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Sibling Rivalry with my Sibling

A few weeks ago, Dish Bro and I meandered through the South End on a beautiful summer night. Our first stop was Masa for some margaritas, savoring warm weather while we could. We of course ordered Masa's sampler platter, as well, which is something I love sharing with out-of-towners to start off the night. But for dinner we wanted to try something different, and so after perusing some menus of area restaurants, Dish Bro chose Sibling Rivalry for its curious, inventive menu choices-- and its irrestistible potential for a great, and punny, Dish This blog post header (see above).

Too bad the food wasn't very good.

The first time I had been to Sibling Rivalry, I was getting over a sickness that left me with very little sense of taste. However, upon visiting this second time, I saw that there isn't really anything that great to taste anyway.

Sibling Rivalry, if you're not familiar with the concept, pits two brother chefs against each other with ingredient/type of food "head to heads." A great concept, for sure.

My brother and I did our own "head to head" and each started with one chef's interpretation of "crudo." I chose the Ancho chili steak tartare with pickled cabbage, tomatillo relish, avocado, and cilantro.

I should have been obsessed with this dish-- cilantro, avocado, and pickled anything are amongst my favorites. So how does a dish with so many strong flavors and interesting textures become just blah?? Mushy, uninteresting, blah.

Dish Bro fared better with his tuna tartare with sticky soy glaze and spicy aioli:

Still, this dish's outdated presentation prompted a lengthy discussion of the merits of all these squiggly sauces. My brother's main point-- Why provide multiple sauces anyway? Shouldn't the chef just commit and choose one that I should eat with it? I guess if they complement, a la ketchup and mustard, it's okay, but this didn't seem deliberate.

We didn't go head to head for our entrees, though. Dish Bro chose the crusted Alaskan halibut with English peas, crab ravioli, and leek-lemon-tarragon butter sauce.
I didn't sample this (as I was too stuffed to even barely make a dent in my own entree) but Dish Bro definitely wasn't wow-ed.

For my "entree" I actually chose an appetizer-- the Moroccan-style lamb with brik cumin, soft poached egg, curried lamb jus, and cool cucumber salad. This was probably the most flavorful choice of the night, though an odd flavor profile for a new-American restaurant (didn't really seem to meld with the theme of the rest of the menu).
While I would not return to eat here, I do want to point out that we had a fantastic server (so personable, very knowledgeable) and my brother enjoyed his watermelon cocktail:
Final verdict: Are there better choices in this 'hood? Hell yes. Head nearby to Franklin Cafe or Metropolis Cafe for similar menu items, better quality, and more reasonable prices.

Sibling Rivalry on Urbanspoon

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