For Mother's Day (I know, this is way behind) Dish Mom (and Dad) and I headed to the new lux movie theatre at Patriot Place to see Star Trek (very entertaining, by the way, and Dish Gal now has a rather large crush on Chris Pine). Afterwards, I suggested Tastings Wine Bar and Bistro, as I'd read that Devra First (the Boston Globe's restaurant critic) had recommended it.
The restaurant's name -- Tastings-- refers to the fact that everything on the menu is small plates. They even serve wine flights, which is kind of fun, and I would've taken advantage of if I hadn't imbibed so much the night prior. . But my Dad sampled the Chardonnay one ("Chards of Class" - wah WAH), and it was fun to taste the different wines from different parts of the world.
Before I begin, I think it's noteworthy that it's taken me this long to write about this restaurant. Usually when I have a strong reaction to a place, no matter how busy I am, I make sure to write about it right away (see: Myers + Chang, Tupelo). Or, conversely, if I don't have a great time, I'll quickly make note of that, too (luckily this is not that often). But in this case, I wasn't exactly overwhelmed.
Service was nice, but in some ways too nice-- there were approximately five servers taking care of us at once. I'd take a bite of the food and then a minute later our "head" waiter would come over and recite the menu's description of it. Which would've been fine as he was dropping it off, but kind of awkward after I'd already eaten a couple bites.
But on to the food... There was something about it that I just wasn't that psyched about. Not seasoned enough? Trying too hard? Not sure exactly...Dish Mom and Dad seemed to like it a lot more than I did.
We started with a very spring-esque salad with beets, carrots, radishes, and fiddleheads--which was my first experience with fiddleheads! The salad was good, but a little like eating weeds plucked from the garden.
Next up: the South Shore attempts a little molecular gastronomy with asparagus, poached egg, and some sort of flavored foam... (one reason I need to write this review earlier than weeks later). This was good but EH. (The asparagus is hiding under the foam in this picture)
Next, we sampled the charcuturie ($16) which consisted of air-dried duck ham, coppa di testa, and served with pickled mustard seeds, local micro greens, and super crunchy-- almost brittle-- slices of French baguette. I liked the duck ham, and the super spicy mustard. But I don't think I would order it again.
These were tasty, and well-cooked. Crispy calamari with kalamata olives, pepperoncini, and cherry tomatoes. This was probably my favorite. I thought the kalamata olives was an interesting and thoughtful addition to a classic dish.
Tastings is an elegant, innovative restaurant-- for the 'burbs. I think it'd be a great place for meeting a friend or special someone for some wine, and maybe splitting one or two small plates. But for a big dinner out? I'd recommend making the trek into the city for that.