Archive for the ‘Full Service’ Category

The Home Port ~ Martha’s Vineyard

Posted 16 Aug 2011 — by S.E.
Category Full Service, Travel, Warms My Heart

You would think that sustainable seafood is a focus on Martha’s Vineyard but it isn’t, at least not to the extent it should be. Some restaurants, more than a few in fact, offer a sustainable choice or two but there are few if any as dedicated to sustainable seafood as The Home Port restaurant in the sleepy little fishing village of Menemsha located on the lower west side of this triangle shaped island. Don’t get me wrong, there are good restaurants on the island and some of them offer a sustainable seafood choice or two but none have integrated sustainable seafood into the operation in a manner that even comes close to The Home Port.

The Home Port Restaurant Back Deck, Menemsha, MA

The Home Port is an institution. In business since 1930, it’s a beloved landmark and family dining destination. Situated just on the eastern side of Menemsha harbor The Home Port faces south west offering deck side diners a view of one of the nicest sunsets on the east coast. My first visit here was twenty years ago and nothing about the restaurant has changed….except the menu.

Dining Room with Blue Glasses

I arrive in a group of four and a smiling college-age server leads us over to a table along the far wall along a bank of windows. She takes a quick beverage order (The Home Port is BYOB) and departs for a few seconds while we settle in. The sun is hanging low over the horizon painting the interior of the restaurant in light orange and yellow. Tables are hard pine and maple as are the walls and trim that compliment solid wooden chairs with just the right patina for a restaurant this old. The flatware and china are simple and you won’t find table linens or cloth napkins here.  This is the type of place where, when eating a lobster, you wear a goofy plastic bib printed with a step-by-step set of instructions for how to eat it (you know the one). No pretension here. Dozens of fish, well preserved by a taxidermist, line an entire wooden wall.  It’s such a wonderful, bright, warm and inviting dining room and I love being here.

Customers Under Taxidermied Fish

For years the Mayhew family (a Vineyard institution in and of themselves) ran The Home Port. More recently, for 32 years until 2009 to be precise, Will Holtham owned and operated the restaurant. Holtham, author of the just released Home Port Cookbook, decided to sell in 2009 and the Town of Chilmark proposed purchasing it for cool $2,000,000 so they could demolish it in the name of progress…a parking lot and public bathrooms. Enter a counter offer from Bob and Sara Nixon, owners of the Menesha and Beach Plum Inns. After a quick vote by the residents of the Town of Chilmark, the Nixon’s saved The Home Port and Holtham was on his way into retirement, cash, recipes and cookbook deal in hand.

Oysters on the Back Deck

After becoming involved with the local Fisherman’s Association Sara announced on May 27th, 2011 that The Home Port would only serve locally caught fish. By locally caught, she means fish that are caught in the coastal waters surrounding the island and landed on local docks.  I love it (go Sarah)! No one on the island is as deeply committed to sustainable seafood as Sarah and Bob and they changed their business model to prove it. This is why I am here.

Server With Specials

My server is back and she presents the table with a medium sized chalk board that lists all the specials for the evening. The Cherry Stones and Little Necks are from Menemsha (delicious), the Oysters are from Katama (exquisite), the Fluke, Bluefish and Squid are from Menemsha too. I order the bluefish with creamed corn just to give it a shot. To my delight, the fish is absolutely delicious and perfectly cooked. Bluefish is great but is has to be perfectly fresh, the fish has no shelf life. It’s best when seared or broiled hot with the skin intact, scales removed, since the flesh cooks quickly and falls apart easily. My fish had the skin intact, was crispy on the top and moist in the middle. Most people think of bluefish as a trash fish but when served correctly like this, it’s wonderful. I also have a taste of the local fluke and, although presented
simply (almost too simply) it too is perfectly cooked and well seasoned if not a bit ugly.

Blue Fish Looking at You

As I said before, The Home Port serves simple food. You won’t find the latest culinary trend or the most outrageous presentations in the world but you will find good and, better yet, local fish served properly cooked and well seasoned. Arrive just before sunset, sit on the back deck, bring your own booze and order one of the local sustainable seafood items. Enjoy!

Sautéed Fluke with Lemon Brown Butter, Kale and Local
Tomatoes, Boiled Potatoes

Broiled Bluefish with Parsley Butter and Local Creamed Corn

Menemsha Sunset

The Home Port Restaurant

512 North Road

Menemsha, MA 02252

(508) 645-2679

Sidney St. Cafe, St. Louis

Posted 16 May 2011 — by S.E.
Category Fine Dining, Full Service

Sidney St. Café chef-owner Kevin Nashan is passionate about culinary arts. He’s a professional culinary athlete who has the endurance and drive to survive the long hard hours it takes to achieve greatness; his work ethic is legendary. While on a tour of the café, chef Nashan proudly shows me his charcuterie aging room (a small humidity controlled custom room in the basement of the restaurant), fresh pates and terrines (classically made), and smoked products. We are out the back door of the kitchen in a flash and across the street to see the massive urban garden in the adjacent parking lot. Chef Nashan shows me the range of vegetables and herbs planted in neatly tilled mounds of soil, each tended by a designated member of the kitchen crew.

Back in the kitchen Nashan explains his drive to serve fresh local foods and to employ simple cooking methods with some modernist techniques mixed in. He also has a penchant for making as many things as possible from scratch. This isn’t unusual but the types of foods he makes from scratch including salumi, terrines, sausages, pretzel bread, and condiments remind me of the old school items I used to see in commercial kitchens back in the early 1980s. Few contemporary chefs of Nasan’s age (he appears to be in his 30’s) in smaller cities like St. Louis have the courage or expertise to take on scratch preparation of these types of items. Chef Nashan is a young chef with an old-school streak down his back and the unusual ability to balance classical and contemporary techniques with equal expertise and effect. His cuisine would hold up in any major metropolitan market including cities four times the size of St. Louis. Back in February the James Beard Foundation acknowledged Nashan’s talents by nominating him for the “Best Chef: Midwest” award for 2011 (Nashan didn’t win this year).

Chef Nashan is back in the kitchen now and I am sitting at the very end of the beautiful antique oak bar that dominates the front of the restaurant. The bartender and I begin to chat as she hustles to fill orders. She tells me that she has been with the restaurant for years having bartended for the previous owners. She loves how quickly the restaurant has evolved in recent years and the great attention Nashan has brought to the Benton Park neighborhood of St. Louis along with others including chef Gerard Craft of Niche located half a mile further up Sidney St. Although Craft’s food is outstanding, Nashan’s style is much more robust and craftsman-like in a St. Louis sort of way and just the type of food to draw local as well as national attention.

