This blog has been a long time coming… Back in September we visited Boston for the weekend, staying at The Four Seasons and enjoying some really great food. We had never been to No. 9 Park (http://www.no9park.com/#no9_home), but had heard such amazing things over the years, so we made plans to dine there for our anniversary.
The restaurant itself is relatively unassuming, perched near the top of Park St, overlooking the Boston Common and the State House – very Brahmin… The dining room was cozy, with a welcoming vibe, perfect for a romantic evening of gustatory pleasure.
We each ordered a cocktail before the meal and having heard so many great things about the bar program at No. 9 Park, we were excited to sample our libations… Alas, we were a little disappointed… My Boulevardier lacked balance and the Corpse Reviver No. 2 was way too heavy on the Absinthe – neither cocktail was appropriately garnished… We thought this odd, given the accolades heaped on the bar at No. 9 Park, so we assumed that it must have been an off night…
Fortunately, the cocktails were the only minor distraction in an otherwise perfect evening. We opted for the Chef’s Tasting Menu, with several supplements and wine pairings – amassing eleven courses all together – La Grande Bouffe, indeed.
Overall the food was some of the finest creations we’ve ever had. Each course was delicious to eat and a feast for the eyes. The wine pairings were each very well done, providing a perfect balance to the food.
A few of the highlights from the evening worth noting…
- Roasted Rainbow Trout with mi-cuit egg, American caviar and bacon – Moist, flaky fish with a lively, crispy skin – a perfect blend of delicate, brininess with smoky richness. (å Paired with 2009 Domaine Weinbach Pinot Blanc Clos des Capucins – Wonderfully fruity, played beautifully with the range of flavors in the dish – the acidity in the wine made a perfect palate cleanser.)
- Handmade Garganelli with veal sweetbreads, Pecorino-Caggiano and Burgundian escargot – Wow! Simply outstanding – a teasing mix of sour and sweet with layers of unfolding complexity – toothy consistency – Yum! (å Paired with 2010 Dei Rosso di Montepulciano – Pure perfection – light enough to allow the layers of complexity to shine with enough structure and acidity to balance the dish.)
- Seared Labelle Farm Foie Gras with prime sirloin carpaccio, frisée and celery rémoulade – Amazing! Duck liver is such a wonderful delicacy, with a richness all its own. (å Paired with 2010 Château Soucherie Anjou Rouge – Good pairing, a little rustic and muted. The 2010 Pellegrino Passito di Pantelleria was a better match – the sweetness of the wine paired lovingly with the rich fattiness of the duck.)
- Selection of Artisanal Cheese: Pecorino Caggiano; Delice de Bourgogne; Cardo; Orb Weaver Cave Aged Northstone; Bayley Hazen Blue – Superb – the cheeses were an ideal transition to dessert, each one ripened to perfection, showing marvelously. (å Paired with 2010 Domaine de Fenouileet Muscat de Beaumes de Venise; NV Gonzalez Byass Amontillado Sherry Viña AB; Ferreira 10 year old Tawny Porto – The wines were a bit of a mixed bag given the selected cheeses – the Muscat paired well with all of the selections; the Tawny went well with most of the selections, although it was a little light for the blue; the Sherry struggled with all of the selections and was a bit disappointing.)
- Chocolate Pavé with bourbon raisin, miso and banana – a perfect conclusion to a perfect meal – rich, luxurious and exotic. (å Paired with Broadbent Madeira Malmsey 10 Years Old – Well matched – equally rich and the burnt orange rind and fig notes picked up dried fruit of the raisins perfectly creating a lovely echo on the finish.)
Service was exceptional – our primary server, Christine was a love, giving us all of the details we crave. Well informed about the wines, she was a helpful guide through our culinary adventure.
Our only regret from the evening was that we wished we had visited sooner!