion!! Had not been familiar with the restaurant - but read these posts and went to Bergamot for my birthday. It was great! The food was so carefully prepared and beautifully plated, server was there when he needed to be and though seemingly new, had (or obtained) all the info we needed/wanted. Loved the scallops, and That Grapefruit Dessert is genius. What a gem of a place!

                                              1. I thought their beef short rib was one of the best versions around, not cooked to stringiness like most places around here do

                                                1. what more can I say that hasn't been said. Loved it and I did not like the French Laundry. It was perfect on all levels (including when I putzed out and spilled a glass of water in a dish of duck). They gave us another and something for them to nosh on while the replacement was being made. Bravo.. Can't wait till I go again.

                                                  -----
                                                  Bergamot
                                                  118 Beacon St, Somerville, MA 02143

                                                  1. Just foung this out today!

                                                    Bergamot Bar Menu now has a Burger! Patty w is a mixture of Chuck & Marrow; Vermont Cheddar, Tomato Bacon Aioli; hse-made French Fries $12

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: phonelady

                                                      Ho ho! Can't wait to try a Bergamot burger. I imagine it's a burger, not a statement - but what a statement it would be... "we can make a marrow burger with house fries for 30% less than <fill in the blank>.

                                                      1. re: enhF94

                                                        tried the burger. It's only offered medium/well because the patty is pretty thin ("Wendy's" style). not quite what i was hoping for although some people might like it.

                                                        1. re: barleywino

                                                          Interesting. I wouldn't have expected a thin patty at a fancy place. (and yes, sounds like just my cup of tea.)

                                                          1. re: enhF94

                                                            i ended up leaving most of the bun and fries on my plate... a bit baffled by the burger considering how well they do beef short rib... i love your concept of an anti-<fill in the blank> burger though...maybe Troquet can take up the gauntlet since they already do marrow anyway

                                                    2. Had a meal there last weekend, and my bf and I both really enjoyed it. I had the daily 3 course special and he ordered off the menu.

                                                      App: I had the beet salad with avocado mousse garnished by grapefruits, cilantro, and onion jam. He had the quail app. I like the combination of beets, avocado, and grapefruit, but his app definitely trumped over mine.

                                                      Entree: I had the skate wing with nicoise olive beurre blanc with polenta (I think?) and broccoli rabe, and he had the scallops. I LOVED my entree. I like skate wing to begin with, and it was cooked very nicely. The addition of roasted tomato added the much needed acidity to the dish. A tad heavy but delicious nonetheless.

                                                      Dessert: I had the passion fruit profiterole, and he had the meyer lemon beignets with tequila ice cream. Both were very nice; I really appreciated that they were not overly sweet. I hate it when the dessert makes you want to sink into your chair and never get up (unless it is a fantastic chocolate cake).

                                                      Cocktail: I had le quebecois, and he had elixir d'auge. I generally don't like whisky-based drinks, but the server highly recommended the drink, and it turned out to be surprisingly well-balanced. Elixir was interesting--it's served warm for one. The kind of drink I imagine having on a snowy night, kind of like "adult/light/refined" apple cider atmostphere.

                                                      Overall great. The only complaint was that the pacing was a little slow, but our server was uber friendly, so it made up for it a little bit.

                                                      1. Wow wow wow!

                                                        Our second visit was even more stellar than the first a few months ago (that I also should have posted about given how much we loved it!). Bergamot was really firing on all cylinders on Sunday night - creative drinks and food, perfectly prepared / presented, absolutely delicious and memorable, with helpful, informed and friendly service.

                                                        The whole team seems so happy to be working there. A special shoutout to Paul at the bar for his tremendous cocktails - creative, original, amazing, and addictive! Standouts were the Somers Smash that embodied the season with fresh strawberries, mint, lemon, and dutch gin and the Chambery Gimlet that had just enough of a hint of rosemary.

                                                        The chef works magic with chicken livers (which I don't even eat most of the time). The radish salad was fresh but pretty boring in comparison along with being a bit too pricey ($10) for something so basic. The wines by the glass are unusual and interesting and well-paired with the food. The Copper River Salmon was perfectly cooked with crispy skin and accompanied by succulent morels and just right asparagus. The portions are adequate to generous IMHO. The cheese plate as a finale was perfect - three very diverse goat offerings.

                                                        We can't wait to go back for a third meal, as well as stop in for the great-looking bar menu one night soon!

                                                        9 Replies
                                                        1. re: rlh

                                                          I'll echo your point about the staff. We don't go out too regularly, and when we do, it's usually low-end Asian (be it south, southeast, or east), but I've eaten out enough here and elsewhere to really appreciate the service at Bergamot. They seem to nail every aspect of it--knowledgeable, friendly but not phony, attentive but not hovering, thoughtful and professional but not stuffy and formal. Each time we've eaten there, we walk out saying to each other "that's how to run a restaurant!"

