My favorite time of year is here… Restaurant Week! This program allows for customers to enjoy a 3-course meal for $33.12 at all participating restaurants. Some also feature a 2-course lunch for $15.12 and/or a 3-course lunch for $20.12. I tend to make reservations at restaurants that are known for their expensive menus, that way I can really get my money’s worth! To explore the Boston area restaurant’s participating in Restaurant Week, click here: www.restaurantweekboston.com/
My fourth of five RW dinners was last night at dante in the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge.
Menu: Dante’s Restaurant Week menu had a variety of options. From looking at the online menu it seemed as though you could choose between a salad and pasta for the 1st course, then choose a fish or meat for your 2nd course. However our server informed us that if we were craving pasta we’d be able to start with a salad and choose a pasta dish as an entrée. This threw me for a loop at first but I ultimately went with my original decision. Click below to see dante’s full restaurant week dinner menu:
Semplice: simple greens, gorgonzola, grilled peach, almonds, red wine vinaigrette
This salad came topped with shaved almonds, peach chunks on the side along with 2 crostini with a smear of gorgonzola cheese. The lettuce was barely dressed and I wish the cheese was actually crumbled over the salad. The peaches were also not grilled as much as I had hoped. Not a terrible salad, but definitely a bit disappointing.
Lombo: stuffed pork loin “involtini”, smoked prosciutto, sage, polenta
The pork came rolled and stuffed with prosciutto in a bed of polenta and topped with apple slices. When I think of prosciutto I imagine thinly sliced and slightly salty meat. Whatever was curled up in the pork loin tasted more like overly salted ham, which I dislike. I ate most of it but eventually picked out and discarded the “prosciutto” pieces. The apples were a nice touch but the polenta wasn’t up to par with others I’ve had recently (see Henrietta’s Table). While I do enjoy creamy polenta this lacked flavor and texture.
Torta: chocolate hazelnut mousse cake, spiked chocolate sauce, anglaise, caramelized hazelnuts
This chocolate hazelnut cake was topped with chocolate sauce and caramelized hazelnuts. Once I cut into it I saw that it was layered: cake, mousse, cake, mousse. It was moist, decadent, and chocolately!
Service: We were originally seated at a table outside with a beautiful view of the Charles River. It was perfect for the 15 minutes we were out there, but swarms of tiny bugs soon took over our table so we asked to be moved inside. Not only did the wait staff try to thwart off the gnats with a pan of rosemary oil (apparently that delicious smell is suppose to repel them?!), but we also received a complimentary Arancini dish once we were seated indoors. The bugs were by no means the fault of the restaurant but they made it a point to give us a little something extra for the trouble.
Overall: We had a fun night surrounded by good friends, great wine, and a nice dim & relaxed atmosphere, but overall I think we were a bit disappointed with the food. The 2 true Italian dishes I tried (Arancini and my friend’s Chitarra Carbonara entrée) were really excellent. I’m glad I tried the pork, which was good minus the salty pig product, but if and when I return to dante I’ll probably stick to the pastas!
For more photos & descriptions of what everyone in my party ate, visit my Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/ThePerfectBiteBoston or find me on Twitter and Instagram!