I am glowing with inspiration now so I order a seven-course tasting menu and sit back to enjoy the experience. My bartender gives me a refill and chef Nashan stops by again as he makes his rounds through the bar and packed dining room. As he heads back to the kitchen I am reminded once again that I just met another American chef working his heart out while living the dream. What a beautiful thing. 

Sidney St. Café Charcuterie Board with Pickled Cabbage and Pretzel Bread


Pork Belly with Flageolets and Bacon Powder


Seared Sweetbreads with Wilted Greens


Compressed Melon Salad


Sautéed Escolar with Pickled Vegetables and Pappardelle


Pomegranate Martini Sorbet


Roast Missouri Lamb Chop, Lamb Crepinette, Cassoulet with Fresh Sausage, Polenta


Whoopee Pie with Salted Caramel Ice Cream


Sidney St. Café

2000 Sidney Street

St. Louis, MO



Bouchon: Thomas Keller Trifecta

Posted 02 Feb 2011 — by S.E.
Category Full Service


Bouchon Restaurant, Yountville, CA

My three part Thomas Keller Restaurant Group adventure starts at Bouchon Bakery and Café at the Time Warner Center in New York. It’s fall and the city is heading into the holidays. After crashing at a friend’s apartment on the upper west side, a lazy morning lounging, and a quick run through the park before noon, hunger sets in along with curiosity and we head over to Bouchon for a bite.  With a schedule in place that puts me in Las Vegas in a month and Yountville, CA a month or so  after that, I am determined to visit Keller’s cafés and bakeries to get a sense of how they operate, whether they are consistent in food and service, and what the differences are in design and feel. My first stop on this mini tour is Bouchon Bakery at 10 Columbus Circle.

View of Columbus Circle from Bouchon Bakery Dining Room

I enter the lobby of the Time Warner Center and am awed by the enormous colored stars hanging from the ceiling in the expansive three-story lobby. The center is a huge building at 2.8 million square feet. It was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and cost approximately $1.7 billion to construct. I have always loved the neighborhood around Columbus circle and recall how excited I was when I first heard that the third and fourth floors of the Time Warner Center would house world class restaurants like Per Se, Masa, Café Gray, and (at the time) Charlie Trotter. In prior years, it was tough to fine great food this side of town and our favorite place to dine was just around the corner in at 1 Central Park West, home of restaurant Jean Georges and the Trump International Hotel and Tower.  Now, with so many great restaurants this close to my favorite place to crash in the city, Time Warner Center has become one of my favorite destinations  although the energy level in the building was higher when the economy was in better shape.

Bouchon Bakery Bread, Time Warner Center

After a quick escalator ride to the third floor I head straight to a table at the café, have a seat and order a cup of coffee. My server is smiling, offers a menu, makes a few suggestions and floats away. The dining room is open to the main corridor on one side and looks out over the lobby onto Columbus Circle on the other. On the south side of the space there’s a large marble-topped bar serving as a focal point and a large communal table that seats around twenty people in the middle of the room. Although Bouchon radiates the aesthetic and style of Thomas Keller, I feel that the version of Bouchon at the Time Warner Center is something of an adaptive reuse of space that was otherwise unscheduled when the building was designed. Sitting in the dining room, it feels like I am in a lobby not a planned space. Food is expedited from a small closet of a kitchen across the hall from the dining area and I am not overstating when I say they are short of space. But the crew in the kitchen looks ultra professional and the food they produce is excellent for such a small space.

Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Sandwich: San Marzano tomato soup with grilled fontina & gruyere cheese on pain au lait

I am with a few friends and we order a variety of items. Our two favorite are the delicate and lemon scented open faced Tartine Au Thon (tuna salad) and the Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese sandwich. We finish with another cup of coffee, some outstanding macaroons and head toward the door. Although some folks think Bouchon is over rated, aside from the dining area, I love the place and find the food and service consistently good and the prices value oriented for this side of town and for the view we enjoy of Columbus Circle.


Tartine Au Thon:  Tuna salad, Nicoise olives, bibb lettuce and garlic aioli with sliced egg, radish on pain de champagne

Bouchon Bakery Display, Time Warner Center

My next stop is Bouchon at the Venetian Hotel, Resort and Casino. The restaurant is located on the 9th floor of the Venezia tower at the Venetian and is off the beaten path a bit. When I arrive Bouchon is empty but, at 6:00pm, it’s still early by Vegas standards. Rather than sit at a table, I take a seat at the fantastic hardwood and marble bar and order a beer and a half dozen oysters.  The oysters caught my eye after passing a fantastic, perfectly clean iced seafood display in the curved corner of the bar facing the entry to the restaurant.  Next, I enjoy the Poulet Roti; a roasted chicken with glazed celery root, poached apples, herb quenelles, chestnut confit and chicken jus. The chicken is moist, with crisp savory skin and correctly cooked. I like the flavor combination of the celery root and apples and think the dish comes together perfectly. Unfortunately, I forget to grab my camera and lack a photo to post here.

Bouchon Las Vegas is a grand restaurant on a large scale; perhaps too large. After a casual hour of dining I head for the door and see that the restaurant is still slow. At 7:00pm there are half a dozen tables eating and that’s about it. I wonder how the restaurant stays afloat financially. On a positive note, Bouchon feels like it was designed for this location and built with care compared to the afterthought that Bouchon Bakery in New York seems to be. Although hidden away on the 9th floor in a bad location, Bouchon is worth the effort and the food is excellent. Service is great although a bit more casual than in New York in a Vegas sort of way.  


Bouchon Restaurant, Yountville, CA

My trip to Yountville includes seven other chef friends who I assemble with from time to time. Our first meal is at Bouchon and we will follow with dinner at Ad Hoc later in the evening. Although we had reservations for Per Se, we decided to forgo the cost and invest our resources on some fantastic wines and a home cooked meal.

At Bouchon we drag two of the marble top tables together and order a bottle of chilled white wine.  Its 2:30PM and the restaurant is packed but the patio is empty. Bouchon Yountville is located in a historic looking brick building with a bright red awning running along the street side of the restaurant. Just as the tiny Bouchon Bakery in New York and massive Bouchon in Las Vegas fit their locations, Bouchon Yountville fits its setting perfectly and is probably as close to the ideal Keller had in mind when he created his version of such a fine French bistro. We settle in and order a few appetizers.

