Barbara Lynch

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Boston has so many beautiful restaurants that are perfect for celebrations, and Barbara Lynch’s Menton is definitely tops when it comes to special occasions.              I first went to Menton right after it opened, and I have been back a few times since, every visit being perfectly perfect and very special.

wine at Menton Menton is a place to visit all dressed up with a special someone or group of people to spend a long, leisurely meal laughing and tasting and enjoying the knowledge and hospitality of their very well trained staff.

On Saturday night we were celebrating 35th birthdays. Mine isn’t until March, so it was fun to get a jump on celebrations. I always love an excuse to get together to toast with friends!

Our server was helpful in choosing a wine to go with the wide variety of courses we ordered. A light, dry Sicilian wine was a great choice, especially for this lover of wines from Sicily!

We did the four course tasting menu, each ordering different options and sharing bites along the way.

dinner at Menton {Yellowfin Tuna Crudo with Hearts of Palm, Truffle, and Soy}

Perfect tuna in a generous portion with fun, umami flavors kicked off the meal and got my taste buds ready for a feast.

 

dinner at Menton {Winter Bouillabaisse with Hake and Scallop and Celery Root Dulse}

This was such a fun take on Bouillabaisse, though since it was so cold out, I wouldn’t have minded some broth! The scallop and mussel were absolute perfection.

dinner at Menton {Roman Gnocchi, with Pumpkin, Kale, Poached Farm Egg}

Roman gnocchi is hearty and filling, but the star of this show was of course the poached egg. It broke all over the gnocchi and kale, making a rich, earthy sauce.

dessert at Menton

{Almond Brown Butter Cake with Concord Grape, Figs, and Lemon}

I was almost too full for dessert, but I am glad I went with this cake, which had a beautiful, light marzipan flavor, a spongy, buttery texture, and a perfect pairing with the chewy fresh figs.  A glass of pink Champagne made dessert extra special.

mini macarons Menton

{Mini Macarons}

Menton’s final, delicious touch is a container of mini macarons in flavors like pink peppercorn and chive. They are little bites of heaven that clearly take a lot of love and expertise to make.

It was amazing to get out with great friends at a restaurant that has become a Boston institution. Menton brings old fashioned, fancy dining into the future, with all of the impeccable service you would expect but also with a comfortable, un-stuffy vibe. After all, going out to dinner is meant to be enjoyed!

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Barbara Lynch strikes again. As though it wasn’t enough that she delighted us with the best oysters at B & G Oyster or perfection in charcuterie at The Butcher Shop or special nights out at No. 9 Park or the whimsy of her mixologists at Drink (not to mention Stir and 9 at Home), but she really hits one out of the park with her latest restaurant, the fine dining wonder, Menton, in her Fort Point complex. Sleek, elegant, and comfortable, Menton is a glammed up dining experience that we Bostonians mightn’t be totally accustomed to, but I think we will learn pretty quickly to love it. ;)

Menton is decorated in muted grays, blacks, and whites, with some funky touches that make it feel modern and approachable.

Menton Boston Lobby

 

Menton Boston

I was excited to dress up for an evening out and even more excited to see a dining room of dressed up people.

I started with a glass of sparkling wine from the Loire Valley. You can see my husband’s Vieux Carre cocktail in the photo as well :)

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Menton menu

Menton menu

Our team of impeccable servers brought an amuse of asparagus, cream, and a toasty parmesan top.

amuse bouche

We were offered bread between each course, and we started with honey croissants with fresh butter. I could have made an entire meal of these, but limited myself to just one sweet, buttery bite.

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Menton operates on a prix fixe menu or tasting menu only, and we opted for the prix fixe. I started with a meaty crab salad.

Menton crab salad

My second course was an artichoke velouté, a creamy, silky artichoke soup with summer truffles and crispy artichoke chips that melted right into the creaminess.

artichoke veloute

The options for the third course were duck, veal sweetbreads, or beef, but when I asked our server if I could substitute a second course for the third, they happily obliged and brought one of the best fish dishes I have ever eaten. Flaky, buttery halibut was served with fava beans and a rich but light broth.

Menton halibut

For my final course, dessert, I had the coffee caramel parfait  which included a buttery financier cookie, coffee pearls, chocolate ganache, and a ball of ice cream dusted in cocoa. To accompany the dessert, my husband ordered a 1980 Warre Port which we shared. It was a sweet and delicious addition to our desserts. Although all of the portions seemed small, I left this meal completely full.

