Boston Trip Report, Day 5
What a great final day in this fair city!
Brunch at Gaslight560. Really enjoyed this bustling brasserie. We began with some clams and oysters on the half-shell, which were fresh and briny, served with cocktail sauce made with freshly grated horseradish (a big plus, in my book).
Two of us had the Croque Madame (huge sandwich -- should have split). Creatively made with spicy Tasso ham, a very nice riff on a classic. The third member of our party ordered (and devoured every last bit) of the
Le Phillipe Sandwich, consisting of beef short ribs, house made mustard, jus, and pickled onion. All of the sandwiches came with excellent fries.
We split a creme brulee -- nice and shallow with lots of brittle topping and a cold, rich custard underneath. Definitely worth a visit if you're looking for a delicious brunch in a fun atmosphere.
Took a guided car tour in the afternoon. Stopped at Paul Revere's house where I greatly admired the kitchen set-up. I can see myself cooking at that well-appointed hearth.
I'd been looking forward to dinner at Oleana for weeks. I have Sortun's cookbook and have cooked many dishes from it with excellent results. My expectations were extremely high. I was not disappointed. Following most of the advice we'd read, the three of us ordered an all-mezze. For the paltry sum of $110 (before tax and tip) we ate:
Warm Buttered Hummus w/Basterma and Tomato -- unusual and pleasing take on the classic
Whipped Feta w/Pepper -- smooth and nicely spiced
Shrimp Wrapped in Lardo, Rolled in Chopped Hazelnuts, and Fried
Sultan' Delight -- Tamarind Beef w/Smokey Eggplant Puree and Pine Nuts One of my favorite plates of the evening with meltingly tender beef set off beautifully by the eggplant
Boned Quail on a Bed of Rice. The quail actually tasted a little gamy, as quail should. Nice not having to deal with the little bones. The rice resembled arancini, soft on top, crispy on the bottom. We gave this dish high marks.
Lamb Manti. If One dish stood out among so many great ones, it was this on. The tender skins encasing a seductively spiced filling were swimming in a tasty sea of tomato, brown butter, yogurt, and more spices. Don't see how this dish could be improved.
Toum Greens. The greens are an excellent vehicle to carry the star of the dish, the crazy, garlicky Toum. Loved it!
Mushroom Musakhan -- an unusual dish. Mushrooms combined with leeks, chestnuts, and spices, interspersed with what was either a thin sheet of pasta, or a very thin piece of some kind of bread -- might have been brik. Very good.
Spicy Fideos, Chick Peas, Chard, and Orange Aioli. This did not get the attention it deserved, arriving as it did at the end of our repast. I liked the taste I had. Leftovers went home with the kids.
After seeing Baked Alaska on the dessert menu, we figured we had to let our belts out a notch and share this. Boy, were we glad we did! A tower of coconut ice cream, encased in a deeply browned meringue, was surround by a swirl of passionfruit caramel. This, my friends, was greater than the sum of its parts. Mere words can't begin to do it justice.
So glad we saved this special spot for my last meal in Boston!
Now it's off to the Big Apple!
Thank you very much for all your great reports. It is always nice to hear a visitors view on the city. I personally take Oleana for granted sometimes and this report reminded me that I need to get back there within the next few weeks.
Seriously, thanks for all the wonderful writeups. It is so nice to see such thorough and well written posts... really makes it worthwhile for the hounds who gives recs to folks coming to check out Boston.
So glad you loved Oleana! that shrimp must have been a special. I am not a big beef eater but I love that Sultan Delight. Got to try the quail, the lamb manta, the mushroom, and the greens.
There is a
VEGETABLE TASTING MENU –MEZE & DESSERT $40
If you order this, they bring you the meze, all vegetarian, sometimes something not on the menu, and you don't get a choice, though of course you can supplement it with additional meze. The last time I did the veg tasting, I did not make any special requests (like give me that spinach felafal, please) so I don't know how they would react.
I hope you get to go back sometime when it's warmer, when you can enjoy the beautiful outdoor garden. She's always changing the menu (though I'm glad she keeps some of the smaller plates always available, like the tuna stuffed eggs) and the summer with her husband's farm produce is especially delightful.
Thanks so much for all your wonderful reports which have been so much fun to read! You did some really good eating and excellent reporting and reminded me it is high time I got back to Oleana.