Z and I skipped the usual Saturday night out-to-dinner routine this weekend and decided on a quieter, more economical Sunday night out. I had heard a long time ago that Sage offers Sunday meal deals, but unfortunately realized that that had changed, and now Sage offers this deal 7 days a week, but only from 5-7 p.m. -- good and bad news.
In any case, I was still excited as I've heard such wonderful things about Sage. The dining room is very pretty, with muted colors, brick walls, high ceilings, and nice lighting. The front bar area has lots of high-top tables, and we both agreed might be our new "hang at the bar for dinner" spot (to replace The Independent in Somerville, no longer in our 'hood...).
(Sadly, I have no photos, as I stupidly decided to go sans purse to dinner, and only had my wallet-- not even a cell phone to take photos with! I know, shame on Dish Gal... )
While they've gotten rid of their Sunday prix-fixe, they now offer an extensive stuzzi (small plate) selection, all priced reasonably around $4-$10. We chose pickled eggplant($4) and arancini with short rib and truffle aioli($4) to start.
The arancini was exquisite-- a delicate crunch on the outside, warm and gooey on the inside, and terrific with the aioli. My only complaint was that there were 3 for the 2 of us! We fought over the last one ;)
The pickled eggplant was a strange choice, but definitely grew on me. It is a nice complement to the heartier cheese and meat stuzzi options, with a sharp tangyness. I want to learn how to pickle things!
For entrees, Z stole my idea (just kidding..kind of) and went for the rice-smoked duck breast with port-soaked prunes and spinach ($26). This was excellently prepared, and quite elegant, both tasting and in presentation. Z said the "spinach made it" --which is probably the first time I've ever heard that uttered!
I went with a pasta option and got the potato gnocchi with rabbit and mushroom braise ($22). The homemade gnocchi was delicious- soft and pillowy, and the rabbit and mushroom sauce was hearty and robust. Not your typical meat sauce with gnocchi, though. We also requested a side of squash puree-- which was not technically offered as a side but came with the chicken dish. I'm glad we did, because this was awesome! So smooth it could almost have been soup.
Sadly, we were too stuffed for dessert after the food and the great barbera d'asti red wine. However, I definitely will be returning here, and I've already recommended this to my parents for a special night out. Elegant, unpretentious, and great food-- a perfect combination for a great night out.