At my company, we have a book club. We meet every few months and read a service related book. This past time, we chose Setting the Table by Danny Meyer. There has been a lot of buzz about this book, how it talks about the hospitality business, but it can apply to many other areas of business. See this great article in AdWeek about the book.
Meyer writes the book as a storyteller, those who are following suit and write books of a similar nature write them more as a how to book. The book gives you some insight into Meyer, and it makes you feel as if you know him - makes you feel like he’s approachable and relateable.
Instead of giving you a review of the book, I’d like to just throw out some of my favorite parts, or those parts that especially spoke to me.
“I cringe when a waiter asks, “How is everything?” That’s an empty question that will get you an empty response. Also, I can’t stand the use of we to mean you, as in, “how are we doing so far?” I abhor the question, “Are you still working on the lamb?” If the guest has been working on the lamb, it probably wasn’t very tender or very good in the first place. And if a guest says, “Thank you” for something, the waiters should not answer, “No problem.” Since when is it necessary to deny that delivering excellent service is a ‘problem”? A genuine “You’re welcome” is always the appropriate response.” (p.67)
He tells a story about his friend Pat, who owned Sparks. People would wait 15-90 minutes for a reserved table. He said, “People loved eating at Sparks” and how Pat “Somehow made the wait part of the expected experience.” He continues with “(In later years, that gave me the confidence not to fret too much over the long lines at Shake Shack. They’re part of the experience.)” (p.72)
“Shared ownership develops when guests talk about a restaurant as if it’s theirs. They can’t wait to share it with friends, and what they’re really sharing, beyond the culinary experience, is the experience of feeling important and loved. That sense of affiliation builds trust and a sense of being accepted and appreciated, invariably leading to repeat business, a necessity for any company’s long-term survival.(p.78)
“One of the oldest sayings in business is “The customer is always right.” I think that has become a bit outdated. I want to go on the offensive to create opportunities for our customers to feel that they are being heard even when they’re not right.” (p.84)
“My goal is to earn regular, repeat business from a large percentage of people…There are always more dishes to sample, more waiters to whom to be served, and more tables from which to view the ever changing scene. At best, a restaurant should not let guests leave without feeling as though they’ve been satisfyingly hugged. If you can do that, regardless of what product you are offering, you’ve built a solid foundation for your business. Those satisfied customers become not just your regulars, but your apostles. They’ll proceed to sell your product for you by telling the world how much they like it.” (p.87)
A couple wanted to meet Meyer. He called them up personally. He writes, “I realize that I don’t have to do this kind of thing, but there is simply no point for me – or anyone on my staff – to work hard every day for the purpose of offering guests an average experience.” (p.90)
“I had yet to learn how critically important it is to lead by teaching, setting priorities, and holding people accountable.” (p.108)
“Know Thyself: Before you go to the market, know what you are selling and to whom. It’s a very rare business that can (or should) be all things to all people. Be the best you can be within a reasonably tight focus. That will help you improve yourself and help your customers to know how and when to buy your product.” (p.121)
“Over the years, the most consistent compliment we’ve received and the one I am always proudest to hear, is “I love your restaurants and the food is fantastic. But what I really love is how great your people are.” (p.139)
“Nice peope love the idea of working with other nice people.” (p.142)
“People duck as a natural reflex when something is hurled at them. similarly, the excellence reflex is a natural reaction to fix somthing hat isn’t right, or to improve something that could be better. The excellence reflex is rooted in instinct and upbringing, and then constantly honed through awareness, caring, and practice. The overarching concern to do the right thing well is something that we can’t train for. Either it’s there or it isn’t. So we need to train how to hire for it.” (p.142)
“To me, a 51 percenter has five core emotional skills. I’ve learned that we need to hire employees with these skills if we’re to be champions at the team sport of hospitality. They are:
1) Optimistic warmth (genuine kindness, thoughtfulness and a sense that the glass is always at least half full)
2) Intelligence (not just “smarts” but rather an insatiable curiosity to learn for the sake of learning)
3) Work Ethic (a natural tendency to do something as well as it can possibly be done)
4)Empathy (an awareness for, care of, and connection to how others feel and how your actions make others feel)
5)Self-awareness and integrity (an understanding of what makes you tick and a natural inclination to be accountable for doing the right thing with honesty and superb judgement)” (p.143)
“A strong work ethic is an indespensible emotional skill for any employee who is going to contribute to the excellence of our business.” (p.144)
“To this day, I can’t and won’t walk past something dropped on the floor without picking it up. I wanted people to know that this job was neither beneath them nor beneath me. I also wanted to embody the same team spirit and caring for others that I expected from the staff.” (p.155)
“People expect three specific things of our brand: culinary excellence, knowledgeable service and gracious hospitality.” (p.169)
“People will say a lot of great things about your business, and a lot of nasty things as well. Just remember: you’re never as good as the best things they’ll say and you’re never as bad as the negative ones. Just keep centered, know what you stand for, strive for new goals and always be decent.” (p.186)
“I have found that when you acknowledge a mistake and genuinely express your regret at having made it, guests will almost always give you a chance to earn back their favor.” (p.222)
“The 5 A’s for Effectively Addressing Mistakes:
Awareness-Many mistakes go unaddressed because no one is even aware they have happened. If you’re not aware, you’re nowhere.
