When your friends know you love food, and you know those certain friends that love going out to eat, it's hard to not go out every day for restaurant week.
The day after Rialto, some of my coworkers and I headed over to Boston Public, Pino Maffeo's restaurant in the famous Louis Boston. The table wasn't ready when we arrived, and the slightly frazzled, but convivial hostess seemed genuinely apologetic when it came to be 20 minutes after our reservation time. Finally, she led us into the very small dining room with minimal decor except for large geometric wooden chandeleir-type sculptures. Our table was located in the corner at kind of an awkward angle where two of us were staring literally at the corner, but we were just glad to be seated.
Like at Rialto, I got the feeling that the items on their menu did not really reflect what usually is served. Boston Public's cuisine is contemporary American with an Asian twist, but the menu was not very harmonious, and most dishes were either Asian or American -- not a combination of both.
For example, I started with chicken spring rolls and my coworker D started with vegestable summer rolls (that was another indicator that RW was half-assed; when we asked about the summer roll, our server informed us that when they put tuna sashimi in it, it's much better. Um, okay?) Our other coworker, a fellow lover of Boston dining, J, opted for a non-Asian option of the sweet potato soup. All three were delicious, but I might have to give the award to the soup.
For our entrees, I got the burger, D got salmon, and J got pad thai. The randomness of the menu is apparent now more than ever, right? The pad thai fell flat, and made us start chatting about our favorite pad thai places in Boston -- never a good sign when you're talking about restaurants that do it better while eating someone's dish. D enjoyed her salmon (I didn't snag a bite of that one...). And I actually really enjoyed my burger! It was definitely a "fancy place" burger, with a deeeelicious buttery toasted bun with sesame seeds on top. It more like a mini-burger, which was fine with me, as I enjoy quality over quantity anyday. And ketchup and spicy brown mustard were served on the side in little dishes of their own-- nice touch.
We all chose the strawberry shortcake to finish which was served in wine glasses and had a lemony shortbread with rich whipped cream and fresh tasting strawberries. Nice and fresh.
The experience could definitely have been affected by a snooty over-pretentious server who noticed that we were a bit out of their demo. But instead, our waiter (who was totally adorable!) was affable, joked around with us, and answered our questions without making us feel silly. All in all, he really helped liven up the lunch.
We headed back to work completely stuffed, but the food coma at my desk was certainly worth it-- all in the name of research =)