Bouchon Restaurant Yountville, CA Frog Legs Special

First up is an order of frog’s legs which are featured as a special. The frog’s legs come out piping hot and are tasty but a bit too delicate. I was expecting something with deeper flavor and this dish came up a bit short. However, the Brandade beignets are fantastic and I have to order two more portions to satisfy the table. We also share a rillettes of salmon, another standard menu item, and it is fantastic too. Of all the items we enjoy the side plate of pickled vegetables is the best. They are perfectly blanched, lightly pickled and beautifully arranged on a plate. As I head for the door Chef Keller is just leaving too and we chat for a few minutes. He is surprised that we are there and we let him know that we are on an informal visit, renting a house up in Glen Ellen for a quiet weekend among friends. He smiles and heads on his way and we head over to the bakery to try things out.

Beignets de Brandade de Morue: Cod brandade with tomato confit and fried sage

Rillettes au Deux Saumons: Fresh and Smoke Salmon rillettes with toasted croutons.

My Favorite Bouchon Side Salad

Bouchon Bakery, Yountville, CA

The bakery is in a pastel green stucco building just across the patio from Bouchon itself. My favorite aspect of the bakery is how perfectly executed all the items are. Each item on display is clean, consistent, and outstanding in quality. This was the case at the bakery in New York as well. The display case there was just as stunning and equally consistent. Again, I order a mixed bag of pastel colored macaroons and enjoy them immensely.

Bouchon Bakery, Yountville, CA, Pastry Display

It is clear to me that Bouchon operates on an entirely different plane than Per Se and French Laundry. However, my experience at Bouchon, whether in New York, Las Vegas,  or Yountville was fairly consistent and the food on the standard menu was excellent. Some of the specials we ordered came up short but the pastry we enjoyed was outstanding and the service consistently good. For Keller, having a mid-scale restaurant concept must be a good thing.  Bouchon helps balance Keller’s restaurant portfolio with an option that is less subject to economic cycles compared to his higher end 3 Michelin star properties. I suspect that Keller will continue to expand Bouchon and know that his next Bouchon Bakery at Rockefeller Center will be a huge success.  The more successful Bouchon is the more likely Keller will be able balance his portfolio and finances and sustain Per Se and French Laundry. With this in mind, I remain a fan of Bouchon and a huge fan of Bouchon Bakery.

 Bouchon Bakery, Yountville, CA


For more click:

Bouchon Bakery


Niche: St. Louis, MO

Posted 17 Jan 2011 — by S.E.
Category Fine Dining, Full Service


I first took notice of Chef Gerard Craft of Niche Restaurant in St. Louis, when he won a “Best New Chef 2008” award from Food & Wine Magazine. As a committed culinary trend spotter and tracker of professional chefs, I pay particular attention to the up-and-coming culinary set since they are often the source of inspired innovation. To see the future, one must keep an eye on young talent. After tracking chef Craft for a few months I came to realize, based on an extensive number of food-related hits on Google, that St. Louis had an incredible food scene relative to the city’s size. With several food oriented publications including St. Louis Magazine and Sauce Magazine (my favorite), the culinary arts in St. Louis are well publicized. Tracking Craft was easy.

Thirty one year old Craft, a Burlington, Vermont native, opened Niche in August of 2006 to rave reviews. According to Inc. Magazine, which included Craft in an article titled “Cool, Determined, and Under 30”, the restaurant was generating upwards of $2.6M in gross sales as late as 2008. In January of 2009 Craft was nominated for a James Beard Award (Best Chef Midwest) and picked up another nomination in the same category in 2010. In September of 2010 Craft shocked St. Louis when he announced that he planned to move Niche and replace it with a new Italian restaurant concept called Porano. Niche would move into the small Sidney Street space next door to the restaurant currently occupied by Taste, Craft’s smaller casual concept dedicated to small plates, great cocktails and fantastic desserts. The announcement coincided with Niche taking the top spot for food in St. Louis scoring a 28 in the Zagat Guide.

The word within the professional chef community around St. Louis was that Craft had taken a hard hit due to the economy and was seeking to reset the restaurant as a casual Italian eatery and make up for lost revenue through lower prices and higher volume. St. Louis is and has always been a town with a penchant toward Italian restaurants and Craft was seeking to find some stability by tapping the demand. When he announced the change at Niche, St. Louis gasped. Then, according to some insiders, the community resisted changes to its favorite restaurant and bastion of the culinary arts.

On January 4, 2011 the St. Louis Riverfront Times announced that Craft had changed course and will keep Niche where it is and the way it is rather than proceed with such dramatic changes. In the process he will move and sell Taste and regroup operationally and emotionally. What a challenging year for such a talented professional and his team. It is clear that in small markets like St. Louis, economic ripples have a serious impact of fine dining restaurants and young professional chefs like Craft. Like many locals, I am glad that Craft is keeping Niche the way it is. Niche is excellent and competes at a level equal to any top destination restaurant in the country. I know this first-hand from spending time on Sidney Street in St. Louis and eating at Niche.

When I arrive for dinner it is dark out and Niche is lit up. The restaurant is located on the ground level of a two story brick building with a large glass storefront and black awning with “Niche” printed on it. At night, the entry and large plate-glass windows glow from interior lighting revealing the hustle and bustle of a busy restaurant inside. It looks inviting and bright on a dark cold night.

Other chefs in the area are complimentary when I mention I am visiting Niche; they genuinely like Chef Craft. There seems to be a high level of respect for the restaurant itself too and for what Chef Craft is doing locally. His regional and national press has helped the reputation of St. Louis as a whole and it appears that he is the center of the culinary community in the city.

Tonight I am dining with a group including another professional chef and folks at the table are excited to sample the fare. Chef Craft infuses just enough modernist culinary techniques to make his food interesting and innovative.  My amuse-bouche is a wonderful egg custard with “caviar” of the sodium alginate and calcium chloride type. The opener is well executed and delicious. I also sample a fresh made agnolotti (light, toothsome), sweetbreads (a real highlight and perfectly done), tuna crudo (nice), a spicy jalapeno sorbet palate cleanser (outstanding, something I will copy), poached seabass, scallops with pork belly (outstanding, I will copy this too), and two desserts that were very good but not as innovative as the other items we had.