Acknowledgement-Our server had an accident, and we are going to prepare a new plate for you as quickly as possible.
Apology-I’m so sorry this happened to you. Alibis are not one of the Five A’s. It’s not appropriate or useful to make excuses (we are short staffed).
Action-Please enjoy this for now. We’ll have your fresh order out in a few minutes. Say what you are going to do to make amends then follow through.
Additional Generosity-Unless the mistake had to do with slow timing, I would instruct my staff to send out something additional (a complimentary dessert or dessert wine) to thank the guests for having been good sports. Some more serious mistakes warrant a complimentary dish or meal.” (p.223)
“Respond graciously and do so at once. Err on the side of generosity. Always write a great last chapter. Learn from your mistake. Make new mistakes every day.” (p.225)
“Mutual respect and trust are the most powerful tools for building an energetic, motivated , winning team in any field.” (p.241)
“I’m not pleased when tables are so close together that it’s impossible to have any kind of private conversations with your companions. That’s one of ht most inhospitable things a restaurant can do to it’s guests.” (p.247)
Have you read Setting the Table? What are your favorite parts? What things spoke to you? Leave a comment below.
On the snowiest day of winter thus far, a friend and I venture out to Giulia in Cambridge. Located between Harvard Square and Porter Square, it is the first restaurant of Michael Pagliarini, award-winning former chef of Via Matta, and his wife, Pamela Ralston. There is a warm welcoming feeling when we walk in, from the enormous velvet curtain to keep the cold out, to this smiling hostess, to the exposed brick walls and soft candle light, this place has a great neighborhood vibe. We sit at a two top and I am lucky enough to have a great view of the open kitchen and the pasta table. By day, they use the table to roll out fresh pasta and by night they set up the table for people to dine at.
I start with the burrata di puglia with pan roasted baby beets, apples, puntarelle and coratina extra virgin olive oil ($14). It was tasty, but I’m not sure I loved the beets with the dish. The crisp apples gave a nice contrast to the buttery burrata – loved that part about the dish.
We both had the pappardelle with wild boar (black trumpet, juniper and aged parmigiano)($21). This dish was delicious. The thin ribbons of pappardelle were light as can be and the wild boar gave this dish a nice winter feeling. We left feeling full, but I can’t help but wish we had just a little more of that delicious pasta!
And for dessert, we both had the chocolate terrine ($8) vanilla gelato, caramel, salted almonds. The terrine was dense and rich and paired nicely with the saltiness of the almonds and caramel. The service was right on point, we never felt rushed even though seating is at a premium here. We would definitely go back for another round and try some of the other delicious pastas on the menu.
This place reaffirms my love for Cambridge and all of the great new restaurants opening up in the area.
1682 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138
When we picked Ventanas del Mar, we thought it was going to be like some of the places we went to in Cabo. It wasn’t. Tierra del Sol is a private gated community where you can buy or rent homes. When we arrive, it seems desolate- there is no one when we pull up to the restaurant, and when we walk into the restaurant, there are only two other tables sat. There is a great performer singing, playing the piano and throwing in some trumpet. The two tables clap after every song, which is nice, but when the song ends and you’re mid bite, some times clapping can be awkward.
I have the tiger shrimp, Garlic sautéed jumbo shrimps, fresh pasta, asparagus points, parmesan cheese, herbs in a lobster cognac sauce ($32). The meal is good, the shrimps are enormous and there is a good portion of them.
