This is a follow-up to my post last week asking for Aragosta recommendations.
My SO and I went last Wednesday night. We did not go when the location was Sensing (except for the outdoor patio) so we can’t make any comparisons on the décor. Aragosta has blond wood and a light green/orange/brown color palette. It has a distinctly 70’s feel. Very odd and a little off-putting.
For a starter, we split the baccala fritter with tomato sauce. Based on the name, we were expecting light, but deep-fried fritters, akin to something we would get at a clam shack. In actuality we received three cod cakes shaped like small Twinkies. They were very good, though my SO found the acid balance lacking in the sauce.
For a pasta course, we each got a half order: lobster ravioli and gnocchi with lamb. The ravioli were fantastic, definitely freshly made, lots of lobster, with a slight touch of lemon that brought out the dish (though my SO didn’t care for the truffle oil, but she doesn’t like truffle). The gnocchi was like eating a Sunday dinner – the lamb was succulent and outshone the gnocchi, and the sauce under the gnocchi was as good as gravy.
For the main, we tried the special: rack of lamb, and were the first to get the order. The dish definitely showcased the quality of the lamb chops, and they were cooked perfectly. The polenta, billed as “crispy”, had gone limp because it was presented sandwiched between wilted spinach and placed in the lamb jus. Tasty, just not crispy, despite the obvious care that had been taken to make it cripsy. SO ordered the cod loin, and it was buttery good. It was an embarrassment, however, to call its accompaniment risotto. The rice was flavorful, but lacked any of the creamy, al dente goodness that is risotto. Just call it rice! The pistachios didn’t seem to make any sense on the dish, either.
For desert, we shared the olive oil cake with lemon sorbet. The cake was a real stand-out: light, airy, perfect deep-dark crust. I thought the sorbet was forgettable, but being next to the cake it didn’t matter.
Service was very attentive, though our server had a tendency to ask a question and then walk away as we were answering. The food runner was far more engaging and interested in how things were going.
Overall, we were somewhat underwhelmed for the price point, but will try a luncheon on the terrace when the weather improves.
Had dinner at Aragosta a couple weeks ago. The food and service was fabulous. We started with the Ahi tuna flatbread and the warm goat cheese truffle rigatoni. The small stuffed rigatonis were creamy and delicious. I’m not a fan of most restaurant “truffle” dishes but in this one the truffle flavor was subtle and complimented the goat cheese. The flatbread was creative and flavorsome, all the taste and textures worked so well, I could eat one of these everyday!
For the mains had the pappardelle bolognese, the lemon sole and a special. My mouth still waters when I remember the delicate pasta and succulent pieces of meat in the sauce of the bolognese. This dish was outstanding. The sole was served with a buttery risotto, another great tasting entrée. The special was polenta coated fried clams and pasta. I really liked the crunchy clams but there should have been more overall flavor to the dish.
Had two superb desserts, the warm chocolate bread pudding and the olive oil cake. My favorite was the airy olive oil cake served with lemon sorbet. Even being full the cake went down easy. Best meal I’ve had in Boston in awhile, hope to go back when in town!
Reviewed it this week in the new Stuff. It's nothing like the food the chef was doing at Toppers, though it's still not cheap. I think he's currently tilting too hard toward his least adventurous patrons, e.g., a very bland, chili-free lobster fra diavolo. He's going to have to step it up if he wants to compete at the edge of the North End at that price point.