Craft’s front of the house team offered a seamless dining experience from the moment we walked in the door until they handed us our coats and fetched our car. Service was professional, efficient, and comfortable but not intrusive. I love a quiet dining room where the service crew waltzes through the space during a rush. This was the case at Niche; the food was outstanding as was the service.

Time will tell whether Craft’s decision to bend to local pressure and keep Niche unchanged was a good choice. If the same customers that pressured Craft to preserve one of the best restaurants in St. Louis respond by supporting the restaurant with their business, things will work out just fine. The restaurant has the chops to meet the demands of the local community. The future of Niche rests with more with that community than with Craft himself. In the meantime, Craft should continue to be cool and determined, talent always yields good things!

Egg Custard with “Caviar”


Agnolotti with Dried Cherries


Seared Sweet Breads with Napa Cabbage


Tuna Crudo on Crostini


Spicy Jalapeno Sorbet


Poached Seabass


Scallops with Roasted Pork Belly, Cauliflower Florets and Cauliflower Puree


Chocolate Cake with Malted Ice Cream


Semolina Cake, Pear Terrine, Vanilla Ice Cream


Niche Restaurant

1831 Sidney St.

St. Louis, MO 63104



Stella New Orleans

Posted 23 Dec 2010 — by S.E.
Category Fine Dining, Full Service


It’s 7:00 pm in New Orleans and I am in a cab headed to Stella restaurant over on Chartres Street. Darkness has settled over the French quarter and I am sensing a deep, mysterious vibe. There’s a mixed feeling and voice at night that penetrates these damp, gas-lit cobblestone streets.  It’s one part raw unbridled lust, another part window into the soul, one part history like you find in a cemetery and a final dose of voodoo draped over like grey Spanish moss. The city, with all its wonder and complexity has aspects I deeply admire and corners that I can do without.

My eyes are wide shut as I exit a rather dangerous taxi ride and try to find traction on the slippery smooth cobblestones beneath me, my eyeglasses fogging over with condensation. It’s hot and damp and I wear the humidity heavy like a wet woolen sweater.  My left foot partially slips into a puddle along the curb, acrid water splashing onto my cuff, and for a split second I can feel the quarter pulsating up through my shoes. The city is groaning in the dark; dripping wet foot, I am not sure whether it just licked me or spit at me. This is exactly why I love New Orleans; it has an edge like no other. The city is sentient with a complicated heart, thriving mind, and primeval soul. It reacts to my presence like an old friend and fights back if taken for granted. It can make you disappear, permanently if not careful, but it can also save you and shroud you in grace.  This isn’t a passive city on the decline it’s a living breathing entity that thrives despite its bouts with disaster. It’s like a person who has aged, been to hell and back more than once, hardened to a sinewy core, and used the experience to focus on what’s important. I sense all these emotions in a flash as I step up onto the curb.

On the sidewalk now with eyes open, my vision tightens into focus like the aperture of a camera lens. Stella is literally within arm’s reach, its soft second story lanterns misting light down to the street below.  If I go one block over and turn the corner onto Bourbon Street, the wave of energy there, both good and bad, would drown me. But here on Chartres Street, I am in a balanced part of the quarter where the vices are offset with virtue in both commercial and human form. Stella stands as an oasis; a safe port of call out of earshot of the same ancient sirens, now on Bourbon Street, that nearly drove Odysseus to insanity while lashed to the mast. The sirens on Bourbon Street I can do without, instead I take safe haven in Stella in the care of chef Scott Boswell. My reason for being here is food, another vice of sorts but one balanced with great virtue as well.

Stella is located in a historic looking two story brick building that looks like it was once a warehouse or a hiding place for pirates. There’s a wide balcony on the second floor that runs the perimeter of the restaurant and a series of six over six windows that run along the lower level. The main entrance has a double French door leading to a maitre d’ station just inside and a wooden box outside with glass front displaying the menu.

Entering, I notice exposed thick beams showing through the ceiling lending a rustic feel to an otherwise classically decorated formal dining room. With high-back chairs upholstered in cream colored leather, marble topped side tables with gold colored rococo legs. The dining room is well appointed and refined.

Of all the restaurants I visit on this trip, Stella is the one that I planned ahead and called for a reservation. Chef Scott Boswell is popular now and his other restaurant Stanley is getting some good press too. After a minute or two I am seated and a server approaches and hands me the menu. I order a tequila Mojito and study the menu while my server runs to the bar. He’s an affable guy in his late twenties. He knows the menu, has a great table-side manner and sets a tone of relaxation and care. My first impression is that Boswell is smart about how he hires his servers. We are off to a good start.

Boswell is known, as New Orleans is as well, for the eclectic range of ethnic cuisines that influence his cuisine. It’s easy to spot Southeast Asian, Cajun, Italian, American, and Spanish influences on the menu woven with modernist cooking techniques. Somehow this range of flavors and options works well together; a compliment to Boswells talent. I place my order and finish my Mojito settling into the comforting and sophisticated dining room.

Stella attracts a distinguished clientele of two-tops and foursomes in proper evening attire with many men in suit coats and slacks. Women are properly dressed in classic attire as well although not overly formal. I like the old-school feel of a smartly dressed dining room. As I am studying the dining room, food starts to arrive.

The first course is a Pressed Melon Amuse Bouche with shavings of honeydew, cantaloupe and two small squares of sliced watermelon. Boswell sprinkles coarse sea salt, a drizzle of vinegar and dried Miso powder onto the plate. A simple combination of sweet (the melon), salty with umami (the Miso) and sour (vinegar). Delicious!

Pressed Melon Amuse

The next course is a delicate little piece of fried green tomato with house made remoulade sauce. The sliver of crispy tomato is served on a cocktail fork placed inside a tiny bowl lined with a dollop of sauce and shaved chive.

Fried Green Tomato bite with Remoulade

Lobster, egg and Caviar: Canadian lobster, local farm egg and American paddlefish caviar $24

The lobster and egg with caviar is a surprising presentation with lightly scrambled egg with lobster placed into an eggshell and topped with caviar and chive. Although the chive is redundant and unnecessary the egg and lobster is sublime, beautifully cooked, tender, rich and delicious and the salty pungent flavor of the paddlefish roe a nice contrast. Pricey, but worth it.

Roasted potato and Parmesan gnocchi with Andouille sausage, tomato confit, sweet corn and caramelized maitake mushrooms $18

A hot dish of gnocchi is a favorite so long as the gnocchi are perfect and Stella’s gnocchi were good but not the best I have had. They were perfectly shaped, wonderfully sauced, and the presentation was outstanding but the gnocchi themselves were not as light as I like them.