We also have the beef rib eye, Beef rib eye, garlic sautéed shrimps, mushrooms, in a caramelized onion sauce. Lovely presentation and the meat was tasty. Overall a good meal, the service was on point.
Tierra del Sol Resort, Spa and Country Club Aruba
Caya di Solo 10
Aruba, Dutch Caribbean
Just before the new year, we were able to catch a ride on the carousel. Rides are $3 each and a book of 10 tickets can be purchased for $25. They will be closed 1/1/14- 4/18/14 but will re open for April school vacation week!
They began construction of the carousel in March of 2013 and it opened to the public on August 31st. The carousel features 14 different animals from the land and sea that are native to Massachusetts including a sea turtle, a cod, a peregrine falcon, a grasshopper, a harbor seal, a fox, a skunk, a whale, three types of butterflies, a barn owl, and a sea serpent. The characters are inspired by drawings from Boston school children. Watch this amazing video below to see the carousel come to life.
Check out their website for more information.
Tags: financial district
It’s a lovely restaurant with covered and outdoor seating. It has a casual atmosphere with a man playing guitar and serenading you while you eat your meal. The couple in the picture on the left got engaged the night we were there.
We start off with Madame’s Lobster Raviolis ($17) Daily made from scratch. Stuffed with Lobster, Mushrooms, Spinach and Ricotta Cheese sautéed in Sage Butter and sprinkled with Reggiano. There are two per serving and although I’m not in the mood to share, I do. They are delicious – I could have had 6 of these for my meal. They also drop off a bread basket with pickled onions and garlic butter. Nothing says romance like garlic and onions.
We order The original “Almond Grouper” Invented in 1999 at Madame Janette. Often copied, Never reached! A fine Grouper filet in a coat of Almonds served with a Creamed Spinach Sauce. The fish has a really nice crunch to it and the creamed spinach sauce is plate licking worthy, but the sauce is a bit heavy for the 90 degree weather that we are in. That being said, this dish was top notch.
We also order the special pasta with chicken parmesan. Again, the sauce was quite heavy for the tropical climate, and it was topped with a mountain of cheese. Of the two dishes, the almond grouper was the memorable one.
For dessert we had the brownie sundae that was so dense and chocolaty we couldn’t make good dent into it. Overall the meal was good, our server Caroline was charming. We left feeling full but wondering what all the fuss was about.
Cunucu Abao 37, Noord, Aruba
“I’ve eaten a lot of sophisticated food in my time, but I still love a good hot dog.” That’s how the book starts, in chapter 1, appropriately named “Passion”. Steve DiFillippo’s new book, It’s All About the Guest: Exceeding Expectations in Business and in Life the Davio’s Way, is a page turner. The book talks about how at 24, DiFillippo bought his first restaurant and since then he has built a $50 million restaurant brand group.
At the end of every chapter there are “Restaurant Lessons to Live By”, summary points of the chapter:
If you don’t have a passion for eating and feeding people, don’t bother trying to become a restauranteur. You’ll never make it.
If you really do have a passion for something, then don’t waste time. Get cracking – everything else you need will fall into place.
Establishing trust is fundamental to all business relationships.
You don’t have to be perfect.
Addressing guest complaints should be a core part of any company’s service culture.
Listen to your guests and provide what they want – even if you don’t like it. But make sure that you stay true to your brand.
Skip the arrogance. People starting a business need all the help they can get. None of us knows it all.
Don’t be a jerk to your team members.
If your workplace could be a reality TV show, the friend, you are doing something wrong.
Take the time to bond with team members, not merely police their performance.
Speak out, stand up, raise your hand. Stirring the pot can benefit you in ways you never imagined.
Sometimes it takes a little while to learns from your mistakes. But until you do, mistakes keep happening.
Here are some recipes from the book:
Cook 1/4 pound prosciutto, diced, in a large pot until crispy. Add one finely chopped garlic clove, one large diced onion, one diced carrot, and one or two diced celery stalks, and cook for 4 minutes.Then add 1 pound ground beef, 1 pound ground pork, and 1 pound veal and cook thoroughly, making sure that it is all mixed well. Add one bay leaf and cook ingredients together for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Next add in 2 (32 ounce) cans of whole San Marzano tomatoes that you’ve crushed by hand and reduce heat to low, bringing the mixture to a simmer. Leave it likes this for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, prepare 1 to 1/2 pounds of pasta according to the package direction (we love tagliatelle or rigatoni for this dish) add 2 ounces of pasta water to the bolognese sauce as well as 2 tablespoons of butter. Mix a small amount of the bolognese sauce into the cooked pasta, then top with the remaining sauce. Serve right away!
