as some of you may know, andy and i finally got around to going to radius for a certain special day on a fairly quiet friday evening (which sound like is typical for them). i hope winnie appreciates these stealthy pics i took (whilst trying not to feel like a tourist). i suppose i should start by saying that overall we were both underwhelmed. very solid execution, but nothing wowed us. here’s the pornographic play-by-play:

amuse bouche #1: tiny roasted cauliflower + something green (bad memory, sorry — maybe mint?) + two tiny bits of kumquat. simply lovely. andy’s version had shrimp instead of the kumquat.

amuse bouche #2: two bits of tempura. mine were both tofu-esque. andy’s was shrimp (he thinks) and sweet potato.

my first course (L to R): liquid pee, i mean, pea. very strange (not quite in a good way), but interesting. half as much would have been plenty. then pea greens with marcona almonds and grapefruit (a bit OD’ed on the peas by then and i’m not big on salads anyway). “toasted” asparagus with a nice sauce. mushroom with a puff pastry, reminescent of the wellington i had at hamersley’s but miles away in terms of quality. the pastry was nice and dry and just the right density for forking into, although the mushrooms were more creamy where i would have much preferred savory.

andy’s first course: rabbit roulade wrapped in bacon with grapefruit glazed salsify on a puree of something green (sorry again) with a zucchini blossom dipped in a gooey cheese and fried. andy gave a solid A to this one.

my second course was a rosemary-infused spaetzle with baby carrots and something in the onion family. had some nicely browned bits. fairly intense rosemary if you’re a fan of it (which i’m not particularly). again, i wasn’t so impressed with this. instead of a subtle flavor in each bite it was more like in this (and most of the other courses), the accumulation of flavor got to the point where you didn’t quite want to finish it and in between courses you had a really strong aftertaste (which andy said he could taste simultaneously with everything by the end of the evening).

radius was kind enough, however, to not leave andy courseless and gave him a serving of their mint gnocchi (with peas! talk about exploiting the fruits of the season). again, we weren’t so impressed. more sweet than savory. maybe overall they were going for a lighter, more summer menu than either of us were at all ready for (i mean, it snowed last week!).

the best course for me. hedgehog mushroom ravioli with something green, lentils, celery root puree, and dollops of carrot reduction. some quibbles: two would’ve been enough, and a bit too much celery root and lentils. and is it just me, or is one meal with celery root enough celery root to last you for a year? i think i’ve had three in the past three months. enough already!

andy had the arctic char with pickled ramps and lemon. he was distinctly unimpressed with the quality of the char and the balance of the dish, which had an overall onion taste he found overwhelmed it.

dessert, L to R: glass of chocolate milk which i have to say was strongly reminescent to me of the sugary chocolate milk that’s left after you’ve eaten a bowl of chocolate rice krispies or cocoa puffs. very strange. next, chocolate cake with cashews. standard, but a nice consistency. last, milk chocolate ice cream, which was unusual and quite good.

andy had the goat cheese cheesecake with huckleberry ice cream. good, but again the balance left something to be desired. andy’s comment: the ice cream was too creamy to complement the goat cheese. a sorbet would have worked much better.

and to see us off, bits of chocolate-y squares, those fruit things i like (i feel so ignorant; winnie will have to remind me), and tiny macadamia cookies.

our server was adequate although the rest of the service was better. the initial wait for menus was noticeably long, and we would’ve expected the restaurant would have had a more rigorous no cell phone policy.

so that’s my fairly laid-back review. feeling fairly chill at the moment. sorry, winnie, looks like of the three, great bay is the one that gets our vote (even though i think you weren’t a fan of it). maybe it’s just the level of boston restaurants, but i still haven’t had a really memorable meal in boston in a long while. def. have some things lined up, though, so until next time faithful readers (haha) …


5 Responses to “114472272349275162”

  1. 1 winnie April 11, 2006 at 1:20 pm

    it surprises me that they put so much emphasis on the peas. and to answer your email, fred, yes, this is pretty much in line with what they’ve been doing in the kitchen. the thing is, i was in their kitchen 3 years ago! i would think they would go in some more interesting directions, but this all goes back to my current gripe with high-end eating in america. the shit all tastes the same. your meal reminds me a lot of the way jean georges tasting menus are set up, with the cup of frothy brothy whatever. but really, at this point, everyone’s doing or has done it. it’s too bad radius isn’t doing it as well as they used to. but i don’t really know who all is running the kitchen these days.

    the huckleberry goat cheese cheesecake is a classic though. i loved that dish.

    i’d be reluctant to go back — partially because i’m not sure it can hold up to 3 subsequent years of eating in nyc and michelin restaurants in europe and also because i don’t think it can live up to my memory of it. i love radius because there was a group of cooks there when i was hanging out in the kitchen that really loved food, loved what they did, loved to feed people and to make them happy. and they impressed upon me the importance of this love in a kitchen. any kitchen.

    but all good things come to an end.

  2. 2 fwc April 11, 2006 at 1:35 pm

    i wouldn’t completely give up on them. other people who have gone recently have had top meals, so maybe it was just a bad night. i don’t know how much i (or anyone else should) trust my opinions anyway, since pretty much 10 times out of 10 i’d rather be eating my mom’s cooking anyway! although i suppose if andy and i agree that counts for something.

  3. 3 Carl April 11, 2006 at 6:05 pm

    I’ve always been a Radius fan and have been dying to go back since I had some fantastic meals there about 3-4 years ago. But I might have to take you up on Great Bay instead. Times change.

    But Fred– you def. need to go to NYC and have a top shelf meal! I say this only because I feel like your reviews over the past year or so have all been negative or neutral. Maybe you’re psyching yourself up too much beforehand? I’d love to see more “Oh my god this was so insanely good I cried”s in your reviews.

    Or, if you’re not feeling up to NYC, go to Oishii. It continues to be orgasmically sublime.

  4. 4 fwc April 11, 2006 at 6:19 pm

    haha, carl. i do sound like the hardest to please food critic don’t i? i don’t write about the stuff i still love in boston b/c it’s all stuff i’ve already raved about. like i could go to the buddhist temple for every meal. i think i’m going to try to up the # of new places i go to though now that it’s warm. maybe i’ll give wang’s fast food a go this weekend.

  5. 5 daisy April 14, 2006 at 4:04 pm

    yeah, i can’t believe they still have that huckleberry goat cheese cheesecake. bah.

    it really stinks to go to some high-end restaurant and get food that’s not extraordinary. nothing special. that’s pretty much why i don’t go out to eat anymore. i honestly think i haven’t paid more than $20 (including tip) on a meal in a very, very long time. but have fun at wang’s — ethnic is the way to go! winnie and i were moaning over the mediocrity of dining out when she was here. time to cook! spend money on produce and ingredients, not restaurant service!

    i’ve only gone to great bay once, and it was during their opening week. i think i really liked their ceviche bar, particularly their raw scallops and thyme-salt rolls (do they still serve those?). what do you like to eat there? and have you been to lineage yet?

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