 A composition of Heirloom Carrots ~ Confit of baby carrots, carrot sorbets, carrot spheres, carrot cake crumbles, traditional carrot salad, petite carrot greens and sweet carrot cloud $15

This dish was a mind-blower, a Pablo Picasso like study of carrots in multiple forms. I also love the fact that Boswell uses custom china for certain presentations like this one. The plate looks like a ceramic silk napkin spread out loosely on the table with peaks and valleys undulating across its surface. Varying types of carrot preparations are placed around each ridge, filling each crater.

Soup, Salad and Sandwich ~ Iberico ham grilled cheese sandwich, truffle potato puree and arugula, baby beet salad and 25 year aged balsamic $18

 Pan Seared Georges Bank Dry Scallops and Shrimp with Truffle Andouille New Potato Hash and Caviar Butter $33


When I talked with Boswell about this dish, he described it as a signiture item that has never left the menu. Every restaurant has a dish like this; one that is mature and representative of the cuisine and philosophy of the overall restaurant. The dish was outstanding.

Miso and Sake Glazed Japanese Mero Sea Bass with Udon, Green Tea and Soba Noodles, Canadian Lobster, Blue Crab and Shrimp Broth $38

Bread Pudding with Crispy Banana

 Composition of Chocolate

With a spread on Oysters soon to be published in Art Culinaire magazine, restaurant Stanley gaining popularity and the city of New Orleans undergoing a true rebirth, Scott Boswell is on the verge of being a nationally known chef. Stella is an outstanding dining destination and is representative of the “new” post Katrina New Orleans. Check it out.


1032 Chartres Street
New Orleans, LA 70116-3202
(504) 587-0091

Roy’s Restaurant at Spanish Bay Resort: Pebble Beach, CA

Posted 08 Dec 2010 — by S.E.
Category Fine Dining, Full Service, Hotels

My exploration of Pebble Beach California had to include a trip to Roy’s restaurant over at the Inn at Spanish Bay Resort. More than one foodservice insider told me that this Roy’s outlet, one of 29 Roy’s restaurants located in seven states (Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada), operated by famed chef Roy Yamaguchi is the best of all and that Mexican born Chef de Cuisine Pablo Mellin is one of Yamaguchi’s more talented leaders.  After a wonderful long weekend in a rainy Pebble Beach volunteering for a local non-profit, the weather brightened up and I set out for Spanish Bay for dinner.  There is nothing like the drive south from Monterey along Forest Lake road to Seventeen Mile Drive. Once you pass the guard shack into Pebble Beach proper the world changes and a feeling of wealth and privilege pervades everything. The community is made up of homes belonging to the rich and, in many cases, the famous. The setting is absolutely amazing and fitting for The Inn at Spanish Bay, a resort that in early 2010 made the Conde Nast Traveler Gold List of the world’s best places to stay.

We pull up to the resort in our rental car, a nice Dodge Charger, and pass the keys on to the valet.  Sitting in front, parked for all to see is a spanking new Bentley GT convertible. Although some think it’s kitschy to display cars like this in front of a hotel or restaurant, I love it; it sets a tone for the clientele and suggests that the place is special.  After all, we are at Pebble Beach. Just the night before I was in this same hotel and passed Tom Brokaw walking down the hall and said hello. I recognized his nasally voice while walking past and then had to step aside for Leon Panetta (a resident of Pebble Beach from what I hear) and his Central Intelligence Agency entourage (black Chevy Suburban SUV’s at the front door and all) as they made their way to their vehicles parked at the entrance.  Spanish Bay is other-worldly and so are the clients that visit here.

As we exit our car and head toward the resort’s front entrance, I notice a gentle but comforting heat radiating down from the warmers located in the porte-cochere ceiling above us. By the time we arrived  the weather had cooled and this little bit of gentle warmth was a nice touch. Looking around the entrance, the building was well lit with large exterior windows and high quality architectural design.  All of the sidewalks and exterior grounds were spotless and perfectly kept down to each blade of grass.  The doorman held the door for the ladies, welcomed us warmly and, more important, genuinely as we entered. It was a wonderful first impression, just the kind of attention to detail that is becoming rare in this economy as we value engineer the finer details out of commercial life.

Roy’s Restaurant Dining Room

Once inside Spanish Bay, finding Roy’s is a straight forward task. You take a quick left, then a right and pass the main lobby and the large bar and sitting area and proceed toward the back of the room until you come to a maitre d’ station at the entrance to the restaurant. On the other side of the restaurant’s entrance the room opens up to a multi-level modern space with a huge open kitchen and a large dining room with well over 150 seats. Roy’s isn’t small and, when busy, the kitchen probably runs fast like a locomotive.  When we arrive its early (6:00PM) and the room is only half full.

Foie Gras Mochi $16.50


I am with a group of three other individuals and we quickly decide to share four or five items from the menu and place our order within minutes. Service is prompt if not a bit slow but this often is the case when a restaurant is running half full. Experience tells me that the best time to be in a restaurant, contrary to intuition, is when it is running full speed. Don’t misinterpret, full speed means running at capacity not running over capacity. Restaurants hit a tipping point when more than ten percent of dining room capacity is pushing to get a table. They also hit a point of declining return when service is running at half speed. Give me a full restaurant with well managed table turns and no line at the door any day of the week. Roy’s service was running slow but, luckily, the food didn’t reflect this at all. Roy’s is also just one culinary cog among many wheels that spin and make Spanish Bay the multi-million dollar resort that it is.

Spanish Bay Sunset Roll $19.75

While at Spanish Bay I had the chance to tour the back of the house including the main banquet kitchen, pastry kitchen, the conference rooms and banquet dining rooms; all of them wheels that spin to make Spanish Bay what it is. The restaurant outlets, including Roy’s, share a common purchasing, facilities,  operations, and human resource departments. I met Chef Mellin while taking my tour and talked with him for a minute or two. With jet black hair that’s tightly cropped on the side, neatly trimmed mustache and huge smile, he is an affable, friendly, and passionate culinary leader. I was inspired to see one of our Mexican colleagues, a key hardworking group in American foodservice that often gets overlooked, finding such success and it was clear as Mellin made his way through the property that he was highly respected by his peers.  We need more of this in foodservice!