                                                          Food's good too :-)

                                                          1. re: rlh

                                                            OK - we didn't wait long and indeed hit the trifecta with our bar visit last night - both bartenders Paul (manager, I think) and Colin are super hosts and mixologists - the cocktails continue to impress (the special Chambery gimlet and the 1794 were standouts)

                                                            The bar menu is a great value with a decadent lobster roll on brioche bread (not roll - slices, which let the lobster shine better than a thick roll IMHO) and an off-the-hook burger - almost even too rich with its ground chuck, brisket, and bone marrow - nice homemade pickles and fine, fresh if slightly undercooked fries on the side. I also loved the littleneck clam appetizer from the main menu - a bunch of perfect clams and a fresh, bracing acidic sort of vinegary salsa-like topping and tiny potato cubes.

                                                            Still lovin' this newfound special spot and looking forward to a return soon!

                                                            -----
                                                            Bergamot
                                                            118 Beacon St, Somerville, MA 02143

                                                            1. re: rlh

                                                              Paul IS the bar manager. He's a great guy (he hadn't seen us in over a year from back when he was at Craigie and still he remembered our names), and he makes one of the finest Sazerac cocktails I've had outside of New Orleans. He's a class act, and so is Bergamot. Looking forward to my next meal there.

                                                              1. re: kimfair1

                                                                On that note, I have to say that their Vieux Carre was also among the best I've ever had, including in NOLA.

                                                                1. re: rlh

                                                                  Ooh, I'm going to have to get one next time I'm there! Thanks!

                                                                  1. re: kimfair1

                                                                    i like their Martinez (unless the wine guy Kai makes it)

                                                                2. re: kimfair1

                                                                  How is the bar with off-the-menu drinks? I've been meaning to try the bar menu there, particularly if the bartenders are as gracious and friendly as the waitstaff has been in my dinners there.

                                                                  1. re: LeoLioness

                                                                    I'm sure Paul can accomodate off the menu requests (the Sazerac for example isn't on their menu). He's a great bartender and a great guy.

                                                                  2. re: kimfair1

                                                                    I've said it before, but their Quebecois is one of my favorite drinks in all of Boston. I also really enjoyed the "Bourbon & Birch" cocktail I had last time -- imagine a fine bourbon with a dash of sarsaparilla flavor, which works surprisingly well.

                                                              2. Hard to give out 5 stars, yet I debated it. Stress-free free parking. Excellent staff that knows food, wine, and how to make a great cocktail. Started off with the cheese plate, all the cheese comes from Fromaggio Kitchen we were told. Choose any of the cocktails and the barmen will craft it for you like a work of art, fine selection of champagne, and wines by the glass. Alas, the lobster pierogies were only available on the pre-fix menu item the Friday night we went. I had been dying to try them, so if you want them I'd call ahead and find out availability. Sun1234, my wife had the griddle burger, which she (ahem), inhaled. She didn't know about it having marrow in it, and I didn't tell her. I got the oven roasted chicken, which was moist with a crisp skin and delicate pan sauce. And the bread, awesome. And the honey infused butter, even awesomer..
                                                                No dessert, no room, next time.

                                                                -----
                                                                Bergamot
                                                                118 Beacon St, Somerville, MA 02143

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: hounda

                                                                  Don't they usually offer the $39 prix fixe items a la cart as well? Or is this only possible after 7pm when the prix fixe expires? Or do they have a new prix fixe menu besides the $39 one?

                                                                  1. re: emannths

                                                                    They do - and if you like them on Facebook, they are posted daily.

                                                                2. Maybe it’s because we don’t eat out as often with the little one at home, but we have sure had a lot of disappointing dinners lately. Bergamot continues this trend unfortunately.

                                                                  Despite being somewhat local for us, it took a very long time for us to get to Bergamot primarily because the menu never seemed that enticing to my wife and I when we looked online. The appetizers in particular left me wondering what we would order. We were headed out last week and the last minute on the early side and decided to give it a try once and for all.

                                                                  The space it OK, Bergamot seems little changed from the Evoo setup. The bar is tucked in the back corner, and we sometimes feel it difficult to get a drink with the people eating at the bar looking like we were invading their personal space when trying to order. I didn’t see the drinks made, however when they were handed over mine was a frightfully short pour from the taste of it. Admittedly I like a stiff cocktail, however when my wife sent hers back as well, that was a red flag.

                                                                  Our server was pleasant, efficient and knowledgeable about the menu. The bussers were a bit overzealous in clearing plates. It drives me nuts when a DC’s plate is cleared before everyone at the table has completed a course, though it happens all the time and not just here. Isn’t this service 101?

