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Nix's Mate - quick good word

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Stopped in Sunday night for a few bites before a concert - place was desolate, chef was in the house -

Tried the following:

Parmesan fries - excellent

Caesar salad - also excellent, high quality white anchovies, really fresh baby romaine

White clam flatbread - very "clammy" so much so that we paused a couple of times to say, "Are these bad?" I think we decided based on further tastes, menu descriptions and no ill effects that what we were in fact tasting were diced, fresh-shucked clams including the oceany belly parts. Compare a slice of clam from Pepe's in New Haven last week which was all the chewy clam parts. In retrospect, this was loaded with sea essence - let me reiterate - very clammy.

Fried lobster in caramel sauce - had been grooving to try this and it was really very good - not overly sweet and just luscious - if I were an oil baron, about five of these would be my hangover chow. Only point I would add - needed more spice from the peppers - was expecting some diced Thai chiles or something along those lines and while there was evidence of a hot pepper, never really got any spice - it would be transcendent if it had it.

Chased it with a Ginger Collins (gin and ginger liquor) and later, an icy cold Bud. Good service at the bar. Bartender recommended weekday lunches for interested daily specials.

In any case, this place should merit more consideration - maybe if Nevins went on TV like this neighbor Santos he would get more notoriety - (or if he added pop rocks to the lobster - I kid) - his chow seems pretty consistently very good - this place should get more play and I worry based on the quietude last Sunday night.

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  1. Bob, I'm no expert, but given its location, being Summer on a Sunday night, I'm not surprised it was empty. Best to check what its doing the rest of the week. Only guessing. However, you made it sound like a place I'll be trying soon. Maybe on a Sunday night to beat the crowds.
    Glad You Enjoyed,
    CocoDan

    2 Replies
    1. re: CocoDan

      No doubt, CocoDan. More research is called for.

      1. re: Bob Dobalina

        Won't ge there 'till after Labor Day, but always glad to report on a new one.
        C.

    2. That lobster dish doesn't add up on paper, but I liked it. Weird but good.

      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

      1. I don't think i have much awareness of this place except that it was written up by devra first, yes?is this caramel sauce the vietnamese treatment? thx.

        6 Replies
        1. re: opinionatedchef

          I reviewed it for Stuff, too (a few weeks ahead of the Globe).

          I wouldn't call that lobster dish precisely Vietnamese in inspiration, despite the presence of a caramelized-sugar sauce, scallions, and chilies, as it also includes cheddar cheese.

          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

          1. re: MC Slim JB

            I had to look up the menu after reading this. Not only does that dish not add up on paper, it sounds like a train wreck. But it's worth a try, you say?

            Based solely on reading the menu this looks like a place that would be better enjoyed trying a few appetizers rather than exploring the entrees, which sound much less interesting IMO.

            Thanks for the reminder, Bob. I had heard about this place and then it completely fell off my radar. I look forward to giving it a try when I'm in the neighborhood.

            1. re: Chicken with a Capon

              If I hadn't already known Nevins's food from his stint at Neptune, I might have been less brave about that one. It was also a longtime specialty at Osetra, his own CT restaurant, so I figured it had to be a reasonable success to stick there.

              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

              1. re: MC Slim JB

                I enjoyed his food at Neptune as well, had no knowledge or experience with Osetra, but the dish sounded more to me like a Todd English abomination. I will happily give it a try with an open mind, I'm looking forward to checking out Nix's Mate as soon as I have a chance.

                1. re: Chicken with a Capon

                  I don't know if Nevins would acknowledge it, but you could argue that that dish shows an English influence, a messy pileup of big flavors. But to be fair, in his heyday, when Olives was his lone restaurant, The Todd often made that style work beautifully.

                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    absolutely agree. some really great memories.