Our food arrives and we dig in. The first dish I taste is the Foie Gras Mochi with a healthy slab of seared foie gras sitting on a seared pave’ of tuna. I have had this combination before and it is a match made in heaven.  My next taste is a sampling of sushi (maki and nigiri) with one piece each of Tuna, Salmon, and Yellow Tail and three pieces of spicy tuna roll with seaweed salad. My colleague orders the Spanish Bay Sunset Roll composed of spicy tuna and avocado and I taste a piece. Everything is at the peak of freshness, tastes great and is perfectly executed. Sushi is simple and varies little from place to place other than in the fine details like how the seafood is sliced and the quality and freshness of the ingredients. Mellin is using the best he can get his hands on and the quality we experience reflects this. We continue eating and try a couple other appetizer items and wrap up our dinner. The room is filling up now and the kitchen is starting to rock and roll as we head to the door.

Roy’s Kitchen

Spanish Bay is a beautiful property and may be the nicest of all the Pebble Beach resort properties. It’s well maintained public spaces, tremendous Spanish inspired design, and pristine golf course (some say the best at Pebble beach) creates a relaxing if not ultra high-end feel and Roy’s fits right into this setting serving  a super-fresh, light, Hawaiian Fusion cuisine. There are a few good restaurants in Monterey and some interesting places like Nepenthe further south in Big Sur but Roy’s could be the leading restaurant in this stretch of California coastline (I will let you be the judge).


Inn at Spanish Bay

2700 Seventeen Mile Drive

Pebble Beach, CA 93953


Butcher: Smart Casual in New Orleans

Posted 30 Nov 2010 — by S.E.
Category Food Alert Trends, Full Service, Uncategorized

Sometimes I stumble upon a great restaurant without intending to do so. This was the case recently when I wound up on a bar stool in Butcher, Chef Donald Link’s sibling restaurant to Cochon in the warehouse district of New Orleans. Butcher was not my destination, I had originally set out to find the National World War II museum on Magazine Street. After a couple of wrong turns I ended up in the vicinity of the museum but three blocks further west than intended.  Looping back around the block I wound up in a maze of one-way streets woven through warehouses, condos, and restaurants that make up this side of the city. Within minutes I was back at the corner of Tchoupitoulas Street and Andrew Higgins Drive where I originally started feeling frustrated.  Andrew Higgins was the founder of Higgins Industries in New Orleans during the 1920’s. His Higgins Boats, light military landing craft designed to deliver troops directly from ship to shore, are widely acclaimed as one of the crucial innovations that helped the allies win World War II. That I  am on Andrew Higgins Drive indicated that I was in the right vicinity and that it would make more sense to park the car and walk over to the museum than continue wandering.  Thats when I found Butcher.

Fate would have it that I parked the car diagonally across the street from Chef Donald Link’s famous Cochon restaurant. Approaching on foot curious and hungry for lunch it was disappointingly clear due to inactivity that the main restaurant was closed. However, there was activity further down the block at small shop called Butcher.  Although reasonably well informed when it comes to restaurants, I hadn’t heard of Butcher prior to spotting it up the street. The customers seated at each of the two small tables on the sidewalk and group of people standing just outside the entrance are what caught my eye, the entrance being otherwise pretty ordinary.  

Once inside my perspective completely changed.  Although small in size, the seating area in the café was packed and there was a line five deep at the counter. Butcher was humming and the food being served looked excellent.  Customers at Butcher cue up just inside the entry and place their orders at a counter with two cash registers at the back end of the shop. The lines form up against two massive refrigerated deli cases filled with homemade charcuterie and fresh meats on the left side of the room.  A small hot kitchen is just on the other side of the cases.

I am in line now staring into the first deli case on the left which is packed with a selection of sausages, bacon,  long brown links of house made Andouille sausage, packages of Boudin Sausage (four links per pack), fresh pork loin, skirt steak, and ribeye, even a Jambalaya stuffed fresh chicken.  The line moves and I shift forward several feet where there’s another case with gorgeous house-made Pork Rillettes, Duck Rillettes, Duck Terrine, head cheese, Mortadella, Salami Cotto, and Duck Pastrami. I am in hog (and duck) heaven. The quality and craftsmanship on display in these cases is outstanding bordering on inspirational. A fan of all things Garde Manger, my mouth is beginning to water.

The line moves forward again and now I am next to the small butcher block countertop that serves as the pass for plates coming off the hot line. Studying the kitchen for a moment I am quickly distracted by a plate of braised duck on cornbread with poached eggs and mushroom gravy that comes up off the line. It is absolutely gorgeous and a perfect brunch item. A server passes by grabbing the poached eggs and another couple of dishes, forces his way through the line and runs them to a table. Starving, my attention shifts to the three large menu boards hanging above the cash registers and I start to narrow down my order. There are too many interesting items on the menu for me to choose just one so I order a Cubano sandwich, a duck pastrami slider, and a pancetta mac and cheese. The cashier hands me a number and I turn back toward the seating area to the right of the cue to find a place to sit. Seats vacate just as I start to move away from the cashier and I grab a bar stool up against the wall and to wait for my order.

It’s just around noon time on a Sunday morning and Butcher is packed with a mixed bag of late morning revelers, brunch seekers, and folks that strolled over from local residences. Based on the steady stream of food coming off the hot-line it’s clear that these people know how to eat; smoked country sausage with two eggs, house-made biscuit and Steens syrup,  fried chicken and biscuit with caramelized onion and cheddar cheese, BLT of house made bacon, arugula, tomato, and onion. It feels good to be in this restaurant.

The sun is shining brightly through the south-facing storefront and a handsome couple enters and takes a small table up front next to the window.  Glancing over at the couple as they settle in, I consider how warm, pleasant, and comfortable this place is compared to what it must have been like just after hurricane Katrina. Donald Link opened Cochon in 2006 after six months of delays due to the hurricane. In early 2009 Link added Bucher to his growing list of restaurants and the New York Times promptly dubbed it a “smart-casual” restaurant. I like the idea of a place being smart and casual.

Duck Pastrami Slider $6.00

My food arrives and I dig in. The mac and cheese is rich, creamy and full of savory richness from the pancetta. My Cubano is made with slow roasted pork loin (cochon du lait), smoked ham and cheese and grilled golden brown.  I splash a bit of Link’s sweet potato habanero sauce on one half of the sandwich and the sweet spicy flavor of the sauce adds a nice contrast. My favorite item however, is the Duck pastrami slider. A generous portion of sliced duck breast pastrami is grilled with cheese between two slices of bread until crispy and golden brown. By the time the plate gets to me, the cheese is just barely oozing out of the sandwich. It tastes delicious.