                                                                  The food…some was very good, some average, some inedible. The honey butter which came with the bread was delicious and probably the highlight of the meal unfortunately. I started off with the Farono Beet Salad, Cumin-Scented Carrot Puree, Chickpeas, Grilled Scallions, Buttermilk-dressed Red Bibb Chard from the blackboard special (yes that is all one dish), which was delicious (particularly the carrot puree). My wife had the Purslane Salad, which was pretty unremarkable, and a smaller mouthful than the description of my dish. She had the striped bass for her entrée that was well prepared and tasty, however the portion was somewhat meager for $27. My entrée, the Ricotta and Summer Greens Cannelloni was a disaster. My first bite tasted like I was eating a mouthful of potpourri due to the overuse of aromatics in the filling. Of the 3 cannelloni on my plate, 2.5 went untouched. The accompaniments to the dish (uncured onion, eggplant, chanterelle mushrooms, tomato gravy) were good and I scraped those up with my bread to fill my stomach a bit. The floor manager came by to ask if everything was OK with the dish and I explained why it was relatively untouched. He went back to speak with the kitchen and returned to tell me that it was a new item and the chef admitted the seasoning might be a bit strong for some people’s taste. On our way out I saw three uneaten plates of the dish on other tables, so it seems it may have not just been my palate which didn’t agree with the chef. They did take the dish off the bill, which I told them was not necessary. They also sent out some Vanilla Yogurt Mousse complimentary with the bill. Overall it seems like most dishes had one ingredient too many. Perhaps that is a legacy left behind in the space by EVOO.

                                                                  Even with my entrée comped; we found the bill somewaht expensive for the quality of the meal. I am surprised people recommend Bergamot as a special occasion place. Even if the food was more consistently good, the atmosphere is not very memorable to me. The entire staff was very friendly and welcoming, which could overcome a lot for me if it was priced more reasonably and a more casual neighborhood place overall. However it just doesn’t live up to what it aspires to be.

                                                                  We are looking forward to a return trip to Bondir next week (our first of the summer) to hopefully break out of our bad meal slump. Bergamot isn’t somewhere I can see returning.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Gabatta

                                                                    "It drives me nuts when a DC’s plate is cleared before everyone at the table has completed a course, though it happens all the time and not just here. Isn’t this service 101?"

                                                                    Damned if you do, damned if you don't. You're going to get yelled at by some patrons for clearing early, and others will yell at you for not taking away dishes immediately. Personally I'd wait, since at least then I can claim tradition is on my side, but my stubbornness around these issues is one of many reasons I'd have a very short career in the customer service industry.

                                                                    The best thing is probably to ask.

                                                                    1. re: Gabatta

                                                                      Our first experience was somewhat disappointing experience. To start, my wife had the Oysters and I (mostly vegetarian right now) ordered a potato and greens side dish as an appetizer. Mine was delicious, but my DC's oysters were not hot. Due to a miscommunication, we both had the same entree, the root vegetable reverse risotto. It was tasty, but a little bland and in the final analysis seemed overpriced. Also, there was a very long delay between the two courses, enough to really disrupt the experience.

                                                                      However, the worse aspect was that my wife and I were quietly discussing whether or not to order dessert because we needed to pick up our daughter. Much to our surprise within 5 minutes the waitress showed up with the check without asking us if we wanted anything else. Regardless of the reason (e.g., oversight, eavesdropping), it really put a sour note on the meal.

                                                                    2. Back again last night for another top notch experience in terms of cocktails (thanks to Paul) and food (amazing mackerel app and salmon main specials with an OK panna cotta dessert that was good if you scraped off the extraneous rose water foam) - as always it was a friendly and enjoyable place for a great meal overall.

                                                                      Service slip-ups for the first time last night were a surprise: host told us we could wait 15 min for a bar seat and 30 minutes in that wasn't happening, so we choose a table - but he could have pointed this out much sooner for us. Also, the waiter was distracted or didn't pay attention to the specials briefing as he had the ingredients all wrong - he was also notably absent when needed and insisted there were only two roses served by the glass in spite of the Facebook posting yesterday detailing 4 separate offerings with photos...

                                                                      We'll be back - but have to time it when there are actual seats available at the bar where the service is always stellar.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: rlh

                                                                        I, too, had dinner at Bergamot on 5/17 and while I didn't notice how crowded the bar was, I did notice that there were quite a few empty tables at prime time (7:45-9p.) With all the new places opening in Somerville, I hope that people won't abandon fine places like Bergamot which have served us so well over the years. For the record, food and service on my 5/17 visit were excellent, as usual.