This recipe makes 125 gnocchi, so make sure to invite some friends over. Boil 2 1/4 pounds russet potatoes until tender. Drain the water, ad then while the potatoes are still hot, peel and put them through a ricer. Set aside, and let them cool through and through. (Little tip: This can be done the day before.) On a large board form a “mountain” with the cooled and riced potatoes. Add 1 1/2 cups sifted flour, 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano cheese, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Make a hole at the top of the mountain and add 2 medium eggs into the whole. Working by band from the eggs out, begin mixing eggs with the potato and other ingredients until well blended. Cover the mixture with a slightly damp cloth or a bowl and let rest for 30 minutes.
Come back and roll the dough by hand into eight – 2 foot long rolls, about the size of a quarter in diameter. Then cut each roll into 1/2 inch pieces. Delicately dust the pieces with flour and place them in a plastic container. Make sure there’s only one layer per container and each piece has plenty of breathing room! Cover and freeze until ready to cook. (Another tip: Once gnocchi are frozen, they can be transferred into ziplock bags so you don’t have a bunch of plastic containers all piled up in your freezer. Oh, and gnocchi can be kept frozen up to 1 month.)
When you’re ready to cook, take some gnocchi out of the freezer and bring 12 quarts salted water to a rapid boil. Add your gnocchi and then cover and cook until the water return to a boil. I’s try using more than one pot when cooking, and I also advise that you cook only a handful of gnocchi at a time. If you jam too many together, you wind up with a watery potato soup! Now uncover the gnocchi and cook for an additional 2 minutes or until the gnocchi begins to float. Strain, add your favorite sauce, and serve immediately in a warm bowl.
You want meatballs? Okay, here goes. You need a good marinara sauce on hand in order to cook meatballs, so let’s start there.
Put 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (Monini preferred) in a saucepan and warm over medium heat. Then add 1/2 cup finely chopped Spanish onion and saute until translucent. Add 3 finely chopped cloves fresh garlic and cook until the garlic is a light golden color. Whatever you do, don’t overcook the garlic! The add 1 cup white wine to deglaze the pan. Continue to cook the garlic until the liquid is reduced by half, about 3 – 4 minutes. Next, pour in 4 (28 ounce) cans of San Marzano tomatoes that you’ve crushed by hand. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring the sauce to a boil, stir, and reduce heat to a simmer. Let the sauce simmer uncovered for 1 hour, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter and 1/4 cup chiffonade fresh basil leaves. Congratulations: You now have some killer sauce to work with.
Next come the meatballs. In a large bowl soak 1 loaf of stale bread, broken into small pieces, in 2 cups of whole milk for 2 hours. Over medium-high heat, saute 1 diced white onion and 2 diced cloves garlic. Add the sauteed onions and garlic to the soaked bread and cobine with 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (Monini preferred), 2 pounds ground Kobe beef, 2 pounds ground veal, 2 pounds ground pork, 1/2 cup grated Parmigano cheese, 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese, 1/2 cup chopped parsley, 1/2 cup chopped basil and 6 whole eggs. Mix all this stuff together, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, take the bowl out of the refrigerator and form the mixture into approximately 20 (3 ounce) balls. Over medium – high heat in a large pan, cook the meatballs in 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil for 10 minutes making sure that the meatballs are spread out i the pan and don’t touch one another. Turn them often so they don’t burn. Remove the meatballs from the pan and cool. Place the cooled meatballs in another large pan and cover them with 3/4 of a gallon of the marinara sauce you made earlier. Wrap the pan with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it overnight. The next day, cook the meatballs and the sauce for at least 3 hours at 325 degrees before serving.