Pancetta Mac & Cheese $6.00

 I can only imagine the vision and perseverance required to withstand the challenges of Katrina and the BP oil spill in New Orleans. And yet the city lives on in places like Butcher due to people like Donald Link. Smart, casual, and sated…


Cochon Butcher

930 Tchoupitoulas St.

New Orleans, LA 70130


Nepenthe Restaurant: Big Sur, California

Posted 24 Nov 2010 — by S.E.
Category Full Service

Our drive down the pacific coast highway from Monterey to Big Sur was hampered by a persistent rain. The road was slick and shrouded by patches of fog floating down from the hills to the ocean’s edge several hundred feet below.  Although hoping for a clear view and some speed on the road, we took it slow and saw little. For months I had been hearing about a restaurant called Nepenthe and the more I heard the more it appeared that the restaurant was one part natural wonder, one part spiritual oasis and one part commune for the Fassett family who own the property.  The rain provided a mysterious emotion to our drive to Nepenthe that was fitting as I soon realized when we arrived at the restaurant.

Nepenthe is located on a pitch hill in Big Sur in the middle of nowhere, the only culinary outpost of its kind for miles to the north or south on scenic highway one. We pulled into the dirt driveway at 11:45 in the morning and the parking lot was deserted and strewn with puddles of rainwater. From the parking lot, you can’t really see the restaurant perched on the hill above but the size of the parking lot and the double wide stairway leading up suggests a facility of substance. We started our climb in a light drizzle through a lush dripping canopy of redwood and oak trees with trunks painted with patches of bright green fuzzy clumps of moss.  Halfway up the stairs to the restaurant on a concrete platform there’s a red enclosed phone booth, sliding door and all, tucked in the corner with a wooden park bench next to it. The evocative British feel of the phone booth paired with the rain, gloomy canopy of trees, fog, moss and prevailing grey cloud cover left me feeling like I was headed to the London docks in winter at sundown.

Ascending the final flight of stairs we arrived at an expanse of red-painted concrete that serves as an outdoor patio and seating area in better weather. The patio was slick with rain and long rubber mats leading to the restaurants entrance were laid out to assure secure footing. Even shrouded in fog the setting is astounding. The sound of waves crashing below whisper up revealing just how cantilevered the setting is on ocean’s edge.  Curious, I sneak away for a moment and peer through the trees to see if I can spot the ocean below. For a brief moment the cloud cover breaks in some places and bits of sunshine illuminate patches of the seashore and the foaming greenish blue ocean. Time stands still.

I wander further from my group down another flight of stairs to Nepenthe’s funky Phoenix gift shop. Surrounded by bohemian splendor, I find myself out on the back deck staring at large terracotta shards of Buddha’s face laying along the slope, a small bust perched on the adjoining stone wall. The rain is falling harder and a strong ocean breeze is rushing up the slope forcing the rain to fall horizontally into my face, the wind chimes on the patio all ringing in unison. My clothes are starting to soak through so I head up to the restaurant.

Back inside they have a large fire going. It is warm, dry, and comfortable. Legend has it that Lolly and Bill Fassett along with their five children bought the location back in 1947 from Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles.  The Fassett’s worked with architect Rowan Maiden, an apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright, to design their vision taking full advantage of local red wood trees to frame out the two story post and beam interior. When you arrive at the center of the dining room, massive rough hewn redwood beams are assembled like Lincoln logs above allowing a long row of floor to ceiling windows along the entire south side of the room facing the ocean.  We work our way past the main dining room to a cozy smaller room to the left with a large banquette and small fireplace.

We place our orders and I have the signature Ambrosia Burger, a six ounce burger that is grilled and served on a toasted soft steak roll topped with Ambrosia sauce (mayonnaise, tomato sauce, mild chile salsa). I have a side of bean salad and order my burger with lettuce and tomatoes. From where I am sitting I have a view over my right shoulder into the Nepenthe kitchen just on the other side of the knee wall that makes up the back of the booth side of the banquette. The kitchen is open to the vast dining room, is spotless and running quiet. We are one of two tables seated and our food comes out in short order. My burger is perfectly cooked and tastes fantastic. Nepenthe has Carmel Meats and Specialty Foods in Marina, CA custom grind its beef daily and you can tell when you taste it. The bean salad is tangy and well seasoned too. To finish things off I have a cappuccino and a slice of homemade banana cream pie.

Everything I taste is delicious if not overly simple. Looking the menu over, there are few items that are complicated and the prices are reasonable when you consider the setting (the Ambrosia Burger is $14.00). By the time I finish eating the restaurant is nearly full with a lunch time rush.

 Reflecting back on my visit, Nepenthe is seventy percent location, setting, emotion, and aesthetic and thirty percent food and service. Menu items are reasonably priced but the view and setting comes at no extra cost and is worth a day’s wages let alone the $14-$37.00 entrée prices. My trip up the slippery winding stairway was worth every step, the meal worth every penny. The gift shop is funky and features something for everyone including the four Asian dolls picured below. Sometimes it’s more than the food that leaves me sated. The setting and the company I dined with at Nepenthe were spectacular and remind me why dining is one of lifes true pleasures.



48510 Highway One, Big Sur, California

(831) 667-2345

Fruition Restaurant: Chef Alex Seidel is Inspired in Colorado

Posted 28 Oct 2010 — by S.E.
Category Fine Dining, Full Service

Fruition’s Pasta Carbonara

I love that Denver chef Alex Seidel of Fruition Restaurant was named a Food & Wine Best New Chef 2010. His elevation nationally offers further proof that Denver is becoming a real fine dining restaurant town worthy of mention, not just a hot-bed for quick service restaurants and full service chains. Many of us in the biz know that the city is a proving ground for innovative quick service and full service restaurants destined for multi-unit greatness. Noodles & Co founder Aaron Kennedy started in Cherry Creek in 1995, Qdoba was started in Denver in 1995 and, best of all, Steve Ells started his 1000 store Chipotle Mexican Grill empire in Denver back in 1993. Even Quizno’s traces its origins back to Denver in 1978. Denver invented the fast casual genre and Steve Ells has proven that you can serve fast food of outstanding quality and integrity. However, for many years the fine dining segment of the market in Colorado lagged. Today, this is not the case.

