Food talk from a person who enjoys eating (and often eats too much)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Adventurous American Cuisine or Trying Too Hard?

It's Friday night and a girlfriend and I are looking for a comfortable, affordable place to dine that has good food and drinks. After much web-surfing on and, we settled on Tremont647. Located in the South End, the "American" eatery attempts to serve traditional food with a hint of adventure. Case in point: bacon wrapped prunes are now brandy soaked prunes with fall spices wrapped in bacon. While this sounds like a good idea, truth is that is brandy is too strong and takes away from the flavor of the prunes and bacon. Even when taken in small bites, this dish is trying too hard, like many of the other dishes here. Even the New Orleans BBQ Shrimp was overdosed in spiciness and disguised any hint of BBQ flavor. 

There were some saving graces at Tremont647. Namely, the cocktails were excellent. I had a Pineapple Martini, which was made with house infused pineapple vodka, Vanilla Stoli and simple syrup. My friend had a raspberry vodka gimlet, made with house infused raspberry vodka, fresh lime juice and simple syrup.  The Wedge and Beet and Goat Cheese Salads were also tasty. And, the truffle, parmesan-rosemary fries were good. Although, I've had better elsewhere. 

Dessert was a surprising, delightful finish. We ordered fresh donuts with maple mascarpone cheese, which was delectable. If you haven't had anything other than Dunkin Donuts in a while, you should try Tremont647 just for the donuts. We also had an order of the Chocolate Trio, which included a chocolate-hazelnut truffle, oreo chocolate cake and a shot of orange flavored hot chocolate. As our waiter put it, it was "divine intervention." After the dinner we had, it certainly was!

With restaurant week starting today in Boston, I suggest that Tremont647 takes a look at its more simple recipes and recreates those in its other dishes. People like traditional, American comfort food because they know they won't be surprised by any overbearing exotic tastes. Even when you're warned that a new flavor will be introduced, like the brandy, you don't expect it to be as strong and overbearing as it was. Tremont647 should good back to its root and stop trying so hard to be an "eclectic" restaurant. It's just not working. 

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