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Boston: Clio or Craigie for New Yeasr Eve


plafield
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My husband and I are spending New Years Eve in Boson this year. I know these are 2 very different restaurants and I've read great things about both but we have to choose one. Both are offering a 5 course tasting on New Years Eve, Craigie's is $115 pp and Clio's is $125 pp. I don't eat sugar and Craigie offered me a cheese course instead of the dessert course and Clio offered to make me a fruit based sugar free dessert.

I know it's only opinion but I'm interested in yours. If it were you, which would you choose and why?

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Oooh, that's a really tough choice...both are great. As far as the food goes, I think Clio will be more interesting (more modern techniques, unusual flavor combinations). On the other hand, I bet Craigie will have a much more fun atmosphere for New Year's Eve. Not that Clio is stuffy or anything, but it definitely feels more formal than Craigie. If I had to decide, I'd probably go for Craigie, but it's a close call.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We did go to Craigie for New Years Eve and had the 5 course tasting menu. Overall it was a lovely experience and the food was outstanding. I have a few small gripes though, all about value. One being the $20 supplement we paid to add Tennessee Black Perigord truffles to one of our main dishes. While there was quite a generous shaving atop the duck, the truffles were really not very good. They were barely aromatic at all and definitely did not have the intense flavor a good truffle should have. Perhaps we should have known that truffles from Tennesee wouldn't hold a candle to the real truffles we've eaten in France and Italy but these were certainly not worth an ectra $20.

Another gripe was the supplement they charged to serve me cheese instead of dessert. I don't eat sugar so had asked when I made the reservation if they could substitute cheese since they do offer a cheese plate on their regular menu. They said they might need to charge a small supplement but thought it would be no problem. We were pretty surprised when the bill came to find they charged a $10 supplement for cheese. To me this implies that the desserts they offered on the tasting menu cost them nothing since on their regular menu they charge $10 for desserts and $9 for cheese. You'd think it would be an even swap but I understood that they might want to charge a little something for the inconvenience of prepping one plate of cheese (so much work to cut 3 small pieces of cheese?) but ten bucks? Oh well. I did enjoy the cheese.

The amuses were a delicious taste of pig 4 ways including house cured lardon, pig jowls rolled in panko and deep fried, house made head cheese, and pork skin cracklings. Delicious.

First course was oysters with candied lemon mignonette (hubby had) and I had smoked cod and bacon stuffed potato with salmon roe and horseradish. This was a stellar dish with the smooth smokiness of the purred potato and cod contrasted with the brininess and snap of the roe all inside the crispy potato skin.

For the next course we both had the coquillage of scallop, sea urchin, clam, mussek, sepia, octopus and shrimp and almond serrano ham broth. Very fresh and very tasty.

Mains were Duck 3 ways (roasted breast, neck farci, and confit with black trumpet mushrooms, caramelized endive and orange and the extra, not great truffles) and veal 2 ways (slow roasted short rib and twice cooked sweetbreads with chestnut spaetzle piopini mushrooms and barolo chinato. Both of these dishes were outstanding.

Dessert was a choice of poached pear with prune-Armagnac ice cream or mocha mille feuille. My husband chose the mille feuille and said it was delcious. As I said earlier, I had a lovely cheese plate with 3 excellent cheeses, one goat, one sheep and one cow, 2 from Vermont and one from France served with fig and apple slices and fresh french bread. Very nice.

My husband did the wine pairing and enjoyed all the organic wines offered but again I'm not so sure about the value. The cost of the wine paring was $55 but the pours were really only 1/2 glasses with each course plus an aperitif sized champagne cocktail with the amuse. That's about $13 bucks per 1/2 glass of wine. I guess it's Ne Years Eve so they can get away with it. We had a bottle of sparkling water and we finished with coffee. Total bill with tip: $400.

All in all it was a lovely evening. The service was excellent, friendly and extremely professional with an army of folks making sure everyone had exactly what they needed. The food was superb and it was a very special night out.

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Thanks for the report. But I agree that $400 is a lot for two people unless you really felt that everything was stellar. The supplement for the cheese/dessert swap seems unwarranted. And if the wine pours were as small as you describe, I'd also feel slighted unless they were very special. The high by-the-glass wine markups at Boston restaurants (and probably elsewhere) can be insulting.


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