Grotto

Overall taste: 8.25/10 | 2017 | 37 Bowdoin St, Boston, MA 02114

+++ = highly recommend | – – – = do not recommend

We came here during the dine out week and it was only $2 cheaper than if we were to order from their regular menu (see menus below).

We feel that their food is a little on the salty and heavy side, but still delicious and satisfying.

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+++ Focaccia (complimentary) [We never post pictures of complimentary bread but this was the best focaccia we had. The interior had a cakey texture and the exterior was like cookie! They served the same bread in Marliave but it was served cold and didn’t taste as good.]
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Piccata – mussels, lemon, capers, white wine ($10) [The mussels were extremely fresh and not overcooked. We both prefer it without lemon]
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Fonduta –  fontina cheese fondue, beef tenderloin tips, portobello mushrooms, aged balsamic, truffle oil ($10) [Lynn wasn’t a fan of it and found the cheese to be too salty but Jeff loved it.]
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+++ Carne – grilled beef tenderloin, reggiano risotto, asparagus, red wine sauce ($26) [The tenderloin was alright but their risotto and red wine sauce were *(#&*@ amazing.]
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+++ Anatra – apple stuffed duck breast, crispy leg, prosciutto, dried cherries, potato gratin, black truffle aioli, madeira ($26) [The duck leg was so moist, tender, and heavenly! We thought that the duck breast could be more rare. The potato gratin was soooo buttery.]
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Cioccolato – melting chocolate cake, vanilla ice cream ($10) [average]
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Budino – banana bread pudding, caramel ice cream, spiced walnuts ($10) [Loved the caramel ice cream. The bread pudding was so-so.]

Click menus to enlarge.

 

Marliave

Overall taste: 8.5/10 | 2017 | 10 Bosworth St, Boston, MA 02108

+++ = highly recommend | – – – = do not recommend

We found another great french/italian restaurant and we’re so excited to share it with everyone!

We went to Marliave on Dine Out Boston Week, but the prices listed below are based on their regular pricing. Scroll down for menus and parking options.

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Oysters – choice of oysters from Duxbury, Wellfleet, Hollands Landing & Pleasant Bay ($3 each, but $1 each between 4-6pm & 9-10pm) [As you can tell from the picture, none of the oysters was plump. One of the oysters Jeff ate had gone bad and he had to spit it out. We wouldn’t spend $3 for these oysters but $1 is pretty cheap. Just make sure to order it during the listed times.]
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+++Duck liver ravioli – sweet-n-sour onions, brown butter, capers ($12) [Omg omg omg, this was fabulous! Okay, before you order it and tell us how much you hated this, we’ve to tell you that this isn’t for everyone. However, if you like that earthy, bitter and rich taste of liver, you need to get this!]
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+++ Beef carpaccio – ribeye, arugula, aioli, reggiano, sea salt, extra virgin olive oil ($14) [We L O V E D this. Raw beef is very mild in flavour and can be easily overpowered by strong seasoning. The seasoning here was simple, which brought out the taste of the paper-thin beef. If you’ve tried making your own beef carpaccio, you’d know that $14 is a small price to pay for the amount of pounding you have to do.]
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+++ Wellington – medium rare beef tenderloin, wild mushrooms, foie gras, pastry crust, red wine sauce ($37) [Do you like croissant, beef, and foie gras? Imagine having everything in a dish! This is another amazing course from Marliave, but the foie gras portion was tiny. There was only one small spoonful in there, and Lynn ate it assuming there would be more, only to leave Jeff in misery for the rest of the night….]
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 – – – Tuna – pan seared rare, fregula, baby kale, red wine reduction ($32) [It’s not obvious from the picture, but these tuna slices were extremely thick and lacked flavour. Jeff was not a fan of this dish, but Lynn liked the fregula with red wine reduction.]
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Pudding – butterscotch, whipped cream, candied ginger  ($9) [Lynn found it to be too sweet but still enjoyable while Jeff loved it.]
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Box of truffles – house prepared premium chocolate, cocoa powder ($7) [These were good, high quality truffles. We like that they didn’t have hard chocolate shells. We both enjoyed their chocolate hazelnut but found their dark chocolate to be too bitter.]

Click menus to enlarge.

Parking: It’s impossible to find parking here. You have 3 options: (1) Uber/public transport (2) Ruth steak house valet parking for $21 (3) Kimpton Nine Zero valet parking for $28. The Marliave restaurant receptionist suggested that we use the Kimpton Nine Zero valet parking and incorrectly quoted us the price of $19.

Menton

Overall taste: 8/10 | 2017 | 354 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

+++ = highly recommend | – – – = do not recommend

We feel that we’d give Menton a higher rating if we ordered from their regular menu instead of their Dine Out Boston menu. This review is based on their 2017 Dine Out Boston selection only (see menu below). We went for their 3 course menu for $35pp.

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Yellowfin tuna crudo – eggplant, za’atar, olive [What distinguishes this from other dishes is their amazing accompaniments. We loved the eggplant and the sauce around it. The seared tuna itself was kind of average.]
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– – –  Chicory salad – trufflle, parmigiano, focaccia [We love truffle and focaccia, so when this come out, we were extremely disappointed. There was barely any taste of truffle oil. The focaccia, while beautiful, wasn’t that tasty and was way too thin. We never liked spring mix but this spring mix was more bitter than usual.]
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+++ Prime beef ribeye – malt, salsify, pearl onion [Again, where is the ribeye cap?! Do people in Boston not like the best part of ribeye? Apart from that, this was our favourite dish. The beef was lightly seasoned, allowing us to enjoy the full flavour of the meat. The accompaniments were extremely enjoyable as well.]
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Cappelletti – parsnip, almond, pancetta [We like that the pasta wrap was more firm than usual. We didn’t like bacon bits around it; they were very tough and dry.]
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Apple spice cake – sultana, cinnamon, walnut [This was very average.]
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Chocolate praline tart – blood orange, hazelnut, espresso [Jeff is not a fan. He thinks that the coffee flavor was too strong. Lynn likes it since she’s a coffee fan.]
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Assorted mini macaroons  (complimentary) [Aren’t they the cutest?!]

Click to enlarge menus.