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1980 Warre Port

The final special touch of the night was the bowl of mini macarons that was presented with our check. In flavors such as a zesty pink peppercorn, basil, black olive, and traditional vanilla, these mini macarons were enough for dessert in themselves, and despite having already eaten decadent desserts, we finished off the bowl. The pink peppercorn was incredible! Peppery all the way to the back of the throat, with a tiny bit of sweetness, these macarons were unlike any dessert I have ever eaten.

Menton Macarons

Menton is opulent, sleek, beautifully decorated and well stocked with expert servers. More importantly, it serves quintessential Barbara Lynch cuisine, high quality, satisfying portions, of fresh, delicious, and fun food. If tonight, a night before they are even officially open, is any indication of the success of Menton, I predict it will be close to impossible to get a table for at least the first year. Plan ahead for special occasions, and make your way over to this Fort Point gem.

My ALLY Foundation raffle closes at 12:00 Eastern today! You can still donate through May 2010, but the chance to win fun prizes will end today.

http://firstgiving.com/meghanmalloyteamally

Menton on Urbanspoon

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Tags: Barbara Lynch, Barbara Lynch Gruppo, Boston, Dining out, fine dining, Food, Fort Point, Menton, restaurant, wine

A date night was much in order this week. With the hubs stuck working for the entire weekend (literally from 6 am – midnight on Saturday. . . after being in the office until 10 Friday night) we wouldn’t have much down time together, and I always find that going out to dinner is a good way to spend quality time together without our laptops or phones or any other home distractions.

As Elina, Melissa, and I discussed during our run today (more on that later!), it seems like there are so many new restaurants in Boston, and so many not so new ones that I have not tried. We decided on Sportello because I need pasta to fuel for my 20 miler, its pretty close to our house, and can you ever go wrong with Barbara Lynch? It was a last minute sort of decision, so I unfortunately didn’t have my camera, but the restaurant’s website has some beautiful photos if you are interested!

We were a little bit early for our reservation on a night that brought torrential downpours and hurricane-like winds, so we decided to dry off and warm up with a cocktail at Drink. I decided on a Bone, the very spicy drink that I enjoyed on my last visit, and my husband ordered a Gosling’s Dark & Stormy, a drink that I had the opportunity to sample at last week’s Taste of Bermuda. Hehe even though I just ran 20 miles, I am sort of craving the spicy ginger and sweet rum of a Dark & Stormy as I write this! Both drinks were, as always, scrumptious and expertly made with fresh ingredients and quality spirits. Even though we were just in for one drink, our bartender was SO friendly. He gave us recommendations on what to order at Sportello, and was just very pleasant overall. It was the perfect way to wind down and to get ready for dinner.

Once upstairs, we were seated right away and got to take in the interesting decor of Sportello. It is like an old style diner, a lot of white, with stools at rectangular counters and an open kitchen. We got two seats in a cozy corner with a perfect kitchen view, allowing us to watch all of the food being made. I am always so impressed by all that goes on in a restaurant kitchen!

After looking through the wine list, I ordered a prosecco from the Veneto region, and the hubs got an absolutely beautiful, juicy Barbera. Yummmm. We started by splitting the smoked salmon special which came with crème fraiche and avocado cream, topped with frisee salad.

For my entree, I needed pasta and was immediately sold on the gnocchi with porcini, peas, and cream. The hubs got the pork ravioli special topped with a decadent cream sauce.

My gnocchi melted in my mouth. It tasted like it had been dusted with truffles, and it had a lovely, creamy texture and earthy aroma. The pork ravioli was smoky in a sweeter cream sauce that was a “lick your plate clean” kind of sauce.

Since we were out on a date and wanted to extend our wonderful meal, we split a rich, dense, flourless chocolate torte topped with spicy cinnamon chantilly cream and walnuts. It was the perfect portion for two to share.

I thought Sportello was outstanding, and the fact that Drink is in the same complex makes it a fun option for a night out. My only gripe, and its sort of  a big one, was that the stools in Sportello were REALLY hard. Nothing like enjoying an amazing bowl of gnocchi with a bum that hurts! Still, I would go back and maybe sit on my coat or something.

The Fort Point area of Boston is a great place to wander around, especially as the weather gets nicer in the city. Drink and Sportello are both great places to stop in to quench your thirst and hunger.

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Tags: Barbara Lynch, Boston, cocktails, Dining out, Food, Italian food, wine

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