Denver has emerged over the past five years as a great restaurant town. Food & Wine’s nod to Seidel has added another fresh face to the small number of elite chefs in metropolitan Denver and confirms that the fine dining trend is building. Seidel now joins other local chefs that have made their mark on Denver such as Jennifer Jasinski, Kevin Taylor, Radek Cerny, Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, and, of course, Frank Bonanno the king of Denver chef/restaurateurs.

Seidel earned his street cred working for Bonanno at Mizuna before striking out on his own in 2007. Accolades soon followed and by 2010 he had earned multiple awards, a great write up in the New York Times and the Food & Wine distinction. As has been the case at other restaurants, Seidel is known for several dishes including his pasta carbonara (photo above), a dish that he will probably have to keep on the menu forever. The dish is composed of a base of fresh cavatelli with peas, a slab of locally sourced pork belly, a sous-vide egg, and home-grown pea tendrils grown at Seidels Fruition Farm (yes, he has a wonderful farm pumping out ingredients for the restaurant, what a dream!). This is a fantastic dish, sensual, full of texture and flavor.

Another dish that a few locals suggested I try is the potato wrapped oysters Rockefeller. Seidel takes a fresh shucked oyster, wraps it in a thinly sliced raw potato chip and fries the cylinder until crisp. Served with bacon lardons, spinach, and a parmesan leek emulsion, the dish is a play on contrasts of flavor and texture. It really doesn’t resemble oysters Rockefeller at all but the concept is good and it’s innovative, not to mention the fact that I love fried oysters in any form.

The Pan Roasted New Zealand Bass is another strikingly beautiful dish and I love Seidel’s interpretation of risotto using diced potato and broccoli puree. He serves this with truffled cauliflower salad, additional broccoli florets, shaved carrots and micro greens. When asked whether the bass was farmed or wild caught from New Zeeland, my server went blank and had to run to the kitchen. This was disappointing but understandable since the autumn menu had only been out for a week. Still…

What do you think of Buttermilk Fried Chicken Confit with Crème Fresh whipped potatoes, haricots verts, glazed baby carrots, and button mushroom gravy? I know fried chicken is in. Both Art Smith (of Art& Soul fame) and Thomas Keller (at Ad Hoc) have fried chicken nights that require reservations a week in advance. Fried chicken is in and has been for a couple of years. However, who would have thought to confit the chicken before frying it. This dish is right on all levels. I love it! What a great idea.


My final dish of the night was a nice bread pudding with Colorado peaches and raspberries with ice cream. Desserts at Fruition are emerging but still a work in progress. They are very good but the savory cooking shines brighter and offers more innovation as noted earlier. Having eaten many of the other great restaurants in Denver, Frution is in the top five and Alex Seidel has the culinary chops and vision to bring even greater depth to the Denver dining scene. Three years in and Fruition is absolutely fantastic.

Fruition Restaurant

1313 E. 6th Avenue

Denver, CO 80218



No. 9 Park ~ Boston

Posted 24 Oct 2010 — by S.E.
Category Fine Dining, Full Service

Chef Barbara Lynch is setting Boston on fire. For the past thirteen years she’s been steadily opening restaurants while pushing the envelope on culinary creativity and service in a city with a history of embracing strong female chefs. Her restaurants (9 as of this writing) are bold, creative, and of clear intent. Although she’s generated tremendous press for her latest venture, Menton, and newer ventures like Drink (best creative cocktails in Boston),  B&G Oysters (best fresh oysters and martinis in Boston), and The Butcher Shop (best burger in the city, hands down), my favorite  Barbara Lynch outlet is good old No. 9 Park. No. 9 Park is a gem. It has old world charm with a contemporary twist and several long-standing menu items that draw me in each time I am in the neighborhood.

No. 9 Park steadily offers several signature menu items.  Lynch’s prune stuffed Gnocchi with foie gras is such a dish and it’s the main reason I love stop over as a “walk-in” and sit at the bar or one of the café tables for a snack. If you arrive right at 5:30 p.m., a table is usually available without reservation and within minutes hot Gnocchi and steaming foie gras can be yours.  With its deep stained wood floors, antique chandeliers, and cushioned seating by the bay window, the bar is incredibly relaxing and comfortable. Designed by Cheryl and Jeffry Katz of C&J Katz Design, the space draws on its colonial surroundings while remaining sleek and refined. In some ways, the interior of No. 9 Park reminds me of what the original Olives in Charlestown was like back in the day. Warm and inviting, refined, packed, loud, comfortable and mouthwatering.

Prune Stuffed Gnocchi with Foie Gras

In the culinary world, there are lineages, both regionally and nationally. Lynch can trace her pedigree back to Todd English when he was cooking at Michela Larson’s Michela’s in Cambridge.  I had a friend that worked at Michela’s at the time and she was a colleague of Lynch’s. Both were running fast and hard in the midst of an emerging Boston restaurant scene. Even then it was clear that Lynch was her own woman with a future ahead. It wasn’t long before Todd took off to open Olives and the rest is history as far as Todd is concerned. Barbara Lynch followed English to Olives and then over to Figs. When I eat the Gnocchi with foie gras I taste an echo of the tremendous, super rich, deeply flavorful, hearty and rustic foods that English used to serve and sense a bit of English’s genetic code in what Lynch is doing. The evolution of a chef and the lineage he or she draws from results in subtle similarities in menu items and techniques between the master and apprentice.  I see this as complimentary to both parties. Don’t get me wrong, Barbara Lynch owns the dining scene in Boston in a way that Todd English never has.  The apprentice is now the master cooking with some similarities.

Today, Barbara Lynch operates nine different restaurant concepts and employs over 200 people. She serves as CEO of Barbara Lynch Gruppo and has a fantastic track record adding new concepts to her portfolio. It was only 13 years ago that Lynch opened her first restaurant! She probably has another new concept in development at this very moment.  As far as I can tell, there is no other female chef in the country with such a high quality restaurant portfolio or the accolades that Lynch has earned over the years. These are the thoughts that fill my head as I take my first bite of Gnocchi, steaming slab of foie gras attached.  You have to try this dish. Go to No. 9 Park and take a seat at the bar. Order a glass of champagne and a plate of the Gnocchi to get you started, and soak in the room. This may be the very dish that launched an empire and it is one that will warm your soul.

Charcuterie Plate

Composed Salad

Black Olive Clafoutis

Chocolate Cremeaux


No. 9 Park

9 Park St.

Boston, MA 02108