Warm Chocolate Cake:
It’s easy to forget to preheat the oven, so make sure to do that first. A full 375 degrees, with a high fan on. Noe, take 12 1/2 cups aluminum tins and coat well with nonstick spray and flour. Grab a 9 1/2 ounce bag of bittersweet chocolate (I use 60/40 Callebaut) and pour it into a mixing bowl – we’ll need this in just a second. Melt 10 1/2 ounces of unsalted butter and pout it over chocolate to melt it. In another large mixing bowl, sift 5 1/4 ounces of pastry flour and 10 1/2 ounces confectioners sugar together. Add in 6 whole eggs and 6 egg yolks and mix until smooth. Then combine the flour/sugar bowl with the chocolate/butter bowl – stir and stir until homogenous. Deposit the chocolatey goodness into the prepared tins and then put the tins into the over. Bake approximately 10 minutes or until the edges are set. When you remove the cakes from the oven, let them sit briefly so that they unmold on their own.
Check out Steve’s book for more stories and additional recipes. It’s All About the Guest can be found at bookstores and at Amazon.
**Disclaimer – I was provided with a copy of the book, all opinions are strictly my own. I was not compensated in any other way for writing this post.
We had heard from someone at dinner when we went to 2 Fools and a Bull that the Hyatt had warm donuts at brunch. Sold. We immediately made reservations. Turns out, that’s not true – no warm donuts to be found.
They Hyatt has a great property, very picturesque. Ruinas del Mar over looks a man made pool where a family of black swans live. They have a man singing and playing guitar while you eat, crooning slow jams from Extreme and Phil Collins.
There is also a station with waffles, pizza, and pasta. If you look closely at the pizza on the left, you can see that there is still a label on the pepper with the barcode. All in all the brunch was ok – nothing to write home about. But we were on vacation and it was nice to eat in a restaurant with good scenery and gave us a break from our regular breakfast from Starbucks.
Ruinas del Mar
In the Hyatt Hotel, J.E. Irausquin Blvd #85, Palm Beach, Aruba, Dutch Caribbean,
Happy New Year! I’m looking forward to trying new restaurants, eating delicious meals with friends and family, learning how to cook new things, and blogging all about it! Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, I truly appreciate it!
We had our holiday party at Anthem on a Thursday night. When we were looking for a venue (we were late to the game – we started after Thanksgiving!) I got a mass email from the events team (they outsource their event planning) saying that a day had opened up and the first person to respond would get the date. I jumped on it and secured the date. We went to look at the space a few days later – the upstairs dining room. The manager confused us for another large holiday party that was coming in (odd) and said that the events team would know the layout for the evening – he wasn’t sure what it would be (weird). Needless to say, we went into this skeptical. They have a $4500 food and beverage minimum (before tax, gratuity and an admin fee), with no room rental fee. Here is why we picked Anthem:
- It is close to our office – we wouldn’t have to pay for cabs after work to get to the venue
- They had a date available
- They didn’t charge a room rental fee
- They could accommodate a party of 60
We sent a list ahead of time of names and food options to make things easier. I even made place cards (wedding style) with food choices so servers would know where food was going. We were told that there would be six tables of ten by the event staff and we planned accordingly – we always have assigned seating at our holiday parties. When we arrive, there are 5 tables, some with 10 seats, some with 8 and some with 12. We scramble to try and rearrange seating so that everyone has a place. Then the servers went around and asked everyone what they had and what their names were. After getting drinks, fixing the seating mishap and getting through the food choices, we were served appetizers about an hour after we arrived. We gave two options for starters, I chose the clam chowder, a 2012 Boston Chowderfest winner. It was pretty good!
- Pan Roasted Salmon snap peas, crispy rice cake, edamame puree + chili-orange mustard glaze
- Herb-Roasted Free Range Chicken mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts with bacon + spicy mustard glaze
- Steak Frites, grilled hanger steak, fries + béarnaise sauce
- Daily Creation Chef’s Pasta (vegetarian option)
Above is the steak frites which people really seemed to like. Two of the salmons came out cold, when we sent them back we asked if they could just switch to the two steaks we paid for but no one was eating (2 people didn’t come last minute and we couldn’t get our money back). There was a lot of confusion about that, and they ended up bringing out hot salmon AND two steak frites dishes that our table shared among the 12 of us.
The night was a success over all, my boss didn’t know that anything went wrong, so that is a plus. People enjoyed themselves (who doesn’t love company sponsored drinks?). There could have been better communication between the event team and the managers at the restaurant, and some more organization to make sure that events go smoothly. The venue worked out for what we needed in a bind. Lesson learned here is to start looking and booking holiday parties before December!
