Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Flemmings Steak House, Back Bay, Boston

Being the carnivore that I am, there is nothing more appealing to me than a good steak dinner. Somehow though, in all of the time that I have lived in Boston, I haven't had the chance to check out any of our major steak houses. Last night though, I finally made it to Flemming's Steak House in Boston's Back Bay district.

The ambiance upon entering immediately sets the mood of a traditional steak house, walls lined with deep woods, wine bottles as decoration, a dimly lit room without too much ordination in the hopes that the steak shines enough. We started with a crab cake appetizer. Two cakes served simply in a red pepper coulis, crispy on the outside, but chock full of lump crab meat. Very little breading appeared to be used, or other seasoning, so that the flavor of the crab was the most present. Dipped in the slightly sweet coulis, the flavors mingled very nicely. Light and delicious, it was an excellent start.

I selected the Petite Fillet Mignon for dinner, cooked medium rare, and we selected the mashed potatoes with roasted garlic, sweet corn, and sauteed spinach as the sides for the table. The steak was perfect. Nicely seasoned without going over board to allow the beautiful flavor of the beef to shine through. The center was nicely pink, slightly warm, but the outside had that wonderful sear all the way around. This was set simply on a large white plate with plenty of room for sides. The sides were clearly overshadowed by the steak itself to be honest. The spinach was lacking seasoning, and was overly greasy. The sweet corn, while tasty, was also a bit on the greasy side, and though the menu stated that it was sauteed with shallots, chives and butter, there was a mystery spice also in there that over shadowed the other ingredients. The potatoes, however, were delicious. Perfectly creamy, with lots of roasted garlic running throughout, they were wonderful.

We ended the meal with a dessert that to be honest- I'm not sure will ever be beat. On a whim we chose to have the Chocolate Peanut Butter sandwich, described on the menu as chocolate cookie crust, Peanut Butter mousse, and raspberry jam, also served with optional whipped cream. The "sandwich" was made from a serving of peanut butter mousse, rolled in chocolate cookie crust as well as chopped peanuts and then placed on a plate garnished with raspberry jam. While we could have used a bit more jam, this was a completely delicious dessert. The mousse was light and peanutty, smooth and creamy, the chocolate was dark and wonderful, and those chopped peanuts added a nice amount of salt that really made the whole thing ridiculously addictive. Our server was right in suggesting that we have the whipped cream with it, otherwise it was an insanely rich dish, and we didn't even come close to finishing-though believe me, I tried.

emmings was a perfect first steak house experience for me. I have heard over and over that often the sides suffer at the expense of a perfect cut of meat, and that that is the risk taken for it. But our server was knowledgeable and efficient, though he did tend to disappear at the end of the meal, and the ambiance was fantastic. For a great piece of steak, a very nice crab cake and an awesome sweet end-Id definitely recommend Flemmings.

Jevelli's, East Boston

Thanksgiving, moving and vacations have kept me rather busy recently and so unfortunately I have neglected my poor little blog. My apologies to my audience though. I can say however, a lack of writing does not indicate a lack of good eating, nor a lack of kitchen adventures. For example-I learned that I have no idea how to successfully carmelize sugar for tart tatin as I thought that I did. So back to the kitchen I go- and if anyone has some helpful tips- I welcome them.

I digress though, and move on to some great eating I have done recently. It has become a tradition, on the way back from the airport, to make a stop at Jevelli's, an Italian restuarant, in East Boston for dinner. Jevelli's is one of those spots that makes you comfortable the moment you walk in. Every patron who sits in their booths, at their bar, or at a table you know has been there a thousand times before, they know the waitstaff entirely, and the waitstaff knows them. Its the type of place that encourages you to be come a regular, to take a load off, enjoy so good comfort food and relax.

My first visit I had their Chicken Marsala which was honestly perfect. The Marsala sauce was light, sweet and delicious and a perfect amount on a well cooked thin breast of chicken. It was served with a little bowl of pasta with marinara sauce on the side, nothing outstanding there, but tasty none the less. As a side note- this is pretty high praise for me for this visit- I went in with a terrible sore throat which I found out was actually Strep Throat the next day. Despite my inability to swallow without excruciating pain, I ate through this delicious dinner.

My second visit I had their steak tips. Served with a non descript starter salad, a baked potato and steamed vegegtables the tips were well seasoned and cooked to a perfect medium rare. The veggies for the night were green beans which were ok-but you have to remember, this is not gourmet food- just good comfort food.

Jevelli's is the perfect spot to welcome you home to Boston after a trip- its almost like going back to moms where she has a great dinner waiting for you.

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