Friday, March 27, 2009

Restaurant Week Boston -- Lumiere

Last night, some friends and I headed to Lumiere in West Newton. I had attended their Restaurant Week before, last year, and was pleasantly surprised by this gem of a French restaurant in the 'burbs. This was before I realized that Lumiere was headed by renowned chef Michael Leviton.

The food last night was no exception. The desserts were actually the same as they were last year (and the mango sorbet in coconut broth with peppered cashews was no less delicious), and the menu was not quite as creative as Sibling Rivalry's. However, the portions were significantly bigger and I left feeling stuffed.

I started with the brandade fritters -- absolutely phenomenal. I have to say, I'm biased to all things seafood, especially deep fried seafood, and I love brandade. The creamy cod filling was not too salty, as brandade can go, but accompanied nicely by a garlic aioli and seasoned tomatoes and kalamata olives.

As for my entree, I opted for some good home cookin' with the meatloaf. I find it very hard to resist meatloaf when given the option to order it. The rich grass-fed beef had a lot of flavor, although it was a bit too salty, in my opinion, when paired with the rich mushroom gravy. The sweet carrots and mashed potatoes were good, although nothing special.

The real winner was my boyfriend's Gulf of Maine pollock. The chorizo/mussel broth was flavorful, although one of our friends commented that the chorizo tasted like chopped up Slim Jims (not necessarily a diss). The mussels were tender and delicious. The pollock's paprika crust provided just enough pop to make it interesting but not overly spicy.

The only thing lacking at Lumiere was the service. Our server often forgot our drinks, and didn't come by our table to take our orders until 7:15, after we had arrived at 6:50. It was obvious that she was busy and felt bad, and she brought a free plate of cookies at the end to make amends. Bring me cookies, and the past becomes the past -- she was immediately forgiven. It was a more satisfying meal than Sibling Rivalry's, but the stumbles in the service and the lack of creativity/fewer options gives SR the edge.

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