Anthem Bar and Kitchen
South Market Building, Faneuil Hall
Boston, MA 02109
We spent the days leading up to the holiday with friends – and boy did we eat! Barbara Lynch opened No. 9 Park in 1998 and it has been named one of the “Top 25 New Restaurants in America” by Bon Appétit and “Best New Restaurant” by Food & Wine. Scott Jones, a native New Englander, became the chef de cuisine in March of this year. He has risen quickly among the ranks, he started in 2009 and was promoted to rounds cook in under a year and a half and to sous chef just before his two year anniversary. We were fortunate enough to be able to meet chef Scott, which was pretty cool.
We headed over to No. 9 Park to try out their tasting menu. At $112, you get six courses, with the option of adding the prune stuffed gnocchi, the foie gras and the artisanal cheese courses. We ended up doing the foie gras and the prune stuffed gnocchi, but by the time we got to the option of having the cheese course, we just didn’t have room (as much as we wanted to).
We started off with the peekytoe crab with hears of palm, pumpkin and apple. It was paired with a 2010 Chidaine Montlouis – sur Loire “Les Choisilles”. This dish came beautifully plated with a little ash on the top near the peekytoe crab. The dish was light, a great way to start off the meal. The wine was crisp and had a mineral taste to it that I really enjoyed.
Second course was the Scottish salmon with potato mille-feuille, pistou and cannelini beans paired with a 2009 Livon Ribolla Gialla “Ronc Alto”. I have to admit that generally, I don’t like salmon. I was hesitant to try this dish, but I ended up loving it! The skin was cooked, so you could eat it, and the potato underneath was delicious. Mille feuille is French for “thousand layers” and the term is generally used when talking about pastry. These thin layers of potato were so delicate and paired quite nicely with the fish. The wine they paired with this dish had a rounded earthy flavor. The white grapes from this wine come from Friuli
The housemade bigoli with celeriac, smoked salt cod, and calabrian chili paired with the 2011 COS Grecanico en Amphora “Pithos”. The name of the wine “COS” comes from three friends: Giambattista Cilia, Giusto Occhipinti and Pinuccia Strano. The (Sicilian)wine itself is almost orange in color which comes from putting grapes in clay pots and bury them in the ground – it is the most organic process of making wine. You can almost taste the clay along with some apricot notes.
The prune stuffed gnocchi with foie gras, almonds and vin santo paired with NV Veuve Cliquot Demi Sec Champagne. Our waiter tells us a story about Julia Child and Barbara Lynch, and how Julia told Barbara that she didn’t think this was a good pairing. The prunes are sweet and the gnocchi is light as air. I missed the photo of the seared Hudson Valley foie gras with black walnut, sweet potato and clotted cream paired with the Rare Wine Co. Modeira “Boston Bual”. I think at this point I hit a wall. I was stuffed. The food thus far was delicious, and so rich! What I can tell you is that the foie gras was delicious. I only managed a bite or two, but it just melted in your mouth. Our waiter tells us that back in the day, each port had it’s own variety of Modeira – which started when the grapes were being heated on the decks of ships.
The roasted quail with lentils, sanguinaccio (sausage) and chestnut, paired with 2010 Domaine de la Chapelle de Bois Fleurie “Grand Pre“. If I wasn’t full before, I am now stuffed, and feel like I should take a nap! The quail is tender – perfectly cooked. I think the sausage is a matter of personal preference – not my favorite, but that’s ok. I miss taking a photo of the local baby lamb with black garlic, broccoli and blood orange. I may be a bit tipsy at this point. The lamb is prepared three ways and is paired with a 2008 Mugo Rioja Riserva.
And as a finale, a dark chocolate bete noire with mint, meyer lemon, and cynar (a liqueur). The bete noire, translated as “the black beast” is a flourless chocolate cake served with a peppermint patty. The strong mint flavors really balance the richness of the chocolate cake. This dish is paired with a 2007 Castello di Volpaia Santo del Chianti Classico.
All in all it was a great night, exceptional food paired with good friends (and a few tasty cocktails). The service was excellent – our waiter was knowledgeable and gave us a great background on all of the wine pairings – each course was explained in detail when it was brought out. We are already looking forward to our next visit!
No. 9 Park
9 Park Street, Boston, MA